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Anthony Vinson

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I said I wouldn’t, but I did. Collecting coinage: raiding the change jar; plucking pennies, nickels, and dimes from among the pet hair and food crumbs accumulated beneath the couch cushions; cleaning out the coins from the center console of the truck… I easily managed to collate and roll enough to equal the price of the book and placed my order. Of course, they wouldn’t take rolled coins as payment over the internet, but that’s okay. I justified making the purchase, and that’s all that matters. Visa will bill me.

My copy of The Magic Rainbow arrived today, and being self-employed on a blustery, rainy afternoon, I boiled water, made a nice cup of herbal tea, and cracked the cover. Wow. Just wow. This book will be praised by many, dismissed by many, and actually read by a few.

Paging my way through the first several chapters, I found myself stopping frequently to consider the words, the thoughts, the emotions expressed. This is not an easy book to read. It is a book to be savored and considered and ruminated over. It is filled with metaphor and imagery and allusion. It references classical mythology, philosophy, and religion. It places the magician in the position of questioning his (or her) reason and purpose for performing. It places emphasis on magic as art and invites those who dare to consider elevating their own magic to the level of art. How? Well, I am only a few chapters in so far, and while I cannot yet – or perhaps ever – answer that question, I am intrigued at the possibilities. The real question is this: Do I have the courage?

I post this now not as a review or book report, but rather in the hopes that others on the forum who find themselves moved by the material might join in this conversation. Sr. Tamariz invites us to be more than simply entertainers, though he rightly points out there’s nothing wrong with having fun and entertaining, but he does ask if that’s enough. This statement, from the book, is echoing around the corridors of my mind: “The more emotion there is in magic, the stronger the magic is.” How much of myself do I pour into my performance? Not enough. And not something I have thought enough about. That’s a good start. We’ll see where it goes from here.

To reiterate, this is not an easy book to read. It isn't for everyone. That's cool. Please jump in if you have the book, have ordered the book, and when you begin reading the book. Perhaps we can explore together?

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Rudy Tinoco

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Great post, Anthony! I love the way you put your emotions into words.

I bought this book from Rafael Benatar and it's making it's way to my home. You have made me so glad that I made the purchase. 

I'll be sure to come back to this thread when I've received it and had the opportunity to read some of it. I can hardly wait!

Rudy


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arthur stead

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Anthony, your intriguing post about The Magic Rainbow inspired me to research this book, and seriously tempted me to buy it. 

Will let you know if and when I do ...

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Chi Han

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What a coincidence, this came in for me yesterday!

It'll be a while before I get to it though! Still making my way through Scripting Magic volume 2!

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Axel

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Hi my friends,

mine came in last saturday! Few days before I received two Vernon books from Steven while working through Solomons Mind and Solomons Secrets!...but that didn´t keep me from starting reading about the Magic Rainbow:

That´s a really new experience for me because it has been a long time since I had to pick up a dictionary to keep following what is written, meant and thought in a magic book! but I really enjoy this, I think Rafael Benatar did a superb job with his translation (as far as I can judge it!)...I think it will take some time for me working through this convolutious monument!


PS: Hi Chi Han...Scripting Magic is also on my WTB/WT-read-list! really liked this first volume!

Greetings from Germany,

Axel
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Mike Powers

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I got a deal on the Tamariz book by buying 7 books. I have two left at a good price. PM me if interested.

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Gareth

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Ordered mine today. Can't wait. I look forward to discussing with you guys. Thanks Anthony.

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Rudy Tinoco

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth
Ordered mine today. Can't wait. I look forward to discussing with you guys.

G


My copy was just shipped out today. I’m also looking forward to discussing it with you all.

Rudy

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arthur stead

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Just curious:  On this forum as well as on the green monster, several folks have described the book as “not easy to read.” 

What exactly are they talking about?  Is it too intellectual?  Language too sophisticated?  Hard to comprehend the concepts?

Would appreciate insight from those who have started reading it …


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Anthony Vinson

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arthur stead
Just curious:  On this forum as well as on the green monster, several folks have described the book as “not easy to read.” 

What exactly are they talking about?  Is it too intellectual?  Language too sophisticated?  Hard to comprehend the concepts?

Would appreciate insight from those who have started reading it …



I think I made a decent pass at answering your question, if you go back and reread the third paragraph of my original post. This book is written, I am guessing, at a second or third year college level. It will challenge you, and may, as Axel noted, send you searching for that dictionary that's around here somewhere... Or your copy of Brewers's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.

Just last night I read and then reread the chapter titled,Dream, Magic, Reality. The chapter opens with a poem. A two-page poem, written by Sr. Tamariz, that requires close-reading to fully understand. The poem leads directly into the chapter cited, and probably those after. If you do not care for or appreciate poetry, you might decide to skip it. That would be a mistake.

The reader is asked to think about questions perhaps never before seriously considered. Deep questions related to how one perceives oneself as a magician. Are you a performer, or are you an artist? The difference is subtle, but critical. I find myself rereading passages, not because I do not understand them, but because I want to better understand. If that makes sense.

A few years back I read Yavhal Noah Hari's, Sapiens. It took me six months to get through, and for many of the same reasons I find The Magic Rainbow challenging. Both books are written at a scholarly level, for a limited audience, and inspire deep thinking about important subjects. Well, at least magic is an important subject to some of us, right?

Hope this helps, Arthur. If not, I will add to this thread as I read merrily along. I am certain that I will have lots more to say. And I am anxious to hear from others who have started the book.       

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Reply with quote  #11 
Just unwrapping mine now.

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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson


I think I made a decent pass at answering your question, if you go back and reread the third paragraph of my original post. This book is written, I am guessing, at a second or third year college level. It will challenge you, and may, as Axel noted, send you searching for that dictionary that's around here somewhere...


Agree. I’ve actually been having a difficult time making my way through the first few chapters. At one point there is a sentence about “penises with eyes”.

What does that mean? It’s a poetic reference toward something that I’ve not yet experienced (nor do I want to). I’m pressing through and trusting that there are some great insights to be learned from this master of the art of magic. Just not seeing it yet.

Rudy

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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson


I think I made a decent pass at answering your question, if you go back and reread the third paragraph of my original post. This book is written, I am guessing, at a second or third year college level. It will challenge you, and may, as Axel noted, send you searching for that dictionary that's around here somewhere... Or your copy of Brewers's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.

Just last night I read and then reread the chapter titled,Dream, Magic, Reality. The chapter opens with a poem. A two-page poem, written by Sr. Tamariz, that requires close-reading to fully understand. The poem leads directly into the chapter cited, and probably those after. If you do not care for or appreciate poetry, you might decide to skip it. That would be a mistake.

The reader is asked to think about questions perhaps never before seriously considered. Deep questions related to how one perceives oneself as a magician. Are you a performer, or are you an artist? The difference is subtle, but critical. I find myself rereading passages, not because I do not understand them, but because I want to better understand. If that makes sense.

A few years back I read Yavhal Noah Hari's, Sapiens. It took me six months to get through, and for many of the same reasons I find The Magic Rainbow challenging. Both books are written at a scholarly level, for a limited audience, and inspire deep thinking about important subjects. Well, at least magic is an important subject to some of us, right?

Hope this helps, Arthur. If not, I will add to this thread as I read merrily along. I am certain that I will have lots more to say. And I am anxious to hear from others who have started the book.       

Av


Very keen analysis. I've found that the longer I go the more I've had to sit and think about what has been written, and wrestle with my own experiences of the concepts being conveyed. I've started to get to his more 'practical' ideas for enhancing effect and manipulating memory, but while I understand the techniques, his reasoning and motivation for using them feel both too simplistic and too complex at the same time, which makes me think I don't fully understand the concepts, which leads me to reread the passages, which leads me to reassess and analyze everything, which means that I'm going to be wrestling with this book for a while. What a joy!
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Anthony Vinson

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy Tinoco


Agree. I’ve actually been having a difficult time making my way through the first few chapters. At one point there is a sentence about “penises with eyes”.

What does that mean? It’s a poetic reference toward something that I’ve not yet experienced (nor do I want to). I’m pressing through and trusting that there are some great insights to be learned from this master of the art of magic. Just not seeing it yet.

