The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Adjuncts to Mem-Deck Work (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3~4~5 [Next]
Dennis Loomis
View Profile
1943 - 2013
2113 Posts

Profile of Dennis Loomis
There has been much written on the Café already about this, but I'd like to see it collected into a single thread for the convenience of those of us that work with mem-decks.
There are two different kinds of Adjuncts: Sleights and physical props (gimmicks.) For example, I love Eric Richardson's "Southside Johnny" story effect done with the Aronson Stack. Here are the adjuncts I use or have used with it:
1. Second Deal. You may know that there is a little problem in the card order when you are doing the three black jack deals. The 10H and 4S are reversed in terms of the order that they are used in the story. You could exchange their positions before you perform the routine but if you can manage a second deal then everything will come out right. I must confess that I don't do a great second deal, but as I'm speaking I make a gesture with my right hand to draw attention away, and I also necktie the deck upwards as I do the second to make it hard to see.
2. False shuffle. I think it's almost mandatory to know and use at least one false shuffle in conjunction with memorized deck work. I use two: the good ole reliable Haymow, and the Heinstein. Bill Malone uses the Zarrow shuffle and it's a great false shuffle. Sometimes when I'm strolling, there is no table and the Heinstein can be done in the hands.
3. Deck Switch. I think you can structure a powerful set of card magic if you have a good deck switch in your repertoire. There are just oodles of these in print, so pick out a couple to use in your work. Here's a strategy which I use: Have two decks in your pockets, both set up in your favorite Mem-deck stack. Take out one of them, false shuffle, and do one or two mem-deck effects. Then do an effect in which one or more spectators shuffle the cards. Now you can do as many standard effects you like which don't require a stack. Finally, use your deck switch and end with one of the real killers dependent on a mem-deck.
4. Force. There are many great effects to reveal a specific card in your mem-deck. But that card has to be selected. If you're jazzin, you can just wait and hope that one of these cards gets named, or you can force one of these advantagous cards. Again, there are tons of good forces in the literature. Pick out three or four and master them.
5. Marked Deck. It almost seems unfair to combine two such powerful tools as a mem-deck and a marked Deck. But why not? With a marked deck, you don't have to glimpse the bottom card to know where you're at in your stack. Here's one simple example: to do Simon's Aces Awry you need to get the Ace of Hearts into a position where you can force it. (For my handling, I need it on top of the deck.) You can do an estimated cut to the 22nd position. (The location of the AH in the Aronson stack.) You might just hit it dead on, but often you will be a card or two or even more off. You have to glimpse the bottom card after your cut and then make an adjustment. But with a marked deck you know right where you're at after the cut without a glimpse. I've killed a lot of brother magicians with my "skill" at getting around in the Aronson Stack. One of my secrets has been that I use a marked deck and a Haymow shuffle. During the shuffle it's natural to look at the cards from time to time and I can read a mark and know right where I'm at. If you develop the ability to rapidly count the cards in groups as you do the Haymow, it's even easier. When you are learning a story effect, being able to read the next card from the back will help you to learn the story.

So, I hope that the mem-deck workers on the Café will jump in and list and explain the adjuncts that they use in their work. Don't hesitate to mention something I've already mentioned if you have a different use for it.

Dennis Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
BarryFernelius
View Profile
Inner circle
Still learning, even though I've made
2532 Posts

Profile of BarryFernelius
I'll add a few other strategies:

6. Effects that don't require a memorized deck, but leave the deck in order - if I'm doing a deck switch to enable me to use a memorized deck, I often follow the switch with an effect that doesn't require a memorized deck, as long as the effect leaves the order intact. (Sometimes I'll have to 'fix' one or two cards in the stack.) If someone later suspects that the deck was prearranged, this makes it difficult for them to back track.

7. The partial stack - there are a bunch of fine effects that use a portion of a memorized stack, rather than the whole deck. This allows me to leave the audience with the impression that they mixed the cards. (In fact, they have. But not all of them.)
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
Cain
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
1513 Posts

Profile of Cain
Good thread idea, Dennis.

8. Letting the spectator shuffle. There are at least two methods to restore the cards to pack order:
a) The spectator only mixes part of the stack. These cards are then recalled in a memory/mind-reading routine.
b) The spectator performs a riffle shuffle that's later restored by a cull. I like to break the cards into uneven piles (32 in one, 20 in the other) and have the spectator do Lennart Green's Rosetta shuffle: "this is called 'washing' the cards." I only need to cull less than half the deck, they're pretty much the same cards every time, AND they're not terribly mixed because of Green's shuffle. Later, find an excuse to run through the pack (e.g. remove mates).

