Pittsburgh Current Staff Writer
Some magicians shy away from showing their tricks on social media. Anna DeGuzman, however, embraces it.
“Some people can’t afford to buy a magic kit. Some people don’t have a family that comes from a creative background that will show them a trick. Some people just don’t have access,” she says. “But with the Internet now, you have access to this whole world of knowledge where you can learn anything by yourself.”
DeGuzman kicks off Liberty Magic’s second year with “The Queen of Cardistry,” running from Feb. 19 to March 29, mixing card tricks with sleight of hand.
“I want to reinvent the image of what a magician is, which is not, you know, the old top hat, suit, white gloves, you know, doves, bunny [out of a ] hat,” she says.
Unlike other magicians—who often list books and mentors in their origin story—DeGuzman is self-taught. She first picked up the art after watching cardistry YouTube videos as a teen, entranced by the intricate packet cuts and displays.
“I literally looked at it and I was like, ‘I could do that,’” she says.
DeGuzman ventured further down the magic rabbit hole three years later, incorporating ordinary objects like Rubik’s cubes and mind-boggling mentalism into her routine.
“They’re totally separate art forms, but they complement each other very well,” she says.
She began making videos and posting them to her YouTube channel and on social media, which she says has helped amplify her career. She’s been seen on Penn and Teller’s “Fool Us,” “Masters of Illusion” and has performed at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles.
“That’s how I’ve been able to keep going, as a lot of people tend to see my videos and they want to see me live. And they inquire where and when they can see me,” she says.
Despite performing live, DeGuzman says social media lowers the barrier of entry into the craft.
“With social media, it just allows people to find magic a lot easier than going to a live show. If they don’t even know that there are live shows in their talent, it’s everywhere [on social media],” she says.
Although magic can be a male-dominated hobby and profession — DeGuzman is only the second woman to have a residency at Liberty Magic, and, at 21, is the youngest — she says it’s not a gender-specific artform.
“I never felt there was a space for a woman in magic because I never saw female magicians,” she says. “But hopefully, I inspire people to get into it, especially young girls, to show them that it’s pretty cool. It’s not nerdy. Like it’s actually pretty lit.”