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Topic: Woody Aragon Zoom Workshop in English - Review
Message: Posted by: Sophocles (May 16, 2021 10:45AM)
Last night I participated in Woody’s first ever Zoom workshop in English. This was the first of three. I highly recommend that people sign up for the other two. All 3 will be recorded. The set is $99 and is a practical steel! It’s supposed to be 3 hours, 3 hours, 2.5 hours but even our first session was over 3 and half hours long. Woody is a man of his word and doesn’t disappoint. Heck just the first trick he did is worth the price. He showed 8 people 8 different sets of 5 cards and asked them to think of one and then went ahead and predicted all 8.

Woody is a great teacher. He puts so much passion and joy in his work. The workshop is very interactive and we constantly had the opportunity to ask questions. Time flew!
After a few tricks he discussed theory behind mem decks and the relationships between them. How you can go from one to another and the interaction. The benefits of certain stacks vs others, etc. Tamariz was discussed and a few other stacks. He then showed us properties of the memorandum stack and how quickly one can get into it from new deck order with and without faro. Personally I can now better appreciate these circular decks/stacks. Woody then got into a method of learning the stack and we went over each of the first 26 cards. I already know the stack from his excellent book Memorandum. But still it was good to participate. Some people used the method to learn a second stack (eg Redford, Tamariz) while the majority focused on Woodys. Woody then tested people and called out numbers and cards. It was great fun.

With yesterday’s instructions and by reading memorandum pages a few times I was able to go from new deck order to faro 4 to memorandum. And then in reverse, from memorandum back to faro 4 and then back to new deck out just by moving a few cards and dealing 4 piles. No faro shuffle at all. Of course I was slow as first time but wow! This can be so powerful! With some practice this can be done quickly imho

I look forward to the next 2 sessions and highly recommend that people sign up. Even if you missed the first that’s ok as it was mainly on learning the stack which you can do on your own. I’m any case the session was recorded. Woody though did give out a few thoughts that were unrecorded and for the people who were there live. So there is a benefit to showing up.

Check it out at address below:

From the site:

1. Memorized Deck Assimilation (3 hours)
May 15, 2021 @ 11am PST, 2pm EST, 7pm UK, 8pm Spain
If you are fascinated by the tricks and possibilities offered by a memorized deck, but you’ve never dared to start working with it. Or perhaps, you have started, but you’re plagued by doubts and insecurities.

In this first workshop: - No previous knowledge needed
- Attendees leave the workshop with the stack reliably memorized
- Attendees leave with a small repertoire of classic tricks they can perform (for all technical levels) utilizing the mem-deck

2. Advanced memorized deck - part 1 (3 hours)
May 22, 2021 @ 11am PST, 2pm EST, 7pm UK, 8pm Spain
If you already use a memorized deck, but your repertoire is limited and you want to explore new possibilities, Woody will show and explain more of his advanced work in this area, as well as his vision for new stacks and their properties.

In this second workshop:
- Attendees must already have a stack memorized (or the ability to easily control it if it’s an arithmetic stack)
- Attendees will deepen their repertoire with advanced mem-deck work
- This workshop is primarily oriented to new effects, original to Woody, but also high-level techniques to maintain the stack or arrange a stack in front of your audience.

3. Advanced memorized deck - part 2 (2.5 hours)
May 29, 2021 @ 11am PST, 2pm EST, 7pm UK, 8pm Spain
Message: Posted by: Sophocles (May 23, 2021 04:48AM)
Yesterday was session 2, and Woody did not disappoint. He explained the first effect he did in Session 1 which one its own is worth a lot imho. He did some more magic and explained it. We also discussed various issues on getting cards into and out of play, shifting from one stack to another and back, how to disguise your use of a mem deck, going from mem deck to shuffled deck to 1/2 stack. This last part was an eye-opener for me. Got to better understand how to implement a mem deck into your performance, but not worry about giving out the deck and having it shuffled and then getting it back into a semi-stack for more great mem work. 2nd session was supposed to go for 3 hours and went for 4 hours. So far instead of just 6 hours (session 1 & 2) we got over 7,5 hours and Woody even offered to do a 4th session to help with memorizing the 2nd 1/2 of the Memorandum stack. Woody just gives and gives and it has been a real treat for the around 25-30 people in the live zoom. People just waiting for recordings should take advantage of the live.
Message: Posted by: Sophocles (Jun 23, 2021 05:53AM)
I did session 3 some time ago but have been busy. More effects from Woody and lots of discussion around his Siamese deck which is a brilliant concept and also discussed in Memorandum. Woody showed us some false shuffling with an in-depth look at one he uses. And lots of extremely helpful discussion on handling of decks, performance, various subtleties. I got a ton of questions answered and better understood the whole concept of memorized deck, how to use it, how to disguise it, etc. Lots of practical advise in these 3 sessions that will get you back to using a mem deck if you haven’t. My big learning from these sessions was “ohhh so that’s what I need to do, that’s what I need to learn and that’s how I can incorporate this into a magic set or performance”. Sure you get a lot from his books and other videos but I found that these sessions really tied it all together. At least for me and I would highly recommend these live sessions to magicians of all levels. And for any beginners I would suggest Memorandum as it has great properties and there is a ton of Woody stuff to get through to help you really apply it.