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Topic: Giving It a Shot
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 8, 2015 12:38AM)
So I've decided to join the memdeck crowd. Today. First ten cards of the Aronson Stack memorized (in both directions). On sub-one-second recall in both directions. Estimated time spent practicing? One hour, broken up into four fifteen minute periods. Let's see how fast I can get this done. I'll track my progress here. I predict two weeks. I hope to high heaven this doesn't take me a month, but if it does, I won't shoot myself. It's not as easy as I expected, but I'm opting for the brute force rote memorization method. Ten down, fourty-two to go!
Message: Posted by: doriancaudal (Oct 8, 2015 06:07AM)
[quote]On Oct 8, 2015, RiderBacks wrote:
I'll track my progress here. [/quote]

Why ?
Message: Posted by: The_MetalMaster (Oct 8, 2015 07:01AM)
I can't imagine going back and doing it rote memorization lol. I thought Simon's mneumonics in Bound To Please resulted in me learing it quite quick. Less than a week if I remember right. However, knowing it cold and on the spot when required for "Two Beginnings" takes a little time if you perform it quite often.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 8, 2015 03:57PM)
[quote]On Oct 8, 2015, doriancaudal wrote: Why?[/quote]

Why not? But seriously, it's much more motivating. Now that I've said I'll do it, I have to. And fast!
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 8, 2015 04:03PM)
[quote]On Oct 8, 2015, The_MetalMaster wrote:
I can't imagine going back and doing it rote memorization lol. I thought Simon's mneumonics in Bound To Please resulted in me learing it quite quick. Less than a week if I remember right. However, knowing it cold and on the spot when required for "Two Beginnings" takes a little time if you perform it quite often. [/quote]

I'm pretty good with rote memorization when I want to be. I figure (perhaps incorrectly) that if I do it this way, I'll have it down cold faster (and I save the time learning a mnemonic system would take!) A mnemonic system would no doubt give me the order quicker, but I'd have to move through various associations to recover it (at least initially), and I want the card/number associations to be instantaneous. I'm assuming those who go with a mnemonic system probably eventually abandon that once they've got the instantaneous associations down, so I figured I'd just aim directly for that point.

But one week is impressive! I'm taking the day off. Second set of ten tomorrow. It'll probably be a bit more than a week for me, but if I don't beat three weeks, I'll publicly admit to being a lazy gimp.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 9, 2015 05:42PM)
And 1-20 are done. Second set of ten finished on time as promised! Forwards and backwards with no errors. I'm still a few seconds slow on a couple of them though, so that's no good. (Yes, currently it looks like I'm having a mini-seizure when trying to recall a couple of the cards.) Total estimated time spent so far? One hour spread across three days. I aim to add six more tomorrow to bring myself up to 50%, and then stick with that for a day or two until I have cemented instantaneous forward/backward recall before moving on.

I do not think I would enjoy doing this in an extended session, though it'd probably be possible. Spreading the memorization across a few days seems to be working well without causing any burnout. With almost half the deck done in three days and less than two hours, I'm optimistic that I'll meet my initial target time of two weeks. But if it takes three or four, that's also fine.. I'm using flashcards primarily along with the occasional check at memodeck.com. While this is not quite as easy as I thought it would be, it's still not that difficult.

The number cards are definitely the worst. Oh, that 10 is an 11? Fun stuff.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Oct 11, 2015 09:09AM)
Congrats on learning a men stack. You'll find you can really fry the "smart guys" using this. If doing it by rote memory you may want to try another strategy as well. Learning the stack in order is great, but sometimes doing it that way may cause you to recall a sequence of cards in order to see which one is next. For example. When someone says 29 you may tend to remember 26,
27, 28 then 29. It adds a few extra seconds into your recall. You may immediately go to a card that was easier for you to recall then count from that one. Does that make sense? Maybe mix it up a bit and learn the position of all the Aces, then all the 2's, then 3's, etc. That way your memory is in no particular order. It forces you to remember card positions with the actual card at that position. it prevents you from reciting the sequence of cards leading up to the one your trying to remember.
I personally used mnemonics. After a short while you don't need the associations anymore and it becomes automatic. If however you have a brain fart, you can just refer back to the mnemonic for that card. Using rote memory you have nothing to fall back on unless you have a crib nearby on the card box or joker. Just note it is beneficial to learn it in order too because some effects require reciting groups of cards in order. Have fun!
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 11, 2015 11:08AM)
[quote]On Oct 11, 2015, Bobby Forbes wrote: Learning the stack in order is great, but sometimes doing it that way may cause you to recall a sequence of cards in order to see which one is next. For example. When someone says 29 you may tend to remember 26, 27, 28 then 29. It adds a few extra seconds into your recall. You may immediately go to a card that was easier for you to recall then count from that one. Does that make sense?[/quote]

This is absolutely correct. There are still two locations in the first twenty-six (I added six more to make it a nice 50%) where I do this. The 2D//KD/7D sequence and the 8S/3D/7H sequence. All the other cards have been associated perfectly, however. That I'm still doing this (after four days of mem work) doesn't bother me. In fact, I like it. For it lets me practice without having the cards on me. And at some point in the near future, I expect those last six cards to fall into a natural association. (For some reason, it took three days for the 5H to fall naturally into association with the 12. What finally did it? Repeatedly focusing on the card I was missing. And actually, the KD fell into natural association with the 14 yesterday, so I'm really only lacking perfect association for five of the first twenty-six.) Since 50% is a nice even stopping point, I'm really going to sit here now for a few days and try to bring those last five cards into flawless association.

[quote]On Oct 11, 2015, Bobby Forbes wrote: Maybe mix it up a bit and learn the position of all the Aces, then all the 2's, then 3's, etc. That way your memory is in no particular order. It forces you to remember card positions with the actual card at that position. it prevents you from reciting the sequence of cards leading up to the one your trying to remember.[/quote]

My rote memorization method is already giving me this. For example, all the Aces occur within the first twenty-six cards, and I automatically know all their positions. Of course, Aces are more conspicuous, and I'd have to do a bit of thinking to tell you how many 3's occur within the first twenty-six. So I'll definitely work on this with the other indices, but only after I have the whole deck down. I also plan on working on "next card" and "prior card" memorization after that, without the need for having to move through numbers. And I think "next card" and "prior card" memorization will benefit from having knowing the deck in order.

