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Topic: Most Overused Phrase
Message: Posted by: flimnar (Apr 12, 2006 09:46PM)
I have found in performing magic there are certain phrases that, in my opinion, tend to get overused. The one currently making me nuts is a phrase often uttered during the cups and balls routine---"Solid through solid." Is this just a me thing? (It may really be!) Are there others?

Flimnar
Message: Posted by: swtrocks (Apr 12, 2006 10:02PM)
Does "Pick a card, and don't let me see it" count?

Steven
Message: Posted by: BrucUK (Apr 13, 2006 02:58AM)
"Self-Working"......
Message: Posted by: paisa23 (Apr 13, 2006 03:00AM)
"Watch" Or "LOOK"
Message: Posted by: BrucUK (Apr 13, 2006 03:02AM)
"....just an ORDINARY deck of cards"
Yeah right....
Bruce
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Apr 13, 2006 07:23AM)
"actually"

The word is NEVER needed. It is ALWAYS superfluous and self evident.

"Now I'm actually going to cause this coin to..."

Leave out the actually and see how that sentence reads.

Ain't that a fur sight better?
Message: Posted by: phread (Apr 13, 2006 08:00AM)
...of course that dress doesn't make you look fat honey...oh you mean magic related...
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 13, 2006 08:06AM)
"What I'm going to do now is..."

"What I'd like for you to do now is ..."

Some magicians can make these phrases into two or three syllable words.
Message: Posted by: kid iowa (Apr 13, 2006 08:10AM)
"Would you like to change your mind, or are you happy with the mind you have?"
Message: Posted by: quickhands (Apr 13, 2006 09:05AM)
Hi People,

You guys have mentioned several prhases I dislike. I think that using : "this is an ordinary xxx" makes people very suspicious. Hinting to what it is going to happen detracts from the effect. However, it may be hard to instruct a person to pick a card without asking. Perhaps: "select a card of your choice without disclosing it to me" may be a better phrase though, what do you think?

QH.
Message: Posted by: ithomson (Apr 13, 2006 09:42AM)
My most-hated gag-line:

"Stand right there - just over the trap door."

Ian
Message: Posted by: DanielSteep (Apr 13, 2006 10:00AM)
I saw Matthew Disero and he said Fantastic about 70-75 times in his 70 min show
Message: Posted by: ChristianR (Apr 13, 2006 11:04AM)
Pick a card any card
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Apr 13, 2006 11:07AM)
Within the magic literature:

"Do not run if you are not being chased."

Within the learning curve:

"Does it require any sleights?"

Within the torn and restored genre:

"I think this would make four pieces, if my math serves me."
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Apr 13, 2006 12:12PM)
We must not confuse ourselves. Often used lines do not mean they are bad.
We had a whole thread on this before.

"Do you want to change your mind? So you're happy with the mind you've got?"
I think it's great. Spectators love it. Couples look at each other and laugh and comment. It's funny. They only hear it once.

As long as these oft used lines are not delivered properly they are gems.

I have to remember to add this one:
"Stand right there - just over the trap door."



Now, I also hear this a lot on DVDs.
-Pick a card.
-Perfect
-Write your name on it.
-Perfect
-Show it to your friends.
-Perfect.
-Put it in the middle.
-Perfect.
-Are you left handed or right-handed?
-Perfect.

It is very apparent that folks are putting out DVDs without ever watching themselves on video first or getting feedback about their performances ahead of time. What do you think about that?


Everyone should acquire the book "Maximum Entertainment" as it will
help you in many of these areas.
Message: Posted by: dlcmagic (Apr 13, 2006 04:12PM)
How about "Just like that"
Message: Posted by: DanielCoyne (Apr 13, 2006 09:10PM)
So you're happy with the mind you've got??

Stand right there - just over the trap door.

These two lines made me chuckle just reading them. I'm adding them both. So there!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 13, 2006 09:16PM)
I took the would you like to change your mind line and added a tag to it.

Would you like to change your mind?

Oh, you're happy with the mind you have?

Don't lose it!
Message: Posted by: Bill Scarlett (Apr 14, 2006 09:20AM)
"Now you have never met me before have you? Then how do you know it's me?"
Message: Posted by: tomrav (Apr 14, 2006 12:29PM)
"Would you be impressed if I..."

Grrr...
Message: Posted by: Kihei (Apr 15, 2006 07:10AM)
"You've never met me before. Correct?"
Message: Posted by: zambo (Apr 15, 2006 10:28AM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-13 04:02, BrucUK wrote:
"....just an ORDINARY deck of cards"
Yeah right....
Bruce
[/quote]

Funny but I'd go with this one!!!
Message: Posted by: Chris Becker (Apr 16, 2006 08:13AM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-14 10:20, Bill Scarlett wrote:
"Now you have never met me before have you? Then how do you know it's me?"
[/quote]

I use this. I think it's so weird, which makes it particularly funny.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Apr 16, 2006 11:33AM)
A little off topic, but not by much:
[rant]
How about the most irritating, overused phrase in discussions on the Café? These aren't ones in performance, but are irritating to read here.

My vote goes for [b]"Nuff said."[/b]

That means to me that he's done talking, his mind is made up, and he's no longer willing to discuss the issue further. It's as if he's declared himself right, every one else wrong, shoved his fingers in his ears and is unwilling to listen any further. If that's the case, why do they call this place a "discussion" group?
[/rant]
Message: Posted by: Matt Malinas (Apr 17, 2006 05:52AM)
"watch"

-Matt
Message: Posted by: kinesis (Apr 17, 2006 07:48AM)
This may be a UK thing but the words "OK" and "right" really bug me.

