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 Post subject: Routining School Shows, Kids, Shows, and Illusion Shows
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:24 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 01 May 2005
Posts: 1630
Location: President of the Sluggo for U.S. President Committee
I saw this amazing essay on the Magic Cafe, and asked for permission from the author, Dennis Michael, to post it here. He said I could:

Dennis Michael wrote:
It is OK with me.


So I give full credit to Dennis for everything in this post. It's a great essay. Enjoy! :wink:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks to information provided by many here on the Café and lots of reading of books, here are some routining suggestions and effects that do work for kids, families, and illusion shows. It is nice to print out and reference. There is no perfect way, just ideas that do work. Use this information as a guideline!

Think of being a magician like you would an electrician, or a plumber, carpenter, a computer technician, etc. They all require a base line knowledge level before they can effectively do their job. There are no good instant (overnight) Construction Workers! Magic is no different. There are no good instant (overnight) Magicians

Four Illusions and Eight stage tricks, does not make an Illusionist, however, with lots of practice it is possible.

Developing a routine requires several steps:

1. Learn the mechanics of the trick first.
2. Find a reason why that routine should be of interest to your audience.
3. List several additional tricks that can used with it. (Milk Pitcher: Comedy Funnel, Disappearing Glass of Milk, Comedy Ice pick, etc.)
4. List potential props that could be used with the trick.
5. Research, find, and list the potential comedy bits of business that fit the trick(s). View others on VHS tapes on how have done it, making notes on what you like and dislike and how it fits your personality or theme of trick.
6.Find the music, Listen to it, imaging your act with it. Daydream, Brainstorm.
7. Write it down then try it, practice it.


If the above is done for each mini-act you have a routine. Combine the routines and you have an act.

Step 1: Choose the effects (3) that go together.
    A. You perform them well
    B. You are comfortable with them
    C. They are tried and true routines
Step 2:
    A. Note time effects takes to perform
    B. Stagger quick little effects with long effects
    C. Add nice little effects with mind blowing effects. (Combining tricks)
Tips:
    Open and close with the most spectacular effects
    Select effects that build on each other
    Paper trail each effect. (Write it down)
    Each routine is a mini-play
    Each routine should draw the audience in
    Each routine should ENTERTAINS 1st, Mystifies 2nd
    Each routine should focus to bring out at least 1 emotion.

Format:
    Opening: should be fast colorful production act..Startling, change of color every 20 seconds, musical and fancy ending.
    Middle: Vary pace, short routines, variety...Mount Attack...Novelty.. Punch..Closing
    Ending: Mass, Beauty, Motion, Color, Rhythmic Action... Good thoughts..Going away "WOWing them"...
    Success is: Giving them something they can talk about on the way home.
Developing Patter for Kid Shows: Explanatory Patter
    Pick a Theme
    1. Explain what you're going to do
    2. Describe the parts
    3. Add the theme message
    4. Pick a Magical word.
    5. Write the skit down
    6. Research Jokes and Puns
    7. Tie in a Variety of Site Gags

Components for Developing an Educational Program

  • Educational Objective
  • Educational Theme
  • Key Message to get Across
  • Audience Participation Effects
  • Magical Effects to get point across
  • One-Sheet Teacher's Guide
  • Classroom Participation Activity Sheets
  • Parent's Flyer
  • Press Release
  • Bulletin Article
School Educational Themes
    Drug Awareness Themes
  • Drug Awareness Program
  • Say No! Magic Show
  • Stranger Danger

    Safety Themes
  • Fire Safety
  • Public Safety
  • Think Safety
  • Police Safety
  • School Bus Safety
  • School Safety
  • Playground Safety
  • Animal Safety
  • Car Safety
  • Stranger Danger
  • Halloween Safety

    Self Awareness
  • Manners
  • Self-Esteem
  • Nutrition
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Motivational
  • Fantastic Friends
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Diversity
  • Morality

    Educational Basics
  • The Magic of Reading
  • The Magic of History
  • The Magic of Geography
  • The Magic of Science

    Country
  • Patriotic

    Environmental Awareness
  • Environmental Awareness

    After School Programs
  • After School Magic Course
  • After School Juggling Course
  • After School Circus Act Course
  • After School Puppetry Course
  • After School Balloon Sculpture Course



