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DanielGreenWolf
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Main Entry: patter
Function: noun
Date: 1758
1. empty chattering talk

This is a message to go out to all magi everywhere to stop this horrible, horrible word. For years, I have been against this word, even in my early beginnings of magic. I believe the movement must begin here.

It degrades our words into seeming like nothing more than empty phrases used to misdirect our audience.

I say NAY! Let us use a title to help us focus our necessity for words (even to the non-verbal performer). I say, from this point on, the word "STORY" should be used. Here is why for those who say "But I'm not telling a story."

A Good Story Has:
A Beginning, A Middle, and an End
Characters
A Climax
A Point (No matter how obscure)

As a magician, we should strive for strong beginnings, middles, and endings in our magic and they should be clearly defined. In a story, when the ending seemed unpolished, a reader is dismayed and left with a bad taste in their mouth. As is with a beginning that is the same way.

Concerning characters, WE are the main character if we're not telling the story. Or maybe the spectator you use is the main character, or the cards, or the coins, or the cups and balls. In every effect you do, there is one or many characters.

A Climax... I should not have to say anything. There should be a point where any effect you do comes to a point of high tension, or high energy, or high amazement, for a good effect always has a highest point of amazement, even if the whole effect is high amazement.

A POINT! How little we forget this as magicians. To leave our audience with a point inside each effect. Whether its a moral, or a view expressed, or to leave your audiences spellbound, or to teach your audience something about yourself, or to teach them something about themselves... every effect should have a point. That way, you know how to texture you show properly. If every effect you do only has one point shared among them all (usually its to just astonish people with magicians) then you have an untextured show and, no matter how good you are, the audience will stop caring. And that's the last thing you want to do.

So I wish to start the "Anti-Patter Movement!" Start giving your words the respect to deserve. I hope you're with me and will pass this on to other students of yours and maybe one day, remove this vulgar word from magician's vocabulary. VIVE LE RESISTANCE!

"All revolutions had to start with one idea"
-Daniel GreenWolf Smile
-Much love,
Daniel GreenWolf
Celtic Magician

www.GreenWolfMagic.com
Bill Palmer
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I agree with the anti-patter movement.

I propose another word which will apply as well to story magic as well as to all other forms of magic (for those who still insist that they do not tell "stories"). That word is "script."

One definition of "magician" is "an actor playing the part of a magician." To paraphrase Gene Anderson -- actors have scripts. If this is true, then all of the things we say when we are appearing in front of an audience is a "script."

A script may also include the responses of the audience or any volunteer assistant.

Then again, there are magicians whose scripts are "patter."

"Waaddimgonnadonow is take this here er, umm, card and put it in this here, no, I mean that there, uh, envelope, shiffle the cards, I mean....ad regurgitatum."
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Jonathan Townsend
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I like the idea of using the props and trick to suggest some things presented in the patter story.

For similar reasons I detest procedural patter that states the obvious as if the audience were blind and/or listening to a radio.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Michael Kamen
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As a recovering chatterer myself, vive la anti-patter movement! Smile
Michael Kamen
Brent Allan
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If you think the word "patter" degrades our words, then think of the how degrading it is to call what we do "tricks."
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Bill Palmer
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Why do we need to call what we do anything in particular? Is it really necessary to start a routine with, "For my next (insert favorite term here)"? Can we just say, "let me show you something interesting." Hopefully we all have something interesting to show them. ;-)

Vernon was a master of this kind of thing. He would start into something with a kind of conversational discourse, and before you knew it, he was halfway through a trick, er, miracle.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Steven Steele
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I gave up the word "tricks" years ago. I've not been as successful ridding my mind of "patter", which I also detest, only because there are too many people still using this abomination.

Another target word which causes my whole spinal column to decalsify..."gig". It pains me to hear it.
Chris Michaels
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...and unexaminable. It's not even a word. Smile
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Bill Palmer
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Maybe you'd better get a new dictionary. It shows up in the Oxford English Dictionary and in Webster's Third New International Dictionary.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
K-Max
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I guess I ought to speak up as a voice for the opposition. Part of what I have always found most charming about magic is the interesting history and colorful characters that have made our art what it is today. I believe many of the "holdover" phrases from bygone eras contribute to this feeling.

