View Cart | View Account | Help
Order by phone: 800-880-2592
Check out our favorite NEW ARRIVALS
Need it fast? Order before 4pm Eastern and your order ships SAME DAY.

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 41 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Performing for Children
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:15 am 
User avatar
Offline
Penguin

Joined: 15 Mar 2005
Posts: 9
I'm an amateur card magician. I'm planning on performing for groups of children this week (it's take your kids to work day... :-). I'm more nervous about performing in front of kids than I am with adults. I think adults are sometimes easier to fool. And I certainly think that if -- God forbid -- I flash something, they are less likely to call me out!

I'm just curious as to what other's think about performing for children versus adults.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:20 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Team Penguin

Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 1854
Location: Georgia
You just have to know how to work with them. Some people prefer to work with adults, others children. Some even do well with both. You just have to learn the way they work. They fall for different types of misdirection and laugh at totally different types of jokes. Once you find the way they tick...you will have it made!

And yes, if a child sees something or even thinks that they see something, they will most definately let you know!

I would suggest some sucker card effects because kids love it when a magician messes up...but then you give them a slap in the face with a surprise ending!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:00 am 
User avatar
Offline
Moderator

Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 1199
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
I love performing for children, but they are definitely a much harder audience. Children react differently depending on their age groups. They have shorter attention spans, and a very limited set of life experiences. They are not confined by proper manners and react by their instincts. There is a lot to learn when performing effectively in front of children and much of it is often taken for granted by professionals and non-professionals alike.

The only adult equivalent I can think of is playing to a room full of drunken, rowdy adults. ... That was not a joke.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: "
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:08 am 
Offline
born to perform.

Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 2171
Location: Loveland,Ohio (Cincy)
HP,
For one forget about card tricks for kids won't work. There are numerous posts on the subject that could help you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 6:37 am 
User avatar
Offline
Team Penguin

Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 1854
Location: Georgia
Actually card tricks do work for children, you just have to know how to present them! :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 9:21 am 
User avatar
Offline
Moderator

Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 1199
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
KyletheGreat wrote:
Actually card tricks do work for children, you just have to know how to present them! :D


This depends on the age group you are talking about. Young kids have little to no experience with normal playing cards. They don't know what they are for and they can't remember the names of the cards. In other words, they can't relate their life experiences with a typical "pick a card" trick.

For young kids, throw away the normal deck and use children's flash cards. They can remember and relate to a picture of a tree or a dog more than they will ever be able to remember the 6 of spades.

I would only use normal playing cards for kids who are 8 and older. Even then, I would keep the tricks very clean and visual. Only as the kids get older (11 or 12) would I start to get into more complicated plot lines with cards.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:00 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Team Penguin

Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 1854
Location: Georgia
no...you do not have to focus as much on memorization as you do realization...

If a kid sees a card that they had chosen, they will recognize it no matter what the number or suit would be.

Sometimes it is good to use cards with different themes if you want them to remember their card...like the crayola jungle cards for instance...

These cards have a picture of an animal as well as a suit and number. They are easy for anyone to remember!

Presentation an trick type is the key no matter what trick you are doing for children. They must be able to understand what you are doing...if you can make them understand, then you could do a trick with japanese lettered cards and they would get what is going on.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:13 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Moderator

Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 1199
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Kyle,

I have always respected your comments and I continue to do so. Howevr, I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I'll only do card tricks for the older kids - never for the youngest age groups. There are sooo many other things I can do to connect with them on an emotional level that cards become unnecessary.

I think that's the ticket. Whatever you do, and whatever your audience, you have to be able to connect with them on an emotional level. Cards don't connect with really young kids.

Admittedly, that's just my opinion, but it also comes from over 30 years of professional performing experience.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:26 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Penguin

Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 312
Location: tip of the iceberg
Magicman:

At your next kid's show perform Sankey's Bigger Finish for them and then you will see that even after 30 years of magic expereince, small children can handle card tricks. I agree with what you are saying but Kyle's point is well made. It depends on how the trick is presented. Bigger Finish is a total kids routine. The visually astounding Big 10 along with audience participation leaves them very surprised and there is a deep magical connection I see on their little faces everytime. I love doing this for kids shows. I let them pick out the four cards that I then have them change into the Big 10. I play it up big and act as surprised as they are about what happened. Their general response is "do another one with cards."

Again, you are well within your rights to disagree, I just agree more with Kyle solely on, and I admit solely on the basis of performing bigger finish.
There are a plethora of card effects not suitable for kids, but I would not go so far as to paint all card tricks with the broad brush that they will not work for small children.

Matlock the Magnificent


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 4:47 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Moderator

Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 1199
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Matlock

If you look at my earlier posts, I never indicated that ALL card tricks are to be avoided. I was specifically referring to those pick a card, name a card tricks. By the sound of it, Sankey's Bigger Finish may not fall into that category. Instead, Bigger Finish seems to rely on visual incongruity instead of mental recall and recognition.

