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 Post subject: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:48 am 
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Hi everyone. I know there are threads like this all the time, but I wanted to post a new topic so that mine didn't just get lost while tacked on to the bottom of another person's topic.

Anyways...I've been really working on routine and scripting lately, and I've decided that I really want to focus on doing a kids show for my first entire routine. I get along well with kids and I enjoy performing for them. That, and the tricks are generally easy to perform with no really difficult sleights, so that works for me. I'm good at entertaining and having fun...just average with sleights and difficult handlings.

So...I've got the first few minutes of the routine worked out. I'll spare you guys the actual patter, because I don't have that down to exactly what I want at this point in time.

Here goes.

I start out with some music playing (I'm thinking the Pink Panther Theme Song right now, but I have a few options I'm toying around with). While that is starting, I bring out a wooden crate that has "LIVE ANIMAL" painted on the side and some air holes in it. I set it down on the table, and grab the cane that's on the table. That cane is a vanishing cane.

I then do some "dancing" of sorts...which is mostly a comedy routine where I TRY to dance with the cane, but don't really do so well. As I go to lean on the cane for one of the moves, it disappears and turns into a couple of silks.

This whole time I've had my D'Lites on, so after the cane disappears I immediately go into a quick (maybe 45 seconds or so?) routine with the D'Lites. Just some fun stuff...catching it, putting it in one ear and taking it out the other, tossing it up and catching it in my mouth, then coughing it back out...things like that. Just real basic handling of the routine.

As the music is coming to a close, I then use the appearing cane to make the can reappear, to do the final little lean move that I was TRYING to do at first with the "new" cane, and this time it works.

I'm shooting for a TOTAL of about 3:00 worth of routine with these three effects. I don't want to go any longer because I don't think I can draw it out much more than that. Do you guys think that is too short of a time frame for that??

The music comes to an end at this point, which is where I introduce myself and start to talk about the box on the table. As I'm talking about it, the box shakes a little. (I haven't worked this part out yet...I'm not sure how I want to do it, or if I even will) and I then open the box and pull out my puppet, which is a vibrant and cartoonish bird named "Sparks."

I introduce "Sparks" and we banter back and forth for a few moments about why he had to be in the box, and how he was in fact not having trouble breathing due to the holes in the crate. Finally, I cut him off and tell him that we should get on with the show. He agrees and suggests that I do the "new" trick that I just got in the mail. I tell him that might not be the greatest idea because I haven't practiced the trick yet. He gets a bit antsy and I agree to do the trick.

This section of the routine will take about another 2-3:00, depending on my final scripting. I'm thinking that since it's going to be relatively comedic, that it's not too long between effects and I think it's a good time frame for it. Thoughts on if this is too short or long are appreciated.

At this point I pull out another box, that looks like it's sealed and just been delivered by the Post Office. This is ACTUALLY the "Vanishing Bandana" trick where the magician gets a banana in the box and goes through making that "bandana banana" disappear. I would like to get this version of the effect because I like the voice over that comes with it: http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=S9916

I go through that routine, and at the end of course it mentions that there is a free banana included with the effect, and I then look again and find that there is in fact a yellow bandana in the box. This effect apparently takes about 4 minutes to go through...but the version I want has a couple of scripts for the voice over so I could probably go a bit shorter if need be.

After this, I banter with Sparks a bit more about how I KNEW I should have gotten a rabbit instead of a bird. Sparks takes a bit of offense to this, and tells me that rabbits aren't nearly as cool as birds are. I ask him how he figures, and explain that I have two rabbits right now that would willingly do a magic trick that doesn't involve me crushing a banana all over myself.

This banter goes on for probably less than a minute, to right around 1:15.

This sets me up for a logical transition into a hippity hop rabbits routine. Which I do for about 2 minutes or so, after hamming it up quite a bit.

I then go back to Sparks and ask him if he can do anything like that?? The rabbits certainly managed to be entertaining...not just annoying. Sparks then tells me that he's learned a trick in the last few days and asks me to get him his scarf. I put the scarf in his mouth, which is actually a Chameleon silk that changes colors when Sparks shakes it with his beak. It changes colors and I take it out of his beak as he takes a bow...then he starts to cough a bit, which is when I reach into his beak and start to pull out another silk...which is actually a long silk streamer that comes out of his mouth for a few seconds.

Time on this section is about 2:00 or so, probably a bit less.




