Watching the kids at summer camp (Sorcerer’s Safari) handle a deck of cards I couldn’t help but wonder if they had natural dexterity that drew them to the cards or if they practiced until they got so good. Young kids, I would say some as young as 9 or 10 were springing the cards from hand to hand, doing fancy shuffles, and all the kids were walking around with a deck all the time. As Lee Asher said at lunch one day that cards to these kids are like cigarettes to a convict.
I had never tried to spring cards from one hand to another in my over 35 years in magic, but watching these kids inspired me. If they could do it why couldn’t I. So it happened that the last evening at camp, there was a big party for all the campers and adults with a DJ and people dancing inside the lounge and outside there was a camp fire, and Loran was doing a fire eating show, I happened to be sitting beside Steve Valentine and Asi Wind, who happened to be discussing pressure card fans and springing cards. What a coincidence. Asi is a top New York magician, Steve, a Scottish actor, magician, musician… I had the best teachers in the world. All I had to do was do as they said. My perfect opportunity to learn how to do it. I was all ears, but didn’t have a deck to practice on.
As soon as I got home to Montreal I got an old deck of cards and followed their directions meticulously. The cards went flying, as expected, but failed to reach my receptive hand. Actually they did reach my other hand but neglected to stay there. Ever hear of 52 Pick Up? Well, I never expected to do it the first time. After several attempts of holding my hand in different configurations to trap the cards I remembered that there was something in Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic on the subject. I looked it up, followed the instructions on how to hold my left hand and lo and behold, I caught all the cards. Not bad for a 73 year old lady.
So it just goes to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Now if I could only get those cards to fan properly.