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Review of Hole by Mickael Chatelain

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Review of Hole by Mickael Chatelain
Mickael Chatelain successfully creates and offers some amazing card gimmicks that allow us all to perform some minor miracles. His latest effect is “Hole.” It’s a visual penetration effect where a card that’s sandwiched between two other cards passes through a sticker that’s holding the two outer cards together. It looks great in a “Card Warp” kind of way. The convincer here is that the hole in one of the outer cards allows spectators to keep the “penetrating” card in complete view the entire process. The illusion is very convincing. You can watch my performance of the effect on video here.

I find the title to be a bit misleading. I was expecting some type of penetration effect with a hole in the card itself. But it turns out that the trick’s namesake “hole” is strictly for the purpose of observation. The penetration occurs through a sticker.

How it Looks

Here’s how the effect looks. You allow a spectator to examine a red card that has an approximately one-inch hole through its center. Aside from the hole, the card is absolutely ordinary. You bring out a sticker and invite a spectator to sign it. You take the top card from the deck and place the red card with the hole on top of it. You align the cards and apply the signed sticker to the bottom edges to create something a card sandwich with the sticker acting as a “hinge.“

You now ask the spectator to take a card from the deck, sign it and lay it between the two attached cards. The spectator’s signed card is clearly trapped between the two cards and the signature can be seen through the hole in the top card. Yet, you are able to slowly and convincingly pull the spectator’s card through the sticker that binds the two cards together. Everything looks great although contrary to what the ads state, you won’t be able to allow a spectator to closely examine the cards afterwards.

The Gimmick

The magic happens courtesy of a gimmicked card. It’s a precision, well made gimmick that allows the card to pass as a normal one, but can ring in some intriguing properties when needed. The effect requires no sleight of hand or complicated moves. The gimmick does all of the work. The accompanying DVD offers basic instructions - everything that you need to know. The kit comes with the gimmicked card, a regular card with a hole in it, DVD and stickers. However, with only eight stickers, I find this rather limiting (only eight performances?) However, I’m pretty sure that these stickers are available through most office stores. Also, the kit comes in red and blue Bicycle-back versions.

I mentioned “Card Warp” earlier and “Hole” offers a penetration that will probably have a similar initial effect on spectators. (I realize that “Card Warp” is not actually a ‘penetration’ but am only comparing the visual impact that the effect has on lay spectators.)

Passing Through a Sticker

This effect is strictly about a card passing through a sticker. And I think that spectators intuitively know that a sticker, particularly those of the “Post-It” variety, can be easily unstuck and re-stuck. If spectators’ logic goes in this direction - the sticker was somehow unstuck to allow the card to pass - and I think it will, it detracts from the “magic” of the effect. The slick method has nothing to do with secretly working with the sticker, but I think that spectators will think and conclude that this has occurred, which is a shame.

One other consideration, while the method may not be apparent, the fact that the card is somehow gimmicked may be. Spectators may notice something different about the card, or perhaps they won't, under close-up conditions. It's hard to say. Of course, the gimmicked card can not be handed out for inspection.

Overall, I think that “Hole” is mostly a visual puzzle with a distinct flaw in the logic, but it looks great. Again, you can watch my demonstration of the effect on video here.

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