"I have a coin, ok, now all I'm gona do is place it here,ok and then...ok...ok...ok"

Substitute the word "OK" with "right" and you'll get the idea, OK, right!.

As Bill Palmer notes, I hate when magicians state the obvious

"Here I have a coin, now I'm going to place it in the box, now I'm going to cover the box with this cloth and tap it 3 times with my magic wand" Don't say it - do it!
Message: Posted by: Jim Davis (Apr 17, 2006 01:38PM)
"wanna see somethin'?!"
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Apr 17, 2006 02:34PM)
Here are a few that come to mind

And now I'm going to...

Now put the card back
Message: Posted by: Zac Vee (Apr 17, 2006 04:22PM)
Some bad ones are

" you had a free choice and could have picked/thought of any card"

" its an illusion "

" I want you to concentrate"

" did you see that " its gone

" do you feel it " this one is funny
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Apr 20, 2006 02:56PM)
I'm with Frank.
There is a place for these sort of lines.
Especially when performing for kids.
Just because you have heard them over and over doesn't mean
that every audience has. Remember you hang out with magicians
so of course you would hear this lines often.
I definitely think some can be improved, like Pick a card.
I prefer to say, "select a card that you feel drawn to", as an example.

The trapdoor line is great with kids.
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Apr 20, 2006 06:50PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-13 22:10, DanielCoyne wrote:
So you're happy with the mind you've got??

Stand right there - just over the trap door.

These two lines made me chuckle just reading them. I'm adding them both. So there!
[/quote]

I like them, too. :bg:
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Apr 20, 2006 06:52PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-13 22:16, Bill Palmer wrote:
I took the would you like to change your mind line and added a tag to it.

Would you like to change your mind?

Oh, you're happy with the mind you have?

Don't lose it!
[/quote]

Ha! :hysteric:
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Apr 20, 2006 06:55PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-16 12:33, Dave VanVranken wrote:
A little off topic, but not by much:
[rant]
How about the most irritating, overused phrase in discussions on the Café? These aren't ones in performance, but are irritating to read here.

My vote goes for [b]"Nuff said."[/b]

That means to me that he's done talking, his mind is made up, and he's no longer willing to discuss the issue further. It's as if he's declared himself right, every one else wrong, shoved his fingers in his ears and is unwilling to listen any further. If that's the case, why do they call this place a "discussion" group?
[/rant]
[/quote]

I think I know where you got that one. ;)
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Apr 20, 2006 09:57PM)
Much of my mingling magic is performed silently in the interactive comedy style,as "Max the magician"... somewhat akin to the style of Charlie Chaplin.

However, for some cocktail situations, I take on a "speaking" persona called, "Jack the Gambler".

In such cases, when I want to establish first rapport I might catch the eyes of a guest and in a quizzical yet very friendly way --and with a dubious voice tone say...

"You're not a magician are you?"

or sometimes I change his around to say..." Are you a magician?

The second they see me and size me up with my table, props and bowler hat they become relaxed, friendly and often chuckle as they come closer to my card table to see what's going on. Of course, I can only guess that they're thinking to themselves..."no, but you are!" Then the fun begins and we're off to the races, as the other guests gather round to join in.

Jonathan
Message: Posted by: Edith (Apr 21, 2006 09:08AM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-14 13:29, tomrav wrote:
"Would you be impressed if I..."

[/quote]


No ! -if I am in a funny mood, cause then I like to throw off people a bit. I am having fun then looking at a stupid looking face. Especially if I know them.-

Luckily I don't watch too many English speaking magicians so I don't hear those phrases too often, but yes I am annoyed if I hear the same phrase from 5 different people. That happened quite a bit on weddings when I was little, because my parents started very early with getting children and I am the first so we went to lots of their friends weddings and most of the time during the entertainment time I was bored.

Maybe those people's minds have already faded somewhat...
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Apr 23, 2006 02:10PM)
How 'bout most over used words like...

"Okay, Alright, Uh huh"... too many times I've seen performers who repeat these words over and over throuhout their entire acts! Horrible!

johnny
Message: Posted by: Ethan Starkiller (Apr 29, 2006 04:34AM)
Personally, I can't bear when the deck is referred to as being sentient. Oh look 'the cards have - ordered themselves- so as to put your 8 or diamonds, 8 from the top'. Or they're commanded - 'Cards change' with a tap, does anyone buy this at all? It's all in the presentation I guess.
Message: Posted by: Dave Lewis (May 4, 2006 12:15AM)
"That's the first time that's ever happened...again!"

"One card and one card only..."

"For the first time, in a loud, clear voice..."

"Show them the card. Don't show me...I've seen this trick before."
Message: Posted by: RickyD (May 4, 2006 08:11AM)
I agree with a couple of other posters -- "ordinary" [i]really[/i] grates on my nerves! Not only is it absolutely unnecessary, it causes the exact opposite reaction from the audience -- the more you carry on about how "ordinary" an object is, the more they doubt it! I think "show, don't tell" fits extremely well in this situation.

The other phrase that really gets to me is "go ahead". I've seen it in a lot of demo videos as well as some live performances (as well as some people in normal conversation.) "Go ahead and look at it ... Go ahead and sign it ... OK. I'll go ahead and shuffle the cards ..." I cringe every time I hear that.
Message: Posted by: Murdoch82 (May 11, 2006 03:37PM)
How's everybody doing tonight?
Message: Posted by: brakeless1 (May 12, 2006 06:04AM)
Did anyone say Abara cadabara? lol
Message: Posted by: DoctaJones713 (Jun 14, 2006 06:34AM)
"Now, if you'll hold out your hand . . . the clean one."

Makes me cringe.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jun 21, 2006 05:44PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-12 22:46, flimnar wrote:
I have found in performing magic there are certain phrases that, in my opinion, tend to get overused. The one currently making me nuts is a phrase often uttered during the cups and balls routine---"Solid through solid." Is this just a me thing? (It may really be!) Are there others?

Flimnar
[/quote]

"All I have to do is snap my fingers"...
Message: Posted by: cjl467 (Jul 6, 2006 11:07AM)
I say "Did you see that?" way too much, after doing an effect -- kind of as a rhetorical question -- and it becomes awkward when people say "Yes". Sometimes I think they mean that they "saw" how I did it...
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Jul 9, 2006 01:08AM)
Actually, it is ordinary for someone to say "pick a card".

"Nuff Said!

I know I use a bunch of lame stuff. But I think my bigger problem isn't overused phrases, it is the fact I speak at all while performing. My "Humor" some times gets people uncomfortable (I usually think it's funny as hell.....). At times I use words that are not in common usage, so my point gets missed. Once in a while my potty mouth slips in the wrong crowd. Gotta watch myself closely. Guess we all do.

What I hate on the Café' is people firing off with stupid comments and off topic stuff.............. wait that's me
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Jul 19, 2006 03:09PM)
[quote]
On 2006-07-09 02:08, Josh Riel wrote:
Actually, it is ordinary for someone to say "pick a card".

"Nuff Said!

I know I use a bunch of lame stuff. But I think my bigger problem isn't overused phrases, it is the fact I speak at all while performing. My "Humor" some times gets people uncomfortable (I usually think it's funny as hell.....). At times I use words that are not in common usage, so my point gets missed. Once in a while my potty mouth slips in the wrong crowd. Gotta watch myself closely. Guess we all do.

What I hate on the Café' is people firing off with stupid comments and off topic stuff.............. wait that's me


[/quote]

This is funny stuff! or am I just warped?
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Jul 20, 2006 01:33AM)
Let me show you this new card trick I've been working on.
Message: Posted by: Will Eefting (Jul 26, 2006 05:26PM)
I have a bad habit of saying:

"Hey guys, how are you tonight?"
"Mind if I show you something? It'll just take a minute"
"Take the card, memorise it, don't let me see it"

Of course, I also take cues from people I know, and often times I get asked to do a "Magic Trick" or a "Card Trick" to which I tend to reply curtly.

"Dogs do tricks, but if you would like I'll perform some magic for you"
"Trick huh? *gets down on knees and acts like a begging dog*"
"Trick is a dirty word, do you not believe in magic?"
"Well, I could perform a trick, but there are women and perhaps children present..."

I've got a million of em.
Message: Posted by: cigam3d (Aug 1, 2006 11:38AM)
When a magician says ladies and gentleman like 100 times want to punch him in the face, and another on that aggravates me is just a little wave of my hand or when they say just give a little blow
Message: Posted by: stanalger (Aug 2, 2006 03:14PM)
Rikbrooks (AKA Tex Austin) beat me to "actually." (See 6th post in this
thread.) It drives me nuts when I hear someone overuse this word.

Another: "Personally" as in
"Personally, I think..." or
"Personally, I feel..." or
"Personally, I like..."

Some good news: overuse of "basically" appears to be dying.

Stan
Message: Posted by: cheesewrestler (Aug 3, 2006 11:05PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-23 15:10, johnnymystic wrote:

"Okay, Alright, Uh huh"... too many times I've seen performers who repeat these words over and over throuhout their entire acts! Horrible!

johnny
[/quote]

How long is this David Blaine bashing going to continue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:lol:
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Aug 8, 2006 11:01PM)
In all seriousness, the phrases that I find annoying due to the number of times I hear them are (No particular order)

-I cannot serve you, you've had enough to drink-
-stay away from my wife-
-stay away from me-
-I'm getting a restraining order-
-She has a restraining order-
-I'll punch you if you say "Ladies and Gentleman" over 100 times-
-what's that smell?-
-is that you?-
-don't you bathe?-
-I wish someone would ban him from the Magic Café-
-David Blaine is the greatest magician-
-David Blaine sucks-
-you have the right to remain silent-
-why won't you shut up?-
-haven't you always wanted a monkey?-
-I-
-He-
-You-
-They-
-Bacon-
-don't do that it makes you blind-
-don't do that, you'll make god cry-
-sir, your under arrest for doing that in public-
-It-

So stop saying them!
Message: Posted by: CdnAndrew (Aug 12, 2006 04:25PM)
The fact that nearly all the phrases seem to relate to card magic (well, maybe except Josh's most recent list ;)) is interesting. Keep in mind, many of the above phrases are repetitive to magicians, but not necessarily to an audience.

Retail sales is a great example. Upon approaching a customer, nearly the same greeting is used. When talking about a product, quite often the same questions are asked so jokes and witty lines can be thrown in. Those that worked with me were likely annoyed after hearing the phrases over and over...but it was the first time for the customer.

Many of the phrases (ie: "pick a card") are necessary. Specific phrases (like Simon Lovell's "...remove your very own pet card...") work well for specific presentation styles.

Concepts like "wiffle dust" are overused. At least a 'snap of the fingers' or 'wave of the hand' is visual and can be acknowledged by a spectator. Neither action is unbelievable-the motion is visible-and attributes the magic to oneself... not a mystical (invisible?) powder from ones pocket.

