Memorized Stacks?

mmm… I am thinking of inventing my own memorized stack. Alot of the features associated with the Aronson and Tamariz stack are not ones I particularly need. For instance – I don’t need to go from NEW DECK ORDER to a memorized stack since I don’t like using brand new decks of cards (they feel weird). Still – a NEW DECK ORDER can make for a nice kicker at the end of certain effects. But – it is not a deal breaker for me. Particularly since I like the idea of building in some Gilbreath Principle type effect into my stack. Having a deck of cards shuffled by the spectator seems like a nice way to end a memorized deck routine. Also – it will make for a nice ‘out’ should a spectator suddenly demand to shuffle the cards during a memorized stack effect…

I guess I am just going to have to see what stacks I need for certain tricks I like, and then see how I can combine them into the same stack. The tricky thing is working out when to create a stack. It would be a shame to go to all the trouble of inventing and memorizing a stack, to only then discover a clever trick requiring preset cards which you really want to make part of your stack…

I once considered memorizing THE ROBOT DECK by Stewart James. This makes sense since most of the best memorized deck effects are stack-independent. And since there is just so much going on in THE ROBOT DECK it seemed like fun to have all that ingenuity at your fingertips and ready to go. But – ultimately – I decided that THE ROBOT DECK whilst being very clever, isn’t a particularly good trick.

I also like the idea of having a stack that can bend in different directions. That is something the TAMARIZ stack allows. For instance – with Tamariz’s stack you have RED/BLACK order, NEW DECK ORDER, SI STEBBINS ORDER, STAY-STACK ORDER all at hand. Anyone of those possibilities opens up hundreds of effects…

A routine that can head down multiple paths is definitely something I will aim for. Or something modular in structure. For instance – have things so that the spectator can shuffle the deck at any part of the routine, and things can still be concluded successfully. Gilbreath might be one way – but ‘pointer cards’ might be another. And the advantage with ‘pointer cards’ is they won’t effect the stack too much and the cards can be shuffled in absolutely any way the spectator wants…

Still – I may be over complicating things. Get two or three nice tricks – combine them in a stack and just memorize the damn thing. That may be the best way to go since 99% of the best tricks really are stack-independent. Indeed – one of the best features of the memorized stack is the ability to have spectators name cards instead of picking them…

I dunno’ this is all up in the air at the moment. I may ultimately just plump for the TAMARIZ stack and be done with it. But – probably not. If nothing else I really like having some of my favourite tricks set to go in my stack, so I will probably go down the ‘original stack’ route…

And to guide me I will take inspiration from this mysterious quote from Jon Racherbaumer. He was writing about a card stack that Frank Thompson mentioned – but refused to give details of…

Frank Thompson also talked about something he called the OTTO STACK. It was never tipped or published. Its title, because of the “Otto” palindrome, suggests a type of Stay-Stack or Mirror-Stack; however, Frank, when asked, merely said, “Close! But no cigar!”

Ecological Magic

I was just re-reading pasteboardpimps’ old blog (mentioned in the post below) and I came across another post I made on there. I would hate people to feel I am overly enamoured with what I write – but I think there are some ideas in there worth sharing with a different audience. My post also links into an earlier post by ‘cardman’ on the same site – so be sure to check out his thoughts as well. Click HERE.

The concept of ‘ecological magic’ (ie using one trick to set up a later one) is one I am very interested in. I first wrote about it on THE SECOND DEAL FORUM over a year ago – so apologies to any TSD’ers for repeating myself…

Also – I have just remembered that Stewart James deals with this subject in the ON TO TORONTO chapter of ‘THE JAMES FILE’ as well.

Stewart James

Our friend – thebottompalm – just bought a copy of THE ESSENTIAL STEWART JAMES book. I know he will love that book – it contains lots of interesting material just waiting to be explored further.

Anyway – it gives me an excuse to dig out an overview for the big Stewart James books that I worked on awhile ago. It is from pasteboardpimps’ old magic blog. My overview was in four parts, and was published under the name of ‘Trigger’. You can find it HERE.

Another Out For The Psychological Stop Force…

Some more housekeeping. In response to a recent question from ‘Rob’ I have explained how John Bannon’s excellent DISCREPANCY CITY PREDICTION can be used as an ‘out’ for the Psychological Stop Force. For those interested in such arcana – check out the COMMENTS in this

Pit Hartling

For some reason I never got round to buying CARD FICTIONS by Pit Hartling when it first came out. So – I have decided to buy a copy, and I am going to save it until Christmas day. I am sure most magicians do something like this. A big part of Christmas is getting excited about presents – and the only presents that excite me are magic books…

Anyway – you can read more about the book HERE.

But – more importantly the same site gives a preview to the contents of the book. This also includes a free download of one of the essays in the book. It is an essay called ‘Inducing Challenges’ and it is the most important piece of magic theory I have ever come across. It is the type of thinking which could improve your magic ten-fold. Indeed – I always consider the ideas in this essay whenever I am working on a new trick.

It is just such a useful tool…

Anyway – do make sure you check out the free download over HERE.

A crowd gathers – magic from Laos.

Travelling is hard. There’s no way I could have kept this blog running at the same time, which is why I would like to once again thank cardmagic10 for the flood of excellent and stimulating posts – I am indebted.

There have been many chances to perform for fellow travelers but none to really practice. I tend to stick to the classics I know well which is always a good idea – simple, strong stuff. An amazing thing happened a couple of weeks ago which I thought was worth sharing. I was traveling with two French Canadian girls at the time who had watched me doing some magic before. We were playing cards in a bus stop in southern Laos when a crowd began to form around us – happy to stand and watch us play. One of the girls suggested I show them some magic. I was apprehensive as they speak no English and I wasn’t sure how well it would be received. After some gentle persuasion I decided to give it a try. What happened next was crazy.

I thought it best to stick to simple things which required no language – some colour changes and an in the hands sandwich effect. The reactions ranged from stunned silence to one women screaming and punching me on the arm in disbelief. Not only that but the entire bus station had stopped what they were doing and gathered around in a huge circle a few people deep. I was shocked and didn’t know when to stop as there were so many people. After doing the same couple of effects for a few groups of people I said I was sorry and that that was the end. We resumed our game of cards but it took 10 minutes for all the people to disperse.

My friend took her camera out to get some photos but some Laos people believe that a photo captures a piece of their soul so as soon as it was out they were turning away and angrily waving their hands. She did manage to get one through which shows me and a few locals.

This whole experience really made me realize how magic can transcend the language barrier.  I’d love to hear any stories you guys may have of performing in foreign countries…

Thanks To Jordan…

Being thinking about Sequence Tracking recently. Lovely to think about people using an old Charles Jordan principle to win cash in casinos. You can read about Steve Forte demonstrating it HERE.

And you can watch a quick tutorial on the concept below: