Monday, September 5, 2011

Foreword to "A Book in English" by Juan Tamariz

As I told you, I will share with you some parts of the book. I can't begin with no other thing but the foreword that Juan Tamariz wrote for me (para mis hispano-lectores pronto publicaré la versión en castellano, donde se pueden apreciar al 100% los divertidísimos juegos de palabras tamaricianos). I'm grateful to Juan for his kind words!

Nobody's Fool!(1)
By Juan Tamariz

   When you meet Woody, the first thing that you notice is... his head! That's because, believe me, Woody has a big, beautiful, round head. And because of that head, his magic is full, saturated with intelligence, originality, creativity, intensity... He uses his head! And he presents his magic with beautiful scripts (emitted incessantly and with dizzying speed by the lips that Woody has ... in his head!) that are full of intelligence, that aim for the maximum magical impact, the maximum sense of impossibility.

   And it is a brilliant head. Whatever angle you look at it from, his head shines. Because his ideas are as bright as he is bald. He has a big, shiny bald head. Shinier than the other bald heads (that so many men try to achieve by daily shavings). It shines brighter than the rest because (and this is a secret, the first one in this book) Woody hides under his skin millions and millions of neurons engaged in constant electrical and contemplative activity. Woody has always surprised me and I admire the constant flow of ideas that, if you look carefully from above, you can see moving under his scalp. Ideas for incredibly practical sleights (his “Separagon”), ideas for effects, methods (the genius of  his  “Human  Scale”, a version worthy of a  standing  ovation, which I have seen many audiences give Woody as they are amazed and full of wonder after seeing him perform it) and ideas for the structures of acts and shows (his marvelous “Summary Suite” at the end of his one man card magic theater show is full of surprises, drama, and magic, all building in intensity: a genuine artistic discovery.)

   And everything, or almost everything, comes from... his head! A metaphorical billiard ball (the rigorous geometry and internal harmony of his tricks and routines live up to the comparison); a symbolic “egg” shape, an egg that spawns life as the artist Woody, or should I say, Woody’s head maintains a constant and joyous creativity (isn't “creating” what brings an artist closer to the Gods?).

   Because that head in just a few years had shed what separated it from life (its hair), it is always brainstorming, and this is the second secret in this book, there is a hidden “b” in describing him as a bald man, it disguises the constant boiling state of the millions and millions of neural synapses. No one knows whether it’s a state of tremendous joy or brotherly merrymaking but, I'm sure that it is constant and almost driven, crazy thinking.

   And some of that activity, a “something” full of suggestions, ideas, brilliant effects (the light), rigorous and at times mathematical (the billiard ball) and beautifully created (“egg-shaped”) has been poured into this book just for you. And I strongly advise you to enjoy it, just like I enjoyed watching, experiencing and applauding some (many) of them (others, I've only had the pleasure of having Woody explain them to me, but I never lose the hope of one day seeing them performed live in front of me).

   But that's not all. Woody has a special gift that allows him to be liked by everyone (Woody is such a nice guy!); and he's always bursting with energy (both on and offstage). And the pleasure he gets from performing magic is absolutely contagious, and makes us happy with his happiness.

   Woody has already established his value as a magician, but he's also a rising star. His youth has almost peaked, and for the next 70 or 80 years we will have plenty of Woody's creativity, wit, energy and Magic. I am sure of this because of his enthusiasm, his work, his efforts and his undeniable intelligence.

   This is, then, my “summary”: Every time a better artist, a great person and nobody's fool!

   Juan Tamariz, 2011

(1) The original Spanish title, “Ni un pelo de tonto”, literally means “Not a single hair of silliness”. This is a Spanish saying used to depict an intelligent person. Unfortunately, the clever links between the saying and the references to Woody's head were lost in translation.