The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » We double dare you! » » Does most patter suck? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4 [Next]
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27140 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Quote:
On 2005-05-12 01:21, daffydoug wrote:....Appears to me that there is no real "truth" only theory and whatever works for the individual.


Close, but not close enough.

The necessity is to engage and then lead the audience along the story that goes with the effect you are presenting. This may be the "theory" you dismissed as somehow untrue. You can test the theory all you want by being incongruous or scattered in your presentation and see how well an effect goes over FOR your audience.

Whatever means you use to communicate the narrative, be it words, music, mime, voice over etc is a performing style issue. Slydini did just fine with few and simple words. Karl Germain usually went with poetic prose. You get to pick your own style.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Charlie Justice
View Profile
Inner circle
Mount Dora, Florida
1142 Posts

Profile of Charlie Justice
Ask a Mime. Then ask a blind spectator.
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27140 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Acutally, bad presentations don't suck, they blow. And they stink.

Charlie, what do you mean about asking a mime or blind audience member?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24275 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Maybe I'm lucky. I got to see some of the better story artists before they became the "late" story artists -- Van Cleve, Punx -- and some of those who are still living. When you have seen them, then you realize that most magic patter does suck.

And it's your job to make it better.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Bill Ligon
View Profile
Inner circle
A sure sign of a misspent youth:
6437 Posts

Profile of Bill Ligon
I'll agree that a lot of patter is bad, but so is a lot of magic. But not all patter nor all magic. I do think that more thought ought to go into presentation in many cases, but a blanket condemnation is ridiculous. I tend to go along with Peter Marucci's suggestion of professional assistance, but for those of us who are not professional magicians that isn't a very practical idea. However, perhaps the general lack of professional assistance is one of the reasons magic is so low on the entertainment totem pole.
Author of THE HOLY ART: Bizarre Magick From Naljorpa's Cave. NOW IN HARDCOVER! VIEW: <BR>www.lulu.com/content/1399405 ORDER: http://stores.lulu.com/naljorpa
<BR>A TASSEL ON THE LUNATIC FRINGE
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27140 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
How about some simple amateur assistance then...

1) Write out your script

2) Examine your intended performance from the perspective of an audience

3) After the initial shock, you will feel better. The quicker you get out of "what they should know" and get into "how can I show them" mode, the better you will feel.

4) There are no short cuts. The audience lives outside your head, and you need to lead them to the places you take for granted as a magician.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bill Ligon
View Profile
Inner circle
A sure sign of a misspent youth:
6437 Posts

Profile of Bill Ligon
Yes, Jonathan, I agree with all you say, especially with your point number 4. You, as the performer have to lead the spectators to where they must go. Point number two is probably the hardest and puts some strain on your own egocentric point of view, but it is precisely the point of view of the audience that is at issue.

In an earlier post you (Jonathan) referred to something I call "focus" in presentation. I don't know what else to call it; "consistency," "staying in character," etc. are parts of the concept, as well as making the magic believable at the moment. This is just the opposite of "scattered" and "incongruous," as you point out.
Author of THE HOLY ART: Bizarre Magick From Naljorpa's Cave. NOW IN HARDCOVER! VIEW: <BR>www.lulu.com/content/1399405 ORDER: http://stores.lulu.com/naljorpa
<BR>A TASSEL ON THE LUNATIC FRINGE
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27140 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
The world as presented in the play needs to be consistent, whatever its rules are and regardless how strange it may seem when compared to the world the audience lives in on a day to day basis. The audience desires entertainment and will go to far away lands and meet strange people if given the chance and some reward for the effort.

The words "consistent" and "congruent" are not so much a part of theater as modern psychology. I believe the older or traditional terms were "consonant" and "integral".

