Thirty YEARS ago I shuffled a pack of cards, then set about memorizing its order. No system was involved, just brute memory. I learned the order forward and bade, togecher with the numerical position of every card A few years Liter 1 discovered the Nikola system, which I proceeded to attach to mybrute" stack Over the years a number of other systems have surfaced; most notably diose by Ban Harding, Martin Joyal, Simon Aronson and Juan Tamariz.
in those days I used my memorized deck presentation as a closing stunt. I apparently had the cards shuffled, then seemingly memorized their order. At rhe end of the program I called off the cards, simultaneously dealing them from the top and sailing all fifty-two into the audience.
During this period 1 also spent about twenty minutes every day practicing. This coasLsted of my removing two or three cards from a shuffled pack and placing them on the table without looking at rheir faces. I then went through the remainder and determined which ones were missing.
Around 1970 I changed my approach. Rather than trying to look as if I were mentally gifted, I developed a handling that was simpler to do and included more spectator involvement. It was for quite a while the finale for aJI my bigger shows and is today one of my featured piatfbrm items.
Whiie I was unaware of them when I developed my presenrations, this type of memorized deck demonstration dates back at least to A1 Baker, who barpjh Richasdhon i expiai nal his "Miracle of Memory" hi Màgicai Wiyr andMeans ( 1941, p. 104}. . George Sands brer marketed "Extra Sandsational Perception," a clever method using a-strip per deck and a memorized srack. While his presentation «hammed a telepathic rather than a mnemonic demonstration, the central principle or'his method arc thesame as mine. Finally, the extremely clever Bob Cassidy has for >ome years been doing a memorized deck presentation that shares certain ideas with my own. Bob published the details of his method and presentation in 1995 (sec his An ofMentaUsm 2, p. 29), while I had published the routine below two years earlier; an obvious result of similar thinking. However, the diings that set my presentation apart from those of others is the increased spectator involvement and the performers letting his audience share in the success of the demonstration. These elements not only contribute to rhe excitement of the feat, but also leave the spectators admiring your ability-while feeling good about themselves as well.
EfttiCI AND PRLSLNiAl'lON: A pack of cards is first shuttled by the performer. As he mixes them, lie addresses rhe company: Y low many people in tins room have had the experience of being able to rrmember somebody's face but not rheir name>"\'inom hands go up.
"Do you know why this happens? Let mepveyou an example that may help. What words come to mind when I say wall? "A few people arc asked to respond. The usual answers will be things like brick, paint, plaster, picture, etc.
"Do you see what you did? You immediately visualized a wall Bur if you were Dr. Seuss, the writer of children's books, you might have thought nf tall, fall or ball. Seuss used his ear—aural memory—rather duin visual memory
"Our visual senses are strongf îvenetàto team to play our strengths. How many of you think you have a good memory?" S omc hands may go up.
7 happen to have a sub-average natural memory; yet I have taught myself how to use some simple visual tricks, so that J can now read a Time magazine in thirty to forty minutes and mall what is on every page in some detail. But if you think about it, that is relatively easy, since / have time to study and review.
"Tonight, I'm going to gii>e you a demonstration of a much greater magnitude. And best of all I'm going to invite everyone to help me.
The performer approaches a woman on his left and extends the pack. "Please pud out some cards. No, more than that... and a few mort1.'"
He goes next to a man on his right. "Willyou take the remainder; and both of you shuffle your cards thoroughly "
Returning to the woman: "From your cards please remove two diamonds, two clubs, two warts and two spades.
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