That's all I've got so far. I have a few more effects that are geared towards kids...like a magic coloring book, some vanishing crayons, and one of those milk pitchers that doesn't really pour anything. I'm not sure if there's a way to work them into what I have already or not. I'm thinking right now of having Sparks pour a drink for me at some point with the milk pitcher and of course there won't really be anything in it...but I'm not sure where to put it. I'm also not sure what I should do for a "finale" to the routine. I don't know if the silk work is strong enough to be the end of the routine, or if I should keep looking and find something that is stronger to end with.

So far the routine is ABOUT 15 minutes long, so I think there's room for some more if need be. Again, this is without the FINAL final script, so I'm not 100% sure on the time. It might be a few more minutes, might be a few less.

I welcome any and all comments and suggestions. This is the first routine that I've tried to put together that is an actual routine that flows from one thing to another in a logical fashion. I have TRIED to make it fun and silly and entertaining while having a couple of good effects in it that are visual and cool that children would like. The puppet is silly and fun and good looking, and I am pretty decent at ventriloquism so the banter with the puppet will be solid.

Thanks for taking the time to read this...I didn't think it would be this long when I first started typing it!! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:24 am 
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Gosh Gimp way to copy my thread! lmao I like what you have so far, the only thing is I'd recommend that you do the Vanishing Bandanna at the END of your show... that type of effect is more of a closer than anything else


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:44 pm 
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Thanks Zenn. I'll try to work a way to put it as the finale instead of where it's at.

I suppose I could probably find some way to replace it in the routine with the magic coloring book and vanishing crayons.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:53 am 
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Use it at the end and say something like, "Oh, I almost forgot. I got a new trick in the mail from the trick of the month club. I haven't had a chance to look at it yet, would you like to learn it with me ?"


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:14 am 
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Alright, I think I've gotten it worked out so that I can do the Vanishing Bandanna at the end of the routine.

What I will do is move the Bandanna to the end, and in it's place in the routine above I will still have Sparks suggest a trick, but it will be one of his "favorites." It will be the magic coloring book and the vanishing crayons. I think this would be a good chance for me to get a volunteer from the audience as well, and I have an idea for how that would work for the kids show.

I will move into the section of routine where I tell Sparks that I should have gotten a rabbit instead by having him "erase" the entire magical coloring book. That should pretty flawlessly take me into the routine with the hippity hop rabbits, and then I'm right back on track.

For the Bandanna trick, I will probably just put that right at the end of what I have right now. After Sparks finishes up his silk magic, I'll have him remind me that I just got a new trick in the mail, and he'll suggest that maybe we all learn it together. Then I'll go into the final routine.





Thanks for the suggestion. I think that will work pretty well. It will also give me another couple of minutes of show, so I think I'm probably up to about 20 minutes now.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:49 pm 
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Started rearranging and rewriting the script for the show tonight.

Here's a question for you guys...

I'm fairly proficient at ventriloquism, but not perfect. I have been practicing and getting better, and I can do a pretty good conversation with myself.

HOWEVER.

I'm reading quite a few sites about puppeteering where they suggest that you skip the ventriloquism altogether and just record the routine on CD/MP3 and then you say your lines, but when it's the puppets turn to speak you just move the puppets mouth to the lines that the puppet would say.

The places I've been reading that suggest that you do this for a couple of reasons:
1. It allows you to be much more vocal with the puppet. The limits of the ventriloquist are completely taken out of the picture this way. The puppet can be as loud or quiet as you want it, and there aren't any letters or words that need to be said slightly differently in order to get them out.
2. It allows you to flow really well with your script, and basically forces you to avoid ad-libbing. This helps you keep your routine going the length that you want it to without having to worry about one thing lasting longer than normal or whatever.
3. It forces you to rehearse the routine and get it down perfectly.

There are a couple of downsides...
1. The fact that it's recorded means that if something goes wrong with part of the routine, you are stuck doing it until the end anyways.
2. Since it's recorded, the positive fact that it doesn't let you ad-lib can turn into a negative when you have to deal with something unexpected. For example, if you need some more time to let some laughter die down or something, you don't have that ability with the recorded voice routine. The same could be said about hecklers...the recording doesn't give you the ability to deal with them. Basically, with the recording, no matter what the show must go on.

I have a workaround for the downsides, but I don't know if it's worth it. For the routine I have planned, the puppet doesn't really do any talking during the effects. He only talks between the effects. This would allow me to actually have things recorded as separate MP3s on my iPod. I could easily get a wireless adapter for it and then have it right on the table with me so I could start/pause/stop/skip whatever I needed to if something wasn't going right. For example, if there was an extended amount of laughter I could pause the routine to let it die down before hitting play again.

What do you guys think??


