Super Story Lines

- Guest Post by Rick Holcombe -

In Part 1 we looked at the importance of having a script to go with your coin magic. (Read Part 1 here.) Now I want to take a look at how to begin with writing content that will fit with your routines. 

How do we begin writing a script?  

Sometimes it may be a deliberate message that you want to get across. Other times you just want a laugh. Maybe you want to tell a story or recount a historical event…And then there are those times you practiced a move for 40 hours and now you just need something to say so people will watch your freakin’ trick!

If you were inspired by Part 1, or just know you could be better at scripting, I’d like to help get you going with a little push. Here are some classic plot lines or routine themes, just some ideas and certainly not an exhaustive list, but one of these avenues might get you on your way:

Parable: We can use the idea of a parable to demonstrate a lesson.  For example, money can’t buy love, or money can’t buy happiness, or money doesn’t grow on trees, etc.  The difficulty here is filling in the blanks to get the message across.  Coins may be transforming and traveling; but why? does it logically match the story? If you can script it and fit the moves, you’ll have a real worker for the rest of your life.
Demonstration: Many of Curtis Kam’s routines are a dialog about what a magician might do for his audience. The hands do the very actions the mouth is saying. This can be humorous when the words describe very impossible actions and they do happen! This is a powerful way to display a skill set as magic. Don’t fall into the “patter trap” where you are just describing your actions. e. g. “I put this coin here and it comes over here.” Demoing is different and fun to watch!
Allegory: Give names to the coins where they play characters in the story. I’m only of fan of this approach in limited use and once you have more than 2 characters to follow it can become quite confusing as coins go in and out of view. You don’t want too many routines like this, but it can provide a fun change of pace. In it’s simplest form, this is great for kids magic!
Science: Maybe you’re demonstrating a scientific property like magnetism, or stages of matter, or maybe a paradox. The pitfall here is that your audience just believes you ARE demonstrating science. Make sure you defy all logic at some point for maximum impact!
Challenge: “betcha” or “bar bet” type of routine. In this scenario, you demonstrate something that the spectator can not do… Or the reverse, you allow the spectator to accomplish something that you or another audience member can not do. This can create or alleviate tension in your audience. Use it correctly.
Poetry: If you’re really ambitious, try writing a piece of poetry or a limerick to a routine. Invite the audience to help recite obvious words. Practice timing the tricks to the words and you could have a real reputation maker.

If you’re stuck, try to simply analyze what’s happening in a particular coin trick.  Break it down into phases and see what’s happening.  Is there some story there?  All magic is basically structured like a story anyway; there’s typically a beginning, a middle, and an end. And with that in mind, you can think of dozens of themes… There is conflict, then a resolution. Sometimes a plot twist. Find your Super Story Line! You see where I’m going?

Giving coin magic meaning doesn’t have to be hard. Like good practice, let it be a creative endeavor and not a chore.  Look forward to the potential of how a good script will enhance that routine you’ve been perfecting. You might be surprised just how much more amazing it becomes!

Stop Pattering! Start reciting scripts. Practice writing with a comment below.

[Here at Copeland Coins, we call Ricky Holcombe "The Scribe." We all can learn from how he tells a story while performing with coins. Here is a great script in action on his YouTube channel!  Notice how things just sync together. - JC]


1 comment

Ágoston Péter

Great ideas, thanks!

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