Why do you spend your life doing magic/cardistry?

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Bombbob, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. #1 Bombbob, Sep 6, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2010
    Hey.

    September last year, a friend showed me a simple magic trick, which left me speechless. For the life of me I couldn't work out how he had done it; the only explanation I had was that he has amazing slight of hand, which would be almost impossible... He didn't, there was barely any skill involved. However, from that day I've been addicted to magic. Addicted is a strong word, but I think it's true. I go about my normal life just like I used to, but now I do it holding a deck of cards. If I'm out with friends, at school, in the cinema or swimming (alright, maybe not swimming), I'll be playing with a deck of cards, practising anything from flourishes to slights.

    After that day of been shown that trick, I went home and learned my first ever magic trick, which involved a DL. Sadly though, I wasn't quite ready to execute a DL, and I failed miserably. But, over the last year I've been improving - not only skill wise, but with my presentation and confidence. I started off performing as a nervous wreck, but in the last months I've got to the point where I can perform at an instance, without feeling a hint of confidence issues. Magic and cardistry has actually taken over my life... I would go as far to say it's changed me as a person. I'm more confident, and I feel like I've achieved something that not many other people have. Previously, I would never dream of walking up to a bunch of strangers and started talking to them; but now, I love doing it. I've met loads of great people through magic, and have made many great friends, all because of these pieces of paper.

    Anyway... Back to the point. I don't know what other peoples views are on magic and cardistry, and I'm sure a lot of you may be thinking that I'm a sad loner. Oh well :) But if you don't , and you feel the same way as me, what are your reasons for spending a big proportion of your life playing with cards? Do you do it because you find that it fills up your spare time, or because you love performing? There must be several reasons people have for doing magic or/and cardistry, and I'm just wondering what your reasons are.

    Sorry for such a long post to just ask a simple question, but I'm in a writing mood :cool:

    Cheers.
    Rob.
     
  2. i know what you feel here
    my story is different tho, i started loving card magic without any reason, just one sunny morning a bit more than a year ago. No reason, i just took a deck of cards (some crappy cheap small-sized cards) and started thinking what's possible to do with that. I didn't know any methods or terms, and i still cannot understandhow it started.
    Well, i never had problems with "walking up to a bunch of strangers", probably cuz i'm performing comedy in different conditions for quite long. But cards changed my life in many other ways.

    I think card magic/cardistry is perfect as hobby. It's not some stupid coins or stamps collectiong, or puzzles or some other senseless crap.
    Cards:
    - Good for health (finger work is very good for brain and also prevents many health problems of old people)
    - You can do it anywhere, outside, in a bus, train, car (if you're not driving of course)
    - It's relatively cheap (let's say, 4 deck a month... not much, really)
    - Great for creativity. When you create something new, this is where real pleasure comes. Especially after you see so much crap is being sold online today... and when you come with some really cool and/or useful move, that's really where you astonish yourself.
    - Everyone can appreciate and accept cardistry and magic. Not like collection of stamps, where only expert can really appreciate stuff but for non-expert it's just a useless bunch of paper pieces. But magic and good flourish is something that noone can ignore. It's wonderful.

    Really cards is just a perfect hobby.
     
  3. Hey,

    I remember Justin Miller saying that we as magicians guide the spectators over a bridge, show them our art and then blow that bridge with a trick away, so that the spectator can't go back. And I just love to be that "bridge guard". I mean, we don't practise for us, we practise to present our magic to other people.

    And this is why I "spend" my life doing magic (and cardistry). I love to show the people that the impossible is actually possible, and when I see how they react, I know that I'm doing the right thing.

    Just my thoughts about this interesting question. Like to read some more! ;)

    -Mark
     
  4. interesting theme!

    i started my magic for about 4 years ago by saw the great media magician Marco Tempest on an internet platform.
    At that time he doing some promotional stuff on youtube and showed some explanations of them. At this point i thought that i have to try these things out and well i bought some cards, coins and a beginner dvd and worked on my stuff until this day every free minute.
    Now my magic and presentational skill has reached a level i had never thinking off. I do my magic now for 2 years professionaly with a friend. We have an website and regularly gigs.

    Remember we magicians have something the most people don´t have, we have the ability to estaplish an instant rapport, far quicker than the most people did.
    For me magic is purely a means of communication
     
  5. If, for some reason you get into magic/cardistry, you will notice that it stops being a hobby, and it sometimes (if you're lucky enough) it becomes a lifestyle. You're always practicing, you are well known as "the magician",you're always thinking of new ideas to add to your presentations and you spend ridiculous amounts of time searching the net for new material, advice, etc...

    It's difficult to understand if you don't live it yourself, but I'm sure some of you will understand me.

    Mugicano
     
  6. Well, I don't spend my life doing magic and cardistry. They're just something I'm passionate about. Some people say magic is their life, to that I say your life must suck; as magic isn't meant to be a means to live by.

    Learning magic has a certain logic to it, and I think that comes in handy for many people. All these sleights put together forms an effect; it's a very logical thing. And watching effects trying to figure out the sleights is a form of problem solving. It's made me a more acute thinker, more apt to see the underlying principles of things.

    I may be exaggerating here, but magic may have had something to do with my losing religion. Suspension of belief is something all good magicians are experts at, and many religious leaders are just as good as magicians at it. But when it's stripped away, it's just a few sleights and misdirection; or just a few lies and wishful thinking.

    These are just some of my thoughts on magic and my life.

    Will
     
  7. Because I get paid doing it.
     
  8. I don't spend my life with cards in my hands. I have other interests and hobbies outside of magic, and magic does not define who I am. I would be annoyed if anyone other than my spectators called me, 'the magician' or 'the magic guy.' That's not who I am, it's just one of the many things I do. Honestly, now that I've been focusing on my busking act, and learning how to entertain a crowd, I don't even practice all that often because my performances are my practice. I pick up a deck and go through various moves and tricks for a half hour here or there, but nothing like when I was first learning these skills.

    Really, magic has just given me a new (and vast) field of knowledge to explore. I like that it's quirky and clever and unusual, so it holds my interest. I also like that it gives me a good use for a lot of the useless knowledge I've gained over the years in the form of presentations.

    I really think that those that are constantly practicing/flourishing/performing are selling themselves short. Wayne Houchin put it well, but I can't remember exactly where it was. He said, "It wasn't until I stopped really obsessing over magic and branched out into other fields that I became a really good performer." (paraphrased). I did it the other way, but having a lot of other hobbies has helped me immensely in learning magic and connecting to people when I perform. It gives me something to talk about other than magic, because only magicians give a bleep about magic. I like being able to sit down with any group and talk to them, and maybe show them a trick or two if it comes up.
     

  9. religious leaders yes, true Christians, nope. congratulations on losing religion. true faith will rock your world. :)


    back on topic-ish


    i spend time on magic, because i love it. i love the technical skill I've refined. and the unique medium to present ideas it offers.
     
  10. In magic, the joy of discovery, the anguish of practice, the satisfaction of mastery and the thrill of performance are all undertaken for a single moment. It staggers the mind to think of all the hours of practice that go into a brief, flashing moment in time, where you show your spectator something completely inexplicable, something that tweaks their belief systems and gets them thinking there is much more to be discovered.

    That moment is "the reaction." And, BOY, do magicians crave it.

    Most of the magicians I know do it all for that one purpose. You know the reaction: It's what you saw on the faces of the spectators in David Blaine's specials. It's what you see in trailers for new magic products. It's what you see when you perform and blow someone's mind. It's almost intoxicating, the rush a magician gets from that. There's nothing like the feeling of knowing you brought genuine amazement into a person's life.

    The reaction is the holy grail of most magicians. Whether they play for a crowd of thousands in a theater or do card tricks in the local coffee shop, they crave that reaction. Whether they get paid thousands for a single performance, they work for tips or even if they don't make a dime, magicians want their spectators to see something differently.

    Most who enjoy magic enjoy being dumbfounded. Perhaps you've heard of the legendary Magic Castle, the historic establishment where some of the world's finest close-up magicians stun spectators regularly. The high-end clientele is not filled with rubes and dummies. These are smart, savvy people who simply enjoy seeing the impossible. They may know exactly how a certain trick is done, but they appreciate the performance put behind that moment of amazement.

    Most of you know about the reason Ellusionist.com was started. It was after Brad met his nephew for the first time, when he was four. After doing some tricks for him, he was completely awed -- he thought it was the coolest thing in the world. But, here's the thing: There isn't much difference between kids and adults when it comes to amazement. The only difference is the amount of work you have to do to overcome the life experiences of adults. But once you get past that, you have a genuine way of making a grown adult feel exactly like a kid again, back when the world was filled with possibility, mystery and imagination.

    That's why it's dangerous to think of sleight of hand as a way of "fooling" your audience. Sure, a magic trick is arguably the very definition of fooling someone. But if a secret move or two and some misdirection lead someone to experience a single second of beautiful bewilderment, isn't that what matters? Isn't that a great gift you can give a fellow human being?

