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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Aronson Stack - Ideas for Use (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MagicSarah
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Hello,

For Christmas I was given the 'For Dummies/Everyone' book to learn the Aronson stack.

Can anyone please point me at a good resource (dvds ideally) that would let me put it to use once I've nailed it?

Thanks Smile
The_MetalMaster
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One of Simon's DVDs is dedicated solely to mem deck work. I recommend it, and all his books. Some of my favorites, that I've performed at many shows, are Histed Heisted, Two Beginnings, and Past Present Future
MagicSarah
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Great - thanks. I'll have a look! Smile
Kjellstrom
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lcwright1964
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There are generally two kinds of memorized deck effects. Stack-dependent ones rely on the specific structure and order of the stack in question, and these tend to comprise things like poker and bridge deals, producing all of a named suit, certain spelling effects, and special productions and locations. Aronson's Try The Impossible has an entire section devoted to such items, and the added bonus is that memorizing the Aronson stack first is not a prerequisite (though knowing it well might make learning the routines more intuitive).

By far the largest body of mem-deck work is stack-independent--i.e., effects that require you to associate with each card a number between 1 and 52 inclusive, but it is immaterial which order you choose to use--Mnemonica, Aronson, Nikola, or even a random order of your own devising. Most of the effects in Tamariz's Mnemonica are of this type, as are the majority of memorized deck items in Aronson's hardcover books (Bound to Please, The Aronson Approach, Simply Simon, Try the Impossible, Art Decko). This is the concept of the Open Index that Aronson writes on at length across with body of work--the idea that the performer knows where every card is in the deck at any time and can locate it quickly. (Also become acquainted with the powerful concept of Retained Relative Groupings, or RRGs, where even in a deck which has been shuffled or the stack otherwise disordered groups of cards retain some order that is still magically useful.) Many contend--and I am one of them--that stack-independent effects are by far the better tricks in the repertoire, but if you really have a thing of certain poker deals and spelling effects you might disagree. Be on the lookout for works by Mike Close and Eric Richardson, who use the Aronson stack. Most of their routines are stack-independent, but they do have a few that capitalize on the Aronson stack in particular. Eric Richardson's books also include some reworkings of stack-dependent Mnemonica tricks for the Aronson stack--e.g., The Three Hours, which is frankly the only Mnemonica-dependent trick I do. An Aronson version is found in one of Eric's downloads--which are, incidently, inexpensive and worth getting.

Of course, many (though not all) effects that use a tetradistic mathematical stack like 8 Kings or Si Stebbins can be done with a memorized stack. The prerequisite here is that if the mathematical stack effect requires only that you use the stack to divine a card based on knowing one of its neighbours, then obviously you can carry out that with any memorized stack, where you simply have such information memorized. The mentalist Richard Osterlind has devised an ingenious mathematical stack, the Breakthrough Card System, but any of his divinations and challenge locations can be done with any memorized stack.

Finally, I should point out that the three superb effects mentioned earlier, Histed Heisted, Two Beginnings, and PPF, are Aronson classics, but are very much stack-independent tricks. I am a Mnemonica guy, and I do them just fine.

I wish you all the best with this. I think it is a wonderful subgenre of card magic. It doesn't even dawn on lay people that the performer would memorize the order of the whole deck, and even a lot of magicians don't consider based on the mistaken belief it is difficult or not worth the trouble.

Cheers,

Les
Cain
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Which For Dummies-ish book includes a memorized stack?
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MagicSarah

Imagine if you could do many of your favourite card effects from the same stack you use for MemDeck effects.

There is some great advice in the post above by Les. I agree that the best MD effects are stack independent including my favourite routine Pure and Simple. The only advice I would add is to hold off and learn a little more about stack work before choosing a stack to commit to memory. It's not the hardest thing in the world to memorize a stack but if you are going to take the time, it's good to be sure that the one you choose offers the greatest benefits to you and the material you enjoy performing or hope to perform.

Best,
Greg
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Ian Richards
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On Dec 28, 2015, Cain wrote:
Which For Dummies-ish book includes a memorized stack?


Geoff Williams (a member here and outstanding comedy magician) has a resource (E-book?) devoted to learning and using the Aronson stack.
MagicSarah
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Icwright - wow. Once again I am amazed by the level of knowledge and the amount of support available on this amazing forum. Thank you so much for your detailed reply. I will go back and look out some of the sources you mention. Thank you.
MagicSarah
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Cain - Yes it is Geoff Williams' book. I'm not sure if there is an ebook. This is a 'proper book' Smile

I'm currently learning the hooks for the cards. Once I can perfectly run through them all quickly (I practice while I clean my teeth - all in 2 and a half mins should be possible, right? ) I will move on to learning the hooks for the order... assuming I haven't worn my teeth down to stumps in the meantime Smile
FredNarlo
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His best effects using the Aronson Stack are in his books. But his DVD devoted to it has some awesome material too! Simon is a genius. I love the guy... Also, check out Eric Richardson's work on the stack.

