A magic Spaniard in Germany


When you say you are a magician, it usually triggers some nice reactions in people. But when I say that I am a Spanish magician, then there is some duality: “Oh cool but… what are you doing here in Germany, if you come from the land of the sun?!”

I have lived in Germany for six years. I came here to finish my studies in Philosophy during an Erasmus in Jena with the idea of staying for some more years. Once I adapted to the German way of life, I started to discover what I love about this country: the liberty of being what/who you want to be without having many others criticizing you.

After my Erasmus, I decided to start a Masters in Art History with one straightforward goal: I would only do it if I were allowed to write my Master thesis on the topic of magic.

And it worked! The title of my thesis was Das Magische in der Kunst: Konvergenz zwischen zeitgenössischer Kunst und Magie (The magic in Art: convergence between contemporary art and magic). In the end, I studied in Jena for more than 4 years, working everywhere and developing myself both as a magician and as a person.

Alfonso Rituerto
Alfonso Rituerto

I was born in 1987. Magic has already been with me for 10 years and it became a passion from the moment I opened my first book of magic: Expert Card Technique, written in the 40’s by Hugard and Braue. The second book, 52 Lovers by Pepe Carrol, taught me that this art is in fact a very serious issue, a very hard one, and that I should keep in mind that it is a goal that’s not easily achieved: the ability to let the impossible happen. Since then my library has steadily grown.

I love to have those calm days in which I can search for new ideas and recover old pieces of magic. One of my favorite things about magic is the study of misdirection and learning how powerful the eyes can be. It is not about being very quick; it is more about knowing where your public will look at a certain point, making them look at another point that is to be interesting, making them believe they are doing it because they want to. Words are another powerful tool. With my words I can make a person swear that she or he saw and touched a coin which, in fact, was never there. But they truly believe it was there.

For me, it is hard to accept that I will never be able to feel the magic like my spectators do, but instead, the feeling of being able to offer such a special experience is already an amazing gift.

For the last year and a half I’ve lived in Leipzig. I moved here with a friend from Jena (Andrea), with whom I have performed some pieces in different contexts, merging magic and juggling. At some point we decided to start together a new show, and named it Plagwitz Calling. This is a mixture of an open stage, an experimental space and a place to meet and get into new and interesting (sometimes also the opposite, why not!) artists.

Plagwitz Calling will be offered for the last time this 21st of June, since Andrea and I have decided to follow separate paths in order to better achieve goals in our respective arts.

It was a great idea and I am very happy that it happened. I am also glad that we can offer a last show having made a great impression on so many people who visited us every third Tuesday for the last one and a half years. I am very grateful to those who came once, and for those who even reserved a table to be as near as possible each and every time.

Thanks also to Neues Schauspiel Leipzig for their support. One artist I met during Plagwitz Calling made this beautiful video. It is a promo but in my opinion much nicer than those typical videos of magicians. Thank you, Hugo Meijer!

Right now I am preparing my upcoming projects. The most important one is the German Championship of Magic. I will be presenting my act in July and at the moment I’m quite nervous about that. Just imagine yourself trying to impress hundreds of magicians who have read or even have written the books you’ve used as a source of inspiration! I hope that they like my grammar. After six years, it is still fun sometimes. I would love to win but, to be honest, I am more interested in the experience itself.

The second project is very special for me, since it is a show with two other magicians and we will be presenting it in very beautiful and great theaters all around Germany. All I can say is that it will be named after a Hitchcock movie. It is still a secret but hopefully won’t be one in one or two months… we are working very hard on it, combining our very different ways of doing and understanding magic: Yann Yuro, the absolutely nicest mentalist I have ever met; Semjon Sidanov, one of those card experts who are able to give a deck of cards a new dimension; and me, a very good-looking Spanish magician. Indeed, settled in Germany and loving it! Premiere in October with sneak preview in September.

The third project, and foreseeably as important as the two former ones: I will host a regular Magic Show in Leipzig with lots of guests from everywhere. In Leipzig we are very lucky to have a new wave of great magicians, and I will invite magicians from other parts of Germany but also from other countries. I will announce all the details on my Facebook page as soon everything is ready. This has to and will be the greatest magic show ever seen!

Alfonso Rituerto by Betty Pabst
Alfonso Rituerto by Betty Pabst

I have made my life thanks to magic. Those surrounding me have always supported me and after lots of experiences (like breaking my back while trying a new trick two years ago, for which I had to jump off a roof), I have managed to live from my passion. Right now I mostly do private parties but I also like to work in dark taverns and on the street (in July I’ll be performing for a few days on the streets of France, using only 4 or 5 words!). When I am not performing, I love cooking and drinking good wine, red if possible.

I am, indeed, a Spanish magician living in Germany.

By Alfonso Rituerto

You can see Alfonso do his magic at 11 a.m. this Saturday, June 18th, at the opening of the Kunstkraftwerk exhibit Illusion: nothing is as it seems.

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