Waffle and meaningful banter

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Waffle and meaningful banter

Postby MrCat » Nov 13th, '18, 19:51

So, I was in conversation with a well respected magician friend the other day, we were having a jolly chat about stuff and I said the word 'waffle' as I was describing the ability to:

...keep something in memory whilst 'waffling'

(A card number and suit for example) to which they replied

Surely you mean 'engage your audience in witty and meaningful patter'?

Which inspired me to write this post.


Don't get me wrong, I'm no 'Pro” but:

To set the scene, I, like yourself bought a lot of tricks and gimmickes in the early days, some were legends and made part of my solid routine, some were *(less than great)* but you get that.

I watched a lot of DVD's which were fab', they show the effect which is always 'killer' on your new DVD you're excited about and you watch the routines and are amazed and look forward to the reveal to come.

You practice and practice, probably in a quiet room wondering “Can I pull this off, is it slick enough yet?”

If you're like me you'll be nervous as hell even if you practice for a year and a half in solitude haha but that's another story for another time.

Not to digress, the banter, the waffle and the patter is good on those DVD's or those bits of paper you got with the gimmick or the instructions you downloaded for a killer card trick or something. Or maybe you just got hardcore instructions and were left to just practice until you feel you've nailed it. (*Waffle not included)

What I found myself doing was at first practising the crucial moves of course, but each time I ran through the tick I would talk to myself (either in my head or out loud depending on if you live alone or have the house to yourself) with what you're gonna say to accompany each move or each effect.

It doesn't have to be a script, it's far far better not to be anything rehearsed or you'll forget the words!

Me, I decided I had 3, 4, maybe even 5 tricks I wanted to do as a nice routine. Mine all (by chance) conveniently happened to be based around possible gambling, odds and statistics, and money in general (which I found people always loved.)

So I knew my philosophies on money, and it didn't take long to whip up a little story around them which was my own. It didn't matter the genius dude who was obviously a pro enough to make a dvd or sell a trick used some totally different patter, I thought about how it would fit with my 'story'.

The long and the short is, without waffling too much haha, this became not a scrip but just a story I could word in any way I wanted, knowing what was coming next. It turns from a script you can get wrong or forget in to something beautiful that is your own and always will be, and you can never get wrong because you know the essence and you can re-write it on the fly so to speak.

Anyone can do a pretty amazing card trick, coin trick, slight of hand with practice, but it's up to you to make your friends, family, spectators who ever they be feel properly engaged and almost hypnotised with the flow of your words. You can't do that with a scrip. You Can do that with a feeling of something you know want to say. Then you just have to pick the right words for the moment.

Don't do just tricks for the result, talk to your audience and tell them a story. Yor tricks, your magic, your effects, they're part of that story which you created yourself and can never fail to tell in as many different ways as you choose at the time.

To paraphrase; Using exactly the same effect twice over it's the difference between

”Was that your card?”

“Yea! Haha nice one.”


”Was that your card?”

(*Jaw drops)

“OMG! What the...WOW! Did that just happen...blimey that was amazing! You are something else dude! More more more, quick guys you gotta check this dude out!”

I'd go so far as to say that with the little practice and experience I had/have, I've had some reactions to beat the best of the best which I put at a ratio of around about 30:70 trick or gimmick V's “patter” (... engaging your audience in witty and meaningful...)

I don't think you to know 25 tricks to pull of a great routine, I found with my little home woven story I could make 3 or 4 or5 favoured effects last a whole night with a story interwoven.
If I bashed them off one after the other with whatever script, it's be a mediocre show, and last about 10 to 15 minutes.
What I did was weave them in using the magic of words (all words are magic :) ), and the same 'set' lasted a half hour at least and my favourite comment from a spectator after I'll always remember was;

“Wow. I feel like I was just hypnotized there”

You can't buy that, nor get taught it, there are no books that will work for you because it has to be your own and purely You.

You can get good tips, but my advice is take that banter, that waffle, and make it your own, totally re write it in your own way, and do that in your head whilst you're in your bedroom worrying about whether you can carry it off in public haha.

I can guarantee you you'll carry it off in more style than you ever thought possible...if it's yours. Make it yours with with your words, and you'll truly know what magic words really are.

Last edited by MrCat on Nov 14th, '18, 14:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Newcomer? Waffle (aka Patter) - You Can't Buy It.

Postby Mandrake » Nov 13th, '18, 23:44

Great post, thank you!

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Re: Waffle and meaningful banter

Postby MrCat » Nov 14th, '18, 14:30

Oh good, there probably are endless books out there :lol:
But I just thought I'd mention what worked for me :)

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Re: Waffle and meaningful banter

Postby Lady of Mystery » Nov 21st, '18, 11:58

Nice post :)

Also, I really think that the secret to really being able to engage with your audience is to be able to adapt to them. Nothing works well with everyone, I like to spend a couple of minutes just chatting with whoever I'm performing for first to get to know them a little. Once I know a bit about them, I'll try to adapt my routine and patter to fit them.

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