Personally, I don’t do any kind of pressure tricks. Partially because of my preference for Keepers – those things are sharp, man – and partially because my fat sausage fingers have only two settings when it comes to pressure: too much and way too much. 

But if you have the discipline to apply uniform pressure to your cards, then card maestro Ekat has a flourish you’ll love. You’ll need a slightly aged deck, something vintage in fact, because new decks will be way too stiff for the pressure fan.

Oh, here’s a little bit of advice directly from me: Practice this one on a carpet. You’re going to be spending a fair bit of time picking up dropped cards (or in my case, cards lodged in the furniture, roof, cat, etc.) and it’s much easier to pick cards from a soft surface than a hard one. Seriously, my nails are ruined.    

Add this to Damn Straight, which Ekat did a tutorial on last month, and you have the beginnings of an enviable cardistry repertoire. 

Grab your scarves, flat-top sunglasses and a deck of cards, folks. It’s time to head into the local forest for some cardistry.*

Today’s tutorial comes courtesy of cardistry practitioner, magician, and YouTuber Ekaterina. In just 10 minutes she’ll teach you how to perform Kevin Ho’s impressive Damn Straight move. The move is complex, but not overly difficult, relying more on finger strength to maintain card positions rather than balance or timing. It’s a great place to start once you’ve learned the basic grips. 

Oh, and before you ask: Those are Launch Edition Virtuosos she’s using. They’re very hard, if not impossible, to get your hands on these days, and have been seen in the wild at prices up to $200. If you want the same performance, I think the 2017 Fall/Winter variants are easier on the eyes and wallet.  

*Muted color filters and royalty-free chillstep not included

Ekaterina is a great source of magic reviews, and after a hiatus that appears to have been very inspiring, she’s back with an unusual video. Her latest subject is the book Only Ideas by Rory Adams, which is about the process behind creating magic.

She’s a big fan of the book, appreciating the idea of approaching magic creation first from the theoretical idea rather than the technical side. Her only caveat is that practiced magicians may get more out of the volume than beginners. But she does see value for all skill levels in checking out Only Ideas, even if some of the ideas may not be the best match for everyone’s skill level or performance situation.

Her review is more than lip service. Ekat explained that the reason she hadn’t posted anything for two weeks was that she took some time to do a little magic creation of her own. The end of the video has a brief tutorial of the ring trick that came out of her brainstorming session.

Any chance for magic to reach a broader audience is pretty exciting. Ekaterina has built a reputation with her YouTube channel reviewing tricks (she’s got more than 100 of those videos already). Now she’s got a new job title to add to her resume: spokesmagician. (If that’s not a word, it should be.)

In a video last week, Ekat shared that none other than Coca-Cola reached out to her to star in some ads. Before sharing a few clips from the final spots, Ekat did her standard vlog introduction, sharing her excitement about the gig and how she did in fact need to learn some Spanish for the filming, even though her voice is dubbed. 

It’s exciting to see how the grunt work of keeping up with regular videos and performances can pay off in such a very visible way. Congrats to Ekat!

If you do magic, you tend to end up with piles of playing cards everywhere in your house. When your speciality is cardistry, it’s even worse, as Ekaterina discusses in the above video. Pretty much everyone who’s anyone in the card world has sent her a deck or three, and she’s picked up a bunch of decks herself along the way. In this video, she goes through each deck, talking about the look and feel, to let you know if that particular deck would suit your purposes. Some are too thick for fanning, some are ideal for throwing, and others are just plain pretty. (I confess I share Ekat’s penchant for colorful decks.) 

Thing is, though Ekaterina uses decks for cardistry and magic, she doesn’t actually collect them, so she’s happy to part with the bulk of her inventory – and some of it is fairly rare. Of particular interest are the sealed Gold Arcane and Red Artifice decks, though Dan and Dave fans might prefer the deck festooned with their autographs. Skip to around the 12:00 mark to see a fast rundown of the bigger-ticket items up for giveaway, but the entire video is a nice overview of different decks, stocks, hand feels, and designs.   

Oh, and what do you have to do to partake of Ekaterina’s largesse? Just give her a shout. 

Ekaterina is back with another review video, this time focusing on the Clone effect by J.C. Rodarte. This is a particularly interesting review, given the buzz around Rodarte’s work and Ellusionist’s Adam Wilbur getting a win with it on Penn & Teller Fool Us. How does it really work out in the wild?

Ekaterina acknowledges that Clone is hugely innovative and has some benefits. But she does go into some detail about the practical usage and discrepancies that may come up in putting Clone into use. She especially raises concerns about how well Clone integrates with a classic close-up magic set. For instance, she notes that it takes about 5 minutes to get a full impression of the signature, which is a big chunk of time to fill depending on the type of act you may run. She also predicted issues with making it a regular part of a performance, because the impression device needs to be covered in plastic to dry for four weeks before using it again.

At the end of the day, Ekaterina dubs the device not one she would recommend. That said, she has a helpful takeaway about how fellow magicians may want to think about Clone and other ground-breaking tech.

“It doesn’t matter that you’re adding a new trick each time,” she said. “What matters is the core, what you master in magic, not all the new stuff that’s coming up.”

She’s not the only one who feels that way. Magic website The Jerx recently offered a similar perspective on new effects dubbed “The Green Grass Test” aimed at determining when a recently released gimmick or tool will actually improve your arsenal. Wise words in both cases. 

Ekaterina is back with another video review of magical tech and toys. In her latest project, she’s delving into her thread collection. Different thread products can make or break all sorts of tricks with cards or coins, so picking the right tool for the job is critical. If you’ve been curious to get more details about the buying options for magic threads, take a look.

The Gift is an effect that’s so good, says Ekaterina in the above review video, that she can’t believe its creator is sharing it. Fortunately for the rest of the magic community, Angelo Carbone is content to let his secret out into the wild, for a reasonable price tag of $75. He apparently created The Gift with the intent to fool other magicians, and according to Ekat, he succeeded. “This will fool Penn & Teller,” she says with confidence in the video. 

Both Vanishing Inc (which is currently out of stock) and Penguin Magic seem to think The Gift is not only foolproof, but also fantastic. From Penguin Magic’s description: 

A unique concept from master creator Angelo Carbone, The Gift is an effect with a method so clever that you’ll feel a giddy urge to reveal the method to your spectators. We don’t suggest that you actually do this.

Buy The Gift from Penguin Magic. 

“Why aren’t there more female magicians?” is a question that gets asked a lot. And it’s an important question to ask, but the truth is there’s no simple answer. But part of the answer is that young girls who have an interest don’t get to see a lot of performers who look like them. Ekaterina put this video together to highlight just a handful of the remarkable ladies out there performing not only to call attention to their immense talent, but also as a reminder that magic is for everyone. 

Ekaterina has a pair of reviews for you today. First up is Haunted Revolution, which she mostly enjoyed, though she finds fault with the quality of the product you receive. She’s less enthusiastic about The Twixter, because to her it’s just a reveal and not a complete trick. Her critiques of both products cover aspects like price, the quality of the directions, and whether it’s well-suited for beginners or not. As a bonus at the end, she includes some footage from her recent trip to Vancouver.