But would anyone even want to RISK that a child would break down into tears at the site of the wrist chopper? Or for that matter, would anyone want to RISK that a child might go home and try the same effect with a sharp kitchen knife?
Even if the children find it amusing, the parents likely will not (and remember, these are the people who book you). We live in an extremely paranoid and protective culture. Anything that has the potential of putting a child at risk will be viewed negatively.
Anytime you are entertaining for children, there is a very strong social responsibility that goes along with the gig. Whenever I am called for a show, I always point out that there is no element of danger to the show, and I always ask if any of the children have allergies to foods or animals. Parents are extremely appreciative of any performer who thinks of these details.
Even if you are relatively new to performing for children, an express knowledge and concern for such details implies a sense of professionalism and experience to the client. Quite often, it makes the difference between getting the booking or losing it.
Okay...maybe I should have mentioned that I tell the child before hand what I plan to do with them, and as far as the kitchen knife goes, during the presentation (at the very beginning) I say NEVER TRY THIS AT HOME!
The parents do enjoy the trick as they have the entire time that I have been performing it! As a matter of fact, that is one of the favorite effects of many of the adults at performances.
Booking is not a problem for me. I have been performing professional for children for many years now and over the period of time that I have been performing, I have built up quite a good presentation and business reputation. I always take safety into hand as well as allergies myslef. It is always important to check with parents on certain topics.
by the way: the arm chopper is only performed at my larger shows (such as festivals, children events, etc.) I dare not take it to a birthday party!
Have you ever used any type of trick that adds the element of "danger" to your show? If not, you should give it a try but do it with a comedy type routine so it goes by the audience easier. You would be surprised at the reaction.