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Profile of Bradacal
Hi there,

Just bought a newspaper tear. One problem, I need a good patter, but I don't know what to say. I have been trying to think about it, but can't come up with anything.

Anyhelp would be great!
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Still learning, even though I've made
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Profile of BarryFernelius
Just out of curiosity, how long have you been working on this problem? One hour? A week perhaps? A month? A year or more? Some of my presentations have taken as long as a decade to work out! You're giving up way too easily.

Try this: come up with the WORST possible presentation that you can imagine, just to get warmed up. This might help you to get your creative juices flowing.

Get together with a few magical friends and brainstorm. Capture as many ideas as you can, but don't evaluate them just yet. I'll assure you that there are an ENORMOUS number of presentational premises.

Try premises that arise from a character placed in a situation. (Example: a hobo finds bits of paper on the street, gathers them together, and voila! the pieces are restored into a whole newspaper.)

Think in metaphorical terms. Tearing and restoring a newspaper is like... what? What else can be destroyed and restored? How can you use this idea to make an emotional connection with your audience?

With the advent of computers, it's easy to make newspaper-like objects that could be tied to unusual presentations. Newspapers have headlines. Maybe the theme could be tied to making a subtle magical change in the headline.

Perhaps you use a tabloid, like you'd find at the supermarket. You play a little game with it, where you tear it up into little pieces, and then read the resulting stack of paper at random. This leads to an impossible absurd story about Elvis, Lady Diana, Nostradamus and an alien baby. You explain that this is the sort of thing that you do to amuse yourself while you're in the line at the cash register. When the checkout person notices what you've done, you instantly restore the paper and quietly return it to the rack.

Come up with 10 more ideas yourself, and don't be afraid to have some of them be very bizarre. Include a silent presentation where you concentrate solely on the choregraphed movements, done to music if that sort of thing pleases you.

Once you have a long list of presentations, whittle it down to two or three that show the most promise. Then, work these out on paper, writing the necessary script and working out the blocking. Finally, choose the best one, and polish it until you can't resist performing it. Then, rehearse it for one month longer than you need to.

Just promise me one thing: don't do the presentation that Doug Henning used for the Gene Anderson Newspaper Tear; so many people do it that it's a cliche. Yes, it's a decent presentation, but no, it's not yours and you'll be miles ahead of the pack by coming up with something that fits you.
"I don't teach people stories about the coyote for them to tell. I AM the coyote. They tell stories about me."

-Pop Haydn
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Profile of ABCofMagic
Hey. great advice from barry
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Profile of chernacious
Great advice. thanks.
Daniel Faith
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Neenah, Wisconsin
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Profile of Daniel Faith
Consider...what is your persona? your personality? Character? Your routine should reflect this. Everything you do in your act should reflect this.

Which paper tear did you get?
Daniel Faith
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Profile of jnrussell
Whit Hayden has a good story; add some fake ads, and you should be good!
John Russell
Mastering Magician
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Instead of practicing, I made
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Profile of MaxfieldsMagic
I do a quick one about how my wife and I are drinking coffee in the morning and sharing the paper, I get to tearing out some articles and editorials but then get a little carried away. Then my wife asks me for the "A" section. She wants to keep it in our memory box, because it's our anniversary and she's kept a copy of the "A" section for every anniversary since our wedding. I did remember, no? Pause and look sheepish/panicked while holding a pile of scraps, then "bam." Of course, honey.
Now appearing nightly in my basement.
Jim Sparx
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Far Out, Texas
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Profile of Jim Sparx
I did a very long story about a princess who meets a frog in her garden one day while throwing a ball hither and yon, interspersed was a cupola of blue lines eventually ending with the princess and prince living happily ever after with the punch line, "To this day her mother does not believe that story."
I either did the torn and restored effect or dropping all the torn pieces on the floor ending with a small piece I folded and put under one of my tables leg.
Lesson: Make up a long story that either kills time or is long enough to eventually get boring followed by a surprised ending that lets you and the audience live happily ever after. Shaggy dog stories are a start, or something really dumb.
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Profile of MrPrestoHypno
I do a piece of poetry when doing mine.
Mike ODonnell
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Profile of Mike ODonnell
During my tear I talk about my solution to reading the paper while on the crowded train/subway The "El"
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Profile of WillStagner
I like to talk about how I saved the newspaper that was printed on the day I was born, how it means so much to me, etc. Then proceed to tear; people are shocked, so put it back together.
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