Patter Topics / Persona When Performing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tmac5454, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. I wanted to find out what type of Patter/persona each of you use when performing. Also, do you select tricks to learn based on your persona or do you adjust your persona/patter to fit with the tricks that you have in your routine?

    Personally, I spent a lot of my free time in college reading all different types of religious text (Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganistic beliefs, Voodoo/Hoodoo, Tdaoism, Islam, etc.) because I have a general interest in learning about ALL the religions which encompass our earth. Through these self guided studies, I learned quite a bit about different philosophies concerning various things. One thing that I picked up from some of my studies is the untapped potentials of the mind (Self-Induced hypnosis, various forms of meditation, telekinesis, etc) I also picked up on various philosophies of the afterlife.

    With all of this knowledge, I have been able to develop a persona of someone who has managed to harness the untapped "powers" of the mind and a little of the invocation of spirits into performing miraculous feats. Something as simple as the Erdnase packs a big punch for me after the buildup.

    I try to find tricks that will fit into this persona for my main routines (IT, etc. *(Stigmata is the end all!)).

    What is ya'lls take? Do you have multiple story lines for each of your tricks or do you tie everything in with one story line/persona?
     
  2. Your my kind of guy. I focus,however, in my performance alot of times in catholic mythology and peoples perception of reality. Though at times I perform with the ideas of His holiness the Dalai lama. Though its been a while
     
  3. Bizzaro has an ebook out about "the reality bubble." Creating a character which in turn creates a bubble what defines what kind of effects you can, not will, can do. Certain effects will simply not fit every character.

    I guess that answers one question- character fist then find effects that fit.

    My persona is that of a "conversationalist." I try to brand myself as someone who can give you a great experience through a night of conversation and interactive magic. Magic which is a by-product of the conversation. In my set I have different threads and themes of conversations I try to guide the conversation around. One of them is being away from home and i have a few effects relating to things I miss from home, and I ask the spectator what they miss/have missed from home.
     
  4. Don't be scared though :p


    In fact, my take on your question is : improv' time !!
    I don't "patter" my tricks, as I believe the best tricks are done impromptu :D
    Seriously, I believe that magic is a skill that helps me being a better speaker : it helps me to connect better with the audience as I match their communication (body language, tone, rythm...)
    Furthermore, it will also improve your tricks, as you can find others variations along the trip :rolleyes:

    Of course, to do that, you have to practice until perfection before performing, because, (believe me I tried) you can't improvise a sleight :p
     
  5. #5 visualartist, Dec 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2009
    What kind of improv? by that I mean,is it character based,jokes,etc.
    Everytime I try improve its always comedy.Ugh. Im tired of it but I like it.

    Alot of times im a nerd best buy manager or six flags worker with a sinus infection.
    Or an old man who tries to be hip but uses 90's slang.
     
  6. I'm not 100% sure of my persona...right now I'm experimenting with a few different ideas. They're all fun to perform as, and I think I'm going to combine them into one quick-witted, comedic-yet intelligent (smart humor is fun) and well rounded individual.

    I actually have an idea for a two-man 'variety' act that would basically be comedy done through multiple outlets along with some real stuff (escapes, fire eating, and some magic from time to time).

    I could do it alone but I have pages on pages of ideas that would work best with two people.

    I figure another 500 performances I'll have a better idea of who I am as a magician...or I'll be further confused and even more excited about who I might become. :)
     
  7. This is the kind of thread that really does insight meaningful discussion and provoke thoughts that help us as a whole get better and advance out art form. Its unfortunate that threads like this one gets few responses and is allowed to be buried.

    Its just unfortunate...
     
  8. Effects have to be selected based on your persona, and not vice versa; otherwise, you're just left with an inconsistent persona. Not to say that a persona cannot change, but it should be done to accommodate any particular effect.
     
  9. I would agree with you if we were just talking about someone who has worked with magic for a few years but for someone who is starting out, I think it is good to have the tricks dictate the persona which is used during a performance. I think it will help develop a beginners performance/patter skills.
     
