Interview with Tashfiq Alam

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Interview with Tashfiq Alam

It’s very interesting to take interview with talented and talkative cardists, but it’s real honor to talk a little with famous cardists. Today i would like to present you my conversation with one of the most active, bright and famous cardist in community — Tashfiq.

Hi! What is your name? How old are you? Where are you from?

My name is Tashfiq Alam, I’m 18 years old. I was born in Bangladesh but I live in Vancouver, Canada.

What do you do?

Currently I am completing my senior year of high school. I’m interested in continuing my studies into the field of engineering or business.

How long are you in cardistry?

I have been into cardistry for about 3 years now. I know it’s been a long journey but I can remember the first time I picked up a deck of cards and said to myself, “I’m going to learn a card flourish today”.

Who or what involved you in cardistry?

Honestly I don’t know why I was so intrigued by cardistry, or what got me involved. All I know is that it was just something that appealed to me because of the freedom and style that I could expressed through the art form. Also since I was into card magic before, the transition to flourishing was just natural.

Why did you start practice cardistry?

I started practicing because I was addicted! I always had the desire to get better and better and create more new moves that would impress myself and others. Also I came into the art form when Decknique was at its prime and seeing such great content coming out so often just encouraged me to keep up with the rest!

What was your first flourish?

Tashfiq AlamThe first flourish I ever learned was the “190 Helix Cut”. At the time it was a very flashy but simple cut. I remember spending 20 minutes in front of the computer playing and rewinding the tutorial and dropping cards all over the place. When I finally got the move down I called down my younger brother to show him the new “card trick” I had learned, and after seeing the look on his face I knew card flourishing was something I wanted to follow through with.

What do you get from cardistry? Fun, travel, girls, money?

I’m pretty sure that anyone who calls themselves a card flourisher knows that shuffling playing cards is not sure fire way get girls or money. Actually you waist money with all the cards and DVDs you have to buy in the first place. Girls are a whole different story, in fact my girlfriend didn’t even know about my “card shuffling ability” since recently when I showed her one of my videos. So obviously I do cardistry for the same reason anyone else commits to a hobby, because it’s fun and inspiring!

How cardistry helps/interfere you in your casual life?

I try to keep cards and my social life as far away as possible. I want to keep the time with my friends reserved for my friends! I have been in a point in my life when you wouldn’t see in public without a deck of cards in my hands and that actually caused a lot of problems for me because I became consumed in the cards and my friends actually started to complain. I came to the realization that cardistry is not suppose to be a “life style”. It’s supposed to be a hobby and it should be treated as one. After I realized that, it was when I actually started getting good because I thought less and did more.

What was your first deck of cards? Do you still keep it?

The first deck of card I used for flourishing was Singapore Airlines cards by Cartamundi. It was a very terrible deck of cards but somehow I managed to use it for most of my early months as a cardist. I remember watching the “fanning workshop” in the Xtreme Beginnerz DVD and I was so lost and frustrated when I tried fanning with that plastic deck. Eventually I got a deck of green pastel bicycles which my friend gave to me. As soon as I opened it, it was like a dream come true. I could fan, cut and spread them with ease! I’m pretty sure that I threw away my Singapore Airlines deck but I still do have my green pastels.

What is your favorite deck?

That’s hard to choose. I’m not really a card fanatic and I don’t card too much nor do I understand the point of buying brick and bricks of cards. Just give me a pack of Tallys and I’m ready to roll. But some cards that I really love using are Absolutes, Splitspades, Aladdins and Tally-Ho of course.

Do you collect playing cards? If yes, how many (approximately) decks in your collection?

I don’t necessarily collect playing cards but I do accumulate them. I think I have about 60-80 decks.

Who most influenced you in cardistry?

Tashfiq AlamMy biggest influence in cardistry is without a doubt Jonas Haglund. He always brings something new to the table and always shows style and confidence in his flourishes. He has consistently been the most original and favorite cardist among many and his “no frills” style videos really demonstrate is pure and organic style. Also one of my long time best friends Maz (MazDmanipulater) has totally inspired me to keep going and pushed me to new heights in the art. He has consistently been helping me film and edit videos as well as give me honest feedback on my new moves. As new cardists come and go I can’t forget the other great artist likes Ambrose, Nikolaj, Tobais, Chotu, Brendan Connor and Viet.

Do you have special time for practice or it happens during other deeds? How long do you practice per day?

No, I do not have any set times to practice. I just practice when I’m in the mood. Some days I’ll flourish all day. While on other days I won’t even touch a deck of cards. Having a “schedule” makes practicing more of a task rather than it being a fun and creative pass time.

Do you have any special method of training or some training scheduler? May be you can tell few words about it?

Back in the day when I was learning lots of new moves and increasing my arsenal of flourishes, I created a practicing technique that really helped me get down moves more easily. When you start off learning a flourish, start off with only half of the deck. After you do the move consistently five times you add 5 cards to your deck. Keep repeating this until you have the whole deck in your hand and viola!

How do you think, what is most important in cardistry — talent or persistence?

Persistence. The amazing flourishers you see on youtube today weren’t born that way, they start off just like the noobs we all were at one time! But I have to admit, some people have a knack for certain things. That can make the difference of a good cardist to a great cardist.