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KyleThorson
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I am just beginning and I am having trouble coming up with patter for the tricks I am learning... I don't want to copy the exact patter from the DVD's, but that's probably my only option at the moment. Does anyone just use the same patter or do you always make up something new?

Kyle
kroberge
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I know what you mean Kyle. Fortunately, I think I have an answer. It will involve an anecdote though.

I went to my first magic meeting last Sunday (Ring 362) and saw lots of magic there. One routine caught my attention and caused this recent revelation about patter. The routine was rope magic and I knew most of the tricks. They were executed nicely but that's not what captivated me. This fellow was talking about bullying and using rope magic to illustrate points about bullying. It is the best patter I have ever heard probably because it was all true and very poignant. It fit his personality and it was something that he actually performed for kids when talking about this subject, bullying.

I went away from that meeting realizing what so many magicians have said on this forum. Presentation is key. You certainly have to be technically proficient, but the trick should have context, meaning and those should fit you. Of course, you don't need a lot of patter if you're going to spontaneously levitate two feet off the ground. But I honestly enjoyed this rope magic performance more because of the context.

Anyway, what's my point. I've been practicing for a few months now and when I say practice I mean technique. I'll practice a false count or a palm or something. I'll rehearse a trick. But I've realized that practice also means working on your story or your setting. There's no quick road to patter. You can borrow someone else's or modify it, but its not yours. I'm not talking about intellectual property rights. I mean that it won't fit you as well as it could if you don't create it from scratch.

Of course, this isn't easy. But magic isn't easy. I don't do a convincing classic palm yet and I don't do a very good presentation yet. But now I realize that both take practice and that probably, creating authentic and fitting patter will take more work and more ingenuity.

Here's what this newb recommends: figure out who you are (nothing existential here, just what do you like, what kind of person are you, etc) and then dig from there. I'm a geek (asides from magic) I like math, physics and such. So I'm trying to dig around for stories, anecdotes, properties, and what not that I can fit into my tricks. I'm practicing a cut and restored rubberband trick with a TT and I'm researching the way rubberbands are made and stuff about rubber and so on. I'm not sure what I'll find. But I'm hoping something will catch my eye and inspire patter.

It all depends on you. I've recently enjoyed watching Band Shark by Dan Harlan. I love that guys puns! I could just grab all his patter, but its not quite me. It won't feel like me. I might forget parts of it. The only way to make it "me" and to make sure its internalized and personal is to make it myself.

Sorry this is so long winded, I hope it helps.

Kevin
ryesteve
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Quote:
On 2007-01-24 14:25, KyleThorson wrote:
Does anyone just use the same patter or do you always make up something new?

I find that most patter I hear from someone else just doesn't fit me, for one reason or another, so there's really no temptation to copy it. I tend to put myself in the mindset of a spectator watching the effect. What sort of presentation would make the effect "work"? Is there some sort of story that provides a reason for the effect you're doing? For me to like an effect enough to want to do it, there's a good chance I already have something in mind that satisfies those two points. If I don't, then that probably means I don't feel enough of a connection with the effect to want to pursue it.
Andy the cardician
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Presentation is a matter of individual style and personality. Acting a different personality is very, very difficult and requires a lot to practice.

For example, if you are a calm and rather serious person, you will struggle to copy a funny and very talkative magician and vice versa . . . That is why it is better to learn tricks from books so you can adopt it to your personality instantly . . .

Frankly, almost all personalities can be the basis of a strong magician - so there is no real need to become someone else . . . except you want it badly, then you have to learn to start acting.

Andy
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Adam J
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Kroberge has great advice. Find out what kind of personality you have, and find some stories that you could relate the trick to. I wouldn't suggest copying the patter directly from where you learned it, but you could always use it as a starting place.

Next time you see a magic presentation, think about WHY you like it. Did you like it because it was funny? Because it told a story? Because it had a good moral ending? Why did other people like it? Once you know what you ENJOY, then you can come up with a way to work it into your routine. In the end, whatever fits you is what you'll want to use.

Adam
Jlowhy
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I think you should use the patter offered on the DVDs first especially if they are important. Many times, there is a lot of thought that goes into the patter used and there are certain spots where the patter is used to misdirect or mislead the spectator. You may lose the subtleties if you invent your own patter immediately.

