Interview with Miquel Roman

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Interview with Miquel Roman

My next hero is Spanish magician and flourish artist — Miquel Roman. I didn’t expect that he will reply my questions so complete and this interview turned soooo interesting. Miquel is one of the most creative person in cardistry. His flourishes differ with smooth, softness, tranquility. He uploads to youtube professionally made dvd with flourishes tutorials. He is very open-minded and interesting person with philosophical moods and ideas. And I really share his thoughts about art of cardistry. I enjoyed talking with him. I think that main thing I can say about him — he thinks. Here is Miquel himself.

What is your name? How old are you? Where are you from?
My name is Miquel Roman, I’m 26 years old and I am from Barcelona, Spain.

What is you ocupation?
I studied Law, I finished about 1 year ago, so I’m a lawyer. I kept my logic part of the brain with this. And the creative part of the brain is entire for Magic and Card Flourishes :)

How long are you in cardistry?
I think I’m in Magic since I was a kid. Magic always has been one of my passions. About Card Flourishing, I started 3 years ago.

Miquel RomanWho or what involved you in cardistry?
Two of my best friends (Victor and David) started doing magic beyond the common tricks. On November 2007 we were met together and they showed me “something new they find out”. We watched on YouTube some great classic and modern magician’s performances: like Pepe Carrol, Juan Tamariz and modern artists as Daniel Madison or Dan and Dave. I never saw anything like that until that day, and after that, my conception about what is possible and impossible literally changed. Without David and Victor, I know I would not be what I am today.

Why did you start practice cardistry?
I started Card Flourishing because of its beauty. I saw awesome videos on YouTube where guys all around the world made cool thing with playing cards and cool music. But beyond this, I thought that all that involves a Card Flourishing or Magic video exhibition was creativity, was artistry. When I watch a video, I see inside it more than a simple “cool” or “wow”… I see art, I see emotions.
And that’s why started in Magic but also in Card Flourishing. I started because I want to transfer emotion to people. Because I think life is emotion, and emotion is life.

What was your first flourish?
Nice question. The first flourish I learned was the Kevin Ho’s Ragnarok 2. I saw my friend Victor doing the move and I tried to do it as well. But… come on! It was impossible for me I was a beginner! So, I decided to learn other easy moves, also from Kevin and other YouTubers that upload tutorials. But Ragnarok 2 was my first challenge. I always say I learned a Pandora before a Charlier. I don’t know why I started with hard Magic and Card Flourishing material, maybe because it was what it shocked me! With time I was learning the Basics and the Classics moves.

Miquel RomanWhat do you get from cardisrty? Fun, travel, girls, money?
What I get from Card Flourishes is Magic.
Almost every magician I meet ask me about the same question, “but why do you do this?” almost all magicians thought that Card Flourishing and Magic should live separate and most of them don’t respect the Card Flourisher or the Art of Card Flourishing. I absolutely not agree on this point. I use Card Flourishes as a method to know every single detail of Playing Cards, every secret, every simple aspect. And this allows me to create Magic.
On the other hand… I also think that Card Flourishes and Magic are really effective with girls :P But that’s another looong offtopic haha!

Does your life changed, when you start practicing card flourishes? Do you have more or less free time? Do you prefer to practice new move instead hang out with friends?
Well yes it changed. My life really changed, now Magic and Cards are always in my mind! I dedicate a lot of time on learning Magic and I spend my time with the art. But is something that I love so I don’t mind. Since the moment a deck of Card had its own pocket in my trousers or my jacket, I think Cards are part of me.
At the second question, absolutely not. My friends are there and always will be there, my friends are more important than a move. I always have a deck of cards with me so my friends are used to ear “look that move” or “look this magic trick”. I always do tricks to my friends. Cards and Friends are absolutely compatible. And look at this situation from another side: I usually test new effects that I create or that I am learning with my friends and see the reactions. It’s interesting, because when somebody that is used to saw you doing Card Flourishes or Magic says “wow” with some new effect, you know that the effect is powerful with a “normal” laymen.
This art is not loneliness. Our art is to share, and who better to share it that with your friends?

