8 Effects and a Sleight by Michael Kociolek

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Tom Frame
Posts: 986
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
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8 Effects and a Sleight by Michael Kociolek

Postby Tom Frame » February 8th, 2014, 11:17 am

8 Effects and a Sleight (ebook) by Michael Kociolek $15.00
62 pages, 22 illustrations
Available at: http://www.lybrary.com/8-effects-and-a- ... 77154.html


“Review the sh.it out of the ebook.”

That daring, feisty remark accompanied this collection of card magic from Michael Kociolek. I read it after taking a sip of refreshment. The ensuing paroxysm of laughter caused twin streams of the beverage to violently issue forth from my flared, furry nostrils.

I was impressed by Mr. Kociolek’s pluck. But did he have the goods to back up his words?

With one exception, the author’s writing is adequate, as is the quality of his instruction. He dutifully cites his inspirational sources and includes a bibliography of 20 references.

The computer rendered illustrations are crisp and helpful.

His layout of the ebook leaves something to be desired. The corpulent paragraphs should have been broken down into tastier bite-sized nuggets. He also commits the aesthetic felony of commingling italicized patter with instructional text. Yuck!

The author’s methods require an intermediate to advanced level of skill.


You Know Better: A participant shuffles the deck and returns it to the performer. He removes three cards. He places the first two cards face up in front of participants #1 and #2. He tables the third card face down in front of participant #3.

The performer deals cards face down into a pile until participant #1 stops him. She places her card face up on the pile. The performer places the remainder of the deck on top of the pile.

He repeats this procedure with participant #2.

Before he engages participant #3 in the procedure, the performer says that if he encounters a face-up card while dealing, he will remove it and the card adjacent to it before resuming the deal. He doesn’t want to alter the decisions made by the first two participants.

While mentioning that caveat, the performer spreads the face-down deck, displays one of the face-up cards, leaves it in place and squares the deck.

He repeats the dealing procedure with participant #3.

The performer spreads the deck face down. He removes each face-up card and the face-down card above it. He turns over the face-down cards to reveal that they are mates of the freely positioned face-up cards.


This is Mr. Kociolek’s marriage of Alex Elmsley's “Face Your Brothers,” from Stephen Minch's The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley (1994) and Karl Fulves’ “Stopped Twice” that appeared in Impromptu Openers (1979). Later, it was published with the familiar moniker "Gemini Twins" in More Self-Working Card Tricks (1984).

I like it.


Off-Centers: The performer removes the four Aces and hands them to a participant for examination. He retrieves them and places them face up on top of the face-down deck. He lifts off about three quarters of the deck and, using his left thumb, peels the Aces onto his left hand’s portion of the deck.

The performer tables his right hand’s portion of the deck. He cuts off about two thirds of it and tables that portion to the right of the originally tabled portion. He places his left hand’s portion on top of the leftmost tabled portion. He picks up the combined portions with his left hand. He places the remaining tabled portion on top of his left hand’s portion and squares the deck. The face-up Aces are buried in the center of the deck.

The performer asks the participant if he should deal four, five or six hands of poker. The participant chooses five hands. The performer deals three cards to each hand, informing the participant that he is center dealing his cards. He deals himself the three face-up Aces.

The performer says that he will put the final Ace back into the middle of the remaining packet. He spreads the face-down packet and stops when he reaches the face-up Ace. He cuts all of the cards above the Ace to the bottom of the packet.

The performer turns the Ace face down on top of the packet. He removes it and inserts it into the center of the packet. He center deals one card to the table. The participant turns it face up and it is the final Ace.


You must be proficient at bottom dealing. Mr. Kociolek includes an alternative handling that requires you to execute second deals.

I like it.


Du-et: Two participants select cards and the performer loses them in the deck. Then he cuts and shuffles the deck and tables it face down.

The participants name a number between 10 and 20. The first participant deals her chosen number of cards into a pile. Half of the time, she places the card at her number face down in front of the performer. The other half of the time, she places the next card after her number face down in front of the performer.

