Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

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Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Guest » November 23rd, 2003, 9:20 am

I am working on an ambitious card routine, and already have the mechanics down. While i have a rudimentary patter i am looking for some jokes and lines to spice up the act. Thank you very much.

-Natan

Jeff Eline
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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Jeff Eline » November 23rd, 2003, 10:06 am

There is a ton of information about Ambitious Card routines out there. I just saw David Regal's routine called Tenacious Climber on his new DVD (vol 1). It's also in his book Constant Fooling, a very good book.

It's a clever idea of having a spectator draw a dog on the card, losing it in the deck and then calling it to the top.

If it fits your personality, I think you can get a ton of milage from the drawing on the card.

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 23rd, 2003, 11:56 am

Larry Jennings had great patter for his Ambitous Card Routine: he asked a spectator to touch a card in the middle of a spread face-up deck. Once the card was touched, he explained that it became jealous of the card currently on the face of the deck because the touched card wanted to be closer to the spectator (he said it in a manner far more charming than that, of course). So, he did a Pass to bring it to the face, and then off he went.
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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Guest » November 23rd, 2003, 2:22 pm

I would say that poor or badly delivered patter is where 75% of magicians fall down. particularly close up magicians.
In some ways I think that the patter is more important than the trick.

I would suggest to Natan that instead of coming on here to ask for patter that he figures out his own. He is going to learn a lot of tricks in his lifetime and he will not always be able to ask his fellow magicians for suggestions. And even if he is able to do so it is still not a good idea.

One man's meat is another man's poison. In other words what suits one person may not suit you. It can be a bad mistake to use other people's words.
On the odd occasion I do not practice what I preach but it must be remembered that I am experienced enough to know what suits and what doesn't.

A magician should put as much if not more effort into working out the patter as he does in the mechanics of the trick.

It is your patter that makes you stand out. I do have suggestions on how to come up with entertaining patter. I may even talk about it later. I don't have the energy right now.

However, the bottom line is that it is YOU who must come up with the patter. Tricks don't have to be original if entertainment is your focus (which it should be) but patter must be YOURS and your alone.

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Bob Alan » November 23rd, 2003, 3:10 pm

There is a nice routine with patter in:
Card Stories by Ariel Frailich.
A book about entertaining with cards with many fine routines and ideas.
The name of the routine is DIY Ambitious Card.

Bob Alan ;)

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Guest » November 23rd, 2003, 3:19 pm

Not that I am one to advertise but Ariel wrote the foreword to my book on the svengali deck.

There. That should damn him for life. His writing and publishing career will now come to an end.

Ariel is also a Belgian. A real one too. He speaks about 672 languages and happens to be a genius.

Smokes too much, though. I wish he would stop.

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www.marklewisentertainment.com

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Russell Davis » November 24th, 2003, 1:06 am

If your rudimentary patter comes from a basic concept, then the jokes and lines will depend on and should naturally arise from your concept.

For a top-of-the-head example, if your patter relates to cream rising to the top of milk, you might say something about how if you leave the cards outside of the cardcase for a few days, the magic begins to look even "butter". Then follow with "Uh, the MAGIC is better, even if the jokes aren't."

If your current patter has no basic concept, think of anything that might rise to the top: popped popcorn kernels, a dead fish in water (choose performance venue carefully here), a particular type of car (so now you can call this "a car trick") that runs better than all the others. And again, come up with lines that relate to the basic idea.

Your cards could be your own personal "to-do" list, which you have prioritized by stacking the deck with the most important assignment on top: to do some magic with the spectator's signed card. And having magically made it come to the top, it is once again at the top of your to-do list. And repeat. Tag line: "Ta-dah."

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Pete Biro » November 24th, 2003, 9:08 am

Buy Milton Berle's "10,000 Jokes" book. Learn to do the trick without looking at the cards and tell as many of the jokes as you can as fast as you can.

Then you will have neither a good trick or patter (I hate that word, but that's what comes out of so many magician's mouths) that is totally wrong for your personna.

And I'm serious.
Stay tooned.

