Cardistry and Magic: What do you think?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Allan Luu, Mar 2, 2016.


Should you perform flourishes in your magic routine?

  1. Yes

    5 vote(s)
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
  3. Undecided

    1 vote(s)
  1. Good morning/afternoon/evening ladies and gentlemen,

    It has been a long time since I have posted on a magic/cardistry forum board so I look forward to an engaging discussion.

    Before I go on, I want to pose a question for you: Do you think Cardistry and Magic should go together during performance?

    There is no right or wrong answer here. Many magic purists might say that you shouldn’t be too flashy with your cards because it gives spectators a pre conceived notion. They have this idea that you should be handling cards like laymen would which gives your magic a more "organic" feel.

    I believe that they can and should go together if you have the skillset. By no means do I think it’s proper to bust out the Jackson 5 sequence during the middle of an Ambitious Card Routine. However, doing a flourish that retains the top half adds flare and style to your demonstration. It sets a landscape that you are a master of your pasteboards and you know what you are doing.

    No matter how good your flourishes are, it will take never precedence over a well scripted routine. It will however, add style and expertise to your routine.

    I think it is important to note that you shouldn’t get carried a way, for the most part, people are more interested in your magic than your flourishes.

    This is my two cents, what do you think?
  2. The problem with flourishes is that 99% of them have no constructive purpose for existing in a routine outside of being flashy. Plus, I believe it places more emphasis on your hands when that's the exact opposite of what you want to have happen in performing magic. If rather everyone coming along for the journey instead of watching the 'adventures of hands'.

    There's no problem with flourishing, it's that I do not think that most flourishes are meant to be in a well constructed routine
    Gabriel Z. likes this.
  3. Outside of displaying a card I don't think that flashy cardistry moves should be incorporated into a magic routine, It takes away from what the audience should be focusing on. I think that it almost intimidates the audience if overdone. It also depends on the performers style , If he is a flourishy sort of guy then by all means go for it(Just don't over do it)
    Allan Luu likes this.
  4. You make a valid point regarding where you want your spectators to be focused.

    What about moments where you are shuffling/mixing cards up? I believe that is probably the only time that a flourish is an option.
  5. I will use a nice false packet cut sometimes, but I won't bring it to the forefront, I won't talk about it. I use one in my ACR, I just do it and then do a DL to show that it is "mixed up"
    Gabriel Z. likes this.
  6. I think even shuffling a deck of cards with a flourish can be just as damning.

    Normally, it's an action that people immediately recognize and don't think much of it unless they are given a reason to do so. Doing even a one-handed shuffle is enough to get people to watch in all the ways you don't want them to watch.
    Rev and Gabriel Z. like this.
  7. I'm not a 'cardist' by any means, but I can do Sybil cuts, one hand cuts, card springs and a few things like that (classic flourishes if you will).

    Would I use them when doing magic? Probably, but then I don't try to claim what I'm doing is 'magic'. I tend to perform as though I'm demonstrating a 'skill' I've learned. Sometimes this is overt (e.g. cut to the Aces) and sometimes it's a bit more abstract. For example, I might be able know selection's position in the deck because of 'years of practice' rather than because I have magic powers. The exact skill is not defined, but I'm implying it's something 'learned'.

    Getting of topic slightly, so to drag it back..

    I think context is important. If I wanted a spectator to be convinced their card was lost in the deck, then I would lose it using a bluff pass and maybe a Jog Shuffle. Natural actions, nothing flourishy. The spectator can understand that these actions would result in the card being lost

    However, If I then said. 'So to find that card all I've got to do is estimate, 10, 15, 25 cards...' and then performed a series of quick fancy cuts followed by spinning the card out of the deck, then I think that works. Here, the spectator isn't supposed to understand or recognise what I'm doing. This is an esoteric skill I've learned a 'card magician'.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that it depends what you're trying to put across to the audience. If you're trying to convince a spectator that a card is lost, doing a bunch of fancy actions they don't recognise isn't going to convince them of that. A simple, natural false shuffle is much better.

    But then again, as no one is likely to really believe what you're doing is magic, they'll likely expect you to have a certain level of dexterity anyway so why not take advantage of that fact? A simple card spring can instantly gain you credibility in the eyes of the audience, as it shows your probably not about to bust out the '21 Card Trick'...

    Brett Hurley, Moniker and Allan Luu like this.
  8. I am with you 100%. We are experts at our craft, why not show it?

    My one stipulation is that I would never open with a flourish and only do it if it fits your style. Makes no sense for a mentalist to bust out a flourish.
    Rev likes this.

    Everybody is going to have their own opinion. But I believe most will agree with me when I say the more "natural" your performance is.. the better. Sure, maybe some one handed cuts, dribbles, card springs, fans, wouldn't hurt. But it really depends on what type of performer you are and what type of performance you are doing.


    Let's say you are doing a ambitious card routine.. You aren't going to do a sybil cut or some other fancy false cut to make it seem like the card is lost in the deck, right? NO! You're going to make it nice and simple. It looks like you're not doing anything, there's a lot of different types of ambitious card routines and I'm sure just about everybody has their own version of doing it, with certain 'stages' of impossibility. But, the classic pass is the best way to do it, in my opinion. Sure, you can do a little flourish to cover it up. But, if you do something fancy, the audience is going to assume you did some super sneaky ninja sleight of hand stuff.

    You have to look like you ARE simply just mixing the deck. Like a overhand shuffle, hindu shuffle, riffle shuffle. These are all widely known to most people. Doing anything out of the ordinary may arouse some suspicion or indirectly place more "heat" on your hands.

    Anyways, that's just my opinion.

  10. My two cents. If cardistry does not bring something to your performance, it does not belong there. Asking "Should you perform flourishes in your magic routine?" is like asking what color of deck is best for magic. It depends. There is no right or wrong answer to a general question like that. If you are doing a gambling themed demonstration, you may be able to emphasize that you have skills with cards by doing a quick, flashy flourish. If you are doing a different kind of magic, you may not want to draw attention to any card skills you may have.

    If you are doing a flourish simply to do a flourish, it probably does not belong in your routine. If you are going to add one, make sure you have a good reason for doing so.

    // L
    Allan Luu and mclintock like this.

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