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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Live on stage memorization of cards (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

_Mnemonist_
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Hey all wanted to share this video clip of my recent appearance on the national Freakonomics Podcast where I live memorize a deck of cards. For those of you who don't know me I am a Memory Champion and currently hold the title of 4th Best Memory in the US. My record for memorizing a deck of cards in an official national competition is 0:34 Seconds.

https://youtu.be/TrAFRhzFnzU

You can also listen to the full podcast here:

http://freakonomics.com/podcast/tmsidk-duckworth-2018/

Always happy to talk memory

Thanks

Livan
Bobby Forbes
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I love this stuff. Very cool. Thanks for posting. I learned the Dominic System many years ago and its very close to what your doing here. Awesome.
_Mnemonist_
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1. All memory techniques go back to ancient Greece, any variations thought up by recent people are just that variations. But I don't see the need to argue about who wrote what since no one is truly original.
2. I bought and read some of Harry Lorayne's book on memory when I was first starting out, while they are indeed good books for those looking to improve their memory. I personally did not find the techniques taught within them to be optimized for memory competitions where we need to memorize massive amounts of information at super speeds. I ended up using techniques taught by Dominic O'Brien as he was using them in his competitions which is exactly what I needed. I then took those and refined them to my own needs. Perhaps other people could have used Harry's techniques for competitions, I personally did not find them useful for my own purposes. This is simply a matter of preference but I did explore his books.
3. The concepts and techniques on improving your memory as relatively simple to teach and explain. However no matter how many books you write on the subject or classes taught, speeches given can ever increase your knowledge like actually competing against other people from all over the world. As I mentioned I am one of the top guys in the US currently and even after all these years I am learning new nuances about memory that is not covered in any book I have read so far, these insights only came about because I was forced to find way to get faster and faster and more accurate, by pushing your limits you discover how your memory truly works and why it sometimes fails. I won't bore you with the exact details, but I wanted to point out that only those who compete in international competitions are pushing the limits of what your memory can accomplish and the techniques developed for those purposes have produced amazing insights.

Again I appreciate anyone who is an expert on the subject and I really just want to share this with everyone.

Best

Livan
Bobby Forbes
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Livan, thanks for chiming in. I have been playing with Dominic Obriens system for years. Recently (about 2 years ago) I started exploring the PAO system with Obriens method. Very interesting stuff. I really appreciate your post!
_Mnemonist_
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PAO is good, there are even more advanced techniques used by other memory competitors which I can't even properly explain lol. I'm a strong supporter of use whatever works best for you, I use a PA system, so two cards per location. However it has little practical use for Magic I believe. Since even at my speed I can't stop a trick to look at the cards for 40 seconds in silence before I can do my next trick to memorize the entire deck. I had talked to friends about perhaps speed memorizing 12 cards so I have a nice mini stack with which to play with, but again it would be pointless for a magician to really put all the time and effort into speed memorization just for a few card tricks. Which is why I mainly use it for competitions.
Harry Lorayne
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When I was about 19 years old I was doing table magic at Billy Reed's Little Club in New York City. I thought that card magic would be my life's work until a "pivot point" - life-changing moment - occurred there.

Victory Jory, pretty famous movie actor at the time, came in often, with a different friend each time. I always wanted to do one trick that he hadn't seen yet. When I ran out of card effects I did what I thought was scraping the bottom of the barrel - a card memory feat - I'd been interested in memory since I was about 11 years old. His re-action to that feat changed my life.

I've explained the effect (and his reaction) a few times - way back in APOCALYPSE and etc. Most current - but I don't want to "recite" it here - somebody else may want to - it is in my "rememoire," BEFORE I FORGET. I describe the effect only on page 79.

I'm mentioning it here because of the "mention" of "speed memorizing" above. Most of what I did on stage for many decades was "speed memorizing" - done at the "spur of the moment." Like an audience member calling off 26 shuffled giant cards - that were placed on a board by my wife (who worked with me for 20 years) - and then I'd tell the four people behind me, each holding a different suit, which cards they were holding - and then call off the 26 cards on the board, by number, forward and backward.

If you have LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTRION, Vol. 1 - there's a "promotion:" photo on page 174 of me and Renee (my wife) with part of the giant card board behind us (1952). Perhaps someone can re-pro9duce it here - I don't know how to do that. (Gee, I was a good-looking guy! Renee, of course, was gorgeous.)

I never entered any competitions because I never felt that I needed to compete - I certainly demonstrated what I could do countless times all over the world, for decades - WHEN I WAS PAID TO DO SO! I was often asked to be a judge at "memory competitions" but I just didn't want to have anything to do with them - still don't.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

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_Mnemonist_
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Harry,

Thank you for that story. I actually did a very very similar effect during a live show where I had jumbo cards and a board in which a spectator shuffled and posted the cards one at a time and I memorized them. I would call this "Live Memorization" not "Speed Memorization" since no spectator can either shout out the card or put them up as fast as I could see the cards if I were running through them in my hands during a competition. Even if a spectator yelled out 1 card a second that is 26 seconds for half the deck and by comparison I run through 52 cards in 34 seconds in my hands so as you can imagine a spectator putting them up on a board or shouting them out is incredibly simple by comparison. The current world record for memorizing an entire deck of cards is 14 seconds so you can imagine how different that type of speed memorization is from doing it on stage with a spectator taking their time. However I doubt the audience cares about the difference, I think most audiences are just amazed you can even memorize that many cards, they don't differentiate between how fast.
Harry Lorayne
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Another reason for wanting/having to do it FAST was ---- again, I was quite young and thought this was important - I've written about it a few times - I was doing card magic for a group and at one point excused myself for going to the bathroom - and I casually took the deck with me. I memorized the shuffled deck in the bathroom. Came out and did some memdeck stuff for my audience. I stopped doing that because I realized that I could do much stronger effects/routines with a borrowed shuffled deck --- didn't need to bother memorizing a deck - going to the bathroom when I didn't really have to!!
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

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_Mnemonist_
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Harry, completely agree.
mlippo
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Definitely good stories, Lorayne and, honestly, this is the kind of posts that are pleasant to read from someone who's spent all his life in showbiz as you have.

Mark
Harry Lorayne
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Glad you enjoyed them --- pleasantly surprised.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Harry Lorayne
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I don't/won't carry my own deck. So, when you want to do the kind of stuff I do - do your deck switch...whatever you've learned from Giobbi or from anyone else...but I'll continue to DO IT MY WAY. Start reading the good stuff, buddy.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

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Harry Lorayne
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My post above was in response to a post that's no longer here. Just want to avoid any confusion.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
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