People are watching my nails,” says Anna DeGuzman, a 21-year-old rising magician and expert at cardistry—what she describes as “the art of manipulating playing cards to create beautiful, intricate displays.” All she needs is a deck to captivate you with mesmerizing flips, spins, isolations, and shuffles.
Presentation, down to the nails, is everything. “I make videos, so people are going to watch my hands,” she says. “Most people who do cardistry don’t think about it.” Then again, most people in her field aren’t women.
“I didn’t have a female magician to look up to. There’s Copperfield. There’s Blaine. All these men,” DeGuzman, who started doing cardistry in 2014 after learning from YouTube, says. She claims she was even unsure of how to style herself for performances because she didn’t have examples. “When I first started going to any magic convention or event, no one assumed I was a magician. You are seen as the assistant…I honestly love the underestimation,” she says. “The idea of a magician in the public’s mind is an old white man in a suit, gloves—super corny. I want to reinvent that image.”