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Stefan Nilsson » November 24th, 2003, 9:18 am

In a good ambitious card routine you repeatedly put the card in the middle of the deck and it travels to top without any suspicious moves. This is a miracle. Miracles and cute patter stories don't go well together. Here is a template for a good basic script:

A snap of the fingers and the card goes to the top.
Let's do it again.
A snap of the fingers and the card goes to the top.
Let's do it again.
A snap of the fingers and the card goes to the top.
Let's do it again.

I'm not joking. After all, ambitious card (without "improvements") is just another variation of peekaboo, isn't it. It doesn't require any explanations or embellishments. In fact, a complex story is likely to detract from the basic premise.

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Russell Davis » November 24th, 2003, 4:37 pm

A jobs-producing economic recovery is a miracle. A good ambitious card routine is not a miracle: it's a demonstration of one's powerful command over thin flexible cardboard. Whoo-hoo! It may not require any additions to increase its power, but what about its relevance?

Consider the Too Pointless theory. Why make a card go to the top repeatedly, or even once? Maybe to illustrate an at-least somewhat relevant point. And certainly such an uncomplicated magic effect requires no more than a simple story. But perhaps magicians at their best should quit publicly flexing their magic biceps and instead lift a car off an old lady. Uh, so to speak.

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Gerald Deutsch » November 25th, 2003, 6:12 pm

There are several Ambitious Card Routines I've used (I posted a few under Perverse Magic in the General Magic section) and one of them is with a one way deck (all the cards are the same) and one contrasting card (say the deck is all QC and the one contrasting card is the 2D.)

The 2D is forced and the Ambitious Routine is done with the 2D. At the end the 2D is on the botton and I do a Hindu Shuffle to show all the cards are 2D.

The patter here is, "See? All the cards are the same." Then, as I bring the 2D to the top I palm it off in my right hand as my left and takes the deck and spreads it face up on the table. "They're all QC." Then both hands go into my trouser pockets and I leave the palmed 2D.

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby mike cookman » November 25th, 2003, 11:02 pm

I like Gary Kurtz's trick, Hypothetical Possibllities, which is a sort of ambitious card with a time travel theme. Hey, Happy Thanksgiving all! :)

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Guest » November 26th, 2003, 7:14 am

I agree with Psychic. You've got to develop your own patter, your own style. You have to be you. Borrowed patter more often than not sounds wrong. I do a few Simon Lovell effects but I don't try to use the patter he gives you - it's 100% Simon Lovell and very little NeilC.

Maybe it's just me but I find the whole "ambitious" line of patter painfully inane. I love the effect but use a very functional patter. I don't see that it needs some story behind it. What is the point behind pretending a card is ambitious or whatever. We all know it isn't - it just sounds stupid and possibly even patronising. Why take the focus away from the magician and his powers/skills?

In fact...now I've started, I'll say that I find 90% of magicians supposedly "funny" patter to be excrutiatingly embarassing. What is it with all the childish puns and one-liners. To me it just reinforces the image that many people have of magicians as irritating nerds. When people groan at punny patter they might actually be feeling pain and secretly laughing inside!

I think patter should have a purpose. If the effect is a really mysterious haunted one then a ghost story told well will ADD to it concept. If the effect is a SOH card one then maybe the patter can misdirect in the right places. If it's a mind reading one then a discussion of body language is apt. But giving cards personalities...why do we even consider it?

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby magicbar » November 26th, 2003, 8:05 am

This is an interesting thread. I was in a magic shop yesterday for the first time in months and there was a discussion going on between a customer and the house magician about patter for Oil and Water which mirrored the this discussion.

I love the Oil and Water effect (as I do the Ambitious Card) on a physical level but there is nothing magical about rationalizing the effect because cards are like oil and water. There is nothing magically inherent about a card rising to the top unless it is done through more visually amazing methods. As this discussion reveals, the favorite (or 'best') routines are those where the card is personalized and/or the patter straddles the physical action in story or theme.


If you want to keep the 'ambitious' nature of the card as a patter theme to match the physical action, make the actions highly impossible and visual so the audience will be amazed at your skill. If you want them to think you are doing magic on an aditional cerebral level, think of other things (that matter) in this world that rise, or separate from the rest of ____ (fill in the blank)

What was that great Vernon quote??? Most magicians stop thinking too soon? I think that was it.

