Explore handling adjustments, exercises, thought experiments, essays and stories, all intent on creating a deeper appreciation for the magic we do, and achieving a softer handling of cards.
There are no tricks inside the book.
It pretends to no completeness. It will undoubtedly stir within the reader many other ideas, notions and prejudices that could also have been included. Such further thoughts, additions and objections are really what this book is about. This is a springboard from which to progress, a Mainspring, if you will, as the main agent of motivation to a more considered look at what we do and how we do it.
This is a companion to Sprezzatura and to the collaborative projects produced with Dan & Dave. Sprezzatura is the What, Mainspring is the How and Why.
On the surface, Mainspring explores how to handle playing cards with ease and elegance. I feel that aesthetic is of paramount importance to what I do, so that is extensively discussed.
So many magic books teach the technical “How” but fall short of the nuance of other areas; state of mind, relationship to audience, relationship to your material, environment, battling nerves and opinions of our peers, work ethic, etc. There is much to be said of these topics, and this booklet is a start.
At a slightly deeper level, and within the bounds of our very niche remit, we look at the constant pursuit of mastery, and why that is so alluring, and so important.
For me, the pursuit of technical, difficult card magic has enriched my experience of the world. It’s exposed me to the nature of working for a thing for its own sake, and for that I’m incredibly grateful.
I feel as though the drive to want to get better at magic is not being nurtured. People with an interest in magic are not often encouraged to foster their drive to be better. It’s my opinion that proficiency is important too, an opinion seldom discussed, either because it’s taken as a given, or because it’s scorned.
I’m quite aware that someone can do the omni deck and get a stronger, more visceral reaction from an audience than I can with what I do. In magic, the reaction is usually the end goal. The bigger the reaction, the better. But this booklet isn’t about that. It’s about the merit of hard work as an end in itself. It’s a selfish way of looking at our hobby, and a subtle point, but one that I feel needs to be made.
That all sounds rather serious. I’ll break that up from time to time. After all, we’re talking about card tricks for goodness sake!
The way I interact with magic day to day is now entirely informed by what you’re about to read. I’ve gained so much clarity in getting these thoughts down on paper that it’s been a tremendous trip for me regardless whether any of you get any use out of it.
Having said that, I have a sneaking suspicion that you might love it.