Introduction to Mnemonica (And a little teaser to get you interested)
Let’s talk about Mnemonica, by Juan Tamariz.
Here are a few reviews to get you started:
“Juan Tamariz, arguably the finest magician in the world, explains in great detail his own stack, how to memorize it, and many tricks with it.”
“This was the first magic book that I ever bought years ago. I wanted something powerful to be able to fool magicians and what I got was the best resource of magical knowledge to ever exist”
“The techniques proposed are absolutely brilliant(coming from somebody who has studied learning and psychology for many years). The bulk of the book is actually about learning real magic and not just learning this particular stack. By and far the best technical resource I’ve purchased so far.”
I myself just finished re-reading it last week as ‘prep work’ for a special project I’ve been putting together, and boy did it blow my mind (again.)
But here’s the surprising part:
The stuff that REALLY impressed me wasn’t the ingenious techniques, combinations of sleights, or routines (although all of that was incredible.)
What really stood out was Juan’s commitment to the importance of psychological ‘subtleties.’
Here’s what he says:
“I don’t think anyone will ever be able to stress the importance of these psychological, or behavioral, subtleties too strongly. I find them more deceptive than the most exquisite manipulative method or the most ingenious trickery.”
By ‘subtleties’, I’m referring to all the things that take place in a routine in addition to the basic structure of the effect itself—your patter, body language, eye contact and anything else that is unique to you.
All of these things can be employed to trick spectators into thinking things that simply aren’t true (for example, that you don’t know what card they named…when in reality you do, and you’re secretly stealing it out of the deck while you ask them to repeat the name)
I feel like this is a topic a lot of magicians THINK they understand—but many of them don’t.
(and I’ll be the first to admit I’m nowhere near as skilled as Juan in this!)
It’s not as simple as just pretending you can’t hear. That works for Juan, but there’s a high chance it won’t work for you.
It’s not any ‘one’ move you do or any ‘one’ thing you say.
It’s the overall effect that is gained when you put all of your behavior during the performance together—the sum of its parts.
That’s why you have to make sure that everything you do (and I mean everything) serves this purpose.
Because really, it’s the factor that separates good performers from the greats.
And the sooner you can start incorporating this into your performances, the sooner you’ll find yourself in the latter group.
Who is Juan Tamariz?
If you’ve been living under a proverbial magic rock your entire life… Here’s a brief summary of why Juan Tamariz is such an important guy and why you should eat up his work like your life depends on it. (Taken from our post on 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.
Why he’s 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.
An Example of His Work
A little challenge for you, after you’ve read Mnemonica and learnt the stack, come back and watch this video! I promise you you’ll see everything he does (HINT it’s pure genius.) Every time I watch this video I get more and more for lack of a better word: HYPED.
I mean the man is a real master…
A ‘Tamariz Tale’
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.
What’s Actually in 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:
How to Learn ANY Stack You Want in a Time You Won’t believe
Now comes the shameless plug… you have to understand everyone seems to fall into the same hopeless trap of believing they can only memorize one stack…
But if you want to memorize as many as you want, in a tiny percentage of the time… You have to check out this page: https://thedailymagician.com/video-one-lpd
That’s all on Mnemonica for today folks!