Rudy


Yeah... that one takes some introspection! Instead of providing my analysis right now, let me recommend going back and rereading it in larger context. Perhaps some of us can discuss our personal thoughts at some point in the near future? 

I read and reread the section in Chapter One titled, Magic Is Only For Children, last night. Then I read it aloud to my wife. Then I read it to myself a third time. Since then I haven't opened the book. It's too much to think about. Too much to consider. Too much to absorb, without time and thought. Even my wife was impressed with the depth of the writing and thinking.

I think that once we're through the book that we will be better magicians. After several readings, who knows?!

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Anthony Vinson

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi Han


Very keen analysis. I've found that the longer I go the more I've had to sit and think about what has been written, and wrestle with my own experiences of the concepts being conveyed. I've started to get to his more 'practical' ideas for enhancing effect and manipulating memory, but while I understand the techniques, his reasoning and motivation for using them feel both too simplistic and too complex at the same time, which makes me think I don't fully understand the concepts, which leads me to reread the passages, which leads me to reassess and analyze everything, which means that I'm going to be wrestling with this book for a while. What a joy!


I agree! I won't be finishing this one for awhile, and frankly I am in no hurry. I feel that I am learning so much, but processing what I am learning will take time. Let's discuss the book soon - perhaps it's time to reinstitute the book club?

Every time I sit down to practice now I find myself asking, "What's the effect? What's the spectator experiencing? And how do I enhance and intensify their experience?

Glad to hear it's having a positive impact!

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Gareth

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Hi all. Early thoughts.

I've learned over time to enjoy simplicity. Simplicity in message and substance, not necessarily in style, Mr. Writer by all means, deliver that message in whatever style is yours.

I've read and re-read the first 25 or so pages. 

So far I've read one man's exuberant, flamboyant, raw, and honest conveyance of what magic is to him. As simple as that. What magic is to him. What's more, that man has lived, breathed and no doubt slept magic for 70+ years. I think it's beautiful, and a priviledge to read. It's delivered in a wonderfully colourful, evocative and at times provocative manner, no doubt.

That initial passage regarding the castle-palace, made me feel like that first time I read Chronicles of Narnia, or watched Star-Wars or any well woven fairy-tale, journeys into fantasyland where suspension of disbelief means ANYTHING can happen, at ANY moment. That is what our time in Magicdom could and maybe should feel like, Custodians of Mystery. 

I want to create that feeling for people. 

I've not felt that raw energy in written word often, much less so in magic in recent times.

As magicians we can lose that sense of wonder, easily. I think one of the first challenges Sr Tamariz has for us is to keep that alive. Vibrantly and colourfully alive. To consider it every aspect of our show, performance, effect, our art.

Damn, that all sounds very pretentious. I don't mean it to. Cut back to the quick, reserve above most everything else, that Mystery, that Fantasy.

Again I'm only 25 or so pages in. I plan to read it through and glean the simplest messages I can. Not to overcomplicate. I think that pit-fall maybe an easy one to fall into with this work. Then over time, a long time, I'll dissect if I want to.

I'm going to try and enjoy the ride, enjoy the delivery but take to heart the simple message that is within.

Gareth

PS. I'm all for book-clubbing this, but no idea how.  


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Anthony Vinson

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth
 
I've read and re-read the first 25 or so pages. 
 
That initial passage regarding the castle-palace, made me feel like that first time I read Chronicles of Narnia, or watched Star-Wars or any well woven fairy-tale, journeys into fantasyland where suspension of disbelief means ANYTHING can happen, at ANY moment. That is what our time in Magicdom could and maybe should feel like, Custodians of Mystery. 

I want to create that feeling for people. 

I've not felt that raw energy in written word often, much less so in magic in recent times.

As magicians we can lose that sense of wonder, easily. I think one of the first challenges Sr Tamariz has for us is to keep that alive. Vibrantly and colourfully alive. To consider it every aspect of our show, performance, effect, our art.

Damn, that all sounds very pretentious. I don't mean it to. Cut back to the quick, reserve above most everything else, that Mystery, that Fantasy.
 

PS. I'm all for book-clubbing this, but no idea how.  