Miquel RomanWhat was your first deck of cards? Do you still keep it?
Yeah, I keep it with me. My first deck of cards was a Bicycle Ghost deck… and I paid a lot for it! I didn’t know exactly how costs a “magician deck” so I went to a Magic Shop in Madrid (where I was living then) and the deck cost me about €12! I think I will keep it forever, but I don’t know if the reason is because it was my first deck or because I will keep a souvenir of the day I was robbed.

What is your favorite deck?
My favorite deck is Tally-Ho Blue Fan Back. But I like specially the old stock from USPCC. New ones I’m not sure if they are at the same level. Aladdin 1001 Smooth Finish is also one of my favorites.
But I’m not too special for this. In fact I recommend (contrary some magicians and card manipulators say) is to use different decks, not always the same. And not to trash a deck when stop fanning, keep it and use it in spite not fan good. The reason is you can find new moves and concepts using different decks. If you can, I recommend use different deck brands and also use wasted and not wasted ones.

Do you collect playing cards? If yes, how many (approximately) decks in your collection?
I like to keep a sealed deck of any deck I get. So I don’t have a lot, but I would say yes, I collect them. I have about 30 or 40 decks in my collection.

Miquel Roman, Victor GarcíaWho most influenced you in cardistry?
My friend Victor is my main influence in Card Flourishing. He always said to me “have you seen that video?” or “have you seen that move?”. Another Card Flourishes influences in my style are Singaporeans like Kevin, Ambrose, Leon or Ling. Also Brendan Conner, Alejandro Portela or Dimitri Arlieri are influences for me.
But as a full-artist two of my main influences above all because of their Magic-Artistry conception are Daniel Madison and Chris Orbit Brown. If I should say one word about their Style I would say “Personality”.

Who is your favorite cardist?
As a Card Flourisher — I would say Kevin Ho, because his videos were there in my beginnings. Nowadays, I don’t have a favorite cardist, I know there are a lot of awesome young talents in this world and that’s cool and it means this is a constant in-expansion world.

Let’s talk a little bit about cards workout.Do you have special time for practice or it happens during other deeds? How long do you practice per day?
Yes, I have time for practice. And if I’m too busy, I always find a little time for cards. I find out most of my ideas and concepts on a weekend, that’s why I’ve got more free time then. Sundays are definitely my days; I’ve got a lot of moves discovered on Sundays. I called a move Didi Sunday because of it!
Practicing time depends on the day and also I didn’t practice the same nowadays than one year ago. But more or less I can say that one hour a day is probably the average. Weekends maybe more. And I’ve got some days that I practice almost full day.

Miquel Roman, Dan and Dave BuckDo you have any special method of training or some training schedule? May be you can tell few words about it?
Very interesting question. As I said, when I answered about my favorite decks, I use different types of decks: brands, size, wasted or not wasted… You can literally find out a concept using different types of playing cards. If you use the same deck you probably have the same style and the same / similar moves. My tip is: explore new concepts, explore new decks, take a deck that you think is wasted, and then take a new deck, use bridge decks (why not?!), explore different styles not the same all time, do moves faster, then slow it, smooth it. With time new ideas will come to you.
I read Chris Kenner saying something like “Think about the magic effect, then try to get it. Sometimes you will get it and sometimes you simply will see that is impossible, but try it”. I recommend follow Chris Kenner‘s words for magicians, but also for Card Flourishers. What do you want to obtain? Ask yourself this and then try to do the journey between your idea and reality. Sometimes you will finish it and you will create a new awesome move never seen before, sometimes you won’t finish it… but no problem, who knows if you can use something of this idea for another move and maybe a more powerful move, than the previous one? All not common ideas, all not common grips… are welcome.
You are your ideas, and your ideas are you. Give the audience something different and you will be different. Follow your ideas, build your personality and you will define you as an Artist. Distinguish yourself.

How do you think, what is most important in cardistry — talent or persistence?
Persistence. If you persist, anything is possible. But this is not part of the Card Flourishes or the Magic topic. This is about Life.
Sometimes people search excuses to justify why «I’m not that good at…» and talent is one of them. The answer always is in you. One of my favorite quotes is from Wayne Dyer and is something like: «When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change«. This seems pretty obvious but this is something related with what I’m saying. Just think 10 seconds about that.
Persistence is in yourself, and is the key of success in almost any point of your life. But that should be another discussion :)

Alejandro Portela, Miquel RomanWhy did you upload your tutorials to youtube and make it available for free? Is this some kind of marketing turn?
Armonía born as my little contribution to the Card Manipulation’s World. The reason about I give away this collection of free Card Flourishes tutorials, is because I will push forward the art all that I can. I know – my project is not going to be the Biggest Card Flourishes Compilation or the Bible of Card Manipulation. But that’s also not the reason why I film it. I will help somebody who is searching tutorials on YouTube. I remember the day I sat in front of my computer and I search on YouTube “Cut Tutorial” or “Card Flourishes tutorial”, I play every video tutorial that the search brings me and I download some of them to my mobile phone to play it again and again everywhere and learn it. With Armonía I will help people that are searching exactly the same as I did, few years ago. There is not any marketing idea behind Armonía. Only passion and my ideas. Only me.

Do you earn money with cardistry or its just hobby?
It’s hard to earn money when you are not selling anything. So, no, I do not earn money with cards.
I consider myself a Magician so probably in some months or some years I’d like to make my own little show. In life you need money to live. And everybody wants to live with their passion. So soon or later if you want to eat you have to sell something: a show, a book, some moves… With time I’d like to have my own show. I’ve got a lot of ideas about this.

Do you know something about history of card flourishing? Who was inventor, pioneers?
Hard question, I feel like in exam and I think I’m gonna fail, haha! Well, for me the pioneers of Card Flourishes are Dan and Dave and thanks to these guys this art came to me. I know there are some other people before them that do Card Flourishes, Cardistry, XCM or what you like to call it. I respect all of them, but for me the pioneers are the twins, because they do the art that I like. You can do Card Flourishes in a way or another, but the Bucks gave and give to this Art the feeling that seduced me on my first days and the feeling that made me buy a deck of cards.
I think De’Vo‘s crew is good, but Card Flourishes is more than move your hands around a deck of cards.“It’s not what you, do it’s how you do it” and Virtuoso are right. A good Card Flourishes performance is related with good music and style. Probably De’Vo‘s crew is the inventors, but in my opinion they didn’t gave it the good feeling to their performances, too dark, never show the faces. How could you pretend transfer an emotion if you never show the face?
Dan and Dave and Virtuoso are the people that really push forward this art: because what they do… but above all because how they do it.

Miquel RomanHow do you see future of cardistry?
The future of Cardistry is full of talented guys. I saw on this year more new faces in this Art that all the years before. We have a future full of some creative minds that have a lot to say.
I would like that in some years Card Flourishes was a part of Magic. Not to showing to the public (if you don’t want) but only as some important source of “should know” for magicians if they want to create new Magic. Card Flourishes deserves to be big into the Magic underground scene. Some magicians should learn to see Art in Card Flourishes performances and not being mind closed asking themselves “if this is or not is magic?”. Card Flourishes can allow you to create moves, Card Flourishes can give you a full knowledge of your Playing Cards deck. And if you are serious on your hobby or your profession as a magician, you should respect this.
I don’t know how I see the future of Card Flourishing scene, but I know how I’d like to be this future. I’d like that every Magician respect every Card Flourisher and what they do. And I’d like that Card Flourishes should be a “should learn” for all magicians all over the world.

A little bit more about Miquel you can find out here:
http://www.miquelroman.com
http://www.facebook.com/miquelroman
http://www.twitter.com/legendmichael
http://www.youtube.com/legendmichael