The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The words we use » » How to write your own patter (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
prettylady1990
View Profile
Loyal user
206 Posts

Profile of prettylady1990
Hello all,
As some of you may know I am a begginer magician and need some help. I have look through google.com but can't find my answer.

I would like to know some tips on how to write your own patter. I'm finding it hard and was wondering if there was any procedures you follow. Any info will be appreciated
Peter Marucci
View Profile
Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
There's no actual procedure (at least, none that I'm aware of).
It's mainly a case of trying different stories until you find one that fits; or, conversely, trying different tricks on one story until you find a trick that fits (it works both ways).
The very fact that you want to write your OWN patter is a huge step forward! Well done.
And, with time and persistence, it will happen, too; I guarantee it!
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26990 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
It's not patter.

It's the spoken part of a script.

What are you doing?
What are you saying?
What are they seeing?
What are they hearing?
What needs to be where for you to make the trick work?
* what is your character?
* what is your motivation at the moment?

The written answers to those questions are your script.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Whiterabbit
View Profile
Loyal user
Kevin Mc Lean
278 Posts

Profile of Whiterabbit
How very true Jonathan, especially the doing. I choreograph the motions (not that I dance or anything like that) and then add the patter. It's amazing how many words can have a gesture substitute instead.

The other thing Prettylady is that a fair proportion of your time (I tend to find one third to half) is spent connecting with the audience.

This can be as simple as stopping at the appropriate moment, looking at them with the relevant gesture (knowing smile, shrug, despair etc.) then moving on with the effect. Or you can say something.

Oliver Hardy (the comedic actor)did these moments when he was silent, twiddled his fingers and looked at the camera (suicide normally) and it drew people in to his world. When someone looks at you and speaks they come out into your world. When you say patter without looking directly, it's a cross - more like narration I guess.

Anyway, my tuppence and some of it may be right as patter is a hotly debated field.

I might also add that you must be a pretty sharp beginner to be looking at this stuff so early.

Good Luck.
May your fingers never lose their deftness,

May your tongue always lead them down the garden path...



Regards,



Whiterabbit
prettylady1990
View Profile
Loyal user
206 Posts

Profile of prettylady1990
Thank you all for replying,
I have learnt pretty much all I need to know. Thanks for wishing me luck.
dpe666
View Profile
Inner circle
2888 Posts

Profile of dpe666
[quote]Thank you all for replying,
I have learnt pretty much all I need to know. Thanks for wishing me luck.
[quote]
No, you haven't. You can never learn to much about any subject. I have been in magic for over 26 years, and I am constantly learning.

Limit your story telling. Stories suck. Audiences of today care only about three things: What you are going to do, what you are doing, and what you just did. Get to the point. Do not waste their time with a long drawn out story about your grandfather, who met a mystical stranger who told him to wish on a star, bury magic beans in the yard, learned his lesson, and lived happily-ever-after just to make a coin disappear. If you insist on telling a story, make sure that there are effects throughout the story, or make sure that the effect is worth the time it took to get to it. Good luck. Smile
prettylady1990
View Profile
Loyal user
206 Posts

Profile of prettylady1990
Thanks for the tip.
Your right about how you can never stop learning. I just meant that that was the info I was looking for at this particular time, but it was my mistake for writing that. Oh well, I learn from my mistakes

Dannielle
stephen secret
View Profile
New user
mpls.
67 Posts

Profile of stephen secret
This may help?

I'm working on the coin effect called 'gaddabout coins' and like you, need to find patter for the effect.

As I go over and over working on the routine I try new lines each time. A few days ago out of my mouth came a real good line for the last part of the effect. With this line came very good misdirection for a move in the routine.

This weekend I'll be working an Art Fair and with the new lines I feel ok trying the routine on live people.
sincerely, secret
Tom Cutts
View Profile
Staff
Northern CA
5708 Posts

Profile of Tom Cutts
Stories Suck????

I guess that is why no one goes to movies anymore.

Or buys novels...

Or watches TV...

because afterall stories suck. Nosense.

People who can't tell a story convincingly, who then try to entertain with a story, well that might achieve some degree of suckature.

