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Topic: Kidabra Family Performer of the Year Contest
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 14, 2010 12:24PM)
I spoke to Mark Daniel a few weeks ago and in our conversation he mentioned that they were thinking of maybe not hosting the contest in the future. I hope they keep hosting it. How many people that have attended Kidabra in the last two years would like to keep seeing this contest happen? I think it is great for the world of family entertainers and I know many people want to compete in the future.

What I can envision to make the contest better, is to host the preliminary judging in front of a live kid audience on Thursday morning like they did this past year.

But instead of hosting the finals Friday evening in front of 10 kids that all belong to magicians, and at that point all the kids have been to the lectures, been on stage in the lectures and have seen many of the props and gags that kid-show magicians use and are burnt out by that time in the week . . . Host the finals Friday afternoon in front of a live public kid audience such as they did with some of the show/lectures.

Allow the finals to be viewed by a lay-kid audience AND the full house of magicians attending the convention. Two of the acts in the finals that did wonderful and got really great responses in the preliminaries didn't come across as well the next evening in front of the magicians audience and their few kids. But in front of a lay-kid audience they would have done great and maybe the outcome may have been different.

One person in a previous thread in this Kidabra section stated how he and his son voted for this certain person because they played to the kids more, even though the kids did not respond well. What he didn't realize and what people didn't know because they were not back stage is that the contest chairman Chris Weed advised all of us in a group meeting just before the finals, that this was a more diverse audience than in the preliminaries and he highly suggested we play to the adult crowd as well as the 10 kids in the audience.

I took his advice to heart and played to the crowd in front of me and won. I was third to go on in the finals and I could hear back stage that the kids just were not responding and I adjusted accordingly. But like I said, in the back of my mind I keep thinking if there was a lay-kid audience maybe the outcome may have been different???

So to sum this thread up: I hope they keep hosting the contest. Who agrees?

I think it would be helpful to host the finals in front of a public kid audience. That way competitors will be able to fairly show how their presentations are received by a non-magicians kid audience.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 14, 2010 01:15PM)
Personally, Tommy, I was opposed to the competition from the start. Here's my reasoning: Competitions are fine convention filler and reputation builders, but KIDabra is a high-intensity skill, showmanship and marketing learning conference. Anything between the Auction and the Grand Show that cuts into that learning experience and re-motivation process, in my opinion, subtracts from my return on investment in attending.

How many 5-star lectures and workshops did you and the other contestants miss while in meetings, preliminary and final competition? What show-popping or income-building tips did you all miss? I assure you that they were there and could have boosted your income well beyond the cash prize you so generously donated to Bruce.

What great potential lectures or workshops were booted to make time for the final competition? I stopped attending the regional and national conventions decades ago because they were filled with wasted time and fluff that did very little to enhance my professional skills and knowledge.

Now, if you wanted to replace the competition with a professional peer-review program willing to view showcase performances and offer positive direction and helpful critique; we might all benefit from this. (Well, except for those few self-acknowledged specimens of god-like perfection from California, Arizona and New Jersey, of course.)

What about a "KIDabra Professional Certification" process that benefits everyone willing to put in the time rather than a very select few? Say, a critiqued performance before a live audience and a peer review panel with specific theatrical criteria such as wardrobe, originality, vocal projection, stage presence, staging, routining, eye contact, audience interaction and so on. Score at a specific level and we earn our certification. If not, positive feedback is offered and recorded with very specific goals for improvement. Next year, we return and our improvement over the past year is rated and documented. Achieve a specific score and we receive a coveted and earned certification. If not...work harder, study more and repeat next year. You get the idea. Those watching this process learn as much as those going through it.

Certain qualified panel members, like the incomparable Max Howard for example, may offer to review videos of your performances during the year and offer additional coaching and insight for a reasonable fee. How is this not better and more progressive than a static competition?

Christopher did an absolutely flawless job of producing these two competitions and I congratulate him and his team. I also praise David Kaye and Jozo Bozo for their very generous sponsorship. I just don't feel that KIDabra is the right place for this type of filler.
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 14, 2010 02:34PM)
Skip,

Thanks for your opinion and you present some very good reasons for terminating the competition. I never gave it much thought as to what the competition has to offer attendees that are not competing. I would love to hear others opinions on this subject. Your idea of a Kidabra Professional Certification with a specific score is a wonderful idea.

You are absolutely correct. I even mentioned on another thread that due to the competition I was not able to enjoy the convention and yes, I missed out on many lectures and shows that I would have like to see as well as dinner the evening of the competition.

Would love to hear how many would like to see the competition continue or can the competition.
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Oct 14, 2010 06:05PM)
Hi Tommy!

I personally agree with Skip on this one! Kidabra has so much to offer in terms of lectures, breakouts and building friendships.

I am not one that likes competition at conventions at all. It makes some people think they are better than others and sometimes it gives off the wrong image to those that attend. That and I personally heard from some who auditioned that they felt like "they were not good enough!" That alone could lead them to never ever return to Kidabra again. Hopefully it won't BUT it could.

I think there needs to be more breakout sessions throughout the entire convention rather than just one day. These are great and offer smaller up close ways to really learn something of great value.

Todd
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Oct 14, 2010 09:12PM)
Hi All...and before I forget, congratulations Tommy on winning your award at the last Kidabra Conference! I just wanted to put my two cents worth in on competitions, but from a little different view point. Not only am I a kidshow ventriloquist, I'm also the Executive Director of the Vent Haven International Ventriloquists' ConVENTion held each year in Ft.Mitchell, KY. We have about 400-425 vents from all over the world attend each year and we have eliminated contests a number of years ago.

The competitions caused us a lot of problems over the years and we finally (when I became Executive Director) eliminated them. Both kids and adults were on edge for the majority of the conVENTion..and it got to be pretty nasty for our judges. People would actually hunt them down during the conVENTion and give them grief over why they didn't win. We had hurt feelings, people mad, and even some sabotaging of others acts back stage. All over winning some medallions! We had some pros that got so upset they refused to come to the ConVENTion for a number of years when their kid did not win. I even had a Catholic nun rag me for not winning the Originality Award! Great, I thought, now I've got God mad at me too!! :)

My reasoning is this...these vents will have plenty of time to compete in the real world. They need a safe place to perform, get some feedback, and learn to be better. We have three pro vents now critiquing the acts and we give the participants a DVD of their act. I know that doesn't satisfy all of the people, but the majority of them appreciate the fact we got rid of the contests. The stress level has greatly decreased..all seem to have fun now...and we are back where we belong..concentrating on learning and being better vents. We may tweak this in the future but it will never go back to being full blown contests.

Maybe it's different for magicians, but I think vents and magicians are cut from the same cloth. We need to encourage, educate, and teach people to have fun with what they are doing instead of winning some medallion or trophy. I congratulate all those who have bravely worked to make this contest work at Kidabra, but I feel it's up to a REAL audience to let the performers determine whether or not they were successful. Our job is for support and training. "Nuf sed" on my end. Thanks for reading this!

Mark Wade
kidshowvent.com
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 14, 2010 10:12PM)
Thank you for your kind words Mark :)

Ok, NOW I can see why Mark Daniel is thinking about eliminating the competition.
All good points and they make sense.


