I?m thrilled with the reopening of Simon Aronson?s web site at the new URL: www.simonaronson.net
Incidentally, if you don?t want to wait for the Flash opening, which I don?t, you have two options. You can use the URL above and click on ?Skip Flash.? Or, you can use the alternative URL: www.simonaronson.net/home.htm
The first update is very special, Simon has included a free downloadable copy of his Memories Are Made of This (an introduction to memorized deck magic) from his 1999 lecture notes. I believe that this is simply the best introduction to memorized deck work, which has been written. If you have been thinking about getting into memorized deck magic, run, don?t walk, to Simon?s Site and print this out. You?ll never regret it, I promise you.
For me, the new gem is Simon?s version of the Henry Christ Ace Routine. This is done from the Aronson stack and that both strengthens and simplifies the original great trick. Simon points out two advantages to Aronson stack users in doing the Christ effect this way. Any secret counting of piles is now unnecessary because known key cards instantly tell you where to divide the packets. And, the haphazard handling throughout the routine, with cards being continuously separated into various piles, dealt, counted, spelled and reassembled, is a strong convincer that the deck has been hopelessly mixed up. If you do memorized deck work, you know how important that second benefit is. Finally, let me point out that the routine is not technically challenging at all. Card workers of medium level skills who already are familiar with the Aronson stack will be able to add this to their repertoire quite quickly. If you can hold a break, do a double lift, and displace a card from one position in a spread to another with a cull, you can do this effect. I?ve been playing with various combinations of this routine with other ace effects, and in a few days I?ll post the results here for those of you that are interested.
There?s another new effect with the Aronson stack explained in detail on the site: Matching the Cards by Norman Beck and Simon. It?s a version of the Vernon Matching the Cards effect but done from the Aronson stack. I?ve not had time to really work through this one yet, but it certainly looks promising at first reading. And again, you start and end with the deck in Aronson Stack order.
Simon has a new-marketed effect on the site as well. It?s a new version of the routine This Side Up from his book Simply Simon. If you wanted to do this excellent routine before, you had to get special cards made up. Now, they are available from Simon. I?ve ordered the effect, but haven?t seen it yet. However, it?s been seven years since the book was published, and I?ll bet that Simon has some new touches and handlings worked out by now. This was the case with the marketed version of Red Sea Passover. It was originally published in The Card Ideas of Simon Aronson in 1978, and reprinted in Bound to Please in 1994. When the marketed version was released by A-1 Magical Media, in 2001, Simon included some new handling tips and instructions. As soon as I receive This Side Up, I?ll post a review here.
Incidentally, on the subject of Red See Passover. There are many other uses for the special cards that you receive with this routine. I don?t want to infringe on any rights, but there is a marvelous version of the ten-card poker deal called Showdown, in Nick Trosts book ?The Card Magic of Nick Trost.? Nick also put this on the market including the necessary gaffed cards. However, I wasn?t fond of the particular gaffs that were included. If you have the Trost book, look at Figure 1 on page 217. Two gaffed cards are pictured. I do not like the fact that one of these is in hearts and one in spades. If you use two cards alike, instead, you do not have the values of the cards changing during the course of the routine. You can achieve this by buying two sets of Showdown, or two sets of Red See Passover. If you use the RSP cards, you will get lots of spares and will have much flexibility in choosing the ten cards you use in the routine. But first, buy Nick?s book if you don?t have it. It?s a gold mine of card effects that are not too technically demanding.
The new site has an improved version of the Aronson Stack Quizzer, a drill program on the Aronson stack by Mark Harris. This will be most valuable to those learning the stack, of course, but as an experienced user, I find it a handy way to just brush up on the stack and to work on recall speed.
Finally, it?s unfortunate that Simon had some difficulty with the former host of his web site and had to change to a new URL. In particular, it?s unfortunate that the August Genii has his ad with the wrong site address. If you?re a fan of Simon?s work, as I am, you can help to spread the word. Let your fellow magicians know, and post the change to any other forums, chat rooms, etc., that you might frequent.
is the new URL.