    Yearly Themes Shows
  • 1. School Safety
  • 2. Fire Safety and Fire Prevention
  • 3. Think Safety
  • 4. Patriotic Theme
    Seasonal Themes Shows
  • 1. Magic of Christmas
  • 2. Stage Fright: The THRILL-usion Show
Power Illusion Program:
  • Four Illusions
  • Eight Powerful Routines

Basic Format: Constructing Your Act
  • Visual Impact, Fast Paced, Audience Grabber (Colorful, Musical, and with Animals)
    Start Show Alone. Connect with the audience in character, costume, and expectations
  • Sucker/Comedy Routine.
  • Audience Participation
  • Impact Production
  • Element of Danger Magic
  • Illusion- Strong Closer
    Close Show Alone and Thank Them
    Leave them wanting more!

Kid's Safety Theme Show (40 Minutes)
You add the tricks.

  • Warm-Up (Fire Book)
  • Strong Opening (Production/Flash paper)
  • Police and Fire Officers Are Friends Message
  • Fire Safety Message
  • Police Safety Message
  • Environmental Message
  • Drug Awareness Message
  • Strangers Message
  • Bus Safety Message
  • Sharp Objects can Cut Message (Disecto/Chopper)
  • Poison Message
  • Another Fire Safety Message
  • Patriotic Message: Strong Closer
    Reference: Safety Magic for Children by Karl Wagner

KIDS Variety Magic Show (Example: 40 Min.)
  • Warm-up
  • Strong Opening Magic Routine (Production)
  • Magic Routine
  • Ventriloquist Routine
  • Running Gag #1
  • Two Magic Routines with 1 Kid Assistant
  • Juggling Routine
  • Two Magic Routines with 2 Kid Assistants
  • Running Gag #2
  • Balloon Routine with 3 Kid Assistants
  • Magic Routine with/without Kid Assistants
  • Magic Routine with Kid Assistant (Danger)
  • Running Gag #3
  • Strong Closing Magic Routine (Levitation if possible)

To Convert the Above into a Family Fun Entertaining Fund Raising Illusion Show. Add Four Illusions.
  • 1. Levitation: Broom, Super-X, Mechanical AGA, 3-in-1, Flying Carpet, OR Asrah
  • 2. Danger Trick: Sawing in Half, Head Chopper, Guillotine, Etc.
  • 3. Comedy: Twister, Balloon Sword Body Box, etc.
  • 4. Animal Act: Rabbits, Doves, Lions and Tigers..Oh my.
    Illusion Show Routine Format
  • Opening Illusion: Flash Appearance, Portal, Fire/Lighting/Fog/Sound Effects
  • Establishing Image: Fast-Paced, Magical, Flash, Colorful, Animal Production (Rabbit)
  • Production 0f Assistant Illusion: Crystal Box
  • Illusion with Assistant: Mismade Lady, Zig-Zag, Saw-in-Half
  • Trademark Routine: Expose Your Personality to the Audience (A talking routine that is YOU and Your's Alone)
  • Novelty Illusion: Twister, Mismade Lady, Some Illusion that is funny
  • Audience Participation: Wiz-Kote, ProViper II, Head Chopper, French Arm Chopper, Visible Sawing-in-Half
  • Featured Levitation Illusion: Gamalo Levitation, Sword Suspension, 3-in-1 Levitation
  • Audience Participation: Wiz-Kote, ProViper II, Head Chopper, French Arm Chopper, Visible Sawing-in-Half
  • Closing Illusion: Statute of Liberty Production from a Square Circle or some Very Powerful Closing New Routine Leaving the Audience something to talk about on their drive home.

Add a Running Gag Routine to keep the humor going, using the magician failure premise which finally ends in success.

Running Gags

With any show a properly developed and presented Running Gag can enhance the show. The gag gets funnier each time it is presented.