[Josh, great effort was applied to minimize the amount of your "overused phrases" in the post... perhaps none were used!]

Andrew
Message: Posted by: cigam3d (Aug 13, 2006 04:51PM)
Hahaha wiffle dust I forgot about that one!!
Message: Posted by: SeaDawg (Sep 16, 2006 06:22AM)
Sometimes a very slight sublimal difference helps.

Rather thanpick a card(where they now think they have a choice...)

I sometimes use "Grab one of these for me, please. Limit one per customer" (Then it is easier to force since you are telling them to grab...)

My 2 cents worth
Message: Posted by: cheesewrestler (Sep 16, 2006 04:56PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-23 15:10, johnnymystic wrote:
How 'bout most over used words like...

"Okay, Alright, Uh huh"... too many times I've seen performers who repeat these words over and over throuhout their entire acts! Horrible!

johnny
[/quote]

When will this David Blaine bashing cease!!!!!!!
Message: Posted by: cheesewrestler (Sep 16, 2006 04:59PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-16 12:33, Dave VanVranken wrote:
A little off topic, but not by much:
[rant]
How about the most irritating, overused phrase in discussions on the Café? These aren't ones in performance, but are irritating to read here.

My vote goes for [b]"Nuff said."[/b]

That means to me that he's done talking, his mind is made up, and he's no longer willing to discuss the issue further. It's as if he's declared himself right, every one else wrong, shoved his fingers in his ears and is unwilling to listen any further. If that's the case, why do they call this place a "discussion" group?
[/rant]
[/quote]

and don't forget, in answer ro a request for information on a new product: "Anything XXXX puts out is worth buying!" and/or "It's from XXXX - just buy it!"
Message: Posted by: Muckey Spleen (Sep 23, 2006 10:02PM)
I want to echo Mr. Palmer, as it bears repeating - "What I'm going to ask you to do is..." Why not just MAKE THE REQUEST?
While we're at it, if I hear another magician refer to a "silk" in front of a lay audience my head will explode. Seriously.
Message: Posted by: yachanin (Sep 24, 2006 12:37AM)
I'd have to say the most overused phrase is "only limited by your imagination."

Regards, Steve
Message: Posted by: bond_jmesbond007 (Sep 28, 2006 06:58AM)
"Now look into my eyes......"
Message: Posted by: fredmoore (Nov 8, 2006 11:56AM)
"check this out"

and my favorite: "and......NOW!"

Give that man a twinkie!
Message: Posted by: ChristopherM (Feb 6, 2007 09:18AM)
Would you be amazed if...?
All I have to do is... and then x happens.
If we put it in the middle...it comes back to the top of the pack.
Want to see something cool?
Isn't that great?
Watch it go...did you see it?
Put the card back....no no, on the top of the pack.
Please write the letters in capitals, as large and legibly as you can, er, cos...so that other people can see later...yes, that's the reason.
Uhm
Errr
OK
Fantastic
Great
Alright
Now...
Watch this, look, just watch

How about most under-used phrases by magicians: Please, Thank you, grateful comments to the audience.... Instead it's just "put your hand out" "take this" "put it back" "pick one" "do this/that". This does not endear the magician to his (/her) audience. Good topic.

Cheers

Chris
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Feb 15, 2007 02:18PM)
So basically, speaking magicians are making a mistake.

Time to study mime!
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Feb 15, 2007 06:12PM)
By the sound of it, the most underused phrase used by magicians is "The End".
Message: Posted by: stepseven (Mar 4, 2007 03:49PM)
"Have you never heard of black cherries?" -- Maybe this one has stuck because it's a utility gag?

Must say this thread has been a wake up call* and I'll be studying my language very closely from now on. CdnAndrews post rang bells* and I am at my most guilty of "tired" phrases when handling the cards. Mentalism draws on a particular jargon too I find.

I think some of the one liners have become like pantomime jokes** and are expected and enjoyed by an audience even if they pre-date Moses.


*Apologies for cliches.
**Oh no they haven't.
Message: Posted by: stepseven (Mar 4, 2007 10:43PM)
"..even if they pre-date Moses"

Oops - the jokes that is
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Mar 5, 2007 01:20PM)
I tried to do some magic for people who could have passed as pre-dating Moses.

They weren't very "Into it" also one lady kept trying to get me to stop stealing from her room. Another guy just thought I was his son.

However, old folk are what keep the junk mail guys in business. Thank goodness Social Security pays so well.....
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Aug 29, 2007 09:25AM)
I dislike the same phrases in magic that I do in speech or writing. Anything verbose bothers me. When it comes to magic specifically, I dislike the word "fair".

Jeff
Message: Posted by: scottds80 (Sep 6, 2007 08:35AM)
"Who would like to be my next victim, er.. Volunteer?"
Message: Posted by: Narmis (Sep 7, 2007 08:23AM)
"For my next trick..."

"Basically, .." - unnecessary

"Err" - disgusting
Message: Posted by: TheAstonishingLarry (Sep 22, 2007 02:15PM)
The Amazing Jonathan has a funny twist on the line "Just a normal deck of cards, right?" as he thumbs throught the deck. When the spectator agrees he swings the cards in a circle (it's an Electric Deck) and says, "Well then how do you explain this?"
Message: Posted by: JRob (Oct 2, 2007 06:40PM)
How about, "Good evening, I am the house magician and I am here to do magic for you" or something to that effect.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Oct 5, 2007 01:11PM)
A line is only old if you've heard it before. Sometimes a direct, however old, line is important. I want you to choose a card. Don't mince words. Get to the point without wasting five minutes to say what can be said in two seconds (Like this post for one thing). Pick a card. How more direct can you get. Not, May I have select this paste board that I am fanning before you. Just, Pick a card. Easy.
Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Oct 5, 2007 03:37PM)
[quote]
On 2007-03-04 16:49, stepseven wrote:
"Have you never heard of black cherries?" -- Maybe this one has stuck because it's a utility gag?

[/quote]

Never heard that in my life.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Oct 12, 2007 10:51AM)
Mrbilldentertainer, the black cherry line is funny. This is a good way of using an out when doing tricks like John Kennedy's Mind Power Deck. "Is your card a color of a cherry?" Pause. Let their face register that you've goofed. "Have you ever heard of a black cherry?" It may get a laugh, it may not. But, at least you now know what color it is and can continue.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Oct 14, 2007 03:47PM)
Somebody mentioned this one some time back: "Here we have..."

Who's we, the poster asked, do you have a mouse in your pocket?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 14, 2007 05:27PM)
Why yes George, I do. Let me show you ( great way to get into the magic mouse trick? )

Here are a couple that make me cringe:

"you should"

and

"i know how you feel"
Message: Posted by: Sealegs (May 12, 2009 05:49PM)
No one's mentioned the use of, "...like so".

As in, for e.g., "I put this in here... like so."

"...like so" is a magicians' favourite. It is used to explain an action that doesn't need to be explained. It's a substitute for an actual meaningful script which is, as far as I can make out, always tagged on to a bare bones description of whatever proceedure is being undertaken.

If you say this phrase during your performance you'll find that forcing yourself to not say it will be an instant improvement as you'll be forced to say something interesting and relevent to what you're doing rather than just blandly describing what you're doing.

Neal.
Message: Posted by: acesover (May 15, 2009 12:45AM)
Actually I kind of like the line: Pick a card any card...No not that one.
Message: Posted by: funsway (May 15, 2009 08:53PM)
I am bothered by some of the things magicians say at Magic Circle performances:

"Here is something I am working on, hope I don't screw it up."

"You've probably seen this done better than me."

"My wife hates this so I'll do it for you."

"At least with you guys I don't have to practice much."
Message: Posted by: ThomasJ (May 28, 2009 02:54AM)
Kind of along the lines of changing the mind line is, "Are you sure?"

In the magic retail realm..the word "killer" anywhere in the ad copy of a trick has come to mean "mediocre" to me.
Message: Posted by: Andi Peters (May 29, 2009 09:36AM)
The most overused phrase is:

What can I buy next?
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (May 29, 2009 10:57AM)
This is a great section!!! Now I have some more phases to use.

No phrase is over used if the audience have not heard it before. The only over used phrase is one you use too many times in the course of your performance. Look… watch… ain’t I great? (Sorry, had to include that last one).
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 12, 2009 07:00PM)
[quote]
On 2007-10-14 16:47, George Ledo wrote:
Somebody mentioned this one some time back: "Here we have..."

Who's we, the poster asked, do you have a mouse in your pocket?
[/quote]

No, I am an editor, that's the editorial "we."

No, I have a tapeworm.

No, I am royal.

No, I am pregnant.

No, My name is LEGION for I am MANY!

No, my name is Lesion for I am Mangy.
Message: Posted by: Whitewolfny (Jun 12, 2009 09:20PM)
Instead of "pick a card..." try "Would you select a card please?" Instead of "Perfect" or "Fantastic" try "Thank you." You should show consideration to your audience/assistant.

And now for my next comment, I will start by saying........
Message: Posted by: Whitewolfny (Jun 12, 2009 09:22PM)
I was just thinking about a Jeff McBride DVD I have. He does a beautiful act, with magic many of us have used over the years, but he doesn't say anything verbally, but he sure says a lot with his acting and expressions.
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Jul 9, 2009 07:15PM)
"Fantastic"

"Great"

"Perfect"

"Hold out your hand. No the clean one"
Message: Posted by: gh256 (Jul 10, 2009 05:28AM)
What would you say when on stage instead of "Ladies and Gentlemen" ?
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jul 10, 2009 11:00AM)
If in Southern California: 'You guyses' as in how are you guyses doing?

followed by 'him and me'
Message: Posted by: Jay Ward (Jul 13, 2009 01:22AM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-13 09:06, Bill Palmer wrote:
"What I'm going to do now is..."

"What I'd like for you to do now is ..."

Some magicians can make these phrases into two or three syllable words.
[/quote]
Yes, I use to say something very similar to those until my girlfriend pointed it out and threatened to throw stuff at me every time I said it. Nothing like a caring critic not afraid to deflate your ego to make your show better!
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jul 15, 2009 12:37PM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-12 22:20, Whitewolfny wrote:
Instead of "pick a card..." try "Would you select a card please?" Instead of "Perfect" or "Fantastic" try "Thank you." You should show consideration to your audience/assistant.

And now for my next comment, I will start by saying........
[/quote]

I say "take a card..." Then I ask them to give it back.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jul 15, 2009 12:39PM)
Harry Kellar was one of the greatest magicians of all time and his grammar was horrible. I guess that ole' saying is true, "it's not what you do it's the way that you do it."
Message: Posted by: cvwtzhaar (Jul 15, 2009 08:01PM)
Some phrases that bug me are: :mad:

The use of the words, Ordinary, Regular, Real, Normal etc

"I have 52 cards, all different and in no particular order"

"Sleeves rolled up"

"I'm not going to use any sleight of hand"

"You had a fair choice"
Message: Posted by: Maloney (Jul 22, 2009 01:00PM)
Personally, no lines bug me. I love reading topics like these just so I can pick up a few extra one-liners, which I have.