Past, Present, Future
Histed, Heisted
Invisible Card

Too many to list.
MagicSarah
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Thank you - I will do! Smile
lcwright1964
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Oh yes! Do not neglect Aronson's Invisible Card. About the most basic effect we do with memorized deck (or pretty well any stacked deck) is a divination--the spectator looks at or selects a card, we furtively learn the identity of the card by getting knowledge of one of its neighbours, and we reveal the selection however. (Indeed, Andy Nyman's The Code deck uses this very principle with the Mnemonica stack, but without the need for math or memorization.) With a memorized deck this is a math-free exercise. The Invisible Card is also an ideal "beginner" effect--and I put that in quotes because the method is simple, though the effect is not. The effect is this: you spread out the deck and pantomime the removal of card. You get the spectator to play along and "peek" at the invisible card and tell you its identity. You go through the whole deck face up and, lo and behold, the card he just named is the only one missing. You get the spectator to pantomime replacing the invisible card back into the deck. You spread out the deck face up and there is a single face down card. You reveal that card and I am sure you know what is supposed to happen. The method is math-free and there is a single move that is so well concealed in the handling it is scarcely a move at all. Observant card magicians may catch it, but it flies past muggles and they are just astounded with the result--indeed, the effect achieves the the same outcome as the venerable ID, but the cards are normal, the stack order is not disrupted, and you can carry on with other memorized deck miracles.

As for the time-honoured Invisible, or Ultramental, Deck, you can actually use a memorized deck to achieve the exact same outcome, again with a couple of well-concealed and not too difficult sleights. Michael Close has a version in his Workers series, and Eric Richardson presents a version by Tyler Wilson in his e-book Tour. (Both of these are based on an older Allan Ackerman effect that is superb, but it places some restrictions on the selection process so that even a borrowed shuffled deck can be used.) Café member Steven Keyl has a Vimeo video where he presents his own approach involving two selections and keeping the deck face down until the very end--message him and he should gladly send you to the private link.

When you look at the main exponents of the memorized deck, Tamariz and Aronson, you will discern striking differences in style. Tamariz's effects tend to be a little lighter on using mathematical approaches while relying more on sleight-of-hand to manipulate the stack and maintain its order throughout a set as much a s possible. Many of the effects in Mnemonica also seem to depend on one's ability to do a faro shuffle, but even then there are work-arounds. Aronson's effects really make good use of arithmetic, which is hardly advanced but in some cases (like Past Present Future, for example) requires some attention and concentration. Moreover, Aronson's repertoire, including effects that don't use a memorized stack, tend not to lean on much sleight of hand, and when it does it is usually well within a beginner's grasp. Also, as a hobbyist more likely to inflict a trick here and there on a grudging victim in an informal context, I really don't mind the tendency of many of Aronson's best effects to disrupt the stack order. Tamariz, on the other hand, goes to some length to cover the issue retaining and restoring deck order throughout a set. If this is important for you, familiarizing yourself with the Mnemonica book would be fruitful even if you opt for the Aronson or any other memorized stack.

Les
JanForster
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In short: I really recommend all books of Simon, fantastic material for MD workers. For me he is the most subtle thinker if it comes to the MD. And I have a favorite book which I've read since 1995 minimal 5 times from cover to cover: "Simply Simon". If I would have to go alone on a desert island with only five books in my luggage, this book would be one of the five! Jan
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MagicSarah
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Thank you everyone! Great advice as always, and lots of things for me to go and learn about. Smile
The_MetalMaster
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On Jan 2, 2016, JanForster wrote:
In short: I really recommend all books of Simon, fantastic material for MD workers. For me he is the most subtle thinker if it comes to the MD. And I have a favorite book which I've read since 1995 minimal 5 times from cover to cover: "Simply Simon". If I would have to go alone on a desert island with only five books in my luggage, this book would be one of the five! Jan


totally agree with you here Jan. I am curious though, what are the other four???? Smile
Steven Keyl
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Over the last couple of months I've been revising my Aronson material to generate new ideas and reconnect with some old ones.

I agree with Jan. "Simply Simon" is by far my favorite Aronson book, and I have them all. It's a great book, but in fairness I'll admit to holding more than a little bias as I think all of Aronson's stuff is great.
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The_MetalMaster
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On Jan 2, 2016, Steven Keyl wrote:
Over the last couple of months I've been revising my Aronson material to generate new ideas and reconnect with some old ones.

I agree with Jan. "Simply Simon" is by far my favorite Aronson book, and I have them all. It's a great book, but in fairness I'll admit to holding more than a little bias as I think all of Aronson's stuff is great.


His stuff truly is. I've been performing as a mentalist for the past several years and limit myself to 1 or 2 card tricks during any performance but it is so difficult not to include FATE. It is just too good! I'm looking to modify Fate for walk around performances to the idea Simon had of including an odd backed card to force when the helper mentions their birthday. I really don't want to be weighted down with another deck of playing cards so I'm thinking of going with this option even though I believe his original version is superior.
Mentalistic
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Early Christmas present to myself was Bound to Please which includes A Stack to Remember. It'd be interesting to see how the Dummies book approaches the memorisation work. We'll have to compare notes Sarah. Your smile is blinding me BTW! Hehe.

I now find myself googling Simply Simon and wondering whether I can justify a 'late' Christamas present to myself.
--Andy
JanForster
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Quote:
On Jan 2, 2016, The_MetalMaster wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 2, 2016, JanForster wrote:
In short: I really recommend all books of Simon, fantastic material for MD workers. For me he is the most subtle thinker if it comes to the MD. And I have a favorite book which I've read since 1995 minimal 5 times from cover to cover: "Simply Simon". If I would have to go alone on a desert island with only five books in my luggage, this book would be one of the five! Jan


totally agree with you here Jan. I am curious though, what are the other four???? Smile


While I have not to think twice about "Simply Simon", I would have to think about the remaining four books quite a time... Smile Jan
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