Below are Ideas for Running Gags:

  • Lota Bowl
    This Classic "Water from India" can also be designed to pour blood during a Halloween show.
  • Rabbit from Hat
    This World's Greatest Trick can be done throughout the show with each time instead of a rabbit, it can be a Spring Skunk, the Rabid Rabbit, etc. ending with the production of a real rabbit peaking this classic effect.
  • Broken Props
    The breakaway wand is an excellent comedy prop, How about other breakaway items like a fly swatter, a toilet plunger, a cane, an Arrow, a wooden spoon or fork, a sword, etc. Table with noisy props falling. Any prop with a handle can be designed to be a breakaway. An Added Comedy is to hold all segments but the last so just that part flops.
  • Phoney Ring
    This is a fake phone ring with comedy patter lines such as: "Is George there?...1. Hello... You have the wrong number, this is not George's cell phone.. Sorry, it was a wrong number for George... 2. Hello... Didn't you just call a little while ago? ...Again, You have the wrong number, this is not George's cell phone.. Sorry, it was a wrong number for George... 3. Hello..What?... That was George...He wanted to know if there was any messages for him.
  • Do a Comedy Commercial
    Produce a product such as new and improved Spaghetti, and take out rope such as professor's nightmare and do a routine with them related to spaghetti. Another trick could be the popcorn Box trick, with hidden pockets, or sponge balls a meatballs, or food production trick stressing the importance of good nutrition. Just about any effect can be turned into a commercial. A popular modern related line from TV or Jiggle can add to the trick, something the audience can relate with.
  • Comedy Gag Egg Bag
    This bag changes colors five different time, just looking for the egg.
  • Himber Flower Wallet
    Each time the wallet is opened flowers are produced.
  • Cut and Restored Rope
    Rope is cut and tried to be restored and can be a lead-in to Professor's Nightmare effect or the Professor's Dream effect.
  • Books-Books-Books
    Explain a little bit about each book and definitions of big words.
    Only You can prevent Forest Fires by Smokey the Bear: Hot Book, Herpetology for Fun & Profit by IBE Bitten: Spring or Fake Snakes, Water Safety for Life Guards by Splish Splash: Squirting Book, My Shocking Life or Kite Flying in a Storm by Ben Franklin: Sparking Book, Caring for your Chickens by KFC: Rubber Chicken,
  • Sponge Ball
    Fail to vanish a sponge ball, and it changes into other sponge items, ending in a rabbit.
  • Man-Eating Plant
    Ask the kids if they want to see a man eating plant. Don't show it until the third time and open the box revealing chattering teeth in a plant. Second time show it in the cloth.
  • Comedy Wands
    Each time you grab a wand something happens: it falls apart (Breakaway wand), it Bends (Spring Wand), End Pops Off (Pop Wand), It explodes (Bang wand), It flashes (Flash Wand), Spring Franks, (Sausage Wand), It vanishes (Vanishing Wand), It Breaks (Ginn's Fishing Wand), Silk Vanishes (Silk Vanish Wand), It Rises (Rising Wand), It Jumps Out of Your Hand (Rising Wand), Paper Flys out (Confetti Wand), Giant Wand (Giant Spring Snake Wand), Changes into Toilet Plunger (Plunger Wand), Apprentice Hat (Plunger wand on Head), Turns into a Feather Duster (Duster wand), etc.
  • Giant Snake Wand
    Giant want doesn't do anything, except the third time 25 snakes fly out.
  • Balloon Sculpture
    Pencil balloons (260s) have the end cut off so they flop around, then rubber pig blows up balloon.
  • Hippity Hop Rabbits
    First time they Change, The second time they are back, the third time do the turn it around bit.
  • Fraidy Cat Rabbit
    Rabbit turns white, then it's black again, then white again, then black and do the turn it around bit.

Here are stock routines that have always worked for Kid Shows:

  • Warm-up
  • Opening Production Routine
  • Axtel's Drawing Board (Comedy)
  • Production Routine: Temple Screen, Swivel Box (Colorful/Comedy/Audience Participation)
  • Running Gag #1 (Spring Skunk From Hat)
  • Vanishing Bandanna (Just grossly funny)
  • Rainbow Ropes (Patrotic/Audience Participation)
  • 20th Century Silks Routine (Assistant-Boy)
  • Instant Magician (Assistant-Boy)
  • Egg Bag Routine (Audience Participation)
  • Professor's Nightmare Routine (Story Line)
  • Miser's Dream Routine (Assistant-Girl)
  • Flying Carpet Mini-Levitation Routine(Assistant-Girl)
  • Running Gag #2 (Rabid Rabbit From Hat)
  • Hippity-Hop-Rabbits or Fraidy Cat Rabbit Routine (Sucker Trick)(Audience Participation)
  • Coloring Book, or Stamp Album Routine, What's My Job (Audience Participation)
  • Laflin's Cartoon Silks (Two Boys & a Girl: Colorful, Funny & Produced anyway you choose. A Kodak Moment!)
  • Milk Pitcher/Comedy Funnel Routine (Comedy-Assistants-Girls and Boys)
  • Visible Sawing, French Arm Chopper, Disecto Routine (Danger Element in a Comedy Format -Assistant-Best Girl or Boy)
  • Running Gag #3 (Picture of Rabbit on Silk then Real Rabbit From Hat)
  • Closing Production/Vanish Routine (Levitate the Rabbit)
Other Options: Juggling Silks, Vern the Bird: Ventriloquism Act, or Balloons Animals

