Theatrical Skills and the Professional Magician

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Theatrical Skills and the Professional Magician

Patter is magical. It's difficult to perform magic without offering some sort of patter to your audience. There are as many different ways to approach a performance as there are effects to perform. Did you know that some of the top magicians take acting and theatrical art classes to aid them in the presentation of their effects and make their routines as interesting and magical as possible?

Most good effects have a good story line. Unfortunately, many magicians spend a lot of time on the effect and very little time on the patter. If you want to really 'wow' your audience then you need to get creative. This includes creating a story line that makes the audience wonder if what you're saying is true - or just make believe. Good patter creates mystery, and you cannot create mystery if the audience quickly realizes that what you're saying is, to use an English term, poppycock...

One popular magician begins an effect with "My grandmother was a gypsy. My Grandfather loved her with all his heart, but he frequently found his patience tried when she secretly taught me 'the Gypsy Way'. Now, the Gypsy way, according to my Grandmother, springs from both the heart and the deepest, most primitive instincts of man. The Gypsy Way respects mother nature and man's place in nature. It teaches us to both take joy, and live in, the moment. On second thought, I don't know if this bothered Grandpa as much as her teaching me spells and charms.. "

The magician then ties all this into the effect he is about to perform. Successful acting further enhances the effect, making the magician both sound and appear believable.

Members of the audience frequently ask him afterwards if his grandmother was really a gypsy, confirming that his story line, his patter, worked. He has been told many times how much the authentic sounding stories brought the magic to life.



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