9. Behr/Hartling's idea of obtaining any four-of-a-kind.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
Dennis Loomis
View Profile
1943 - 2013
2113 Posts

Profile of Dennis Loomis
A little more information on #8 part B can be found in Eric Mead's book, A Tangled Web. I find this takes quite a bit of concentration, but then I need to work on it some more. I can do it, but I find it difficult to talk coherently while doing so. Like everything else,practice/rehearsal always brings good dividends with this.

10. A scallop short in either the top or bottom card of your stack which makes it easy to get back to home position without having to do any glimpses. Actually, I mentioned the scallop short because that's what I use, but there are numerous physical modifications you can do to a card which makes it easy to cut it back to the top or the bottom. Crimps and breathers fall into this category as do bellies, long cards, and many other modifications you can do to a card. Mike Close used to use a scallop short in the top card of his Aronson stacked deck. He tells me that he has become so adept at estimated cutting that he doesn't feel that it's necessary to have any "work" in the deck. I'm a mere mortal, however, and I like knowing that I can get "home" quite easily at any time.

Dennis Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
Eric Richardson
View Profile
Regular user
110 Posts

Profile of Eric Richardson
I think this thread is great. Thanks for posting it Dennis!

Just a quick correction to Dennis's original post: "Southsude Johnny" was created by Paul Thomey. I also have two complete story deck routines for the Aronson stack and all three can be found in my book OASIS.
Martin Joyal
View Profile
Regular user
135 Posts

Profile of Martin Joyal
Indeed it is a great thread. Thanks Dennis.

10) I use a short corner for the card at position 52.
11) I use one or two Will De Seive key cards (usually for the Queen of Hearts).
Cain
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
1513 Posts

Profile of Cain
Good call on a cut card of some kind -- short/breather/scallop/whatever. That's something I just took for granted.

12. Glimpses

Identity = Location
If you know a card is 24 down, then you can build your estimation skills by cutting it to the top. Alternatively, you could practice false shuffles (riffle or overhand) that "cut" the deck to the approximate location of the selection.

Corollary: Location = Identity
Although it's unnecessary for laypeople, you could, for example, break a hand-to-hand spread and openly glimpse/flash a card -- "You'll pick one of these; I'll keep my head turned the whole time" -- then as you continue to spread at eye-level (or not) count down from the card you glimpsed. If you glimpsed #12 and spread 10 more, then you know they picked #22. In a memorized deck, every card is a key card.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
Nicolino
View Profile
Inner circle
2869 Posts

Profile of Nicolino
Addendum to 10)
Think also of combining short cards with breathers! This way you will gain access to the darkest corners of your stack....! Smile
The Mati Envelope
A brandnew peek device for the working mentalist!

Chance's Token
Tarot cards in a scenic piece of mystery.....
Llynus
View Profile
New user
58 Posts

Profile of Llynus
Quote:
On 2012-08-19 03:37, Nicolino wrote:
Addendum to 10)
Think also of combining short cards with breathers! This way you will gain access to the darkest corners of your stack....! Smile

Do you mean having a card that is both short and crimped? or multiple locator cards?

I've played with both ideas, wondered what you'd found.
Turk
View Profile
Inner circle
Portland, OR
3545 Posts

Profile of Turk
Quote:
On 2012-08-19 13:12, Llynus wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-08-19 03:37, Nicolino wrote:
Addendum to 10)
Think also of combining short cards with breathers! This way you will gain access to the darkest corners of your stack....! Smile

Do you mean having a card that is both short and crimped? or multiple locator cards?

I've played with both ideas, wondered what you'd found.


I'm wondering the same thing.

I was wondering if a card was both "shorted" (corner, scalloped, straight-edged, etc.) AND "breathered"--so as to gain extra confidence for control thereof. Or were different cards given different treatment so as to more easily be able to differentiate between control cards for easier control (and use) of such control card(s)?
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
duanebarry
View Profile
Special user
883 Posts

Profile of duanebarry
Multiple locator cards.

If you can cut assuredly at 13, 26, 39 and 52, that's pretty powerful. You can instantly bring any card at most 7 away from top or bottom of the deck.

If you use your surefire locator and also estimate before you cut, you can instantly bring any card within 1 or 2 of the top or bottom of the deck.
Nicolino
View Profile
Inner circle
2869 Posts

Profile of Nicolino
@Turk: The latter (at least that's how I use it).
Other than a short card, the crimped one can (and very often shall) be used by the participant. So I use the short cards as 'exclusive locators for internal use' while on the other hand both me and the spectator can make use of the crimped cards. Duanebarry is getting the idea.

