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Strong Magic hnracters and "The Hotel Myatery" in which the kings the title cino of cards represent traveling men and ladies fnd 1uee"9 This Strange kind of presentation has always struck me of ^ "Ocular version of gospel magic.

Bfl0fl°rtO u what I mean when I speak of story patter. I'm This is n°l * ffects where the performer relates a story in which talkie a eical occurred and, as he does so, recreates the magic gooiethingiJJ -n that storv. This typically involves acting out the whicb too« P^ ^ greater or lesser extent. A classic example is the

8t0ry ten vs. Gambler" plot in card magic.

»Mflgicia ^ story presentation was firBt brought home to me The strengt ^^ twenties, I saw the movie The Sting. In one key w-ben. m o^the heroes, played by Paul Newman, engages in a card SC6ne> °"th the villain, played by Robert Shaw. Shaw tries to cheat game wi ^¡^hing in a cold deck. However, Newman outsmarts u^hjrswitching his own poker hand and winning the pot.

I saw the film in a movie theater, the audience actually broke utinto a loud cheer when Newman revealed his winning hand. This was a reaction that any performer would be glad to receive from a ^ambling routine—and Newman hadn't even done any moves! The audience wasn't impressed by Paul Newman's sleight of hand which, of course, never actually occurred. They were, however, captivated by the dramatic elements of the scene. It struck me that the scene I had just witnessed was really nothing but a film version of the "Magician vs. Gambler" effect. If I could present a gambling routine that dazzled the audience with my skill and, at the same time, incorporated dramatic elements similar to those in that movie scene, the result would have to be very potent.

Story presentations have a bad reputation in some circles. This is partly because they're associated in most magicians' minds with children's magic, a field where the concept is done to death. It's also partly because they're often used by people who don't understand the dynamics of this technique and therefore fall into traps that produce deadly boring presentations. We're going to be talking about those traps and how to avoid them. First, however, let's consider the dynamics of the story patter approach and the advantages it offers.

Essential Elements rnHH^1f ®lement8 in a stor>' presentation are the same ones that a conflict anH° ry 3 pI?ta^oni8t &<»<>). an antagonist (villain), 8nd a «^fron. The single most important requirement

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