Today’s topics are: 56th German CardWorkShop (CWS); Irasshaimase Card College; Juan Tamariz at the XIV Festival of Magic in Madrid; A Useful Acquitment – Old Paper; Fred Kaps – It’s So Simple (Introduction)
These are The Magic Memories 164, gone online Sunday, February 18th, 2024, at 0:07h sharp.
All The Magic Memories from 2021, 2022, and 2023, including the Magic Advent Calendar from 2020, can be found HERE.
56th German CardWorkShop (CWS)
As you are reading this, I am on my way to the 56th German CardWorkShop (CWS), a yearly event that this year takes place in Stephan Kirschbaum’s Wundermanufaktur from FEB 18th to 20th, 20024: Sunday evening, Monday full day, and Tuesday (late) morning, plus individual sessions at night with varying bedtimes…
I have reported before about the CWS in The Magic Memories 112 & 113, and the info plus a few photos are just a CLICK AWAY.
Click HERE to now more about Kirschbaum’s “Pocket Theatre”, certainly one of Europe’s most charming and unusual cultural institutions.
Irasshaimase Card College
The Japanese translation of Card College came out after the French, Spanish and English translation, and was supervised by Ton Onosaka with whom I had signed a one-page hand-written “agreement” at the FISM convention in Lissabon in July 2000, twenty-four years ago.
After about fifteen years or so, I inquired if there ever had been another edition, and indeed it had, so thanks to my proactivity managed to get paid for that second edition.
In the following years it seems the publication had been discontinued, or the publisher failed, well, I never found out…
But four years ago Atsushi Takizawa and his Script Maneuver, who had already published Card College Volume 5 and Stand-up Card Magic, renegotiated the publishing rights, but for reasons that I still do not understand had to redo the complete translation and layout.
Anyway, a few weeks ago I received my six author’s copies, and if you want to learn Japanese and cannot get yourself a Japanese wife or husband, the best way to learn a language, go for the second-best way by buying a copy of the Japanese Card College 🙂
Juan Tamariz at the XIV Festival of Magic in Madrid
A few weeks ago I got a call from Jorge Blass, who many have called the “Copperfield” of Spain, who asked if I was willing to join him, Gaetan Bloom and others in Madrid to honor Juan Tamariz within the frame of his yearly Magic Festival.
“The XIV Festival Internacional de Magia”, the official name of the event, will be held at the renowned Teatro Circo Price (pronounced “pree-se”), a former In-house circus remodeled as a theater, and will take place in Madrid from FEB 14th to MAR 3rd, 2024.
The fact that this is already in its fourteenth edition, in Spain’s capital that boasts some of the world’s top cultural activities, tells you something about its quality and success.
In the video clip below you can get a one-minute idea of last year’s edition.
As part of the festival, Jorge Blass will stage an exceptional Homage to Juan Tamariz, who is not only a legend in his own lifetime for us magicians, but who also has the highest status an artist can have in his own native Spain.
To mention just one honor: In 2011 the Medalla de Oro al Mérito en Bellas Artes was bestowed upon him, the highest honor a civilian can receive in Spain, and it is the King of Spain himself who presents it. Needless to say that Tamariz refused to kneel in front of the King and sent someone else to collect the medal…
The event will take place on Tuesday, 5th March, at 8pm at the Teatro Circo Price.
To the public Tamariz is known as a TV celebrity of magic, having starred in a dozen of his own shows until ca. 1990, when he stopped doing TV and started to conquer the theatre circuit, filling the largest theaters across the country for the next three decades.
However, few “muggles” know about Tamariz’ importance and influence in the world of magic, although large interviews in the national and international press have appeared, including a much-noticed portrait in the New York Times’ literary supplement (I spent more than an hour over Zoom with the journalist who authored the portrait and who had contacted me for information only those have who have known Tamariz for the past almost fifty years, as I have; I was neither mentioned nor thanked in the essay… ingratus mundi).
So, the idea is to present Tamariz to the Spanish lay public from a different angle than he is known for. Among other bits, Gaetan Bloom and myself will each spend ten minutes or so to interview the Maestro.