Well said, Gareth. I agree with what you've written. I, too, want to create that feeling for people. 

I was particularly moved when Sr. Tamariz wrote, "...the first requirement is that the magician believes in his magic as art, and tries to express himself though it." Just damn.

As you wrote, Gareth, we often lose our ability to "see the magic" as we learn the secrets. Sr. Tamariz admonishes us to work our way back to that former childlike state when we believed in magic, and to transcend that state, elevating our passion to art, and ourselves to artists expressing our true selves through the medium of magic. 

The book will put some off and disappoint others. For some of us though, it is going to inspire us to question our motives, examine our purpose with magic, and fight to let free the artist within. How cool would that be?

As for book-clubbing? I think we've got a good start here. We can expand as we get deeper into the material. Perhaps get together online and share routines we're revisiting based on what we've read and our answers to the questions posed by Sr. Tamariz?

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Bryce

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Reply with quote  #18 
Hey everyone,

This book has sparked my interest in reading Tamariz’s works. For everyone that has read this, does this cover similar material to his book “The Magic Way”? It seems like the two might cover similar topic areas?

As someone who has never read any of Tamariz’s works, I’m very curious to hear everyone’s recommendation on where to start. Should this book be read in place of “The Magic Way”, or in addition to? And, if both books should be read, where is the best place to start?
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Anthony Vinson

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce
Hey everyone,

This book has sparked my interest in reading Tamariz’s works. For everyone that has read this, does this cover similar material to his book “The Magic Way”? It seems like the two might cover similar topic areas?

As someone who has never read any of Tamariz’s works, I’m very curious to hear everyone’s recommendation on where to start. Should this book be read in place of “The Magic Way”, or in addition to? And, if both books should be read, where is the best place to start?


Hey, Bryce, and welcome to The Magic Forum. 

Both The Five Points in Magic and The Magic Way are related to The Magic Rainbow. They are, I believe, considered a trilogy encompassing Sr Tamariz's philosophy of magic from soup to nuts. The Magic Way leads directly to The Magic Rainbow, so in effect the first is an introduction to the second.

While I have not yet finished The Magic Rainbow - slow, easily digestible bites for me - I have read both The Five Points in Magic and The Magic Way several times each. While doing so is not a requirement before cracking open The Magic Rainbow, reading The Magic Way first is recommended. 

To your question: While The Magic Rainbow does reiterate some of the points in The Magic Way, it does not repeat them. Instead it expands upon them. 

Hope this helps. 

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Bryce

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Hey Anthony,

Wow, thank you so much for the thorough and detailed response! I’ve been searching all over reading reviews, but have been struggling to find much that directly compared his books. This is incredibly helpful and exactly the information that I was looking for!

Looks like I’ll be starting with The Magic Way!

Thank you again!
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John Cowne

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Hey Anthony. So, it’s been 10-odd months since you got the Magic Rainbow. The thread really intrigued me. There was a lot of anticipation that several readers on this forum would absorb and reflect on the ideas it contained. Noone is ever going to get a ‘completed’ library of magic books (and this one is not in my very limited collection), so ... was it worth it? One of my heroes had his favourite book that he said he would sell his back off his shirt to buy. Has Magic Rainbow been that kind of paradigm-shifter for you ... and you others who made the financial and mental plunge? Of all the stuff being generated in the magic market, is this a good investment for 2020? Your answer might involve an antipodean going shirtless for a while... no pressure.
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Anthony Vinson

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cowne
Hey Anthony. So, it’s been 10-odd months since you got the Magic Rainbow. The thread really intrigued me. There was a lot of anticipation that several readers on this forum would absorb and reflect on the ideas it contained. Noone is ever going to get a ‘completed’ library of magic books (and this one is not in my very limited collection), so ... was it worth it? One of my heroes had his favourite book that he said he would sell his back off his shirt to buy. Has Magic Rainbow been that kind of paradigm-shifter for you ... and you others who made the financial and mental plunge? Of all the stuff being generated in the magic market, is this a good investment for 2020? Your answer might involve an antipodean going shirtless for a while... no pressure.


