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 Post subject: What Volunteer Should I Pick?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:40 am 
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Joined: 16 Aug 2006
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
When performing a show for any age (kids, adults, etc...), you always want the right company up there with you when you request a volunteer from the audience.

Putting this in reference to a kid show, you definitely don't want the class clown up there with you. I learned in my early days of magic by some top name professionals to open with a solo trick, one which requires no volunteers. This one effect (or any type of opening for your kids show you use if it's not a trick) should take a few moments in which you can look over your audience, get to know them, and then know who to pick as a volunteer.

Things to look for are kids who are genuinely enjoying your opening, not making faces, not interrupting, amazed/having fun, etc.... Kids who you feel comfortable with in that first few moments of your opening.

And please note, this is for a general (stage, library, school, etc...) magic show rather than the birthday show, though it can also be used in a birthday show too as long as the birthday child isn't the class clown (so that any other child you pick you feel comfortable with, providing your show uses more than just the birthday child as a volunteer).

There are other ways in finding that proper volunteer, of course (and others can sugest some ideas), such as a game you start your show with where you use all the kids in one way or another and you can find the ones that co-operate the most, whom you feel most comfortable with, which in turn will be the kids you use for volunteers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:44 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 05 Sep 2004
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Location: Appleton, Home of Houdini
Also, pick kids in the front row, middle row, and back row. Pick short, fat, and skinny kids. And pick girls and boys of all races.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:36 am 
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Joined: 21 Jan 2008
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Location: Canada
Wow, way to put it coendog13. I would usually pick girls out of the first couple of rows, because often they are not going to be troublemakers. If people are sitting in the back row it probably means that they are not to interested in watching or contributing to the show.

Although, sometimes calling a heckler or a "tough guy" up on stage with you is a good thing. You need to know how to control people, and starting with a bunch of 5-10 year old kids is a great way to start.

About a month ago I had a funny experience with a 7 year old heckler. She kept saying that is was all fake, so i call her up on stage. I hauled out a deck of cards and got her to pick one. She was very surprised when i looked at her, stared into her eyes, and named off her card to a number of applause. :wink:


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 Post subject: '
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:07 am 
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Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 2171
Location: Loveland,Ohio (Cincy)
During your warm ups you can usually see who the possible 'problems' will be.
When you go over your 'rules' make sure that you say if you follow all the rules then you can be a helper. Even then though you will get that kid that creates havoc no matter what. Usually if I see that they 'usually' a boy' are going to be a problem I will send them back to their seats pronto. Of course I do it with applause.
The kids don't catch on and he is now back in his seat and at times that will calm him down just being up there getting attention which is what he was wanting to accomplish.
If they are acting up in their seats let them know you will have them put in the back row or they will not get anything after the show I.E. balloon figure..
Most of the time the BD Parent or authority figure will see the problem and help you out.
These ideas are just in extreme cases. I've been very lucky in that I feel my warm ups and rules speech eliminates big problems before they start.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:07 am 
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At my daughter's last private party event she had one heckler BEFORE the show started. He was about 10, and wanted to poke around everything before the show started, stating magic wasn't real, etc. My daughter just told him politely he couldn't touch her things and then just talked to him as if he were one of her camp kids. She asked him why he thought magic wasn't real and listened to him and then said maybe she could change his mind. He then wanted to know what kind of magic she was going to do. So she gave a vague outline and when she mentioned ropes he rolled his eyes and said, "not that stiff rope gag". My daughter just smiled and said you'll have to wait and see. When she mentioned she was going to be needing volunteers later in the show he got excited about that and my daughter just laughed and said, "but you don't believe in magic, why do you want to help?" That kind of stumped him.

Finally the show got started and I thought it was so funny. He sat there just as into the show as the rest of the kids. And, when she did need volunteers later she did decide to choose him for something that he couldn't heckler her over. So she was able to make him a part of the show while not jeopardizing it. Plus, I think she had noticed that he had been really getting into it and wanted to maybe bring back some of that magic to him.

Oh, and as for the rope work... that got a big reaction. She did your typical professor's nightmare with an add-on routine by Daryl.

Sometimes it is best to ignore the heckler, sometimes you can use them to your advantage or work around them in such a way it doesn't risk your show. It all depends on the situation at hand and how to best manipulate it to your advantage. However, if it is a kids show I do not personally believe in embarassing them--- even if they deserve it!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:37 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 13 Feb 2006
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Location: Practicing in front of a mirror
kristenl wrote:
Sometimes it is best to ignore the heckler, sometimes you can use them to your advantage or work around them in such a way it doesn't risk your show. It all depends on the situation at hand and how to best manipulate it to your advantage. However, if it is a kids show I do not personally believe in embarassing them--- even if they deserve it!


One time I had a 10 year old heckler that I didn't spot out, and I called him up as part of my Prof. Nightmare (I use 3 kids). The second I called him up, his friends started cheering him on - I then sensed the trouble. So I made him the magician (as part of my routine I make a kid the magician). When I handed him a normal plastic wand, he said loudly - "Watch it is collapse", to which I responded - "Watch it not" and of course it didn't. After that he got into the routine and left the show afterward.

So, in response to your comment - No, you shouldn't embarrass a kid, but half the time they do it themselves!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:24 pm 
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I have used hecklers in a few situations if, as kristen said, they really can't mess up an effect.

It's also about how you use them. I like to keep them occupied with something so that they're concentration is on their role rather than in causing trouble (as ayli did). I often like to keep going back to them to keep their attention on their role rather than have them have time to think of some trouble.

Sluggo's rules before the show is a good piece of advice also.

However, as per my choice, I usually don't use hecklers as I feel they don't deserve it. I want the people that are here to have fun to actually have the fun. Then again, when my show is done, I do want everybody to leave happy so if I use the heckler as a volunteer and cause the him/her to stumble upon one of my tricks (that is, actually catch him with the magic), then I know they will leave happy too because not only were they used but I nailed them in the process.

So, I guess the advice here since my first post is that you can use hecklers as volunteers, just make sure that whatever you use them for, it's 'heckler proof.'


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:18 pm 
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Joined: 29 Jun 2008
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Location: California
Quote:
About a month ago I had a funny experience with a 7 year old heckler. She kept saying that is was all fake, so i call her up on stage. I hauled out a deck of cards and got her to pick one. She was very surprised when i looked at her, stared into her eyes, and named off her card to a number of applause.


What trick was that maloney123. Sound Good :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:52 am 
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Joined: 05 Jun 2008
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forcing deck ;) nah just kidding, i'm sure he has a way better method.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:15 pm 
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Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 2610
Location: Canada
It was a simple force with a regular deck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:41 am 
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Make sure to NEVER pick anyone who is being pointed at unles they too, are eager to participate.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:48 am 
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Team Penguin

Joined: 04 Feb 2005
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Location: Georgia
I think it is more important to work in an opposite manner...first figure out who NOT to pick...and work you way from there :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:18 am 
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Very good suggestion Kyle!

Also, don't pick the child whose parent is forcing them to raise their hand or pushing them forward.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:31 pm 
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Also if a child is relucant to participate I would try to encourage them to participate but if they say no I would say to respect there wishes and move on.


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