John Carey lecture
Riviera Circle of Magicians

July 2008

Reviewed by Gary Jones

I was lucky enough to help organise and attend the John Carey lecture the other night at the Riviera Circle of Magicians in Babbacombe, Torbay, and boy what a night it was. The lecture was billed as a Card Magic lecture, but John also did some great non card material. For his opening effect John performed his One Coin Routine, this routine is also on one of the International Competition DVDs, this is really good, visual and has a great jumbo coin climax, a perfect opener to establish your credentials at any venue.

Onto the card stuff, John is a firm believer that magic should be visual and straight to the point, no long winded counting effects here. John started with a full deck production from his bare hands (based on a John Carney idea), again very visual and magical. The next couple of routines, John's take on the Paul Cummings effect "Counting on It" and John's own "Mr. Biddle Takes a Breather" were not only very entertaining but John's use of subtleties and his clever use of the Breather Crimp is just devious!

John had some really nice touches on Randy Wakeman' s "Spectator Cuts and Turns Over the Aces" (kings) and this was combined with an excellent handling of John Carney's "Sanverted" and John's own mini ambitious sequence, this was an act in itself and a superb lesson in routining and combining effects to create some stunning magic.

John took a cigarette break (no he didn't light up a ciggie) he did a wonderful torn and restored cigarette, as John wisely pointed out, many spectators now have to go outside for a smoke, what a great effect to show them while you also go outside to entertain them, very clever thinking.

The next two routines John performed are to appear on an up and coming set of DVDs being put out by myself (Gary Jones) and Chris Congreave based on my favourite plot, cards to pocket. The first of these is an effect called "Inspired by Pierce", this is a repeat, no palm signed card to pocket, yes you read that right, this is a reputation maker and it's as clean as it is clever. The next in this section was "Friendly Exchange", this is an awesome two card signed transpo using yours and the spectator's pocket, great for walk-around and very commercial for the working performer (as are all of John's effects).

John closed the lecture with his now famous "Slo Mo Collectors", this has been one John's signature pieces for a long time now and the routine is a great lesson in routining and how to always be ahead of your audience. Three cards are selected and signed and replaced, the four aces are now placed into the centre of the deck all together and facing up, each time the deck is spread one of the selections magically appears between the aces until all three selections have arrived, excellent.

John has a lovely style of performing, his actions are slow and unhurried and his misdirection and timing are a lesson in itself, he catches you and by clever use of the "off beat" he gets you again, superb lecture full of "real world" magic.

The night still wasn't over, we had guest appearances from myself (Thoughts and Think a Card), Chris Congreave (Pseudo Pickpocket from our new DVD), James Brown (Caught 3 Times, James' excellent version of John Carey's Slo Mo Collectors from Peter Duffies Mind Blasters) and the superb performer Trev Stone (president of the Riviera and past close-up IBM winner) performing the funniest cups and balls I'd ever seen, quality!

We then moved down to the bar and John was still teaching and helping people to go over some of the moves etc, what a gentleman and great guy. I would highly recommend John's lecture to any society.

Gary Jones, August 2008