Is it really important?

Nov 8, 2007
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
If you can't normally make someone quickly feel comfortable with you one-on-one, then that is on you. It has little to nothing to do with ages and environments so much as it does your approach, look, and demeanor.

As far as performing for someone who has just lost a loved one goes, I'm assuming the performer in your scenario does not have this information--in which case he should not make this assumption and excuse himself from self-critique, but instead assume it was something he did, as always, and reflect on what he could have done better.

I still disagree with you on both accounts.

Own what you do. Always put it on yourself and grow from it. No excuses. Ever.
Sep 2, 2007
Houston, TX
I think the importance of patter goes hand in hand with the venue and the type of magic you are performing. For probably 90% of the magic that I do, I don't have a set patter. Instead, I have key lines that I make sure to say (I.e. "no really, even though I didn't touch your hands, the cards switched.....back to my hands") these key lines help keep the effect on track, and keep the underlying premise of the effect in play BUT the rest of my "patter," is pretty much improved. The reason I like doing it this way is because after doing the same thing over and over again for a long time, it becomes blatently obvious and gradually gets less intimate with each almost feels rehearsed and scripted and I don't like that. I like to keep every one of my performances fresh, intimate and more conversational rather than scripted
Jun 1, 2009
Reading through this post has inspired me to make a new blog post about patter. I tried to touch on most of the subjects presented here. This is just my opinion on the matter and is no way a concrete thing, and totally open for (civil and constructive) discussion.
Jul 10, 2010
McAllen, TX
Here's the deal. If you are doing Stage or Stand-Up, then it is Important. If you are doing Street Magic, honestly not really. Iv'e been doing Street and Close-Up for a LONG time up until about a year ago since I am doing stage now, but like I said if it is street magic it doesn't really matter, or at least not nearly as important as patter for stage.
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