In the world of the performance, there is magic. How does the performer live with that magic?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bill Ligon
View Profile
Inner circle
A sure sign of a misspent youth:
6437 Posts

Profile of Bill Ligon
Early on in this discussion some people remarked about "just being yourself," and "not playing a character." In actuality, you can't get away from playing a part. We constantly play roles in our everyday lives and we present several "selves" to the world in various circumstances. Don't you behave somewhat differently at work or school than you do at home? Don't you behave differently with strangers than with people familiar to you? Don't you ACT differently when talking to a police officer who has just stopped you for a traffic violation than you do with your best friend?

So, you are never "just being yourself," you are "just being yourself under certain circumstances." You are playing a role, being a character, ACTING, if you will. The "patter" you use in all these different circumstances varies with the circumstances. When you do magic, strive to remain "in character" just as you do in everyday circumstances, and make your patter consistent with whatever character you are playing, whether it be one you have developed or one that you "naturally" fall into.

In a similar vein, know what you are talking about. Don't give a pseudoscientific presentation or an occult explanation unless you know enough about the subject to make it reasonable. (An exception to this might be one that is intended to be funny, but it would still be worth your while to know your subject)).
Author of THE HOLY ART: Bizarre Magick From Naljorpa's Cave. NOW IN HARDCOVER! VIEW: <BR>www.lulu.com/content/1399405 ORDER: http://stores.lulu.com/naljorpa
<BR>A TASSEL ON THE LUNATIC FRINGE
Bill Ligon
View Profile
Inner circle
A sure sign of a misspent youth:
6437 Posts

Profile of Bill Ligon
To make a magical experience "magickal" you need to construct an imaginary but consistent world, at least within the confines of the performance, in which the magic takes place according to the rules of that world. You, as the performer, are a part of that world and you and your audience are inhabitants of that world during the performance. Magic does not take place in a vacuum, nor is it illogical. It may have its own logic, but anything that takes place within the world you construct MUST take place according to that logic. Anything less is a mere puzzle and is seen as such by the audience.

This idea is not confined to so-called "bizarre" magic; it applies to any magic performance, even to comedy magic. Of course, you can perhaps get away with violating this principle in comedy magic, but you are then a comedian doing a magic trick.

(Sheesh! I can sound so danged pompous, sometimes).
Author of THE HOLY ART: Bizarre Magick From Naljorpa's Cave. NOW IN HARDCOVER! VIEW: <BR>www.lulu.com/content/1399405 ORDER: http://stores.lulu.com/naljorpa
<BR>A TASSEL ON THE LUNATIC FRINGE
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27140 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
It's okay, most of these concepts also apply to comedy. Have a look at Monty Python's Flying Circus. Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Magicjohnathon
View Profile
Regular user
Oakdale, CA.
122 Posts

Profile of Magicjohnathon
The word Patter as described in my dictionary: 1. Glib and rapid talk used to attract attention, entertain. 2. Meaningless, rapid talk, chatter, Etc.
Patter! Who needs patter? If you truely take the art of magic seriously, then you should take the time to write your whole act down. Then edit all the excess fatty material or slow spots, and create a perfect magic script. Just a word to the wise.
"If at first you don't succeed! Than skydiving is definately not for you"!
Magically Johnathon Marshall
Magnum
View Profile
New user
89 Posts

Profile of Magnum
I think a problem is the fact that some magicians are not flexible in reckognizing whom they are performing for. If I say something that is funny to a 60 Year old banker from Iowa, it may mean nothing to a fifth grader. You should have a general idea of what it is you NEED to say to accomplish the trick, and fill in the holes while you go along. It would help to personalize the performances also
NJJ
View Profile
Inner circle
6439 Posts

Profile of NJJ
A whole bunch of random thoughts on this subject.....

1) Most DVDs etc have little or poor scripts because
a) they want the performer to write their own so it suits them
b) they are a technician and don't perform for 'real people'
c) they are lazy and focus on effect and method over character.
d) they want to keep the good stuff for themselves.
People end up copying these bad scripts.

2) Few magicians love magic comes mainly of the theatre, acting, comedy side of it. Whilst that might be an element, most magicians love of magic comes from love of effect. Therefore, their passion in creating an amazing effect does not translate into passion for the script.

