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Memory Relapse Review

July 26th, 2014 12:04am
Reviewed by Doc Johnson


4 Stars


With a very reasonable retail price, this is something that can be used for very strong magic.

The effect is about causing a participant to temporarily lose a bit of their memory. This is a fascinating topic for audiences because everyone can relate to being able to remember something one minute and having it apparently completely erased from memory the next.

The method is very good and this lends itself to the potential of a very entertaining routines.


This is suitable for close-up, parlor, or stage, amateur or professional performances. It resets easily and is easy to carry around.


I think it is really worth the effort to come up with an entertaining plot using this effect, whether you are doing it casually or in a more formal setting. Here is just one such example that you could either use or model for your own routine.

This routine can be done slightly differently in a casual setting vs a formal stage setting. Both will be described here.

Start by talking about how amazing our minds are.

“It is said that the average person only uses only 10% of their mental capacity.” Turn to someone in the audience and say: “Isn’t that right, sir?”

“There is a movie called “Limitless” about what it might be like if we could use 100% of our brain. The fact is that the 10% theory is just a theory. It’s not actually true. Our ability to use our brain is constantly shifting based on triggers. If we learn those triggers, we can increase our brain’s ability. On the other hand, there are triggers that can erase memory as well.”

“Let’s try something. I will need a volunteer.”

Get a volunteer and have them sit comfortably in a chair. Ask them to relax. Ask them to imagine their body is drifting back and forth as if in the ocean, with each gentle wave pushing and pulling their body. Ask them to concentrate on a beautiful clear sunny sky and just picture that as their body and mind relax. Place one of your pointer fingers on their head and say: “When I snap my finger, you are going to instantly forget something that I merely will you to forget with my mind.”

Then, you perform the Memory Relapse exercise as described in the instructions and cause them to forget a specific piece of information that you mentally influence them to forget.

After you do this, you are going to teach them how to enhance their memory. This is done in two different ways depending upon whether you are doing this casually or formally. If you are doing this formally, you would do this exercise as pre-show work. If you are doing it casually, you take the person into another room for a few minutes and do the following exercise.

This exercise is based on Harry Lorrayne and other people’s work on memory. Check out Harry’s work on memory, it is very good.

You will want to use someone who believes they have just average memory. Not terrible memory, not great memory.

You take the person aside and you are going to teach them a memory aid. You ask them to picture a room they are very familiar with. It could be their bedroom, living room, or any other room they know very well. They are now going to imagine 10 points in the room, numbered one through ten. Have them start with one corner in their room. So, number one is one corner of the room, followed by number two clockwise halfway down the wall, followed by number three clockwise at the next corner of the room, and so on. Going around the room, that is eight points. The last two points would be two points in the middle of the room, one on the ceiling and the other on the ground or on whatever is in the middle of the room. You want them to use what is in the room. For example, if there is a dresser in one corner, they might be picturing something dancing around on the dresser. Next, you go through a list of words and ask them to vividly imagine that item at the designated point in their room. Go slowly so they can imagine it as if it is real. Ask them to imagine they walked into their room and there was the most bizarre party going on with all of these items around the room. Ask them to imagine the items doing something, make them active. Make your list of items things that can be pictured, not concepts. In other words, make them nouns. For example, the list could be:

1. Chimp
2. Ford Explorer
3. Banana
4. Leaning tower of Pisa
5. Seaweed
6. Bucket of water
7. Glue stick
8. Bacteria
9. Hail
10. Clown

As you create this list, you want to do a few things: First, make the items in position 1, 3, 5, and 7 have some relationship. For example, in the above list, chimps eat bananas, and seaweed is sticky. Second, make items 9 and 10 relate to each other and suggest they remember one item in the middle of the room on the ceiling and the other in the middle on the ground. So, in the example above, they can picture it hailing on a clown. That makes it easy to remember both of these items.

As you go through the list, ask them to vividly picture each item and what it is doing. Ask them to picture the new item and then run through the list of items in their head each time and to tell you when they are ready for the next items. By creating a visual link to each item and associating it with a visual numbered location in the room.

