aka "the human torch"
Jay "The-Human-Torch" Humann
Height: steady at 30,000 feet
Actual photo taken for 12' canvas Side-Show mural.
Jay was the first of Luis' prodigies, and the one to fall farthest from the tree. For years he followed the classical magician's mold, a tuxedoed charmer manipulating cards and coins, until he snapped at a child's birthday party and closed the show with an effect that carnival folk call the "Human Pincushion." This unfortunate decision resulted in years of therapy for the 9-year-old audience members and several lawsuits for Jay.
Shortly thereafter, he hung up his tailcoat and ran away with the circus, where it was rumored that he was killed while performing a fire-eating exhibition at the grand opening of a new gas station. Legend has it that the event planner responsible for booking the act is now being subjected to mandatory drug tests twice a week. Another tale attributes his demise to complications arising from repeated performances of the infamous "Brahmo Thread Mystery", a feat so dangerous that only Jay and two others currently perform it. (Click on Jay's authentic death certificate for yet another version of his fabled "final curtain"!)
Imagine our surprise when Jay resurfaced, alive and well, to unite with the Magic Mafia™. Little is known about what he did while traveling with the circus, or what the circus freaks did to him, but the term 'magician' is no longer adequate. He returned as nothing less than a full-blown, one-man sideshow! Out of the tent and onto the stage, Jay brings the "Freak Show" to life with a style that is truly all his own.
Bio at a glance
I am NOT a Freak! I am Jay Humann!
1972: Descended from Heaven (according to Mom).
1977: Received my 1st magic kit on my 5th birthday (April 6th, same as Houdini). About an hour later I had learned my first trick, and it was the greatest, most astonishing trick in the world. The very same trick that made Ray Charles blind (it's true, he really is blind).
1977: Performed my 1st magic show at my own 5th birthday party, which occurred on the Saturday after my birthday (April 9th, Hugh Hefner's birthday. My show was such a success that it must have made Hef jealous, because he still won't let me come to any of his parties). I was instantly transformed into full-fledged stage-junkie. Fame became my #1 life goal.
1977-1985: Soaked up magic knowledge, developed enormous ego, alienated peers (pathetic mortals) and hustled them for their lunch money (suckers!).
1986: Figured out what to do with all of those girls that crowded around me when I used slight of hand to demonstrate my superiority over regular humans.
1986-1988: Tirelessly conducted countless experiments on the aforementioned girls in order to determine which magic tricks most effectively made them want to do the things that I had previously figured out could be done with them. Results were inconclusive…research continues to this day.
1988: 16th birthday (still falls on April 6th, the same as Houdini). Experiments took on a life of their own. Needed car and money in order to broaden search for research subjects. Began seeking employment.
Then, as the result of a coincidence so unbelievably lucky that it had to be Divine Intervention, I met the man who would change the course of my life forever.
Eager to continue my experiments, I accepted the first job I was offered. My boss, Luis Villamonte, was a magician too, and he was better than I was. I didn't mind though, because he was the only other magician that I had ever met. Student had found teacher. Master had found apprentice. My destiny had been ordained.
1988-2001; just a few of the highlights:
14 years of distinguished membership within the Bill Morton Ring (#259) of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, including induction into the exclusive Wizards Club.
Co-founder and charter member of the Lincoln Magical Society.
Presented with awards recognizing "achievement in" and "outstanding contribution to the field of magic" from the Omaha Magical Society Assembly #7 and the Society of American Magicians.
Performed with Luis for the Governor of Nebraska while she signed a proclamation recognizing October 31st as International Magic Day, and the week of October 25th-31st as International Magic Week (to memorialize the death of Harry Houdini on Oct. 31st, 1926).
Appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the Arsenio Hall Show (okay, I was in the audience both times, but if you're quick enough you can spot me when the camera pans the crowd - so technically I was on both shows and, therefore, am not a liar).
