Emma writes: ‘The thing I struggle with the most is my patter, it takes me awhile to figure out what words and phrases I should use in different situations. I don’t like most hack lines as they generally make fun of the spectator, some advice I got was to defuse whatever heckling situation I am in with humour.
Yep.. How to create magicians patter that works well and suits you as a performer is 90% of the work that working magicians focus on once they have their act set and the effects within it up to performance standard. Much of what will make you a great entertainer is how you relate and interact with your spectators and win over your audience.
I completely agree that humour wins out most times, but I always try to avoid any put downs or one liner heckler stoppers. They are tacky and basically you’re sinking as low as the heckler or troll. Brushing off everything with a smile or laugh is much more professional. If it’s too much, you can always politely end as soon as possible and move on. Never get in a challenge ‘heckler stopper’ situation. It might work on stage, but it’s far more dangerous close up.
Performers tend to fall into two camps. Those that script and plan their presentations, and those that prefer a type of ‘jazz’ freestyle presentation’. Which you choose will depend on your nature. However, if you have to think about it.. Chances are you would be better planning and scripting your presentations.
Using a plan or the magic script method doesn’t mean you will come across as wooden or inflexible. Through the use of rehearsal a good scripted presentation can seem, natural, organic and impromptu. Watch lots of stand up comedians and see how they present their act in a way that almost looks like they are coming up with the jokes on the spot. They even stop and laugh with the audience as it’s new to them too. It’s not. They have rehearsed their act to be like that. You can do the same when you create magicians patter for each effect you do.
Here’s some more posts that relate to this question that might help you.
Best wishes and good luck with your magic