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Brad Burt
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Conceptually, this is meant to be fairly short and to the point. Let's see how I do on that!

I am convinced after almost 40 years in the magic 'game' that beyond ANY other problem, lack, concern, etc. that those both entering magic and those who have been 'into' magic for some time have is the formulation/inventing/creation of good solid patter stories for our favorite tricks and routines.

I don't think there is anything more derailing to a good presentation than a 'story' that either does not fit the trick itself or does not fit the character of the person performing it. The latter is usually more prevalent than the former.

But, you's not really all that difficult if you have a couple of rules to follow and assiduously work those rules.

Rule #1- Look at the trick and define right from the beginning WHAT that trick could represent in the REAL world? What do I mean? Consider a piece of rope. You are going to display it and then cut it in half and then you are going to restore it. Begin by asking, "What could a piece of rope BE?"

Well, it could be a metaphor a representation for spagetti, shoelaces, climbing rope, a looooong hair, the line on a wall, etc.

Rule #2- Define WHY what happens will happen in the context of what you determine in Rule #1. For instance, if you decide that the piece of rope will represent a snake, then you have to come up with either a comic, absurd, etc. reason WHY you will cut the snake in half and then restore it, or you have to have some rational seeming reason for doing so!

Rule #3- You have to take the elements for the first two rules and build your patter block by careful block into a cohesive whole. Note: Your patter can be the goofiest bit of whimsy that anyone has ever been subjected to and that's FINE ... IF you build it in a consistent manner. Even if it is whimsical the story has to make sense all the way through. That's not that difficult. Don't make it so. If you are telling a fairy tale then say so at the outset and folks WILL accept almost anything you say as long as the story itself is "internally consistent" all the way through!!!

That's really where a lot of folks go wrong. They start out fine, but as the story progresses it's internal logic breaks down. If you find that happening to you as you are crafting a bit of patter then....BACK UP! What has gone before that has caused you to lose track of where you should be going? Recraft and move on.

Rule #4- O.k., now you have your perfectly crafted story. Whatever you decide upon, you MUST deliver your patter no matter how goofy sounding as if you really believe it. Even if you are delivering it tongue in cheek you have to deliver it smoothly and practiced.

Rule #5- DO NOT be afraid to change it after it is finished! Perform your new routine. How dd it "feel" in actual performance? Tape it, etc. and LISTEN to yourself. How did it sound to you? Trust WILL sound totally, TOTALLY different to you as a listener than as you perform it.

Make changes until you HAVE it wired. Note by the way that this does not have to take a lot of time. Don't over think the thing. Follow the rules, knock out a bit of patter, do it, test it, change if needed.

All best,
Brad Burt
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