Jonah has returned from Spain and, as souvenirs for his listeners, has brought back a number of episodes with some amazing Spanish magicians. First up is Juan Rubiales, who sat down to discuss mentors, bringing emotion into your magic, and loving yourself. Alongside being a skilled magician, Juan is also a talented caricature artist.
After being shown a magic trick at fourteen, Juan decided to perform it for his ill grandfather. Upon finishing the trick, Juan witnessed his grandfather smile for the first time in a month. Driven to recapture and share that feeling he had upon seeing his grandfather’s reaction, Juan knew he was meant to become a magician.
Not aware of magic clubs or meetings, he began to search out people who could teach him at bars. He was obsessed with learning the art. It wouldn’t be until he met a performing magician that he discovered the world of magic in Spain when he was invited to a magic club twenty minutes from them. Entering into the club, Juan was greeted by the likes of Juan Tamariz alongside those he was not familiar with at the time, but he would later learn were skilled in their own right.
Driven by Magic
After seeing his grandfather smile, Juan knew he was meant to be a magician. Magic was something bigger than him, and, to truly feel like he was living, he needed to share it with others. He landed his first reoccurring show at a theme park after showing a higher up a trick; the director proceeded to fund a stage show for him, letting him perform it multiple times a week.
However, eventually, he left it all behind. Magic had stopped being about sharing his passion for the art and quickly became about the money. Shows had just become a way to earn a paycheck for Juan, and he hated that this was true. So, he quit magic.
It wouldn’t be until two years later that Tamariz would bump into him and ask where he had been. After explaining the situation, Juan was invited to dinner with Tamariz where the two spent five hours discussing magic. Juan left that meeting with a new passion for magic and a promise to himself that he wouldn’t perform magic in a place he didn’t want to perform.
Juan has had the opportunity to learn under a few mentors in Spain, including Juan Tamariz. His mentors, however, showed him more than just magic. They taught him about life. About sharing emotions, and about understanding the audience.
If you’re looking for a mentor, Juan recommends finding someone who not only has more magic experience than you, but more life experience. A mentor should help you grow as a magician and as a person.
Under his mentor, Juan learned that if he was going to truly express his emotions and soul through his magic, he would need to accept himself. Conforming to what others expect of you and hiding away what makes you you only stifles the effect of your magic. Everyone picks up ways to act from others, so it’s imperative to sit down and work out who you are. Asking friends and family to answer a few questions about you can help in sorting out you personality traits.
The most important part about magic, according to Juan, is not the magician but connecting with the audience. The magic happens in their heads, so you need to be able to connect with them at a personal level to truly share your magic. Figuring out who you are is a key component to creating this connection.
To bring your personality into your magic, you have to be ready to fail. Choose a trick you love and have a connection to and fail. Then keep working to improve it, diving into research if necessary, to make it something you love performing. The failure will hurt but the effort will be worth it when you eventual perform a beautiful effect.
What do you like about modern magic? What don’t you like?
Juan likes what magic online is doing it. Not only is it showcasing magic to a larger audience, but it’s giving those who are interested in magic another way to enter the art.
Juan isn’t a fan of magic on television that relies heavily on stooges and editing. He’s fine with it as a form of entertainment, but he wouldn’t refer to it as magic.
Take Home Point
You must do the thing that you love. Don’t look at other people, just be yourself.