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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Remembering Names (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Burt Yaroch
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Inner circle
Dallas,TX
1097 Posts

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I think it is probably obvious to all that a more personal magical presentation is almost always more powerful. The simple act of addressing someone by name puts you well on this road. However I am a mental midget (mental little person, sorry). So my question to you is this:

When the situation lends itself to interaction with your audience, what memory techniques do you use to keep them all straight?
Yakworld.
Tom Cutts
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Staff
Northern CA
5798 Posts

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Use their names immediately and often.

You will get into this habit, begin to do it, and remember names effortlessly.
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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What did you say your name was?

That's right, I just wanted to make sure you haven't forgot it!



Seriously, write it on a business card and it will help you remember it. Or do a trick with cards where you or the helper writes the name on a card.

Link the name with something funny.
I couldn't remember Aleda, until she said think of Velveeta cheese. That worked great.

Dennis the Menance works. Learn comic quips with the name such as Mark, Where is Ready, Set, and Go? Mark... Woof-Woof... Did you say Bark? Things like that.

Does anybody know a booklet with comic quips for names? I've heard lots of magicians use them.
Dennis Michael
Marduke Kurios
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Veteran user
Vancouver, Canada
316 Posts

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Tom's right on the money there. Harry Lorayne's 'Memory Book' has a section devoted to memorizing names. This book changed my life when it came to remembering anything with 100% recall. It was especially helpful for me throughout school. His techniques are well worth the $5.00 I paid for it. Everyone should have a copy!
Live well,
Laugh often,
Love always.

To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

Without Prejudice, All Rights Reserved.
Peter Marucci
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Inner circle
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A lot of magicians (and REAL people) often say something like, "I'm terrible at remembering names."
That could be seen as a form of self-hypnosis.
Johnny Ace Palmer once said that you can convince yourself that you can remember names.
Instead of "I'm terrible at remembering names," say something like, "I'm great at remembering names."
Eventually, you will be!
As Tony Slydini said, in a different context, "You must gotta believe."
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Thomas Wayne
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Alaska
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There is a different thread on the board where I mentioned a recovery technique I had used after a trick went bad, and this topic reminds me of another such time.

Once, I had a signed selection returned to the deck and was launching into my Triumph routine when I realized that I had somehow dropped my break. Looking at my victim, I said "Anyway, ummmm....", and as I "ummmed" through a long pause, I turned the deck over and spread through it with the backs toward the specators. When I apparently "found" his signature I continued: "... MICHAEL...". This less-than-smooth way I had [apparently] recalled the spectator's ["forgotten"] name, by reading it on his card, was a funny little moment and the resulting chuckles allowed me to break at the selection and control it to the top with a very natural turnover pass as I "resumed" the routine.

I liked the results of this impromptu recovery move so much that I sometimes will use the same gag in conjunction with a signed selection. Interestingly enough, I can hand out the deck and have them remove any card of their choice, sign it and return it themselves - even SHUFFLE the deck - and then pull this "forgotten name" gag. Surprisingly, they never seem to take notice of the fact that I've secretly(?) located their card while apparently trying to cover up the social blunder of "forgetting" their name.

Incidentally, I am generally VERY good at remembering names during performance, and can often recognize return spectators many weeks after their first visit. No practice or training, just [idiot] savant luck...
'bout a hundred dollars...

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Burt Yaroch
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Dallas,TX
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Smile

That might be funny to follow that same line of thinking, have a spec sign a card and then whip out a roll of duct tape, tape it to their chest, and go on to something completely different.

Smile

Alright, perhaps not.
Yakworld.
Ian Rowland
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London
876 Posts

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Many memory experts will tell you that the problem is not that you forget names, it's that you don't remember them in the first place!

When you ask a spectator his or her name mentally prepare yourself to take that second or two to LISTEN to what the name is (and clarfiy it if necessary), to VISUALISE that person's face and to WRITE that name across their forehead in your imagination while you say it to yourself in your mind's inner voice. It won't hold up your performance, it only takes a beat, and it should work for you.

The more you USE the name in the first minute or so of working with that particular spec, the more easily you will remember it.

A common tip used by a lot of performers I've met is to deliberately contrive some reason or other to talk about the name as soon as you hear it. If it's a name like 'Claire' you can ask (perfectly politely) whether it's with an 'i' or without, or make some such similar comment. If it's a name you like, talk about it and why you like it. If it's the name of someone you know, or someone in your family, mention it. Just say SOMETHING that stops the name going in one ear and out the other. Of course if you're dealing with a LOT of names, this approach could wear a bit thin!
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
Alewishus
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parts unknown
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There is a section in Fusillade about remembering names, and with all things practice will make you better.
Sack subs, ok Ross?
We miss you asper.
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