April 08 :: XCM / Cardistry?

Discussion in 'Cerca Trova' started by waynehouchin, Apr 4, 2008.

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  1. A well done fan, a simple spring - even a ribbon spread and turn over - can be incredibly "magical" moments for real people. Excellent point and very true. I started doing the Houdin Shrinking Fan and then the vanishing pips last year. We all know it, but to real people, it's a jaw dropper.

    As to Sybil cuts. I learned from Kenner's book way back when. Did it (5 faces) very slowly and got good reactions when I would demo it. Then I saw one of the "flourish guys" do his sybil thing at a convention. (I won't say his name, but he is not associated with this forum.) He was doing it SO fast it really looked like he was just lifting up one packet and wiggling it up and down. You could not tell what he was doing and I left thinking - idiot. I am sure he spent hours getting it that fast, but the end result was worthless.

    People enjoy seeing anything done well. But there is an art to it - an aesthetic. Japanese calligraphy can be very simple. But it is the sheer artistry in the single stroke that makes it beautiful. Far better to do a simple thing with beauty than a hard thing with nothing.

    Brad Henderson
  2. Funny that I showed a few of my friends a fast and slow sybil, and they perfered the fast one.
  3. I think that there is a line for xcm in magic. i think that wayne is right about how do you want the specs to see you. i have been working on something with a friend of mine. it is a acr kind of thing bu the patter is that of I can control the card instead of if i just give a snap. He does Xcm and i am more of a trick guy so working together has been a treat we both have learned a lot from each other and i now have a greater respect for his art than i did. xcm should be in magic but if you want the specs to think you have magic powers the less the better. i use very small quick bursts in some of the things i do. i try to keep the big moves to the guys that have put hundreds of hours into it.
  4. They're two diffrent bowls of ice cream here

    One's tasty to your audience and they'll ask for it again ask for again.

    The other would be your favourite ice cream that you use to eat a lot.

    i personally practice magic and flourishing 50/50 but i love them both to death. It's amazing what you can do with a deck of card's and a head full of knowledge
  5. I do not know how fast you perform your sybil, but the person I saw was performing it so fast it merely looked like he was moving a packet of cards up and down - something anyone could do. This is not about the gradient of fast and slow, but the line where doing what you do becomes unclear.
  6. The flourishes should be done SMOOTH :p they can be fast but if they are smooth, everyone can clearly see what you are doing, and it's not going to look like you are moving a packet of cards up and down..
  7. He was smooth. Looked effortless in his hands. The problem was, you couldn't tell the packets were changing places....too fast...made it meaningless....
  8. I think a lot of people are dismissing Brad's points because of the current trend/fad in magic that is flourishing.

    Since going as fast as you can is what makes you a pro instead of a "noob", everyone is not going to see your point Brad.

    I for one know what your talking about and have seen this same reaction. I've shown a friend some flourishing videos and his response was "So what, hes just moving the cards all around, that not magic."

    I have the same reaction to flourishing, its fun to watch but does nothing for me. It doesn't inspire me physically or creativly.

    I think a nice thumb fan or charlier cut is good enough for me, although I can do a couple of "fancy" cuts.
  9. I totally agree with wayne's opinion.

    Cardistry and XCM have been able to stand on it's own as an art which demonstrates dexterity and skill with pack of cards. In a routine that shows how well of an sleight of hand artist your are with a pack of cards is amazing on it's own. But when it comes to coinciding with you magic that's another story put together.

    When performing magic for your audience, performing your more than standard flourish in the middle of a routine can distract, and possibly kill the moment of mystifiying the impossible. Like Wayne said, just fanning the cards and having a spectator choose a card is just as powerful as a sybil cut. In my own experience, that and the use of some false cuts like the butterfly cut and swivel cut, and the dribble is just as powerful because it's the simple things that brings that awe to your audience. I even sometimes use Daryl's Hot Shot cut as a revelation, which is another Cardistry/XCM technique used.

    Dan and Dave are a perfect example to using simple flourishing techniques in their magic. The moves are very visual and complement the trick at the same time. It just simply eye candy.
  10. Has any one here ever presented professionally a show of just flourishes?


  11. To me cardistry is an art by itself.
    Just look at this pictures, isnt this ART guys????
    But of course it can be combined with magic, not in excess to make magic a bit more spicy...
  12. To me, flourishing is definitely a means of enhancing magic. It is an interesting thing to do when people are watching, the Bucks do this really well, where they do tricks as well as amazing flourishes to keep people captivated. In addition, flourishing really improves your deck control and handling skills by great amounts.

  13. 100% agreement.:)
  14. Wow... I'm really fascinated with this discussion going on...

    I 100% agree with Brad, everybody keeps thinking: "Fast is pro, slow is noob." but to the spectators, a super smooth fast sybil would look like nothing. nice fans, ribbon spreads, and easy cuts that you can perform smoothly and nicely are good, but anything too "fast" or way too cardistry would confuse a spectator.

    I don't do flourishes a lot, but if I were to become really good at it, I would NEVER let it into my trick. I would do it after a trick, when everybody's relaxing, and they would "probably" go "wow, that looks sick" you know, so its not a central focal point, or it becomes pointless.

    I agree that cardistry is an art, but too excessive would be like metal music to soft rock listeners. its too much, and many laymen dont understand the beauty of it.

    there are too many things on my mind about this topic, and this is what i remember from reading all six pages so far. cheers =)

    BTW, chinese calligraphy is actually more well known than japanese calligraphy... well... both are equally well known. just decided to mention it since im chinese :D
  15. Right...some off topic banter going on here, not that I'm complaining at all!