Basic Magic Show Format
Visual Impact, Fastpaced, Audience Grabber, Colorful, Musical, and Animal Production Routines

  • Personality Trademark Routines
  • Audience Participation
  • Strong Comedy Magic Routine
  • Impact Production
  • Element of Danger Magic/Illusion
  • Illusion-Strong Closer (Levitation)
Comedy Magic Show Format Example

(FUNNY), Visual Impact, Fastpaced, (FUNNY), Audience Grabber, Colorful, (FUNNY), Musical, and a (FUNNY) Animal Production Routine

  • Strong Comedy Magic Routine
  • Comical Personality Trademark Routine
  • 20th Century Bra (on a guy?)(Assistant)
  • Balloons to Dove or Rabbit Production Routine
  • Comedy Magic Routine
  • Card Sword Magic Routine (Assistant)
  • Comedy Magic Routine
  • Straight Jacket Escape (Assistant)
  • Comedy Magic Routine
  • Head Chopper/Guillotine Illusion (Assistant)
  • Illusion-Strong Closer (Comedy Levitation)


Suggested Comedy Routines
  • Professor Cheer's Rope Routine
  • Nest of Boxes (Smash Wrist Watch with Hammer)
  • Wiz-Kote
  • Snake-in-Basket (Pro Viper II)
  • Bar Stool Surprise
  • French Arm Chopper
  • Head Chopper
  • World's Greatest Magician Signs
  • Vanishing Bandanna
  • Comedy Sleeve Long Glove
  • 20th Century Bra
  • Straight Jacket Escape
  • Balloon to Dead Dove
  • Man-Eating Plant
  • Bubble Gum Mouth Coils
  • Mugged
  • Grave Mistake


Now you have several basic formats, routines, now take action, practice, rehearse, and book you show!
Enjoy...Have Fun and Most Importantly, Love What You Do.
Any Comments?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:05 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 01 May 2005
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Location: President of the Sluggo for U.S. President Committee
I'm really surprised no one has commented on this yet.


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 Post subject: wow!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:21 pm 
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Joined: 31 May 2006
Posts: 56
Holy cow! Excellent essay from the Cafe. It certainly helped me develop my routine... thanks a lot for posting =)


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 Post subject: Re: wow!
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:05 pm 
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Location: President of the Sluggo for U.S. President Committee
obi5967 wrote:
Holy cow! Excellent essay from the Cafe. It certainly helped me develop my routine... thanks a lot for posting =)


Thanks! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:08 pm 
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PJHMarine wrote:
I'm really surprised no one has commented on this yet.


Sadly thats because the essay area is often over looked. People just arent into reading and learning as much anymore.

This is a great essay though for routines... very informative and clear.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:13 pm 
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Location: President of the Sluggo for U.S. President Committee
DavidTheCryptic wrote:
PJHMarine wrote:
I'm really surprised no one has commented on this yet.


Sadly thats because the essay area is often over looked. People just arent into reading and learning as much anymore.

This is a great essay though for routines... very informative and clear.


Thanks David. You're very right. Back when in was in noob on the forums, I was way too lazy to read any essays. Now I realize how they're one of the most helpful sections on these forums. Thanks for the comment. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:20 am 
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Thank you soooooo much that helped me ALOT!!!!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:29 am 
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braady wrote:
Thank you soooooo much that helped me ALOT!!!!!!


No problem. Should I post this in the Kid's Show forum?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:01 am 
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PJHMarine wrote:
braady wrote:
Thank you soooooo much that helped me ALOT!!!!!!


No problem. Should I post this in the Kid's Show forum?

I would leave it here. IF they want to learn, they should search for it.


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