During performance, have the person stand up, shake their arms, and jump up and down a few seconds to get them into a more alert state. You then have them sit facing the audience. Ask them to close their eyes. You stand behind them and place your pointer fingers on their head as you say “You are feeling very alert, your mind is racing. Picture a race car spinning around a track, faster and faster. As it goes around, the faster it goes, the more clearly you see every detail of the car and the track. On the count of three, I’m going to snap my finger and you will have the most vivid memory of your life. Count to three and snap your finger. You then hold up the list of items and ask the entire audience to remember each item and the item number as you read the list slowly. Focus on your participant and ask them to tell you when they are ready for the next item.

You then put the list away and randomly hand out papers with numbers 1 through 10 on them and give one to your participant. Call out 5 numbers, apparently random. However, you are going to call out the corners and one of the center numbers. For example, you might call out 3, 7, 9, 5, and 1. Ask the audience members and the participant to write down the item called out at that number. When done, hand the participant’s paper to someone in the audience and collect the audience papers. Go through the answers, revealing the audience responses compared to the participant responses.

You can try this experiment in a couple ways: One way is to have the same list for the pre-work and the performance. A second way is to just teach the person the method and have them memorize a new list of words along with the audience members. I prefer the latter, and in teaching them the method, you are going to focus on the corners and the centers as you demonstrate the process. Then, without emphasizing it, give them a quick suggestion that they use the corners and centers as anchors and make those items more active and visual. Then, spend a few extra seconds on those numbers in performance. Then, when I put the group to the test, I use the four corner numbers, 1, 3, 5, and 7, and one of the center numbers, 9. This will be a bit easier for the participant to remember, even though they went through the memorization process exactly as the audience members did. Using the example list above, they will remember the chimp eating a banana and seaweed that is sticky. They will also remember the hail falling on the clown. If you have the participant remember the items on the spot, when you are explaining the method to them away from the audience, use a different list and focus only on the corners and the middle items to demonstrate the explanation. Your separate explanation list could be:

1. Pencil
2. Rose
3. Paper
4. Plug
5. Bird
6. Fire
7. Seed
8. Apple
9. Sun
10. Baby

With the list above, draw a square on a piece of paper and write the numbers as they correspond to the sections of the room. As you explain the memory process, you explain that for demonstration purposes, you are going to focus on the points of the room and the middle. Here is where you casually point out how they can use the corners and center points as focal points of their memory. Then use these points to demonstrate the system. So, you could ask them to imagine a pencil moving on it’s own, as if it is writing something in the first corner, then in the next corner of the wall a paper with writing appearing on it. Then, imagine a bird just flying around in the next corner, trying to get to something in the next corner, followed by a jumping seed in the next corner. End with having them imagine the sun shining from the middle of the ceiling, down on a baby in the middle of the floor. Once you do this, instruct them that they are going to use this process to memorize an entirely different list of words. Explain to them that in the performance, they are going to experience something that seems unexplainable (the first part involving memory loss), but they will also be in on this little secret that actually causes the brain to function at a much higher level than the average person (the second part involving enhanced memory skill).

The whole experience is amazing to both the audience and the participant and you have left the participant with something they can actually use to improve their memory.

The routine is powerful, entertaining, and simple for them to relate to the magic later.

I hope you enjoy it.

Product info for Memory Relapse

Author: Jay Sankey
Publisher: Jay Sankey
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $20.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Cause someone to forget a thought just by SNAPPING YOUR FINGERS!

Jay published his original 'Thought Thief' effect over 25 years ago. Then he took the idea to 'the next level' with Memory Lapse (on his '22 Blows to the Head' DVD.)

But now, with 'MEMORY RELAPSE' this mind-bending effect is even easier to do, it never misses, and you can hand out everything to be examined.

Comes complete with envelopes and the special gimmicks, plus an instructional video.

"This trick is ridiculously sneaky."-Rick Tallo

"The very first time I performed Memory Relapse I got the best reaction to any trick I've ever tried. CRAZY. Thanks so much."-Alex Pepper

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