My 100 List
I’m including a memory list made up of the characters in my 100 List. I’m not suggesting that you use this memory list, just that you can get a better idea of the ideas involved in it by seeing it for yourself. It’s very important that you create your own memory list, or at least introduce some memory characters of your own choice. That personalisation of the list will make it all the more memorable. The very act of trying to come up with fresh characters, and finding some way to link them to certain numbers, can help you remember them.
Unique actions make this memory list effective
Try to find memory characters from all walks of life, and as widely different from each other as possible. You want characters that are easy to visualise, and that have unique ‘actions’. That’s why I’ve taken a lot of memory characters from television and film – I’ve seen them again and again, and I can very easily visualise them, and imagine them in all kinds of situations. I know the way they look, the way they move, the way they talk, the kinds of things they do, and they easily become a part of my ‘cast of thousands’ (well, a hundred anyway!) for the purposes of memory work. Their unique actions link to them easily as well, which is very important for the 100 List.
And some characters, like Joe Pesci, are just made for this kind of work. He plays a mean gangster, but he handles comedy just as competently. I think we can trust him to deal with anything that gets thrown his way. Whaddayasay? Huh??
|THE 100 LIST, 00-09|
|No.||CHARACTER||UNIQUE ACTION||MEMORY NOTES|
|00||Scrooge||lighting a lantern||miserly, but had nothing|
|01||One-round||swinging a cosh||"The Ladykillers"|
|02||Laurel and Hardy||fooling around||only duo in the List|
|03||Granny Clampett||stirring a cauldron||3-footed pot|
|04||Uri Geller||bending a fork||fork has 4 prongs|
|05||Sgt. Bilko||shuffling cards||5-card stud|
|06||Dirty Harry||aiming a gun||6-shot revolver|
|07||Prof. Marcus||swirling a scarf||"The Ladykillers"|
|08||Joe Pesci||bulky duffel bag||"8 Heads in a Duffel Bag"|
|09||Herr Flick ('Allo 'Allo)||flicking riding crop||nasty Nazi says 'Nein'!|
Give your characters some ‘character’!
The fourth column, ‘Memory Notes’, has ‘hints’ why a particular memory character was assigned this particular number, or a bit more information about the character (or the action). Sometimes there’s something to link to, other times nothing specific or obvious. Some of the hints might seem a stretch, but as long as they help you link the number to the character, no problem. You’ll never have to explain your list to anyone, or be answerable for it, so get busy and build it any way you like. And do anything and everything you can to make your characters come alive.
|THE 100 LIST, 10-19|
|No.||CHARACTER||UNIQUE ACTION||MEMORY NOTES|
|10||Mike Tyson||punching||10-rounds, 10-count|
|11||Eddie the Eagle||skiing||skis look like '11'|
|12||Father Christmas||carrying sack of toys||Xmas comes in 12th month|
|13||Yozzer Hughes||laying bricks (badly)||"Boys from the Blackstuff"|
|14||Hannibal Lecter||pouring wine||with a nice bottle of Chianti|
|15||Fletcher||brushing his teeth||"Porridge" - doing 15 yrs?|
|16||Spartacus||wielding short sword|
|17||John Wayne||getting on/off horse|
|18||Elly May Clampett||petting a squirrel||always looked about 18|
|19||Jethro Bodine||tying string round jeans|
Use visual ‘tricks’ to ‘beef up’ your memory list
Use different colours, coloured outlines, display-type paragraphs (indented both sides), block letters, different typefaces (if you’re working on a computer), fancy lettering (if you’re working with pen and paper) – in fact, anything at all that seems to work for you.
Each and every time you use something different, some new memory ‘trick’, you’re providing yet another ‘trigger’ to encourage your subconscious mind to remember the material.
The same applies to your memory characters – do whatever you can to make them ‘larger then life’. If a particular character in your mental video has some specific trait that sets him (or her) apart from the crowd, exaggerate it. Be a cartoonist (you don’t have to be a good artist, it’s all in your head)! Make them more caricatures than characters. Home in on a prominent characteristic and exaggerate it (wildly, if you like)!
Make the colours in your scenes vibrant, the sounds crisp and clear, the faces expressive, the actions overdone and cartoon-like. This is your mental video, produced by your imagination. You have total editorial control! Make your memory list memorable!
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