Review: Sessions With Simon, Vol. 3

Published on Thursday, March 22, 2007 in , , , , , , ,

Sessions With Simon, Vol. 3: Memorized Deck MagicNo, you didn't miss the first two reviews. I'm focusing on just one volume of the series, since volume 3 of Sessions With Simon series focuses entirely on magic with a memorized deck.

The “Simon” in the title is none other than Simon Aronson, who is known, among his other talents, as a master of the memorized deck. The video opens with performances of routines which will be familiar to readers of Simon Aronson's books, such as Try The Impossible.

The real meat of the video, however, is in the explanation section. Before the effects are taught, Simon begins with a discussion of the basics of memorized deck work. If you already work with a memorized stack, you may be tempted to skip the basic section, but I think anyone who is interested enough to purchase this video should watch this section at least once. Simon also refers the viewer to even deeper discussion of memorized deck basics in his free online book, Memories Are Made Of This. He discusses the unique nature of the Aronson stack, and what lead to the particular stack order, but he also refers to other stacks. Since he doesn't push the Aronson stack over other stacks, this adds to the value of the DVD as a memorized deck resource.

Next, the effects are taught. Each routine, however, is also an object lesson. Once you've got the deck memorized, a whole host of issues comes up, such as how to get the memorized deck into play without suspicion, how to maintain the stack, and even when it is worth destroying the stack. One stand-out routine is the Christ-Aronson Aces, which doesn't require the memorization of the stack, but keeps the stack intact, even though it gives the illusion of the deck being well-mixed throughout the routine.

The video concludes with closing remarks, including a reminder of the various memorized deck principles employed, and a full chart of the Aronson Stack order.

This DVD is a very valuable resource on the memorized deck. Whether you currently do memorized deck work, or are seriously considering it, I suggest getting Sessions With Simon, Vol. 3 as an introductory purchase, followed closely by Mnemonica for further research.

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