Thursday, 22 December 2011

The DOMINIC System: Part Two

Once you have animated each playing card with a person and action according to the DOMINIC system (part one), you then need to think of a familiar journey.  You should identify 52 specific places along that journey where you will place each card/character each time you perform this trick.

Personally I use my journey to work.  I do it daily and I can rehearse the journey physically every day.  The first few steps are as follows:

Position 1 = My house
Position 2 = The phone box at the bottom of my road
Position 3 = A friend's house
Position 4 = The local pub...
Position 51 = Ambulance Station
Position 52 = Restaurant

Try to make each of your 52 locations quite distinct.  It is also worth making the 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th and 50th locations particularly memorable as this will allow you quickly to 'go to those places' and navigate forwards or backwards through the deck of cards when someone asks for the 22nd card or some such, rather than having to start at the beginning of the route and 'walk' to the 22nd position!

This approach is called the Journey Method.

You should now have 52 people (and actions) that correspond to each card, and a journey of 52 locations.  This is the only rote learning you'll need to do. 

To memorise a pack of cards I find it best to start off with just the picture cards and then add the other cards in a suit at a time.  I also made sure I had a list of the 'journey' to hand, but not the cards - I made sure I knew them before adding them in.

Now all you do is shuffle your cards, and for each card you turn over, animate it with its character and 'walk' your journey placing each character at the allotted position along the journey.  Don't dawdle on each card (first images are usually strongest), just quickly try to animate the scene with the person and their action (so if the first card I pull out is the Queen of Clubs then I imagine Margaret Thatcher smashing my house up with her handbag - making sure I hear her screaming in rage and imagining the broken glass!).  You get the idea.

And there you go.  It does take some practise but even if you get rusty (like I currently am), you can make a good fist of what is an impressive trick. 

Some records are available to view here.  There are speed records for a single pack and records for multi-pack feats of awesomeness!

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