Why Murphy chose this picture?
Why Murphy chose this picture?
Memorized decks, repeating lists and other memory feats come and go in the fickle world of magic. RIght now they seem to be popular, possibly due to The Chinese Virus and virtual shows. I’m, personally, convinced that virtual shows will vanish like a fart in the wind when people finally wake up and realize many of the politically based protocols are pure cosmetic theater with no basis in science. No one looking at the numbers can reasonably deny this.
https://thinkersplayground.com/ is a wonderful site exploring memory systems. I’ve particularly chosen this site, as it has some very good advice when memorizing a deck of cards.
Here’s a handy pdf file that I’ve found helpful in memorizing the Mnemonica stack:
Yesterday I spent way more time than I should have listening to some old man drone on and on about his theories on magic. He is a revered name so I have no intention of saying who it was or embarrassing him. He did nothing more or less than hundreds have before him.
I tire quickly of the standard answers given in forums and groups:
Make it your own
Read <Insert the latest hot theory book here>
I seriously doubt if most of these pontificators actually read any of the stuff they are recommending.
As a young man I dutifully read Nelms’ Showmanship for Magicians, well most of it. It seemed to me as if he crammed a short essay into 300 pages. I’ve looked at, but not studied the large rasher of books on theory since then. Basically, there is only one book which has been rewritten dozens, if not hundreds, of times. Yeah, there may be an interesting twist or insight now and then, but certainly not a books’ worth.
While I continue to be a proponent of the Five Foot Book Shelf, a one inch shelf is ample for the theory section.
Tired of the same old crap? i/m ran across the http://Wild About Houdini blog while messing around today. Whoever is doing this is a huge fan and the entire blog seems to be written with a lot of care. Like most blogs, readership is pitifully low. I would suggest spending a few minutes checking this out rather than watching some 14 year old expose the lates Penguin download.
You don’t have to spend over 15 minutes in the blogosphere to realize the most intelligent magic commentary and advice is by Andy over at The Jerx. (That last sentence was very hard to write by an old timer like me. He will always be The Magic Circle Jerk to me. His exploits are legendary and his Most Boring Post On The Magic Cafe, a stroke of genius even he will never exceed. There are still battle scars to this day.)
Andy is much more mainstream now and much tamer. That’s a shame, but it does give us a terrific source of great magic thinking. His writings concentrate on the needs of hobbyist and casual performers. I believe he’s the first to do so. He manages to write at a high level without being a total dick. A rarity in magic.
His latest post as I write this begins:
I want to go back to my concept of a 100 Trick Repertoire, which is something I wrote about in The Amateur at the Kitchen Table. It’s a simple idea. You don’t need that book to understand it. It’s just the idea that the old adage that you should know six tricks that you do very well, is horseshit when it comes to the amateur/social performer. (And probably hasn’t even made sense for the professional performer since, like, the vaudeville days—but magicians are slow to evolve.)
Anyone who still attends the local magic club, undoubtedly has run into some old douchenagle saying I made my living for 40 years performing the same 8 tricks at birthday parties. Hot Damn! So we now understand why 2 generations hate magic. I never understood why being lazy and disinterested in your craft was a badge of honor.
Anyway, read this post and most everything he puts out. Support him if possible. He’s a magic treasure and there are damn few of them