ECLECTICA – John Carey
ECLECTICA is just that… a thorough mix of many different effects with cards… mostly. John Carey likes to take a simple premise and turn it into a clever effect with sleights most beginners find very learnable. Yes, there are a few flustration counts and color changes.. but nothing beyond the neophyte.
Personally, I grew up on this type magic. My first ‘real’ magic book was Scarne On Card Tricks, and Scarne went to great lengths to make the effect simple while maintaining a certain integrity. Mr Carey does the same, buy isn’t afraid to make you work a little if the end result is worth it.
I appreciate that he keeps everything relatively simple. Card magic shouldn’t be difficult -if- there’s a way to perform the sleight without breaking your wrist. John manages to include 15 effects in the space normally required for 7 or 8 numbing effects. I don’t have a problem with this, as I don’t need someone to explain in detail all the subtle and psychological moves of every aspect of a trick. Just show me how you do it and let me find my way.
If I have anything on the negative side to say about John Carey.. its that he’s too nice. Watching Eclectica is like watching that wonderful painter, Bob Ross. No, his paintings don’t hang in the Louvre, and snoddy painters make fun of his simplicity.. But Bob Ross is a genius at entertaining his audience. My problem with watching Bob is his style and manner is expressive and genuine, but his soft voice will lull you into a blissful state if you aren’t careful. Ditto for John…
The DVD runs 1 hour and 48 minutes, which is ample time for everything. I hope I haven’t given the impression John rushes through the effects, sacrificing quantity over quality. That’s not the case. Most of the effects run about three minutes and the explanations about 5 minutes. Here’s a little summary of the contents…
Backs to the Wall – Based on a Dai Vernon effect.. A deck with all backs turns into a regular deck…
Ensemble – A spectator makes a number of fair choices amid much shuffling, and yet somehow manages to pick the four Aces. John demonstrates a painless method of culling the Aces.
Three Phase Dailey – Another one based on a Dai Vernon effect. Sort of a cross between Vernon, Larry Jennings, and David Blaine. If you can perform a double lift, a flustration count, and a double turnover.. you’re good to go.
Mental Sandwich – A card mentally selected by a spectator ends up sandwiched between two jokers in the middle of the deck. Nice JK Hartman sleight makes the magic possible.
Sent and Received – Based on Vernon’s Emotional Reaction. Super simple bit of mental magic that can be mastered in minutes.
Top, Middle and Bottom – This is the rare effect that uses a duplicate card to read the spectator’s mind. Then, a surprising revelation completes the effect.
Slow Motion Triumph – For the packet trick fans amongst you. A little fancy dealing produces a very convincing triumph.
Telekinetic – A nice production of a selected card upside down in the deck. There is more to it than a simple reveal, and makes you quite the mystery man. One of the more difficult effects.. but well worth the effort.
Splitsville – An opener that resembles a series of mis-adventures by the performer suddenly turns into a four Ace production. Not difficult, but does require a simple setup.
Homage To Bannon – Bannon performed a little ditty called Fat City. This is John’s version. It’s quick and easy and includes a nice paint brush move to bring two Jokers into play.
Whispers – Several basic moves make the magic possible. John teaches a couple of very efficient multiple card forces, including one from Bannon that looks really good.
Assisted Ambitions – Sort of an Ambition effect meets a four Aces production. A few double turnovers certainly go a long ways.
Invisible Interlude – Very simple moves, a couple of large coins, and a deck of cards are all that’s needed to make you look like ‘Bobo meets Bannon’…
Two’s Company And..? Sponge Balls anyone? John teaches a very intriguing sponge ball routine featuring moves by some heavyweights of magic, including a beautiful move by Martin Gardner.
One Card And One Thought – Two spectators complete the magic in this effect inspired by Al Leech. Not difficult to perform and perfect for couples or best friends…
I would recommend ECLECTICA to anyone wanting to add a few effects to their walk-around or table hopping routine. There’s something here for everyone…
$30.00 from dealers carrying the Murphy’s Magic line of products…
Reviewed by Rick Carruth..