PS: Sorry for the extensive use of 'use' in this post. Smile
The Mati Envelope
A brandnew peek device for the working mentalist!

Chance's Token
Tarot cards in a scenic piece of mystery.....
BarryFernelius
View Profile
Inner circle
Still learning, even though I've made
2532 Posts

Profile of BarryFernelius
Lucky idea number 13: Stacking the deck so that the bottom card is 1 and the top card is 52. Why would you want to do this?

Let's suppose you're doing ACAAN, card 1 is on the top, and card 52 is on the bottom. The card named (Ace of Hearts) is 24, and the number named is 16. That means that you have to cut card number 24-16=8 to the bottom. But what if 33 is the number? Then, you need to move card 52-(33-24) = 43 to the bottom.

Now, let's repeat the calculation, this time with card 52 on top and card 1 on the bottom. The card named (Ace of Hearts) is 24, and the number named is 16. That means that you have to cut card number 24+16=40 to the bottom. If 33 is the number, 33+24=57. Because the resulting number is >52, you subtract 52. So, the card that you move to the bottom is 33+24-52=5.

Stacking the deck from the bottom up turns most of the calculations in the head into additions instead of subtractions. Many people do additions in their head more rapidly than they do subtractions. I believe that this is an Alan Ackerman idea.
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
Martin Joyal
View Profile
Regular user
135 Posts

Profile of Martin Joyal
14. Having all the pointer cards in the same direction.
Tamariz
View Profile
New user
45 Posts

Profile of Tamariz
Mem deck, marked and anything else that you need. I believe that multiple methods help throw of the scent. Best of all is an enjoyable presentation and when all combined it is like...real art!
baobow
View Profile
Special user
502 Posts

Profile of baobow
A continuation to what Barry was suggestion, but obviously knowing card sequence 1-52, but then knowing order from the bottom also

i.e 52nd card (aronson is 9 of diamonds) is considered 1, 51st card considered 2. Got this idea from Alan Nu's ACAAN.
Dennis Loomis
View Profile
1943 - 2013
2113 Posts

Profile of Dennis Loomis
I'm really pleased with all of the ideas that have been shared in this thread. I certainly agree with Juan Tamariz about presentation. As magicians we can get caught up in methodology... but presentation is always the most important element in our shows. Try to remember that rebookings are almost totally dependent on how much fun your audience has. Remember that when hiring entertainment lay people are NOT thinking about which magician to hire. They are considering Comedians, Singers, dancers; the whole range of entertainment possibilities.

Having said that, I was very surprised at baobow's suggestion for which he credits Alain Nu. While I've studied and worked with memorized decks for many years... this is not something I had come across or thought of myself. For some effects when I needed to know how far a card was from the bottom I would subtract the stack number (from the top) from 53. While this is not particularly difficult it is slow and could lead to your thinking showing.

I'm going to start working on learning that second stack number for each card. Just one more step on the road to mem-deck mastery.

Dennis Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
JanForster
View Profile
Inner circle
Germany ... when not traveling...
3861 Posts

Profile of JanForster
I read about this before... Simon Aronson uses it also in two of his routines in "Simply Simon". Jan
Jan Forster
www.janforster.de
baobow
View Profile
Special user
502 Posts

Profile of baobow
For those know the method to Wayne Fox's knockout prediction, is that by having one deck set up in mem deck order with the method of knockout applied to it ( please don't reveal the method) it now allows me to jazz ala Vernon's 'The trick that can not be explained' except I am always in complete control. The spectator can shuffle their deck to their hearts content and cut the deck, I can reveal the top card from my deck to match theirs, I can pull their card out of my pocket/wallet,card under glass, I can make it turn up face in in the middle of the pack, reveal it via a hot shot cut,spell to it, double lift and then reveal. Stronger yet, the spectator can genuinely shuffle before and after each revelation. You can even use it as a forcing deck as you always know what card they cut to without fishing etc

Knockout prediction has added a whole you set of card revelations to my card routine.
BarryFernelius
View Profile
Inner circle
Still learning, even though I've made
2532 Posts

Profile of BarryFernelius
5B. Marked deck (see number 5 in the original post) Instead of marking the identity of the card on the back, the mark can be the stack number. (Obviously, this will still work even after the deck has been thoroughly shuffled.)

15. Anything that can be linked to the stack number can also be linked to the card. (Example: The Birthday Trick in which each calendar date is mapped to a playing card in a seemingly random way.)
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Adjuncts to Mem-Deck Work (4 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3~4~5 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.21 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL