Difference between Magic and Cardistry?

Discussion in 'Cardistry & Flourishing Forum' started by XxJokerxX, Mar 12, 2018.


Which do you prefer?

  1. Magic

  2. Cardistry

  1. As stated. Whats the difference between MAGIC tricks and CARDISTRY flourishes? Comment below...
  2. Cardistry is an extension of juggling (It was developed from contact juggling, which is just a type of object manipulation). It is a blatant and visual display of a physical skill.

    Magic uses hidden skills to create the illusion of the impossible happening. The proper execution of these skills is utterly invisible.

    Some combine the two skills. I think this is a mistake, personally, but to each their own.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  3. Which do you prefer and why Christopher?
  4. I should preface this clearly - These are my opinions. I'm not telling anyone what I think they should do or think. If something makes you happy and doesn't hurt anyone else - do it all you want.

    I often do not enjoy watching magic performed. Magic, when done well, is beautiful to see and experience. It's something we experience on multiple levels. When that happens, that's great. Most magic, however, is not done well. By sheer fact of numbers, the vast majority of magic performed is done so poorly.

    Cardistry/flourishing is, to me, inherently meaningless. As are all purely physical skills. The person doing these things is saying, "Look at these things I've practiced." That's it. Now, there are a few performers who make this quite entertaining. Sure. It can be incorporated into a larger story that has meaning. Yes. Though in those cases, it's the story that has meaning, not the skill. So I generally find purely physical skills to be uninteresting to watch. On top of that, cards are just not a good prop for this, in my opinion. They are just too small. On top of that, flourishes tend to be composed of quick motions - so you have a small prop moving quickly. If someone doesn't know what's happening, they're not going to be able to follow it at all. At least, that's my experience. Almost every flourish looks the same as any other flourish to me. Same thing happens with juggling - people don't know how difficult various patterns are. How could they? They're not jugglers.

    So, if I had to choose between watching a flourisher and watching a magician, I'd take the chance on the magician.

    If you are referring to performing - magic, absolutely, no question. I've done a lot of physical skills in my time. Acrobatics, partner acrobatics, prop manipulation (poi, staff, rope dart, contact juggling, club spinning, etc), juggling, diving, knife throwing, etc. I used to collect skills, as it were. While I do many of these things still for my personal fun, I get no satisfaction from performing them in front of others. This goes back to them being inherently meaningless/difficult to make meaningful.

    With magic, I can say something. I can express myself. So that's my preference.
  5. In my opinion, the best is when the two are combined. In other words, doing flourishes tastefully within the context of our routines or in between sequences of a routine. Maybe do a nice fan to show the cards are all different, a spread flourish or lovely table spread for the selection of a card, a waterfall shuffle in a place where you would normally be shuffling anyway, a faro shuffle in place of where you might have done an overhand shuffle, dribbling the cards elegantly after you've forced a card and it has been replaced in the deck anywhere they want, possibly a casual spring in between two card tricks, or just using the flourishes wherever your imagination takes you. Then they are not, as Christopher mentioned, merely show off demonstrations of skill in a vacuum, but ways to spice things up, add some visual appeal, like maybe a great drummer twirling a drumstick during a song, and to convey an impression of professionalism which people will appreciate and admire as part of your magical presentation.

    A word of caution, though: Use the flourishes sparingly.
    XxJokerxX and Desert Cool like this.
  6. Yep...Incorporating cardistry in magic is good ....Provided it must not be too complex or kind of 'off-topic' like we can't do an Anaconda after the spectator has selected a card.
    Sometimes the spectator might take us lightly....In such cases..Including small and good flourishes like A e C D said, indirectly gives them a message that we are skilled and they will not waste their time watching us do magic.
    XxJokerxX and Al e Cat Dabra like this.
  7. Well, back when I still did card magic, there was this young kid, probably 6-7, I performed magic to him but he had no reaction/was bored... but then I did an in the hands riffle shuffle as I was thinking about what to show him that he could understand, he stood there shocked and asked me to do it again like a thousand times...
    He was standing in the same spot with his mouth wide open for an entire 20 minutes.
    For kids that can't pay attention for more than 15 seconds, flourishes are magic.
    Al e Cat Dabra likes this.
  8. (EDIT) DISCLAIMER::- I just finished typing my response and seeing how long it is, I will more than understand if you skip my reply or read just the first word.


    I voted for Magic purely because:-
    1) I profess to be a magician.
    2) My cardistry skills or not good enough. :D

    The difference is really plain...in magic, the plot is more important than the technique (that's what I feel, sue me) whereas in cardistry, the technique and grace are much more important factors. I am not trying to imply that perform magic in the most 'graceless' way possible, but COMPARATIVELY speaking...

    One thing, which no one can really deny is that cardistry stemmed off from magic, card magic to be specific. But today, cardistry has gained a lot of popularity, in fact, probably more than magic itself. The only reason lay people don't know about 'cardists' is that even when they see cardists, they label them as magicians...otherwise I see so many cardists all around...

    Although I have not been asked which one I prefer, I am going to be hubristic and state my opinion anyways :)

    As I said, am not really that good in cardistry and can count all the flourishes I know WELL on my fingers (excluding simple cuts here)...but I still feel cardistry has got more potential than magic. With magic, people have so many fixed ideas, a fixed mindset. No matter how hard we try, but somehow everyone ends up following a fixed rule-book, as if there's a manual that has a lost of things you can or can't do while doing magic. It's almost as if,
    "You wanna be a comic magician? Here's your rule-book."
    "You wanna be a street magician? Stick to these guidelines."
    "Gothic magic huh? Follow these instructions."

    All this makes innovation a really difficult process in magic, and even more so because most of the times (not always, remember that) the experts of magic are seriously orthodox and well, change in a certain places for them, is not that desirable. All in all, this is the reason that when there IS a magician who does something different, he becomes famous INSTANTANEOUSLY, like Blaine and after him, Criss Angel. But then people began copying them and well, we are back to square one.

    Enough of the rant though.

    Cardistry on the other hand, offers much more freedom. The whole idea that started cardistry is kind of rebellious, like "Everyone does magic with cards huh? Am gonna do something different."
    And so, with more freedom, there's more innovation, more ideas, more ways, and a lot more fun.
    Also, cardistry does not have that innate sense of 'secret' in it. You wanna know how I did the Riffle fan? Go ahead and search it on YT! It's all yours! But even after knowing theoritically how it is done, people get amazed. That's because the immense amount of time put into it is much more visible, and people appreciate that.
    Also, it is much more self-satisfactory for the performer. I mean, I spend 3-4 months TRYING to perfect my pass just so that, what, no one can see it? What am I spending so much time in the second deal for? So that it is invisible? And it becomes even sadder when you see that the effect for which you learnt the complicated sleight could have been achieved by simpler sleights or gimmicks, and then you begin to question your life's decisions (the Almighty is harsh).

    In cardistry however, you practice to show. And people love that, they are not like, "Quit showing off" or something, unless of course, you are being a jerk, but that's a topic for another day.
    Cardistry is much more self-satisfying, visual, and somehow, looks more magical than magic itself. And people GET it, it is not complicated story lines, it is simple skill. Pure. Skill.

    A small mistake people often make while judging cardistry is thinking it is 'just showing off' (or name it 'over-glorified-fidget-spinning', whatever). People say it has no point. But the thing is, cardistry seems to have no point if someone performs it to YOU personally. You can't have cardistry show. It is media-based. It is DESIGNED to film, and edit, and add music, and share. It is not something you go to people personally and say, "I wanna show you something...it is a thing I learned...it's called Werm..."

    Whether cardistry should be used in magic? Of course! Why? For the same reason that magic shows have smoke, and dressed up assistants, and huge lights, and beautiful music. Another thing people seem to think is that performing cardistry during magic will make the magic less 'magical'. But let me tell you, unless you profess to be a real magician with real powers (something well discussed in a recent thread), nobody really thinks what you did was real. The only way to tip-toe around this is to dress up your effects as ''psychological illusions". So if, as it is, people don't think you are Harry Potter, why not bust a few cardistry moves in your performance?

    And no, people WON'T dismiss everything you ever do after that as "just something quick with the hands." People are intelligent, credit them for that. Don't think that no cardistry will make them think, "that's real''...this is the 21st century.

    At the same time, I feel one should NOT do too much cardistry during a magic performance.
    Why? Because you are doing MAGIC, that's why. You are NOT there to show them cardistry. That's the reason, not that cardistry will make magic more 'mortal' or something, but solely because that's not the point of the show. It is for the same reason that you don't wanna crack too many jokes in your magic performance, because you need to remember you are a comic MAGICIAN, not a COMEDIAN. Just like it wouldn't make sense if during a singing performance, someone began dancing. Little moves here and there is okay but imagine how weird it would look if someone who is supposed to be singing, starts salsa in the middle of his performance? Even if both the parts are great, it doesn't make sense.

    So yes, do cardistry in your magic, but not UNNECESSARILY. Do it when you need to shuffle or something, not everytime.

    Last thing, cardistry impresses people more.

    There, I said it, happy?
  9. Someone can deny this, because it's not true. It's from object manipulation, ie: contact juggling. I remember when flourishing became a thing - it started on the contact juggling and pen spinning forums.

    You're spending time around the wrong magicians. Or watching too much YouTube, where people tend to parrot each other instead of learning and innovating.

    Reading Fitzkee, are we?

    It doesn't have to seem "real" to seem "magical".

    I do think people are intelligent. Which is why I think if you juggle cards in a way that they cannot possibly follow, they will think, "I don't know what you did, but you did it when I couldn't keep track of the cards". Confusion isn't magic. And if you show a lot of skill with manipulating cards, they're probably going to attribute whatever you do to manipulating cards.

    Maybe if you're a bad magician.

    Cardistry is a physical skill. Physical displays have a limit. When someone who has no training in that skill sees it done, they do not know what it takes to do what the performer is doing. They don't understand it, so it's inherently less impressive than if they do understand it. That's why object manipulation performers are split between the technical and the theatrical groups. Technical people hone their skills to do more and more technically difficult things (Kind of like perfecting difficult sleight of hand), and theatrical people focus on creating a good show. Those approaches appeal to different types of audiences.

    On top of that, people get used to seeing impressive displays very quickly. Watch someone juggle 7 balls. Impressive, right? Now watch them do that for 10 minutes. Boooooorrrrrrring. A display of physical skill has a very short lifetime of impressing people. In my experience, no more than 30 seconds to possibly 2 minutes of the same skill being displays is interesting. The best physical acts are ones that entertain as well as display a skill - and in those cases, it's not the skill per se, it's the story or antics that make it entertaining. And I say this with several years of circus performance under my belt.

    Caveat - I'm not saying your opinion is wrong, but it seems to be misinformed.

  10. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_cardistry


    Sounds cool, but, nope :)

    Not necessarily.

    Different people different tastes.
    And abt the time thing, not actually.
    Jump cuts and edits make a 10 minute video seem quite short, especially if the content is good.
    Again, as I said, it will be boring if it is personally performed. Cardistry is not designed to put up shows. It is a media-based, video-based platform.
    Short lifetime of impressing people?
    Looking at where cardistry is today, I don't think so.
    Well, actually, people understand cardistry quite a bit more than magic. Because they can comment on it, it gives them a bit of (for lack of a better term) power too. At the end of a magic performance, they can only go like , "WOW!!! HOW DID YOU DO THAT!!" because, well, what else can they say? Cardistry on the other hand, can spark quite a nice conversation.
    Maybe not.
  11. Wow. The selection bias here is really blatant.

    And again, I'm not saying Magic is better than Cardistry. It might seem like I am, but I'm not. They're both equally valid pursuits - they just have different bases and goals.

    If you showed a group of people who knew nothing about cardistry, say, 5 videos, and then asked them the next day to describe what each video was, do you think those descriptions would be distinct and accurate? Or would they essentially be, "They flipped cards around. One of them tossed them. One of them put his arms out more than the others"?

    And again, your experience of magic seems to be limited to pretty poor performances. A good magic routine will inspire conversation quite regularly. Enough, in fact, that several of the older books I've read regarding casual performances specifically state that performances should probably be done towards the end of an evening so that you don't get trapped talking about the subject of the performance (Ormond McGill's books come to mind).