In my part I will try to talk about his importance as lecturer and author of some of the most significant books in magic, without obviously revealing any secrets (I will thus not be able to mention his two books Mnemonica, as that would implicitly give away one of Tamariz’ most used methods…).
If you have any suggestions for good questions, please send them along over the “Contact” menu item on the webshop.
A Useful Acquitment – Old Paper
My friend Claudio Viotto sent in the video clip below about how to make a piecer of paper look old.
Some of you might use that for those “Story Telling Magic” pieces…
Fred Kaps – It’s So Simple (Introduction)
In yet another attempt to put some order in the thousand of items I have accumulated in my magic life, I came across an old lecture audio tape that was sold by Martin Breese in the 1980s titled It’s So Simple, this being the recording of a magic lecture Fred Kaps gave in England. The audio cassette fortunately came with a 28-page booklet, where the entire lecture was transcribed and supplemented by a few illustrations, far too little, of course.
As a little aside: As a student I spent several months in England to perfect my English (as you can tell from these unedited The Magic Memories it is far from perfect…), and visited Martin Breese on several occasion as he still had a brick-and-mortar shop in London. I was there in 1984 – I know because on one of my visits Dai Vernon’s book on Erdnase, Revelation, had just come in. When I looked at it and commented on the large amount of white space in the comments column, David Britland, who was also there and a kind of “adviser” to Martin Breese, said to me, “Don’t judge the white space, judge what is written.” He was absolutely right: Like a large Cognac snifter you do not drink the large empty part of it, you drink the comparatively little amount of Cognac in it 🙂
At that time I had written my first book and gave the manuscript to Martin, who refused to publish it, probably because David told him that it was not good enough (he was again right…). But, had he accepted to publish it, I would very probably have gone with him as publisher for the Card College books, which later were published by Stephen Minch and his Hermetic Press. But I digress, as I often do…
At any rate, although the Kaps lecture is not always easy to follow, as it is an audio of a visual lecture, there is a lot of information that still today I found captivating.
I have taken the liberty to reproduce for you the introductory words with which Fred Kaps addressed his audience. From this introduction, and from the subsequent lecture, you can tell that Kaps was not an intellectual, but rather an intuitive genius, as is so often the case with most artists in most disciplines (except maybe literature, where most authors are intellectuals). Nonetheless, you will find that Kaps was very clear about what magic is and what made a successful performer and performance. I have listened to all his interviews available (see The Patrick Page Audio Archives) and am a big fan of what he says and how he says it.
I hope you find the following as interesting as I did.
It’s So Simple
Peter Warlock has asked me to give you a lecture. Now I am not a lecturer but a full-time professional magician, as you know. This is not going to be a lecture about tricks; all I want to show you are principles; principles on which you can build further and make something out of them. You have to do that because there is nobody like yourself. There is no trick that everybody can do exactly the same: that is absolutely impossible, in my opinion.
First of all, there are the fundamentals.
We all know that there are only a few fundamentals in magic, and I think that they are absolutely necessary. For instance, you buy a trick and read the instructions, do the trick, and call yourself a magician. This is, of course, ridiculous.
You can buy fifty tricks and still not be a magician. You can be an entertainer, but that’s another thing. Because the tricks never are important. You have a library in which these principles are written down, thought out, put down for you to read.
And what do we do, most of the time? We take a book and just look at the tricks that are in there: ”Oh, that’s nice. That’s nothing. Oh, there’s nothing in this book,” and you put it back. Don’t do that. When you have the Tarbell Course or the Dai Vernon Book of Magic and several others, for instance, the most interesting part of those books are in the preface.
For instance, in the Dai Vernon Book of Magic, the first two chapters are the most important of the whole book. You will find the basis of all the techniques he lectures about, like Slydini did.
There was a time when Slydini was here and in Holland and all over Europe, and everybody was crazy about him: this was Slydini.
Dai Vernon cannot do what Slydini does; Slydini can’t do what Dai Vernon does. They are masters in their own fields. They don’t copy each other because they know it is impossible. They are that far that they know it’s impossible. You have to translate the moves for yourself. I cannot tell you to do a move this way: I can only tell you what it is, so you understand for yourself how to translate a move or a sleight or a principle for yourself.
Wish you all a successful and happy week,