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 Post subject: Help Kids Show
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:51 am 
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Joined: 14 Jan 2005
Posts: 16
OK, Ok Ok, I know. Not another idiot who is learning magic and jumping into shows for money making all us professionals look bad. He's not ready!!!!!!!! YOUR RIGHT, I'm not ready, BUT heres my story:

Just got back from a year military deployment in Afghanistan. Took up magic as a hobby to relax and have quality time with my kids etc. Problem is I love it. Addicted now.

My God Son's parents have seen some stuff, 2 card monte, TT vanishes etc. and have asked me to do a show at there sons B-Day party. How can I say know to my God Son who I haven't seen in over a year. He has called me and asked me and I just could'nt say no, even knowing I'm not prepared. Well that lead to my daughter asking me to do the same for her B-Day party. One is on a Saturday and one is the next day Sunday.

So, I am not charging anything for these shows.

KINDLY ASKING FOR WHAT TYPE OF ROUTINE YOU WOULD RECOMMEND CONSIDERING I HAVE THE FOLLOWING:


Revolution
Slam
TT and silk
Hummer Card
D'Lites
Magic coloring book
Vanishing Milk
Ultimate Transformation Glass
Raven Deluxe kit
Broken Wand
Magic Towel - one with hand prints on it
B-Day cards - show individual cards, put together and they change to large B-Day banner.
Sponge Balls - 4 of them
Bite out of Quarter
Dollar thru Quarter
Pen Thru Card
Change Nickes to dimes
Eggs from mouth

First Party is approx. 20 kids ages 4-6.
Second Party is approx. 10 kids ages 7,8,9

I have no idea how to structure a good routine. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Chase


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:48 am 
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Joined: 14 Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Just some addl. info. I would like the show to last approx. 30 minutes.

I'm fairly profficient in the things I have. Not a professional by any means, but not a total beginner.

I am 34 and wise enough to understand the importance of performance over just trick after trick after trick.

I love kids. Seem to bond with them.

I mean no disrespect to any other magicians who make this wonderful craft a profession or a serious hobby. My goal is work up to that point and be part of the profession, to where someday I can guide those with the proper mindset and respect as well.

Any suggestions for storylines throughout a performance?
Patter that seems to work well with kids?
Should I be completely goofy, or add some serious to it to show the craft in a positive light?

Again, I am not making any money on these and it is family. Although, there will be parents there -

Possible routine:

Lower Lights and enter. Talk about"What is magic anyway? Well Let me tell you. Magic is in everyone. You need to use your imagination. Thats right everyone, reach up and grab you imagination (at this time I reach up and grap a light - Dlite that is. Now through that imagination around and put it in your head for good. (Work with the Dlites etc.)

Continue:" Now let me see who has the imagination. (call up some kids and pull lights out of there ears, confirming that the imagination is in the room.

"Ok, now that we have imagination lets see how we can use it."

Go to coloring book and have some kids change blank pages to color to show that everyone has some magic in them.

" So we all know we have some magic. I need someone to come up and use this special magic wand" A spectator comes up before I give him the wand I have him wipe his or her hands on the towel and show the towel with dirty hand prints and say " Oh my goodness, I hope all that dirt does'nt effect the magic" "But never fear, magic will clean it" and I produce the towel clean and I give him the wand to use and it falls apart. Hopefully laughs.

I give him another wand to use and to a TT vanish of silk with him waving the wand over my hand to disappear the silk.

"So since we like to make things disappear, can I have all the parents in room.. ok ok just kidding but lets see if we can make some more things disappear". --Hopefully some laughs

Do vanishing Milk in the newspaper funnel and throw the newspaper out to the kids.

NOW IM STUCK:

Thinking about going into Hummer card, then bite out of coin, then pen through dollar (borrowed from parent and use some patter to make them think they might not be getting there money back)

Hand out a card to everyone and say do as I do. talk about the power of your mind and make the hummer card float.