[quote]If however you have a brain fart, you can just refer back to the mnemonic for that card. Using rote memory you have nothing to fall back on unless you have a crib nearby on the card box or joker.[/quote]

A very good point some may wish to consider. For this, I trust I won't brain fart once I have it. On other matters, I cannot rely so easily on my memory. It's very odd what comes easy and what comes hard. It is astonishing how fast I will forget the method for a trick, for example. God knows how many times I have Elmsley counted the third twist in Twisting the Aces... Even stupidly simple tricks (as stupidly simple as Gemini Twins) sometimes require me to think about how to reconstruct the trick before proceeding. My brain is a ****ed up place and does something things great and others things poorly.
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Oct 11, 2015 11:38AM)
The easy way to learn a memorized stack: Joyal Stack (ebook):

http://www.joyalstack.com/magic-books/name/joyal-martin
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 11, 2015 04:28PM)
[quote]On Oct 11, 2015, Kjellstrom wrote:
The easy way to learn a memorized stack: Joyal Stack (ebook):

http://www.joyalstack.com/magic-books/name/joyal-martin [/quote]

Personally, I have no need for a rule-based approach, though some may find that helpful. I picked the Aronson stack for a few reasons. First, it seems to have very good English support. That is, there's a lot of material published on it in English. (Going to have to pick up some of Simon's books, of course. Those are now on my list of things to buy!) Second, it spreads or fans favorably. Third, it has a lot of built in effect set-ups. Now I'm not very familiar with the Joyal Stack, but I suspect that a rule-based stack is going to give up on most built in effect set-ups. After all, the stack isn't primarily designed around the effects, it's first and foremost designed around the rules. (While one might come up with rules that also permit effects, it seems likely that there will be more limitations here, and especially so the simpler the rules are.) So if one doesn't need memory help, and doesn't speak Spanish, I think the Aronson Stack is probably one of the better ones to commit to memory. And of course, you only have to do it once. To paraphrase someone, "The more pain, the more gain."
Message: Posted by: landmark (Oct 11, 2015 08:00PM)
[quote] The 2D//KD/7D sequence...[/quote]

The thing to remember about that sequence is that they are part of a built-in spelling sequence:
Two of Diamonds spells with 13 letters, KD with 14, 7D with 15. If you know that, you'll always know their relative order: two, King seven, that is, the shortest name, medium name, longest name.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 12, 2015 06:30PM)
[quote]On Oct 11, 2015, landmark wrote: The thing to remember about that sequence is that they are part of a built-in spelling sequence:
Two of Diamonds spells with 13 letters, KD with 14, 7D with 15. If you know that, you'll always know their relative order: two, King seven, that is, the shortest name, medium name, longest name. [/quote]

I should have already realized that! Thanks for the pro-tip. I actually have the 2/K/7 order memorized, and know the 7 is the 15. So I count down from 15 for the the 2. But this tip should probably help me cement the card-to-number and number-to-card association faster. And it will certainly help with recall if I forget something! Awesome tip. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 12, 2015 06:36PM)
I'm parking on the first twenty-six cards for another few days. I want to get this half-stack thoroughly cemented in memory before moving on. I think I'll be happy giving the first half of the deck a full week. The second half will be incoming soon, but patience is a virtue, and getting this down will take far less time than working on various sleights. I figure that slow and steady wins the race.
Message: Posted by: mtgoldstein (Oct 17, 2015 09:25AM)
There is a great app to help with randomized game matching. Sorry I'm not explaining it well. Check out The Ultimate Aronson Trainer in the App Store. There's one for the Tamariz stack too
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 18, 2015 05:45PM)
Alright. Setting the first twenty-six aside. On to the next twenty-six tomorrow. I have already used the initial stack to perform some awesome stuff. After a few routines, I decided to play the 50% chance of asking a spectator to pick a card. If they didn't pick a card which occurs in the first half of the stack, I'd have been forced to modify. But fair enough. What card did the spectator pick? The JS. From there, **** went down. I gave up the stack, shuffled like mad (controlling the top card, of course), and blew a mind. It was great fun. This experience leads me to believe that a stack with some of the most commonly selected cards built into it for easy access would be a great stack. Just some thoughts.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 19, 2015 06:26PM)
I think that after I finish the Aronson Stack I'll get the Tamariz Stack down too. But as promised, I today added five more cards to my memorization of the Aronson Stack. We're ten days in and up to thirty-one cards. I confess that I took a break and didn't pay attention to this for the past five or six days. Work on other effects occupied my time. Still, I won't subtract the near week I ignored this from my revised goal of something like three weeks. I aim to finish within the next ten days, but we'll see what happens!
Message: Posted by: pnielan (Oct 20, 2015 12:05AM)
No point in learning a second stack until you've performed many, many times with the the first stack (in my opinion). Aronson, Tamariz both great, but many of the best memdeck effects are stack independent. Being able to write down (or recite)the cards in order without a reference or write down (recite) the stack numbers for each card without a reference is one thing. But performing some of the best tricks with the stack requires mastery far beyond that. I've read that a few use multiple stacks at the same time. My feeling is that under performing pressure (and after a glass of wine), that I might inadvertently use the wrong stack.. I'm on my second stack now, but I've tried to actively forget the first stack I learned. Speed and your thinking not showing with one stack is way better than half-mastery of two (again, in my opinion).

One test on the way to mastery: how long does it take you, starting from a shuffled deck, and keeping the cards in your hands (no table), to put the deck in memdeck order. Under 3 minutes is pretty good. Over 5 minutes means you are spending too much time to much time thinking about what comes next. A good metric is to use the same mechanics (in your hands) to put a deck in new deck order. If your memdeck time comes close, then you are moving towards mastery.
Message: Posted by: pnielan (Oct 20, 2015 12:11AM)
No point in learning a second stack until you've performed many, many times with the the first stack (in my opinion). Aronson, Tamariz both great, but many of the best memdeck effects are stack independent. Being able to write down (or recite)the cards in order without a reference or write down (recite) the stack numbers for each card without a reference is one thing. But performing some of the best tricks with the stack requires mastery far beyond that. I've read that a few use multiple stacks at the same time. My feeling is that under performing pressure (and after a glass of wine), that I might inadvertently use the wrong stack.. I'm on my second stack now, but I've tried to actively forget the first stack I learned. Speed and your thinking not showing with one stack is way better than half-mastery of two (again, in my opinion).

One test on the way to mastery: how long does it take you, starting from a shuffled deck, and keeping the cards in your hands (no table), to put the deck in memdeck order. Under 3 minutes is pretty good. Over 5 minutes means you are spending too much time to much time thinking about what comes next. A good metric is to use the same mechanics (in your hands) to put a deck in new deck order. If your memdeck time comes close, then you are moving towards mastery.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 20, 2015 01:59PM)
[quote]On Oct 20, 2015, pnielan wrote: One test on the way to mastery: how long does it take you, starting from a shuffled deck, and keeping the cards in your hands (no table), to put the deck in memdeck order. Under 3 minutes is pretty good. Over 5 minutes means you are spending too much time to much time thinking about what comes next. A good metric is to use the same mechanics (in your hands) to put a deck in new deck order. If your memdeck time comes close, then you are moving towards mastery.[/quote]

That's a great idea! Will use it! +1 for the tip!
Message: Posted by: alicauchy (Oct 21, 2015 01:34PM)
[quote]On Oct 20, 2015, pnielan wrote:
One test on the way to mastery: how long does it take you, starting from a shuffled deck, and keeping the cards in your hands (no table), to put the deck in memdeck order. Under 3 minutes is pretty good. Over 5 minutes means you are spending too much time to much time thinking about what comes next. A good metric is to use the same mechanics (in your hands) to put a deck in new deck order. If your memdeck time comes close, then you are moving towards mastery. [/quote]

Nice exercise. I read the "between the fingers" method in Mnemonica, but never tried to clock myself.

Hey, 2'43" in the first try. Not that bad.

But I feel that it is still too much time !!!
Message: Posted by: pnielan (Oct 21, 2015 11:50PM)
Hi Ali,

(I recognize the equation.) You mentioned the "between the fingers" method, which I've also read. Just to clairif,y, when I put the deck in order in my hands, it's not to get it ready for performance, it's to work on/test stack memorization. If I need to set up for a performance, I use a table or whatever to set up faste

By the way, I've experimented with other methods of arranging in my hands. One way is to first separate the deck into 1-26 and 27-52 sections. This can be done by first sorting the 1-26 cards face down and moving them to the back of the deck. If you really know your stack, this can be done very quickly. Now you only have to arrange each separate half. You can even the arrange the 1-26 section into 1-13 and 14-16 sections and then sort those. This approach is a version of computer science's quicksort algorithm.