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Pete Biro » November 26th, 2003, 10:03 am

I think it was Fred Kaps that said, "Magicians stop thinking too soon."

Anyway, if you ever watched Kaps you would know that a trick like the Ambitious Card would NOT have any kind of b.s. story, but Fred would more often than not just do a simple explanation of what was happening and/or be amazed himself about what was happening as if he was not the one responsible for the happenings....

Slydini also used minimal patter, saying things like, "look... watch.. I'ma gonna fool you... look... watch..."
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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Guest » November 26th, 2003, 10:31 am

The other thing I forgot to rant about - the "i need some jokes" thing. Why is it every magician and his dog has to try to be a comedian and use "gags"?

Some people are naturally funny - they can be comedians. Some people are good at magic. A very small number of people are good at both. Yet it appears that many of us feel the need to crack lame jokes all the time.

I don't see the problem with letting your natural good humor show, if it fits your act. But gags?

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Bill Duncan » November 26th, 2003, 10:39 am

Originally posted by NeilC:
Why take the focus away from the magician and his powers/skills?
Well, because in this day and age very few people (at least in MY audiences) really believe in magic. Those that do, don't think CARD TRICKS are magic.

But giving cards personalities...why do we even consider it?
Same reason we invest little rubber monsters with personality (ET) and mess with the time line of the story (Memento). It's an effort to go beyond the mundane and to create something with more meaning than "because I can".

Audience can usually handle the abstraction and understand that it's a theatrical device.

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Pete Biro » November 26th, 2003, 1:28 pm

Take my cards, please.

A funny thing happened to your card on the way to the top.

I may not always be right, but I'm never wrong.

A funny thing happened to your card on the way to my wallet.

:sleep: :sleep: :sleep:
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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Rafael Benatar » November 26th, 2003, 2:00 pm

In a new lecture I have been putting together about patter, I use the Ambitious Card as an example of a trick that doesnt depend on patter. This, of course, doesnt mean it doesnt need one. If you do it silently, the effcet is understood (which would not happen, for example with Hammans Twins). You can do it to music, with few words, with a story, and with simple or complex patter. But my point is, since the effect speaks by itself, whatever you do, please dont let the patter delay the magic. Keep the magic flowing and adjust the patter accordingly.

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Stefan Nilsson » November 26th, 2003, 3:11 pm

Ren Lavand is famous for his poetic scripts and yet one of his strongest pieces is "...and I still have three little balls", a beautifully simple version of the classic three balls trick:

One... two... and this one in my pocket. And I still have three little balls...
One... two... and this one in my pocket. And I still have three little balls...
One... two... and this one in my pocket. And I still have three little balls...

Sometimes less is more.

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Guest » November 26th, 2003, 6:02 pm

Stephan,

Right on! But what your great response triggered in my head was, if your technique is flawless... less is definitely more. However there are some wonderful stories out there that can be applied to classics like oil and water that can really capture the audiences imagination.

Bill

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Guest » November 26th, 2003, 7:29 pm

There are no rules about patter. I even saw a deaf and dumb magician do soem very entertaining close up magic simply by sign language and miming it.
There is more than one way to skin a cat.

Before figuring out what route to go patter wise you have to figure YOURSELF out first. Figure out the persona and then fit the patter to the persona.

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Bill Duncan » November 26th, 2003, 10:38 pm

Mark,
The deaf-mute magician had something going for him... he was forced to consider how and what he would communicate with his audience. Many people never get that far.

All performance art is, in the end, an act of communication. Sadly, many magicians don't think about that until too late and then try to tack some "patter" onto the trick instead of deciding what they want to express and making the trick suit that...

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Re: Need Patter for Ambitious Card Routine

Postby Steve V » November 27th, 2003, 9:32 am

Out of interest I tried looking up Regals Tenacious Climber but it was not found in Constant Fooling under that name. Am I once again missing something or is it in another book and the Constant Fooling reference in error?
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