Todd, I really hope everyone returns to Kidabra that did not advance. I made it an issue to introduce myself and speak with each and every competitor at Kidabra and I've e mailed just about all of them after the convention. Each and every one of them seem like great people and if one thing comes out of it, I hope I've made some friends.

I personally did not have much fun this Year. I was a nervous wreck until the finals were over, just ask my room mate! I did not like the feeling of competing, although I didn't realize it until I was doing it. As soon as I came off the stage and gave it my best in the finals I said to myself right there "I am never going to do this again." (Meaning compete) I did not learn anything this year because my mind was consumed with the competition.

If I do attend next year I want to go and just have fun and meet as many people as I can.

Mark, great job at the Gala show! loved it!

Tommy
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Oct 14, 2010 11:32PM)
Thanks for the kind words, Tommy. You really deserve all the accolades you got for winning!

Mark

Mark Wade
kidshowvent.com
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Oct 14, 2010 11:39PM)
I wish I could have been there the last evening but we had to drive 16 hours back to Texas. Hats off to you for donating the prize money to Bruce. That was awesome!

Mark Wade makes some VERY good points here! Mark Daniel is smart and I know that he likes to change things up to keep the conference fresh.

Tommy: You BETTER be there in 2011. Heck, I'll even take you out for dinner on me. I am not kidding buddy!
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 15, 2010 08:54AM)
Todd, do I get to order prime rib ???? :bunny:
Message: Posted by: JimbosMagic (Oct 15, 2010 10:23AM)
Hi Tommy.
I hear whay Mark and Skip are saying about competitions and I have to agree on many points.
I entered 2 years ago for 2 reason, and it wasnt to win. Even though that was a bonus and paid towards my hotel.
It was to let kids show entertainers see what I did and how we entertain in the UK.
And aslo to let people know me and for me to get to know them.
It was a way for me to put something into the convention.

Over the years I have won many awards at Magic Conventions, but as you say you miss quite a lot of stuff that's going on. I know I missed stuff at Kidabra that I wanted to see, as you did.

I have made some great friendships since coming to Kidabra and hopefully they will last for life.

So if the competition stays or goes meeting friends is what it is about for me.
Jimmy
Message: Posted by: Daveandrews (Oct 15, 2010 11:58AM)
I'm with Jimmy here.

We were able to give something to KIDabra, let people see us working - job done.
Awards - a bonus.

KIDabra, for me also, is about friendships, possibly more than what is happening there. I have said this before, but KIDabra is very special to both Sally and myself for the friendships we have made and continue to have, and for the ethos of the whole convention. That's why we will be back for a 4th time next year.

I would like to see the competition continue (with an audience of children for the actual competition), if only to give entertainers the opportunity to let us see them in action, when we wouldn't normally. However, I would still thoroughly enjoy KIDabra without it.

My advice to future competitors (should it continue) is not to enter to win (I know, not an easy proposition), but as a kind of 'showcase' for their talent. Any trophy would then be a bonus. It takes courage just to get up there, anyway, and entrants should be congratulated just for that. OK, I'm beginning to get writers' wanderlust, so I'll stop.

See you all next year.

Dave
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Oct 15, 2010 12:44PM)
Great thoughts, Jimmy and Dave, and you two (along with Kimmo and others new to me) were a special treat. I enjoy the comeraderie of fellow kidshow workers, and you guys are great.

At Vent Haven we still give our vents a chance to perform. We have a Senior and Junior Open Mic session, wherein each performer gets 6 minutes in front of a live audience to do their stuff. We have sign ups for the Senior and Junior Open Mics (10 in each catagory), but we also have two General Open Mics where they can sign up when they arrive at the ConVENTion and get to do their 6 minute routine. In the Senior and Junior catagory we have the critique judges giving them written feedback on the good and the bad, and they each get a certificate and DVD of their act. We don't have critique sheets or DVD's for General Open Mic...it's mostly for vents to get up and try out something just for fun. No pressure..just for fun.

Mark

Mark Wade
kidshowvent.com
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 15, 2010 12:49PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-15 10:23, JimbosMagic wrote:
Hi Tommy.
I hear whay Mark and Skip are saying about competitions and I have to agree on many points.
I entered 2 years ago for 2 reason, and it wasnt to win. Even though that was a bonus and paid towards my hotel.
It was to let kids show entertainers see what I did and how we entertain in the UK.
And aslo to let people know me and for me to get to know them.
It was a way for me to put something into the convention.

Over the years I have won many awards at Magic Conventions, but as you say you miss quite a lot of stuff that's going on. I know I missed stuff at Kidabra that I wanted to see, as you did.

I have made some great friendships since coming to Kidabra and hopefully they will last for life.

So if the competition stays or goes meeting friends is what it is about for me.
Jimmy
[/quote]

The worst part about it was I had to miss Jimmy's show and lecture because we were competing in the preliminaries that morning :(
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 15, 2010 01:17PM)
Wow! A rational, polite and reasoned discussion on Magic Café without insults or personal snipes. Who'da thunk it! :)
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Oct 15, 2010 01:21PM)
Tommy: I was thinking of taking you somewhere REALLY nice. What is that one place with the golden arches? You can order anything off the value menu.
Message: Posted by: Daveandrews (Oct 15, 2010 06:44PM)
You tryin' to mix it, Skip ;)

Dave
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 15, 2010 07:43PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-15 13:17, Skip Way wrote:
Wow! A rational, polite and reasoned discussion on Magic Café without insults or personal snipes. Who'da thunk it! :)
[/quote]

that's because this is the Kidabra section we are Kidabra members and nobody here thinks they are better than the next guy. We are family. (I just brought a tear to my eye!)

Todd, the Golden Arches will suit me fine. I am a cheap date lol
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 15, 2010 08:50PM)
I agree with Skip and Mark Wade, but that should be no surprise because I have wrote about this topic in numerous sections. There is not a contest anywhere in the world that has rated the contestants on an objective scale.

To date all contestant scoring sheet are subjective in many areas. Add in the numerous rating errors like leniency, stringency, halo effect, first and last impressions, etc. and the subjectivity is compounded.

In no way does this diminish, the winners. No Doubt the Winners of FISM are very-very good. But like every contest it is subjective.

KIDabra is family... is so correct.

For anyone not to win, like Mark Wade said, it clear, there are hurt feeling and they last a long time.

I would rather see a lecture, a marketing seminar, far more than a contest. Everything KIDabra offers in it's lectures and Biz Builders only helps me as well as others. Outside of the winner of the contest, not to many benefit from the experience.

What ever decision is made by KIDabra I will support it and help as much as I can, just like each person in this thread has done more than once.
Message: Posted by: JimbosMagic (Oct 15, 2010 08:51PM)
Todd. if your having a desert of KKs count me in lol.
But don't tell dave. Shhhhhhh
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 15, 2010 09:02PM)
Hey Jimmy! Stop trying to cut in on my dinner date with Todd! :)
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 15, 2010 09:28PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-15 20:50, Dennis Michael wrote:
I agree with Skip and Mark Wade, but that should be no surprise because I have wrote about this topic in numerous sections. There is not a contest anywhere in the world that has rated the contestants on an objective scale.

