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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Mem deck thoughts (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

effkay
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Hi all,

Apologies this has been posted a lot of times but I wanted to get a fresh perspective. I have read Mnemonica and learnt the stack (not cold but I can get by). Before I go into doing drills, I have a couple of concerns. The first is the popularity of the deck. It is so popular, that I find it annoying to see it being used by the big names (e.g. Blaine). Don’t get me wrong, I love their performances, but I don’t want everyone to recognise the stack (the way I do) and then the whole effect is ruined. Am I being paranoid? A friend told me that mem deck stuff is so niche that I really shouldn’t worry about this.

That brings me to a suggestion, should I just shuffle a deck and learn it. That way, it’s my stack and no one will ever know it apart from me. Has anyone done this? What are your thoughts?

Thirdly, does anyone have the ability to really, instantly learn a shuffled deck on the fly and perform with it? That would be the holy grail....suggestions welcome.
sgtgrey
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OK, in short answer to all three questions: 1) I wouldn't worry about it, 2) Plenty of folks have done this, and it has it's own pros/cons, and 3) you can memorize a deck on the fly, but I wouldn't say you can perform solid memorized deck material with it.


In more detail:

To put this into perspective, as of this writing, I am a member of a few FB memorized deck groups. Redford stack group has 363 members, Memorandum has 157, Mnemonica crew has 941, etc. - now, these will change, and they aren't the only groups out there, but I will also add that many of them have crossovers (like me) - so you're talking about a VERY small group of folks who actually take the time to memorize a stack and practice enough to actually use it. Now remember that there is a much larger population of lay people out there who have never even heard of these memorized stacks (note - I'm not saying they don't know about stacked decks - they most certainly do, but few, if any, would be able to recognize a specific order).

Further, when you choose a stack others use, you can gain insight and unique ideas from community of thought that may apply only to that stack (or a stack with similar properties). While the majority of quality memorized deck miracles do not require a specific stack, there are still always pros/cons to each stack that are worth knowing about.

Which leads to another point: if you're going to create your own stack, you may as well put some thought into it to build-in some properties you care about having rather than just a randomly shuffled pack. You may also consider studying what exists or even starting with one of those decks first, and if you find you want to make changes or choose your own stack, you create your own at that time. It's not like you get one shot at this and then you're stuck for life!

On the last point, memorizing the order of a deck does not mean it is great for memorized deck magic. Sure, some stuff can be done (and already is/has been done by others) with a memorized, shuffled deck. However, the best way to think of this is that by memorizing the deck, you give each card a new secret identity - a position, and the recall of that secret identity when hearing the card, or vice versa, must be instantaneous. There's just no good way to do that quickly enough from a truly shuffled deck, as far as I am aware.

So my suggestion would be to take Mnemonica, get out there and use it and study it more, and as you learn you'll find out for yourself if it satisfies your needs or you want something different. If the latter, make those changes at that time.

Best of luck!
Pasteboard Alchemist
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The above is so dead-on that I have nothing to add other than: you should heed the above poster's advice.
ddyment
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I will just add that, in general, when people talk about memorizing decks on the fly, they are not talking about knowing card locations, but rather just memorizing the deck sequence. There is lots of literature on this; Moonwalking with Einstein is a really good (and entertaining) introduction to the subject.
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
effkay
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Thanks everyone this is really helpful advice and probably where my head was. Time to start drilling on mnemonica.
MC Mirak
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Quote:
On Jul 1, 2020, ddyment wrote:
I will just add that, in general, when people talk about memorizing decks on the fly, they are not talking about knowing card locations, but rather just memorizing the deck sequence. There is lots of literature on this; Moonwalking with Einstein is a really good (and entertaining) introduction to the subject.



Moonwalking with Einstein should be required reading, especially for anyone talking memory techniques. It's not an all-inclusive tome by any means but a great primer. And a fun little story to boot!
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