Today’s topics are: Paris, the City That has Inspired so Many Great Minds (The Tartare Recipe – The Magic); Sevilla to San Fernando – The Tamariz Days Nights; Magialdia THE convention; Five-card Follow the Leader
These are The Magic Memories 146, gone online Sunday, October 15th, 2023, at 0:07h sharp.
All The Magic Memories from 2021, 2022, including the Magic Advent Calendar from 2020, can be found HERE.
Here I am, back from France, Spain at two events, Vienna, and then France again, with more to tell than there is space – I’ll start at the beginning and see how far we get 🙂
Paris, the City That has Inspired so Many Great Minds
I’m lucky to live at a little over three hours fast train ride from Paris, possibly my favorite city, certainly when I’m there 🙂
This time it was only a “one-night-stand” at my friend Yves Carbonnier’s home, so to speak “in-transit” to our next day’s flight to Sevilla to visit with Juan Tamariz.
Still, I had time for several essential activities.
First, gastronomy. As I have mentioned several times, gastronomy is the basis of all good magic. Because gastronomy has to do with eating. If you don’t eat you die. if you’re dead you cannot do good magic. Ergo, gastronomy is the basis of all good magic – q.e.d.
So , after Yves met me at the train station, we headed straight away to Le Louchébeme, argot for “the butcher”, a good address for carnivores in Paris, in a typical Bistrot style, at very affordable prices.
In Switzerland for the same quality and half the quantity you pay twice as much – you do the math… Reminds me of Dai Vernon, who once said to Tony Giorgio, “If you were only half as good as you think you are, that would still be twice as much as you really are.” I assume this was said in jest.
For a quick impression of Le Louchébeme and a look at their menu CLICK HERE.
Talking of tartare, and continuing the tradition of the Garcia books (…), here is a succulent recipe Yves sent me and which should please people who like this sort of thing:
BEEF TARTAR WITH ANCHOVIES (serves 4)
Preparation: ca. 30 min
– 400 g of beef fillet – other parts will do, too, such as beef top round or beef sirloin flap (also known as bavette), which are cheaper and make a much better tartare due to their texture and more robust flavor.
– 2 shallots
– 4 anchovy fillets in olive oil or salt
– 8 sprigs of chives
– 2 tbsp. vinegared capers
– 2 tbsp mustard (Dijon-style preferred)
– 4 tbsp. ketchup
– chili sauce
– 4 tsp. olive oil
– 4 raw egg yolks (optional)
1. Chop the beef with a knife into 2mm pieces.
2. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Chop the anchovies. Finely chop the chives. Mix the beef with the anchovies, shallot, chives, capers, mustard, ketchup and a few drops of chili sauce. If the anchovies are in oil, season with a little salt.
3. Serve immediately with 1 egg yolk (optional) and a few drops of chili sauce.
Now I was ready for the second part, magic, which took place by visiting Bebel in his hangout bistrot Café le Bruant, in the 18th arrondissement, a neighborhood in Paris that has experienced an upgrade and has become an attractive place to visit, with lots of original shops, cafés, bistros etc.
Needles to say Bebel always surprises me with his creativity and skill, all done low-key with humble authority and competence.
For me – and certainly for many an audience member – a welcome change of pace from the frenzies of “show business” type of braggadocio presentations of which there are too many, were form by far surpasses content, and missing talent is compensated by artificial self-confidence.
Bebel is writing a book, but for those who do not want to wait (you never know how long it takes between announcing and publishing a book…), there is lots of video material of Bebel’s magic around – please honor the legal stuff over the pirated, as Bebel is still alive and does magic for a living.
Also, I gave Bebel my little lecture on how to use Evernote to manage notes and projects – and he seemed to like it 🙂 Hope to put this at the disposal of all, one day…
The afternoon was all too short.
Yves and I spent a quite evening at home, over a simple meal (which to many would be fancy…) and a few bottles of wine… and hit the road on the next day, Friday 8th of September 2023.
