Magic means different things for different people. My understanding about what it is magic, as a performing activity, has changed throughout the years and it is still changing. I have the feeling that there is something more in there and I have to dig deeper. Not that I pretend to change no one’s life, but I would like the things that I do to be more meaningful and significant.
I won’t try to define what it is magic, I rather discuss about what is magical to me, which think it is a much more useful approach (Thanks Gabi for helping me realize that, even though I know you won’t read this ever). This is magical to me:
This is J.S.Bach’s Prelude from the suite nº1 for unaccompanied cello (arranged for guitar and played by Andres Segovia). It appeared in some movies these years so it is quite popular now. Bach wrote six suites for unaccompanied cello (a suite is a set of tunes), all of them are amazing but to me, this particular tune is something else, as if it is reflecting a beauty from somewhere else or if it does it with much more intensity than the others.
If I were to define “magical” in that sense it would be like something “deeply, impossibly and unexplainably beautiful”, just as this materpiece.
As a magician I am supposed to produce “magical moments”, (the “Magic Experience” in Gabi Pareras’s words). But, what do I actually know about magical moments? Well, I think I have experienced some magical moments in my life, lasting moments of true astonishment, I am sure we all did. Here I share a few of them that I experienced long before I knew anything about magic.
When I was eleven or so I fell in love with a character of young adult book I was reading, the book was one of “The Five” series, you know?, those five detectives kids who went here and there solving mysteries. She was a little girl named Jo, she was a minor character so she only appeared in one book. It felt just the same as having a crush on that cute girl from the school class but on a fictional character instead, pretty weird uh?. In spite of my “feelings” I was well aware that our romance had little future, so I finished the book and I let her go (I didn’t come up with a better thing to do). For sure it was one of the more intense experiences I had while reading a book, my imagination and the author’s combined in such a magical way.
Some years later my elder bother took me to my first big rock festival, we were going to see that band that we both liked a lot (QOTSA just after KYUSS broke up). There were thousands of people but we managed to get like fifteen or twenty meters from the stage, I was so excited about it. I remember when the frontman, Josh Homme, appeared on stage cool as hell radiating that charisma. They were playing terribly good and it was so crowded and hot. At some point Josh opened a bottle of Budweiser, he had a sip and then he threw it gently for someone in the audience to catch, that produced a human wave that displaced us a few meters so uncontrollably that we almost fell to the ground. I am not a tall guy and I was just a boy but I raised my hand, unable to see anything, and sure enough that bottle appeared on my hand perfectly griped by the bottleneck. What a moment!! Despite being his superhero when I was about to drink my brother took of the bottle out from my hands “Don’t even think drinking from the same bottle of that junkie!!” he said, it was very funny. I kept that bottle for many years, then I realized I didn’t need to do it anymore because I recalled that moment each and every time a I saw a Budweiser bottle, it still happens. Maybe we only keep souvenirs of things otherwise we would forget. Maybe because of that experience Budweiser became my all time favorite beer brand.
Some years later I was in the train on my way to the university. A while before I had dropped the music school where I had studied music and classical guitar for some years, naively I thought it was constraining me and I wanted learn from other sources. Back then I didn’t started in magic yet so music was very important for me (and still is today). I was worried because my idea was to keep playing classical guitar on my own and I wasn’t doing that. I was just thinking that when a cute girl about my age sat in front of me, she was carrying a folder and a notepad to write music and I thought “Funny!”. I kept thinking that I really had to find time and focus in classical guitar again (I was playing the electrical guitar in a rock band then), that’s when the cute girl opened the folder and pulled out some classical guitar scores, I though “What!!??”. I was totally determined to play the classical guitar again, at the moment I thought of starting with the last tune I had learn, a tune from Heitor Villa-Lobos called “Choros nº1”. Then the girl started browsing the scores, I totally freaked out when she not only had that particular score among hers but she stopped browsing precisely at it. I guess I should had said to that girl «Marry me right here right now!, I’ll explain later» but I didn’t (In Barney Stinson’s words “There is no such thing as the signal, but yeah! that was the signal”)
Ohhhh, I would like my magic to make audience’s imagination run wild a fraction as mine when I felt in love with that girl from the book. I would like to perform a bottle production nearly as powerful and memorable for the audience as that Budweiser beer that «appeared» in my hand in the concert was for me, or a mind reading/coincidence routine as remotely meaningful and engaging as the experience I had in the train. I don’t know how but that’s where I want to focus my magic.
Sadly, my obsessive hunger for learning magic prevented me of having a lot of experiences as lay spectator (be wiser than me if it is not too late for you). On the other hand I am very lucky because I was educated in magic surrounded by some of the best magicians in the world (as hard as it sounds), and I had the chance to see them perform many times. So I had a few magical moments as a spectator of a magic performance, moments impossible to erase, and I keep them as the treasure they are. Maybe some other time I’ll share a few of them with you.
Thanks for reading!