Although lines are repeated often by most magicians, the audience is not used to it at all, so it gets a laugh anyway. Just keep that in mind and you'll be fine.
Message: Posted by: Sam Weiss (Jul 22, 2009 04:56PM)
Sometimes I find the LACK of some good patter, even if they are one-liners, is worse than not using them. You'll see people coming out with magic DVDS and in the performance section have no build up at all and just perform it like a stunt (as Eugene Burger would say).

Besides... I like those likes like "Stand right here... right over the trap door." They get a good laugh.

Sam
Message: Posted by: Filip Hofmann (Oct 19, 2009 12:44PM)
"write youre name on the face of the card in big letters... But smaller then the actual card" really makes me laugh :)

but I must say I'm jealous of you english speaking guys because there is no frase in the world that sounds better in my language then in english. Swedish holds me back.

we did invent the word smorgosbord thou :)
Message: Posted by: alibaba (Oct 27, 2009 11:31AM)
"At no time do my hands leave my arms"

And the ubiquitous "Sorry, we don't pay, but you'll get some exposure."
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Dec 23, 2009 03:19PM)
What he said.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 25, 2009 06:24PM)
After reading all of these offerings,
the one word that I find the least useful is --
"trick"

I have never used that word before a spectator and shudder
when I hear a fellow magician use it.
Message: Posted by: jazzy snazzy (Dec 26, 2009 06:35AM)
Yes.
NEVER use the "T" word.
Thank you funsway.

Don't care if I ever hear "Pick a card" again either.
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Dec 26, 2009 08:37PM)
"Uhhh..."
Message: Posted by: spcarlson (Dec 27, 2009 09:14PM)
Excessive counting and numbering is my pet peeve! Cups and balls seem to suffer with this one a lot.

“I have one, two, three, cups and one, two, three, balls. We’ll call this cup and ball number one and this cup and ball number two and this one cup and ball number three. Now if I take ball number one….”

This might work on Sesame Street!
Message: Posted by: joseph (Jan 1, 2010 09:33AM)
How about; "I know what you're thinking."?...
Message: Posted by: dmueller (Jan 10, 2010 10:18PM)
Personally to me its counting to low numbers. For example "I am going to to take 5 of (insert item name here) 1.....2....3.....4....5" It insults the intelegence of your spectator.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 22, 2010 06:03AM)
DMueller, you can overcome this problem starting with "one for the money... two for the show... 3, 4 and 5" this quick reference to the song doesn't distract from the clear display, offers a rhythm acceleration (no monotony), and does away with the belittling of the spectators that is, I agree, implied in a simple counting.
Message: Posted by: Robin DeWitt (Jan 23, 2010 01:54AM)
[quote]
....."one for the money... two for the show... 3, 4 and 5"....
[/quote]

One for the money...two for the show... 3,4, and, as you begin a little soft shoe, 5,6,7,8. Just a thought.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 23, 2010 03:28AM)
A good thought. You got me 100% right. Scripting is an art to get across something that otherwise might look cheesy. This is why the concept of "most overused phrase" is flawed for it doesn't take into consideration the context in which a phrase is used... and it may be overused for us, magicians, and not for an audience: such a thread is useful but it is a double bladed sword.
Message: Posted by: JCheng (Feb 17, 2010 04:45PM)
"Pick any card"
Message: Posted by: griffindance (Mar 1, 2010 01:59PM)
We all have our styles that we are comfortable working in!

After doing over 20 shows there are phrases or ideas that we see repeated. After 200 shows these phrases can REALLY get to us, but after 2000 we may just accept that some are just the bet way to communicate with an audience.

I always try to find a way to be myself with an audience. If I say "pick a card" its kind of necessary, but if I say "You'll like this one... Not a lot!" then some might ask if I should send Paul some copyright payment. Even if you use catchphrases make sure they are your own way of speaking with your audience. Not someone else's.
Message: Posted by: Spyder (Mar 3, 2010 10:01PM)
For me the phrase I use most is "Moo"
Message: Posted by: studentoflife (Mar 7, 2010 12:06AM)
One more time this time slower...

:)
Message: Posted by: motown (Mar 30, 2010 11:18PM)
Hold out your hand...no the clean one.

This ones for the people in the cheap seats! (I really hate that one.)

Can you tell one from the other? What's the other?
Message: Posted by: david12345 (Apr 21, 2010 09:32PM)
Ken Weber in his book Maximum Entertainment discusses a number of regularly used lines that are in fact detrimental - many have been mentioned in this string. The thing to think about - if it doesn't add to the show it takes away.
Message: Posted by: acesover (Apr 21, 2010 09:56PM)
I usually say, "Pick the right card PLEASE just this once." No matter what card they pick I say...YES

I know this was supposed to be what you dislike magicians saying the most, but thought I would add this.
Message: Posted by: ThoughtThief (Apr 30, 2010 12:29AM)
[quote]
On 2006-09-23 23:02, Muckey Spleen wrote:
I want to echo Mr. Palmer, as it bears repeating - "What I'm going to ask you to do is..." Why not just MAKE THE REQUEST?[/quote]

Even more mind numbing, Muckey and Mr. P, is this related quadruple whammy from a recent one-trick DVD: "Here's what I'd like you to do. What I'd like you to do is . . . . ." EVERY request of a volunteer was preceded by that catchy doublet. To insure symmetry, EVERY activity of the mystery worker was prefaced with: "Okay, here's what I'm going to do. What I'm going to do is . . . . ." This performer no doubt counts himself among those magi who reject the notion of scripting his (wholly narrative) presentations because it might make him seem stiff and non-spontaneous.