If so, this would be similar to Color Monte - the kids simply need to recognize the red diamonds and the blue diamond (These are shapes and sizes that even very young children can recognize and therefore relate to). The visual incongruity of the $14 card is very strong can be very strong and effective. Would this same trick be as effective with two Queens and an Ace? I don't think so. At least not for very young audiences.

The key is that the trick has to be within the intellectual ability of the age group for whom you are performing and they have to be able to relate to the props being used. It is for these two reasons that many/most card tricks fall flat for younger kids.

Even in Bigger Finish, kids may recognize and respond to the incongruity that they see at the end of the trick. But how much stronger would the trick be for the same group of younger kids if the cards used images that they could relate to? Over the years, I have learnt that you not only strive for impact, you strive for maximum impact in any effect that you perform.

As for building an effect such as Bigger Finish into my show, it would have to meet several additional criteria above and beyond being a good effect. Whenever I perform a show, there is a presentational theme to the show. Every effect I perform has to fit into that presentational theme. This allows for smooth transitions, a higher level of entertainment value, and a much more professional show.

In addition, the entertainment value of the effect must extend beyond the trick itself. This is extremely hard to describe in a short post like this. Suffice it to say that the road leading to the finish of the trick has to be just as, if not more, entertaining than the rest of the trick itself.

Again, just one person's opinion :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: "
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:43 pm 
Offline
born to perform.

Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 2171
Location: Loveland,Ohio (Cincy)
I'll have to agree with magic man. There are way to many other things that kids will have fun with than cards. Can cards be presented in a way kids can relate to of course, but not as easy as other items can.
Many of the kid 'experts' will say the same thing.
Conference after conference someone will ask this same question and they will say cards are not for kids. That is not saying you can't but most kids aren't to thrilled with card tricks.
They prefer more visual colorful items that they can relate to.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 1:00 pm 
User avatar
Offline
born to perform.

Joined: 18 Aug 2004
Posts: 2576
Location: Ituna, Saskatchewan, Canada
The key to making card tricks work for kids is to make them visual, not intellectual. As has been said, don't make the kids worry about memorizing the identity or grasping some sort of conceptual subtlety which they are not mature enough to understand. Remember, too , that very young children have not yet completely learned what is not possible in the world. So effects that rely on an adult's understanding of what is not physically possible will simply not work.

Things like vanishes and productions, color changing decks or cards, torn & restored effects, Card Warp, Zombie Card Rise, Card to Mouth, linking card effects, etc. are examples of effects with "normal cards" which can work well. Then there's the packet tricks involving special cards...Color Monte, Tamariz Rabbits, etc.

And let's not forget CardToon!

Also, do things with the cards that step beyond their identity as cards and perhaps even extend beyond the cards themselves. For example, take Michael Close's "The Ooh-Ah Bird." Under the hood, it's a ridiculously simple card trick; but the addition of creating an origami bird right there in front of the spectator, not to mention the back story, make it much, much more. Even if the kids don't care about the actual card effect, at least somebody gets a souvenir. "The Frog Prince" also falls into this category.

Monday night I provided table-hopping magic for Theresa Sokyrka's all-ages CD launch party (she's the Canadian Idol second place winner from last year). It was packed with kids, mostly under 13. I did Card Warp, The Best Gosh Darn Impromptu Linking Card Effect You'll Ever See, and The Ooh-Ah Bird. Because I had to move quickly and could not do a lot of complex resets, I did not do The Frog Prince...BUT I did make a ton of the little origami playing card frogs and give them out. The kids loved them, even though there was no trick attached!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 1:07 pm 
User avatar
Offline
born to perform.

Joined: 18 Aug 2004
Posts: 2576
Location: Ituna, Saskatchewan, Canada
KyletheGreat wrote:
Sometimes it is good to use cards with different themes if you want them to remember their card...like the crayola jungle cards for instance...


When I work with "normal cards" for kids, I usually use custom "franchise" decks made by USPC -- Bratz, The Hulk, Spiderman, TMNT, etc.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: "
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:15 pm 
Offline
born to perform.

Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 987
Location: Ireland
sluggo wrote:
I'll have to agree with magic man. There are way to many other things that kids will have fun with than cards. Can cards be presented in a way kids can relate to of course, but not as easy as other items can.
Many of the kid 'experts' will say the same thing.
Conference after conference someone will ask this same question and they will say cards are not for kids. That is not saying you can't but most kids aren't to thrilled with card tricks.
They prefer more visual colorful items that they can relate to.


Just a little of the topic, when you say there are other more visual effects (which there are many) what effects exactly? Like what effects do you do, say for two little kids and a perant walking past you at a trade show(stant up, close up) what trick(s) would you do?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:04 am 
User avatar
Offline
Moderator

Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 1199
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Sponge Balls
D'Lites
Vanishing Silk
Chameleon Silks
Crazy Man's Handcuffs
Pinnacle
Hot Rod
Jumping Gems
Traffic Light
Vanishing Ring
Miser's Dream
Coloring Book

The list goes on and on, and the really neat thing about it is that none of these tricks are all that expensive! For less than $50.00 you can create a really entertaining close up children's show that will last anywere between 30 to 45 minutes.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 41 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2009 Penguin Magic, Inc.