The Secret Notebooks of Mr. Hyde Volume 2: Magazine Memory

Published on Sunday, February 08, 2009 in , , , , , ,

The Secret Notebooks of Mr. Hyde Volume 2One of the most classic memory feats is the magazine memory act, which is just what it sounds like: The performer hands out pages of a magazine, asks for page numbers, and is able to legitimately describe the page from memory, often in great detail.

Because it's a legitimate memory feat, it's not seen that often. Even more challenging, those that do it often keep their particular presentational touches to themselves. Resources such as Tony Andruzzi's Magazine Memory Act and the first volume of Zufall's Memory Trix teach the basic techniques well, but focus more on technique than they do on presentation. In Act Two. Barrie Richardson gives some excellent presentational tips, but pieces like this are all too rare.

Thankfully, Timothy Hyde has recently released a thorough 50-page treatise on this routine, called The Secret Notebooks of Mr. Hyde Volume 2: Magazine Memory (Also available at Lybrary.com). This book covers everything starting from the technique, into the presentation, and on up to the proper psychology (the way the audience sees and experiences it) of the feat itself!

The technique section is set up as a workbook, in order to help you better learn the techniques involved. Naturally, he does teach a system for remembering numbers, and it is a very interesting one. He does teach fairly standard associations for the number from 1-20, and then shows you how to expand on these associations in order to build your list up into 300 links or more quite easily!

In the section on memorizing the magazine itself, you really start to see the evidence of Timothy Hyde's experience in performing this feat regularly. Beyond just showing how the technique is used, he teaches approaches to help lock the pages in, including a simplified version of the Leitner System, which is used by many of the flashcard programs I've mentioned on this site (which can be of great help in preparing for this feat).

The techniques and the memorization cover just over half the book. The next 21 pages are dedicated solely to the various presentational aspects. This is where this book really shines! There are ideas here on presenting as a memory feat versus presenting it as a magic effect, and even using multiple magazines. You learn how to start the routine, how to build it, how to close it, and how to keep it in people's minds even after the show itself has ended! Especially in this section are the tips on how to interact with the audience, and how to use the magazine memory feat itself to enhance the perception of other effects in your show.

The magazine memory act is a very unique presentation, in that you're doing just what you say you're doing (there's no secret for the audience to figure out), it involves many people in the audience, and it helps develop a confidence that will show through the other routines in your show. If you want to perform this feat, and perform it right, The Secret Notebooks of Mr. Hyde Volume 2: Magazine Memory is a must-read!

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