Sevilla to San Fernando – The Tamariz Days Nights
We arrived in Sevilla, parts of this outstanding city being under the UNESCO world heritage – but this time no time to visit, instead we rented a car and drove straight away in 90 minutes to Juan Tamariz’s summer home in San Fernando, near Cadiz, another emblematic city in the history of Spain, its origin dating back some ca. 3’500 years – that’s older than playing cards (who, alas, surfaced only ca. 1370 in Europe)…
Needless to say, that after the mandatory dinner at Ventorillo del Chato, one of our favorites – never do magic on an empty stomach! – we headed back “home” and the magic started (well, it had already started around the table, of course…) at Juan’s Magic Round Table, which is actually rectangular.
Yves, as usual cracks at 2 or 3 o’clock, while I endured, and managed to stay awake until 6 o’clock, when I had to call it a day… while the Maestro now turned to other “secret” projects, until 9, 10, 11 in the morning… who knows what the muses and angels do to a genius 🙂
We kept this rhythm up for five days!
For all those who asked how the Maestro is doing: He’s just fine, at (soon) 81 full of energy and ideas, busy with 1001 projects, of which one after the other will reach us (Letters From Juan Volume 6 was just released as I’m writing this…).
In the photo below he drinks to your (and his) health:
Once again my notebook is brimming over with notes of the topics discussed, the tricks, techniques, presentations, theories, bits and pieces that were discussed and demonstrated.
I’ve always kept copious notes of all our encounters over the past 45 years.
I still vividly remember when I took the first note of something that Juan told me in private, at that time an absolute novelty known to only a few close friends from the recently founded Escuela Magica de Madrid: It was what is now know as TPC, the “Tamariz Perpendicular Control”, and below is a photo from my very first notebook, the very first page, which I started at my very first FISM convention in 1979 in Brussels (where I also met Ascanio, Vernon, Jennings, Bilis, Sanvert, Paviato, and were I saw Fred Kaps on video for the first time).
And should I say that the TPC is the subject of one of Juan’s upcoming book projects?
Although the basic technique and some of its applications were described by Juan in his book Sonata, that has meanwhile become a classic, you will be knocked off your socks when you read what else Juan has come up with using the TPC. This is a book Im going to devour from the first page to the last when it comes out.
If you are interested to know what Juan has fooled and then enlightened me with over these decades, then you can do no better than read his literary and video output, but above all his most recent Letters From Juan, which contains much of the stuff that has made me happy.
Lots of it is there, but even more is awaiting publication, and all of it is the output of one of the supreme geniuses in the history of magic. I cannot say how privileged I feel to have been a small part of this history, and to count myself among his closest friends and students.
The photo below shows Juan (with friends sitting around the table) and me performing my version of Vernon’s “Ectoplasmic Aces” (Sharing Secrets, p. 17). Juan liked it, but we agreed it was a “minor miracle”, albeit with a clever construction (you can see a video of it HERE).
This report deserves a lengthy essay, but alas you and I won’t have the time for it, so I’ll just finish by saying that the visits at Juan’s are not only full of fantastic magic and delicious meals, but also encounters with local friends, Pedro, Ramón, Pepe, Juan Luis, plus whoever is visiting, and you never know who and when…
After five days and five nights (!) it was time to say goodbye.
And off we were, Yves and I, in company of our friends Pepe Dominguez and Pedro Morillo, to the airport of Seville, to catch our plane to Vitoria, where we were picked up by Jorge in his limousine that would deliver us at the Hotel Canciller NH, headquarter of the Magialdia convention, the next adventure…
Magialdia 2023 – THE Convention
I’ve been an invited guest for the past almost 20 years – and “invited” means invited in the Old World’s sense of the term, which differs from the definition people have in other parts of the world…
This year I had a busy schedule. No sooner had I arrived, that I started out by taping five lessons of 35 minutes each for Borja Monton’s Card Magic Masterclass, which is part of an ongoing teaching project.