To date all contestant scoring sheet are subjective in many areas. Add in the numerous rating errors like leniency, stringency, halo effect, first and last impressions, etc. and the subjectivity is compounded.

In no way does this diminish, the winners. No Doubt the Winners of FISM are very-very good. But like every contest it is subjective.

KIDabra is family... is so correct.

For anyone not to win, like Mark Wade said, it clear, there are hurt feeling and they last a long time.

I would rather see a lecture, a marketing seminar, far more than a contest. Everything KIDabra offers in it's lectures and Biz Builders only helps me as well as others. Outside of the winner of the contest, not to many benefit from the experience.

What ever decision is made by KIDabra I will support it and help as much as I can, just like each person in this thread has done more than once.
[/quote]

I have to ask . . Dennis, Skip and Todd are all part of the Kidabra staff . . . how did the competition come to be? Was it voted on? Did you oppose it in a vote and lost? Like Dave, I would like to see the contest continue. Dorian LaChance told me he wants to compete again next year and a friend of mine says he wants to compete. But all three of you, including Mark Wade bring up very good points about abolishing it. So how did it come to be in the first place?
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Oct 16, 2010 02:09AM)
From what I know, it was Chris Weed's idea! I may be wrong but that is what I know of. Again, Mark likes mixing things up and making things fresh. For many years, there was a dealers show which was really great. The dealers got several minutes on stage and it became more of a comical show thanks to Scott Francis. For the past several years, it has become a 60 second dealer show. Not quite as fun but still a good time.

BTW: I like you Tommy! A cheap date is always good! I have to buy my wife chocolate and diamonds so I can do chicken nuggets anytime. LOL!

Jimmy: I'd be honored to have you on our dinner date as well. I happen to know tha you love donuts so it would have to be breakfast. LOL!
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 16, 2010 08:26AM)
Well, I never!
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 16, 2010 08:50AM)
I am really not sure how it came about, or who's idea. It could have been Chris Weed's and supported by other staff members. The idea is not a bad idea and of course worthy of trying it out. There was no voting and if I was asked, (I cannot remember that far) I know I would oppose it because my baseline knowledge related to development and training of "assessors" and the creation of fair and objective testing taught me all contests in the magic industry are subjective.

Ultimately the final decision rests with the KIDabra corporation. The first year, Jimbo and Dave were so good, they set a standard, they were the best of six. This year, it was close to being canceled for lack of contestants. In both years, some the "losers" or those that did not qualify, had hurt feelings. This happens in just about every contest. Mark Wade above said it quite well with VentHaven. For me this is not what KIDabra is about.

Every year just about everyone laughed and left KIDabra feeling good. Knowing someone, anyone, left KIDabra with hurt feeling, does not qualify for what KIDabra is about is my personal feelings. If a member doesn't come back because of this, we lost one great children entertainer. The time left at KIDabra is dwelling on this, so his/her experience would not be optimal.

KIDabra is so uniquely different than other conventions. I personally feel we should maintain that uniqueness. Leave the contests to them. Add in what was said above also applies.

In all cases, I am proud of the winners and feel for the losers. This is me and has no bearing on KIDabra. I wish for everyone to win equally because of what it does for that individual. Jimbo, and Tommy, if you could magically give that feeling to another, would you do it? (Rhetorical question because I'm sure you would.)
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 16, 2010 09:49AM)
Yes Dennis. In a New York second I would. It was an unbelievable feeling when I heard my name for first place and I would love for everyone to experience that feeling. I guess that is why part of me would like to see the competition continue. It was the first time I have ever won any award for magic, probably due to the fact I have never entered a magic competition and most likely will not again. Like I've stated before, I did not like the feeling of "competing." I am the type of person who feels that I don't have to prove anything to anyone. I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING! Then WHY did I enter you ask? Because the title would look great on my resume'. . . period.

The week before the competition was crunch time. I put most of my spare time into working the routine. At one point my Fiance' commented about me putting too much time into the contest and my reply to her was: Honey, you don't understand how important it would be for me to have that title on my promotional material. I told her: I am going down there and I'm going to win the competition. I told my family and friends the same thing. At one point she saw me sitting there thinking and asked what I was thinking about and I told her I was thinking of my winning speech lol Now I know what you're all thinking . . . How CONCEITED!!!! But imagine if I went down there with the thinking that I was going to lose . . . (I am a VERY positive thinker!) :)

But I feel I underestimated my competition because I strongly feel if the voting by the judges was done after the preliminaries, I would have lost. Although I did well, I really feel the lay childrens group responded VERY well to Julie, Gideon and Dorian. I knew the only way to win at that point was to re script the routine to play to the audience I knew would be in front of me in the finals, and I was totally consumed the entire day Thursday and Friday re writing and rehearsing the script for Friday evening, not enjoying the convention. One again, I send sincere gratitude to my room mate Perry from IN for putting up with me.

I felt very bad for the contestants that did not advance to the finals. My point of view was; There were only 8 contestants. Send them ALL to the finals. I know that is not how contests usually work. But being Kidabra members,they ALL had some very nice routines especially Charlie Cadabra and Charlie Mr. Funny Bones. Hey, I'm not complaining Because I won, but I know first hand there were hard feelings and if that is what is going to come out of every competition in the future years at Kidabra, then I agree with the above posts to abolish it. If ONE person does not return due to hard feelings, then that is one too many.
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Oct 16, 2010 12:08PM)
For me I did not like the idea of contest. Magic convnetions do them but the guys who compete have a contest act. And to have someone that works like we do only get to do 10 mins of your act is hard. With that said it can be pulled off. I think the time can be better served on something else. I enjoy MC'ing the event but would gladly step down and lets try something else.

Being cut from contest happen all the time but I think with Kidabra being on the smaller side meaning not over 600 people, we are like all family and everyone knows what is going on. So if you cut or do not advance forward it does make you have hard feelings. I say we tried the contest thing and it was fun , time to move on and maybe entertain the idea again later.

Ken
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Oct 16, 2010 01:50PM)
If people are going out for a meal at this year's KIDabra, I want in! :)

I'm going to do my very best to be at the event in 2011. I have no comment on the contest one way or the other, because I haven't been to a KIDabra Conference yet.

I've participated in local magic club contests at a theatre, with the public voting to decide the winner. (Even won a couple of times, but I've also lost a lot, too.) But I've never competed in a magic convention contest.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 16, 2010 04:51PM)
After reading your post, Tommy, I CAN image what you would feel if you didn't win.

NOW IMAGE ME NOW DOING EXACTLY THE SAME FOR 6 YEARS, EVERY DAY. (might have been more, and I invested thousands of dollars, and was trained by the best.)

Then winning 1st place hands down, then 24 hours later, because I wasn't the one they wanted to win and they took that feeling away and placed me in last place. I got to see the score and I was 50 points above the new winner, and the highest in the state of NJ out of hundreds of contestants.

OK, the prize was approximately, 1 million dollars in a lifetime, and recognition from my peers. The next contest would be 10 years later and I would be to old to compete.

Without going into more detail, this truly happened and I spent 20 years trying to understand it. It took it's toll on me physically and mentally. This is why I understand contests, and against every one of them from a "losers" stand point. I know subjectivity, objectivity, rating errors, improperly trained judges, and organizational rights to determine who they want to win because it is their contest.