I think this approach might be slightly faster. The slowest part in the original approach is the first 10-15 cards. You have to go through 40-50 cards to find each one of them. As you get further along, it all goes much faster. Again, if you know your stack, you can look for 2-3 cards at a time, though, which speeds things up.

Have fun.
Message: Posted by: pnielan (Oct 21, 2015 11:51PM)
Hi Ali,

(I recognize the equation.) You mentioned the "between the fingers" method, which I've also read. Just to clairif,y, when I put the deck in order in my hands, it's not to get it ready for performance, it's to work on/test stack memorization. If I need to set up for a performance, I use a table or whatever to set up faster.

By the way, I've experimented with other methods of arranging in my hands. One way is to first separate the deck into 1-26 and 27-52 sections. This can be done by first sorting the 1-26 cards face down and moving them to the back of the deck. If you really know your stack, this can be done very quickly. Now you only have to arrange each separate half. You can even the arrange the 1-26 section into 1-13 and 14-16 sections and then sort those. This approach is a version of computer science's quicksort algorithm.

I think this approach might be slightly faster. The slowest part in the original approach is the first 10-15 cards. You have to go through 40-50 cards to find each one of them. As you get further along, it all goes much faster. Again, if you know your stack, you can look for 2-3 cards at a time, though, which speeds things up.

Have fun.
Message: Posted by: alicauchy (Oct 22, 2015 05:03AM)
[quote]On Oct 22, 2015, pnielan wrote:
(I recognize the equation.) You mentioned the "between the fingers" method, which I've also read. Just to clairif,y, when I put the deck in order in my hands, it's not to get it ready for performance, it's to work on/test stack memorization. If I need to set up for a performance, I use a table or whatever to set up faster.
[/quote]
Of course. In fact, for setting Mnemonica order either for rehearsal or *before* a performance, I prefer to obtain NDO first and, then, proceed with faros. This way I keep practicing faros together with culling blocks of cards (for spades, etc).

[quote]On Oct 22, 2015, pnielan wrote:
This can be done by first sorting the 1-26 cards face down and moving them to the back of the deck. If you really know your stack, this can be done very quickly. Now you only have to arrange each separate half.
[/quote]
Probably you meant *arrange and sort* cards 1-26 face *up*. Not even quicksort can help you to sort face down cards (unless using a MD, I believe)
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 22, 2015 07:40PM)
The faro-involving method for moving from NDO to a Tamariz Stack is pretty widely known. Getting to and from NDO with an Aronson Stack seems to be a well-kept secret.
Message: Posted by: chappy (Oct 22, 2015 09:06PM)
Hi Riderbacks

In reference to a few of the things you've discussed above:
1. Eric Richardson published work on getting into Aronson.
2. Raou may want to consider
Message: Posted by: chappy (Oct 22, 2015 09:06PM)
Hi Riderbacks

In reference to a few of the things you've discussed above:
1. Eric Richardson published work on getting into Aronson.
2. Re: commonly named cards in accessible positions: you may want to consider developing your own stack next rather than learning an existing one. Position each card as YOU choose. My own stack can be set quickly from NDO, and has some commonly named cards in easy to locate positions.
3. I don't normally plug (much) my book here, but before investing more time into learning your next stack you might find a useful lead or two on mem-deck work at the link below, that will set you on an interesting path.

Best,
Greg

www.thedevilsstaircase.com
Message: Posted by: Tim Cavendish (Oct 22, 2015 09:35PM)
Re: stack numbers 11-16...

I feel tension in this range. Most cards in this range are off by one.

11: 10S is one short of position 11
[12: 5H doesn't play like the others -- no help here]
13: 2D is one short of position 13 (mod 10)
14: KD is card value 13, one short of position 14
15: 7D times 2 is 14, one short of position 15
16: 8C times 2 is 16 -- finally a perfect fit for position 16, and a release of tension!

Except for the Jack of Spades, no card value in the Aronson stack corresponds to its position mod 10. (So none of the Twos are at positions 2,12,22,32,42,52; None of the Threes are at 3,13,23,33,43; etc.) Alas!

Like you, I used flashcards to memorize, with the stack number written on the back of the card.

I wish I had also marked a deck boldly with the stack number on the face. Then I would have visual memory of the giant stack number overlaying the face of the card. Memorize with this deck, test with the other. This might be useful for any cards which give you trouble.

I find that sorting into stack order via culling is good practice all around. I do a red/black cull, then a second divide to yield the four suits in unsorted chunks. Then, knowing the general area for each target card, I cull them in order to the back of the deck. Good for culling practice, as well as prior/next stack memory.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Oct 23, 2015 11:46PM)
[quote]On Oct 22, 2015, Tim Cavendish wrote: 11: 10S is one short of position 11[/quote]

That's actually my current recall method for this card!

[quote]On Oct 22, 2015, Tim Cavendish wrote:

12: 5H doesn't play like the others -- no help here]
13: 2D is one short of position 13 (mod 10)
14: KD is card value 13, one short of position 14
15: 7D times 2 is 14, one short of position 15[/quote]

These I have finally nailed flawlessly. The big bunch of diamonds in this range was giving me problems for awhile without having to think through order of the sequence.

[quote]On Oct 22, 2015, Tim Cavendish wrote: 16: 8C times 2 is 16[/quote]

I use that too!

[quote]On Oct 22, 2015, Tim Cavendish wrote:I wish I had also marked a deck boldly with the stack number on the face. Then I would have visual memory of the giant stack number overlaying the face of the card.[/quote]

I've actually already just done that tonight! It occurred to me that adding the final third of the deck (I have 2/3rds down) is getting harder and that a more visual image would help. I spent a nice two hours today making sure I have thirty-seven of them down pat. And not just the first thirty-seven! I'm splitting the deck up oddly so that I don't need order to memorize it (but I'm also supplementing by getting order down too.) The last third is going to happen with that nice big sharpie number written on their faces!
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Dec 2, 2015 08:50PM)
Sharpie method was very helpful, though I'm not entirely sure why. It's not like I do any visual recall, but the last bit of the stack went faster with it. Perhaps the part of my brain that associates numbers with cards is just getting better at doing that? Who knows.

In any case, the stack is now complete. In a verbal or mental recitation of all the cards, I occasionally pause on one or two and have to think a bit (i.e., have a mini seizure). But I always pull it up, so I'm at the point that I can practice mentally, anytime, anywhere. That took six days shy of two months, but I did take a fairly long multi-week break from bothering with it. I've been much busier than usual at work, and other effects occupied a fair bit of my free time.

I estimate the total amount of practice time I've put in to reach this point to be on the order of several hours. Perhaps five or six at the most? The time investment is incredibly minimal and looked something like a small number of discrete, separated 10m and 1-3m sessions.

At this point, I'll move on to other forms of practice, some of which have been helpfully suggested in this thread!

