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Topic: Anyone ever incorporate an urban myth into their patter?
Message: Posted by: imgic (Jan 14, 2010 08:48PM)
Reading this forum I could see some urban myths making their way into a routine. Anyone ever do this? Or see it?
Message: Posted by: DATMagic (Jan 29, 2010 02:12PM)
I think that's a great idea. I live in Louisiana and incorporate a lot of semi folk tales and legends from voodoo in some of my routines.
Message: Posted by: StPaulMagician222 (Apr 4, 2010 12:24PM)
I do make up a lot of my story lines that change the history of the city I live just slightly. I would guess that that would be considered creating Urban Myths for my own devious ends. I have been known to duck historians after my 'Spirit Theatre' when some of the facts do not seem to exactly match up with the commonly known stories by adding an extra character or two or even an event that has not been recorded at the MN History Center. It gives me great delight to spoon feed baloney to a willing, eager and gullible spectator.

A Lawyer friend has referred to me as an embellisher of the truth and definitely NOT a credible witness.

There is a Sucker born every minute- P.T. Barnum

Message: Posted by: Ms. Merizing (Apr 5, 2010 12:11PM)
Have used a brief segment focused on & customized to the locality performed in. This bit is a play on words & places names (neighborhoods/streets/geographic features) with a fact regarding local history/urban legend heretofore unknown to the audience. A sleight of legend, if you will. The intent & audience effect is comedic.

Some venues lend themselves to working up this legend patter more readily than others. The down side: each legend bit can't be used in another locality. The up side: this is an enjoyable process creating a bit of business that is very site specific. Whilst the structuring from place to place remains similar, the real work is in the quality of the language used.

Hope you have fun working with urban legends. They represent a very large audience bullseye to aim at.
Message: Posted by: puppeterry (Apr 5, 2010 01:32PM)
You can transplant many urban legends to almost any locale; in fact, that is part of the UL tradition. For example, my wife encountered the people-hiding-under-your-car-and-robbing-you story in Princeton, NJ. A week after she told me about it, we heard the same tale told in Clovis, California about a mall in neighboring Fresno. College ULs travel from university to university.
Urban legends usually acquire local identification to make them seem more realistic.
May all your urban legends be good ones!
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Apr 24, 2010 08:37AM)
Not sure if this qualifies or not. I made up a coin routine using the idea of a bogus "urban legend". I pattered that the real reason why the U.S. Mint started making bicentennial quarters in the 70's was that somehow counterfeit quarters were being circulated. One out of every three quarters dated pre-1971 were counterfeit--according to my bogus patter. So I asked to borrow three pre-1971 quarters. This rationale allowed me to switch my cig thru quarter for one of the borrowed ones very easily. I pattered that odds were that one of the three borrowed quarters was counterfeit, and I could tell which one because the metal it was made from was less dense than genuine quarters. I then tested the density with a metal ballpoint pen by tapping and listening for a tell-tale "false" sound. Sure enough, not only did the counterfeit quarter ring false--the pen went right through the inferior metal! I kept the "bogus" coin and gave back a bicentenniel quarter to replace it, explaining that the US Treasury Department had authorized me to test quarters and confiscate suspect ones.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Garrette (Apr 24, 2010 09:30AM)
[quote]There is a Sucker born every minute- P.T. Barnum[/quote]Except that Barnum didn't say that; David Hannum did. They were each displaying the fake remains of a a giant, in competition with each other. The difference is that Barnum knew that both were fake while Hannum--who had paid a pretty sum for his fake as part of a five person syndicate--thought his own was real. Hannum was referring to the customers who went to see Barnum's fake and not to the customers who came to see his own when he said "There's a sucker born every minute."
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (Apr 24, 2011 01:43AM)
I believe that some mentalists say that, "People only use 10% of their brain." That's an urban legend that's a myth.
Message: Posted by: todd fritz (Apr 25, 2011 11:15AM)
I do an entire act based on urban legends and things we believe that aren't actually so. I find it to be a great way talk about the way the world really works and the way we perceive it. It gets right into perception vs reality and... that's magic.
Message: Posted by: Eric the Excellent (Feb 22, 2012 09:26PM)
Oh, I like this.

I live in a little mining town, up in Montana. Oodles and oodles folklore and ghost stories. Now if I could get into the spooky side of things, I have some great ideas...
Message: Posted by: Stu Montgomery (Mar 26, 2013 07:49PM)
During the 1500's, wealthy Scottish Lairds employed Witch finders to rid their land of suspected witches. Payed around six times the average weekly wage, and around one years average wage per witch detected. Called Witch Prickers, their method of detecting genuine witches consisted of "pricking" their victims with a sharpened tool suck as a long needle. If the poor unsuspecting victim didn't bleed, this was proof they were involved in witchcraft... if they did they were set free. The Witch Prickers employed their excellent knowledge of anatomy to select areas where blood was less likely, thereby increasing their detection rate! I use this very true tale of Scottish history & perform the Needle Thu Arm routine - blood... or no blood!
Message: Posted by: Art Vanderlay (Jun 27, 2013 08:42AM)
Of course!!!

Many of my demonstratons revolve around myths and ledgends!

Tony "Doc" Shiels has been the biggest influence for my performances.

I have effects based around the Loch Ness Monster, alien abductions, the Bermuda Triangle, local folklore and countless other twists and tales.

Currently I am working on an act based around the life of Mother Shipton and her abilities of psychokinesis and prophesy.

Creative a mysterious and beautiful storyline around a routine can take your spectators on a whole new journey. isn't that what we should be giving then anyway? A journey?

I like to ensure my audiences go through a mental and physical journey when they see one of my performances. An experience that hey will never forget and will tell everyone they meet about.

Message: Posted by: Pomyles (Sep 11, 2013 04:00AM)
Urban legends are a great source of inspiration for many presentation. People love these legends that seem to be real. Far more than our usual presentation. A simple self working card trick can be very entertaining as Eugene Burger demonstrated it with his Sole Survivor (cf. Magic & Meaning).
Message: Posted by: DoctorAmazo (May 8, 2014 10:08AM)
The very nature of Magic requires that we lie. Some of us are "professional liars".
Message: Posted by: Mike Ince (May 10, 2014 04:43PM)
[quote]On Apr 24, 2011, Bill Hallahan wrote:
I believe that some mentalists say that, "People only use 10% of their brain." That's an urban legend that's a myth. [/quote]

Today I thought it would be funny to cite that statistic and then say, "but today for the very first time I will attempt to use 20 percent of my brain at the same time! I will use both hemispheres, right and left, the creative and the logical, as I perform complex mathematical calculations while singing "Surry With a Fringe on Top" from the musical, "Oklahoma".

As I sing and do a magic square, I abruptly stop in exaggerated pain as I press my hand to my forehead and maybe bleed out of my nose a bit. I don't know. Would that be funny? I think I could make it funny.

I should note that what many people believe about being left-brained or right-brained doesn't appear to be true, either. http://www.livescience.com/39373-left-brain-right-brain-myth.html
Message: Posted by: Waters (Aug 19, 2014 04:45PM)
Memories all alone in the moonlight

All the while...

(The square root of 1769 is....)
Message: Posted by: Cameron Roat (Oct 31, 2014 09:08PM)
Anybody heard of "Butch, Ringo, & the Sheep"?
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Nov 3, 2014 03:32AM)
I have now I've Googled it!
Message: Posted by: daav0 (Nov 30, 2014 03:09PM)
I work the GHOST impression tablet, and part of my routine is to talk about the once common belief that the last image seen stays embedded in the eyes. At this I remove my glasses, claiming that the impression cannot be seen while there is any impediment, and get a good peek at the impression while doing this.
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Dec 9, 2014 12:42PM)
Glasses are a brilliant accessory for magic, a bit like a magic wand, they can be a great distraction. A teacher I knew said that when he was asked a difficult question by a student he would take is glasses off and give them a polish while formulating an appropriate response.
Message: Posted by: GregKirk (Feb 19, 2015 11:11PM)
I recently moved to a small community on the Oregon coast. One of the first things I did was research local ghost stories and urban legends! I've now performed two private gigs with material I gathered in that research. One surrounding the "Oregon Vortex," a supposed magnetic and metaphysical anomaly similar to the Bermuda Triangle. It is reported to create all sorts of inexplicable events (which gave me great reasoning for my "experiments"). The other was based on an actual historic event (the 1936 Bandon Fire), but I incorporated some urban legends of ghosts who are reported to have remained after the fire. It was a seance show, and the use of familiar stories gave my show (in my opinion) more credibility and believability. Using local legends and urban myths is a great way to enhance a show!
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Feb 28, 2015 04:02PM)
There is a magician local to me who does something very similar on his magical ghost walks, very effective it is too.
Message: Posted by: jeffAwesome (Nov 10, 2015 09:29AM)
I am very interested in doing similar things in my magic. I'm currently working on a routine with coins and the idea of voodoo. I'm not in New Orleans or anywhere that would make this entirely local, but so far I've found that it is eerie enough to really get great reactions.

I've considered doing Ghost Stories. I am from Oklahoma and there are some very amazing Native American tales. I just need to find a way to incorporate them.
Message: Posted by: barneyS (Nov 17, 2015 01:11PM)
[quote]On Apr 24, 2011, Bill Hallahan wrote:
I believe that some mentalists say that, "People only use 10% of their brain." That's an urban legend that's a myth. [/quote]

In the early days of the net I did a bunch of reading on this myth and found a professor (from Oregon??) who also investigated it and believed that Dale Carnegie was the inventor of this "fact", attempting to make a point in his "How to Win Friends and Influence People". It doesn't appear to be in print before that book and there is no research backing up the "10%". From what I've read, we all use all of our brains, though not very efficiently for most of us.
Message: Posted by: mcharisse (Dec 1, 2015 06:32AM)
Corpse bride of Mexico in conjunction with calaveras cards

Message: Posted by: tvmikek (Dec 1, 2015 07:47PM)
We have an Urban Legend in the DC area about the "Bunny Man," a supposedly true story about a mass murderer who wore a pink bunny suit. I created a part of a show once that used "items I acquired from the case." :)