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 Post subject: First Show Ideas
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am 
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So I've been reading all kinds of good advice on this forum about kids shows. I've been asked to do a kids show for 15-20 4-5 year olds. This would be my first paid kids show. I've turned this lady down two or three times and offered her other names of local magicians but she still is asking (I think the other two magicians might be a little too expensive for her budget.)

So I am thinking of taking the job to gain some experience. I'm not a complete stranger to kids in this age group. I taught Sunday school for 3 years to kids ages 3-6 and I've been a cub scout leader for boys aged 7-11 and I've done a lot of magic for cub scouts so I know what a challenge that group can be.

I really think the Axtell drawing board is cool - I think I could put together a good 5-10 minute routine with that but it's probably more than I wanted to spend.

What do you guys think about Kid Kards and Card Toon for this group.

I have a short, colorful thimble routine that is already set to music so I'm thinking that might be a good opener.

So what I really need are a few more inexpensive routine ideas. Here's what I'm thinking

Silks (blendo, Slydini, etc.)
Rocky Raccoon
Cut and Restored Rope (any specific routines that works for young children?)
Sponge Rabbits

I'm pretty good at story telling so any effects that I could wrap a nice story around would be great.

Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:15 pm 
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Hi Tim (yes, I actually visited your blogspot) :D

First off remember as someone else has said around here before, you get what you pay for and this is FREE advice... :lol: so take it with a grain of salt.



Quote:
So I've been reading all kinds of good advice on this forum about kids shows. I've been asked to do a kids show for 15-20 4-5 year olds. This would be my first paid kids show. I've turned this lady down two or three times and offered her other names of local magicians but she still is asking (I think the other two magicians might be a little too expensive for her budget.)


Don't undersell yourself! If you are good enough to do the show make sure you charge appropriately so as not to get a bad reputation from the other local magicians. You may want to network with them! :D

Also keep in mind that 15-20 kids is a lot, especially when they are 4-5 year olds, and you want to go in with a definitive plan on how to corral them and keep their attention.



Quote:
So I am thinking of taking the job to gain some experience. I'm not a complete stranger to kids in this age group. I taught Sunday school for 3 years to kids ages 3-6 and I've been a cub scout leader for boys aged 7-11 and I've done a lot of magic for cub scouts so I know what a challenge that group can be.


Excellent. Experience working with children is a definite plus. You definitely have to know how to interact with them. Just be careful to remember that you are there to entertain and have fun with them and let the parents do the disciplinary work-- hopefully they'll be paying attention. If not, use diversionary tactics instead of disciplinary ones. You'll solve the problem and the kids will still be having fun.

The Axtell board is cool. We have one. I think its gathering dust somewhere in the box. It is not as deceptive as I personally would like, but I'm critical. I think it would be great for a larger venue such as a school show, etc. but a parlour show I think is too "closeup" for it. Now I am sure that you would get a lot of opposite feedback on that and that many people do use it for birthday shows. I just don't want my daughter to ever be called out on how the mechanics of something work. It is just my experience that people can get really close up at a birthday party show in someone's living room.


Quote:
I'd have to see what Kid Kards are, but I have Cardtoon.


Its not anything I would use for this age group. Its my opinion cards are not good for this age group. There is a whole other topic going on about this right now you may want to check out.

Quote:

I have a short, colorful thimble routine that is already set to music so I'm thinking that might be a good opener.

So what I really need are a few more inexpensive routine ideas. Here's what I'm thinking

Silks (blendo, Slydini, etc.)
Rocky Raccoon
Cut and Restored Rope (any specific routines that works for young children?)
Sponge Rabbits


Again, just my opinion, but I think the thimbles are too small for that many kids. Kids do good with BIG visual magic, especially with this age group.

You hit it right on the head though with working with silks & Rocky Racoon!

I personally love storytelling magic and my daughter does a lot of it so don't be afraid to use it! There was a recent article in Linking Rings about storytelling magic. I haven't had the opportunity to actually sit down and read the article yet as I was thumbing through the issue, but you may want to check it out if you get the magazine (available to IBM members).

You can use any prop for storytelling magic since you are writing your own custom storyline. My daughter does rope magic to a custom story we wrote and it gets great feedback from the audience, plus it sends out a positive message to the kids as well. If you like rope work check out some of Daryl's DVDs. He has some great rope work and he is entertaining to learn from. *whispers* He also has some of the best rope I've found.

Again, with the sponge rabbits--- I'm not sure. 15-20 kids may be too big of group to really pull that off with. Maybe someone else can give you a better opinion on that. My daughter has the sponge rabbits but does not do them in her act.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions just ask and I'll do my best to help. Please remember that we are also amateur magicians (with some experience) but we believe in helping one another.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:32 pm 
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Kristen I agree with everything you say, except one thing. Sponge rabbits are great no matter how big or how small or how old the crowd is. I use them all the time, and it's always the part of my show that gets the best reactions. Of course, I don't use sponge rabbits, I just use regular red sponge balls.

So my advice to tbwendt: Get a killer sponge and rope routine, and your well on your way to performing a great and entertaining kids show.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:01 pm 
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Its okay to disagree, that is why I said he may want to see what others said that actually use them in their act. I was concerned about the visibility issue with 15-20 kids. Sponge rabbits are not that big and I thought he might lose some kids, especially 4-5 year olds, if they can't see that well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:10 pm 
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i have cardtoon but i think to perform it for 15 kids might be a little hard for them to see and i do a good spongeball routine as well as rocky raccoon!!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:08 pm 
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shteig613 wrote:
i have cardtoon but i think to perform it for 15 kids might be a little hard for them to see and i do a good spongeball routine as well as rocky raccoon!!!!


You don't want to use cards for kids. In my opinion anyway.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:26 am 
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Thanks for all of the great advice. I'm already working on my rope routine coming up with a storyline. I do have the new Linking Ring issue - thanks for the tip.

I know cards are kids are not the best. I just thought that Card Toon 1 was so cute!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:20 am 
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Location: Canada
tbwendt wrote:
Thanks for all of the great advice. I'm already working on my rope routine coming up with a storyline. I do have the new Linking Ring issue - thanks for the tip.

I know cards are kids are not the best. I just thought that Card Toon 1 was so cute!


Maybe it is cute. I've never seen it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:51 am 
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Maloney123 wrote:
tbwendt wrote:
Thanks for all of the great advice. I'm already working on my rope routine coming up with a storyline. I do have the new Linking Ring issue - thanks for the tip.

I know cards are kids are not the best. I just thought that Card Toon 1 was so cute!


Maybe it is cute. I've never seen it.


Spectator selects a card and it is hidden back in the deck. There is an riffle animation drawn on the backs of the card where a little guy finds the selected card that the spectator selected. I think with the right presentation, kids would flip over effect. However, it's probably only going to be effective for small groups.

Check out the video demos...

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=353
http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=354


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:11 pm 
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Posts: 2610
Location: Canada
tbwendt wrote:
Maloney123 wrote:
tbwendt wrote:
Thanks for all of the great advice. I'm already working on my rope routine coming up with a storyline. I do have the new Linking Ring issue - thanks for the tip.

I know cards are kids are not the best. I just thought that Card Toon 1 was so cute!


Maybe it is cute. I've never seen it.


Spectator selects a card and it is hidden back in the deck. There is an riffle animation drawn on the backs of the card where a little guy finds the selected card that the spectator selected. I think with the right presentation, kids would flip over effect. However, it's probably only going to be effective for small groups.

Check out the video demos...

http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=353
http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=354


Well, it does look pretty good. I'm beginning to think I was wrong. This could work for kids.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:26 am 
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A BIG thanks to everyone's advice.

I just got back from my first paid kids show and it went great. My initial booking fell through for November but I picked up a Christmas party for a broader aged group (ages 2-14).

I started out doing a Triumph card routine followed by a mutilated finger cut....just kidding. I went with a "wizard in training" script. After collecting a lot of advice here and on the Cafe, here was the line-up.

I warmed up with D'lites performed to Wagner's Flight of the Valkrie
Opened with Teleportation Class - Expanding and Shrinking Head Illusion
Manipulation of Wizard Rings (routine similar to Ring Leader)
Color Transformations Class - dye tube, small silk fountain, color-changing streamer
Wizard Coloring Book
Story of Mama & Papa Bunnie (3D Sponge Bunnies)
Over the River and Through the Woods (my Professors Nightmare)
Wizard Mind Control - $2 Window
History Class - Elaborate Flag Blendo using a Change Cap
Closed with Art Class - Magic Drawing Board (Art-o-matic)

The Expanding and Shrinking Head Illusion and 3D Bunnies were big hits as was the Magic Drawing Board. I think the parents were as surprised as the kids when the eyes starting moving and the mouth starting talking.

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: My advice on a kids routine and Cardtoon...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:25 pm 
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Joined: 27 Dec 2008
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Cardtoon does not work for a group. It's good around the coffee table for 4 people at most. You really have to show it to each person individually because the spectator can't see it unless he's right over it.

I have one constant problem with kids - standing/jumping up and rushing the performing area. If you're reaching the kids, they are going to stand up, jump up, and rush your area - that's constant. As to how to deal with this...well that's why I'm here. I don't know. What you must *not* do, I can tell you, is stop enjoying yourself, stop having fun, and get stern with the kids. The kids get over excited and they get an undeniable urge to jump up and grab your stuff, and they do that, it's as simple as that. You have to be prepared to deal with this.

For a group of 10 or more, you have to change your show from "close up" to "plays big." Things are best when you maintain a formal show atmosphere of some sort, with the kids seated and you controlling who comes into the performing area. This is not how the kids want to do it, so you have to use some sort of really effective tactics to control it.

Small effects like Cardtoon and Hot Rod are not good because 1: You can't see it unless you're right on it, forcing you to repeat the effect for various tiny groups of spectators and 2: if the kid is close enough to see a small effect, he's close enough to grab it and you simply can't have that.

Baking a cake in a dove pan works very well for me because it's a low level of excitement that the kids can stand to sit for and it's a pretty good effect. My killer effect is "Diminishing Cards." Use the $40 Al Baker style device rather than the $5 "Giant Card" style rip-off device. This is also a lower level of excitement but I get asked for a repeat of it at every single show, no matter how many times I've performed for that crowd.


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