The second participant deals her chosen number of cards into a pile. If the first participant placed the card at her number face down in front of the performer, the second participant does the same. If the first participant placed the next card after her number face down in front of the performer, the second participant does the same.

The performer turns the cards face up and the participants affirm that they are their selections.


This effect was inspired by Pit Hartling's “Triple Countdown” from Card Fictions (2003). Hartling’s effect is related to Fred Smith’s “Smith Myth” that appeared in Hen Fetsch's The Five O’ Fetsch (1956). Smith’s effect is based on a mathematical principle described by Professor Sydney Lawrence in his Ten Self Working Master Effects (circa 1910). Whew!

One additional item must be added to the deck and later surreptitiously removed. If the participants don’t name appropriate numbers, the performer will have to handle the deck before the participants deal to their numbers.

Superior methods exist that don’t involve contingencies or the additional item.

I don’t like it.


Bold Collection: The performer removes four cards from the deck and tables them face down. Three participants select cards, which remain in the deck.

The performer picks up the face-down packet, turns it face up and displays the four Kings. He squares the packet. He removes the King that is second from the face of the packet and places it on top of the packet.

The performer spreads the top two cards to reveal a face-down card between the first two Kings. He removes the top King and places it on the bottom of the packet. He removes the face-down card and tables it.

The performer spreads the top two cards to reveal a second face-down card between the two Kings. He removes the uppermost King and places it on the bottom of the packet. He removes the face-down card and places it on top of the previously tabled face-down card.

The performer spreads the top two cards to reveal a third face-down card between the two Kings. He removes the uppermost King and places it on the bottom of the packet. He removes the face-down card and places it on top of the tabled face-down cards. He buries the Kings in the deck.

The performer picks up the tabled cards and holds them with their faces toward him. He announces the identities of the cards.

He displays the faces of the cards to each participant and asks them if the Kings succeeded in locating their selections. All of the participants respond affirmatively.


This is Mr. Kociolek’s “strange and unusual” version of Roy Walton’s “The Collectors” that was published in Abracadabra (1969). Unfortunately, I agree with his assessment. I prefer versions of “The Collectors” in which all three selections simultaneously appear sandwiched between the Kings in a straightforward manner.

I don’t like it.


Plan B: Three participants freely select cards and the performer loses them in the deck. The performer turns the top card face up onto the deck, displaying an indifferent card. He removes the card, shows it around and then places it face down on top of the deck.

The performer spreads a quarter of the deck and flips it face up onto the deck. He spreads the face-up portion and asks the participants to look for their cards. He states that he will attempt to read their “tells” to determine if they have seen their cards.

He squares the face-up cards, removes them from the deck and hands the packet to the first participant. She cuts the packet and guards it.

The performer repeats this procedure with the third participant.

The performer turns the remaining cards face up, and hands them to the second participant, who cuts and guards the packet.

The performer asks the first two participants if they saw their cards. They say that they didn’t see them.

Each participant spreads her face-up packet and discovers one face-down card. The participants turn over the face-down cards and discover their selections.


I like it.


In Between: The performer removes a Joker from the deck and hands it to a participant. He cuts the deck several times.

He spreads the deck face down and the participant inserts the face-up Joker into the spread to select two cards. She can choose the pair of cards below or above the Joker. The performer removes the Joker and the two cards. He cuts the deck and places the Joker on top.

The performer shuffles the deck. He explains to the participant that she will use the suit of one of the cards and the value of the other card to create her selection.

The performer asks the participant to set the suit card aside and concentrate on the value card, while she imagines her newly created selection. Half of the time, the performer will give the deck an additional cut.

The performer turns his back. The participant places the two cards face up on top of the deck and cuts the deck near the middle. She gives the deck another off-center cut.

The performer turns around, retrieves the deck and shuffles it. He spreads the deck face down on the table. A face-down card is sandwiched between the face-up suit and value cards. The participant turns over the face-down card and discovers her mentally created card.


Here, the author employs a principle from Stewart James' “Spell of Mystery” (marketed in 1929). His method also involves a full deck stack.

I like it.


In Oil, Under Water: The performer removes four black spot cards and four red spot cards from the deck. He places the black cards on top of the red cards and displays the face-up spread. He squares the packet and holds it with his palm-down his right hand.

Using his left thumb, he peels the black cards onto his left palm. He turns both packets face down. He thumbs a black card onto the table, followed by a red card. He continues alternately dealing black and red cards, forming a tabled pile.

The performer picks up the pile with his left hand. He thumbs the top card into his right hand and displays a red card. He thumbs the next black card into his right hand, taking it onto the face of the other card. He thumbs the next card onto the face of his right hand’s cards. He combines the packets, spreads them between his hands and then he squares the packet.

The performer places the face-down packet onto the participant’s palm. The participant turns the packet face up and discovers that the red cards have separated from the black cards.

The performer retrieves the face-up packet with his right hand and peels the cards into his left, emphasizing their separation. He removes the black cards and tables them in front of the participant.

He again displays the four red cards. He hands the red card packet to the participant and she drops it on top of the black card packet. She places her hand on top of the combined packet to create the magic moment. She removes her hand and spreads the cards. The colors once again alternate.


Mr. Kociolek’s description of his method lacks important detail. After much experimentation I was able to decipher his handling, but it was a pain. A reader shouldn’t have to struggle to understand an author’s method.

Mr. Kociolek should rewrite his method in greater detail. Since this is a PDF, that’s easy to do. Despite his inadequate description, his method is sound.

I like it.


Colors: The performer tables a folded piece of paper, upon which is written his prediction. He shuffles the deck and tables it in front of the participant.

The performer explains that he and the participant will play a game of matching the colors of playing cards. The performer asks her if she wants red or black cards. She chooses black.

The participant will pick pairs of cards. If both cards are black, they are counted as her cards. If both cards are red, they are counted as the performer’s cards. If the pair consists of one black card and one red card, it is discarded and doesn’t count. The person with the most cards of their wins. The participant will also choose an additional to be used in the event of a particular outcome.

The participant cuts off less than half of the deck. She takes the bottom portion of the deck, deals cards into a face-down pile and stops whenever she wishes. She takes the top card and sets it aside.

The participant takes the cut-off portion of the deck and turns pairs of cards face up. She keeps the pairs of black cards and the performer keeps the pairs of red cards. She and the performer wind up with the same number of pairs. The game is a tie.

The participant opens the prediction and reads it aloud. It says that the game will result in a draw, but the extra card chosen by the participant will break the tie in her favor. She turns the extra card face up and discovers that she chose a black card. She wins the game.


This is Mr. Kociolek’s version of Stewart James’ “Miraskill” that was published in the September 1936 issue of The Jinx. The author’s method requires a deck with a certain type of back design and a full deck stack.

I like it.


MK Simple Shift Variation: Here we have Mr. Edward Marlo's finessed handling of Ed Marlo’s “Simple Shift” that was published in The Cardician (1953).

I like it.


Prior to reading 8 Effects and a Sleight I hadn’t heard of Michael Kociolek. Now that I’ve read it, I will remember his name. I liked most of the effects in this ebook. It warmed my cranky heart to see that young Mr. Kociolek has studied and been inspired by important, older books instead of flavor-of-the-minute DVDs and downloads. I look forward to his future offerings.


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Tom Pilling
Posts: 161
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 4:07 pm

Re: 8 Effects and a Sleight by Michael Kociolek

Postby Tom Pilling » February 10th, 2014, 12:00 pm

I'm holding a first edition copy of Beckett, who co-mingles italicised stage direction with dialogue. Is this also aesthetically horrible? If so, should someone have told him?


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