The 100 List, 00-19

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

Joe Pesci - a useful character in your memory list

Would you trust this guy … to play any of a thousand different roles?

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.CHARACTERUNIQUE ACTIONMEMORY NOTES
00Scroogelighting a lanternmiserly, but had nothing
01One-roundswinging a cosh"The Ladykillers"
02Laurel and Hardyfooling aroundonly duo in the List
03Granny Clampettstirring a cauldron3-footed pot
04Uri Gellerbending a forkfork has 4 prongs
05Sgt. Bilkoshuffling cards5-card stud
06Dirty Harryaiming a gun6-shot revolver
07Prof. Marcusswirling a scarf"The Ladykillers"
08Joe Pescibulky duffel bag"8 Heads in a Duffel Bag"
09Herr Flick ('Allo 'Allo)flicking riding cropnasty 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.CHARACTERUNIQUE ACTIONMEMORY NOTES
10Mike Tysonpunching10-rounds, 10-count
11Eddie the Eagleskiingskis look like '11'
12Father Christmascarrying sack of toysXmas comes in 12th month
13Yozzer Hugheslaying bricks (badly)"Boys from the Blackstuff"
14Hannibal Lecterpouring wine with a nice bottle of Chianti
15Fletcherbrushing his teeth"Porridge" - doing 15 yrs?
16Spartacuswielding short sword
17John Waynegetting on/off horse
18Elly May Clampettpetting a squirrelalways looked about 18
19Jethro Bodinetying string round jeans

Use visual ‘tricks’ to ‘beef up’ your memory list

Each block of ten characters/numbers in the memory list is headed by a different colour and the text is a different colour. Using different colours can be useful to aid your memory. Use anything at all that works for you. When you’re making lists or notes, use any ideas you can think of to make things more visually appealing.

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.

Mental video

Mike Tyson - a powerful character in your memory list

Make your characters larger than life … easier in some cases than others!

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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