People who cop to "Audiences of today care only about three things: What you are going to do, what you are doing, and what you just did." are in immense danger of presenting mindless and souless performances.

PrettyLady, the key to finding your presentation, or as in a lot of cases it finding you, is to celebrate the things in life which inspire you. Bands write about what they are interested in. Why is it magicians tell mindless stories to which they have no connection? Why is it other magicians are doing mindless stunts to which their audience is not connected.

Tell the stories of you. Study the art of story creation and telling. From this fertile soil your presentations will grow almost as fast as you can harvest them.

Cheers,

Tom
prettylady1990
View Profile
Loyal user
206 Posts

Profile of prettylady1990
Thanks Tom and Stephen,
I relly liked your inspiring words Tom. I also think that stories are not pointless but if they don't connect with you they are.

Dannielle
Peter Marucci
View Profile
Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
Dannielle,
Once again, this is a case of the singer, not the song.
And you are right: A bad story as the framework for a magic trick can be terrible and seemingly endless; a brilliant story, on the other hand, doesn't even need the magic trick to carry it.
For examples, you might want to check out the e-zine Visions (www.online-visions.com), or Dragonskull, or Gene Poinc's page on the Learned Pig site.
Sergeant
View Profile
Regular user
129 Posts

Profile of Sergeant
Patter or script writing is one of the most important parts of being an entertainer. You must think in terms of what you want the effect of your trick to be on the audience. Think in terms or a reaction such as, surprise, laughter, fear, wonder, awe, amazement, etc. Then decide what emotional pathway you wish to use to trigger that emotion, such as, dark and mysterious, clever and funny, cute and charming, mysterious and twisted, offbeat funny, dopey and surprising, etc.

If you were to use something as simple as the two in the hand, one in the pocket routine, you must first decide what you want he end result to be. Lets use an example to illustrate the creative process of script writing. We will use (Mysterious and twisted).

The trick is pretty standard, we will assume you can already do it well and only are looking for an effective presentation. If you were going to use Dark and Mysterious and wanted to illicit an eerie and weird reaction from the spectator then you must start from that perspective. What would the objects that you are using in the trick be (hint: no sponge balls) Perhaps eyeballs or pieces of flesh or old rusty tacks, Poison pills, etc.

Now we know what the effect we want is, we know the routine, we have ideas of the props, we can now fire our imagination by thinking in terms of the objects and the emotional response we want from the audience. Ask yourself what would a person use the objects for? What king of person would use them? Would that person be me or am I telling a story about that person . . etc.

You could think in terms of an executioner who would save the eyes of those he killed, but one eye spooked him and he tried to throw it out, but it would only return over and over again.

Now it is time to ask why would an eye bother this guy…hmmm, well maybe because that person was really innocent and the executioner knew it, but did nothing about it. And now that thought haunts him.

The innocent eye keeps coming back and in the end…hmm what would be the final load, empty hand? No that would be boring. A bunch of eyes or different colored eyes? Better but it does not seem to support the story. How about a foreboding of the executioner’s own death. Now that sounds scary and eerie.

As you walk yourself through an effect, thinking about the emotions and reactions you want from the audience it becomes a little easier to come up with ideas for your script. It is also very beneficial to read on subjects other than magic. You want to be well rounded as a magician. People will find you much more interesting that way and you will come up with many more original presentations.

Stories are a great way to present magic but as dpe666 said, I would limit your stories in your presentations. You want a mix of presentations, stories, direct interaction, observations, visual tricks, etc. What you say depends very much on what you do and what you want the reactions of the audience to be.
Sergeant
Mark Rough
View Profile
Inner circle
Ivy, Virginia
2110 Posts

Profile of Mark Rough
Here's my procedure, or at least my procedure on not so creative days:

1. Wake up, think, "I need to write that script today."
2. Start coffee, while it's brewing, sharpen pencil and get paper out.
3. Pour coffee
4. Sit, drinking coffee, tapping pencil on the table
5. Sharpen pencil again
6. Walk the dog
7. Drink more coffee
8. Make a grocery list
9. Check e-mail
10. Go grocery shopping
11. Come home, make lunch
12. Sharpen pencil again
13. Clean kitchen
14. Mow lawn
15. Call for a pizza, wonder why I bother to go to the grocery store
16. Watch the news
17. Eat pizza
18. Fall asleep on the couch
19. Wake up with pencil sticking in my ribs
20. Go to bed.

