“My main goal is to fascinate the audience into thinking that they are dreaming, even if this is only for a few seconds”
Juan Tamariz is without a doubt, my favorite magician of all time. This classy yet eccentric Spanish maestro has wowed audiences for decades without ever losing his charm.
If you’re interested in learning magic like Juan Tamariz, read till the end where I’ll be revealing how to access my free ultimate guide to learning magic!
A little about Juan Tamariz
Juan Tamariz was born in Madrid, 1942. From a young age, he was interested in the world of magic and illusion, and it wasn’t long before his skills started developing. He was accepted into the Spanish Society of Illusionism at only 18, working alongside some of the best magicians of the time.
Despite academic forays into physical sciences and film, Tamariz will always be known best for his magic. In 1973, he won the World Prize of magic in Paris for a magnificent card trick that stunned everyone.
Since then, he has become a recognized expert in the field of misdirection, publishing multiple incredible books packed with magic theory.
Juan Tamariz, today, is a celebrated celebrity is Spain due to his numerous appearances on television and extremely likable personality.
He continues to perform magic.
Why he is THE BEST
Of course, when we talk about ‘the best’ of any given field, we are usually referring to those who push it forward the most. Filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock and artists like Pablo Picasso are often named as ‘the best’ of their art form due to the way in which they helped push it forward.
No one since Dai Vernon, the Professor, has increased our understanding of magic more than Juan Tamariz. He has spearheaded a whole new school of magic within Spain that has given rise to world champions of card magic and pure artists such as Dani DaOrtiz.
His books such as ‘The Magic Way’ have illuminated our understanding of the subtleties required to perform magic to his standard.
Examples of his work
A general YouTube search of ‘Juan Tamariz’ will reveal some great little gems of his, but I would particularly recommend these:
This trick is a variation on a classic of magic – ‘the oil and water’. Usually the magician will perform a lengthy piece of sleight of hand where he firstly displays red cards slowly and fairly mixing with black cards but incredibly is somehow able to magically separate the two in a click of his fingers.
Juan Tamariz takes this classic concept and subverts our expectation by performing a very short and very clever oil and water piece. See if you can figure out the outrageous technique he uses (hint: once you see it, you’ve seen it).
Follow the leader is another great Tamariz trick that is not only astonishing but just plain funny. Tamariz is a comedic genius, and we can clearly see this genius at work within this effect. Always watch his hands during this one, or you will be fooled.
This trick seems a fairly simple one, but stay with it and you’ll be shocked by the reveal at the end. I know I was. The true magic of this trick though lies within the masterful presentation. Watch the way he reveals each card one by one.
How do you learn these tricks?
Tamariz has released a fair amount of teaching material. You could purchase his Penguin Live Lecture, which is available at Penguin Magic.
You could also consider having a look at one of Tamariz’s books; they are gems packed with pure magic theory that, if followed, can take you to the next level.
Mnemonica is not for the faint of heart or inexperienced magicians. If you are looking for a stacked deck system, you can’t do much better than mnemonica. Within this system, hundreds of possibilities are opened up.
The Magic Way is one of Tamariz’ most famous works. Within it, he tries to teach how to take a single magic trick and slowly evolve it to a level that is so impossible for the spectator to figure out that instead they stop trying to and just enjoy the trick. I would highly recommend this book, but if you are looking for a book that teaches you specific magic tricks, this isn’t one of them- instead, it is more about teaching theory of magic that can be applied to any trick.
Verbal Magic is another of Tamariz’s books that has been translated to English. This is an interesting one; within it, Tamariz discusses how to use solely the power of your voice to create effects.
Tamariz is well-known for performing magic over the radio, and in this book he teaches how to perform effects that only ever take place in the hands of your audience- all they need is your voice telling them what to do. A fascinating concept, but I would recommend The Magic Way just a bit higher.
Five Points In Magic is a book dedicated to the art of misdirection. In this piece, Tamariz teaches us how to use not just the hands, but the whole body as tools of misdirection. Highly recommended.
Sonata. Good luck trying to find this one; it appears to be out of print, but if you can get your hands on a copy then you will be able to browse a collection of some of Tamariz’s personal tricks, sleights, and subtleties.
Most of his books are available in English, but it might take a bit of difficulty to dig around and find them. I have linked to the ones available on Amazon, but some may also be possible to buy on eBay!
I hope you learned something from this short piece on Juan Tamariz. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will try my best to answer them!
As promised, if you want to know how to learn magic tricks for free then check out my all in one guide right here!
And as a HUGE bonus allow me to regale you with one of my favorite ‘Tamariz tales.’
NOTE: This is a story I heard directly from a close friend (that I’ve never seen it told anywhere else) which I’ll repeat to the best of my recollection.
Our story starts ordinarily enough—a group of magicians spending the evening dining with Juan Tamariz in a local restaurant.
As you’d expect, midway through the meal they get to magic—and as part of one of Juan’s routines, he gets one of the group to sign a card. Naturally, once the trick is over, no one thinks twice about it.
That is until they leave the restaurant, and Juan asks them a strange question:
“Left or right?”
Bemused, they choose a direction, which Juan promptly takes them in. When they get to the next intersection, Juan again asks a simple question:
“Left or right?”
This goes on for a little while, each time they’re given a free choice about where to go. Eventually, they come to a stop next to an object (i want to say a bike but my memory is playing up) on the street.
Tucked into that object is a playing card.
When they pick it up and turn it over, they find…
…their SIGNED card.
Yep, the very same from earlier in the night.
Everyone’s jaws drop to the floor. They’re fooled so hard they don’t even know where to begin. And although I’m refraining from name-dropping…these are no ‘small timers’, they’re big names with decades of experience in professional magic.
And Tamariz, he just takes them to the cleaners. Absolutely floors them.
(btw, when I heard the method behind this, I couldn’t help but laugh. While it’s not my secret to reveal, rest assured it’s classic Tamariz deviousness.)
Here’s the moral of the story—Juan Tamariz might act like a lunatic, but he’s one heck of a clever guy.
And you can find what i believe are his most invaluable lessons and secrets inside his landmark book, Mnemonica.
* An idea used by the legendary Polish mentalist Chan Canasta to astonish TV audiences across the nation (this effect alone is worth the ‘cost of admission’). Found on page 79.
* ‘Mnemonicsis’, found on Page 97 (and used by pros like David Blaine on unsuspecting audiences and celebrities around the world)
* Juan’s A.C.A.A.N (this is about as close to the Holy Grail of card magic as you can get) found on page 82
* Juan’s bizarre but effective method to master the stack in one day (rather than the weeks or months it takes most people) found on page 21-27
* A little-known principle of mathematics that, when applied to the stack, will allow you to perform 8 of Mnemonica’s most stunning effects in a row (even though you’re genuinely shuffling the deck the whole time!) found on pages 169-171.
* A variation on Vernon’s ‘Triumph’ found on page 264 (if you recently picked up Stars of Magic as per my recommendation, first learn Vernon’s Triumph and then take a look at this for an easy way to make the whole effect ten times more fooling)
* A complete method to open a fresh deck of cards and be in stack in mere minutes. Used correctly, this will absolutely fry other magicians (and best of all, you do all the ‘dirty work’ in front of them). Found on page 14.
* And more than 400 pages of Juan’s 40 years experience creating memorized deck magic and effects of every kind.
My intel tells me the copies left at Amazon are rapidly dwindling (only 1 left in stock last I checked), so if you want to pick it up and get it shipped to you ‘mucho rapido’, I’d secure yours ASAP using the affiliate link below: