This Video Has Magicians PISSED!

Because it's the truth. My mentor and good friend Paul Draper and some other guy (an equally talented and award winning magician) Jason Andrews filmed this video discussing all the hack lines that magicians use.

WHY does this video have everyone so pissed? Because truth hurts! Don't depend on hack material. Write your own patter, and make it work for you. If your patter contains more than two of the following bits you may want to consider going back to the drawing boards.


DH MagicTime

May 19, 2012
Sydney, Australia
I love this video for many reasons. Yes i believe this will help people become better performer. Secondly this is why living in Australia I've never said any of these things, In Australia it is so good as there is not many magician you have to create your own style as there is not the everyday magician or magic shop in your area little alone your state.
Sep 10, 2008
The truth always pisses everyone off. If people honestly get annoyed at this it's because it highlights how much of their script is unoriginal and typical.
Jan 1, 2009
Back in Time
It pisses me off because it makes it even harder for people to take what we do seriously. I also hate it when magicians use the blanket statement of "But I am ENTERTAINER!" and then go on to tell corny jokes or stock hack lines.

This is also one of the reasons why I admire guys like Eugene Burger and Juan Tamariz, you'll never see them doing things like that.

I do find it silly how so many will refuse to put some thought into their presentations now days, specially when all it would really take is 10 min of thought and maybe 10 min of research on google.
Oct 22, 2011
wait.... that ACTUALLY upset ppl? hahaha if you use corny lines like that you don't deserve to be a magician, find another hobby/profession that doesn't require you to be creative and actually use your brain :)

Lyle Borders

vp of operations // theory11
Staff member
Aug 5, 2008
Seattle, WA
Not going to lie Draven, I saw the title of this thread and thought it was a terrible spam thread. I nearly deleted it until I saw that it was from you.

The video is hillarious. Take it for what it is worth. The end message is to simply be your own magician, don't try to be someone else. SO many of those lines are EVERYWHERE in the magic community. Many were probably great lines the first time they were used, but today they are (mostly) worthless stolen patter.

My two cents.

// L
Mar 6, 2008
A Land Down Under
In the past I have used the 'very well' line when people ask how I did something. Personally the one thing that really annoys me is when someone simply narrates what they are doing, or counts objects
This had me rolling, what a great video! I am guilty of doing the 'I have 1,2,3 cards...' bit, LOL...but I'm sure all magicians have done this at some point in their lives. Otherwise I've never used any of the others, fortunately! Ha ha.

- Steve
Jul 22, 2010
It's sad to think that there are magicians out there who actually use those lines, I'm glad I don't.
May 6, 2012
I use the "Remember the card, people tend to forget it" almost all the time I need misdirection to control a card
Dec 23, 2007
Fredonia, NY
to be fair. what the video is critiquing is not the lines themselves, rather the contrived duplicitous manner in which they are delivered. Too often people depend upon cookie cutter patter and presentations and that is what is being parodied. However, some of these lines, if presented in line with your own personal character and in an entertaining and original manner are not overtly hackneyed. I have seen many successful magicians, ie. Justin Willman, Daniel Garcia, etc. use a few of these lines to no negative response and to thunderous and uproarious laughter. Why? because they are unique and entertaining performers who used lines that were cohesive to their performing personas. The key behind the video is not the lines, its the performer. You cannot rely on scripts, cliche's and lines from a book. You must become a total package. You must become an entertainer, not a magician with some "entertaining" lines. Yes some of these jokes are very old and very overdone, but to say that use of any of them is a faux pas is too general. Instead let us use this video as a chance to gain insight into our own performing rutts and try and extend beyond what we are comfortable with. Push yourself to create original material and more importantly to become a well rounded and ENTERTAINING performer. Don't rely upon bottled humor, instead let it be organic, natural and in the moment.


creator / <a href="
Nov 21, 2009
Sacramento, Cali
2 things...

First of all, I have to be honest. I have seen Paul perform at Jeff McBride's house and I am not gonna lie as I said...he used one or two of those lines. :) But, there is nothing wrong with any of those lines...which brings me to my second point.

It's not about the lines you are saying, it's about who you are as your character and HOW you say them.

After seeing this video and watching it with a few other friends, we agreed that someone could create a character of a "typical magician" and use ONLY those lines, and it would be funny as eff for both laymen and magician alike. Like a bad magic act based on those lines alone...
Dec 18, 2007
Northampton, MA - USA
I've had chats with well over a dozen major headliners on this and related subjects tied to SHOWMANSHIP and what it means to "Create an Act" and the summation to these discussions can be seen in my signature; If We Are But Actors Playing a Part, Why Aren't We Taught About Theater and Acting Before Learning Our First Card Trick?

We lie to ourselves in that very few of us are interested in learning the magic behind magic; it's perfectly fine to ask a kid for his hand and then say, "NO, the Clean One" or asking that young lady from the audience that's holding your linking rings, "Do you mind giving me a ring?" and implying a phone call vs. the metal rings she's holding. . . cute but lewd and at least 50 years out of sync with the times.

Writing a script is not easily done by one's self, the reason why so many comics get paid to write lines for other people including their competition (and you thought magic was expensive). But putting outside eyes onto your project will allow you to develop a superior product . . . so long as those that are looking in on the project KNOW YOU and the goal you have as a performer and can give you some honest assistance in getting there.

The script is vital but delivery of the script is at least three times more challenging; George Carlin had a routine about the word "Duck" and how using that word as a tie-in to a story could make it funny, same goes with Penguins in that Ducks & Penguins are quite peculiar fellows -- they can be funny just because of what they are but when the right lines are penned around them and the performer learns how to pace their patter, the mere suggestion of either fowl entity can put the audience on the floor.

So we now have two key points tied to the value of scripting and keeping material fresh and tied to you. You don't want to be like Copperfield and steal someone's act word for word (David did Terry Seabrook's Burnt Bill Monte routine word for word from Terry's script on National TV, including the gag trademark "here's a sugar" gag Terry is known for . . . the situations culminated in a rather curious turn of events at the Magic Castle one evening, but we'll not get into the gory details). I bring this up however, for two reasons; a.) if you're going to steal someone's material, at least change the patter and presentation around so you don't meet up with a right cross; b.) if you're going to do an effect, claim it! Make it YOUR EFFECT and don't mimic someone else.

It's tough to do sometimes, especially when you enjoy a particular person's style because it's so much like your own vision of a character. Bob Cassidy is one of my big hurdles because we think alike let alone having a similar sense of dry humor, etc. but with some effort and outside critique/direction, it's not impossible to escape that situation. We must be willing however, to listen and act on such guidance.

This is a great booster shot (the video) I think folks should watch it a few dozen times so the message sinks in.
I love the video, it's brilliant! I am slightly annoyed how I thought I had come up with some of the lines in my show off my own bat and suddenly find them in this video haha!

I noticed also that a few of these lines are also used by comedians a lot also that work the circuit whenever they need to get an audience back under control and to deal with hecklers. It isn't just magicians that use these, but other entertainers also.

Personally I don't see anything wrong with using these lines within reason. There is a reason they are stock lines and thats because they work. Street performers also have the same lines that they use all the time, and it is simply because they are the lines that increase the laughter and therefore increase their pay at the end of their show.

So they aren't all that bad, just try and tone it down a bit!

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