So, I am a reader. I devour books, going through three, four, or more a month, usually simultaneously.  For me the experience of The Magic Rainbow was worth the hefty investment in both money and effort. I will gladly admit that it was sometimes a struggle to get through, but I think that's the way it was intended; he wanted to take us on a difficult journey for the reward awaiting us at the end. Anyone willing to put in both the time (to read) and the effort (to think) will gain a great deal in return.

As to paradigm shifting? Well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that Sr. Tamariz's thinking and philosophy about magic, especially closeup magic, is transcendental. One cannot help but gaze into the distance while contemplating the depth and breadth of his performing experience and the generous applications of psychology he uses. No, in that I am old enough to know that the days I have left are far fewer than those I have used up. Hence it'll be impossible for me to apply Sr. Tamariz's teachings much beyond the cursory. Were I younger, say twenty years younger, the experience may well have been transformative. 

I actually took the book off my shelf earlier today and paged through it. I doubt that I will ever reread it, but I will never forget having read it.  

How's that for an answer?!

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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #23 
Thanks, Anthony. I like your answer. Yes, 'time' is a precious resource, ever-dwindling for each of us.  I'll probably make use of the condensed thoughts in this forum, rather than than that particular purchase, although it has obviously filled an important niche. Does that make me cheap? Well, yes, it does - but there has to be room in the magic world for cheapies too. In the meantime, I'll thankfully eavesdrop on the 'learn-ed' magicians here. My big purchase of 2019 was Harry's ...  'The Classic Collection 5', so I'm not totally cheap 😉. Thanks everyone in the Forum, for keeping quality magic thoughts available.
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #24 
It was a huge sea of ideas for me.

Typically with theory books I like to implement their ideas one month at a time to build habits. I will read one theory or idea in a book, as an example, both Strong Magic and the Magic Way talk about the Final False Solution, a set up solution that you lead the audience on, only to pull the rug from their feet and cause emotive and logical surrender. An example is imagine taking a coin is on a pull in your right hand, you pretend to grab it with your left hand, take it away, but your right hand is not shown empty yet. You blow on your left hand and show it empty. Then, without drawing any attention to it, you casually show your right hand empty, in a gesture (not a deliberate action). You lead the audience to convince themselves without saying that the coin is in your right hand, when you reveal it empty, that just causes their surrender and imparts in them the feeling of wonder. The audience are less likely to believe it if you overact or say anything about it, but if you do it casually, it's incredible. So when I read that in a theory book for the first time, I get to the end of the chapter, then try and do all my performances and rehearsals over the next day or sometimes week with that concept in mind. In this way I build a habit out of the theory. I also get a better sense of what works for me, and what I disagree with (stops me from disagreeing with something after just hearing about it, instead I have to actually try it out!)

The Magic Rainbow has a plethora of ideas to experiment with. Some are things you might already know, just expressed differently, some were quite cool and radical. He talks about modifying spectators memories, both to cover things (emotive memories too!), and to make tricks seem more amazing than they were! Routining, ideas on structure and performance, what to strive for in magic, and ways to enhance your character (which he values over both effect and presentation). It's absolutely fascinating. I have only just started playing around with what I thought was his most controversial idea (it's not the last idea in the book, I just found it too contrary to my way of thinking to start trying out immediately), it's that of lessening patter and presentation where your effect is strong. Almost every theory book I've read talks about adding patter and presentation, this was the first time I saw anyone say we should take it away! His ideas were totally contrary to my experiences. I don't want to misrepresent it, it's something he devotes chapters to explaining, and is best left in that medium. Suffice to say it's not about less patter, so much as if your patter is too good, the audience gets lost in it, they sit in the logic of your patter, and the thing that was wonderous and magical is no more amazing than the CGI you see in a movie (same thing with lines that are to funny etc...).

It's interesting, most non-professional magicians I've talked to dismissed it out of hand without ever trying it, most professional magicians I've talked to about it, including Tim Ellis who had some really cool takes himself about patter and presentation (amazing magician and presenter by the way!), and Harapan Ong (who is not a performer, so it was also cool to get his perspective), offered their clarifications and in depth ideas of when and how Tamariz's idea worked. I thought after that I had to try it out. It's really hard to go from scripted presentation to just narrating essentials of a trick. I honestly think that it's more a sign that my presentations were not as strong as I thought they were that some of the tricks get better the less 'good' the patter was. But I'm trying not to think that way, as that's akin to confirmation biasing my preconceived idea that good patter enhances a trick rather than detracts. But anyway I digress.