...
"I CAN image what you would feel if you DIDN'T win."
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 16, 2010 10:14PM)
Wow, Dennis. I sit hear reading your post and try to think of what that would feel like to invest that much time, money and dedication, and to have that happen to you. And to KNOW you scored higher than everyone else and land in last place???? Something just wasn't right there. I can't imagine what that would feel like Dennis. It sounds like you got cheated and there is no other word for it.

I know that only three days at Kidabra and being in the competition took its toll on me. I can't remember the last time I was ever a nervous wreck. It's been a LOOOOOOONG time. After leaving the stage Saturday evening the only thing I wanted to do was go to sleep and leave early the next morning and be home. I take stress very well, but the competition stressed me out.
Message: Posted by: Daveandrews (Oct 16, 2010 11:34PM)
KK's - did I hear KK's .. count me in!

Dave
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 17, 2010 05:19AM)
Did some one say Krispy Kreme? Add in the free coffee at the hotel... I'm in.

Tommy... Cheated is an understatement, "screwed" is more accurate.
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 17, 2010 09:50AM)
I agree Dennis,screwed IS a better word...

And thank you for clearing up the KK's thing. I was just about to ask what KK's were!
Message: Posted by: Julie Carpenter (Oct 17, 2010 01:30PM)
Firstly the chocolate KK with custard filling is mine

I entered the competition this year as it was the only way I could get to perform. I wanted to perform so that people would get to know me. Yes I know everyone was friendly before the show, but it was nice to be able to show people what I could do.

I did feel that I missed out on the convention. Thursday morning was dominated with the first round -which I thorougly enjoyed.
Friday, I was a nervous wreck all day and didn't see the convention at all.
So, I only actually had one day of the convention where I could relax and enjoy myself.

Regarding the set up of the competition, I have a few points to make.
Most of us contestants were looking at being in the top 6 of 8 - we assumed that 6 would be going through.
On the Thursday we all relaxed when we were told that we could all go through if we made the standared and our act would make a great Friday night show.

I was lucky, I got picked. But we lost 4 acts. Having come over for the competition from England I would have been really upset to have been dropped. I know there was a lot of unhappiness over one of the dropped acts, that I certainly would have considered could have won. - And we don't like unhappiness at Kidabra.

The evening format did not suit my style at all. Ok, so Melissa wanted to be the star of the show, I didn't have a problem with that, she's a lovely kid but so obviously the daughter of a magician.

I do perform to adults, but my comfort zone is with the kids, lots of them, all down the front with the lights up where I can see them.

Id like to see 100 lit kids at the front and all the magicians watching from the dark comfort of their seats, behind.

Tommy was a very worthy winner and was very humble about it. He did say he changed his act from the Thursday to appeal to the adult audience, and he did it very well.

I am really hoping to come back to Kidabra next year and would love to get involved in a break out session on entertaining the really tiny kids. Also we do a lot more 2 hour parties over in England - Ive got plenty to say about them too.
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 17, 2010 02:43PM)
I think a break out session about the two hour party would be a great idea Julie. It is not common here in the states and it would be interesting to hear what you have to share.

I see you were a nervous wreck too! I hated that feeling.
Message: Posted by: Don Lamb (Oct 18, 2010 11:24PM)
First of all Tommy thanks for starting this enlightening thread. Skip you are so correct on how refreshing it is to have a "Rational" discussion for a change. Doesn't take much imagination to figure out why it is so positive!

I had a conversation with one of the contestants that did not make it to the finals and he was absolutely devastated. In fact, when he told me he didn't make it I was in disbelief. To say that the rest of the conference was ruined for him is an understatement. I couldn't believe how quickly his demeanor changed.

I see no need for the competitions to continue, but the "the powers that be" might want to create a way for more of us registrants to perform (in front of kids of course) in a very relaxed fun atmosphere with no pressure. Just a fun show loaded with entertainment. With the brain trust you have I'm sure your creative juices can figure out a way to make this type of event happen during the conference.

BTW - Dave - I didn't know that a Platypus would eat KK's.
Message: Posted by: Jay Ward (Oct 18, 2010 11:58PM)
This is a rational discussion because everyone is right. The contest has pro's and cons. I competed the first year, and the benefits have been great. Namely that many people knew me this year. It's a great way to become known in the Kidabra community. Not to mention the new friendship I gained with Jimbo, Dave and many more. I also had a lot of positive feedback and constructive criticism from some of the best in the biz. I made Silly Billy laugh! I would absolutely do it again.

If you compete, however, you will miss a lot of the convention. That is the worst part. And I think that magicians have fragile egos, all of us to some extent. So, the contest can result in someone not coming back. Embarrassment can also factor into that. Years ago, I remember a magic club member never returning after messing up a trick.

I would like to see the competition continue, but it may be best if it doesn't. I hope it would be replaced with something like Skip suggested so that you can introduce yourself with your performance.

They really have to get kids in the audience. Both years, that is been a major issue.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 19, 2010 04:46AM)
Gentlemen and Gentle Ladies,

I think you might be on to something. It sounds like a great idea, a time slot for an "Impromptu Show". Each KIDabra Member performer gets about 5 to 10 minutes, and introduces oneself and does one children routine that they enjoy doing. There are no winners and no losers, only getting to know your fellow KIDabra members, and they get to know you. (No real pressure.)

What are your thoughts on this?
Message: Posted by: Daveandrews (Oct 19, 2010 06:41AM)
@ Dennis and Jay - you are gems. Brilliant idea.
@ Don - the Platypus doesn't eat KK's, but I most certainly became a convert last August.
@ Julie - custard filled KK's? I'll fight you for them!

Dave
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 19, 2010 07:29AM)
Ah, the Krispy Kreme! When that "Hot Donuts Now" sign came on during a midnight shift, it worked as a powerful magnet pulling our patrol cars into the parking lot totally against our wills. Krispy Kreme was definitely the safest place to be at 2:00 in the morning with every Trooper, Deputy and Patrolman in the zone there. Of course, the rest of the city went to hell, but we had our KK's.

My ultra competitive wife was the first in line for a local store that reopened after remodeling - sat in line for 18 hours and won a dozen donuts a week for a year. The "delicacy" at our State Fair this week is hamburgers with buns made from a sliced KK. Not too sure how I feel about that. I could go on...but, this thread is about the competition.

I know that Mark is rolling the issue around his considerable brain between episodes of The Amazing Race. Whatever he comes up for the 20th anniversary next year will be incredible. :) Keep those ideas coming!
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 19, 2010 11:23AM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-19 04:46, Dennis Michael wrote:
Gentlemen and Gentle Ladies,

I think you might be on to something. It sounds like a great idea, a time slot for an "Impromptu Show". Each KIDabra Member performer gets about 5 to 10 minutes, and introduces oneself and does one children routine that they enjoy doing. There are no winners and no losers, only getting to know your fellow KIDabra members, and they get to know you. (No real pressure.)

What are your thoughts on this?
[/quote]

Yes I think this is a great idea. Imagine a two hour session during the afternoon with a short break in between, in front of a live kid audience. Or a one hour session on thursday and one on friday. I would thoroughly enjoy watching other performers entertain. For years I would purchase videos of other performers for the sole purpose of seeing different performing styles.

