My name is Christian Schenk. In my "first" life I studied business administration and graphic design, since 1997 self-employed as a . In 2004 a client's project "IT's Magic" brought me (back) to magic when I realized my first playing card print. I suggested converting playing cards with advertising print into stripper games (magicians know what I'm talking about). As I liked the idea very much, I also produced these games for my own company. At the customer event, I met the close-up magician I had booked and he invited me to my first small magic convention. The rest is history, I met new friends and have been soaking up everything "magical" like a dried-up sponge (ball) ever since.
What seemed like a new hobby to my friends turned out to be the most exciting and thrilling activity of my life. To this day, I am not only a member of the Magischer Zirkel von Deutschland (MZvD), but also a member of the British Ring, the IBM (International Brotherhood of Magicians) and SAM (Society of American Magicians), which was founded by none other than Harry Houdini. I am now not only a member, but also an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle (AIMC) of the Magic Circle of London, of which Prince Charles is also a member. (Incidentally, he performed a cup game routine for his entrance exam!)
I now attend monthly magic conventions around the world, from Asia to the USA, England, France, Spain, Italy and, of course, Germany.
The invitation to the FFFF (Fechter's Finger Flicking Frolic in New York), where I was able to lead a seminar for the best close-up magicians in the world, was followed by seminars in Japan, England and Germany.
How did I become "Card-Shark"?
I quickly realized that the best and most affordable quality playing cards come from USPCC. The deck most used by magicians worldwide is called Bicycle 808®, but I'm certainly not telling you anything significantly new. As a graphic designer, I aim to produce my own magic props wherever possible. So when I was watching an old Stan and Laurel movie from 1929 a while back, Stan actually pulled out a Bicycle deck that was pretty much the same as today's deck. That meant that the layout of this deck hadn't changed noticeably in at least 80 years. Wow, what a long time.
And that's why I had the idea to recreate the layout as best I could to get an extremely close match to the original cards for custom trick cards. You can hardly imagine the effort I put into this. I spent weeks scanning, separating and painstakingly reworking the playing cards with the ulterior motive that this effort would pay off for the rest of my life. But imitating the most used brand by magicians worldwide was just the beginning.
Today, after publishing several authentic-looking antique card games, I plan to revolutionize card magic as we know it. Over the past few years, I've gotten to know numerous playing card manufacturers around the world and realized that some of them could make an important contribution to the art of magic. Unfortunately, of course, each manufacturer has its own designs, which made it impossible to bundle the numerous offerings. This will be a thing of the past with the introduction of the Phoenix Deck. The standard deck is produced by USPCC in the identical quality of a Bicycle deck, plus of course all variations of trick cards. Thin playing cards in an identical design from a European manufacturer followed, as well as cards in a format optimized for parlour magic. And this is just the beginning, because there are still many ideas waiting to be realized...
In the meantime, I think I'm the specialist for playing cards, as I'm the only one who has been allowed to visit several playing card manufacturers worldwide and have been shown around the usually closely guarded production facilities. This means that I know all the advantages and disadvantages of the different production methods and can therefore have the optimum playing cards produced for the respective purpose. I pass on these manufacturing secrets to card magicians in an entertaining seminar. Please contact me for bookings.