The book is filled with things I'm glad I tried out, even if I thought they made no sense. Even the stuff I disagreed with, it was great to at least sound out my ideas more in magic. It's not a book written with no thought, but definitely not something everyone will get something out of. I hope that by giving my perspective and how I approached the book so you can tell where I'm coming from, you can make your mind up better about the book.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #25 
I've read this whole thread to get a glimpse into what in contained within the book.  I don't own it.  I probably won't buy it.  Not because it isn't worth it as I'm sure it probably is, but you can't own them all.  Well, you can if you are a David Copperfield, I imagine.  I'm not, so I buy sparingly.

I think I can comment on something the Chi Han mentioned in his recent post.  That is the subject about limiting patter and presentation on certain effects.  As many are aware I am fond of analogies.  They help me understand concepts, relating similar things from seemingly unrelated experiences.  So here is my attempt.  I am a huge baseball fan, maybe not as big as when I was younger, but I absolutely love my Cardinals.  One of my earliest memories is from attending a Cardinal's game.
Along the way I became a fan of the local broadcasters, especially Jack Buck.  Jack is in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and in many other "halls of fame" both locally and nationally.  He was a class act.  So how does this relate?

Mr. Buck spoke about the mechanics of broadcasting several times over the years.  He performed both on radio and on television and he argued that the two were distinct.  He contended that on radio, where you only hear the game, the announcer has to fill in the color, provide a picture.  So you say which say the fielder is facing, what the sky looks like, even if there are birds swirling over center field.  But on television, people can see the fielder, and so long as the camera points to the sky they can see that and the birds as well.  To describe the scene is superfluous.  More importantly, describing the scene takes away the VIEWERS interpretation, substituting your own.  That is counterproductive.

So magic can be the same.  If you talk too much or your presentation is too stilted, aren't you directing the spectator and preventing them from "conjuring up" their own thoughts?  Certainly there are times where you do want to direct them, but if the effect is easily understood and very strong, it is better to let it soak in.  Let the experience permeate.  Sort of like when a batter hits a home run.  The announcer should just shut up and let the sound of the crowd take the stage.  Talking over the crown spoils the moment.  So does too much patter spoil it too?  Apparently Sr. Tamariz thinks so.

Anyone that has seen him perform knows that he can go from subdued to frantic on the turn of a dime.  It isn't coincidence, but cleverly contrived.  I think his favorite word is shuffle, his second favorite is shuffle and his third is also shuffle because he frequently says "Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle".  And I laugh every time!  His character truly is the most important thing to him.  Unfortunately I've seen a couple of performers sort of mimic him.  Even using the shuffle, shuffle, shuffle phrase.  Not the way to go.

So anyway, maybe my analogy helps some, maybe not but it makes his intent more clear to me, at least based upon the statements in the post.
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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
I've read this whole thread to get a glimpse into what in contained within the book.  I don't own it.  I probably won't buy it.  Not because it isn't worth it as I'm sure it probably is, but you can't own them all.  Well, you can if you are a David Copperfield, I imagine.  I'm not, so I buy sparingly.

I think I can comment on something the Chi Han mentioned in his recent post.  That is the subject about limiting patter and presentation on certain effects.  As many are aware I am fond of analogies.  They help me understand concepts, relating similar things from seemingly unrelated experiences.  So here is my attempt.  I am a huge baseball fan, maybe not as big as when I was younger, but I absolutely love my Cardinals.  One of my earliest memories is from attending a Cardinal's game.
Along the way I became a fan of the local broadcasters, especially Jack Buck.  Jack is in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and in many other "halls of fame" both locally and nationally.  He was a class act.  So how does this relate?

