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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The words we use » » Memorizing scripts (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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The Great Smartini
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I practiced Kate and Edith every day for about a week while I was walking my dog. The other method I used was to play it on my I Pod with the repeat feature on. Didn't take long to learn the script and of course the next step is to make it feel natural, fun and playful.
MaxfieldsMagic
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Instead of practicing, I made
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Quote:
On 2008-02-27 08:12, HappyJay wrote:
I also use the same method as Lyndel, but rather than starting at the beginning, I start memorization at the final paragraph. I have found that the extra familiarity at the end of the work gives me something to move toward if I get away from the script; I have to improvise a bridge to the ending rather than the ending itself.


That's a great practice method that is often used by classical guitarists to memorize lengthy instrumental pieces. It ensures that you'll end strong, since the farther along you go, the more you've practiced the routine. It also helps eliminate some of the "linear thinking" that can lead to blanking by forcing you to memorize the chunks in a different order than is natural.
Now appearing nightly in my basement.
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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One advantage of performing at Assisted Living Centers is that no one cares if you remember your lines or not. All that matters is seeing their eyes light up.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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Bill Palmer
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Punx used a method that I recommend highly. He would record his entire script on a cassette (use an iPod or mini cd, if you have one). Then he would practice the blocking as he listened to the script. This way, he had all the mechanics of the routine worked out flawlessly after a few repetitions. By the time the blocking was perfect, he also knew the script.

A method that works for me with longer pieces is to break the piece up into sections. You can call them chunks, you can call them chapters, or anything else you wish.

Let's say your routine has four chapters. Learn chapter 1. Do this by repeating it as many times as necessary to memorize it. If you have trouble memorizing chapter 1, break it down into sentences. Let's say that chapter 1 has four sentences. Memorize sentence 1. Then memorize sentence 2. Then recite sentence 1 and sentence 2 sequentially several times, so that they flow correctly. You can practice the moves that go along with the routine, if you wish.

Now learn sentence three. Then learn sentence four. Now, recite sentences three and four sequentially several times, until they flow as well as sentences 1 and 2. Then recite sentences 1 through 4 several times until they flow together well.

Now, go to the second chapter. Learn it the same way you learned chapter 1. Then practice chapter 1 followed by chapter 2, until they are perfect.

Now we go to the second half of the script. Learn chapter 3. Then learn chapter 4. Then learn to perform the two of them sequentially. Then and ONLY then, go back to chapter 1 and perform the whole thing as a sequential piece.

Here is the advantage of this method over going back to the top every time you make a mistake. If you go back to the top each time you mess up, you will have the first sentence down perfectly. The second sentence will be pretty good, and the last one will be rotten. By learning it in small segments and stringing the small segments together into slightly longer pieces, you learn all the pieces equally well. And the routine will be as strong at the end as it is at the beginning.

If you find that your routines are too long for you to remember, you might think of the implications for the audience. They may be too long to hold the audience's attention as well.
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Scott Cram
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Just today, I released a free web app that may be of help here. It's called Verbatim, and is geared to the iPhone and iPod Touch. Palm Pre and Android users should be able to use it, as should users of WebKit-based browsers, such as Safari and Google Chrome.

The memorize text section of the web app uses the approach taught in J. J. Hayes' article, How To Memorize a Poem.

The recall text section then quizzes you by cueing you in various ways such as giving you only the first letters, giving you only the word lengths, and using a Fill In The Blanks approach.
alfvallarta
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Just recently I wrote me first script for a routine and have had some luck with the method used. Ever saw "Reservoir Dogs" by Tarantino? "It's like a joke. You remember what's important, and the rest you make your own. The only way to make it your own is to keep sayin it, and sayin it, and sayin it, and sayin it, and sayin it. "
There are no facts, only interpretations.

-Friedrich Nietzsche-
Servaas Koomen
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I use mindmap for study. its very good. and since you don't go into detail when writing stuff down (at least that's what I would have done), you have some space to improve and thus make it more natural
"The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That's what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they'll go through the pain no matter what" A.
Davidmagicman
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I read my script over and over again.
/

David The Magicman
Bill Hoffman
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This method has gotten me thru countless college exams:

Use more of your senses, it helps recall you back. example:

Write it by hand not type: sense of touch

read it out loud while writing it: Sense of eye site, speech and hearing.

The more senses you use at once the more information is stored in the brain.

You may have to repeat this 15 times, but on number 16 you will be amazed on how fast your writing hand is moving. That is proof that you know have it in physical muscle memory and now all you have to do is perform it.

works for me.
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Mary Mowder
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I recently got an Ipod nano and it has helped to walk through the act physically while listening to the recorded script. I connect the touch of the things or the position I'm in to the lines I'm hearing but I like that more for a prompt if I lose my place than for memorization.

