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 Post subject: Developing Patter
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:39 pm 
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Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 58
Location: Id tell you but it changes whenever I move
I've had a lot of trouble with patter. I'll admit, I used to (and still do sometimes) imitate Oz because he was the only person I would see do a trick. This was OK at first, but later whenever I performed I would feel like my spectators were deprived of a good performance. I could never figure out why. But today I finally realized that it was because I wasnt performing for them, Oz was.

I've been working on new patter for tricks, and find that when I perform, my audience and I enjoy the tricks A LOT more. But creating new patter isnt easy. I'm still not very good at it, but maybe what I've realized can help.

There are two basic concepts I use when creating my own patter. The first is that it has to pertain to the trick. Now, this sounds pretty obvious, but I probably mean it in a slightly different way than you think. Take Triumph, for example. What happens in Triumph? Well, cards get mixed face up into face down and flip over all except a selected card. So the patter needs to pertain to that.

Now, you could narrate whats happening: "And we shuffle face up into face down... and now they flip over." But that sucks. Nobody listens to that. Its boring. So lets look for exciting things in that happen in the trick by finding words that sound exciting. Sounds weird, but it works. "Mixed" and "flip" are the ones that stand out to me. Mix doesnt really have much options, so lets discard that one. We have "flip". Whats so exciting about the word "flip", you ask? Well, it LOOKS exciting when the DECK ACTUALLY FLIPS. Thats what I do, usually while saying some wierd description like "180 triple barrel-roll mctwist" to make the trick more exciting and more plausible.

The second concept is that the patter must pertain to your style. If your style is that of a business man, dont say "rad signature on that card, dude!". I think you get the idea. There are also many posts about attitude and style on the forums if you need help with those.

Heres some tips that might help you that I use:
:arrow: Exciting words are usually verbs that you might hear while at a skate park, or just verbs
:arrow: Tempo is important, for example I say "180 triple barrel-roll mctwist" very fast as I throw up the deck so it spins, but talk slow at the first climax of my ACR
:arrow: The words "I dont want to touch it" and "You turn it over" are powerful words in card magic patter
:arrow: Humor is important. If you're the serious type, then don't put in any jokes at all. If you're the clown-ish type, then the patter should be 90% jokes. Also, the jokes should make sense, otherwise they're not funny.
:arrow: Your patter should make either total sense or no sense at all to the audience
:arrow: "I've been known to mess up right here...... but not this time!" is a good way to increase the livelyness of the trick
:arrow: "One-handed" is usually an impressive thing to say, espicially in cards, but dont overuse it because it wont be special anymore. "Behind the back" is good when they can see what youre doing, otherwise it ruins it.
:arrow: Not looking while doing something is good, but its like "anti-misdirection". Dont say "I'm not gonna look" and then do a pass. Doing a flourish, like a hot shot cut, coin roll, sybil cut, etc. usually work for this.

Thats my second essay; I hope it helps. Sorry about the references to card magic instead of other types, but I'm a card magician. PM me if you need help with patter because I wont watch any replies on this post.


Last edited by speddyb on Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Developing Patter
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 5:32 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 3550
Location: President of the davidcon fan club. (Always welcoming new members)
Hooray, I've been waiting for someone to make an essay about patter! Thanks a lot! :)

However, I want to add a couple of notes:


speddyb wrote:
:arrow: Patter should contain as many jokes as possible. This all depends on what kind of character you have. If you're the serious type, then don't put in any jokes at all. If you're the clown-ish type, then the patter should be 90% jokes. Also, the jokes should make sense, otherwise they're not funny.

:arrow: In any trick, the words "I messed up" should be used right before a climax if possible, as it adds suspense and makes the climax more exciting Actually, it doesn't. When you say, "I messed up", you are admitting that you are an amateur at magic. Unless you want to go through this approach, this would be bad. Instead, an alternative might be, "I've been known to mess up right here...... but not this time!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 5:36 pm 
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Emperor Penguin

Joined: 18 Aug 2002
Posts: 5856
Location: www.anythingmagic.net
"messing up" patter only goes well with tricks that are supposed to look like you messed up but in the end you really didn't. There are a few good effects like this and this is my type of magic. I like looking like I mess up but in the end I didn't really mess up. good essay by the way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:25 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Posts: 2592
Location: Herts, England
you say you discovered this yourself. Interesting, i read this nearly word for word a few years ago in a book.


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