Mr. Buck spoke about the mechanics of broadcasting several times over the years.  He performed both on radio and on television and he argued that the two were distinct.  He contended that on radio, where you only hear the game, the announcer has to fill in the color, provide a picture.  So you say which say the fielder is facing, what the sky looks like, even if there are birds swirling over center field.  But on television, people can see the fielder, and so long as the camera points to the sky they can see that and the birds as well.  To describe the scene is superfluous.  More importantly, describing the scene takes away the VIEWERS interpretation, substituting your own.  That is counterproductive.

So magic can be the same.  If you talk too much or your presentation is too stilted, aren't you directing the spectator and preventing them from "conjuring up" their own thoughts?  Certainly there are times where you do want to direct them, but if the effect is easily understood and very strong, it is better to let it soak in.  Let the experience permeate.  Sort of like when a batter hits a home run.  The announcer should just shut up and let the sound of the crowd take the stage.  Talking over the crown spoils the moment.  So does too much patter spoil it too?  Apparently Sr. Tamariz thinks so.

Anyone that has seen him perform knows that he can go from subdued to frantic on the turn of a dime.  It isn't coincidence, but cleverly contrived.  I think his favorite word is shuffle, his second favorite is shuffle and his third is also shuffle because he frequently says "Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle".  And I laugh every time!  His character truly is the most important thing to him.  Unfortunately I've seen a couple of performers sort of mimic him.  Even using the shuffle, shuffle, shuffle phrase.  Not the way to go.

So anyway, maybe my analogy helps some, maybe not but it makes his intent more clear to me, at least based upon the statements in the post.


It's not talking too much, it's rather the patter being too good, too funny, too entertaining, to the point the magical impact is lost. He also points out where the presentation is too convincing, where the feeling of magic is lost because your audiences fully buy into the logic of the explanation, so even if they intellectually know the thing is magical, your patter was so convincing and so motivated they do not feel it emotionally. He goes into the different ways your presentation being too good can detract from the magic over several chapters, with detailed examples, and points out where he feels the best presentation is just to outright state conditions and emphasise important points, rather than have premise, humour, or other points. Again, he's not suggesting this be done every time, nor is it about quantity, it's about making your patter and presentation weaker to make the magic stronger.

I must say I recoiled at the idea at first and put off trying it out for the longest time. Just not in the habit of dismissing things without giving them a chance. But again that's only a small part of what the book is about, and who knows, I may have misinterpreted it. It's much more prudent to read the chapters and form your own opinion on it.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #27 
RayJ - your post made me think of the meanings of an often used phrase in magic and other performing arts e.g. music, "less is more." Sometimes we use it to mean that we should keep our set short and leave the audience wanting more. I think a second meaning has to do with patter and presentation - fewer words is generally a positive. Scripting is essential in this regard. When we have a vague idea of how to present a trick e.g. "time travel" we tend to babble and use way too many words. Scripting allows us to think of ways to cut the number of words down to the minimum.

I'll resurrect something I'm sure I used in a different thread. In "Zen and the Art of Stand-Up Comedy" Jay Sankey uses this example when talking about cutting down the number of words: "I was walking down the street the other day feeling somewhat hungry. I noticed I was in front of Luigi's Pizza Parlor and went in for some food." OR Jay mimes walking along and then looks up and says "Luigi's!" then he mimes going through a door.

I just looked on Amazon to see if they sell Zen and the Art of Stand-Up Comedy. They have the Kindle version at $30 and the hardback at $115! Beyond Secrets is listed at $99. Yikes! Glad I have these already.

Mike
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi Han


It's not talking too much, it's rather the patter being too good, too funny, too entertaining, to the point the magical impact is lost. He also points out where the presentation is too convincing, where the feeling of magic is lost because your audiences fully buy into the logic of the explanation, so even if they intellectually know the thing is magical, your patter was so convincing and so motivated they do not feel it emotionally. He goes into the different ways your presentation being too good can detract from the magic over several chapters, with detailed examples, and points out where he feels the best presentation is just to outright state conditions and emphasise important points, rather than have premise, humour, or other points. Again, he's not suggesting this be done every time, nor is it about quantity, it's about making your patter and presentation weaker to make the magic stronger.

I must say I recoiled at the idea at first and put off trying it out for the longest time. Just not in the habit of dismissing things without giving them a chance. But again that's only a small part of what the book is about, and who knows, I may have misinterpreted it. It's much more prudent to read the chapters and form your own opinion on it.