    I can't remember how many times I've done a casual performance and then sat talking about the subject of the performance for hours afterward. When I perform my solo shows I almost always have people hang around to chat about the subjects of my scripts, as well. Magic is frequently used specifically to spark conversations. The assertion that cardistry is more inclined to spark a conversation is just wrong.

    When I say that people get bored watching a demonstration of a physical skill, I am drawing on more than 15 years of experience creating and performing in physical-based shows, as well as consulting for physical performance artists. What qualifications are you drawing on for your statements?

    I mean, can you see that you're saying Cardistry can really only be enjoyed on a screen, with jump cuts and video editing - and you're saying that's more enjoyable and more likely to cause conversation - than something that's been capturing the attention of live audiences, worldwide, for hours at a time, for centuries? You really think that assertion holds water?

    Or is it that you enjoy watching cardistry mor than the magic you've seen, and because of that you assume everyone does?

    And side note - can I just point out that the title of the video you posted specifically calls it juggling?
  12. Because the title's been given by a layman who doesn't know abt caridstry, and also, the tile is supposed to attract viewers. Like, I could call poetry juggling with words?

    I guess I can take back those particular words (if am allowed to that is...) :) but yes, I still declare cardistry is more impressive than magic.
    My declarations don't matter, of course, but...just to feel good abt myself :p

    I don't really know how to believe you on that, speaking based on ur previous posts.

    I said it's more impressive.
    Same thing?
    I dunno.

    I can't say I enjoy cardistry more than the magic I've seen, but cardistry is more relaxing, definitely...

    That's such a...fine and secure argument.

    How can one oppose this view?
    I dunno...3 years of cardistry maybe?
    I am also saying that without a green screen and editing, Harry Potter would look like trash.
    Get my point now?

    download (1).jpeg
    Theris likes this.
  13. I think that cardistry is a lot like skateboarding. It's a cool thing to do and practice. In my eyes, it's more like a sport than it is a performance art. That said, people like watching the olympics, they like watching the X-Games. And, many sports have become a type of performance art. Ice skating comes to mind.

    So, I don't think cardistry has all that much to do with magic.

    Magic is usually seen as a performing art. If you as a performer don't make it interesting it becomes very boring very quickly.

    Sometimes magicians look at cardistry and say things like, "It's just juggling!" or "The only person who finds it entertaining is the guy doing it."

    This is fine to say but we do need to realize that juggling is an actual skill, it takes actual dexterity to do it. It doesn't take any skill to memorize a key card. There are a lot of lazy magicians who want credit for being a sleight of hand master when all they do is self working magic. Often times these same self aggrandizing magicians talk poorly about cardistry, these guys need to think about what they are actually saying.

    I'd rather have an actual skill than to simulate one. The potential for theater is greater with magic and that is also significant.
    Lord Magic likes this.
  14. The best reply, that sums up all the thoughts every cardist or cardistry-loving magician has.
  15. It just reminded me of a quote by dan and dave. You practice a move in magic to make it invisible while you practice a cardistry move to show it off.
    Let's say in a bottom deal, you might practice months and even years to make it invisible, so that no one knows you are doing anything suspicious. When you are performing cardistry, one of the main goals is to showcase your abilities and your finger dexterity with a pack playing cards. This is why cardistry should be completely separate from magic.
  16. I think they are completely separate diciplines for the reasons just stated by @Mr_ARPY . I think the reason the cardistry has attracted so many young people is that it is more gratifying to the ego and does not require the same "soft skills" that magic does. That being said, I enjoy a good card juggler.

    The problems with mixing it with magic are those that @ChristopherT has stated. At the end of a routine the spectator should be left with the idea that there is no possible explanation. Excessive flourishing leaves them with a very sound solution. Manipulative skill. If you do include it you would have to come up with a whole trail that would eliminate manipulative skill as a solution (see The Magic Way). A heck of a lot easier just to not present them with the idea to begin with.
  17. Well, before, people first thought of gambling after hearing the word deck of cards, and the 2nd thing that came to mind was card magic. Right now a different definition is being created and cardistry is becoming its own thing, and not famcy flourishes that a magician might use to show his skill. (Even though cardistry still kinda show the skill, but in a different way)

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