More stuff…blah, blah…woof, woof…me, me, me…yadda, yadda, yadda…
2002: I celebrate my 30th birthday (April 6th again, amazing).
FIVE WEEKS LATER: I embark on a six-month tour of the East Coast to perform in a carnival sideshow! This site will chronicle my adventures on this tour with pictures, stories, etc.…from beginning to end. I'll be updating the page as often as possible, but that can be difficult while on the road so just shut up and wait for it…it'll be worth it!
Missing MagicMafia Member Resurfaces
Sideshow superstar Jay “The Humann Torch” Humann dropped off the radar shortly after doing some county fairs with me in 2003. Recently, a television station in Lubbock, Texas caught Jay working as a “pitchman” at the Greater South Plains Fair. As it turns out, Jay has been traveling with the John Strong Circus Sideshow and, when he’s not performing on the stage, he demonstrates (or “pitches”) magic tricks which he then sells. Since September of 2006 Jay has been in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Missouri, with no plans to stop any time soon. The last time we spoke he was planning on spending the winter in Puerto Rico, but didn’t know for sure. He promised to keep in torch; I mean touch, so I’ll try to keep you posted on where you can see Jay do his thing.
Luis “3-Card” Villamonte
Check out this video of Jay on the news in Lubbock, TX
I just heard that Jay will be in Texas during the month of December doing various street fairs, flea markets, and Christmas shows. I asked him where in Texas, and he said “everywhere”, so keep your eyes open, Texans, and if you spot him tell him we said ‘hi’.
Mafia Private Collection
Call the Magic Mafia™ and book Jay for your next event -OR- CLICK HERE today!
From the Magic Mafia™ Secret video vault, Mafia member Jay Humann at age 17
(the year was 1989). He will hate you if you bring this up. See the video HERE. (18MB)
Yes! There's more, Jay was hired by Oreo Nabisco to do magic in Lincoln's local grocery stores. Click HERE to see the video (its 34MB but it's worth it.).
Circus Terms (Jay Thought you should know)
Paper sign, consisting of a simple arrow, used to mark the route between towns. Taped to road signs by the 24-hour man the day before the show moves.
Performer's entrance to the tent.
The area behind the big top where props, animals, and performers are readied for the performance.
Large steel ring encircling a center pole, on which the tent is attached and hoisted up.
When the tent is destroyed by high winds or a storm.
Immediately following the end of a performance, when the crowd mills out of the tent and onto the midway.
A concessionaire who sells his/her wares by carrying them into the audience.
The tallest pole holding the tent up, located in the center of the tent.
Aerial act in which an individual performs on a loop of rope suspended from the top of the tent.
Just prior to the start of a performance, when the crowd is moving from the midway into the tent.
Place where circus people eat. Also Pie Car.
Order used to open the gates and let the public enter the big top.
First of May
A rookie on the circus.
Cables used to stabilize aerial rigging.
A call for help among circus folk, usually involving fights with locals.
A shortened performance.
The property that a circus sets up on.
Safety harness worn by aerialists.
The area outside of the entrance to the main tent, typically lined with concessionaires.
The daily cost of operating a show. Legend has it that local authorities would remove a nut from the wagon wheel of the circus office and keep it to ensure that everyone got paid.
Place where circus people eat. Also cookhouse.
The second largest poles in the tent, between the center poles and the side poles.
The equipment used in aerial acts.
An acrobatic act in which one person juggles another on his/her feet.
A laborer on the circus.
Wall of a tent.
The smallest poles in the circus tent, running around its outer edge.
A parade within the tent of all performers and animals in costume, usually at the beginning of the show.
Truck which carries the tent canvas.
A sold-out performance.
Take down equipment and ready the circus for moving.
Anyone not traveling with a circus.
Twenty-Four Hour Man
A circus employee who plans the route to the next town, marks the route with arrows, and determines where the circus will be set up on the lot.
Long ropes (actually cotton-filled fire hose) hung from the top of the tent for aerialists to perform on.