I'm sure this is of no help what so ever, but I feel better now.

Mark
What would Wavy do?
Steven Steele
View Profile
Chief of Staff
Hesperia, California USA
1904 Posts

Profile of Steven Steele
Danielle,

There is not much out there about writing patter, but I would offer you these tips.

1)You have to set aside time and decide to write the patter.

2) Read as much as you can about anything and everything. Widen your experiences to draw on for inspiration.

3) Take a creative writing class or read a book on storytelling.

4) If possible, get the two audio tape series "A Talk About Patter" by Sid Lorraine. It was published in 1983 by Jeff Busby, who is no longer in business, but you might find a stray out there somewhere.

5) Read other magician's presentations and see their approach. If you do card magic, read "Life, Death, and Other Mysteries" by Robert Neale. If you work with larger objects read Punx's "Once Upon A Time..." for his approach to storytelling (It's not me, but still interesting to learn from as to one person's solution).

6) Finally, don't be afraid. You will get good the more you write. A great novel has never been the first draft of an authors first work, ever.

7) Reread Tom Cutt's post above, that is the soul and basis of this post.

Hope this helps you out. Sorry I didn't see this thread earlier, but I was waiting for Tom. Smile
prettylady1990
View Profile
Loyal user
206 Posts

Profile of prettylady1990
Hi,
Thanks for the great reply's. It must of taken you all ages to reply

Mark yours was kinda' funny
Mark Rough
View Profile
Inner circle
Ivy, Virginia
2110 Posts

Profile of Mark Rough
Okay, more seriouly, just sit down and write and don't worry about anything until you have something on paper. You can fix it later. I've been writing for probably 20 years. If I weren't always trying to get a final draft done when writing the first draft, I'd have written ten times more by now.

Also, write everyday. It's like practicing magic. The more you do it, the easier it is. Even if it's total crap you get in the practice of regularly putting words down on the page. Then it's easier to sit down and work on your script (patter, whatever you want to call it) when you need to.

It's easy to get bogged down in trying to say things correctly. Just say what you want to say (or, in this case, write what you want to say). Find connections between effects and other things that interest or intrigue you. Then edit and proofread, make things sharper, and say things as simply as you can. Don't dumb things down by any means, but why take 10 minutes to say something you can say in 1.

Sorry about my first post. I was the class clown. Hope this is more helpful.

Mark
What would Wavy do?
Sergeant
View Profile
Regular user
129 Posts

Profile of Sergeant
Mark,

Great post! Get thoughts down frist then worry about rewriting. I have also killed my own creativity by getting stuck on the first paragraph and tyring to wirte it perfect right out of the box.

In your first post you forgot:

a. Stare out window waiting for inspiration
b. Rearrange magic books
c. Thumb aimlessly through the last magic magazine issue.

Sergeant
kOnO
View Profile
Special user
545 Posts

Profile of kOnO
Wow such great suggestions.

I would like to add that your patter, story, or script must fit your character’s personality.

Patter comes much easier after a character is developed. What you say and how you say it depends on the thinking of your character.
You wouldn’t want to try to be too dark and mysterious if your character is a comedian or clown.

Keep your patter in character.

kOnO
It is a lot easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
Mark Rough
View Profile
Inner circle
Ivy, Virginia
2110 Posts

Profile of Mark Rough
Sergeant,

Oh yeah, I forgot those.

Mark
What would Wavy do?
prettylady1990
View Profile
Loyal user
206 Posts

Profile of prettylady1990
Wow thanks for the new advise everywhere. I especially like the idea about just practising writing everyday and try not to get it perfect on the first go. I tend to do that a bit. At the moment I'm doing a character profile to help me. Thanks
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The words we use » » How to write your own patter (1 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.2 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL