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Hendu71

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Reply with quote  #1 
It seems to me, that there are 3 different types of audience members.

1) Normal people that know nothing about magic, perhaps to the point of knowing a couple self-working tricks a friend told them.  They know little to nothing about techniques.  I was this for a long time.

2) People who know enough about magic to be dangerous.  Maybe they've never performed but they're interested enough in magic to watch lots of Youtube videos.  They know the existence of most slights, the existence of stacked decks, common gimmicked decks, forces, audience management, etc. They've watched many Youtube "reveal" videos. They may not be able to reproduce a trick they see, but they'll probably have a decent idea of what's going on.  In my covid boredom, that's what I am now.

3) Professional magicians.

Who is a memorized deck trick aimed at?

Many tricks have impromptu variants that, from a magician's perspective, may not be as "clean", but will fool and amaze type 1 audience members (the vast majority in most venues) every bit as much.  Because they don't know anything. They have no clue how it was done.  In fact, many impromptu tricks are pretty amazing to a layperson.

Let's use the memorized deck ACAAN variation for an example.  There are many ACAAN variations that do not require a memorized deck.  The upside seems to be you doesn't seem to have to handle the cards as much during the act.  But you do have to do slights, you do have to do convincers.  Both of which are needed in the better impromptu versions as well.  Plus there's the negative that a difficult audience member can really screw you up.  They drop some cards or ask to shuffle and you cannot even start over unless you do a deck switch or something like that. It's also a hell of a lot harder to learn, and requires more concentration.

If I was a type 1 person, I'd be amazed, because it doesn't take much to amaze me.  I'd also be amazed at an impromptu one.  Possibley even a little more so.  He used my deck!  I shuffled it!

If I was a type 2 person, I'd probably have some idea how it was done, or just assume it was some clever impromptu variant.  Or I would know it completely because I'd already learned the reveal (which I did).

If I was a professional magician, which I am not, I assume I would have so much exposure, read so many books, that I would definitely know how it was done (again, I'm speculating here).

I guess what I'm asking is, if you can amaze laypeople with impromptu tricks, why do anything else?  What can you do with a memorized deck that is going to offer "next level" amazement to a clueless audience that already views everything as miraculous?
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #2 
The goal is for the audience to experience the effect, nothing more, nothing less.  They aren't to know that sleights have occurred nor are they supposed to know that a memorized deck has been used.  I could substitute stacked deck, gimmicked deck, etc., etc.  How an effect is achieved is doesn't really matter, or shouldn't matter to a spectator.  

Memorized decks have become more mainstream.  Learned magicians certainly can spot some of the stacks.  Regarding professional magicians, I don't agree that they necessarily are better equipped to know how things are done.  Some are, some aren't.  I have seen tricks receive comments from professionals about how badly they were fooled and I thought to myself, really?, I didn't think it was fooling at all.  Some pros focus on particular segments of magic and don't really study others.  Some are card buys and anything done with coins blows them away, etc.

As to your last question, I will offer one answer.  Why do anything other than impromptu tricks?  Because magic should be fun for the audience AND the magician.  And if using a mem deck in a performance to laypeople trips your trigger, then why not do it?
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #3 
   Because one day you'll be in the position of having forgotten to bring your memdeck and someone hands you a deck and asks "Please do that trick for us  - the one you did for me the other day. Please?"
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #4 
Memdecks are a fad. They've been around for a few weeks now and are interesting. But thanks to the Tamariz worshippers, they've taken on a new importance. Seemingly.

Tamariz makes great use of the principle, and his system is quite remarkable, but he is, to say the very least, an idiosyncratic performer.

I've tried memdecks, but can't get too enthused. Others love 'em, as we've seen, and that's how it should be. As already noted, and I've said forever, Magic should be fun. If it isn't, why bother.

And also as already noted, spectators don't give a monkey's elbow about method. Hit them with the effect and they go home smiling.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #5 
Memdecks have never appealed to me, and magic with borrowed decks is my preferred style anyhow. Learning to memorize playing cards on the fly is a great asset to any magician but not many bother. Harry Lorayne has books on how to do such things if you are interested in learning how. You can have a ton of fun with a regular deck of cards without getting into meorized decks, but it's horses for courses as they say.
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Daniel Young

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Reply with quote  #6 
Its another tool in the toolbox, isn't it? And even if its just for your own amusement, there's nothing wrong with that. I think some of the best work with a memdeck is better suited to parlour work, than close up work. As some of it is a bit slower and longer pieces generally speaking.

Aronson published his work on it in '79, so I'd say thats more than a couple of weeks 😉 But sure, its become more popular as of late. People will still be doing it decades from now, no doubt.

As for spectator's dont care about methods, whilst that is somewhat true, it's important to note their level of amazement might differ. So on a surface level we might have two very similar tricks, they would be described the same by a layperson if they had to describe it to a friend, but different methods, one is using a memdeck and one is using different sleight of hand techniques. The level of fairnesss for the selection (or whatever imaginary step in the effect) is a lot higher in the memdeck version whereas with the sleight of hand version, maybe the magician had to handle the cards, and force one and the later control it. They will FEEL the difference between the two, even if they can't put it into words. A bit difficult to explain, but I hope that makes sense.

I'm not saying that memdeck magic is inherently better than "regular" card magic, just different things. One shouldn't learn one thing to the exclusion of everything else.

All the best,
Dan

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