Wrap up with asking all the kids to "look at these B-Day cards and think of your favorite one that you would like to give to the Birthday Boy. " Show each card individually and then say " Ok everyone pick a card, well since we don't want to get anyone mad if we don't use there card, lets use that imagination we learned about and think hard to make all the cards together so the B-Day boy gets all of them" Then produce the B-Day Banner showing all there cards.


Well, any good, suggestions, Not good, any changes, add or additions from my trick list??/

Again, if you take the time to read all this. Thank you and your comments will be appreciated.

Chris


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:54 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 20 Aug 2003
Posts: 816
Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
I would say perform:
Revolution (make sure you have all your angles down!)
TT and silk (If you do not have a patter to go with this, find some good music that would go well with this, download something from Amon Tobin.)
Hummer Card (Use thin IT for this, if it is close up make sure it is very thin!)
D'Lites (turn the lights off while performing, tell them the spirits only come during the night so maybe we can fool em by shutting off the lights)
Magic coloring book (make sure u have a good presentation down)
Vanishing Milk (same as magic coloring book)
Magic Towel - one with hand prints on it (use this the first time u ask for a volenteer, tell him u must make sure his hands are clean)
B-Day cards - show individual cards, put together and they change to large B-Day banner. (Use this as your closer!)
Sponge Balls - 4 of them (A good sponge ball routine would be fun, make sure u have it well mastered though)
Bite out of Quarter (they're kids so ull be safe with a simple finger palm switch for this one)
Dollar thru Quarter (watch your angles with this one)
Pen Thru Card (this would be pretty neat, when u do this show them up close, well as close as you can get without exposing anything)
Eggs from mouth (if u have this one well mastered, do it! kids love it!)

As for the order of the effect and as you said the structure of the routine, in my opinion, I would perform eggs from mouth as my opener, with a good opening presentation, you know introduce yourself, then load the gimmick undercover of coughing, then act completelly surprised, and begin to produce the eggs. As for the rest of the tricks, put them in an order that goes well for you, put some of your ideas into the effects, since this will be your first show, later on one u have done a few shows you will change things, but for now I would say start working on it now! Make sure and this is very important, make sure to rehearse your show a few times before the real thing! Like Sankey says dont just practice rehearse! It is very important, that will help you alot with the presentation! Anyway hope this helps! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 10:59 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 14 Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Thanks Kevin,


Forgot about eggs from mouth. Great Starter! Appreciated.

Chris


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:56 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 23 Jan 2005
Posts: 78
Man you are not in any position to get negative feed back for two reasons, which a few experienced guys have pointed out: 1. You're not charging (FREE SHOW, you can refer to my how to: prepare in Anik's "I need help post" :lol: ) and 2. It’s for your family (have fun man)

Now man as far as routineing and what you have right now I think it looks good. Here some random (not as in I don't know what I'm talking about random just not in any order or structure) kid show tips:

*repetition is good (running gag)
*go ahead and be goofy
*stories are good
*Mis-hearing (Thx for coming up and helping me, what's your name? Wait let me guess Michael, no its Bobbie, well it’s nice to meet you Michael)
*repetition (I worked at a day care and would do a DL and let kids shake and change cards 'til the passed out)
*appearances are better than vanishes (when you vanish something kids feel tricked; not saying don't do them just that appearances are better)
*Above all have fun, if you do they will!

I hope this helps, I'm running out the door but if you have any other questions feel free to ask.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 8:16 pm 
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Joined: 14 Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Hey thanks for the suggestions. I will try to work out a routine that flows pretty naturally. No idea how to dress. I imagine something darker to hide anything ie. IT. Or, colorful to be more disarming to the kids?

Tks again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 3:45 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 24 Dec 2004
Posts: 606
Location: Bris'ol - England
Hi there,
I think that your routine at the moment is great, I especially like the idear of Imagination as a D-Lite, I think that that will work very well.

As for how you dress. You don't want anything to mad, otherwise it will make people look at you all the time, not the magic. I would were a suit, but put some little touches to it, a flamboient flower in the pocket or something.

I would remove Pen through doller and Bite out of coin from your list. Great effects, but Kids don't understand the meaning of money at that 4-6. You might want to try them for your second party though.

