It’s All in the Mind (PDF) by Raphael Czaja $12.00
24 pages, 1 photograph, 9 templates, links to drawings of Chinese dragons
Available at: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/4037
Raphael Czaja is back with this PDF of “7 Effortless Mental Magic Experiments”.
English is not the author’s primary language, so his writing is pretty rough. He does an adequate to poor job of teaching the material. He dutifully cites his inspirational sources.
The artwork on the templates is well rendered.
Twice the Touch: The performer removes a packet of eight face-down ESP cards from an envelope and tables them. He mixes the cards by alternately dealing them into two piles and then reassembling the piles. He repeats the mixing as often as his participant wishes.
He turns his back and instructs the participant to use a Down/Under procedure to deal the cards into two four-card piles. She freely picks up one of the piles, looks at the top card and tables it. Let’s say it’s the star. She places the tabled pile on top of the pile in her hand. She spreads the cards face down on the table and inserts her card into the spread.
The performer places his hands behind his back. The participant squares the tabled cards and places the packet in the performer’s hands.
The performer turns around and faces the participant. He removes a card from the packet, brings it forward and displays its face to the participant. She affirms that it is her card. The performer returns the card to the packet and tables it. He turns his back again.
The participant turns the packet face up and spreads the cards in a row. She can rearrange the cards if she wishes.
The performer turns around and faces the participant. She places her hand above the row of cards. The performer grasps her wrist and moves her hand back and forth over the cards. He turns cards face down to eliminate them. One face-up card remains. It is the star.
Mr. Czaja’s description of the dreadful Down/Under procedure is incomplete and maddening. I can’t endorse his method if I can’t comprehend it.
I don’t like it.
Double Impossibility: The performer tables an envelope and a face-down packet of 13 cards. He picks up the packet and, one by one, he deals the cards into a pile until a participant directs him to stop. He turns over the remaining packet of cards and places it on top of the tabled pile. Some of the cards are face up, some are face down.
He turns his back and the participant executes the demonstrated procedure to mix the cards.
Next, she transfers cards from the top of the packet to the bottom, as she spells “My card”, one card for each letter.
At the completion of the spelling, if the new top card of the packet is face up, she remembers it. If it’s face down, she turns it face up, remembers it and turns it face down. Let’s says it’s the Ten of Diamonds and it’s face down. She cuts the packet.
The performer turns around and faces the participant. He partially removes a card from the envelope. It is the Ten of Diamonds. He removes the card and “Face down” is written on its face.
To mix the cards, Mr. Czaja employs Howard Adams’ “Deal/Turn Over” technique.
The prediction card is a special card and it can’t be examined. Because you deface it by writing on it, it can’t be used for other effects. I’m not willing to devote one of my precious special cards to this effect.
I don’t like it.
Fusional: The deck is on the table. The performer asks participant #1 to think of a number between one and ten and to tell him if it’s odd or even. Let’s say it’s odd.
He asks participant #2 to think of a suit and to tell him if it’s red or black. Let’s say it’s black. He asks her to think of an even number between one and ten.
The performer asks participant #1 to think of a red suit.
The participants combine their numbers and suits to create two cards. They decide upon which card they want, and which card they will be rejected.
The performer spreads the faces of the deck toward himself. He removes the selected card and tables it face down. He removes the rejected card and tables it face down. He spreads the top portion of the deck to display the cards they could have selected.
He turns the rejected card face up and it is unremarkable. He turns the selected card face up and on its face is written “My Card”.
From two decks, you build the special deck. Almost half of the cards are modified. The deck can’t be examined.
The card selection procedure is indirect and contrived. I don’t understand why Mr. Czaja bothers to use the rejected card. This effect doesn’t merit a dedicated deck.
I don’t like it.
Tset Koob: The performer tables a book with a bookmark protruding from its pages. He introduces a stack of 12 envelopes. Each envelope contains a prediction. One by one, he deals the envelopes into a pile until a participant directs him to stop. He turns over the remaining stack of envelopes and places it on top of the tabled pile. He hands the stack to the participant and she repeats the mixing procedure as often as she likes.
The performer turns his back and the participant alternately deals the envelopes into two piles. She freely eliminates either the packet on the right or the packet on the left. Let’s say he eliminates the packet on the left.
The participant alternately deals the remaining packet into two piles. Again, she eliminates the packet on the left.
She deals the remaining three envelopes into two piles and eliminates the two-card packet on the left. One prediction envelope remains.
The performer turns around and faces the participant. With his palm-down left hand, he picks up the discarded stack of envelopes and turns his left hand palm up. He opens the top envelope, removes the prediction and reads it aloud. He tables the prediction and the envelope.
He repeats the procedure with the next two envelopes to prove that the predictions are different. He disposes of the remaining envelopes.