Now it's time to start getting into the reading! So far, I think I'll need (or want):

Simon Aronson's Bound to Please and Try the Impossible
Eric Richardson's Tour, It All Depends, and OASIS
Juan Tamariz's Mnemonica

Any other major pieces I'm missing here?
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Dec 24, 2015 04:02PM)
Unfortunately, it looks like Christmas is going to come and go without me picking up these books. The money is just too tight, and there were other magic purchases that have pushed these off into the future. I think I'll get a chance to treat myself to them in January, when I start my third simultaneous job. The only question then will be how to find the time to study them... Oh well. At least I'll have the stack down inside and out, backwards and forwards, card to number and number to card, next five cards, previous fives cards, and so on before I start reading, so that's a bonus.
Message: Posted by: Francois Lagrange (Dec 26, 2015 12:09PM)
If you have an Android phone, you could worse than downloading this free app: [url=https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.solutionsbuilder.memdeckpro&hl=en_GB]MemDeckPro[/url]

Excellent app for memorized deck. Many settings and quite intuitive.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Mar 3, 2016 05:40PM)
I have been very, very busy with non-magic stuff. Still, I've somehow managed to achieve some milestones.

I have instant, and I do mean instantaneous, card-to-number and number-to-card recall of the entire Aronson Stack. Still, I'm not quite where I want to be. I have incredibly fast, but not yet instant, card-before and card-after recall for about half the deck (not the first half, either--it's random). For the other half of the deck, I have instant (no inference required) card-before and card-after recall. It may take a bit more time to get the instant card-before and card-after recall for the entire deck. (Again, I'm busy.) And after that, I intend to move a bit further and acquire instant (no inference required) two-cards-before and two-cards-after recall. When initially getting into this, I considered memorizing multiple stacks. It now seems to me that having incredibly in-depth knowledge of a single stack is more valuable than superficial knowledge of multiple stacks.

I have also acquired Aronson's works! Yay!. Though I've barely started to read them, a first read through one of his tricks was sufficient for me to perfectly understand it and reproduce it (coupled with a few minutes of thought about the stack order). Aronson writes very, very clearly. I wasn't impressed with that particular trick, but I have no doubt that I will come across several gems as I continue to dive into his stuff.

Still having fun! Just moving slower than I expected!

[quote]On Dec 26, 2015, Francois Lagrange wrote:

If you have an Android phone, you could worse than downloading this free app: [url=https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.solutionsbuilder.memdeckpro&hl=en_GB]MemDeckPro[/url] Excellent app for memorized deck. Many settings and quite intuitive. [/quote]

I don't have a phone. I'm very old school. I suppose I could use BlueStacks, but I prefer to practice with cards, not my computer. Thanks, however!
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 3, 2016 09:07PM)
Simon Aronson is a genius and a strong supporter of the Cross-Cut Force.
Message: Posted by: Francois Lagrange (Mar 7, 2016 02:41AM)
[quote]On Mar 3, 2016, RiderBacks wrote:
I don't have a phone. I'm very old school. I suppose I could use BlueStacks, but I prefer to practice with cards, not my computer. Thanks, however! [/quote]

I understand, it took me a long time before my family and friends convince me to buy one, but all in all I'm glad I finally bought one :) The advantage of this particular app is that it has an audio mode training: i.e. you can keep the phone in your pocket and practice.

It looks like you've mastered the Aronson stack, well done for sticking with it and reporting your progress. BTW, for one particular effect, Histed Heisted, you must be able to recite your stack as you would the alphabet. It's simple to train as you do not need the cards to do so. If you can do that then you will attain the before/after goal you mentioned.
Message: Posted by: Waterloophai (Mar 7, 2016 04:34AM)
[quote]On Mar 7, 2016, Francois Lagrange wrote:
...for one particular effect, Histed Heisted, you must be able to recite your stack as you would the alphabet. It's simple to train as you do not need the cards to do so.[/quote]
I wouldn't recommend performing Histed Heisted for a beginner. However it is indeed a very good thing to "train" at your home as you wrote.

To perform it, you may not hesitate 1/10th of a second because the name of the card has to be called by each card immediately.
In the beginning it is wise to palm a blank face card where the order of your stack is written on. At the right moment, you simply add that palmed card to the bottom. When you have to call the cards, the order of your whole stack is staring at you from that card.

(By the way, Histed Heisted is a stack independent trick and can be done with any MD)
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Mar 30, 2016 07:18PM)
I spent another session with Aronson today. Histed Heisted is incredible. That effect alone is worth the price of the book and the time and effort put in towards memorizing a stack. Wow. Just wow. This effect is mind-bogglingly powerful.
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Mar 31, 2016 03:37AM)
[quote]On Mar 30, 2016, RiderBacks wrote:
I spent another session with Aronson today. Histed Heisted is incredible. That effect alone is worth the price of the book and the time and effort put in towards memorizing a stack. Wow. Just wow. This effect is mind-bogglingly powerful. [/quote]

Welcome to the club!

[b]Histed Heisted[/b] is a variation of an effect nowadays known generically as [b]The Princess Card Trick[/b] that has seen many variations such as Al Baker's [i]Vocalepathy[/i] or Leo Horowitz's [i]The Twenty-Five Card Trick[/i].

If you are interested in its history and its very ingenious variations, Peter W. Tappan's monograph [i]The Impostress Princess Expanded[/i] is a must read.

When I first started presenting this effect (actually a variation with fewer spectators), I wanted to make sure that my presentation would be as good as possible and I did not want to be distracted by the fear of hesitating during the calling of the cards. I adopted an idea presented in the Tappan book, and did a deck switch after the cards had been collected. I executed a very casual switch as there's no heat on the deck, which has been gathered and shuffled by a spectator. After a while I decided to keep the switch as it has a few added advantages to the original handling.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 1, 2016 11:31PM)
[quote]On Mar 31, 2016, Claudio wrote:

Welcome to the club!

[b]Histed Heisted[/b] is a variation of an effect nowadays known generically as [b]The Princess Card Trick[/b] that has seen many variations such as Al Baker's [i]Vocalepathy[/i] or Leo Horowitz's [i]The Twenty-Five Card Trick[/i].

If you are interested in its history and its very ingenious variations, Peter W. Tappan's monograph [i]The Impostress Princess Expanded[/i] is a must read.

When I first started presenting this effect (actually a variation with fewer spectators), I wanted to make sure that my presentation would be as good as possible and I did not want to be distracted by the fear of hesitating during the calling of the cards. I adopted an idea presented in the Tappan book, and did a deck switch after the cards had been collected. I executed a very casual switch as there's no heat on the deck, which has been gathered and shuffled by a spectator. After a while I decided to keep the switch as it has a few added advantages to the original handling. [/quote]

Thanks for the background. I'll look into it. I see advantages to using a deck switch too, but I'm going to do this without a deck switch first. And some of those advantages can be recovered with a later deck switch, of course. Once I have this completely nailed sans deck switch, I might opt for the deck switch route. But I've put in the time now, and I"m going to test it next. =)
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 16, 2016 10:42PM)
I managed another session with Simon. I finally made time I don't have to sit down and read for a few hours. What a ride!

One effect stuck out as particularly lovely. It was "Some People Think" (though "Lie Sleuth" is killer too). I had to instantly pick up my stack after reading "Some People Think" and perform it. So I grabbed my effect tester. The first performance after reading the description once obviously wasn't very good, but that goes without saying. Still, it came as close to frying my effect tester as any effect can. It is, alone, worth the price of the book (not only for the effect, but for the underlying principle which is also operative in "Lie Sleuth" and obviously has much broader application). The vast majority of my friends who do nothing with cards find simple "key card" nonsense absurd. This will fry the hell out of them. For those who are ignorant of even the simplest card nonsense, this might be over the top. But it will still fry with the best of them. This effect has earned the Riderbacks' Seal of Approval. Mind blown.