Borja, who during the difficult times of the pandemic was also the president of the Spanish Society of Magicians in Madrid (SEI – Sociedad Española de Magia), is a successful YouTuber, well-known influencer and head of his own “Instituto de Magia”. You can have a quick look HERE.
Borja and I had met in July at the Spanish national convention in Valladolid, and he quickly convinced me to participate in his project.
i suggested to do a five-part Masterclass on the subject of “Sleight of Mind – The Psychological Construction of Magic”. Based on my recent book Sharing Secrets, I conceived five lessons discussing five of the concepts detailed in the book, together with one trick each, where the practicality of the “theory” was demonstrated.
So, the students of the course are now not only learning five polyvalent and super-practical concepts, they also get five good performance pieces to go with it. In a future The Magic Memories I shall be happy to tell you more about the content of the five-part course.
Meanwhile, here is one of the tricks I taught, to illustrate “The Space-Information-Continuum” (see p. 102 of Sharing Secrets). The description is brief, but as an advanced reader you should be able to follow:
Five-card Follow the Leader
Prologue: The cards have a family sense. Let me demonstrate with the two most important families in the deck: the Royal Flush in Hearts, and the Royal Flush in Spades.”
Drop 5 red spot-cards face up on the table, then drop 5 black spot cards on top. Take high cards as they have more color on the face.
Display the cards face up by spreading them between your hands, “Red and black cards, the values do not matter, as long as they are red and black.” As you are saying this, cull one of the blacks under the spread (I cull the fourth card from the face).
Close the spread, turn the packet face down, and then immediately deal five cards face down to your right, turning the fifth face up and leaving it in front of the face down packet, “Five red cards over here…”
Reverse deal the remaining five cards in a face down packet on your left, turning the last black card face up and placing it in front of the packet analogously to the packet on the right.
As the cards are dealt, merely the first card dealt in each packet must be protected, so the others could be flashed in a natural manner.
Confirm: “The red cards with the red… the black cards with the black.” As you are saying this, each hand turns the top card of a packet face up, keeping it in the space over its respective packet(Space-information Continuum), and then deals it on top of the Leader Card.
Square each of the two three-card-packets, “The cards have a strong magical family sense that keeps them together.”
Exchange the Leaders.
With the right hand pick up the packet behind the red Leader in End Grip, and by supinating the hand show a red card on its face. Place the packet face down in Dealing Position, and then do a Double Lift from the bottom, reshowing the card just seen on top of the packet. Turn the double face down, and then place the packet face down back on the table behind the red Leader.
Do the same for the packet behind the black Leader.
Again exchange the Leaders.
Immediately turn the top card of each packet face up, holding them above their respective packets (Space-information Continuum), and then deal it on top of the Leader Card.
Exchange the packets, show the top card, and then deal on the Leader.
One last time exchange the Leader-packet, hesitate to reveal the last card (Tamariz!), then show.
Epilogue (maybe): “Birds of a feather always flock together…”
Presentational detail: To visualize the transposition of the colors, each time do the “Winged Hands Bit”as explained in the Light book (see Card College Lightest, “Follow the Leader”, p. 26).
As usual the convention was a hotspot of international talent, with great close-up show, lectures, theater shows and a final big show on the Plaza in the heart of Vitoria’s historical center.
Sunday at noon, closing the convention, Ignacio Lopez from Buenos Aires, Michel (also from Buenos Aires) and I filled a 75-minute event where we discussed the Art of Magic in its various facets.
If you understand Spanish or want to practice your language skill in it, you can view the introductory video by CLICKING HERE.
The format with great questions proved to be quite successful, and we were asked to repeat this at some other convention. We’ll see…
Lots more to tell, of course, but we’ll leave it at that.
In the next The Magic Memories 147 more tales about my participation at the “International Close-up Symposium” in Wiener Neustadt, at Bill Chueng’s amazing theater, and some insider-talk from the French national convention in La Grande-Motte in the South of France.
Wish you all an excellent week!