Time is Try: How to Create a Packet Cut by Jorge Sanders

Here is an extract from "How to Create a Packet Cut" by Jorge Sanders, an article from the 2021 cardistry book "Time is Try" done in collaboration with 82 cardists from around the world and beautifully illustrated by Michael Warneke.

How to Create a Packet Cut

"We all have to start somewhere. For those of you who practice cardistry but have never created a move, I believe the best way to ease into creating is to borrow an opener from a preexisting move. You can change this opener later if you’d like, it’s just a stepping stone to find a mechanic. Once you’ve been fooling around with a theme or action that excites you, practice slowly to realize the “feel” of your move.

I asked my friend and fellow cardist Matías Gómez Seeber, from Buenos Aires, about his very first creations. “If I showed you my earlier moves,” he said, “most of them have displays and almost none have particularly complex mechanics, which I now tend to use often.” I can relate; my first packet cuts were visually, rather than mechanically, motivated. Furthermore, I can say from experience that intricate grips and elaborate arrangements won’t impress anyone if they aren’t paired with good timing and thoughtful execution, so start simple. Something I’ve noticed since the rise of platforms like @bestcardistalive is that experienced cardists are less interested in whether a move is easy or difficult, but rather if it is distinguishable and well performed.

Laypeople definitely won’t notice whether your move is easy or difficult, so start out by creating something simple and fun and work up to the difficult flourishes later. As a matter of fact, less complex flourishes are often more memorable. Dutch packet-cutter Bram Duifhuizen told me about his first original card flourish. “The first
move I created was ‘Magnet’,” he said, “I came up with it purely by experimenting with Nikolaj [Honoré]’s Autocross.” Matías also says that his first move had an opener recycled from a preexisting flourish. Similarly, my earliest flourishes were in z-grip or something else ripped from another packet cut. However, not everyone uses this approach. Some flourishers may skip the tutorial phase altogether, like Romanian cardist Bizau Cristian. “[I] was too lazy to learn other people’s moves,” says Biz, “learning people’s moves meant sitting down and watching a tutorial, which I didn’t have patience for. So, I just resorted to creating original ones since I could do that anywhere, any time. The more I learned cardistry,” he told me, “the more my hands wanted to create with and from what I’d learned.” Use what you already know; even fidget moves or beginner cuts like the Werm can be built upon and repurposed. An opener doesn’t have to be the first part of the move you create, either. Some of my own moves have had temporary openers for a long time before I finally found something fitting. Sometimes a “concept” predates its opener."

"Time is Try: bits of wisdom from some of the best cardists in the world" was published in a limited run of 100 copies and sold out in less than 2 days. If you want to be on the look out for future excerpts from the book make sure to check our Blog section from now and then!

Posted by Elisav Bizau


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