My point I think still stands and that is the announcer takes away from the magical moment of the home run by distracting with his/her words.  Whether good or funny, words at the wrong time can kill the mood.  That's what I was saying.
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


My point I think still stands and that is the announcer takes away from the magical moment of the home run by distracting with his/her words.  Whether good or funny, words at the wrong time can kill the mood.  That's what I was saying.


100% agree. I just don't want to misattribute ideas to Tamariz he may not share etc. I'm always cognizant whenever I share my interpretations of things, that I might've gotten something wrong., and I'd hate for my brief paragraph to mislead what was several chapters of Tamariz's book.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi Han


100% agree. I just don't want to misattribute ideas to Tamariz he may not share etc. I'm always cognizant whenever I share my interpretations of things, that I might've gotten something wrong., and I'd hate for my brief paragraph to mislead what was several chapters of Tamariz's book.


Nah, I think your analysis was on target, Chi Han. Even having read the book it's difficult for me to translate many (most?) of Sr. Tamariz's points and philosophies without running them through the processor. The book is important, and for younger magicians it should be required reading.

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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers


I'll resurrect something I'm sure I used in a different thread. In "Zen and the Art of Stand-Up Comedy" Jay Sankey uses this example when talking about cutting down the number of words: "I was walking down the street the other day feeling somewhat hungry. I noticed I was in front of Luigi's Pizza Parlor and went in for some food." OR Jay mimes walking along and then looks up and says "Luigi's!" then he mimes going through a door.



Excellent words of wisdom from Sankey!

Rudy

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luigimar

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Reply with quote  #32 
I don't own the book so I can't comment about the contents but I want to remind you that the original was written in Spanish and something may have changed/gotten lost in the translation...
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #33 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson


Nah, I think your analysis was on target, Chi Han. Even having read the book it's difficult for me to translate many (most?) of Sr. Tamariz's points and philosophies without running them through the processor. The book is important, and for younger magicians it should be required reading.

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Thanks man. It's a great book indeed.
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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #34 
After reading The Magic Rainbow earlier this year, I put everything down. I stopped. How can I do it justice? I didn’t feel I could match the dedication, the passion and the importance of magic that was expressed by Sr Tamariz.

I spoke about it to Rudy and some others and with their encouragement slowly got back into things, but not looking for new tricks, presentations, methods, techniques, rather looking for the emotion, the feeling, the connection and within this found the enjoyment and inspiration again.

Something of the Magic Rainbow is encapsulated in this video that Tom Frank put on his FB page today. Many if us will have seen it before. The Seven Veils of Mystery by Sr Tamariz.

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For those of you without the book here is a taste of what is so special about The Magic Rainbow.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #35 
Max Maven nails it at the end.
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Waterman

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Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
Max Maven nails it at the end.


I agree.

100%

A book can give you insight, but the experience from actually performing will provide the knowledge.

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GreenKnight33

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Reply with quote  #37 
I'm am currently making my way through this book.  Great and thoughtful comments here.  The chapters are really varied, so in one you have rhapsodic poetry, and then another a very deep analysis of timing etc.  I have really enjoyed his comparisons of magic to the other arts (back of the book), as I come from a drawing and painting background.  

For me, Chapter 6, specifically the 'Conflicts in Magic and their Curves of Interest' has been the most enjoyable.  I LOVE the first 100 pages of Our Magic, and this reminds me of it, in that he's attempting to get to the heart of what makes something magic.  But one point in Our Magic has always been unclear to me, which is the rule (20), that speaks about the relationship between Drama and Magic.  I think Juan Tamariz analysis of drama (as people have previously mentioned), starting on page 261, has been some of the best and clear thinking to tease out the relationship and dangers of telling too good a story as part of your magic.

I wasn't a fan of The Magic Way and eventually sold it so I could buy Swiss' Shattering Illusions (which I loved).  I was new to magic and wonder if perhaps it was too much too soon.  In the future I may have to reconsider my decision and get another copy.  For now, the Magic Rainbow is quite the ride.

Eric
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