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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The words we use » » Flow of words (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

imagine
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oxfordshire
69 Posts

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I have problems finding the words I could have an idea but putting it out into words is the difficult part, I get a mental block I guess having the gift of the gab is whats nessecessary any suggestions?
David Nelson
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San Mateo, CA
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First, come up with a one sentence premise. This is the sentence that should be used to describe your effect by your audience if someone asked them, "what did you see?". A pick a card trick could be an example of mind reading, precognitions, skill with cards or divine intervention all based on what premise you sell to your audience. Once you've got this premise clear in your mind then maybe you'll have a couple of lines you want to make sure to slip into the presentation. If there's a gag you want to use or there's a particularly poignant or elegant way of putting something that really sells the premise then you'll want to use these lines word for word. Right them down underneath your premise. Then, get a voice recorder of some sort. A tape recorder works fine, I use my MP3 player or you can buy a digital voice recorder or mini cassete recorder for under $20 from most electronics stores. You could use a video recorder but for this kind of brainstorming I prefer not to watch myself, I only focus on the words and what sort of impression they make. Record yourself doing the routine a couple of times, trying to reinforce the premise and using the lines that you know you want to put in every performance. After doing it a couple of times you'll start to get a comfortable flow of what you want to say and you can listen to yourself and figure out where you stumble or need a little more work. Work on the areas that need it. Sometimes, you are talking at a time when silence fills the void best. Sometimes, you are trying to convey a thought but because you are in a performance situation it comes out garbled. This technique allows you to straighten both out.

If you want to take your performance to the next level then you should transcribe what you think is the recording of your best performance. Once you have this written script you can then edit it, removing extraneous words that add nothing and possibly clearing up some of the things you say so that you are clear and concise. Remember to put words like "Uh" and "ummm" in your transcription. It's important to know when we say them and you should work to remove them. Silences is better than an "Uh" or "umm" or some other filler.

Once you've edited the written script down to what you want, you have two options. Some people who naturally have the "gift of gab" will take just the highlights from this script and make sure they hit all the key points but still try to keep it feeling fresh by using different words every time. If you don't feel comfortable with that then I recommend memorizing the script verbatim. Then you don't have to struggle for the words but it you will have to work harder to make it feel fresh and you also have to leave openings for extemporaneous comments from you or your audience.

Hope this helps,

Dave
prettylady1990
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Hi,
Dave I love your post, you hit the nail on the head. I will use this advise. Great Post!!!!!!!!
imagine
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oxfordshire
69 Posts

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My grammar isn't perfect and my sentences don't flow together has anyone got any advice
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
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Warner's Grammar, current edition and reading Strunk and White's Elements of Style seem a couple of good places to start.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
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I've worked from fixed scripts and from outlines. I have come to learn that if I write the fixed script myself, I can work in it as well as I can an outline, or better, and I can make it sound fresh each time I do it. It requires practice, though.

Dave's suggestion is good.

Here are some other ideas, as well.

First of all, your grammar and sentence structure do not have to be perfect. They do have to fit your normal manner of speech.

Figure out the basic premise, as Dave suggests. Then do the trick in what I would call "the declarative manner," explaining the things that you are doing, that the audience needs to be aware of. Record this. Then play it back and transcribe it.

Read it, and eliminate the parts that are actually unnecessary. Now you have the "skeleton" of your patter. Then see how you can say the same things in a more interesting or perhaps more amusing manner.

Some ideas are these:

Give the props names -- "the doom card." The "half dollar of happiness." "George," anything that will liven up the performance. Try to write a story that will fit what you have done.

If it doesn't work, throw it away and try something else.

Eventually, you will find your own style. And you will write your own material.

Sometimes you need fewer words.

Don't bore them.

But always make your script fit your style.

You can even try adapting other people's scripts to fit your own way of performing.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
ageddes
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Dundee, Scotland
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I agree whole heartedly with what Bill and David have said. I would also like to flag up one of my pet hates which is something that everyone does but is gramatically very very bad. Magicians always say "......what we'll do......"

Who are we?

We should strive to say ..."what I'll do..."

Perhaps I'm just too picky.
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