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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » Ender's Review: The Vault - Think and Sync (John Carey) (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EndersGame
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The Vault - Think and Sync (John Carey)

Revealing a card that is merely thought of - and almost self-working!

Overview

John Carey has earned a reputation for streamlining effects and making already good magic even better. His strength is to rely on clever thinking and good presentation rather than complex moves and techniques, and he has the unique ability to distil routines of unnecessary sleights and complexities, and turn them into effects that retain the impact of the magic while ensuring that they are also very doable. In other words: clever plots and powerful magic without knuckle-busting moves.

A superb example of this is his trick, Think and Sync. The ad copy from Murphy's Magic offers this teaser: Are you seeking some mentalism fun that will knock your spectator's socks off? How about if it were easy to do as well? Interested? Well, here it is: The Vault - Think and Sync. This is a self-working, impossible mind-reading revelation that can be done with a borrowed, shuffled deck of cards! One of the UK's finest brings you another instant 'anytime anywhere' card magic classic!

Another promotional description of the routine puts it this way: "A thought of card routine that seems utterly impossible - a card 'constructed' by your audience is divined with almost zero procedure. Super clean. Super awesome!" Another describes it as follows: "A beautiful and almost self working demonstration of synchronicity between the magician and the spectator. Very commercial!"

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Effect

Here's how it works:

The spectator begins by genuinely shuffling the deck. He takes off a small packet of cards from the deck (less than 13), and secretly counts them to determine a random card number. He then freely/secretly thinks of any suit to go along with this, to determine a merely thought of card. The spectator returns the cards to the deck. The magician now selects a card from the deck, and amazingly proves he is in sync with the spectator by getting a perfect match.

Here's the official trailer for the effect, which includes a performance along with some introductory remarks from Bro Gilbert as part of his great series The Vault here:



Video

What you get for around $8 is an instant digital download of the video, which demonstrates and teaches the routine. You can play the video via streaming, or download it in *.mp4 format to view on your computer with any video program. The entire video is around 11 minutes long, and the downloaded file is about 107MB in total size.

The first three minutes of the video feature a performance of the trick (note that the performance in the video trailer is an edited/condensed version that leaves part of the routine out), with the tutorial/ taking up the remaining eight minutes.

The video is filmed in a studio, with John demonstrating and explaining the routine to another magician behind a table on a close-up mat. The camera angle is static and there are no close-ups, but since the trick's method is very straight forward, and relies more on a clever method rather than tricky sleight of hand, close-ups aren't necessary either, with John Carey explaining everything clearly.

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Teaching

John Carey does a great job in teaching all the details of Think and Sync, is explaining them to and discussing them with his fellow magician. The explanation has John going through the routine slowly, and explaining the method carefully, as well as the patter. He covers all the small elements of what to say very carefully. He has a very straight-forward and direct style, which is very clear and easy to follow, and makes for easy viewing and learning. John's strength is simplifying of routines, so he is a natural teacher who knows how to make things simple.

He's also very good at crediting his sources and influences, making frequent references to these throughout the video. The original trick was inspired by an Allan Kronzek routine first published in Genii magazine in 2012. John liked the idea but not the style, and so he used an idea from Bob Hummer to help improve the handling. He has experimented with more than one handling of this routine (more on that later), and I think the one he teaches in this video is the best.

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Difficulty

Think and Sync as taught in this video involves no difficult sleights and is quite easy to learn. John Carey has been well described as having a "work smarter not harder" mindset in creating magic, which means that his effects rely on clever methods, plots, and presentation, rather than difficult finger-busting moves. This particular trick is very accessible, and can be performed after just a small amount of practice.

I've seen other instructional videos from John Carey, and compared with some of his other tricks, Think and Sync as taught in this video is one of the easier routines he has shared. It's almost self-working, with no real sleight of hand, because it relies more on psychological subtleties. This does mean that the patter needs to be carefully mastered to deal with several eventualities, so that it can be performed smoothly, but it's really quite easy to learn. Beginner magicians who know how to do a false shuffle will be able to learn and master it without too much difficulty.

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Impressions

I love how John Carey has the ability to reduce existing plots and tricks to their essentials, simplifying and refining effects so that they are easy to learn and perform, and yet pack a real punch. The Think and Sync routine is a fine example of his skill, because he has eliminated all excess fat, and streamlined it to make it very straight-forward to perform.

It is also quite a powerful trick. After all, being able to divine a card that your spectator has merely thought of? It seems truly impossible, and with good presentation and patter, the impact can really be strengthened. It's especially a trick that's good for fooling laymen.

The "hands off" quality of this effect is truly outstanding, especially the way John handles the ending of this trick. Without giving away the secret, I can say that John has come up with a very creative solution for the final phase. Where other magicians might resort to sleight of hand, John uses subtlety and patter to come up with a perfect outcome that really wows an audience. If you like John Bannon's approach to magic (Bannon apparently gives credit to Carey's Think and Sync for his trick AK47), then you'll really appreciate what John Carey offers, and his approach will give you good ideas that you can use in other contexts as well.

