Vapid Card Juggling: Collected Thoughts on Cardistry

Cardistry is just showing off.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a huge amount of time, practice, and patience that goes into it, but most cardistry now is more like to gymnastics than magic. Some magicians despise cardistry, claiming it’s not magic, but they miss the point: it’s not trying to be. Up to now, almost all cardistry has been a search for its own artistic form, and it only gets clumped in with magic because they both use cards.

I perform both magic and Cardistry. Being on both sides, I’ve heard how people do one or the other and why they don’t perform them together. I totally get why that is. While Cardistry may not be magic, people can be more astonished by a card flourishes than by your hardest sleight. We’ve all had the experience of finishing a little magic routine only to get a bigger reaction from the card spring at the end..

This points towards an interesting distinction: though magic can leave a deeper impression, cardistry is often more impressive. Cardistry performed live is usually very “look at me and what I can do.” It is a super sexy, visual medium, but it lacks a major element of interaction, and of connection, which magic can provide. 

I want to bridge that gap. I’ve often been fiddling with my cards and people will look over my shoulder and say, “I could watch you do that all day.” So I wondered, is that actually true? Could you watch a live 45 minute show of just Cardistry? Would it be more like magic, or like dance? And can it provide a deeper impact? I’m working on what that would look like for me, performing Cardistry live for people in a real life, strolling, and even on stage. It’s early days, but I’ll let you know how it goes. Stay good.

 --  A.D.

Four Suits