Derek Selinger is a Ninja. A Card Ninja. He can throw regular playing cards with high velocity across a gymnasium and with enough force to slice a carrot in two. These impossible, fast paced and entertaining feats are combined with his inspirational and personal stories of almost dying five times in his life. The first, before he was even born while his mother was electrocuted while pregnant with him (…which, might explain a few things!). These experiences are shared to encourage audiences of all ages, from kindergarten through high school, to embrace life as the gift that it is, and he offers practical suggestions on how to make the most of the incredible gift of life itself.
The routine is fact paced and involves several audience members on stage. The finale is a timed Card Ninja obstacle course, in which Derek tries to beat his record time while the audience cheers him on. The performance is impressive, interesting and humorous, and is a demonstration of extreme skill. Derek then shares a portion of his life story with the audience, in a talk called “Your Life is a Gift”, which recounts a some of the (surprisingly funny) stories of how Derek has almost died five times in his life. “Your Life is a Gift” is meant to impress upon the audience that their life too, is a great gift – to encourage them with just how amazing it is to be alive, and what a privilege it is to attend school, all while edifying the educators and education system in the process.
Card Ninja is a 40-50 minute presentation, in which Derek engages school-aged audiences with his ability to throw everyday playing cards with remarkable speed and accuracy. He can throw cards quickly into targets, cut celery and carrots in half, pop balloons, and even impale watermelon! Derek has been developing this skill for over 20 years, which has earned him the title of Card Ninja.
This presentation is designed for youth audiences. The routine and content is accessible to all ages, from kindergarten to junior and senior high, and is customizable depending on age (i.e. the younger the audience, the shorter the talk). But for all age groups, Derek drives home the idea that each young person’s life is a gift.
You will be blown away with the speed and accuracy of which Derek can throw cards. You will laugh at his ability to engage and humorously interact with the audience. You will be inspired by the stories of personal near death experiences. And, you will see the lasting impact of the ideas that are shared with your students or youth organization.
“Derek did an amazing job of using his art to connect with students and share a message that students of any age need to hear, in a world that is telling them they don’t matter and aren’t of any value.
He’s engaging, humorous, and speaks to the heart of both students and teachers!”
David Yang, High School Counsellor