Sean O is a master of cardistry and has achieved a lot at a very young age. Sean is only twenty years old but has been honing his skills since he was in grade school. He did his first paying gig was when he was nine. He first saw card magic when he was given The Trilogy by Dan and Dave. He would also watch XCM battles and was obsessed with it. Both of Sean’s parents worked in IT and he had many computers in his house growing up. He has combined his interest in the web and magic from the very beginning.
Finding a community online was critical to his early development. But Sean has started to use the medium to further the live performance element of his career. Sean recently did a live stream on Facebook where he taught his girlfriend the moves to one of his card tricks. There is often a lot of judgement about magic tricks and a lot of secrecy in the community. Sean thinks that the cardistry community is much more open to sharing.
There are some people that sell cardistry moves and that has fueled a lively debate in the community. Should moves be sold? Sean doesn’t have a problem with it. It takes a long time to perfect a card move. It has value and it is completely justified to attach a price tag to that. We are never going to run out of new and interesting content. Originality prevails in cardistry – much more than in the general magic community. There are some moves that have taken a person’s career from 0 to 100 really quickly. Finding original moves is not easy but those that do will find success.
When Sean performs live he doesn’t just perform cardistry for lay people. But Sean thinks given time cardistry has the potential to become a potent live performance. It’s incredible that someone could win a major TV talent show using a trick that is 200 years old. There is a bit of a learning curve with audiences who tend to conflate magic and cardistry. Anthony Whitford is a close friend of Sean’s. He has a routine where he explains the entire history of the medium in a highly entertaining routine.
Sean loves making things that can make someone think and feel something simultaneously. It’s that reason that he has gravitated towards Instagram. A two dimensional image can evoke a visceral emotional reaction and that makes it a perfect pairing with cardistry. Instagram also allows for the creation of incredible communities by simply using the hashtag.
There is, unfortunately, a divide between the magic and cardistry communities. But Sean says everyone should have a much more open mind. The division is meaningless. He can help but lose respect for anyone that dismisses the entire art form. It’s a community that is going to grow regardless of what Jay Sankey says about it. Sean thinks that cardistry is a culture. It affects the way you live your life and the way you carry yourself. It’s a form of pop culture that is participatory – not just something you consume.
What did you learn from the episode?
Tyler was surprised to learn just how important it is to find your identity online.
Jonah liked chatting about the importance of creating great content and sharing that with others.
Sean agrees that the need for identity has been hugely aided by the rise of social media.
Who should we have next on the podcast?
What do you want to tell our audience?
It all boils down to having fun. It’s all about entertaining yourself and others!
What do you want to ask our audience?
What is a different way to use social media to open up a new set of opportunities for yourself?