If I think about the sense of what I'm trying to say and I've practiced my script enough those words are the first to come to mind as I speak. If they don't, at least I know what I'm trying to say in general so I don't get that blank moment.

Lots of good ideas here that I'm sure I'll try. Thank you.

-Mary Mowder
Thom Bliss
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A lot of this has already been said, but bears repeating (and consolidation):

After you've written your script, record it. Then do the trick while listening to the playback. After doing this a few times, you may see that you need to add or delete some material, speed up or slow down your delivery, add pauses, or even modify the trick.

Rerecord the script. See if it fits. If you've made a lot of changes, you may want to set it aside for a time, so you can forget the stuff you've taken out.

Memorize in chunks. You might find it better to do this backwards, starting with the last chuck, then adding the next-to-last chunk to that, and so on. You don't need to go all the way the the very end each time. Break your chucks into littler chucks and memorize a set of little chunks. Then another set of chunks, then combine the two big chunks.

But also work from the beginning to the end, so you can learn the trick and any other actions at the same time, gluing them together.

Try to use different parts of the brain. Type the script out, write it by hand, listen to your recording.

You may want two kinds of recording: One just the way you should do it, with pauses, emphasis, and so on, so you can "sing along" with it. The other with lots of pauses, so you can repeat after it. The latter, by the way, is one place where starting the the end, then adding the next to the end, works well.

Even if you can't practice the trick (for example, while driving the card or waiting in line), you can still practice the script. Sometimes you can visual you doing the trick, even if you can't actually practice it (but please don't close your eyes while driving).

Even when you can't repeat the script, you might still have your recording going, as background.

Don't just repeat the script word-for-word. Practice the pauses, the timing, the emphasis on the word or that.

Thom Bliss
Bryan Smith
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As has been stated, every person is different. My method is quite different than others here, I see. I almost never rehearse my script apart from my routine (The movements). Sure, sometimes I don't have the props with me if I am out and about and just going over it with myself, but I always pretend I do. This way, what I am saying is inextricably tied to what I am doing.

I never have to think about what to say next, because when I do a certain move, the words naturally come out. That's not to say that I never improvise because I do as the situation warrants, but I am also never at a loss for things to say because my moves have speech linked to them in my mind.

That also makes it easier to switch effects in and out of routines to customize your act for different audiences. Even though the act is changed, each routine already has the patter built in, perhaps just changed a little to fit the different story in this act if it significantly different.
"I'm half drunk most the time
and I'm all drunk the rest"
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mindguru
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The best thing to do if using a script is to just use key words, as a memory aid for each section of the script.
Lawrence O
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Once you wrote the key words link them with Harry Lorayne's memory book or its ancesters
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Harry Lorayne
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Thanks, Etienne. Gotta' tell you - this thread gave me some laughs, and also made me a bit angry. I've only spent over six decades teaching people to do just this - including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Alan Alda ("I walk on stage with hundreds of pages of text in my head, and they got there by the method - the Harry Lorayne method"), Wayne Knight, Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft (who wrote to me, "Thanks for making the drudgery part of my creative art" - she was talking about memorizing a script), Robert Merrill, and on and on. I've written quite a few books about it - in all of them stressing that ROTE MEMORY, repetition, is NOT the answer, but then I'll have people who really and obviously know nothing about the subject say that "repetition is the only way." Please! I'd never seen this thread before or I would have tried to help way back then. Anyway... HARRY L.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
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Brainbu$ter
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There are more reliable ways of remembering a script than repetition. It's usually necessary, but not enough.
I remember reading in some applied psychology study that the best way they studied was to first go over the script in its entirety several times, then memorize each paragraph (without punishing yourself by repeating paragraphs you already know), then go over the script entirely again, WITHOUT STOPPING (even when you make a mistake).

As Lawrence mentioned, the link method is extremely helpful. Also when you write your script, as a magician you probably block it out within the script. The gestures and blocking aid memory.

Another way to really learn a script is to make yourself go through the script while drinking some ipecac. Smile
ApprenticeWizard
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Definitely get hold of one of Harry Lorayne's memory books if you want to learn a faster, easier, and more fun way of learning your script. I've been using his memory aids since high school (a very long time ago) and they really work. Harry also teaches a fast way to memorize the order of a complete deck of cards, if you do any mem deck work.
Magically yours,
Tom Olshefski
Atte
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I usually just start doing performances in front of my mirror after scripting. First I practice with my iPad in front of me so I learn the script but after putting my iPad away I NEVER stop a trick in the middle of it if I forgot my script because I can't do that in front of a live audience, I just have to move on. Sometimes I even come up with better ideas while improvising in my practice sessions.

Just find a way that feels easy to you, that's all I can say.

~Atte
Human being, magician, student and squash player. Order may vary depending on the situation, but usually first in the list is "human being".
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