There would be absolutely no pressure and I like the idea of members showcasing for the purpose of getting known and showing their performing styles. Maybe a panel of Kidabra staff members to critique each act or better yet, everyone in the audience can participate by having a sheet of paper provided to them for each act to write comments and constructive criticisms, or would that be defeating the purpose?
Message: Posted by: Julie Carpenter (Oct 19, 2010 12:16PM)
Tommy
I love your idea - all we need to remove are scores.
No scores = no winners or losers - just constructive advice
Message: Posted by: dbmagic123 (Oct 19, 2010 01:18PM)
I really like the "Impromptu Show"idea. As Julie said no winners or loser, just some folks performing for a bunch of thier freinds & peers. ( Hopefully with a kid or two). I could then show everyone why I allowed a couple hundred chickens to be thrown at me during my photo shoot this past year at the convention (LOL) GREAT FUN!!!!. Also congrats to everyone on this thread for having a constructive thread with differnt opinions that can remian civil and friendly.. but truth is.. I wouldnt expect any less from this group.. Thanks everyone. Looking forward to Kidabra 2011.


DOn
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 19, 2010 01:40PM)
An open mic showcase with optional critiques is a great idea. What if each KIDabra Chapter hosted a talent search and sent their best and brightest to represent them at the conference showcase? Not a competition, but a showcase of international KIDabra talent. How would we handle that for those not close enough to other KIDabra members to form or sustain a chapter?
Message: Posted by: dlachance (Oct 19, 2010 01:44PM)
Greetings everyone,

First I wanna thank Tommy James for bringing this thread to my attention. I have been largely absent from the Café with the exception for the for sale threads. I had honestly forgotten about the KIDABRA section. Soooooooo

I do want to congratulate Tommy James on his win. He earned it and did an incredible job. I recently watched the contest DVD and it confirmed once again why he won. Way to go Tommy. I am honored to call you a friend. And his Halloween DVD ROCKS the house. It is easily one of the best DVDs I own. It has help spark so many ideas that I can't keep up with them. Keep a notebook nearby.

This thread is great and I do want to add my two cents.

Competing was the only way that I had to put myself out there to the Kidabra community and I honestly did not expect to even place with all the talent that was present. It was an honor to receive the award that I did and I will never forget the experience. And yes, I would love to come back and do it again. The competitor in me demands it :)

However, so many great points have been brought up in this thread. And the fact is there would likely be so much more value in the "Impromptu Show" idea. Not only would it allow people to get to know each other quickly, but imagine what the constructive feedback could do for someone's act and career. Imagine the undiscovered gems that could emerge during the process. It could be like an expanded Max Howard project.

And thank you to everyone who took the time to befriend me this year - my first - at Kidabra.

All the best,
Dorian
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Oct 19, 2010 01:46PM)
With an impromptu show, will everyone be allowed to perform, or will a certain level of quality be set by submitting videos, approval, etc?

I have to ask, because I was at a gospel magic convention about 15 to 16 years ago, and they allowed a variety of people to perform during an open session. I know this may sound mean or snobbish, but some were really bad & embarrassing (some were good, though). Some weren't ready to be performing at this sort of session... the level of quality wasn't there yet. I had to wonder about the impression it made on the people who saw the show. (I also wondered if these performers had ever done paid shows, and how many shows they had done.)

So, if you are going to invite the public (kids, parents, etc.) to be an audience at an open session, that is something to think about.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: dlachance (Oct 19, 2010 01:54PM)
Julie - The two hour show break out would be awesome. Maybe this is a market we can explore hear in the U.S.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 19, 2010 02:48PM)
Chance, your performance was top notch and your originality rated high with me. We are honored to have you among us.

Donald, there are four viable ways to run an open mic:

1) Host a preshow cattle call or all-welcome audition and choose the acts that will be invited to perform that night. This is a standard comedy club open mic format and is best suited to public showcases. VERY time intensive, though, and we're back to potentially bruised egos if not selected.

2) Set out a sign-up sheet and first-come-first-on until time runs out. This is what most regional conventions do. This is best for audience and/or panel critiques and should usually be done in a closed conference-attendee only setting.

3) As I suggested earlier, encourage individual chapters to choose their best one or two performers and send them to represent the chapter. You want your best and brightest representing your city and club. This works great for public showcases, but again - what do we do for those members who live away from a KIDabra chapter?

4) Lottery - names are submitted and drawn to fill slots in the showcase. Not your best option for a public showcase, but a fairer option for a closed showcase with panel/audience critiques.
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 19, 2010 03:17PM)
Dorian, Thank you for heart felt words. You've made my day :)
And thank you for your positive feedback on my DVD. I produced the DVD because I sincerely felt I had some great ideas to share with the magic community and I cannot believe some of the e mails I am receiving from all over the world about my DVD. I am extremely in awe. My Read to Achieve DVD is being released real soon!

Skip you bring up some great ideas for formatting an open mic session.

I will pose this question: Would each performer be allowed 10 minutes? If so, and there is only one hour, we would only see 6 performers. Maybe if it was 8 minutes we could see 7, or 5 minutes we could see 12 etc. But 5 minutes may not be enough time????? Maybe we COULD turn it into a two hour session, after all, Duane went on for two hours in his lecture and it would be no different than having a show with a lecture after it with a small break in between.

What formatting would people suggest without letting some entertainers get carried away and go on for 15 minutes etc. Would there even BE a time guideline?

If video's are submitted and some people aren't chosen, we can go back to the argument of hurt feelings and a sour taste for not being chosen. But on the other hand what if 100 people submit videos or 100 people sign up?

How about this idea: People can sign up, first come first serve. Only so many performers can showcase and once the total number has been filled, it would be a waiting list, in case someone backs out etc.

Hey, I wonder what Mark Daniel would think of all these ideas!

Tommy
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Oct 19, 2010 03:55PM)
In the vent world, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we did away with contests entirely and replaced them with open mics. Each person was alloted 6 minutes, and were given critique sheets (3 of them) by three professional vents. I'd be glad to share them, although we look for some different things like lip control, distant voice or baby cry, puppet manipulation...although we do have some similar things like stage presence, timing, pacing of the act, delivery of material etc. These sheets really help the performer and often they will catch the pro and ask them for more specifics, all done in a better way than having hurt feelings because they lost.

I know in life we have winners and losers, but I feel conventions when we are with our peers should first and foremost be a "safe place" where we can learn, take constructive criticism, and grow. As magicians and vents we will all have enough time to "compete" when we get to the real world. Anyway..as childrens's performers, vent or magician, we need kids in front of us to make it work. It's tough enough to perform for you peers but to have no kids and your act is designed for them makes it even tougher.

I'll help Kidabra and all of you any way that I can and share what we vents do at our open mics. Our ConVENTion is more like a family reunion than a conference and I want to keep that feeling.

Great discussion! Keep up the good work, guys and ladies!

Mark

Mark Wade-www.kidshowvent.com
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Oct 19, 2010 09:46PM)
Too bad I was set to give 1554.00 next year for the prize. Oh well.
Message: Posted by: Jay Ward (Oct 19, 2010 11:17PM)
LOL Ken! Hey, it ain't been canceled yet buddy! Your dedication to Kidabra is tremendous!
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 19, 2010 11:42PM)
Jay...keep in mind that Ken was the ringleader on the great Botania Bidding War. I hear he still hasn't paid THAT debt off! :)
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Oct 19, 2010 11:59PM)
Botania... prize winners... KIDabra... All of this talk makes me wonder if the next winner gets a snuggle from Jimbo as the prize. lol!

