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REVIEW: Sublime Self Working Card Tricks by John Carey and Big Blind Media
RATING: 8.5 out of 10
FULL REVIEW: Sublime Self Working Card Tricks (SSWCT) by John Carey and Big Blind Media is a great project for those new to card magic and who want to fool the pants off their friends.

John Carey is a very prolific creator of card magic and with SSWCT he delivers 10 easy to perform tricks; 9 card tricks and 1 coin trick. I think that those with a bit of experience in card magic may feel that this project is too basic for them and the tricks will have a familiar feel for most of the tricks taught and presented. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I think there will be a takeaway or two for those that are dedicated hobbyists.

Carey performs each trick standing behind a high top table to an audience of the Big Blind Media ladies. Immediately following the performance, Carey explains the trick at the same table to either Liam Montier or another one of his pals.

The promotional video for SSWCT shows a “taster” by playing the performance of the first trick, “Opening Time”. This trick is easy to perform but may require some extra steps that are not displayed in this demonstration because the published “taster” version is a direct hit and more often than not you will not have the “direct hit”. It is not always as strong as in the promotional video, but is still a good trick for beginners.

None of the tricks taught on this DVD will require card skills other than being able to hold a deck in your hands, speak out loud and cut the cards.

As an example of tricks you may be familiar with is Think as I Think, which is Carey’s take on Do as I Do. This is a very good version, but you will need a double deck set up. The set up makes the trick very fooling.

Carey also teaches a trick, One Hand & One Card, in which he has the spectator pick a card while he holds the deck with one hand and has his other hand in his pocket the entire time. The trick requires you to gaff one card slightly and then you are all set. My issue with this trick is that the spectator is handed the deck and I would never do this in the way the one card is altered because there is a decent chance that you will get busted. I was concerned about this enough that I did not road test this specific trick. This trick also requires the performer to deal every card in the deck one at a time to show that the card has disappeared, which can be tedious, and it is revealed that the missing card appears in the performer’s other hand which has been in his pocket the entire time.

Carey teaches a trick, Yes You Caan!, which uses some math, but is clever prediction effect. Basically, the spectator picks any number between 10 and 50, does some math and arrives at a number. That number is cross referenced to a special card that assigns a playing card value and suit to every number. Once your card is ascertained, you open a prediction envelope and you know what happens next. A pdf is included on the DVD so you can be print out the needed card to translate the number into the playing card. I like this one, but you need to make sure your audience doesn’t inspect the downloaded reference card too carefully.

I think Carey’s Dice Caan is one of the stronger effects in the deck. In this trick, the spectator rolls three dice and comes up with a number. Say the number is 15. Then the spectator finds the 15th card from the top and it matches exactly the card that has been sitting in an envelope in view the entire time. This involves a clever method which I was familiar with and forgotten and am happy to have been reminded about it. This requires a very quick set up.

Carey presents Scattered which heavily borrows, almost copies verbatim, Joshua Jay’s equivoque from Inferno. The trick is good, but like many of the other tricks, it requires a set up.

The coin effect, Make Believe, is simple and quick and is not something that you can do on the fly unless you already own a special gaffed coin. It is cute, but not something that will knock someone out.

The camera work and production quality is typical BBM and is excellent. The performance by Carey is solid and the instruction is excellent. You can tell that he really enjoys sharing and teaching magic and growing into an established echelon of card magic creators. One small area of criticism is that Carey could have cut down on some of his corny magic jokes and his overly repeated references to how much he likes to go to the pub and drink pints.

This project contains Carey’s thoughts on his version of other magician’s tricks, classic card plots and his own construction using well-known techniques among magi. Carey indicates that beginners should learn one trick at a time learn until he masters it and then move on. This is an instruction to a beginner. He shares tips he has learned from other magicians and credits them appropriately. He also discusses that the tricks are not magician foolers and they are not designed as such.

This DVD is a goldmine for those new to card magic and as such it is recommended for those seeking solid tricks that are easy to perform.

Please visit your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer for this great project.

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