Before I go live with this effect, the routining and patter needs a bit of tweaking. There are a few problems that need to be smoothed over for various types of performances. (One problem is having idiots spread cards.) And a serious final problem remains. I do not, generally, like effects that have chances of failure. This is a rare exception. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to remove the chance of failure while preserving the effect in its entirety. There are some obvious ways to completely remove the chance of failure, but those hurt the effect. With a little more work, I think I can diminish the chance of failure significantly without harming the effect too much, but time will tell.
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Apr 17, 2016 04:19AM)
Indeed "Some People Think" is a great effect. To prevent any failure possibility you might try this:

Have the spectator take the top card (instead of from a spread) after multiple cuts. Have the packet spread and the card inserted into the spread.

or

Have the card selected from the spread and tell them to put it back wherever they want. Not sure fire but reduces, I think, the risk.

There are of course a couple of other ways to ensure success (have the selected card put back onto top and cut for example), but the solution above is very natural.

What are your own ideas?
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 17, 2016 07:00PM)
[quote]On Apr 17, 2016, Claudio wrote: Have the spectator take the top card (instead of from a spread) after multiple cuts. Have the packet spread and the card inserted into the spread.[/quote]

I like the angle of not influencing the spectator to pick any particular face card, so you have them look at the backs of all the cards and select the one with their "favorite back". That's roughly how I plan to word it, and I find it hilarious. This solution sacrifices that.

[quote]On Apr 17, 2016, Claudio wrote: Have the card selected from the spread and tell them to put it back wherever they want. Not sure fire but reduces, I think, the risk.[/quote]

I'm not sure this reduces the risk at all. It might heighten the risk, since, for one, the location that took it from is still so readily accessible. And if you tell them to put the card back somewhere else, you draw attention to something you don't want to.

[quote]On Apr 17, 2016, Claudio wrote:There are of course a couple of other ways to ensure success (have the selected card put back onto top and cut for example), but the solution above is very natural. What are your own ideas? [/quote]

I don't see returning the card to the top or the bottom as a viable option in the context of this trick (for fairly obvious reasons).

I think I want to leave this in the hands of the spectator until the very end. I find that very strong. So I'm probably going to drop the tabled spread in favor of the spectator looking through the card backs in their hands. That's one change I'm pretty sure I do want to make. As for eliminating the possibility of error, I haven't solved this one yet. But working backwards, we see that we get a possibility of error whenever the spectator has a truly free choice as to where to return the card. So the only way to fix the problem is to limit their choices. Still, we want the choice to seem completely free. So a possible solution might involve some easy estimation followed by equivoque?
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Apr 18, 2016 07:35AM)
[quote]On Apr 17, 2016, RiderBacks wrote:
I like the angle of not influencing the spectator to pick any particular face card, so you have them look at the backs of all the cards and select the one with their "favorite back". That's roughly how I plan to word it, and I find it hilarious.

I think I want to leave this in the hands of the spectator until the very end. I find that very strong. So I'm probably going to drop the tabled spread in favor of the spectator looking through the card backs in their hands. That's one change I'm pretty sure I do want to make. As for eliminating the possibility of error, I haven't solved this one yet. But working backwards, we see that we get a possibility of error whenever the spectator has a truly free choice as to where to return the card. So the only way to fix the problem is to limit their choices. Still, we want the choice to seem completely free. So a possible solution might involve some easy estimation followed by equivoque? [/quote]

Here what I tried this morning on 2 co-workers who have little or no knowledge of card-handling:

I tried the selection from a spread, which did not work very well as even with a mat one had problems with spreading the cards and the spread was then closed/collected in a haphazardly way. So I used your idea of a hand spread but I had them look through the [b]faces[/b] for a card they liked and cut it to the face of the deck. I then asked them to lose the card in the middle of the pack. Finally I had them shuffle the deck and cut it.

As this was a test so to speak, I did not perform the effect with the polished presentation developed in [i]Some People Think[/i], but it was decent enough. I prefer to (false) shuffle myself at the beginning and have them shuffle at the end, which I reckon is more impressive for a lay audience as they really lose their card. The patter I used during the selection process is that if the cards were marked I would be able to see the marks, so to prevent this etc... It played very well. All in all I prefer that handling as I don't have to turn away at all during the effect.

I suppose you could use the same handling with the faces down: spectator cuts the "back they like" to top of pack, they pick at its face and insert the card in centre of deck to lose it. It feels quite a natural thing to do.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Apr 18, 2016 02:24PM)
[quote]On Apr 16, 2016, RiderBacks wrote:
I managed another session with Simon. I finally made time I don't have to sit down and read for a few hours. What a ride!

One effect stuck out as particularly lovely. It was "Some People Think" (though "Lie Sleuth" is killer too). I had to instantly pick up my stack after reading "Some People Think" and perform it. So I grabbed my effect tester. The first performance after reading the description once obviously wasn't very good, but that goes without saying. Still, it came as close to frying my effect tester as any effect can. It is, alone, worth the price of the book (not only for the effect, but for the underlying principle which is also operative in "Lie Sleuth" and obviously has much broader application). The vast majority of my friends who do nothing with cards find simple "key card" nonsense absurd. This will fry the hell out of them. For those who are ignorant of even the simplest card nonsense, this might be over the top. But it will still fry with the best of them. This effect has earned the Riderbacks' Seal of Approval. Mind blown.

Before I go live with this effect, the routining and patter needs a bit of tweaking. There are a few problems that need to be smoothed over for various types of performances. (One problem is having idiots spread cards.) And a serious final problem remains. I do not, generally, like effects that have chances of failure. This is a rare exception. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to remove the chance of failure while preserving the effect in its entirety. There are some obvious ways to completely remove the chance of failure, but those hurt the effect. With a little more work, I think I can diminish the chance of failure significantly without harming the effect too much, but time will tell. [/quote]
The Key Card principle is one of the most powerful tools in all of magic. If you're not fooling people with it, you haven't given it enough study.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 18, 2016 04:26PM)
[quote]On Apr 18, 2016, Claudio wrote: Here what I tried this morning on 2 co-workers who have little or no knowledge of card-handling:

I tried the selection from a spread, which did not work very well as even with a mat one had problems with spreading the cards and the spread was then closed/collected in a haphazardly way. So I used your idea of a hand spread but I had them look through the [b]faces[/b] for a card they liked and cut it to the face of the deck. I then asked them to lose the card in the middle of the pack. Finally I had them shuffle the deck and cut it.

As this was a test so to speak, I did not perform the effect with the polished presentation developed in [i]Some People Think[/i], but it was decent enough. I prefer to (false) shuffle myself at the beginning and have them shuffle at the end, which I reckon is more impressive for a lay audience as they really lose their card. The patter I used during the selection process is that if the cards were marked I would be able to see the marks, so to prevent this etc... It played very well. All in all I prefer that handling as I don't have to turn away at all during the effect.

I suppose you could use the same handling with the faces down: spectator cuts the "back they like" to top of pack, they pick at its face and insert the card in centre of deck to lose it. It feels quite a natural thing to do.[/quote]

The in the hands spread resolves another problem with the trick. I mean, if you're using something like Aronson's original patter, you obviously have to address the marked cards concern, and his handling totally fails on that score. It looks like you've come to the same conclusion there. It also looks like we're in agreement on the nonsense that turning one's back on the spectator is. That's just not a viable solution for this trick unless you're only performing it for your trustworthy magic buddy. This effect calls for excruciatingly precise spectator management if you're going to use it in the trenches.

