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Lists

5 Books Every Cardist Should Read

This quarantine has given me ample time to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes: reading.

There’s something about staring at numerous, carefully arranged ink blots on sliced trees and morphing them into ideas in your head that’s still magical to me. Even better when they’re ideas that you can use and apply directly to your own discipline, i.e. Cardistry.

As an avid reader, I often get asked for book recommendations. Usually I first ask the person what kind of material they’re looking for, and examples of what they’ve enjoyed in the past, so that I can make a suggestion that’s tailored for that specific individual. But since I can’t poll every single one of you on your particular tastes, I figured I’d write a catch-all article listing 5 books that have influenced me the most as a Cardist.

I hope they can do the same for you.

Categories
Essays

The Gift of a Feeling

“An entertainer wants to give you exactly what you want… And an artist wants to give you what you don’t know you want.”

– David Cronenberg

This week, I’d like to tell you about my favorite commercial of all time.

Categories
Interviews

Behind the Scenes with Cardistry Jam Video Pioneer Allan Hagen

Allan Hagen, cardistry jam-video pioneer

Today we sit down with Allan Hagen, Cardistry jam-video pioneer to discuss the ins and outs of filming Cardistry. He is the man behind videos such as Spring Jam 2010, We Shuffle Like That and many more!

Categories
Essays

brb

It was sometime around Anaconda: The World’s Longest Dribble that I began to lose interest in Cardistry.

I didn’t fully quit; after all, I was still with The Virts at the time, and rigorous practice was still part of my daily regimen to ensure that I’d always have my chops ready whenever we were set to record our next videos.

But whereas I used to look forward to checking out new videos and staying up-to-date on what went on in the forums that were available, I found myself tuning out from those resources for a couple of reasons.

Categories
Essays

How to Cut Extra Smooth n’ Speedy

Editor’s Note: Hot on the tails of last week’s post about speedrunning, Eliot Slevin (of Run Rabbit and Clouded Paper fame) has written in with his approach on… well, you’ve read the title, so you know what to expect. On to the featured post!


Hello! So you’re wanting to make your cuts look faster, smoother, and more natural. You might think that all that’s required is more practice – but you have to make sure you’re getting the right practice.

I’m hoping this little guide will help you get buttery smooth and super duper fast.

Categories
Essays

Zen and the Art of Speedrunning

Remember that viral web browser game, QWOP? Y’know, the one where you had to press the Q, W, O, and P keys to control a digital runner’s legs and ferry him towards the finish line?

Well, the same person behind that game later went on to release another interactive experience that’s since captured the hearts and souls of gamers worldwide. It’s called Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, and in it you play a man inside of a cauldron, trying to scale a mountain with only the help of a Yosemite hammer.

Categories
Interviews

Pushing Boundaries: An Interview with Lotusinhand

Editor’s note: My good friend Bizau Cristian has taken it upon himself to interview several prominent figures in the card community, and this is the first installment in what we hope will become an ongoing series. Big thanks to Biz for allowing me to publish his interview via this platform, and to the kind folks at Lotusinhand for their thoughtful responses. Enjoy!

Q. Ventus. Echo. Flux. Gradient. Duo. All different design concepts no one else has played with before when creating a deck of cards. What I appreciate most about Lotusinhand’s modus operandi is the fact that it always tries to push the boundaries of what a Cardistry deck is, inspiring Cardists to utilize it and push the artform forward. Is this what you and your team have in mind when coming up with a new deck design? Please tell us a bit about the work that goes behind the scenes before releasing a new design. 

R: Our design process is really simple. We ask ourselves, “What can we put on a deck of cards to make Cardistry look better?” and the rest just naturally follows.

Categories
Essays

Love on Second Sight

I didn’t really start doing Cardistry until 3 years after seeing it for the first time.

I was in Primary 6 when my friend Timothy showed me the Ribbon Spread during one of our exam breaks. I remember being enchanted at how cards could behave like that, especially during the turnover when the deck moved like a fluid stack of paper dominoes. Later on that day, I went home and dug up a deck of cards to practice the move back and forth on our family carpet. It was fun, but within a week I’d kind of forgotten about it and moved onto the next thing.

Categories
Essays

Non-Verbatim

Even before the quarantine, I found myself spending a lot of (really, too much) time on Tik Tok, which has since become my #1 source for lols and giggles. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, amongst the hundreds of videos I have Favorited on that app, one of them is of a guy who makes videos of himself singing numbers:

Categories
Essays

Making It

In 2004, I took a tripod, camera, and a deck of cards outside and filmed every flourish I knew.

After tinkering around with the footage in Sony Vegas for a few days, I assembled something that I was pretty proud of, which I then posted onto Bone Ho’s pre-social-media social media site, The Cheater’s Cheater.

Looking back on it, the video is kinda shitty in its own charming way (Scotty 2 Hotty’s entrance music? What potato did you film this on? And why did you name it after a Blink-182 DVD?), but at the time the kind mods at TCC were gracious enough to feature it on the front page of the site, which gave my 16-year-old self a massive ego boost like no other.

Here I was, amongst the ranks of legends like Harwin and TheRainMan, with 5-star ratings and encouraging comments raining down on me like manna from heaven.

This is it, I thought. I’ve finally made it.