    The world is filled with stressful realities right now. Politicians are yelling at each other, the economy is causing problems for people who are losing their jobs or not making ends meet and some areas of the world are locked in violent struggles where it's unsafe to walk down the street in broad daylight. A truly magic moment takes all the bad stuff away and shines a ray of hope and life in their eyes.
     
  11. I know what you mean. But I think most people would agree that magic hasn't got control of their whole life, they just really enjoy doing it. I suppose by saying that magic is their life, they mean it metaphorically. But I totally agree - magic is something that coincides with your life, but isn't actually your life...

    I agree, in a way. Like I said, I do spend my life with cards in my hands, but cards aren't what make up my personality. I also have other hobbies, but magic is my main one. Like you said, most of my performances occur when I'm socialising with friends, when I'll get asked to perform, to either friends or new people in the group who I've never met. But, I will be playing with cards when I'm socialising in this group, so people already have an idea that I'm a person who is good with cards, but I don't like to bring attention to that. If somebody mentions that I'm good with cards, I'll change the subject back to something that the whole group will be interested it. I'll only perform when I think the time is right. But if I get called 'the magic man', I wouldn't be annoyed. I like it, it makes me something different to everybody else, but I still make sure the people leave knowing my name and who I actually am, and not just 'the guy with the cards'. Also, when I said the cards have given me the ability to talk to complete strangers, I wasn't implying that I could only talk to them about magic, but about anything I can think of. It's just given me confidence.

    When I first got into magic I watched virtually all of David Blaine's available material. I know a lot of people don't like his performing style, but I learned a lot from him. I always wanted to get the reactions he got. I could do the same tricks as him, but I never got the same reactions, and I couldn't work out why. But now, my reactions seem to be on the same scale as his - and this is what I love. Without the reaction, a magician might feel like he has failed. I heard a quote once, I'm not sure who by, but it was along the lines of, 'if your audience don't leave believing you're the best magician in the world, you've failed in your job'. And this is what I aim for.

    Although, performing street magic is America is probably more fun - Americans seem to show their emotions much from physically that people over here in England...
     
  12. This from the person who's amassed a giant thread out of his love for the art of magic? Hm.

    I've always been curious if that was true. I intend to find out next year. Will be interesting to see if there are any differences... :)
     
  13. I haven't gone through all posts yet, but I feel like adding my on reply now. I started doing card tricks/cardistry only last May (that's 4 months now, pretty noob.. yes I am); I think that the reason why I got into it is because I see it as "everything is possible if the eye can't see" and this goes to some sort of belief that robert anton wilson was "preaching" (to those who does not know him, he was a kinda hippy nerd that developed a counterculture religion in the 60s among the other); so... in a way, I see it as a sort of deception one guy was talking about it on religions... may sound pretentious, but (as of today) that's why I got into it.
     
  14. Magic has saved my life.

    Literally.

    I am very down on myself and nobody pays any attention to me except for a select few. Even my family has seemed to not recognize me as much.

    When I perform, I have that attention and I know I am wowing people and it feels great. It helps me feel better about myself. I see magic as a hidden talent that I have that no one else does. A way to express myself and be myself and KNOW that I am amazing to someone...


    Cardistry is the most stress relieving thing in the world. I could do the molecule cut 30 times in a row and the whole time my mind is clear of everything.

    In all honesty, magic is one of the few things that has helped steer me away from suicide...
     
  15. I saw my first street magic performance while at band camp. I absolutely love puzzles and the rush i get from solving them. Magic however is the one puzzle i get to create myself. Such simple tricks can cause a moment of sheer wonder for a spectator and in that moment Nothing else matters but the idea instilled in our heads. Anything is possible now. Magic gives not only and endless puzzle of how to do it but how to present it, how will others perceive it, and even how they will react when the puzzle is proved possible but they cannot figure out how. This door that i have opened now has become not obsession but a purpose. If i can use my personality, cleverness, and sex appeal to make people believe in these impossible situations, and give them that sense of wonder and curiosity while also getting the high from knowing I just got away with my sleights or changes or whatever then I believe I was born for this.
     
  16. Be careful - magic is not a puzzle, and puzzles are not magic. Although many magicians are indeed inherently attracted to puzzles, make sure you know the difference. Magic has no solution. Puzzles do. If your magic has a solution, even if they do not know the solution, then it ceases to become magic, and the most wonderful element of magic is removed.
     
  17. yes magic is not a puzzle, the person who showed you magic should not be presenting it in a way to make it look like a puzzle.
    I am learning this from Strong Magic.
    it really makes you look at you're magic, and how you are presenting it
     

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