I was toying with the idea of opting for the faces-up handling, but I still would like to retain the jokey aspect of suggesting they look at the backs (for reduced influence). It seems when they spread, you need to instruct them to do so in such a way that you can neither see the faces/backs of the cards. And this no matter which option you pick. If they're going through the faces, they shouldn't hold the deck so you could see potential deck markings. And if they're going through the backs, you shouldn't be able to see the faces. Perhaps this favors stepping away ("so you can't see deck markings, which are always very small") while they spread through the backs with the cards held in the plane of the ground?

From here, they can cut the card to to the top. Flip it over and look at it (out of your sight), and then you can finally instruct them to insert it "inside the deck at some random point". Something like "inside the deck" should have the desired effect. Maybe add that they should "just jam it in there between some random cards". The problem with this is that a cut seems like a much more reasonable way to lose the card...
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Apr 19, 2016 02:57AM)
[quote]On Apr 18, 2016, RiderBacks wrote:
I was toying with the idea of opting for the faces-up handling, but I still would like to retain the jokey aspect of suggesting they look at the backs (for reduced influence). It seems when they spread, you need to instruct them to do so in such a way that you can neither see the faces/backs of the cards. And this no matter which option you pick. If they're going through the faces, they shouldn't hold the deck so you could see potential deck markings. And if they're going through the backs, you shouldn't be able to see the faces. Perhaps this favors stepping away ("so you can't see deck markings, which are always very small") while they spread through the backs with the cards held in the plane of the ground?
[/quote]

Indeed my main concern was to address the marking business, and having the spec. spread the deck face up alleviates that as the back is not fully exposed, and further more the fact that the selection is cut to the face shields its back. I agree that wherever possible, stepping back is a good ploy.

[quote]On Apr 18, 2016, RiderBacks wrote:
From here, they can cut the card to to the top. Flip it over and look at it (out of your sight), and then you can finally instruct them to insert it "inside the deck at some random point". Something like "inside the deck" should have the desired effect. Maybe add that they should "just jam it in there between some random cards". [b]The problem with this is that a cut seems like a much more reasonable way to lose the card[/b]... [/quote]

It's a minor logic issue, which exists as well in SA's original, as it would be more logical for the spec. to take the selection out of the spread, look at it and insert it back somewhere into the spread, while the performer is looking away, and close the spread. It's finessed verbally by a clever script. If you really want to overcome this, what do you think of this handling when the cards are spread faces down:

When the selection has been cut to the top, instruct the spectator to have a look at it using both hands by bringing them to the chest, like a poker player would do. The idea is to shield the back further, but mainly to prevent you from getting a pick by chance. During this action the spec. will have to table the deck. It's now logical and natural to ask the spectator to bury the card in the pack and have the deck cut a couple of times.

I hope I did not sound too much like Spock :)

N.B.
Probably my last post on this thread as it is being targeted by the Magic Inquisition.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 19, 2016 01:56PM)
[quote]On Apr 19, 2016, Claudio wrote: If you really want to overcome this, what do you think of this handling when the cards are spread faces down:

When the selection has been cut to the top, instruct the spectator to have a look at it using both hands by bringing them to the chest, like a poker player would do. The idea is to shield the back further, but mainly to prevent you from getting a pick by chance. During this action the spec. will have to table the deck. It's now logical and natural to ask the spectator to bury the card in the pack and have the deck cut a couple of times.[/quote]

This is an interesting idea that has some promise! I like it.

[quote]On Apr 19, 2016, Claudio wrote: N.B. Probably my last post on this thread as it is being targeted by the Magic Inquisition.[/quote]

Thanks for your contribution and ideas! I've enjoyed our discussion!
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 19, 2016 03:58PM)
[quote]On Apr 18, 2016, magicfish wrote:
Every idea you've ever toyed with pertaining to Aronson's magic has been brought up, discussed, and rejected before you ever thought about it.
You are not worthy of performing Simon Aronson's magic because you cannot comprehend basic magic principles. Aronson is a magic genius. You are an Irreverent bumbler, an arrogant buffoon, and a troll who thinks he can improve not only on Simon's creations but also on the critique of John Bannon, and Dave Solomon.
You are a disgrace to the art and you harm magic every time you show someone a trick.
Sincerely,
Magicfish [/quote]

I suppose I'll respond constructively to my pet troll. In his description of "Some People Think", Aronson writes:

[quote]It was originally designed as a magician's effect.[/quote]

I am happy to let the effect stand, as written, for a performance for another magician. For such purposes, and for which the effect was designed, it needs no modification. However, for other purposes (such as a performance for a layman) it clearly requires modification. You cannot count, for example, on a laymen not mixing up the order of the cards when attempting to open or close a tabled spread. And this is especially so if you don't always want to be restricted to use of a close-up mat, though I'd be willing to bet that even on a mat, 85% of laymen would screw this trick up at the spread-stage. (This problem, which I mentioned above, was then confirmed in actual fact by Claudio. But one doesn't need confirmation to see the problem. One only requires a brain and some rudimentary knowledge.)

There is a huge difference between performing for a magician and performing for a layman. If you ask a magician to cut the deck, for example, you'll get a fair cut. If you ask a layman to cut the deck, you're going to get screwed. You have to manage the layman like a hawk. If you aren't at least saying "cut the deck and complete the cut" you're doing something wrong. Aronson's patter includes the line "Cut the deck again." This is unacceptable patter for a layman (even though his first instruction does include the "complete the cut" line). The patter requires modification for performance on non-magicians at this point and at others.

When considering whether a published effect requires modification, one needs to consider one's presentational requirements. Does the effect, as published, fit those? An effect originally designed for close-up presentation may need to be modified for stage work, and vice-versa. That one is considering modifications to an effect, and even one published by a magic genius, is manifestly not to denigrate or tarnish the reputation or skills of the effect's producer or his friends. Aronson's "Some People Think" is not, as set forth, appropriate for presentation to laymen. For that purpose, which is not what it was designed for, it needs to be modified. If you can't accept this, you simply don't understand how to perform effects for laymen.
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Apr 21, 2016 03:13AM)
Here's a [i]Think of a Card[/i] effect [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q7xUyy1HD0&app=desktop]H.O.T.O.A.C.[/url] that can be performed with a borrowed deck. It fooled me badly on first viewing and will fool all non-magicians.

It's not as refined as [i]Some People Think[/i] and the risk of failure is higher (once you understand the method behind it, it's obvious why.) I've posted this because of the selection procedure (though I would disregard the turning away business) which is kind of similar to what I am currently doing. Ben's presentation is geared towards letting the spectator believe that the performer knows the card before going through the packet to find it. It's a nice touch which enhances the effect. The deck is shuffled by the performer at the beginning and by the spectator himself at the end to lose the selected card; it's how I am performing SA's effect.

