Magician Lari staged last week a Christmas performance at the Illa Carlemany shopping center in Andorra. After he performed, he explained to us the features of Christmas magic and shared his plans for 2023.
Josep Maria Lari i Vilaplana (Barcelona), better known by his stage nickname Mag Lari, is a Catalan illusionist.
A graduate philologist, he never worked in his specialty.
He started practicing magic in 1994 when his parents gave him Juan Tamariz’s book “The Magic Way”.
He has received several awards that mark his professional career: in 1995, he received the first national award for comic magic, which opened doors for him to perform in France, Switzerland, Portugal and Japan.
In 2002, he won the Best Indoor Performance Award at the Tarrega Theater Fair with “Estrelles de la Màgia“.
He has starred in several magical programs on Televisió de Catalunya.
He is also associated with the world of literature. He wrote, “The secrets of Mag Lari” in 2007 and “The Magic of Michael Jackson” in 2009.
At the end of 2017, he presented the show “The 25 Illusions” at the Teatro Condal in Barcelona to celebrate 25 years of his stage career.
He is an outstanding collector of Michael Jackson’s works. The original pencil drawing of the singer stands out in the collection and the most valuable item is the jacket that the singer wore at the age of 12 when he was still a member of the legendary Jackson Five group.
Interview: Irina Rybalchenko
Hi Lari! Tell us about the Christmas magic, because this is a special time when we are all looking forward to something special. What is Christmas magic?
Christmas itself is very magical. These two words are synonyms. They got along very well.
What is it like to be a magician? And who taught you magic?
Ever since my early childhood, about the age of eight, I wanted to be a magician. And I was lucky that having started practicing magic as a child, I was able to devote myself to it as an adult. A little boy’s dream came true.
Nobody taught me. I learned magic from books. Yes, it wasn’t easy. The instructions were very specific: take a card with such a finger so that the other finger was under it … Also, I took Madelman, a doll for boys, put it in a shoe box and did a trick by cutting the doll and … got it whole. I played with magic.
What kind of magic do you like to do the most?
I am a stage magician. I like to perform in the theater. In theaters, we create great illusions.
In magic, we usually look for a scientific explanation, but magic is more about emotions. We magicians provoke emotions. If we want people to laugh, the audience laughs, we want to surprise, and people are surprised. When a viewer sees a performance and doesn’t understand it, it creates feelings inside that you only get as if by magic. We, magicians, show tricks, behind which there is always an explanation. It’s like a trap.
Magic causes awe and this thrill is very beautiful …
It is very important for me to feel people’s energy. I like to do comic magic; I like to make people laugh.
Magic can also be therapeutic. This was especially true during the pandemic when people were sad. Magic is part of illusionism and is a very important ingredient to a happy life.
Do you have a school? What types of master classes are the most popular today?
I have a school of magic in Barcelona, and we run courses for young children and adults. We also run courses for people who want to devote themselves to magic professionally.
What influences the fate of a person more: stars and the universe, genetics, internal motivation or magic?
I think it’s internal motivation. All magic is within us, as well as the ability to do good.
We magicians are ordinary people. We know the techniques, apply them and provoke illusions in people. People who come to the performance must forget their daily problems and have a good time.
What are your plans for next year?
There will be a new show at the beginning of February in Catalonia, which will be called Strafalari – we’ll be playing it all year.
Another project is La Casa dels Àngels, which is an enchanted house full of charm, which allows you to live unique experiences during your journey through secret doors, sinister stairs, dark catacombs and magical and surprising ancient objects.
A 16th-century house full of mysteries, where the Wizard Lari lives, is in the heart of Castellserà.
Legend has it that the Holy Grail, the cup that Jesus used during the Last Supper, stayed there one night. The visitor will be able to walk around the whole house and look for the room that sheltered the most famous cup in history. You can also visit, if you dare, the attic where Francina Redorta, a maid and witch, lived and was hanged in 1616.
And, finally, with El Mago Pop we are going to visit the United States for a Broadway season – in August. I am very excited to be able to accompany him and that the El Mago Pop brand has begun to triumph not only here but also in America.
What advice would you give on the eve of Christmas?
Feelings are very important. Great things that happen in this world are done from the heart. If you do something from the heart, you will do special and magical things.