You should definetly act silly for the 1st party. For your second party, you should add some silly moments, but don't act silly all the time. You could add something like:

ppmagic wrote:
Thx for coming up and helping me, what's your name? Wait let me guess Michael, no its Bobbie, well it’s nice to meet you Michael

for your second show.

Anyway, good luck with your shows, and we will look forward to hearing about how they went.

Hope this helps.

:D DW


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:55 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 987
Location: Ireland
It sounds good! Tell us how it went?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:16 am 
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Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 1199
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
The range of effects you suggested should give you enough for the shows you have committed to do. I'm sure you will be getting lots of advice on which tricks to perform and in what order, so I'm not going to get into that. What I will suggest is that you consider the following elements in addition to the tricks. For instance,

1. Attention span - you are dealing with 2 very different age groups on each of these two days. Younger kids will have very limited attention spans and so, they require a lot more eye candy and direct involvement to keep them interested. They also will not have the same motor skills or life experiences as older kids and so, simple things like card tricks or shuffling a deck may prove to be a problem. As a result, you may have to have different effects for each show in order to make sure you capture the kids attention.

2. Patter - the way you would normally have to talk to a 4 year old is dramatically different than the way you would need to talk to a 9 year old. Therefore, even if you are performing the same trick, your patter may need to be modified. Never talk down to a child. Always talk at their level.

3. Credibility - this is going to be a big issue in your shows simply because you are not some outside magician who has come in to perform. An outsider can immediately establish a higher level of credibility and control right from the outset. You don't have this advantage. The kids have never known you as a magician. They've only known you as a godfather or a father - now you have to convince them that you have magical abilities? This will be very hard (but not impossible).

4. Audience Control - this leads me into the next point. Since the kids already have a sense of familiarity with you, they will be much more inclined to shout out and touch your props. They are not trying to make trouble, it's just that they feel that they are allowed to do so because you are after all, part of the family. It will be necessary for you to draw an immediate line of control and enforce it (in a fun way) throughout the show. Otherwise, you may encounter sheer bedlam.

5. Audience Participation - As a general rule, you should try to involve the spectators as much as possible in your show. This not only helps to maintain attention, but alos goes a long way to personalizing the magic and making it much more memorable. This does not necessarily mean that every trick has to have a different volunteer. There are many different ways to get the audience involved without bringing them up on stage. However, you should make it a point to have the birthday child volunteer for a trick. This creates a very special photo opportunity for the parents and makes for a great souvenir.

6. Routining - I've posted may responses to routining in the past and so, I will only hit the highlights. Your opener needs to be immediate, visual and strong - it needs to capture their attention, establish who you are, and give you control of the situation. Throughout the show, you need to make sure there is a variety of effects. Don't do production after production after production - it gets boring. Also, if you are going to use some type of a "sucker" effect, do it early on in your show. Sucker effects suggest that if a spectator goes too far out on a limbe, he may look extremely foolish. Finally, end on a strong effect (such as a production) and have a plan to divert the kids away from you so you have enough time to pack up you stuff. Otherwise, they will be all over your props.

7. Effects to Avoid - this may be stating the obvious, but there are certain types of effects to avoid whenever performing for kids. Anything involving fire, knives, needles, swords or any other element of danger is to be avoiced at all costs. The last thing you would ever want is for a child to go home and stab himself or someone else with a knife while trying to imitate one of your tricks. Even if you directly tell the kids not to try this at home, you can never be sure - it's just not worth the risk.

Sorry for being so long winded. I just wanted you to consider some "performance" issues above and beyond mere performance of the tricks. These issues are not meant to scare you off from doing the shows, but instead, they are designed to focus your attention on some basic elements to ensure that you have a positive experience.

Have fun!
Kent


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:01 pm 
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Joined: 14 Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Great advice. Thanks!

I've got the routine down. Wrote it out on paper last night and have done a rough practice session. I'll let you know how it goes. :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 11:39 am 
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Location: Deerfield, IL
Here it goes, when you do the disappearing milk, have a spectator use the broken wand to make it disappear. Next, do sponge balls out of your mouth, perhaps 4 times, and on the 5th time, an egg, this way, you have just trasitioned from sponge balls to eggs. Be sure that when you take out the egg, don't over act, just kind of stare at it for a bit, shrug, and then another comes out. Finally, be a kid, be one of them, and have fun.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:25 pm 
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Ok first show done!!

9 kids, 5 adults and my two daughters. Ages 3-9

learned allot of things out of this show. First of all, what I figured would be a 35 or 45 minute show, really was only 27 minutes.

Introduction - Music playing
Little talk about magic
TT produce silk
TT vanish silk
D'Lites with imagination theme - audience participation - Music background
Coloring book - (Magic towel , Broken Wand then into book) - audience participation
Pen thru Card
Sponge balls - audience participation
Bite out of quarter
Hummer Card
String around ring. Break it off etc.
Eggs from mouth
B-day cards to Banner
Took group picture with gimmicked camera that shot them all with water as they all said cheese. Great ending. They went crazy.

So that was my first show. Learned many things. Need to clearly define where kids can and can't go. At the end of the show, i walked off for 1 minute to speak to a parent. 2 kids were behind my set up pulling out the eggs from mouth gimmick and a TT. I just was'nt thinking. Need to put away everything right after show.

2nd thing learned. Need to explain the process of the show. I can't tell you how many times I heard, " can you do the one with the wand turns to flowers?" "Hey can you do......" "I know how you did that, My uncle has that". .......etc. Most of all, the children were amazed, laughed, and really enjoyed the show. The parents were more amazed and I booked another show with one of them for there son.

Now I have my Godson's B-day party tommorow and it's a little of a younger crowd, 4, 5 year olds. I will clearly define the rules and off limit areas. Then clean up right after show.

Thanks for the feedback, I know I have to alter my routine and will use many of the above suggestions as soon as I have more time.

Chris


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 Post subject: '
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 12:30 am 
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Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 2171
Location: Loveland,Ohio (Cincy)
Chaseman,
Trust me, you will learn something from nearly every show. If I can suggest two excellent reading material on this subject I can guarantee you it will help.
One: The birthday party business-making a living as a children's entertainer.
Two: Clown magic by David Ginn. I have read them both twice and still occassionally I thumb thru them.
And yes, put everything away quickly they will have those little fingers into everything.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 2:21 am 
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Location: Florida
Sounds like it went well, congratulations on getting the first one done. Good luck with the next show, I think you will do just fine.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:45 am 
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Location: Little Rock
Thank you for being honest, since most of the beginners always say it went great.

Controlling the kids is important. One suggestion is to get the parents to sit with their kids (I mean force them to do it.) Try not to let them go off to a different room.

Clearly define a stage area. Put rope down or something, and say, no one can cross this rope.

Do not start until everyone is sitting down and ready. Someone who pays a magician $200 is more likely to be helpful to the magician because of the cost. They want it to go well. With someone doing it for free, even if you are family, they may not. I had a similar problem when I did something for my daughter.

Quickly explain and teach them how to be a good audience. It is OK to tell them that they can ooh and ahh, and clap. Also explain that you are doing a whole show, and that you would like for them to watch closely and to not talk. Of course, do this politely and with some humor. Let them know that you want them to stay quiet because you want everyone to be able to hear to have a great time (make sure that you are not trying to tell them this while they are talking :) .) Say that you sometimes use volunteers, but that no one can touch the rope during the performance.

At the beginning, try to use the hostess to introduce you. Sometimes, if you are introduced and the hostess got the kids quiet first it helps. If the kids are going to move into another room together to watch you, have the hostess explain to the kids first that there will be some neat magic in the next room, but they all have to go in quietly, so as not to disturb it.

Crowd control will come with experience, but right now try not to start a new effect until they are settled down from the first one.

Be calm and slow up. Everyone goes too fast at first. Slow up until you are sure that you are moving like molasses.


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