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:09 pm 
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The only pre-recorded routines I have seen are the ones by Axtell. For that matter, I have some that we bought to go with our Vern. We have never used them in our show, or Vern, but they are nice. I would think it would be pretty simple to make your own pre-recorded routines as well so they would fit your show as needed.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:38 pm 
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Most people know that letter's are substituted for others to make the words sound right, and they don't care as long as it is entertaining, they don't even care if they see your mouth move just a little. Myself, I would do the ventriloquism and not use the recorded system, that way the routine can change in a minute with your audience. The kid's might just get an intrest in ventriloquism if you present it in that way and might look at the other as just a guy with a puppet. Did you read my PM to you for an Idea about the puppet ?

Zambini


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:36 pm 
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kristenl wrote:
The only pre-recorded routines I have seen are the ones by Axtell. For that matter, I have some that we bought to go with our Vern. We have never used them in our show, or Vern, but they are nice. I would think it would be pretty simple to make your own pre-recorded routines as well so they would fit your show as needed.


Do you like your Vern??

I'm wrestling with the idea of just spending some money and getting a Vern or a similar Axtell puppet. I currently have one picked out that is hand made by a lady on Ebay that I really like, but it doesn't look to be quite the quality of the Axtell products.

The pre-recorded stuff I started looking into after seeing those routines on Axtell's site. I found a thread on a Yahoo Group about recorded routines and found a lot of the information about using them vs ventriloquism.

If I did go pre-recorded, I would definitely record it myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:38 pm 
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zambini wrote:
Most people know that letter's are substituted for others to make the words sound right, and they don't care as long as it is entertaining, they don't even care if they see your mouth move just a little. Myself, I would do the ventriloquism and not use the recorded system, that way the routine can change in a minute with your audience. The kid's might just get an intrest in ventriloquism if you present it in that way and might look at the other as just a guy with a puppet. Did you read my PM to you for an Idea about the puppet ?

Zambini


Yah, I got it. I thought I responded via PM??

Unfortunately, I don't really have many options for a helper. I do, however, have a puppet in mind that would work perfectly...but I'm not going to spend the money on it quite yet, because it's several hundred-a few thousand dollars!!! :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:01 am 
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Alright, I am going to add in one other VERY small effect right now. It's a Card Fountain effect.

I think what I'll do is add it in AFTER the magic coloring book, and instead of getting upset with Sparks about the erasing of the coloring book, he'll suggest that I do a quick card routine. I'll ask him if he set up the deck for the trick correctly, to which he'll respond yes. Then when I open the deck the cards will fly everywhere and that's when I'll tell him that I knew I should have gotten a rabbit.



It's a work in progress, but I've been editing and revising it quite a bit. I want to get it so that it flows really well together. That's been my biggest issue with performing magic for others, is the fact that I generally don't have tricks that flow together...it's basically just "Hey, look at this. Now, look at this." Of course, I am just getting started so I think that is to be expected a little bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:08 am 
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Welcome to the world of routining a magic act.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:10 am 
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Here is the puppet that I will be using for Sparks, for starters at least.

He's handmade out of some pretty nice materials. Takes about three weeks after ordering to get him because he isn't made until he's purchased.

I figure if the routine goes well, then maybe I will go ahead and upgrade to one of the Axtell puppets...probably the Bug-Off Buzzard...but I don't want to spend nearly $200 on the puppet when I'm not sure the whole routine will even work well.

This one is about $50 shipped, and I really like the way it looks. It's silly and fun.

***EDIT***
I just bought him. Hopefully he'll be here in about three weeks.


Attachments:
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Last edited by Gimpdiggity on Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:11 am 
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zambini wrote:
Welcome to the world of routining a magic act.


It's actually a lot of fun to me.

The main issue right now is that I don't have all of the effects. I am placing an order for them soon, so I'm trying to work the routine for the talk/patter BETWEEN the effects right now. I have the money to buy everything I need, but I also have a few other purchases that I need to make. So I've got a few things I'll be throwing up on Ebay to try and sell in order to get the money for the order all together. It would be NICE if I could pay for the entire order with money from Ebay sales...we'll see, though.

The nice part about that is that it's almost modular. If I decide to move the order of the effects, the patter is basically just moved to a different spot and still works with very little editing.


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 Post subject: Re: Starting to Work on a Kids Show Routine...
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:01 am 
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You are doing very good, keep up the good work. I have written a lot of routine's in my year's of magic, and routine's get rewritten all the time with changes in the order of the effect's. A lot of people trying to do magic don't even get this far, too understand what it takes to entertain with the art of magic.

Zambini


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