Try performing with the given patter first and then eventually, you'll start to understand more about your performing personality and you can then work the patter to become your own.
Keith Mitchell
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I wish I knew the Patter on any of these DVD's. None of them are Closed-Captioning, so how in the world am I supposed to know?

I spend lots of money on these DVDs and watch them moved their mouths, and do the tricks. Most of the time I fall asleep.

There are Closed-Captioning software available for these Producers of Magic DVD's that allow them to do the work themselves. They don't have to spend any money hiring other people to do the work. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for not including Close-Captioning. Zero excuse! They CAN AFFORD it!

Yeah I am angry as you can see.

Just maybe, if one of these producers did start including Closed-Captioning, then the rest of the magic community will follow the example.

What does any of this have to do with the topic of Patter? EVERYTHING!

Have fun
Keith
KyleThorson
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I am truly learning a lot of wonderful things since I signed up on this forum.

Keith,
That is a great idea and your right, it would be very easy for them to include that information on the DVD's. I wonder if we could create our own and "play" it with the DVD using DVD software on the PC. If that's possible we could create a catalog of them for people to use. I guess the problem with that would be that it would give away the contents of the DVD.... not so good.

Thanks again!

Kyle
MagiClyde
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Personally, I am a big fan of the idea of creating my own patter for a trick. The biggest single advantage is that you won't have as many problems remembering it. I have the packet trick "Alien Autopsy". It came with a little poem you're supposed to say that goes with the trick. Couldn't remember it, so I wrote my own. Problem solved.

About the only time I would consider another's patter is if it really adds to the trick or would not feel right without it. I have only encountered 1 or 2 tricks that meet that criterion.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
Dynamike
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Do not be a Copy Cat. The only way to entertain the audiences is by being yourself.
rgranville
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Kroberge is correct: Figure out who you are, and be yourself. Now take it a step (just one) further: Figure out who you are as a magical character. How is it that you can do these magical things? Do you have magical powers? Are you an incredible card sharp? Are you as confused by what's going on as the spectators are? Are miracles happening around you and you don't even notice? Figure that out first, and the patter will follow. And more importantly, it will be consistent. You'll go from doing tricks to doing magic.

:banana:
Dave V
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Quote:
On 2007-01-25 09:51, madkiki wrote:
I wish I knew the Patter on any of these DVD's. None of them are Closed-Captioning, so how in the world am I supposed to know?


That can be good... and bad. You have the advantage of not being stuck saying the things "their way" but I can see how the explanation phase would be pretty tough. I wonder what the added cost of CC really is, and why they couldn't do it? Or, from their side of the equation, is it worth it for the handful that "might" need it? I'd like to see it simply because I can watch the video late at night without waking up the rest of the household.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
airship
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Keith, Ron Jaxon here on the Café has expressed the same opinion about closed-captioning:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=32
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
Gary Richards
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Much worthwhile advice here. I think Adam's comment about discovering "why" you like a particular effect or series of effects in a performance is key to coming up with patter that is authentically yours. New writers are often advised to write the kind of story they would like to read. Same goes for a magician's patter, I think. Now I've gotta go find my rabbit. But, of course, first I have to find my hat. It's gotta be here somewhere. Good luck.
Josh the Superfluous
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One more vote for kroberge. He's right on the money. Whatever your into, can have a connection. My kidshow theme is about me studying magic; It's not a big stretch. Where are you in life? How do you play? What are your current struggles? Patter is the one place you can be honest in magic.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Keith Mitchell
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[quote]On 2007-01-26 14:13, Dave VanVranken wrote:
Quote:
That can be good... and bad. You have the advantage of not being stuck saying the things "their way" but I can see how the explanation phase would be pretty tough. I wonder what the added cost of CC really is, and why they couldn't do it?


I don't like people telling me what is worth hearing or not, it should be MY decision whether I want to hear or not. With CC I can decide for MYSELF if the patter is good or bad, and it gives me the opportunity to improvise the patter if necessary. This goes for everyone else who can hear what is being said. This might be a wake-up call for the hearing community, get used to it!