The performer picks up the book and opens it to the bookmarked page. The participant reads aloud the first words on the page. She removes the prediction from the envelope and reads it aloud. Her chosen prediction matches the words on the page.
There is no reason to use the “Deal/Turn Over” procedure to shuffle the envelopes because their face-up vs. face-down orientation is irrelevant. Apparently, the author really digs the technique.
The procedure that the participant executes to select an envelope is contrived and rigid. Why must she always eliminate the left-most (or right-most) pile?
I don’t like it.
Through-Sight: The performer tables a face-down deck and a die in front of a participant. He turns his back.
The participant cuts a packet of cards off the top of the deck, turns it face up and replaces it on the deck. She announces the name of the uppermost, face-up card.
She cuts a larger portion of cards off the top of the deck, turns it over and replaces it on the deck. She announces the name of the new uppermost, face-up card.
She removes all of the face-up cards and disposes of them.
One at a time, she deals the top six cards of the deck into a face-up pile.
She rolls the die until it displays a number that she likes. Let’s say it’s the number four. She covers the die with the card case.
The participant spreads the faces of the six cards toward herself, counts to the fourth card from the left of the spread, and remembers it.
She squares the cards and turns them face down. She alternately deals the cards from left to right, creating two face-down piles. She takes the left packet and spreads it face up.
The performer asks her if she can see her selection.
If she sees her selection, she replaces the cards face down onto the tabled packet and picks up the packet.
If she doesn’t see her selection, she takes the other packet, turns it face up, places it onto the other face-up packet and turns the combined packet face down.
She repeats the procedure described in the previous four paragraphs twice.
The performer correctly divines her selection.
The participant spreads the cards face up, counts to the new fourth card from the left of the spread, and remembers it. She squares the cards and tables the packet face down.
The performer turns around to face the participant and immediately names her new selection.
This effect is Mr. Czaja’s combination of Max Maven’s “Out of Sorts” and “Espectrum”.
The “Cut Deeper Force” has never appealed to me because it’s an odd, contrived way to simply choose a damn card. The rest of his method is procedurally bloated.
I don’t like it
I Like Chinese: The performer tables an envelope and a dragon sheet that describes the mythological “nine sons of the dragon". He displays nine cards, each card bearing the name of one of the dragons. He hands the dragon sheet to a participant.
The performer mixes the cards and deals them into three piles. The participant executes an elimination procedure to select one of the piles. She turns the top card of the pile face up and it bears the name Suanni.
The performer removes a card from the envelope. It depicts one of the dragons.
The participant reads the description of Suanni from the dragon sheet.
The performer claims that the dragon on his prediction card is Suanni. The participant is not impressed. The performer moves his fingers to reveal “Suanni” printed beneath the drawing.
Mr. Czaja employs Peter Duffie’s “Magic Shuffle".
The prediction card can’t be examined.
I’m not a dragon kind of guy.
I don’t like it.
Lotto 21: An envelope is on the table. The performer displays five large Lotto cards, each bearing a 4 x 4 matrix of numbers. He emphasizes that each card bears different numbers. He explains the rules of the game. The game consists of adding four numbers from a grid. A player wins by having the total that is closest to, without going over, a number concealed in the envelope.
The performer tables the Lotto cards face down in a row. A participant freely selects one of the cards for herself. The performer takes a card for himself. They turn their cards face up.
With a Sharpie, the participant freely circles any number and crosses out the numbers of the same row and column. She circles any remaining number and crosses out the numbers of the same row and column. He repeats the procedure once again. Finally, she circles the remaining number.
The participant repeats the procedure with the performer’s card.
The participant adds the numbers on each card. The performer’s total is 64. The participant’s total is 77. The performer removes the piece of paper from the envelope and displays it. The secret number is 70. The performer wins.
He removes another piece of paper from the envelope. The envelope is now empty. He displays the piece of paper and it reads, “I win by six and lose you lose by seven!”
The author’s method is based upon ideas by Maurice Kraitchick and Mel Stover.
I’m not a fan of this type of grid magic. This is a weird effect. The participant has never heard of this odd game, nor has she ever laid eyes on these cards. She will likely conclude that the cards are special and that it doesn’t matter what numbers she chooses. And she will be correct.
I don’t like it.
The term “effortless” in the subtitle of this PDF is a misnomer. I understand that Mr. Czaja used the term to indicate that these methods are sleight-free, and they are. But they are far from effortless.
Many of his methods require considerable effort in the form of lengthy or repetitive procedures that slow down the pace of the effects. Since the author doesn’t provide presentations that justify these procedures, it often feels like the method is the effect.
This is a case in which the judicious application of intermediate sleight of hand techniques would have actually required less effort and produced more direct, faster paced, potentially stronger effects.
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