Memorized deck tricks are absolutely impressive to pull off once you’ve got it worked out, but the amount of effort to learn even one memorization feels Herculean. At a Magi-Fest 2018 talk, David and Sarah Trustman unveiled their secret behind rapidly memorizing multiple decks of cards: the magic of psychology, mnemonics, and comics.
Before explaining their method, they brought their son out on stage and asked for a random number from a member of the audience. “37”, they shouted, and their son went to work writing down letters and numbers on a whiteboard. Meanwhile, they opened four decks of differently prepared cards, pulled out the 37th card from each deck, and their son was able to name each card from each deck with 100% accuracy.
They then explained how they were able to teach four different decks to their son in under an hour. Normally, magicians use a version of the mnemonic peg system to memorize decks. The brain, however, does its best memorization when it associates objects with images. And so, the two of them combined their knowledge of magic, mnemonics, and their work as comic book artists to craft a series of graphic novels that teach deck order through pictures.
Each page contains drawings of animals, buildings, or other objects, specifically arranged on the page in such a way to denote card order as well as type, and as you read through the story, you will also learn a full memorized deck order from front to back. The idea is that they wanted a book that could teach mnemonics so easily that even a six-year-old could memorize not just one deck, but multiple decks of cards.
Their project is called The Memory Arts, and while you can download a few of their graphic novels in ebook form through Vanishing Inc., they are also working on a physical hardcover compiling a few of their mnemonic comics into a single edition for $50.
While the book won’t be available on Vanishing Inc. for another few months, the duo had a few books available to sell at the convention. Considering how many people immediately rushed the stage as soon as their presentation was over to grab a copy, I imagine it’s going to be a pretty hot commodity once it’s officially out on physical and digital magic store shelves.
Stay tuned to GeniiOnline for more reports from the heart of Magi-Fest 2018.