There are essentially two types of flourishes within a magic trick (and although this could apply to coins and other things, I’m being specific to card magic).  The first is something that is obvious to the audience.  An example of this is a card spread or a fan of cards.  The second is something that isn’t really obvious at all.  An example of this would be a count that might hide or miscount the cards.

In choosing tricks for myself, ones that either I like to perform or would like to learn, I tend to lean more towards tricks that have no obvious flourish in them.  I do this subconsciously, but if I were to actually choose a trick I like consciously, I would still choose something that looked amazing without showing off any skill.  Actually, I tend to be drawn to tricks that are clever in their design, not flashy in presentation.

My belief is that whenever a person performing a trick shows off how they can easily manipulate cards, it lessons the effect to be merely the performer’s ability to manipulate cards, and thus it becomes a stunt.  What I want is for someone who sees me perform to think “there’s no way he could have done that”, “but he didn’t go near the cards”, etc.  Sure they know that I manipulated the cards in some form or fashion, but I don’t want them to just assume that I am so dexterous that I did it “quick” or something.  Seriously, the hand is NOT quicker than the eye.  On the other hand, misdirection is quicker than the mind, and that’s what I do.

Just for reference, I’ve found an Extreme Card Magic (XCM) compilation on YouTube.   Not specifically a flourish, and apparently more of a sport (I think of it as juggling with cards), some younger magicians tent to incorporate this into their performances:



If you want an example of tricks that use flourishes in a “proper” method, well, just look at my tricks :).


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