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Topic: Words we shouldn't use in shows
Message: Posted by: Joseph_Then (Aug 29, 2004 02:18AM)
I don't know if we have tried this in Magic Café before but let's list down words, phrases, etc. that adds nothing to the effect, confuses the audience or even destroy a trick.

Those are the magician's JARGONS that we kept using in our magic world but are not used in the layman's world. It seems obvious to us but they are not obvious to the audience.

And, maybe we can add the corrections to those commonly used terms.

Let me start:
1) "Did I force you to select this card?" - Force? Did you point a knife at the audience? Should be: "Did I influence you in selecting this card?"

2) Don' use words like "production", "vanish", "tranposition", "mentalism". Example, "This is my Production box" - What? A production factory? Use simpler terms like "appearing", "disappear", "change places", "mind reading", etc.

3) "I'll cut the deck into half" - OK, so where's the knife for cutting? Say, "I'll lift up the upper half of the deck"

4) "These are sponge balls" - Just say, "These are balls". I don't think they are interested whether they are sponge, metalic, plastic unless there is purpose in your routine.

5) "I'll riffle the deck and you will say stop" - Riffle? Most layman don't understand what is riffle. Say, "I'll run-through the deck like this and you will say stop..."

OK, that's all for now. I'll add more later if I can think of it. Now's your contribution. :>
Message: Posted by: prettylady1990 (Aug 29, 2004 04:03AM)
Hi
Here's a link
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=75167&forum=106&33

and these are some I've collected:
Things Not to Say
· "Okay.."
· "Ummmm"
· "silk" (unless followed by a noun such as "handkerchief")
· "Now we take and" [other action about to be done such as "now we take and put this silk in the goblet"].
· Don’t describe what you are doing eg. You might shuffle the cards "Now, I'll just shuffle these cards and..."
· "Now, I'll take and shuffle these cards..."
· "regular deck of cards"
· "ordinary"
· "now I will..."
· "And even *I* don't know how that's done!"
· "How did you do that?"....."VERY WELL"
· "Oops."
· Give me your hand, no the clean one.

Hope this helps!
Message: Posted by: Mike Wild (Aug 29, 2004 05:58AM)
Don't focus on what not to say. Almost anything can work in a performance script. Poor grammar, obvious statements, commentating, etc., are all acceptable sometimes, depending upon their usage, timing, and the motivation behind their use. No one wants to hear you say, "Here's a coin. Now I'll put it in my hand, and close my hand. Now I open my hand, and the coin is gone." However, stating the obvious, every now and then can also serve to keep your performance cohesive, and remind spectators, especially during a long routine, what's going on and where their focus "should" be.

Don't over use anything, but don't damage your routine by omitting something important simply because someone else decided to put it on a list of things not to say.

Best,

Mike

Oh - Try not to say, "My hand is empty" when it's not really empty. This tends have negative results ;)
Message: Posted by: Payne (Aug 30, 2004 10:08AM)
Anyone who plays cards know how to "cut" a deck and exactly what it means. I think you'd look like a complete idiot if you said "Will you now lift up a small grouping of cards from the top of this deck and place them on the bottom.
I doubt anyone in your audience is going to be lost if you say instead "could you please cut the deck"
as for Riffle. This is not some esoteric magic term found only in obscure magic books. It is an actual
commonly used English word found in any dictionary. If you look it up it says

riffled, riffling, riffles verb, transitive

1.Games. To shuffle (playing cards) by holding part of a deck in each hand and raising up the edges before releasing them to fall alternately in one stack.

2.To thumb through (the pages of a book, for example).

I agree that there are words like "Silk" and "Diagonal palm shift" that should not find their way into your verbiage while performing in public however "cutting the cards" and "riffling" shouldn't be among them.
Message: Posted by: eddieloughran (Aug 30, 2004 10:14AM)
I'm with Wildstone above.
I don't think that the audience care what we call a silk. They accept that we use unusual words. All professions do.
They aren't stupid.
Vanish, disappear. They know what we mean.

Nkthen defeats his own theory by bringing up forces and production box, we do not give the audience ideas.

Think on the positive side. Get the script right!
The movements. Strong magic. Better routining, and so on.
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Sep 13, 2004 07:29PM)
To be as effective as possible one should use words that people understand and use as few words possible as to not clutter what you are trying to get across.
If you do childrens shows it become even more critical.
Message: Posted by: King Of Pop (Sep 15, 2004 07:48AM)
Good post by Daniel Faith, I agree 100 percent, but also think through what you want to say, before performing, then there wont be any long pauses and you can concertrate on your performance and you don't have to think mutch what to say.

God Bless You, I Love You
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 28, 2004 04:32PM)
[quote]
On 2004-08-29 03:18, Joseph_Then wrote:
I don't know if we have tried this in Magic Café before but let's list down words, phrases, etc. that adds nothing to the effect, confuses the audience or even destroy a trick.

Those are the magician's JARGONS that we kept using in our magic world but are not used in the layman's world. It seems obvious to us but they are not obvious to the audience.

[/quote]

Before criticizing the words other people use, it behooves one to learn to use the words we do use correctly.

The above two paragraphs are perfect examples of this.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 29, 2004 01:33PM)
I just realized that these comments might be out of place. English may not be Joseph's first language, and if that is the case, then I have been harsh and, possibly, cruel. That was not my intent, and if so, I apologize.

I know how difficult it can be for me to do my show in German.
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Nov 1, 2004 07:18PM)
"and now for my next trick" don't use it.
Message: Posted by: Macbeth (Nov 3, 2004 10:57AM)
Or using the phrase "normal" or "regular" in relation to anything as it puts the idea in the spectators mind that there are gimmicked objects!

The other thing to try and avoid doing is blaming any volunteer if the trick goes wrong.
Message: Posted by: liam-j-gilbert (Nov 7, 2004 08:58AM)
To add a little humour to the post I think Jay Sankey outs it best in the introduction to 'SAnkey Unleashed'

I quote

"The words should not cause a spectator to burst into tears of shame, cover her face with her hands and consider taking her own life.

Lets say that, after having an older woman select a card and executing three perfect inbred faro shuffles (and when aren't faro shuffles a little inbred), you announce not only the name of her card, but also the name of a treatment centre for the elderly specialising in the removal of unwanted facial hair. Not nice. Extremely funny. But still, not nice."

Hope this is both funny and informative

Liam Gilbert
Message: Posted by: ageddes (Nov 8, 2004 05:48PM)
I think that Bill Palmers first comments in this string are correct. If we intend to use the Queens English to present our magic we need to use that language correctly.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 12, 2005 08:25PM)
But here in America we don't have a queen. (just kidding!)
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 12, 2005 08:52PM)
Unless the audience is also from Queens, probably better to use standard American English over here. Or if you have an audience of queens, then ... up to you.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jan 14, 2005 07:49AM)
Payne says: "I doubt anyone in your audience is going to be lost if you say instead "could you please cut the deck" . . ."

Normally, I would agree but, on his recent world tour, newly installed I.B.M. president Tony Wilson was at my house and we were doing some routines for a newspaper reporter.
When it came to cards, the reporter admitted not knowing one from another and not knowing literally ANYTHING about cards -- and that included cutting the deck. There are a lot more people out there than one supposes who know nothing about things that we take for granted.