Is it really important?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by icannotmakeapassword, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. So.

    I was performing the other day, and I started with my ACR.

    I started performing the first phase with patter. After making the card go to the top once, the spectator was blown away.

    I started performing again, and when I started to talk, he asked me to stop talking because it's kinda getting irritating.

    I continued performing.

    However, I kept on thinking to myself,

    how important is patter? In all honesty, I don't think it actually distracts a spectator at all.

    Please discuss.

  2. What was your patter?
  3. I believe patter is part of the entertainment. Perhaps he thought you were using words to "mislead" or distract him from what he might be trying to catch. I am not positive. Interesting.
  4. I personally believe that patter is very important. It makes a look-at-me trick into a miracle. It makes the magic have meaning. I'm pretty surprised that they said that. But as Rick said, maybe they did think you were just going to distract them.
  5. A magician can do tricks. A showman tips the scales between tricks and witnessing something within an inch of true magic. Guess which one of those has put the work in to properly dialoged patter.
    So yes, I think patter is really important...if you do magic for money. As a hobbyist I wouldn't worry about poor patter as much.
  6. You have to listen to your audience and go with what gets the strongest reactions. Sometimes patter is crucial, other times there's nothing more powerful than silence. With music, the spaces are as important as the notes, and the same rule applies to your scripting.

    Just keep working it to find what works best. It will likely vary slightly from audience to audience, but with experience, you'll be able to read their reactions and adapt accordingly.
  7. I talked on how magicians help each other out, invisibly.

    Like how Houdini can escape, he has given me a power, to make the cards escape, like him.

    Yeah I know it's kinda crappy.

    I would love to hear more of your thoughts.
  8. Sometimes the patter itself is irritating to the spectator. I've seen people criticize "dark" magicians and also the super happy clowny magician as being annoying. it depends on what one says and how he says it. If you felt your patter wasn't anything at all annoying it could simply be the spectator trying to catch you or his preconceived notion of magic is that its meant to be silent.
    Patter is always necessary,people need to know whats going on and why they should care about seeing the magic.
  9. Patter gives an effect context. Without it, it's just a card jumping to the top of the deck or similar. It has no purpose, no reason. The patter guides and contextualises the magic which is a pretty important thing.

    Of course, there are some routines/effects which require no patter and are actually better without it, but in most cases it's needed.

    The trick itself usually isn't enough to connect with participants and isn't that what it's all about?
  10. Psychologically boring. The spectator is not personally involved or invested in a presentation that doesn't hook him. He couldn't care less about magicians helping each other. Obviously your a magician, and this is something you'd care about but not him. He's more interested in seeing the card magic because that's something he can get some personal enjoyment out of.

    It's the basic "What's in it for me?" principle from sales. If you want to make a sale you have to answer that question. What's in it for him? Try changing the patter to involve him more, and give him more of a reason to become invested in your story.

    Instead of magicians helping out magicians, have HIM help you out by doing a "special move" like waving his hand, or saying a magic word. Relate the ambition of the card to always be on top to a subject that people can understand and perhaps personally be involved in such as the struggle to pass a class, to rise to the top of an athletic competition, or pass up all the others in performance at work. These are universal themes that appeal to many, and will give them a chance to get more involved.

    The Twilight novel series is another example of allowing the spectator (or reader) to become emotionally involved on a personal level. Stephanie Meyers couldn't write her way out of a fifth grade English class if she had J.K. Rowlings help as her personal editor. However despite her horrible writing skills her Twilight saga has sold millions! Why? Because she wrote the main characters (Edward and Bella) to be so generically bland that any girl between the ages of puberty and ninety could self insert themselves as the main character and live that fantasy vicariously through her work.

    In other words she gave her readers the chance, and ability to emotionally connect themselves with the characters, and thus ensured their loyalty from there out.
  11. That's not a believable or relatable premise for what you're doing. He's a grown man and you're trying to sell him on invisible people? You're just feeding him pointless bu||$#!+ and he called you out on it. Seems to me he didn't like having his intelligence insulted.

    You'd be better suited using a believable premise ("Watch--when I do the move..."; "It's an illusion. It look just like it's going into the deck, but it's actually not...") or just letting effect speak more-or-less for itself. Also, be natural and conversational. Nothing is more uncomfortable for someone than having to sit through the embarrassment of watching someone go into some kind of hokey performance mode.

    Good luck. :)
  12. In my mind, using patter for street performances isn't as important as using patter for restaurant and bar magic. In places like 5 star restaurants, the specators are more polite and high class whereas on the streets, performing to ordinary middle class citizens, people just want to see the magic.

    I remember my brother saying to me "I hate magicians like Penn and Teller, Michael Vincent, Derren Brown because they talk too much. I prefer magicians like David Blaine and Dynamo because they just say 'Watch this....' and proceed with the trick" This indicates to me that if you are a street performer, don't use much patter and let them enjoy the magic.

    Using what i've said, this may be the cause of the problem you've encountered with this spectator.
    Hope this is some use for you,
  13. The thing with the ACR is that most tend to treat it as the card being ambitious or the Spectator (sense it has their signature) on it. Like most have already stated your presentation really had nothing at all to do with the effect.

    An idea for this type of effect would be to talk about how in some cultures people believe in positive energy rising to the top. (IE: The card always coming to the top.).
  14. When you are developing your patter, ask yourself "would this be entertaining on its own?"
  15. I think the spectator is just trying to catch you up.

    The Houdini plot is interesting, I don't agree with the others that have said that it isn't. If the spectator equates the ACR to something that is thrilling like an escape by Houdini it gives the effect that much more drama. I really like it. It gives meaning to the ACR.
  16. He wasn't just using the Houdini plot and yes it can be very boring to hear. He was talking about some invisible guy that was helping him out.. Which made him incredibly silly and lame.
  17. Well I kinda see it now :D

    Just to add on, I was performing for like a 12-13 year old type of guy.

    I guess that's why he wouldn't be interested.

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    I will work on my ACR patter and maybe post it here to see your thoughts.

    Once again, THANK YOU! :D
  18. I find people of that age group (early teens) don't really react well when you perform for them in a 1-on-1 setting. If you're performing for that age group I suggest you try it in a group I find people are sort of afraid to react if they're alone, in a group its a more secure environment. Plus, they can discuss it when you leave. :)
  19. Don't give yourself such an easy way out. Own it. It's not the age group; it's you. I used to teach middle school and have spent A LOT of time performing for that age group, and they react big time to magic when they see something they like. Doesn't matter if it's in a group or one-on-one. If they're impressed they'll let you know it. Same with any age group. If you aren't getting the response you want, own it. It's always your success and your failure. Good or bad--it's your doing. No excuses.
  20. I understand what you're saying and I agree to some extent. But I don't think that is ALWAYS the case. If you're performing for someone who has just lost a family member no matter how good you are, unless you bring him back to life they're not going to care. Keep in mind that my comments are made in reference to street magic although im not sure if that is the setting the OP was performing in) If you approach a 12 year old and ask to "show him a magic trick or something cool" he has no idea what is about to happen, if you're in a group you feel more secure and open but if you are alone you tend to be reserved and insecure since you have no idea whats going on, this person may hustle you, con you , take your money and dump you in an alley its natural to want to get the hell out of there. They may open up a bit later but at first I find they're always reserved.

    - Jenai

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