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 Post subject: Need a Children Stage act
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:51 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 27 Sep 2007
Posts: 267
I need a children stage magic act by summer, I don't have any material yet, and I was wondering if you guys could help me a bit? my budget is low 100-150$ I have sponge balls and I will definitly get a coloring book, and an appearing cane, unless someone tells me why not to. If you make a list can you also explain why you put it there.


thanks in advance,

lierke


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:11 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 18 Aug 2004
Posts: 2576
Location: Ituna, Saskatchewan, Canada
Buy David Kaye's book Seriously Silly.

Buy David Ginn's book Professiona Magic for Children and/or his KidBiz book and video series.

Buy Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic.

A list of tricks won't give you a children's stage show. Learning how to construct one will. For example, your request doesn't say anything about the ages or genders of the kids you'll be performing for, but those things will have a big impact on what you choose to perform and how you perform it. If you don't understand why, you shouldn't be doing the show until you read the Kaye and Ginn material.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:08 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 05 Jan 2007
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Location: Visit my blog at magic-yeti.blogspot.com
I went through this experience last year and there is a ton of good advice out there. In addition to the great books, check out the sticky posts on the Little Darlings forum on The Magic Cafe. There is an incredible amount of information to be found there.

I'm certainly no expert but I would focus on:

* a theme
* a character
* pick good, proven routines then rework them to fit your character and theme
* script your show
* dress rehearse the show from start to finish so you get a feel for handling the props and what preparation you're going to need
* video tape the show once per week and review it to see what is working and what seems ackward.

These things really helped me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:08 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 28 Dec 2007
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Rocky Raccoon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:49 pm 
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Sponge Balls is usually performed close-up, maybe parlor, but it's certainly not suited for stage. The magic coloring book has been done too often and it's only a "bit" that will last 2 minutes tops.

Rocky Raccoon is a "prop" not a Children's Stage Magic Act...

With such a low budget and summer approaching fast, I'd say you really have your work cut out for you. Joshua Jay's Book/DVD should give you a good head start though and it's under $20.00 in most bookstores.

I would also suggest you read through the threads for Children's Magic here on Penguin and on Magic Cafe.

Also, through personal experience, I would recommend that you limit your act to 20 to 30 minutes. Audience control is so important in magic and with children it's nigh impossible. If you show is too long without engaging the young audience, they will lose interest quickly...


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“Ars Celare Verum”
The Magic & Illusion of Georges-Robert

http://www.mysteryandillusion.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:37 pm 
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born to perform.

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While I agree that standard Sponge Balls aren't ideal for stage, I just have to point out that David Ginn has an amazing children's show sponge ball routine that does play well on stage -- but it uses four-inch sponge balls. :shock: It's an exception to the rule... and an exceptional routine... from a man with exceptionally large hands. :wink:

Basically, it's a continuous production of four-inch sponge balls from a 36-inch silk. Culminates in the production of an even bigger sponge ball... then, if I remember right, they all vanish from the container he's been putting them in. I think it's on his "Color-Filled Kidshow" DVD.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:50 pm 
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Team Penguin

Joined: 03 Aug 2007
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I don't know about that; almost any trick can be spiced up with cute patter to make it appeal to the youngins'.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:08 pm 
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Popchris wrote:
I don't know about that; almost any trick can be spiced up with cute patter to make it appeal to the youngins'.


Easier said than done :wink:

To the OP, take TheCaffeinator's advice, he is a professional who knows what he is talking about. You need to learn how to perform for kids (and Seriously Silly will teach you that), and once you learn that, you can use just about any trick you have and adapt it for kids (although there are plenty exceptions that prove the rule, although deciding what those tricks are is up to the performers discretion).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:53 pm 
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ye seriously silly is the way to go i have it its pure gold. It may seem expensive but its cheaper than the real gold.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:54 pm 
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sorry for not telling I will perform for 5-10 year olds, I was requested and have neve done a kid show


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:37 am 
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Bit of an age range isn't it? 5-10, thats effectively Kindergarten to nearly middle school. Finding material that will work for that age range will be seriously hard. Most professionals I know would not perform for such a large gap.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:33 am 
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Joined: 10 Nov 2004
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My best advice is if you have never done a show, postpone it. Perhaps maybe next year? At this point, you don't have a show, you don't have material, no script--- what can you offer? It can take months and even longer to put together a show worth presenting. Plus, you need time to polish yourself-- not just your material. Material is secondary, YOU as an entertainer is primary.

You can successfully entertain for the age gap you are describing, but your show has to sustain that group, which requires more time to study and learn what will work and what will not work.

I know you are probably really excited about doing a show. We all were that first time. Just take a deep breath, practice patience, and when the time is right you will have an AWESOME show to present when the timing is right.

Good luck!

~ Kristen :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:45 am 
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Location: Ituna, Saskatchewan, Canada
ukcop wrote:
Bit of an age range isn't it? 5-10, thats effectively Kindergarten to nearly middle school. Finding material that will work for that age range will be seriously hard. Most professionals I know would not perform for such a large gap.


In my experience, finding material (i.e., tricks) for such a situation is not that hard. For me, as well as other children's magicians who typically perform for entire schools at once, the scenario of performing for an age range like 5-10 is common, at least in North America. Performing for entire schools at once rather than for individual classrooms of kids of the same age is usually what the schools here prefer. School systems and preferences might differ elsewhere, though.

Finding tricks for such situations is easy. Writing effective presentations is the potential challenge.

Look at the work of David Ginn, who performs hundreds of school shows a year for mixed age audiences. That's actually one of the differences you will find with the work of Ginn and Kaye. In Seriously Silly, Kaye explains the differences between kids of different ages and genders and how to play to each distinct group, whereas Ginn's material seems to acknowledge the difference but explains more about how to play to mixed-age groups.

This is also one of the things that makes doing kids birthday shows potentially much different from doing school shows. At birthday parties, you are much more likely to be performing for kids of the same or similar age than at a school show because the birthday crowd often will consist of kids of the same or similar age as the birthday child; there might be a few older or younger siblings or cousins or whatever and, of course, adults, but these are not necessarily the focus of the party. In that regard, it's easier to do birthday parties than school shows, provided you properly acknowledge age & gender differences in the first place.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:48 pm 
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Penguin

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Posts: 267
thanks for all the advice, can you guys give me some advice which props might be usefull for my performance???


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:06 pm 
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born to perform.

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Location: Visit my blog at magic-yeti.blogspot.com
lierke wrote:
thanks for all the advice, can you guys give me some advice which props might be usefull for my performance???


That partially depends on the routines and theme.

You'll probably need a table (I use a glossy black wooden TV tray I got from Target for $8 ).

A discard recepticle is handy for dropping props into after you're done. I use my shiney Miser's Dream bucket (housewares department at Target $8 ) to drop things like TTs, silks, etc)

I have a bright pink microfiber towel I use to dry off my sweaty palms. $5 from Bed, Bath and Beyond and it doubles as prop for my coin matrix (not part of the kids routine) and a table cloth for my TV tray.

I bought some cool looking bottles labelled with things like "Ether of Warthog" to hold stuff like slush powder. Close out at Michaels craft store for a couple bucks.

I just bought & painted a really cool box to hold my Malini egg bag at Michaels. The have tons of really cool unpainted wooden boxes with hinges and latches ranging from $2-5. I painted my box glossy black with golden bands and a golden inside.

Now my egg bag is a Egg Bag from a lonely mountain monestery in Northern Thailand presented in a ancient and mysterious box. You see, a little imagination and a local craft store and you can turn a simple routine into a mesmerizing 5 minute story that contains a magical punchline.


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