I have noticed that the effect is stronger when I can reveal the spectator's card before it's been dealt. I am thinking of ways to engineer its occurrence.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 21, 2016 07:27PM)
[quote]On Apr 21, 2016, Claudio wrote: I have noticed that the effect is stronger when I can reveal the spectator's card before it's been dealt. I am thinking of ways to engineer its occurrence. [/quote]

No question That is absolutely the case (and, for the record, one doesn't have to notice it to know it's the case.) It's going to be difficult to engineer that effect, though, without giving up other important (hands off) aspects of the routine. Managing the location they replace the card at will almost surely involve losing the hands-off and it's totally-up-to-you aspect. And I currently enjoy to (if not prefer) turn(ing) my back during the re-insertion phase. This is safer on some occasions than it is on others, and patter helps.

I actually did this today and I used some of the ideas in your previously linked video. Once I hit the point at which I knew I could predict the card, I did the whole visualize the card in the space in front of you routine you see in the video you linked. The effect was mind-blowing. When I revealed the card, the spectator literally hopped out of her seat as if she's seen a ghost. If you hit the prediction climax, you should absolutely play it up for everything it's worth.

If you have thoughts on engineering the prediction climax, I'd definitely be interested. That's the ultimate climax.
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Apr 22, 2016 03:38AM)
[quote]On Apr 21, 2016, RiderBacks wrote:
If you have thoughts on engineering the prediction climax, I'd definitely be interested. That's the ultimate climax. [/quote]

I do have a couple of ideas but they definitely need polishing.

One early thought I had was to carry on dealing about ten cards or so, covering the selection, if you deal out the selected card prematurely, in effect ignoring the "mental stop". You can then engage your spectator saying for example you're going to switch to a visual mode (instead of an auditive one... blah, blah, and I believe you should [b]not[/b] ask whether they've seen their card or not) and you climax the effect with the mental revelation. I have not tried it, but with a clever script it could play nearly as strong as the best scenario for laypeople.

If you have the occasion of trying this (I won't be able to perform for a while), do let me know as I am curious whether this has any merit in live performance.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 22, 2016 09:43PM)
[quote]On Apr 22, 2016, Claudio wrote: I do have a couple of ideas but they definitely need polishing.

One early thought I had was to carry on dealing about ten cards or so, covering the selection, if you deal out the selected card prematurely, in effect ignoring the "mental stop". You can then engage your spectator saying for example you're going to switch to a visual mode (instead of an auditive one... blah, blah, and I believe you should [b]not[/b] ask whether they've seen their card or not) and you climax the effect with the mental revelation. I have not tried it, but with a clever script it could play nearly as strong as the best scenario for laypeople.

If you have the occasion of trying this (I won't be able to perform for a while), do let me know as I am curious whether this has any merit in live performance. [/quote]

I'll try your method out. That's not a bad idea at all.

I was thinking along different lines. I'll mention a few of them, along with some of their problems. Perhaps one could deal in such a way that one gets a glimpse of the dealt cards before the spectator does. In that scenario, you could just say this isn't working before you show the spectator the correct card. And then move into the mental effect. (This requires incredibly fast computational speed, but I'm getting there fast.)

This has a few problems. First, I want a very, very open and clean dealing action. (I barely touch the deck. Cards are tabled, and I openly turn the top card off as cleanly as possible.) So to pull off the above here, I'd have to get a glimpse of the card and place it back on the tabled deck before displaying it. Their card then becomes the top card. That's bad. This is because the prediction climax is heightened when you can show them that the next card wasn't their card (and you have no idea where their card is!) To work around that would require moves like multiple-lifts or one-handed false cuts, and those would negate the clean, open handling. Perhaps this would still play strongly for laymen (though not as strongly for magicians). Nevertheless, I'm skeptical.

As an alternative, one could glimpse the card, and if it's the correct one, set it back on the deck. Then one could turn over two as one. But this is non-trivial, especially if one is using clean, open handling. And absent having a nice surface to set the double down on, you're going to create further problems. Perhaps those can be worked around to some extent, but I'm a bit uncomfortable setting a double down on something other than a close-up mat.

Another alternative is to try to manage the removal, replacement, and final deck order. This requires you to watch while the spectator does everything. Depending on my spectator, I generally like to let them do some moves out of sight. (I'm often fairly, though not entirely, comfortable with letting them re-insert the card into the deck while I'm not looking, for example. This really reinforces the "it's lost in the deck" idea.) But if you do watch the spectator the entire time, you can try to encourage a cut if it will set the deck up for a prediction climax but not permit them to cut the deck if it won't. You should be able to track the cards well enough, if you're watching, to vastly increase the probability of a prediction climax by doing this.

I'll give your handling a try soon and see how it plays. It's not quite a real prediction climax, though. Still, I suspect it can be made to play well. My initial thoughts on it are that one should deal through the entire deck, resulting in a magician's failure. Then you recover that failure with the mental effect. The apparent colossal failure provides the motivation for switching to another method. I think this might work fantastically. I already instruct spectators to say or telegraph nothing if I pass their card and fail to pick up on their mental command to stop (for obvious reasons). Some clever patter needs to be devised. Perhaps one explains how visualization enhances telepathic connections, etc...Maybe criticize the spectator's mental vocalizations and suggest that perhaps they are more visually wired, etc...

I think we may well be making significant progress here! I'll report back after some tests!
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 22, 2016 10:41PM)
Ok. I'm fast. I've already run a single test. The effect was incredible. On this go-round, I aimed for a double magician's failure. I dealt through the deck (as cleanly as possible). I passed their card (it wasn't set up for prediction) and dealt out the entire deck with no apparent success. Then I instructed the spectator to not just mentally think "stop" but to mentally scream "stop". We tried again. Second failure... From here, we moved into the prediction effect motivated by some nonsense about how their mental visualization might work better than their mental vocalization. I used the (above linked) HOTOAC visualization nonsense about filling in the imaginary card in front of one for this phase.

I think we've improved upon Aronson here. More tests need to be performed, but this can play like dynamite. Standing on the shoulders of giants, etc.. Aronson is amazing, but I think the effect has been improved. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas, Claudio. This has been the best, most valuable, and most worthwhile conversation I have ever had here.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 22, 2016 11:53PM)
One's instructions have to be very, very clear. You have to ensure, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that spectator *never* reveals their card. After further testing, folks will frequently, even after being given what most sane people would consider reasonable instruction, say that you ****ed up (once the deck is exhausted) and tell you what their card is. One has to build into the patter the clear requirement that *no matter what*, they never reveal their card. This has to be emphasized heavily. Once the mental stop is "missed" the spectator may believe that, once the deck is exhausted, you've lost, and then just announce their card. This has to be guarded against.
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Apr 23, 2016 05:57AM)
Thank you for trying it out and I am pleased that it played so well. You've shown that the ruse is convincing, maybe too much so, and sets the stage for a stunning “visual divination” climax.

The fact that some spectators are so keen on telling you that you’ve messed up and blurt out the card name is the negative aspect of their being taken in so completely by the ploy. Peformers must find a way to counter-balance the spectator's-only pay-off by another one that works in their favour. Here’s a possibility:

When you’ve got a few cards left (about 5 say), you could say something like this:

“Please do not give me any clue, OK? But, look, the way it’s going...", fan down the few cards left, "... it’s quite likely that you signaled ‘stop’ and I did not catch it. I am going to deal these few remaining cards to be sure, but if I truly fail, will you give me a second chance?” In effect, you appeal to their sympathy and make them feel magnanimous.

I perform a few effects themed around the “magician’s failure” device, and it’s always a concern to fight off the immediate spectator’s gratification of telling you that you’ve messed up. An alternative pay-off must be provided as relying on exhortations only is not always enough.

