Granted, a lot of things are wrong in magic today, among them the ridiculous, breathless magic industry that keeps spitting out overpriced and underworked trash (tricks, moves, one-trick DVDs or downloads) in a daily frenzy.
Thankfully, a lot of other things still feel so right and so great and thus make magic the most amazing and most gratifying hobby I could ever imagine. Here’s one reason: The endless creativity and dedication which some amateurs put into their projects, be it in developing new tricks or routines, performing, or teaching others, without a price tag, simply out of sheer joy and the belief in sharing.
To give you an impressive example: Paco Nagata (that’s his stage name) from Spain is one such amazing fellow who has just “surfaced” in the magic community. A lifelong student and lover of card magic, he has written a book titled The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician. As he states (quoted from the Genii Forum),
It took me 25 years to write it. It’s a kind of autobiography card magic life as amateur, plenty of ideas, anecdotes, pieces of advice according to experiences, etc. Interesting especially for family amateurs like me. (…) I’m very happy to be able (finally) to share this work with every card magic lover.
And, oh, passionate he is: Originally written in his native Spanish tongue, Paco has taken up the enormous task of translating his own 550+ pages into fluent, readable English, which took him several years and which apparently was just completed very recently.
Best of all, he is offering his thoughts and routines completely for free, in a PDF file you can read and download right here! (The Spanish version està disponible aqui.) And he is not even bragging about this or plugging his product. Maravilloso!
If I’ll ever come around to publishing more of my own stuff in a coherent form, I will try to remember and follow your bright example, amigo!
I’m only about 70 pages into the book at this point of writing, and I have neither the inclination nor the cardists’ knowledge to write a review, but I am already enjoying his style and many of his observations, like this catchy quote:
As another example, Paco gives you some interesting thoughts about the difficulty of the amateur performer to be accepted, unlike the pro, as a “true” magician by his family and friends.
I certainly look forward to diving deeper into this tome as time allows and can only applaud the author for his effort, product, and demeanor. Magic could certainly need a couple more guys like him!
Muchas gracias, Paco! Viva la magia e todos los aficionados mágicos!