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Profile of Nat
I will be performing for a gentleman's 80 birthday party -- looking for appropriate "patter" with Professor's Nightmare -- your ideas would be welcome -- and any other effects for the 80 year celebration.
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Profile of cbguy
Cody Fisher 3 ropes and 1000 laughs
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
21588 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
Nat, what do you mean by appropriate, as it really sounds like you are asking for inappropriate patter. The Professor Nightmare, usually is performed with descriptive patter. Just because some on is old, does not mean it is okay to make fun of them, or their physical condition. There is a time and an place for everything, and I believe you are going in the wrong direction with this idea.

You better re-think this, and if the client is asking you insult the person publicly, then I would refuse to do so. You may have be asked to do a show again, as your reputation will be spoiled for good.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Dick Oslund
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Inner circle
7990 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund

I'm certain that you aren't looking for "inappropriate patter", as has been inferred above.

You might check out the very simple "descriptive patter" that I've used since about 1971 for the Nightmare. I've used it, successfully, in elementary schools, high schools, colleges and senior citizen assisted living, and, nursing homes.

It's on page 290.
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West of Boston, East of Eden
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Profile of BeThePlunk
Hi, Nat -- I think that your use of the word "appropriate" is being misunderstood. I take it that you want to present PN in a way that is relevant to a birthday and maybe (but not necessarily) the birthday of an older man -- to say something general about life's progress or to say something that honors the man himself.

Can you first describe how you want to perform PN? Will you end with the three ropes back to their original lengths or will you end with the three ropes joined into a single long rope? Or maybe there's another end you like.
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Profile of HeronsHorse
Watch performances.
It's all there. Most use descriptive patter as suggested by Bill and Dick. I'm just learning this and I'm going to go with that. You can make it funny, if you're a funny guy. I love making folk laugh so I'm sure there'll be a few laughs in there.
Watching performance answers questions like this though Smile
And ... I don't even know what I'm talking about.
But I've practiced magic for two years.
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Profile of Kaliix
I found this...

In the hardware store, a clerk asked, "Can I help you find anything"?

"How about my misspent youth", joked my husband.

The clerk shot back, "We keep that in the back, between world peace and winning lottery tickets".

Leslie McRobie, Lee, New Hampshire
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
Dick Oslund
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HA! Great line!
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The Beautiful State Of Maine
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Profile of Dougini
Darn. Bill jumped on the word "appropriate", and it all went pear-shaped. I was hoping Nat would tell us how it went. Myself, I like Daryl's mechanics, but the patter has always eluded me. "I got these scrap pieces of rope at the hardware store the other day..." There are better stories. I find it frustrating I cannot seem to be creative, as Walt Anthony tries to teach in his book. Thinking along the lines of a STORY. A REASON the ropes change length!

Walt is the consummate PERFORMER! His whole THINKING is artistic and enthusiastic ENCHANTMENT! I have tried. I get a dull "thunk". Sometimes I need a prod in the right direction.

Still, I'd like to know what Nat did.

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San Antonio, TX
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Profile of murf
I present Professor's Nightmare as a lecture on optical illusions; you can find details here

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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
8262 Posts

Profile of funsway
My "Necklacy" routine would work as it can start with all of the items a "senior" might need during the day strung on a tied rope loop -
think "Soap on a rope" on steroids. The rope is C&R several times ending with three equal lengths (cut "on the fly" for PN)

At the end the entire rope is restored to a single length and retied into a silly necklace.

At Assisted Living Centers a favorite item was a toilet paper tube on the rope used to trumpet call for supplies.

For a simpler approach, borrow a bathrobe tie to use instead of a rope. There are several techniques for secretly cutting the tie into the proper lengths

In both cases the story can be varied to the setting, also "on the fly."
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

ShareBooks at * questions at
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Profile of countrymaven
Just remember. An eighty year old often pretends to understand, but often they do not understand or hear what you are saying. so be sure you are visual along with your story. wish you the best.
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