    Back to the discussion. Some of you have expressed a little more than dislike towards XCM, with a somewhat agressive tone. While constructive criticism is a useful tool, the complete shutting down of ones interest is a little disheartening. If someone were to tell me that I'm wasting my time with magic and it looks horrible, then I wouldn't take it all too lightly or on the chin. While I'm not a huge fan of XCM why don't we try and get along without any obvious negative attacks on XCM, I know I personally wouldn't be very happy. At the end of the day treat anybody's interest with respect, no matter what it be. Don't be too hasty to judge someone.

    I'd hate to bring up some relativistic views again, but I think its necessary. While your opinion matters, so does everybody elses, whether or not you support XCM. What's the point of a discussion if it doesn't forward the question with some decent answers. Saying XCM looks like a bunch of twits rolling their hands is hardly productive.

    I've said it before, but I'd say it again. While your experience of what a spectator sees in XCM is one thing, be it good or bad, just realise that its only a select proportion of the population. Not all people enjoy the same things, and that goes for spectators too. I except many of you are at school/college or University (like myself) and test ideas and XCM and magic on your friends, an admirable and sensible thing to do. The fact remains that who you are peforming to are bias, they are within a narrow band of people. I've found that the younger generation are more receptive to XCM and the skills involved, especially those who have been exposed to magic a little more than others. Just bear in mind that what matters most is whether you audience enjoyed the show, whether it was or included XCM. Ask for feedback and their favourite moments. Remember that from the moment we started learning magic/XCM we became different from the spectator and how we perceive magic. We accept it for its skill and elegance. They accept it for the astonishment.

    XCM has a place in magic. If you want to peform it, or your spectators wish to see it.
  16. De'vo and Jerry Cestowski have been recognized for doing so, if you'd be able to find footage of such is beyond me, although some of the haters will just shoot it down and say it's impossible and that there is no such footage. Joe Cossari has an entire act of nothing but routined flourishes and is printed in the Joe Cossari Card Act: King of Cards. Jerry has mentioned the routine is usable for actual performances.

    The eyes of a layman and the eyes of a magician. Always better to have eyes of a laymen than a magician if you want to be performing non-magical card manipulations. APPARENT DIFFICULTY is very important for performing any flourish. Something can seem so difficult but relatively easy to the performer. Milking it for all it's worth is key. No turnover down armspread catch is a very key example. The cards seems to be just floating in mid air for a second that seems as if they're all going to hit the ground. Then you swiftly catch each and every single card. One comment you'll probably going to get every time with this move is: "Man, I would have dropped every single one of those cards." Even though it seems very impressive this is relatively simple and you can pretty much do it blindfolded once you learn BASIC armspread technique.
  17. #57 Josh Clarke, Apr 25, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2008
    While I agree that a small amount of cardistry/xcm looks amazing, most of it doesn't impress me. How could a laymen appreciate the skill (which I believe is what cardists are trying to put forth) of cardistry/xcm, if they've never and never will try to do it themselves? In my opinion, cardistry/xcm was created to allow magicians (and I use the word magicians lightly) to impress other magicians. I'll stick with my natural ability to barely handle a deck of cards to make my audience feel like children again for a few seconds instead of making them feel inferior to my abilities.

    P.S. I really wish it would've been called 'ecm'.
  18. Why would a person want to be pelted with cups and balls when they don't care where the ball is? Why would someone care to be "tricked" and "lied to" and never really be in on the secret? There's a reason why magic will never be in the media like it used to over ten years ago. It's placed in a subgenre with circus, clowns, and mimes which probably don't get much exposure either. Why? Nobody really likes being left out. Which is why there's always been these magic revealed specials for everyone to look at. Although EVEN these programs aren't very often seen and don't really get a lot of ratings and everyone would rather be watching Lost or Dancing with the Stars.

    The reason why XCM/Cardistry has so much interest in forums today is because, you can skip the mystery/magic/I like fairy dust/my grandpa show me this/could you squeeze my red balls. Just the thought of amazing with only ability and no presentation is an ideal people dream of. Anyone can appreciate skill. Would Ricky Smith Jr be getting as many TV appearances if it weren't for his ability to throw playing cards 200+ feet and beat world records? I'm pretty sure Ricky's gotten a lot more exposure than a majority of professional magicians. Even Ricky himself is a magician, but TV shows aren't asking him to do magic that's for sure.
  19. Well.....the same reason that people wouldn't want to watch the performer cut a deck of cards 300 different ways...oh am I being one sided? Pardon me...I forgot that there is more to XCM/Cardistry than that! Kind of like...there is more to magic than Sponge Balls and Cups and Balls. Get what I'm saying?

    UEZ didn't give enough justice to magic whatsoever. I've always asked myself this question...would I rather see someone throw a card 200+ feet or see someone levitate a car? (Personally I'd love to see the card throwing)
    I would try to answer this from a laymen's perspective. I take both arts to the maximum ability and from my research I've come to conclude that magic smashes XCM/Cardistry when it comes to full potential.

    Personally I am a Cardist/XCM'er but I'm not biased in being able to make clear judgements.

    Regarding Ricky Jay's "popularity"...well I've came up to 10 random people and asked them if they knew who Ricky Smith Jr., Criss Angel, and David Blaine were...they replied "Who's Ricky Smith Jr.?" yep...all 10 of them.

    I believe it's already been said...it all depends on what you're trying to achieve. When I perform magic, I leave Cardistry OUT. I want my audience to believe in what I do as opposed to leaving them with a logical explanation of unbelievable skill. However...when I perform Cardistry/XCM, I leave magic OUT. They both have their place and if utilized together then ultimately the magic should compliment the cardistry/xcm or vice versa.
  20. Isn't it Ricky Jay?
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