In the past Movie producers had to spend a fortune hiring someone or a group of people to include the CC or Subtitles, maybe they still do that. Now with computer technology, you can buy software and do it yourself, and not have to pay someone else to do it. Is it an advantage to include CC or Subtitles, YES! Imagine including Subtitles in other language other than English, then people around the world would want to buy it. That sounds like more money for the Producers. Not only people around the world, but more Deaf people would probably be encourage to buy. Makes me wonder how many deaf people are refusing to buy them?

Patter is an individual thing based on their personality. I am fully aware of that. With the CC or Subtitles I would have a better idea of what is going on, and I should be given the right to choose whether it's good or not. My entire life has been robbed of words, and CC has opened the window for me.

It does not hurt to hear what others say, it's something we can learn from, and that can only be done if the words are known.

Thanks to all
Keith
Gary Richards
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Josh,
I find your comment, "Patter is the one place you can be honest in magic," to be truly thought provoking. There's a lot there to mull over, I think. Thank you.
Josh the Superfluous
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You're welcome.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Jaxon
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As airship already pointed out above. I've pointed out the benefits there would be to CC or subtitle DVD's. Not only for us deafy's but also for translating to other languages. There's one more thing that it might help on occasions. Let's imagine you're learning a technically difficult move from a DVD. With it subtitled you could freeze (pause) the screen and the words will also be paused on the screen. If it's something very involved this could make it easier to fallow. For example: "Move your index finger this way and your thumb that way as you rotate your wrist.....". But I know that only us people who need it will even care about that so I doubt it'll catch on. But I do promise that any DVD I put out will be subtitled in various languages. Heck, if I could hear I would open the service myself and have a new "subtitle Magic DVD" business to run.

But enough about that. I'll bring it back to the main topic of this discussion.

Quote:
On 2007-01-24 14:25, KyleThorson wrote:
I am just beginning and I am having trouble coming up with patter for the tricks I am learning... I don't want to copy the exact patter from the DVD's, but that's probably my only option at the moment. Does anyone just use the same patter or do you always make up something new?

Kyle


Sorry to put the quote in but I wanted to bring it down. Here's my thoughts on this.

When you asked, "Does anyone just use the same patter or do you always make up something new?" I think it depends on the trick. Not too often but sometimes the patter can be a key element in what makes the trick work. This doesn't mean that you'd need to copy the patter word for word but there might be some lines in the patter that serve a purpose.

I'll tell you what I usually do when it comes to developing my patter. This might not work for everyone but when it comes to patter and presentation you really do have to find your own way. The only way to do this is through experience.

When I learn something I'll pay attention to every aspect of it including the patter (When I can). Now, I've been performing for some time now so I've been able to develop my own style. So right away I start to think of weather the trick itself would fit me. Or maybe just part of the trick will fit me. For instance I might like the plot of the patter but I wouldn't word it the same way. Or I might dislike the patter but like the trick. From there I try to think of ways to make it work for me.

Now, if you learn a trick from a book or DVD. Think about weather or not you think it would fit you as is with no changes to patter or presentation. If it fits you then go ahead and use it that way. Since it was taught to you from a Marketed source then you have every right to perform it exactly how it was taught (I don't suggest this but you could). If it already fits you then there's no need to change anything. But know this, you should still keep your mind opened to ways it might be improved. If you think of a joke, line or bit to add to it. Then go out and see how it goes. Some things will work out and others won't. Before you know it the presentation and/or patter is now your own.

Now, if the patter doesn't fit you at all but you still want to perform the effect. Then go out and perform it. While performing it ideas are bound to spring up eventually. The only way to develop your own presentation and patter style is to go out and find what works and more importantly what doesn't work. Now to go a little deeper into that. When something doesn't work then try to figure out why. Who knows, maybe it'll lead to something usable.

To be honest I don't really put much thought into my own patter. Don't get me wrong because patter is important but I rarely sit there and think about it. I mainly let that develop while performing. I'm mainly what you would call a comedy magician so I hope to find lines to make my routines funny. So when one comes to mind I give it a few tries. Some stick and some don't.

Let the presentation evolve is my advice. But like I said, it might not work exactly like that for everyone.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Andy the cardician
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Ron,

great summary - thanks for that.

Regarding your statement that you do not put much thoughts into your patter, I would see it as something that you do almost automatically, quasi on the run, hence even you do not dedicate special time for it, the grey cells do the work already.

Andy
Cards never lie
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