Everyone in the audience has heard of a magician saying things like, "For my next effect" or "Ladies and gentlemen" or even "Abracadabra". Simple things like this are audible cues that can give them a great deal of information with little effort.

I'll give you an example. If I was to walk onstage in jeans and a t-shirt and begin talking about something that happened to me at the grocery store, the most that I could hope for was that they would think that I was a stand-up comic. Conversely, if I began by pulling a rabbit out of a hat they would immediately know, "This guy is a magician. I bet he's going to do some really mystifying things."

The language that we use among ourselves is kind of a time-honored code. I know that when I am talking with my lovely assistant (another of my favorite phrases) about gimmicks, culls, ITR, or The Pass, anybody listening is going to be interested but won't really know what's going on.

All that being said, I do agree that patter should be LIKE a story, but good luck getting me to give up my patter!
daffydoug
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Smile Smile Smile I think David Blaine has already started the anti-patter movement, though in a different sense than you are referring. Look! Look! Look! Smile Smile Smile
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Jay Alexander
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Malak,

I am with you!
daffydoug
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Personally, I kind of like the "sound" of that word. Always have. It reminds me of the phrase "The pitter patter of little feet". Or: "The patter of raindrops on the window".

In those senses, it is a pleasant word, and that is why the sound of it has never bothered me. And it is also very traditional amoung magicians. We can use the word amoung ourselves, and know exactly what we are talking about, wheras an outsider would not have a clue.

That makes it a special word for magicians only. I like it.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Alex Linian
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Personally, I really don't think it's that big of a deal. Plus, it's only magicians who use that word. It doesn't really affect our magic, or the way our spectators see our magic, which is what really matters.
That's just my opinion.
Alex
Peter Marucci
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What's wrong with the word "patter"?

For that matter, what's wrong with the word "tricks"?

The first is what we use among ourselves and there's nothing wrong with that; the second is the word that the public uses and there's no way that you're going to change that!

Oh, you can call "patter" and "tricks" anything you want.

And you can call your cat's kittens "thoroughbred horses".

Just don't try entering them in the Kentucky Derby!
Heavens to Mercitroids
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I agree with Mr. Marucci. This "Anti-Patter Movement" is like a rebellion without a cause, so to speak.

I think you are better off trying to change the DEFINITION of patter if that's what it is you don't like about the word.
"Patter" isn't going anywhere.
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Peter Marucci
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Mercitroids writes: "This "Anti-Patter Movement" is like a rebellion without a cause, so to speak."

LOL!

Very well put!
oldmanxxvi
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I think that it is what you believe. Do you believe that you are just pattering and presenting a trick, or do you believe that you are guiding your audience into a world they have never been to and doing real magic? The words are going nowhere, but you can change your own perception of them.

Josh
daffydoug
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I'm with Marucci,

I'll take my earlier post a step further, and say patter is a BEAUTIFUL word.

Most of us who have grown up over the years with that word have a special place in our hearts for that word.

We have attached meaning and memories to it.

The word is CLASSIC. (For magicians)

In my mind it represents hundreds of old effects I have studied over the years, culled from various sources, everywhere from my precious old issues of genii, all the way up to things I am currently studying.

There is history and depth to the word.

The word has earned it's place, and has most certainly earned it's keep over the years.

It was good enough for Blackstone, it was good enough for Thurston.

It was certainly good enough for the likes of Houdini, Slydini, and henning.

It was good enough for Dai Vernon, and good enough for Mark wilson.

It's good enough for Copperfield, and good enough for Ammar.

It's certainly good enough for all of us "old timers' and it's way good enough for me.

Don't ever even think about taking away our beloved word!

Perish the thought!


Consider these words of mine as comminatory in nature.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Jonathan Townsend
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Patter for some... presentation for others.

The larger term is 'script'.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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