TT
Message: Posted by: squando (May 16, 2010 04:50PM)
Weber pointed out that "the name of the card" a phrase I use to often means nothing. Just say "the card". I have adjusted my patter to avoid "the name" portion, but it still wants to slip in to my mouth.
Message: Posted by: dooblehorn (Mar 8, 2014 07:16AM)
Ha, old thread but amusing.

Description of trick:
"Packs flat and plays big"....enough already!

Review of trick:
"Gets your creative juices flowing"....ewwww, just sounds gross

In general:
"At the end of the day"....stop it!!! Please!! I'm begging you
Message: Posted by: MRSharpe (Mar 8, 2014 08:11AM)
Any process patter, i.e. Now I'm going to take the ______ and ....... Is it really necessary to outline every process that is occurring? The only time that is appropriate is in a recap.
However, most lines we here over and over from other magicians or those that we hear ourselves audiences hear only once and then they don't process the line into long term memory, so if they hear it again it can still be fresh. Kid's sow lines are a good example. "Now hold out your hand. No, the clean one." or "Are you married?" get great laughs so everybody uses them. That's now reason to think "Gee guy, can't you get a better line?"
Message: Posted by: Stu Montgomery (May 10, 2014 04:24PM)
[quote]On Apr 17, 2006, kinesis wrote:
This may be a UK thing but the words "OK" and "right" really bug me.

"I have a coin, ok, now all I'm gona do is place it here,ok and then...ok...ok...ok"

Substitute the word "OK" with "right" and you'll get the idea, OK, right!.

As Bill Palmer notes, I hate when magicians state the obvious

"Here I have a coin, now I'm going to place it in the box, now I'm going to cover the box with this cloth and tap it 3 times with my magic wand" Don't say it - do it! [/quote]

Can't agree more! I hate hearing "OK" & "Right"...and I think it is a UK thing.
Message: Posted by: Zlwin Chew (Feb 6, 2015 11:56PM)
[quote]On Jul 22, 2009, Maloney wrote:
Personally, no lines bug me. I love reading topics like these just so I can pick up a few extra one-liners, which I have.

Although lines are repeated often by most magicians, the audience is not used to it at all, so it gets a laugh anyway. Just keep that in mind and you'll be fine. [/quote]


Maloney is right. How often does a lay person have the chance to see a magician at work? Probably only twice a year at most. So it really doesn't bother the lay audience. This only bothers the magicians who has watched countless videos and seen countless live acts.

Still a good place to source for one liners :)

Ah I miss Aldo Colombini.
Message: Posted by: jclightman (Feb 7, 2015 12:15PM)
I used to balk at using "magicy" sounding words like abracadabra and hocus pocus. But, I've actually started using them more, particularly in use with kid shows. They have a cartoonish expectation of a magician and seem to enjoy getting their expectations satisfied. Of course I don't over use it!
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Jun 16, 2015 05:11PM)
I use the word "trick" almost exclusively in describing what I do. Even if it was based on real magic, the sort of demonstrations I am doing would be considered little tricks of no great consequence. Just light entertainment. Even Gandalf would have considered smoke rings and such "tricks."
Message: Posted by: RogerTheShrubber (Jul 16, 2015 09:35AM)
I'd much rather hear something described as a trick than as an experiment. I cringe when I hear a magician say he needs someone to assist him with an experiment. It just drives me nuts. With a lot of tricks, to the layman, if there's any doubt as to the outcome and if there's a real chance the "experiment" could fail, why should the spectator give the magician credit when the "experiment" proves successful? Shouldn't the "experiment" be repeated at least several times to eliminate the possibility that the results of the first "experiment" weren't just plain luck?

I mean no offense to anyone here who uses that approach - it's just like anything else, such as spelling tricks. You either like them or you don't. In this case, I hate both. I remember hearing the "experiment" line a bunch of times as a little kid and had to keep myself from being rude by rolling my eyes as I thought to myself "Yeah, right, like there's a chance you're not going to pull off whatever this is." That's why I never use the line myself - I can't sell something I hate and would never buy.

Great thread, though. And I had never heard the black cherries line, either.
Message: Posted by: Belanos (Nov 9, 2015 03:57PM)
[quote]On Apr 13, 2006, TheAmbitiousCard wrote:

Now, I also hear this a lot on DVDs.
-Pick a card.
-Perfect
-Write your name on it.
-Perfect
-Show it to your friends.
-Perfect.
-Put it in the middle.
-Perfect.
-Are you left handed or right-handed?
-Perfect.
[quote]

You must be talking about Gerry Griffin
Message: Posted by: Belanos (Nov 9, 2015 04:07PM)
Here's a phrase that is over-used in magic instruction videos. "So what you're going to do now is...." or "So now you're going to..." or variations on the theme. The instruction doesn't need a preface...just tell us what we do next!!!!

Oh...and "umm" and "uhh" and "OK". stop it.
Message: Posted by: elmago (Apr 11, 2016 08:57PM)
"Patter".- How about scripting instead? So that it sounds like something we want to say, instead of something we have to.

"Um"-Usually said when a magician has not scripted the magic and is winging it, and is not very good at winging it.

Narrating moves.- The audience can see what you are doing, why say it out loud? Oh, because a good script has not been written to push the story along.

