I'm not sure if I am aloud to make an essay, but if not you can delete this. I decided to make one about patter. I did see another essay on this, but I felt it didn't go into what patter really is, developing your own style, and it didn't cover any other types of magic other than close-up. This might help a little more.
As we all know, there are 3 types of performances in magic: Close-Up, Stage, and Parlor. Close-Up is where you need patter most, parlor not as much, and stage the least. The reason behind how much you need patter is simple. Patter is misdirection. That's all it is; you try to say something while doing something else. Of course it also makes tricks more exciting, but its mainly misdirection. That is why coming up with valuable and exciting patter is hard, but important. You need to say something to completely distract your audience from something else.
When performing close-up magic, patter is important because all thats between you and your spectator is your hands, or sometimes a table. Jokes are very valuable as they keep it relaxed; a tense environment makes it less enjoyable and harder to do anything. You may also want to tell stories, or even just explain why are you doing things. Like for instance, when doing the trick Triumph (like Jay Noblezada showed in the demo video), you may want to tell a story about how "this morning a guy tried to be smart with me, and shuffled the cards face down into face up. But I was ready". This sets the perfect environment to finish your trick. You could continue with "as a magician, I am ready for anything. I just snapped my figures, and everything but his card was face down". Thats where the flourish comes in.
Parlor is a bit more relaxed, as you have a large crowd, and you have more tricks to do. You can do mini-stage tricks (cups and balls, etc.), or close-up tricks. Patter is easier to do, as you really can narrate what you are doing, while cracking some jokes. Parlor is also very nice because you can have large crowds around you, which gives you many different sounds. That way, you don't have to worry about the door slamming shut from a late guest, or crying babies as the only sound.
Stage is the easiest of them all. All you have to do on stage is narrate what you are doing, while possible telling long stories of your tricks. Tricks become a lot easier because you have a big space in between you and your audience. Stories are very nice, because you actually can focus on your story rather than pulling some cards and passes behind your back. This is one reason why stage shows are some of the most mind blowing shows, because you can have many distractions (smoke, lights, fire, etc.).
Now that I have gotten through what patter does for each type of magic, I will talk about developing some patter. Patter is hard to make, as you must have the perfect wording to keep your audience's eyes off your hands. When making patter, keep in mind that words like "good" are not exciting. "Brilliant" is a better word. Things like that. It also helps to have your audience in the patter. Rather than telling an hour long story, you could have your audience put some twists in (this is especially important in kids shows). Just try to keep your audience awake and focused on the effect, not how to do the effect, and you've succeeded.
My last, but certainly not least topic, are hecklers. Everybody has heard of them. The big stupid hotshot in the back row who wants to mess up your trick by asking questions that are to reveal the secret. Hecklers are only stopped by a few things. You can 1) ignore them. This works, but not forever, as the heckler may have the audience on his side. However, if the heckler has an audience in his side, you should abandon the show, as it will never turn out as planned. Another way is to embarrass him. For instance, if a heckler blurts out a part of your secret, saying "Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, the audience's smartest member". This puts the audience on your side, letting them know that this guy is not part of it and should be ignored. Use this at your own risk, though, because outright humiliating him may make an opposite message to your audience that you are just rude. Make sure to keep it at a minimum.
I hope you liked it! If you have any ideas, please PM me, and I will put them in the essay. I also hope you didn't fall asleep while reading it!
Last edited by aidanerrickson on Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.