  10. #10 SleightedMind, Dec 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2009
    I'm not sure of the meaning of this word "improv" lol, so I'll explain my point again :

    What I try to do is to re invent the trick patter anytime I do it (of course, if I'm bored/tired/confuse, I'll just go with the last I did).
    Most of the time, I just mirror and amplify their behaviour and astonishment using verbal & non verbal clues.

    I hope it's clearer =)


    Edit : just discovered that Eric Jone's point of view is near mine ;) Check it out
     
  11. But why not train a beginner to do the right thing from the start? There are other ways to develop presentational skills... I see your point, but surely that just ends up with an inconsistent persona? Of course, if you're really not sure about your persona, or the sort of effects you like, then just hold off adopting one until you've worked on it.
     
  12. I see the point of letting the effects dictate the character in the beginning.

    It kind of happened to me. I tried a bunch of different things, and eventually I grew out of the effects that didn't fit me without even realizing it. It certainly is one route i'm not sure how i would feel suggesting it
     
  13. I am still undecided on my Persona I would like to be "Mysterious" when doing walk around but when I get my busking routine up and going I would like to be funny and entertaining. What are your thoughts on the two? Which is better? and are performing effects without talking a good presentation?
     
  14. By Mysterious, how do you mean? Be careful with being overly mysterious (considering I am picturing the type of mysterious you are talking about) because a lot of people will assume you are a crazy person which will lead to a lot more people rejecting you than normal.

    I would suggest picking one persona and stickng with it through the whole routine. If you go with the mysterious persona you would want to stick to a lot more serious patter. If you want to go with a funny and entertaining persona, typically (I would suggest) using an approach that is more outgoing and open the whole way through would be ideal.

    Basically keep your persona constant throughout the whole routine from approach to walk away.

    But remember, what I think works best may not be best for you. Go out try different things and see what response you get.
     
  15. Yea I like to stick with one persona throughout my routine, By mysterious I mean not like dressing goth style but kind of dress normal (by that I don't mean t-shirt shorts and flip flops) and just keep a serious look on my face and not say a lot, then after I have just done the effect just walk away without saying anything (a bit like David Copperfield's rose levitation, a silent act). I will most probably stick with entertaining as it is more "me" but I kind of believe that people kind of walk away thinking "that was a pretty cool trick" but if I kept silent they would more think "OMG he is MAGIC". Do you guys agree?
     
  16. Try it and find out.

    Personally (and this may come from my profession of Sales) I think your patter and presentation is just as much of the trick as the sleights you do. It adds that extra element that proves your magic is just that, magic.
     
  17. understatement of the century.
    But unlike you,it seems a mass majorty of young magicians these days dont get it. Even though its stated by all professionals and in beginner books.
     
  18. Well thats just david blaine.
    The thing about mystery is that not everyone can do it. You either have to have that natural aura or be a damn good actor. David is both.
    Pick PARTS of you and emphasize on those parts. Parts of your own character and personality. For example something I like to do is study catholic mythology,amazing human potential,perceptions of reality,etc. But only certain friends and my parents know that im into that just cause theyre with me alot. But in performance,THAT is what I emhpasize on. That part of me is what I show to everyone.
    Get it?
     
  19. Amen. Fortunately though that will be the "survival of the strongest" for young magicians. Those who totally ignore patter and persona will become bored with seeing the same reaction ("Oh nice trick" said with little enthusiasm) and give it up. Those who realize through time or by taking the advice that patter and persona can make or break a trick, will be the ones who carry the torch and help advance the ART of magic.
     
  20. I was going to say the same thing about the David Blaine part!


    Your persona should be an extension of you. If you are a funny person then try out a funny type persona. For me (and no I am not copying visualartist) I have spent a lot of my time studying the untapped potentials of the mind and a lot of far eastern religions and philosophies along with the paganistic and magick religions. My passion to study these things has carried into my magic routine.

    My patter sets the stage and when I perform say Triumph and my hand is shaking a bit as I run it over the pack, my (few that I have had so far) audience thinks back to when I was telling them about all the potential that our mind has that the common man has yet to tap into and that is the moment they question themselves if what they seeing is real and it does become real to them.
     

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