"Do me a favor".- Do ME a favor and don't use this overused phrase.

"Do you like magic?" or "Can I show you something?"- What if they say "No!". You just lost control of the show.

"Is there any particular reason that you picked that card?" - Unless you actually care about the answer and use it in the trick and it is not a stalling technique, than NO!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 7, 2016 11:37AM)
[quote]On Jul 16, 2015, RogerTheShrubber wrote:
I'd much rather hear something described as a trick than as an experiment. I cringe when I hear a magician say he needs someone to assist him with an experiment. It just drives me nuts. With a lot of tricks, to the layman, if there's any doubt as to the outcome and if there's a real chance the "experiment" could fail, why should the spectator give the magician credit when the "experiment" proves successful? Shouldn't the "experiment" be repeated at least several times to eliminate the possibility that the results of the first "experiment" weren't just plain luck?

I mean no offense to anyone here who uses that approach - it's just like anything else, such as spelling tricks. You either like them or you don't. In this case, I hate both. I remember hearing the "experiment" line a bunch of times as a little kid and had to keep myself from being rude by rolling my eyes as I thought to myself "Yeah, right, like there's a chance you're not going to pull off whatever this is." That's why I never use the line myself - I can't sell something I hate and would never buy.

Great thread, though. And I had never heard the black cherries line, either. [/quote]

"Experiment" probably dates back to he dawn of the age of science, when the itinerant mounebanks put on a clean shirt and moved into the drawing rooms of the wealthy. The usual "stage" set was a large table, upstage center, and two "tripod" side tables, down left and right.

The large table was "loaded" with "apparatus" and "paraphernalia". Each item was generally moved to one or both tripod tables when it was "demonstrated", or, "experimented with"!

It was the age of chrome plated "apparatus", and glass "paraphernalia". The mountebank assumed the role of "professor" or "doctor", to add "class" to his presentation.

Three hundred years! And, we still hear magicians use "apparatus" and "experiment" !!! --AND, we still see "red velvet bags on a stick" (change bags) chafing dishes (dove/duck pans) ETC.

Ha! My SECOND Magic book ("Fun With Magic" --Joseph Leeming) started off on the first page with a "sample handbill" for an "old" magic show". (Note the pseudo "scientific" words!!!

MYSTERY & MIRTH

A CONGRESS OF CABALISTIC PHENOMENA

Children in Ecstasies! Ladies Enraptured! Gentlemen delighted!

EXPERIMENTS IN HIGH CLASS P R E S T I D I G I T A T I O N and I L L U S I O N A R Y S C I E N C E

Something NEW--WEIRD--WONDERFUL
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 12, 2016 05:07PM)
P.S.!

Oops! I think that there was one more line:

"A sight that will baffle the senses, astound the mind, and, mystify the human brain!"
Message: Posted by: JassTan (Nov 10, 2016 09:10PM)
Here are some more...
- Hold out your hand, flat like a table
- on the count of three..
- flip it over
- show it to the audience, don't show me, I'm gonna turn around.
- remember the card, don't forget it..
Message: Posted by: Dollarbill (Apr 9, 2017 09:09AM)
When screwing up : Ah ***! Or "shoot" / dang it! My original teacher use to bust my b***s about that!
Message: Posted by: willmagicman (Aug 3, 2017 08:14AM)
Here's two phrases that are pet hates of mine:

1, 'Perfectly ordinary'

2, 'I'm just going give the cards a genuine shuffle'


Both these statements imply the opposite is actually true.

Will.
Message: Posted by: Dollarbill (Jul 4, 2018 08:46PM)
[quote]On Oct 12, 2016, Dick Oslund wrote:
P.S.!

Oops! I think that there was one more line:

"A sight that will baffle the senses, astound the mind, and, mystify the human brain!" [/quote]


This would work today. Ima use it if I can remeber it! .............. 4th and beer!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jul 5, 2018 06:10AM)
Right Bill! I agree! Thank Joe Leeming for it! (I'n old, but not THAT OLD!) HEE HEE
Message: Posted by: debjit (Aug 22, 2018 05:58AM)
Here's a phrase that is over-used in magic trailers - "This is an organic and visual piece of propless mentalism!"
Message: Posted by: rabbitok (Aug 24, 2018 11:37PM)
From Vendors

"Easy to Learn"
"Practically sleight free"
"Real Magician Fooler"
"Self-Working"
Message: Posted by: Psyfl (Jan 1, 2019 04:35PM)
"Limited only by your imagination"
Message: Posted by: Dollarbill (Jan 1, 2019 04:37PM)
No, I have a headache! errrrrrrrrrr.........wait a minute............🤣🤣🤣
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jan 21, 2019 07:08PM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2019, Psyfl wrote:
"Limited only by your imagination" [/quote]

Yes, I dislike that one too. It usually really means, "We were too lazy to think up any good uses for this fershluggener thing, so now it's up to you."
Message: Posted by: Wx4usa (Jan 26, 2019 07:34AM)
"Needless to say".... is a phrase that... well, it just bugs me! And..."Uhhh, Ummm..." was mentioned before as a validation of lack of preparation unless as I sometimes do in a comedy routine fumble like Barney Fife...lol.

I just like to tell stories and let my mannerisms and body language overcome the objections the spectators may have already visualized in their minds eye. No need to verbally say, "Nothing up my sleeves. Watch this." etc. etc.
Message: Posted by: Charles Nileud (Apr 2, 2019 04:14AM)
I have a gig coming up and it's actually chinese client.

anyone know what to avoid saying or jokes not to say?