This video download isn't the only place where you'll find this particular routine. It's also in John Carey's book Crafted With Carey (2015), and was part of his 2014 lecture notes Streamlined. It has also been taught on other videos, including John Carey Collection 2 (Vanishing Inc Magic). It also appears under the name "Sync" in Sublime Self Working Card Tricks (Big Blind Media), and under the name "Think n Synch Revisited" in his 2015 video Classic Carey (RSVP Magic). However, these don't all use the same handling, for example in Sublime Self Working Card Tricks, first the spectator thinks of a suit, then cuts the deck and uses the value of the card cut to, after which the deck is shuffled and the magician finds either the card or its mate. In the Vanishing Inc Magic video, John first strips out the Jokers at the start of the routine, and requires more sleights in the first phase. This has the advantage that after the spectator counts the cards in their packet, they can return them anywhere to the deck and shuffle it, making the final result seem more impossible. The version from the Vault avoids any suspicion that might be caused by removing the Jokers from the deck, and eliminates the sleights John originally used, making the effect even easier to perform. So it would appear that this new download from The Vault is the smoothest version of the trick.

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Endorsements

Bro Gilbert loves this trick. And so do I. But we're not the only ones! To give you an idea of what impact Think and Sync has, I managed to find some quotes from scattered places online which comment on it - it certainly appears to be one of his more popular and powerful effects:

"I love his thinking and his ability to make the seemingly impossible easy to do." - Bro Gilbert
"This is a very nice routine and easy to do." - Jim Canaday
"John was kind enough to tip Think and Sync at a session. My mind was blown with possibilities." - Daniel Chard
"There's an entire lesson in this single trick alone. The result is the divination of a mentally selected card that I use almost every day and that never fails to draw gasps from the person who is quite literally just thinking of a card." - Clark
"Anything released by John I get. Really like Think and Sync." - Mike Donoghue
"John Carey gave us a neat routine ‘Think N Sync’ where he locates either the mate or the actual thought of card." - RJS
"I have a lot of John's material. It's amazing how he takes complex routines and simplifies them down." - terrillific
"Love Mr Carey's work." - Greig Ewen
"I really like this – it is very easy to do allowing you to focus on presentation – and can be done with a borrowed shuffled deck. Excellent!" - Phil Sweeting

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Recommendation

I'm just loving The Vault series from Bro Gilbert, and he has really picked out some gems to feature as part of it. John Carey deserves a lot of respect for his skils in creating streamlined magic, and Think and Sync is a wonderful example of a very straight forward trick that is easy to perform and yet has the capacity to blow the minds of lay people.

Want to learn more? John Carey's Think and Sync is available as a digital download from your favorite Murphy's Magic retailer:
Murphy's Magic: https://www.murphysmagic.com/product.aspx?id=60128
Merchant of Magic: https://www.magicshop.co.uk/think-sync

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BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==

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docguitarman
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I think this trick is going to be featured at our next Magician's Fellowship. I must say I am tempted to buy it except for the fact that the video is edited to omit some of the procedure and as you point out it is based on a Hummer principle. I have several effects based on Hummer principles which makes me reluctant to purchase another. Of course the video and presentation instruction may justify a purchase. I don't know. What say you?

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EndersGame
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Docguitarman, in answer to your question, here is what I suggest:

[link] - do not purchase: $7.95 digital download of John Carey's Think and Sync
[link] - do purchase: $7.95 digital download of John Carey's At The Table Live Lecture February 21st 2018

At the time I posted this review in early February, the Think and Sync digital download was a separate release as part of The Vault. Later, at the end of February, Murphy's Magic published John Carey's At The Table lecture, and it included this Think and Sync segment (11 minutes), along with a whole lot more material (almost 2 hours). In other words, the Think and Sync video is just a small part of the lecture they released afterwards.

So for exactly the same money, get the full lecture, which includes this effect and a whole lot more. Given all the other effects you learn besides just Think and Sync, you won't feel you have wasted any money, even if you already have several effects based on Hummer principle.

I've posted below the ad copy for the At the Table Live Lecture with John Carey, which gives you an overview of everything it includes. It's easier to justify purchasing the entire lecture than it is to justify purchasing the single effect, given that they are the same price ($7.95).

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Triple Inpurseination: A beautiful opening effect. Triple Spellbound meets Coins To Purse!

Whispering Ambitions: A powerful combination of the classic Whispering Cards premise and the Ambitious Card. Simple, strong, and practical.

YAFAP!: An interactive 4 Ace production built around the premise of the past, present and future.

Your Cards Are My Cards: Carey's favorite approach to the classic Last Trick of Dr. Daley.

Kaleidoscope: An almost self-working color-changing cards effect with immediate reset. Perfect for walk around!

Think as I Think: The classic Do As I Do effect but with thought-of cards? Yes, that's right!

Ambitious O'Henry: A beautiful small packet rendition of the Ambitious Card with a knockout off balance transposition.

Little Vernon: Carey's minimalistic approach to Dai Vernon's Out of Sight Out of Mind. A killer thought-of card discovery!

Slow Motion Oil and Water: A visually stunning rendition of this classic plot culminating in a slow-motion finale. You will love this!

Think n Sync: Want a reputation maker? Look no further. Another diabolical thought-of card effect where the magician and the spectator's thoughts combine. Did we tell you it is self-working?

A Mystery in Time: We finish with one of the strongest versions of the Mystery Card plot you will see! Quite simply a beautiful routine.
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BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==

Want me to write a review of your playing cards or magic? Contact me via Private Message.
docguitarman
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Thank you Ender! Dilemma dissolved!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » Ender's Review: The Vault - Think and Sync (John Carey) (1 Likes)
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