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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Pasteboard Frolics » » Flourish Beyond the Cards (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

fingerjack
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I offer the following essay of opinion:

Since I was a kid I have enjoyed collecting famous quotations, words of wisdom, riddles, jokes, puzzles, and other oddities of language and nature. One quotation that I have always relished and tried hard to always adhere to was the simple and anonymous “Do everything in life with a flourish.”

What grand advice. Think about it. As we sit there and tire and callous our fingers practicing sybils and revolutions and birdy fans with playing cards, an entire world of material objects awaits to be discovered by our fingertips, even the stuff sitting around you right now, and you can use them anywhere, anytime.

As I kid I loved to watch gunslingers in the old spaghetti westerns blazing silver with both hands, zipping there six shooters in and out of their holsters, making their weapons part of them. Here the display of showy skill could mean life or death. Would you want to draw on a guy who can whip two barrels out with a flip and have them pointed between your eyes faster than you could find your holster?

Or how about the sushi master? Kneeding and molding sticky rice and finely sliced fish and vegetables with skilled fingers and rolling them effortlessly with a twist into a sheet of Nori. Then gracefully slicing them proportionately equal and making a beautiful piece of edible art. Does the sushi master not prepare his masterpieces with a bit of cultural pizzazz?

Is the juggler not a flourisher? From the person who can barely juggle three balls with his curled tongue sticking out to the master juggling a dozen rings, or fruits, flaming clubs, dangerous machinery, or whatever the latest trend happens to be. Balance, rhythm, timing, and muscular dexterity are all at work using the skills of the human body not only to amaze and entertain, but to inspire.

How about the true and serious yo yo slinger? Tommy smothers was the Yo Yo Man several decades ago, one of the world’s most renown and respected yo yo performers. Today kids a fraction his age are doing things he never would have dreamed of; triple sonics, eternal double handed loops, and a whole new array of mind boggling string tricks that truly make you wonder about the true meaning of it all.

And then of course we have the martial arts. From butterfly knifes to nunchakus, the martial arts have much to offer in the ways of rigorous practice, dedication, and devotion as well as homage and respect to its roots and founders. Star throwing ninjas, samurai sword experts, and other exotic weapon experts all use dexterous skill mixed with exhibitionism to invoke fear and awe. Even the ancient masters of these arts realized that showing off can be a devastating psychological weapon against the enemy.

Jackie Chan is one of my favorite flourish artists. Examine closely the editing, choreography, and camera work in a Jackie Chan fight sequence. From step ladders to pool sticks to sporting goods and home appliances, Chan’s cinematic visions are expressed through amazing skill and dexterity and meticulous choreography worked out to the tiniest detail. Using his crew of fellow stuntmen as human appendages, Chan can take an ordinary environment and transform it into a realm of deadly beauty. If anyone doubts me on this, please watch the last 22 minutes of the US release of LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER and decide for yourself.

Spinning a basketball…a flourish. Twirling a baton…a flourish. Everything from bouncing an apple of your elbow or flipping a coin in the air with a distinct ping and catching it deftly with a snap, are all expressions of dexterity that can leave a memory, impression, or even a lasting experience for those that witness them. A flourish is more than a feat of showy skill, but an expression of our personalities that tell others we have skill and dedication, and maybe even a side to ourselves that could be considered artful. There is romance and intrigue in well performed flourishes, regardless of the material things we are using. The appeal is universal, transcends languages, and invokes a strange feeling of both awe and envy. We are indebted to those who do everything in life with a flourish, because they have given us the bar to start with, the spark of imagination we need to continue to advance on the ideas of others who also advanced on the ideas of others. There is a definite order of creation to almost all flourishes, dating so far back into history that most accounts of the true originators are either unreliable or simply untraceable as the roots vanish into obscurity.

Today, the Internet has helped flourishes to prosper and continue to advance. Modern day pioneers like De’vo, Jerry the Flourishman, and the Buck twins, despite differences, help the art of card flourishing (or whatever term you wish to use) to continue to thrive and grow. You can also learn pen spinning, knife manipulation, cup stacking, drumstick spinning, and other rarely seen acts of skill with the click of a mouse. For how great this all is, it almost allows you not to need your own imaginations, and therein lays the paradox. Too much inspiration can smother imagination.

To see how innovations with fifty two playing cards have gone from simple one handed cuts to the modern day craziness of upside down modified sybils and blindfolded hacky sack moves, think of what can be done with the other everyday objects that are lying around you. I look around me now; books, a martini glass, a remote control, my wallet. Spend enough time with any of them and you will discover how creative you can actually be.

The age old debate as to flourish or not to flourish is a no brainer for me. Flourish for all you are worth (unless you are one of those spooky mentalists that have dark eye shadow, a pointed demonic beard, and a helmet that makes you look like Ming the Merciless). It doesn’t matter to me, magician or not, everyone enjoys seeing something that obviously takes great skill and dexterity. To demonstrate mastery over material objects on a physical level can be very powerful on a psychological level. It’s often been said in magic that you should do either one of two things, a) display mind boggling skill, or b) do things that go beyond what any learned skill should be able to accomplish. There is the fine line between flourishing and doing magical effects. To walk this line can be exciting but dangerous territory. I prefer the former.