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 20, 2010 05:33AM)
Choosing the performers out of a group of performers is still "winners" and "losers", and I am against that.

6 or 7 minutes would be good, because most local contests use 8 minutes and that time limit works.

What I would like to see is a show with a kid audience and the performers are placed into a slot based on the routine they are doing. For instance, 6 miser's dreams would be nice but a bit to much. Lottery selection ensure fairness with multiple similar routines. There are Openers, Productions, Comedy, Danger, Illusions, Closers, Animal routines to name a few. We could place the appropriate routine in the right slot.

A written script of the routine should be submitted, to ensure the routine is within "safe standards" and no real surprises that might offend are within the routine.

KIDabra Chapter members could perform, just like others and picked out of a group of others. No special show just for them because there are a just a few chapter members and much more International Members who are equally important and don't have a chapter near them.

The critique sheets are wonderful tools and they can help even the best. Love this Idea.

For the first time we should do it small and see how it is accepted by the membership. One session, no more than 90 minutes.

Thanks a bunch for your great input Mark Wade. You have the experience,

And for that KK Burger add in cheese, fried onions and bacon.
See: http://laughlines.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/the-krispy-kreme-burger/
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Oct 20, 2010 06:29AM)
As far as selection of our open mic people goes, the Senior and Junior Open Mic participants are chosen by them sending in an email asking to be on the Open Mic session (we have a date selected for them to do this). The first 10 emails we received in each category are on the docket, and we kept backup lists for those who didn't make there first ten. If we had a drop out at the last minute we could quickly fill the spot.

The General Open Mic (we have three of them) is open to those who want to sign up for it on the day they arrive to register. Only the Senior and Junior Open Mic people get the critique sheets and a DVD of their act...the General people only get the opportunity to perform..no sheets or critiques, although some have asked a pro to watch them individually and give them verbal comments.

Make sense? Any questions ?
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 20, 2010 07:14AM)
Below are some thoughts on this:

Mark, That might work. One must be on the KIDabra Email list and when a notification goes out, the first (X) number of people by date and time received, are to be selected.

Each year or if we go with what Tommy suggested two shows, it could be two different venues like School Educational Theme, and a General Magic Theme.

There is so much here, this could go on for years without any repeats.

When it is themed, then there is continuity.
With a format there is a standardized transition between routines. So there isn't (3) "Turn-it-Around" routines back to back, or (4) Run-Rabbit-Run Routines and (2) egg bag routines.

[b]The performer's routine falls into one of these Categories for a general Magic Themed Show:[/b]
[list]
[*] [b]Opening:[/b] should be fast colorful production act..Startling, change of color every 20 seconds, musical and fancy ending.
[*] [b]Middle:[/b] Vary pace, short routines, variety...Mount Attack...Novelty.. Punch..Closing
[*] [b]Ending:[/b] Mass, Beauty, Motion, Color, Rhythmic Action... Good thoughts..Going away "WOWing them"...
[/list]
[b]Success is: Giving them something they can talk about on the way home[/b].

Here would be a [b]KIDS Variety Magic Show [list]
[*]Warm-up
[*]Strong Opening Magic Routine (Production)
[*]Magic Routine
[*]Variety Routines: Vent, Juggling, Balloons, etc.
[*]Two Magic Routines with 1 Kid Assistant
[*]Variety Routines: Vent, Juggling, Balloons, etc.
[*]Two Magic Routines with 2 Kid Assistants
[*]Variety Routines: Vent, Juggling, Balloons, etc.
[*]Magic Routine with/without Kid Assistants
[*]Magic Routine with Kid Assistant (Danger-within reason)
[*]Illusion Routine
[*]Strong Closing Magic Routine
[/list][/b]

Or even a [b]Kid's Safety Theme Show[/b] (40 Minutes)

[list][b]
[*]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[/b]
[b]Reference:[/b] Safety Magic for Children by Karl Wagner[/list]

Or [b]Components for Developing an Educational Program[/b]
[list][b]
[*] 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
[/b]
[/list]
[b] School Educational Themes
[list]
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[/list][/b]

[b]One could critique the performer using this as a guideline:[/b]

To evaluate the presentation performance, DVS recording the show, and use the below criteria for improvement.

This rating is on a 1-4 scale and purposely left out average (1-5 scale 3 bring average) because average is a point where one can't make up their mind, therefore, one needs to be above average or below average. These guidelines also are designed for a individual who has been around a lot of magic and can be reasonably objective based on a broad understanding of the magic entertaining business. The purpose of these guidelines is to eliminate subjectivity, and improve on performance.

[b]Scoring Criteria: will be based on a one to four scale in each dimension (Area):[/b]

[list]
[*] 4. Exceptional Performance
[*] 3. Above Average, No Glaring Mistakes or Errors
[*] 2. Below Average, Mistakes Obvious
[*] 1. Needs Work
[/list]
[b]Scoring Dimensions:[/b] Performance should be judged on the basis of the following dimensions:

[list]
[*] [b]Presentation:[/b] The performer connected with the audience

4. The performer "WOWed" the audience, connected with the audience, and the audience could see the performance over and over again.
3. The performer demonstrated smooth transition between routines, and a positive connected with the audience, a repeat performance would also be enjoyable.
2. The performer has some transitions between effects, connected with the audience but needs work on entertaining the audience.
1. There was little transition between effects or routines, it appeared to be a series of unrelated effects, haphazardly presented with little or no audience connection.

[*] [b]Stage Presence:[/b] Confidence in one's abilities, attitude of assurance knowing the routine extremely well, well practiced, eye contact with audience, comfortable performing.

4. The performer demonstrated confidence and was comfortable with the routine, well rehearsed, with an attitude of assurance in performance
3. The performer demonstrated confidence and was comfortable with the routine, and made NO obvious mistakes or exposures.
2. The performer demonstrated confidence and was comfortable with the routine, but made glaring mistakes or exposures.
1. The performer needs a lot of practice, made glaring mistakes or exposured how the effect was done.

[*] [b]Audience Appreciation:[/b] The audience obviously is enjoying the performance, the audience is having fun and being entertained

4. By the applause and/or visual actions of the audience, they really appreciated the performance, and could watch the performance again, and again.
3. By the applause, the audience appreciated and enjoyed the performance and wouldn't mind seeing it again.
2. The applause was "forced", the performance was enjoyable, but once was enough.
1. Little applause and the audience seemed bored or demonstrated a lack of interest in the performance, the entertainer did not entertain.

[*] [b]Skills/Technique:[/b] The performer demonstrated the skills of a craftsman in the performance, clearly indicating a professional entertainer (magician).

4. The performer clearly demonstrated manipulated skills with no mistakes, with cards, coins, canes, TTs, or any effect required skill to do well.
3. The performer demonstrated manipulated skills with little or no glaring mistakes, with cards, coins, canes, TTs, or any effect required skill to do well.
2. The performer demonstrated manipulated skills with glaring mistakes, with cards, coins, canes, TTs, or any effect required skill to do well.
1. The performer demonstrated manipulated skills with several mistakes or exposure, with cards, coins, canes, TTs, or any effect required skill to do well.

