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New user
Sheffield, UK
73 Posts

Profile of DYL
I often see Mnemonics mentioned and I have just played around with it myself to good effect in remembering long numbers.
What I do have a question about is long pieces of text.

Do you think, such as actors, use a method to remember all their lines, or are they just better at this than others, or maybe they are used to it.
I was thinking about this because I have recently started studying cold reading, including learning the Tarot and Palmistry. I thought it could be useful to memorize a few of the stock type readings/paragraphs. Not to use on people everytime, but to maybe help me expand and help if my mind goes blank!

So could anyone offer adviceon a method of recalling chunks of text like this, or is it a matter of repeated reading until it sinks in?
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Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

Profile of drwilson
Actors will tell you that some texts are easier than others. Shakespeare is particularly easy because of the "flow" of the iambic pentameter and the rich images.

If you are primarily visual, try to attach the usual images to chunks of text. Action is better than inaction here. Many objects in an image (thousands, millions) are better than just one. Make the images and actions absurd and surrealistic. Make individual visual objects in an absurd scale: giant or unbelievably miniaturized. This is all standard mnemonics.

Many actors also have a kinesthetic memory. They remember the flow of words while moving through their blocking. Seated in a chair, they can't recite the text accurately.

In "Swimming to Cambodia," the late Spaulding Gray describes how he memorized lines that were meaningless to him for a movie using images.

Let's do the Gettysburg Address as an example:

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that 'all men are created equal.' "

In one of the most exciting moments in ice hockey history, four players surround the puck and skate past an 800 pound gorilla employed as a goalie (FOUR SCORE), breaking a losing streak that has endured since their coach broke a locker room mirror (AND SEVEN YEARS AGO).

You can next imagine the literal birth of a nation (perhaps the Statue of Liberty) with a maternity ward bed that fills the continent. No midwife is big enough for the job, so the hockey player's dads produce the statue, discovering that the father was a sailor on shore leave (OUR FATHERS BROUGHT FORTH UPON THIS CONTINENT A NEW NATION, CONCEIVED IN LIBERTY).

You get the idea.


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Veteran user
371 Posts

Profile of AlexWong
I've started on Harry Lorraynes's Memory Power system. Well, if you have Osterlind's Memorised BCS, you have the basics of it. In Harry's system, he does give some idea on how to memorise most items.

I think it would be easier to memorise key idea rather than stock readings.

I'm sure that once you learn the various technique, you would rather try to come up with the wordings yourself. I'm also studying cold reading at present.

Richard Webster's quick and effective cold reading is a good place to start for palmistry. In fact, he does it in such a step by step manner its hard to miss out on what to say once you can follow the sequence he recommends.
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Special user
869 Posts

Profile of RickSilmser
My wife does the giant memory act with my show. She learned to do 20 different objects in just 2 nights. Look it up in the 13 steps to Mentalism. Super easy stuff (even I can do it and I'm a lowly billet man !) It's worth looking into.

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Regular user
184 Posts

Profile of green4magic
Harry Lorrayne's THE MEMORY BOOK is definitely the way to go. He teaches memory work the same way he teaches magic.

Check out Chapter 13 on Playing Cards and practice til you can memorize a shuffled deck. It takes time and effort but it is worth it. I learned this method 30 years ago and still use it daily in performance. Hint - PEG cards to spectators.

Chapter 8 gives you name and face memory system to use as per hint above.

Chapter 10 is a mentalist's dream for long numbers. Learn the system and you will instantly be able to recall dollar bill serial numbers, social security numbers and telephone numbers. It also makes learning code a breeze.

We couldn't perform our routines without these systems.
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Special user
770 Posts

Profile of Loz
I'm terrified of even trying to do on the spot deck memorisation as I already have the pegs all welded to the Aronson stack. 45 is ruff-car - 4 of clubs and that's that. I think I would just get so confused by my already memorised stack, or that I might ruin my mem stack by doing shuffled decks. Whaddya think?
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Veteran user
371 Posts

Profile of AlexWong
Well... Harry did talk about a secondary peg list. that might work for you if you are afraid. What I think though is that if you have been using your pegs for your Aronson deck for awhile. It might work, because I think your mind is capable of differentiating.
magic in mind
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Special user
851 Posts

Profile of magic in mind
I think you could do something like mr mavern does on contimental on video mind till you remeber.
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Inner circle
London UK
1682 Posts

Profile of Partizan
With the memorisation of text the key here is to remove all of the uneeded words like 'and' 'the' 'this' 'that'. And try to reduce the body of text to as few keywords as you can. Then memorise the keys in journey format.

For using the same pegs for other things you need to set the context, ie use a master memory image or key that all other pegs are encoded with.

Example. For memory bank 6, all pegs are encoded with the master image of an elephant. and for 2 the master image a swan. (that example uses the number image system)
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain
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