ECLECTICA by John Carey

Written by John Teo

This is a DVD by John Carey, so you know that the materials are streamlined, and yet powerful. The presentations are straightforward and entertaining, and the effects are practical and within the reach of most average close-up performers.

Eclectic means choosing from various sources, or made up of what is selected from different sources. So, in this DVD, which is entitled “Eclectica”, the majority of the effects are variations of other people’s effects. Some of the sources are from Dai Vernon, John Bannon, Larry Jennings, Jerry Sandowitz and Al Leech. However, John Carey’s brilliant patter and presentations make them like brand new effects.

Altogether, there are 15 effects taught in this 1 hour and 50 minutes DVD. There is an effect with sponge balls, one with coins, and the rest of the 13 effects are card tricks which John Carey has come to be popularly associated with. Here are the descriptions of the effects:

  1. Backs To The Wall – an All Backs routine that does not include the selection of a card. Short and sweet. It ends with a full non-gimmicked deck.

  2. Ensemble – an interactive production of 4 Aces with 2 spectators. You will learn the Bluff Cull.

  3. Three-Phase Daley – Dr Daley’s Last Trick is given 2 addition phases. It uses 2 Jokers and 2 red Aces.

  4. Mental Sandwich – a thought-of card appears between 2 Jokers. You will learn the JK Hartman’s force, the Shuffle Ose and the Hofzinser’s spread cull.

  5. Sent and Received – based on Dai Vernon’s emotional reaction effect, it is incredibly easy to do and makes the spectator the star.

  1. Top, Middle and Bottom – this is the only effect that requires a duplicate card. It is a fun routine but very easy to do. The selected card is thoroughly shuffled back in the deck which is then placed inside the performer’s pocket. Not only is the performer able to divine the chosen card, he is also able to instantly bring it out of his pocket.

  2. Slow Motion Triumph – this is a slow-motion progressive triumph effect using only 8 cards, 4 face-up and 4 face-down cards. One by one, the face up cards becomes face down except the chosen card.

  3. Telekenetic–afunroutineinwhichnotonlydoestheperformerdivinethe spectator’s card, the spectator herself causes her card to turn over in the deck.

  4. Splitsville – a variation of Paul Harris’ “Las Vegas Split” in which a Four becomes 2 Two’s and then they transform into 4 Aces. You will learn Larry Jenning’s Reverse Lariat.

10.Homeage to Bannon – a variation of John Bannon’s “Fat City” where the entire deck gets sanwiched between the 2 Jokers, and the selected card jumps out of the sandwich.

11.Whispers – each of 3 selected cards which is sandwhiched between 2 Jokers, rises to the top. Finally, the 2 Jokers become the other 2 selections.

12.Assisted Ambitions – an ambitious card routine done with only 4 cards, and in the spectator’s hands. The 4 cards change to 4-of-a-kind to match the selection. You will learn the Bannon’s criss-cross force.

13.Invisible Interlude – a coin finds the selected card lost in the deck. Includes a one coin flurry. Nothing difficult to accomplish. Unfortunately, the spectator is left holding onto the deck of cards between her hands for quite some time as the perfomer does his one coin routine.

14.Two’s Company And? – interesting sponge ball moves with 2 sponge balls. Just like the previous effect, a spectator is left holding onto 2 sponge balls between her hands for quite some time as the performer magish with the 2 sponge balls.

15.One Card and One Thought – inspired by Al Leech, this is a delighful card routine for a couple, without the use of any gimmick cards like that utilised in the popular Anniversary Waltz.

There are no performances for the effects Mental Sandwich, Splitsville and Two’s Company And? John Carey goes straight into the explanations. Nothiing is lost here, though.

Although John Carey’s effects are meant for the average close-up performers, some of them do demand some work on the card moves. These are found in the effects Slow Motion Triumph, Splitsville and Homeage to Bannon.

Out of the 15 effects offered in the DVD, you should be able to find at least a couple that you can add to your performing repertoire. I have found 6 effects that I like. They are Backs to the Wall, Ensemble, Three-Phase Daley, Sent and Received, Top, Middle And Bottom, and One Card And One Thought. (9/10 star rating)