[*] [b]Originality:[/b] The performer developed, enhanced a routine that is original material.

4. The performer demonstrated a routine and effect, which is clearly his own.
3. The performer demonstrated a routine, which is clearly his own, and used standard effects. (Professor's Nightmare, 20th century Silks, etc.)
2. The performer demonstrated a "stock routine", which for the most part is a common method.
1. The performer copied a routine from another, with insufficient original material added.

[*] [b]Humor (Kid Show):[/b] The performer entertained the audience with "appropriate" use of humor.

4. There were numerous bits of business with continued laughter from the audience.
3. The audience laughed over the added bits of business and the routine had several humorous elements to it.
2. The audience smiled, chuckled and the routine has obvious humor elements.
1. There was little or no laughter from the audience.

[*] [b]Children Entertainment Value (Kid Show):[/b] The performer clearly demonstrated an ability to entertain children, using humor, audience involvement and a child assistant.

4. The routine was clearly geared for children, used audience participation, lots of humor, and involved a child's assistance.
3. The routine was clearly geared for children, involved the audience, was funny, and involved a child's assistance.
2. The routine wasn't clearly geared for children, used little audience participation, some humor, and did not involved a child's assistance.
1. The routine wasn't clearly geared for children, used little or no audience participation, little humor, and did not involved a child's assistance.
---
The below rating makes up for some dimensions that are not listed above and is uses as an adjustment score. It seemed perfect but something was missing or it wasn't perfect, however, it really was a outstanding performance.
---
[*] [b]Overall Satisfaction of Performance:[/b] You were clearly entertained, you feel good about the performance, you had fun, and could watch the performance again because the performer has the right combination of skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.

4. The performance has the right combination of skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.
3. The performance has most of the right combination of skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.
2. The performance lacks the right combination of skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.
1. The performance needs much improvement related to combining skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.
[/list]
Obviously, the Children's Dimension is for a performance which focuses on children entertainment. Not all the dimensions are required for every type of performance.

What is left out is [b]Use of Music[/b] because music can take a bad act and push it into a good act. It can enhance a performance tremendously or it can hurt a performance equally by inappropriateness, timing is off and numerous other possible positive and negative behaviors. Music will push an act above a four and it can pull it below a one. [b]The best acts use music and take that chance![/b]
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 20, 2010 08:28AM)
The Open Mics could easily be an after-hours event over one or two evenings. Some really superb ideas, Dennis, but I don't think we should over think this and apply a lot of rules, guidelines and restrictions. Set 'em up first-come-first-on, give 'em 8 minutes to show their best ORIGINAL material and set 'em free to be themselves. Keep it fun. Keep it fresh. Keep it simple.

Requiring ORIGINAL content will keep potential repeat appearances by Run Rabbit Run and Bunny Boxes from becoming overwhelmingly repetitious. The primary complaint that I hear about clowns and magicians that I very rarely hear about comedians and vents is that they're all clones of one another. Clowns and magicians have a reputation of doing the same thing the same way as the guy down the street. KIDabra can take a strong lead in breaking that image by pushing genuine originality.

I'm also not altogether sure that a children's audience is necessary for the open mic. As kidshow artists we really should be focusing on Family-level entertainment. If we, as performers, don't have an original 8-minute routine that plays well for ANY age group, then we need to focus more on our real-world show content and not worry about an open mic. Let's push KIDabra as a place to STRETCH our creativity to new heights. My opinion.
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 20, 2010 08:50AM)
Whew! Just got finished reading Dennis' post! THAT was a looooooooong one! :)

Skip I like your idea about original content. I think 3 or 4 out of the 8 competitors in the preliminaries used nesting wands in front of the live kid audience.

Dennis, I like all your ideas and even though when we first began this idea we thought of leaving the scoring out . . . I think if it is presented in the manner at which you are suggesting, it WOULD be a useful tool for evaluating one's performance.

I also love the idea of having a themed session like educational routines, safety themes etc as you've suggested. This idea could possibly turn into a another fun part of Kidabra. I think it would be very well received by attendees not wanting to participate on stage. It would be great to see such a variety of entertainers in a 90 minute period.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 20, 2010 09:26AM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-20 08:50, TommyJ wrote:
Skip I like your idea about original content. I think 3 or 4 out of the 8 competitors in the preliminaries used nesting wands in front of the live kid audience.
[/quote]

There's no sidestepping the fact that there are certain props that the universal family artist relies on; nesting wands being one of these old standards. I wouldn't discourage the use of these props provided they are used either to enhance an original routine or in a totally original manner. For example, a unique and entertaining storyline that hasn't been heard before and justifies the use of the prop. Using a prop with an out-of-the-box script deserves to be gonged.

Take the Silver Scepter, for example. I've used a version of Terry Herbert's routine as an opener for years and it always receives howls of laughter from kids and parents alike. Now the kids in my primary show area all know Deedee Scepter. So I added a styrofoam ball and a white cover and he became a rising ghost. The kids soon figure out that it's Deedee playing a trick on me and the laughter is back to its original peak. Old prop - new presentation using the comedy principles of call backs and the running gag.

Same with my Hippity Hop Rabbits. Out of the box, the effect has no "real" closing aside from the "sucker" effect every backyard magician uses. My routine uses four different colored rabbits in four matching boxes, each rabbit and box could be examined at the close (if I allowed it - which I don't), the storyline is filled with age-bridging jokes and bits and the closing wows parents and kids alike. Old props - creative routines.

Heck, just writing this put an idea in my head for a totally new and unique presentation for the nesting wands that opens a whole new line of comedy (Jenny Craig for Wands?) Creativity at work! Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 20, 2010 12:26PM)
What? Nobody went to my Krispy Kreme Beger link?
http://laughlines.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/09/the-krispy-kreme-burger/

We need a little dessert Break for all this heavy thinking..... :)
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Oct 20, 2010 12:38PM)
As far as selection of our open mic people goes, the Senior and Junior Open Mic participants are chosen by them sending in an email asking to be on the Open Mic session (we have a date selected for them to do this). The first 10 emails we received in each catagory are on the docket, and we kept backup lists for those wheo didn't make ther first ten. If we had a drop out at the last minute we could quickly fill the spot. The General Open Mic (we have three of them) is open to those who want to sign up for it on the day they arrive to register. Only the Senior and Junior Open Mic people get the critique sheets and a DVD of their act...the General people only get the opportunity to perform..no sheets or critiques, although some have asked a pro to watch them individually and give them verbal comments.

