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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Once upon a time... » » Difference between a story and a patter?? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ropeadope
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Seems to me people these days are (in public places) more geared for "less talk and more action".
Nothing is better than more.
james1a
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All magic is story magic.
james1a
funsway
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Quote:
On 2009-07-19 13:00, ropeadope wrote:
Seems to me people these days are (in public places) more geared for "less talk and more action".


nah -- they just don't know how to talk except into a cell phone to a pretend person about pretend things while pretending it is real. You have a chance to do pretend things and make them real. You can do that with magic, or story or both -- or neither. Capturing and holding their attention is the key -- method is secondary. Many today have very short attention spans, that is the problem.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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(a)ndy
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Quote:
On 2009-07-29 15:11, funsway wrote:
Many today have very short attention spans, that is the problem.


I guess that is the sign of the times. Attention spans do seem to be getting shorter.

I like a good story, but as mentioned above it needs to be a 'good' story to hold my attention.
Canki
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I’ve been following this extraordinary thread and can’t help but think that there’s more than just pattern-or-story. Perhaps it’s my English (my mother tongue is Spanish, so maybe I’m missing some point here) but you have Barrie Richardson, for example, who can GLUE you to your seat hearing EVERY-SINGLE-WORD he says but it’s not actually a story (beginning-middle-ending) nor a pattern (blah, blah, blah). It feels and sounds like story telling but it’s actually “sharing some thoughts”. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Richardson (and his lovely wife) here in Argentina, and he’s MAGNETIC.
Canki
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(Argentina is not the end of the world... but you can see it from here).
SpellbinderEntertainment
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That was my point exactly.
"Meaningful" words (a few or a lot)
V.S.
"Meaningless" words (patter for patters sake)
A Presentation can even be silent,
but must take the audience somewhere...
Mere "patter" may earn a laugh but rarely touches the emotions.

Magically,
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
Yellowcustard
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Bit of a tricky one there. But a story should have being then a middle and finale a end. Some say the closer the begin and end are the better.

Now I think patter is something put in still thought out for the magic but what the spectator remember is either here or there. However a story the spectator should take something away. Be it a moral a tale or a fact. They may even learn the story.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
funsway
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The oldest teaching method in the world is "Attention and Retention." It does not matter if the magic brings attention to the story or the other way around. If you are going to mix the two then the entire impact must be considered. The goals should to be for a spectator to remember neither the 'point of the story' nor the trick, but the sense of awe and wonder you created.

Videos are terrible for this -- a story must be live and responsive to the audience of the moment. A memorized story is just paetter. You and your ability to create a magical atmosphere is "the story'.

Just my opinion, of course, but each of my thousand plus published stories and poems is meant to be read out loud to another person whiel watching their eyes.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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SilvaAce
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I agree with Walt about meaningful and meaningless. The Great Rene Lavand always takes me to another place with his words and magic.
All you have to do to change your life, is to change your daily habits!



Carlos Silva
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Story telling is not for all in their magic. For any amateurs and hobbyists its all about the trick.
Lets face it Mum doesn't have time to listen to the story as well as watching the trick.

But done properly and to the right audience and it can lift your act to new levels.
I have watch guys turn a simple 2 minute card trick into a wonderful 10 minute routine. Creating highs and lows it what would have been a quite boring trick.

However to tell a story properly it takes good writing and a super acting ability. Work on these and it will be worth every moment of the hours you spend.
Christian & Katalina
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Quote:
On 2008-09-12 16:35, SpellbinderEntertainment wrote:
For me the thin line is the difference between
“meaningless” and “meaningful” words.

If it begins: “take any card from this ordinary deck”
there is far less theatrical interest and impact, than
if it begins: “once upon a time…” and goes somewhere.

My two-cents,
Walt


There have been many good responses on this thread... the above is my favorite.
Milbourne Christopher Award for Mentalism 2011
The Annemann Award for Menatalism 2016
Author of "Protoplasm" Close-up Mentalism
Crowslide
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As a former professional story teller I can honestly say that I have yet to hear a really good story told in connection with a magic effect. More often than not the story seems like an excuse to do a trick. Most magic stories seem flat and have been so trimmed down to meet the time demands and attention span of a magic audience that they rarely feel full of life and imagination. I get the feeling that "he's telling us this story so he can show us this trick" I would love it to be otherwise... Eugene Burger's magic has elements of storytelling in it, but in retorspect it is probally less of a story he tells and more of "story like" patter. (I'd don't like the term patter so much either)
KungFuMagic
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I know I am resurrecting a long gone thread for this comment. I truly believe, and offer the assembled for consideration, that story telling is an art form similar in function, though different in execution, to magic. Effective and captivating story telling is a talent that not all magicians will ever develop. They can run a good narrative for a couple minutes to frame a metaphor around their magic effect . . . but not make a difference or shift in the perceptive frame of the audience. A well spun yarn coupled with a well executed magic effect can be nigh divine in its climax and denouement.

The key is being personally invested in the story, intimately familiar with its rhythms, its rises and falls, its meter and syncopation . . . and then weaving it into the rhythm and flow of the business of the effect. Done well it is a dance and song that draws the audience farther into the experience of the act. IT is not for the faint of heart or the casual dabbler. Ricky Jay and his ilk have storytelling in their very nature, and happen to do with with cards. That seems to be my calling as I want to tell narratives that add entertainment and unique quality to my performance of the the trick monkeys they see next month. I perceive that there will be more trick monkeys in the world than accomplished weavers of magical stories and experiences.

Then again, maybe not.
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Autumn Morning Star
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Quote:
On 2010-01-04 23:51, Crowslide wrote:
As a former professional story teller I can honestly say that I have yet to hear a really good story told in connection with a magic effect. More often than not the story seems like an excuse to do a trick. Most magic stories seem flat and have been so trimmed down to meet the time demands and attention span of a magic audience that they rarely feel full of life and imagination. I get the feeling that "he's telling us this story so he can show us this trick" I would love it to be otherwise... Eugene Burger's magic has elements of storytelling in it, but in retrospect it is probably less of a story he tells and more of "story like" patter. (I'd don't like the term patter so much either)

Ah, Crowslide, if you FIRST take the story, THEN add the magic effect, you will have a winner! I successfully illustrate my tribal stories with magic. I just have to think outside the box, plus I can use classical magic effects. You usually have to paint the prop to match the theme, but it can work beautifully!
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
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Jeff Christensen
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A story is something that connects and that people would find interesting. Patter is the stuff that came with the magic trick that you should never use. I believe that it was Eugene Burger who once observed that word patter "...makes my skin crawl."
ApprenticeWizard
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I think we should focus more on scripting than just story telling. Walt Anthony's "Tales of Enchantment" really made the light go on for me in that regard. It's like crafting a good play. Got to have a good prologue and a good epilogue, and in overarching progressive theme that helps build to the final climax. Patter may sometimes tell a story, but even a story can be little better than patter if there is no larger theme for the story to connect with.
Magically yours,
Tom Olshefski
wwhokie1
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A story has certain elements: a beginning, a middle, an end; it has conflict, characters, and climax; it has a setting and point of view. A story can be 2 minutes, 10 minutes, 2 hours, or longer. Its difficult to tell a story in less than 2 minutes but not impossible, of course long times don't work for magic. Think of magic as a short story. The beginning is where you introduce the story in an interesting way to grab the audience's attention, make them care. The middle is where you develop the conflict. The end is the climax and resolution; for magic this is the moment of amazement. The characters can be fictional, nonfictional, or just you and your audience or a volunteer, depending on whether you are telling a story that has happened or telling a story as it happens. The setting can be anywhere or simply the stage or other setting of your show. The point of view is whose view the story is being told from, and that needs to be consistent throughout the story, don't change point of view. The point of view can be the magician, a volunteer, the audience, or someone not present if you are telling a story that has already happened. Think in terms of a short story, especially short stories with a surprise ending which seems to be what magic brings to storytelling. Read some stories by O'Henry, he was a master of the surprise ending. Stories like "The Ransom of Redchief" and "The Gift of the Magi". Get a good book on writing a short story. All of the above elements should be considered when developing your presentation. A story gives meaning to the magic, patter just tells people what you are doing, not why you would bother doing it, or why they should care. Story gives the audience a reason to care beyond just the magic "trick", it also pulls them away from the immediate reaction of trying to figure out how the trick was done, and focuses them more on the "moment of amazement" by making them think, "wow, I wasn't expecting the story to end that way." The story doesn't have to be elaborate, but can be very simple (such as "color monte"). It would probably not be good to develop a show with long detailed stories; instead, mix them up, consider a variety of lengths and a variety when it comes to detail given. Alter the pacing throughout the show. Variety, good stories, surprise, magic, pull your audience in, make them care, entertain them.
konjurer
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I've been thinking about this question for a while. How much storytelling is too much? I know in general magic, the story has to be brief but what if the storytelling is just as important as the magic? I've always done storytelling magic but I found that the story had to be as as long as required but not more. Now I'm embarking on a new style.

I've been working on stories and scripting for a bizarre/mentalism show. The stories tend to be about 4-6 minutes before the "routine" starts. The routine lasts another 2-4 minutes. My feeling is that the stories are going to be as entertaining as the "magic." On the other hand, I don't want to bore an audience expecting a fast paced mentalism show.
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Art Vanderlay
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Each performer will have a different answer to this question. However, for myself and my performances, I believe that a "story" is a physical journey that the specators go through.

When I do such feats as vanishing the moon and dragging stars across the sky, the spectator needs to experience an actual journey to get them to fully invest in the routine. They are led through old buildings, dusty graveyards and haunted woods. We arrive at the destination with an almost "theatre" like setting & display.

The patter I use, links in with the environment. I don't just perform illusions, I perform miracles and miracles can only be achieved in certain places. Whilst leading the spectators to these locations of wonder, fantastical stories are told relating (but not giving away the suprise) to the final effect.

The journey must link in with your patter and the patter can be told in story form or as far left as a spooky/mysterious lecture.

I prefer to mix in my own experiences with the unusual with my patter so there is a mixture of what some might call "lecturing" and personal stories.

The journey and their experience is the story. Not always the patter.

Cheers,
Art.
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Geoff Akins
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Quote:
On Feb 19, 2013, konjurer wrote:
I've been thinking about this question for a while. How much storytelling is too much? I know in general magic, the story has to be brief but what if the storytelling is just as important as the magic? I've always done storytelling magic but I found that the story had to be as as long as required but not more. Now I'm embarking on a new style.

I've been working on stories and scripting for a bizarre/mentalism show. The stories tend to be about 4-6 minutes before the "routine" starts. The routine lasts another 2-4 minutes. My feeling is that the stories are going to be as entertaining as the "magic." On the other hand, I don't want to bore an audience expecting a fast paced mentalism show.


I know this is an older post but I'm on a similar path now and wondered how this has worked for you, Konjurer? Have you found your audiences receptive to longer pieces?
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