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Meet Judge Brown

From The Linking Ring, October 2020

Judge Gary Brown is the author of Wandcraft: Making and Using a Magic Wand, a book just released by Theory and Art of Magic Press. Wandcraft represents his most recent and ambitious magic project to date. In it, Judge Brown explores the creation and use of the magic wand, offering the first authoritative guide to this critical magic tool. The book provides an in-depth study of wand use and theory, as well as innovative and practical effects, techniques, and routines. 


Wandcraft represents another link in a long chain of notable contributions to the magical arts. “Judge Brown is a magician, historian, writer, inventor, and judge,” we noted in May 2019. “Although he has deep roots in the art of magic, his breadth and depth of knowledge are not widely known in the magic community.” Performing magic since age seven, he first garnered attention with the publication of The Coney Island Fakir in 1997, an award-winning biography about magician, Al Flosso. Since that time, he has penned dozens of articles about magic and related phenomena for The New York Times, American Heritage, Emmy, Invention & Technology, and a host of magic periodicals and websites. He has appeared as a commentator on magic, gambling, deception, and crime on The Discovery Channel, A&E, Court TV, and National Public Radio


A frequent magic lecturer, in 2018, Judge Brown served as the Distinguished Lecturer at the Annual Convention of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, where he discussed "The Effects that Built the Fourth Dimension.” The I.B.M. Endowment and Development Fund named him as its First Distinguished Lecturer for its 2018 National Convention “to enrich I.B.M. members’ experience in ways that transcend typical convention offerings,” noting that Judge Brown’s presentation, drawing on two decades of research, would “bring magic to the Convention that members simply couldn’t get any other place.” In 2019, he presented on “Magical Reinvention” at the McBride Magic & Mystery School, where he was awarded the King of Swords Award. As an inventor, Judge Brown has created numerous original effects, most notably the Viking “Spirit Trumpet”and “Telekinetic Chess” illusions. Other creations include “PsyColony,” a mentalism effect using colonial currency; "Believe,” showcasing Santa Claus in a redesign of a Martin Lewis monte effect; and the “Double Boston Box,” which allows for seamless transpositions.


Judge Brown worked as an Assistant United States Attorney for sixteen years, prosecuting street gangs, criminal organizations, and a serial killer. From 2008 through 2019, he worked as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York. In 2020, following three presidential nominations by two U.S. Presidents and unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate, he was sworn in as a United

States District Judge. He received the Society of American Magicians’ “Heroism and Patriot Award” at its National Convention in 2020 in recognition of his record of public service.