I am now convinced that with a polished script, this will play very well.

However, I have found a solution that always guarantees the “divination” outcome, and further more you know the selected card within dealing 10 cards, at most, which makes it nearly self-working as no much mental effort is required. No sleight of hand, no contrived procedure, no further restriction, no nothing. To be fair, it’s a solution that fits my handling (outlined in my previous posts) and will not work for you.

I am keen to try it out when I have a chance.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 24, 2016 12:31AM)
[quote]On Apr 23, 2016, Claudio wrote: “Please do not give me any clue, OK? But, look, the way it’s going...", fan down the few cards left, "... it’s quite likely that you signaled ‘stop’ and I did not catch it. I am going to deal these few remaining cards to be sure, but if I truly fail, will you give me a second chance?” In effect, you appeal to their sympathy and make them feel magnanimous.[/quote]

Patter seems alright. But I don't and won't fan the cards. I deal from tabled cards as cleanly as possible. Every single card is clearly coming off the top, one by one. There is no (perceived, if you like) room for any sleight. Fanning the cards requires them to be in your hands. The effect is far more powerful if the deck isn't ever in your hands. You also have to already guard against the spectator seeing their card which you've missed and then ending it with a premature reveal if you're performing it as written. I favor a patter structure here which ensures that they will not reveal their card if you go through the full deck and still fail. At this point, you can choose to move immediately to the visual climax or you can opt for a second fail after which you move to the visual climax.
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Apr 24, 2016 06:12AM)
[quote]On Apr 24, 2016, RiderBacks wrote:
But I don't and won't fan the cards. I deal from tabled cards as cleanly as possible. Every single card is clearly coming off the top, one by one. There is no (perceived, if you like) room for any sleight. Fanning the cards requires them to be in your hands. The effect is far more powerful if the deck isn't ever in your hands. You also have to already guard against the spectator seeing their card which you've missed and then ending it with a premature reveal if you're performing it as written. I favor a patter structure here which ensures that they will not reveal their card if you go through the full deck and still fail. At this point, you can choose to move immediately to the visual climax or you can opt for a second fail after which you move to the visual climax. [/quote]

You don't have to fan, spreading is as good. You don't like the idea, fair enough it was just brainstorming. We've taken different paths on how we present this effect (I, for example, would never go twice through the deck, and even once is too much and that's why I've devised a handling by which I deal as fewer cards as possible) and it's all well and good as appropriating an effect, more than enhancing it, is what performing is all about (instead of slavishly following the recipe).

Thank you for giving some feedback on your performances as I always find very interesting how real spectators defeat the best laid plans :)
I hope to perform it in the next few days.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 24, 2016 12:50PM)
[quote]On Apr 24, 2016, Claudio wrote: We've taken different paths on how we present this effect (I, for example, would never go twice through the deck, and even once is too much and that's why I've devised a handling by which I deal as fewer cards as possible) and it's all well and good as appropriating an effect, more than enhancing it, is what performing is all about (instead of slavishly following the recipe).[/quote]

It does take a lot of time to run through all the cards, and an *awful* lot of time to do it twice. I would only spend that much time dealing (though I do move fast) if I have set a hook and achieved prior serious interest. I think it *can* be worth it, but it'd by no means be my go-to version.

[quote]On Apr 24, 2016, Claudio wrote: Thank you for giving some feedback on your performances as I always find very interesting how real spectators defeat the best laid plans :)[/quote]

Cut the deck and complete the cut doesn't cut it fifty percent of the time... I'm working on refining this patter for people who think "cut" means "shuffle" or "split the pack into seven piles and reassemble".
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Apr 25, 2016 03:19AM)
Here's an idea I had recently which is strictly to fool magicians - as it would be overkill for civilians.

Do a version of [i]Do As I Do[/i]. Most versions of this effect rely on a subtle use of key(s) card(s). A magician will be aware of that as, in the regular versions, you exchange packets before choosing a card. But, if you let the spectator riffle-shuffle his own pack, chose their card and lose it in the middle of the deck, give it a couple of cuts and and now only swap decks, it's bound to "fry" your fellow magi, whether they know about memdecks or not.

The effect is not as dramatic as [i]Some People Think[/i] but I bet it's going to give the other mago sleepless nights :)
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 25, 2016 04:32PM)
[quote]On Apr 25, 2016, Claudio wrote: Here's an idea I had recently which is strictly to fool magicians - as it would be overkill for civilians.

Do a version of [i]Do As I Do[/i]. Most versions of this effect rely on a subtle use of key(s) card(s). A magician will be aware of that as, in the regular versions, you exchange packets before choosing a card. But, if you let the spectator riffle-shuffle his own pack, chose their card and lose it in the middle of the deck, give it a couple of cuts and and now only swap decks, it's bound to "fry" your fellow magi, whether they know about memdecks or not.

The effect is not as dramatic as [i]Some People Think[/i] but I bet it's going to give the other mago sleepless nights :) [/quote]

That's an interesting take on the Do as I Do plot! I'm actually not a fan of that plot, but this might bring it back! I haven't really started thinking in this way yet, but the basic idea is that you can improve a whole host of effects by using a stack. Clever application! I might try this out soon.
Message: Posted by: Claudio (Apr 26, 2016 02:51AM)
I've been using [i]Do As I Do[/i] for years as a way to ring in a stacked deck in the middle of my set: it's perfect as, though the decks get repeatedly shuffled, only the one deck gets shuffled by the spectator - while you give yours false shuffles, but genuine cuts. I came up with that idea, but if one were to point out that Marlo beat me by 50 years, I would not be surprised as it is simple enough an idea.

This effect plot means that there's little room for your spectators to trip you up (they do as you do). I always use two decks of the same colour to further camouflage the ruse. Not only that, but the effect is actually stronger than when using key cards as the spectators have total freedom to insert back their selection. I would only use the handling I described above to mess up with fellow magi's minds as it destroys the stack, but after further thinking, maybe as a closer to a set too. I need to try it to see how it plays.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (Apr 26, 2016 11:07AM)
[quote]On Apr 26, 2016, Claudio wrote: I've been using [i]Do As I Do[/i] for years as a way to ring in a stacked deck in the middle of my set: it's perfect as, though the decks get repeatedly shuffled, only the one deck gets shuffled by the spectator - while you give yours false shuffles, but genuine cuts. I came up with that idea, but if one were to point out that Marlo beat me by 50 years, I would not be surprised as it is simple enough an idea.[/quote]

That's a lovely way to ring in a stack. This style (though not the method) is also my preferred way. If you can, ring in the stack under the guise of an effect.

[quote]On Apr 26, 2016, Claudio wrote: This effect plot means that there's little room for your spectators to trip you up (they do as you do).[/quote]

The major break point is the riffle shuffle. In some people's hands, that's just a disaster... But you have to take these risks.
Message: Posted by: RiderBacks (May 2, 2016 09:14PM)
Histed Heisted is going to take a bit of time. So the next effect I plan to become intimately familiar with is Lie Sleuth. I haven't trotted this out just yet, but I have tried out what I'll call "Poor Man's Lie Sleuth". In this version, once the card has been identified, you hold a break at the point of removal and move straight into the question/answer lie-detection phase. It plays pretty well (and instantly resets, since you can finish by inserting their card back into the deck.) I've had some fun with this as an incredibly impromptu effect. It is by no means ideal, of course. Thus it's name.