I’m a flourish junky. I flourish (or try to) with anything I can get my hands on. It’s actually part of my obsessive compulsive disorder, but I think most magicians and certainly most finger flingers suffer from OCD as well. Even my car is littered with poker chips, playing cards, pens, bouncing balls, and alien finger puppets. I practice (or entertain myself) even while I drive. I practice with both hands and steer with my knees. Sometimes I just can’t stop (the car I mean).

Why the drive to constantly improve? What keeps us all trying so desperately to stay on the cutting edge of material manipulations? And why, most of all, do we do it? What purpose does it serve? The ones we impress the most are each other and ourselves, not the spectators. Blessed are those who can truly appreciate the artistry that can be found in the human hand, and may we all gain enough understanding of all the different realms of flourishing to not only appreciate and respect, but enjoy them as well.

Why not take your skills beyond the pasteboards? Look around, use your imagination, and do everything in life with a flourish.

Thanks for reading.
MAGNAPALM - The World's first psionic magnetic implants that is changing the future of magic http://youtu.be/EDmg2bp_Cas

WASHED AND DRYED - An squeaky clean incredible full deck transformation!
http://fingerjack.wix.com/washedanddryed
sc_wizard29
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Thanks for sharing Smile
Jonas
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Intresting post but I will stick with cards anyway. Smile
http://www.youtube.com/jonashaglund < Card flourishes and some other stuff.
Burns
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We share the same goal. to be able to manipulate anything very well. I manipulate Cards, chips, rempote controlls (:p), Penns, I juggle, I try some bike tricks, throw my jacket on the hanger, everthing. I love it and I can't stop.

great essay.
"I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous..." -GrumpyOwl-

"I don't invent, I do Personal Discoveries" - Myself-
Chris Keppel
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Whoooo, that was a long post.By the time I read it all I forgot the stuff at the top, just kidding, nice post. I think we are all like that in some way or another. If you don't strive to be the best at something then your just not putting yourself into it enough. Like the saying goes, "Its better to fail at something 100 times then to never had tried it at all" Words of wisdom in the flourish and xcm world. What do you people think I hit my 12 packet false cut the first time, no. Its not like I did every armspread in the bible the first day without dropping some cards. Practice really does make perfect. We all can be perfect at our move and material. We just have to strive for it and really want to become perfect. If you don't want it, then its never ment to be.
www.chriskeppel.com
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Imperistan
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Wise words guys....
props for the essay.

BTW have you ever tried spinning a toothbrush around your finger? It has a perfect shaping for hanging it on, and then spin. lol

Imp
Cardjinx
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This post is everything Superhandz is about.lol And some sounds like De'vo's article in Genii.

Jinx
Burns
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I'we tried that a lot of times. I always end up with toothpaste on my hand though. which is really irritating. LOL
"I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous..." -GrumpyOwl-

"I don't invent, I do Personal Discoveries" - Myself-
fingerjack
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"And some sounds like De'vo's article in Genii."

I'll take that as a compliment. I've never read the article in Genii, if anyone has it I would be interested in reading. Please share.

Thanks for the words. I can't say I've done much with a toothbrush. I have recently got a lot of mileage out of a flourishy one handed match light with a box of wooden matches.
MAGNAPALM - The World's first psionic magnetic implants that is changing the future of magic http://youtu.be/EDmg2bp_Cas

WASHED AND DRYED - An squeaky clean incredible full deck transformation!
http://fingerjack.wix.com/washedanddryed
Chris Keppel
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I just saw your site and the doll thing. Kind of funny. I like how it looks like the doll has a lazy eye in a few shots. I was cracking up. The fight scene was funny too. Nice work. LMAO
www.chriskeppel.com
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fingerjack
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Now Chris, do you really want to know why Ophelia's eye looks glued half way shut?
MAGNAPALM - The World's first psionic magnetic implants that is changing the future of magic http://youtu.be/EDmg2bp_Cas

WASHED AND DRYED - An squeaky clean incredible full deck transformation!
http://fingerjack.wix.com/washedanddryed
Chris Keppel
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Hahahahahahah, you crack me up man.
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30210162
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Nice post fingerjack.

For me, I'm a flourishman by nature. I flourish in my language, my dressing and mentality. I take whatever that is basic and try to see it in a different way.

I skate, I play basketball, I play three musical instruments, and of course, I have my fun with a pack of Bikes. Skating, basketball and music are very expressive art forms. There is no limit to how you can chain moves/notes together to form awesome set of combo's. You can only platuae (how the *bleep* do you spell this? Sorry. English not me first language).

I come from Malaysia. We aren't encourage to perform beyond what's expected from us.

That sucks.

I'm glad to have the opportunity to study overseas. I get to unlearn the negative social conditioning that has been ingrained in the system back home.

Flourishing isn't just an art. Flourishing means never being satisfied. It means being human. It means not giving a *** about social norms. It means being all you can be, and doing whatever you can do to the best of your abilities.

Sorry for sounding like Tyler Durden from Fight Club.

I suck at flourishing cards, but I play good basketball (And1 Style) and music (Melodic Death Metal).
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