Make sense? Any questions ?
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 20, 2010 01:50PM)
Wow! Deja Vu! :)
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 20, 2010 03:21PM)
I like Mark's idea. It sounds like it would be fair for everyone.
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 20, 2010 03:22PM)
I like Mark, even though I'm not a Ventrickolist!
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Oct 20, 2010 05:41PM)
Thanks for the kind words, Tommy! I'm not saying what we do at the vent conVENTion is perfect, but we've been very successful with it for the past ten years. We keep trying to tweak it and by having people email to get in makes it fair for everyone, including overseas participants. I still get pressured from some of the pros (some who still remember the old contest we used to do..) to go back to the contest format. But I can actually say we've almost eliminated the old griping about not winning, and that speaks for itself. We may try something new with it by having some verbal comments (positive in nature..) given on the spot by a pro critiquer, but I'm not completelynsold on that. I'll look it over and make the call, but I'll probably leave it the way that it is. We're a much happier conVENTion since we have convertered to the open mics. We've even eliminated the "Ventriloquist Of The Year" award as it caused major problems between the pro vents. Now the conVENTion gives a "Distinguished Service Award" and it can go to collectors, figure makers, amateur and pro vents..virtually anyone that distinguishes themselves for helping the vent world. Me and my committee decide on who get this award and many times multiple people are awarded this. Good deeds in the vent world gets you a possible nomination..there is no campaigning for it.

Sorry to go on babbling..

Mark

Mark Wade-kidshowvent.com
Message: Posted by: MikeHMagic (Oct 20, 2010 10:27PM)
I have competed in magic contests and it left a bitter taste in my mouth. The pressure was so that I didn't enjoy myself untl the last contest and I got into my act and decided that if the crowd laughed I considered myself a winner. Personally I will never compete again.
The raspberry filled KK's are MINE MINE MINE!
I felt my arteries clogging up just from looking @ those KK burgers
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 20, 2010 11:16PM)
Artery clogging? The NC State Fair outdoes itself every year: Deep Fried Twinkies, Deep Fried Pecan Pie, Deep Fried Coca Cola, Deep Fried Snickers Bars and this year - KK Burgers. No wonder the South is so sparsely populated! :)
Message: Posted by: Fred Kirkland (Oct 21, 2010 01:19AM)
I have known Mark for about 24 years a great guy and great performer.
Message: Posted by: JimbosMagic (Oct 21, 2010 09:18PM)
Right.
Some great ideas on here from Mark, Tommy, Skip and Dennis.
Break out sessions are good. Or what about showcasing a new trick or routine to get feed back and help with ideas. Now I think that would help performers a lot.
On a more serious note!!!!
I want you all to realise. I am first in line for the Krispy Kremes.
I will not tolerate any one in front of me.
Todd, I would love to be a lunch buddy with you and Tommy.

Oh and by the way, Any one can have a hug from me. XXXXXX
Jimmy
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Oct 21, 2010 10:06PM)
For what it is worth kidabra had an open mic night about 10 years ago. I think it was the fist time being in pigeon forge. Well it did not GO well AT all that night. There were many things that went wrong with it. BUT with that said it was along time ago and it might be something Mark can open back up.

I can't speak about Mark Wade's event and how it works. But have been to a couple of conventions where they have had an open mic night and I have not seen it go well yet.

Ken
Message: Posted by: Don Lamb (Oct 21, 2010 10:54PM)
Skip we too had the KK cheeseburger at our Wisconsin state fair this year. They sold about 3,500 salty-sweet Krispy Kreme cheeseburgers over the first three days of the fair. Roughly a fourth of the $5 burgers sandwiched between two halves of a Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut were ordered with chocolate-covered bacon for an extra buck.

I heard that at the Texas State Fair this year they even had Deep Fried Beer.

Oh, the possibilities are endless next year for the food booth in the convention center at KIDabra! Yummo !
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Oct 21, 2010 11:28PM)
Ken, you need to come to Vent Haven ConVENTion to see what we do. We do it right! Not a problem in 10 years of doing it. It's all in the preparation and planning. Also in communicating how the thing works in advance of the ConVENTion made a huge difference. When everyone knows up front what's going on, and you answer their questions about it in advance, you have success.

I have three words for Kidabra if they want to go this way...planning..planning..planning. You can't leave any detail to chance. Have an answer in advance for everything, or as much as humanly possible.

How did I get left out of this KK thing? I know I'm only a vent, but come on guys you can learn to share, right? :)

Ken, I appreciate your opinions...please don't think I was trying to be tough on your opinions. You're a good friend!

Mark

Mark Wade-kidshowvent.com
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 22, 2010 07:43AM)
My wife just told me that the hot "Deep Fried" delicacy at the NC State Fair this year is the Southern Fried Sticky Bun. I just don't get it. Of course, I didn't understand the Southern Fried Coke Syrup last year, either.

I missed the Open Mic ten years ago, but I've heard it was a total DEEsaster! I think this calls for an exploratory road trip to Kentucky next year! Where'd I put that sock puppet?
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 22, 2010 09:06AM)
Mark, consider yourself invited! Hey Todd, this is going to cost you a bit, especially with Jimbo in front of the line :)

All this talk is making me hungry!!!!
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 22, 2010 09:10AM)
P.S. Don and Ken, consider yourselves invited too!

Ken,I think we should try it again. Like Mark said if it is planned accordingly and all the questions are answered up front, hopefully it would go smoothly.

Ken, what stood out at you when viewing open mic sessions that didn't go well? Do you think it was a lack of planning?

Has anyone run this by Mark yet?
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 22, 2010 09:56AM)
Did you know, there is a certain time Krispy Kreme throws out the unsold day's donuts, and if you are there at the right time, you can have them for free and as much as you can carry.

But don't tell Jimbo!
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Oct 22, 2010 10:17AM)
Imagine a convention of 300 magicians at the door waiting for the free donuts!
Message: Posted by: Don Lamb (Oct 22, 2010 10:58PM)
. . . . . . . and one of those 300 magicians waiting in line is carrying a botania.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 22, 2010 11:36PM)
If it's THE Botania, we'll never get in the door.
Message: Posted by: JimbosMagic (Oct 26, 2010 09:59AM)
Is that because of the size of the BOTANIA or the guy carrying it lol.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 26, 2010 10:16AM)
The CONDITION of THE Botania. That puppy's a clean-air health hazard!
Message: Posted by: JimbosMagic (Nov 8, 2010 06:03AM)
Haha skip
Message: Posted by: sspanks (Nov 10, 2010 06:39PM)
The biggest problem I have heard about this is that there are no children in the audience for the finals other than the magicians kids attending the conference. I like the idea if they can adjust so the contest participants have an outside children's audience and their reaction counts for something towards the end result.

I am planning on attending the next Kidabra in 2011 and was looking forward to seeing this competition, since it was not a part of the last Kidabra convention I attended.

-stephen
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Nov 20, 2010 01:01PM)
That is the number one thing I would change , is to have a lay kid audience for the finals as well. Yes, we are family performers and we have to adapt to the situation in front of us but the name of the organization IS KIDabra,the largest group of KID SHOW entertainers in the world, and the competition should be held in front of kids... And not just 10 kids that are magicians kids. To do it correctly I feel the finals would have to be held Friday afternoon with a YMCA invited with lots of kids in the audience to interact with. Not 10 magician's kids who have seen loads os magic routines and props all their lives and look bored stiff at the finals. My routine I performed was intended for a kid audience, but I adapted and made it work.
Message: Posted by: MikeHMagic (Nov 23, 2010 09:45PM)
I wanna go to lunch too, I promise I won't eat much!
Message: Posted by: Jay Ward (Nov 24, 2010 02:20PM)
Gus doesn't eat much, I can vouch for that.