3) Kid's magicians seem to have better scripts then adult performers. Perhaps because children's responses are so OVER THE TOP and LOUD! They can constantly edit their shows. Of course, when kid's magicians perform for adults with the same patter....UGH!

4) When performing close up, a lot of performers recite their patter AT their guests rather then WITH them. They don't allow a conversation so patter becomes forced.

5) What the hell is with all that bad poetry in patter??!?!?!

6) Just because you ignore character, style, justifcation etc. doesn't mean your audience will. They will create a character for you. For example, Irishguy's patter here in the this thread makes me create a character for him that he probably does not deserve.

7) I would say that I cannot sit through 90% of magic comps because of bad patter.

8) That whole Penguin Demo style of "hey, check this out...its cool" patter reduces your magic to cheap tricks.

9) Your words are as important as your hands. They can change the way the effect is seen. For example, if I ask a spectator to go through the deck and remember one card and can tell them what it is it is stronger to say "You could have THOUGHT of any card." then it is to say "You could have seen any card." or "You looked at a card" or "You picked a card." All are true but the first is the strongest.
Bill Ligon
View Profile
Inner circle
A sure sign of a misspent youth:
6437 Posts

Profile of Bill Ligon
Nicholas, those are some very good points. I especially appreciate number five; there is nothing worse than bad poetry in patter.
Author of THE HOLY ART: Bizarre Magick From Naljorpa's Cave. NOW IN HARDCOVER! VIEW: <BR>www.lulu.com/content/1399405 ORDER: http://stores.lulu.com/naljorpa
<BR>A TASSEL ON THE LUNATIC FRINGE
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27140 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Taking a step back, ask yourself what is the purpose of your presentation? To show off? To say look what I can do? From this perspective we can get some quick answers that cut to the quick and leave the performer's motivations exposed. Okay, what then? Send the attention-needy kids home from Hogwarts?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
CDS
View Profile
Regular user
MI
109 Posts

Profile of CDS
Howdy all...
For my patter I look to old(older then the 60's) magic books and wiser conjurers...
currently I have found that the Sid Lorraine stuff is good stuff...
and I am looking for Al Baker patter ... any one have?

Why is it that back in the day there was booklets on patter?
Now I don't see any patter booklets..?

Chuck Stroud
dandanmagicman
View Profile
New user
Great Bend, KS
46 Posts

Profile of dandanmagicman
I theme out my summer library show to whatever the state-wide library system is doing...this year it was "Dragons, Dreams, and Daring Deeds." Perfect for a magic show. When I sat down to write the show, I found myself trying to fit story lines to the tricks. This in the end simply did not work. So I scrapped my set list, and simply wrote a fairy tale. After I had a plot, characers, and setting I went to the magic cabinet and began looking for magic that could help me TELL THE STORY! I don't know why I haven't worked this way before. My show this year was fresh, orginal, and fun (for the audience and the magician.) There really isn't any patter, there is a story and the magic helps me tell it.
All the world is a stage...
CDS
View Profile
Regular user
MI
109 Posts

Profile of CDS
Howdy all...
For my patter I look to old(older then the 60's) magic books and wiser conjurers...
currently I have found that the Sid Lorraine stuff is good stuff...
and I am looking for Al Baker patter ... any one have?

Why is it that back in the day there was booklets on patter?
Now I don't see any patter booklets..?

Chuck Stroud
CDS
View Profile
Regular user
MI
109 Posts

Profile of CDS
Howdy all...
For my patter I look to old(older then the 60's) magic books and wiser conjurers...
currently I have found that the Sid Lorraine stuff is good stuff...
and I am looking for Al Baker patter ... any one have?

Why is it that back in the day there was booklets on patter?
Now I don't see any patter booklets..?

Chuck Stroud
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » We double dare you! » » Does most patter suck? (0 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.17 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL