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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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Profile of FriarShaun
A patter is a distraction to enhance the affect of magic. A story is just that.... a story. If we are worried that we are boring those paying attention we are lousy storytellers stretching a patter. Every piece of magic should be a story. Every spectator should walk away with something to tell.
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Profile of funsway
Good thoughts, Friar, but I would suggest an enhancement.

"Every spectator WILL walk away with something to tell. Our task is to insure that story has something to do with magic!"
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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Profile of asaDuffy
I'm new, but I might interject... something good to do with magic.?.
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Profile of ProfessorMagicJMG
One thing I always ask myself, in order to really be conscious of my performance, is, "Does this patter or story enhance the magic, or detract from it?" If it detracts, sometimes silence is literally the best option, or musical accompaniment. Also, I have a friend who is an illusionist who will give a verbal introduction that may be like patter or a short story, then performs the actual routine to music, a method that I really like to see. I on the other hand, mostly do kid shows, and I like to get helpers from the audience for just about every trick, even if they are just wiggling their fingers from their seats. This keeps the kids engaged and paying attention.

One thing I have learned, you don't often need to say as much as you think you do, and pantomime is still very effective for telling a story. I also like tricks that are accompanied by the silent showing of label cards, which could be used to tell a story.

I really think patter is more of an attitude or intention, designed to help the audience suspend disbelief or appreciate the effect more, whereas a story turns the magic into a "special effect" to illustrate the story. Not all tricks need a story; some don't even merit a story. What kind of story could you tell for the Shrinking/Growing Head spiral? I'm sure you could make up one, but it's really just an optical illusion stunt with "wow" factor. What about the Crazy Man's Handcuffs? It's an amazing rubber band trick but it really only merits some believable patter. It COULD be turned into a story about a magical jailbreak, but I think only kids could appreciate that. Or, it might accompany a story about Houdini's amazing escapes, but again that would be patter to me.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Clarke's 3rd Law

"Any sufficiently primitive technology can mystify a postmodern audience." - JMG's Corollary to Clarke's 3rd Law
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Once upon a time... » » Difference between a story and a patter?? (4 Likes)
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