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Topic: The Absolute Best Kid's Stage Effect...
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Dec 22, 2011 10:46AM)
...you own.

I don't care if it's old or new -- cutting edge or classic. If you were performing before a sea of children and could do only ONE effect for them -- which would you choose? I am thinking about something you might use to drop little jaws in amazement in every stage show.

My choice would probably be Art-o-matic.

How about you?

David
Message: Posted by: mike storz (Dec 22, 2011 11:05AM)
Yup. My vote is the axtell remote drawing board.
Message: Posted by: MikeDes (Dec 22, 2011 11:20AM)
Wacky Weasel by Chance Wolf would be my choice.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 22, 2011 11:25AM)
My egg bag routine
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Dec 22, 2011 11:44AM)
My Balloon Swallowing routine. I will pit it against anything I have seen anyone do.
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Dec 22, 2011 12:45PM)
Benny the Bunny routine.

Jaws don't drop from amazement, but they do drop as the kids scream with laughter. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cciDrzeIWGc

Brian
Message: Posted by: randyburtis (Dec 22, 2011 01:11PM)
Bigger/biggest wand gets a big response, but is lower on the magic aspect. For Wow impact my sponge ball routine, it is 7 minutes of delight for me, the volunteer and the audience, with tons of fun lines and magic moments
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Dec 22, 2011 01:13PM)
Darn it....in all honesty I'll bet the Axtel remote board WOULD be the best stage effect for kids, but I'm saving up for the Cesaral sound-master to program a whole act to.

Right now, I'd say my biggest killer is the comedey-chair. Like Brian's rabbit: it's short on effect but loooooooong on laughs!
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Dec 22, 2011 02:59PM)
My original change bag routine - just ask Al Angello or any of the others that were at the IBM show this month.
(after 20 years of performing it I still don't have a name for it) if I ever decide to release it I will have to name it I guess LOL
sam
Message: Posted by: MichaelCGM (Dec 22, 2011 04:38PM)
My version of [i]Needle Thru Balloon[/i]. A close second would be my routine for [i]Comedy Glass in Paper Cone[/i]. My show is mostly "everyday" props. Great topic, David!!
Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Dec 22, 2011 05:49PM)
My coloring book routine is my signature effect. It's the only routine I do in every kids/family show I do! (I have multiple shows.) It's my closer and kids applaud when I pull it out!

(It does not use the standard coloring book. It uses a version I got about 25 years ago and haven't seen since.)
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Dec 22, 2011 06:24PM)
The Sam Sandler change bag routine uses an inexpensive zipper change bag, and two silk scarves. It clearly demonstrates that magic comes from the magician, and not from his props. The only magicians I have ever seen with the ability to make kids roar for their whole show were Tricky Ricky, The Great Zucchini, and Sam Sandler.
Message: Posted by: danfreed (Dec 22, 2011 07:43PM)
My climb inside the giant balloon thing - I only do it once in a while but it is really wild to see for the first time. I did the Axtell board once for a school and they went so wild they couldn't hear the recording (I made a reading theme recording for it). I feel like the CD recorded routine they sell is too long - I want to keep my show moving, and it also has a few corny things on it, so I'm going to make a new routine recording for it or edit the existing one down.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Dec 22, 2011 08:36PM)
Michael Messing
Everybody does a coloring book routine. Do you have a video of your routine?
Message: Posted by: revmike (Dec 22, 2011 08:57PM)
For children 5 & under, without a doubt the Practical Magic Wacky Washing Machine.

For older kids, my version of Needle thru Balloon.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Dec 23, 2011 03:23AM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-22 19:43, danfreed wrote:
they went so wild they couldn't hear the recording (I made a reading theme recording for it).
[/quote]

You Mein freund, need the Cesaral soundmaster. If you cant do vent, this device will allow you to control what the face says and when, give you a choice of reactions, allow you to return to the original recording where you left off at any point.
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Dec 23, 2011 01:59PM)
For my youngest audiences, I still think stark changes do best, so I would do a silk vanish/appearance in my hands. For family audiences that include all ages (including young), I would pick Dream Bag with silks ending the piece with a change to a blendo production.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Dec 23, 2011 02:03PM)
Al nails it in that answering this is very difficult if not impossible. It is not the effect at all that makes it killer or amazing. It is YOU and what you do with said effect or prop. Any trick in the right hands can be a dud or can be absolutely a piece of art.

I take price in that everything in my show is a routine I created myself. I refuse to do anything like anyone else. The reason is that I am NOT them. I have to create routines and acts that work for Kyle and Kelly. It may take me a lot longer, but my audiences are worth it.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Dec 23, 2011 02:25PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-22 14:59, Sam Sandler wrote:
My original change bag routine - just ask Al Angello or any of the others that were at the IBM show this month.
(after 20 years of performing it I still don't have a name for it) if I ever decide to release it I will have to name it I guess LOL
sam
[/quote]

Name it, "SamSational Change!"
Message: Posted by: Leland (Dec 23, 2011 03:37PM)
Spogeball routine. I get lots of miles out that routine.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Dec 23, 2011 03:55PM)
Fraidy Cat Rabbit. One of the few props I've kept from my kids shows days.
Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Dec 23, 2011 04:02PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-22 20:36, Al Angello wrote:
Michael Messing
Everybody does a coloring book routine. Do you have a video of your routine?
[/quote]

Al, I do not have a video of the routine but it's not just my routine that makes it special, it's the coloring book I have. It's a 5-way coloring book but I have the only 2 copies of this coloring book that I've ever seen. I've had numerous magicians ask me where I got the coloring book because they've never seen this version. It's an extremely well thought out and logical routine. Everything that occurs makes sense.
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Dec 23, 2011 05:20PM)
Ken-- I like that! I might just use that name. does that mean when and if I ever release my routine to the magic community that you will want royalties for the name!? LOL
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Dec 23, 2011 06:41PM)
No, its a freebie. Glad you like it.
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Dec 23, 2011 08:46PM)
I have a remote control snake basket, I don’t use it for the card trick; I put the loose snake in the basket and ask the kids to tell me if it tries to get out.

Every time I raise it, the kids go nuts; I lower it and look, and tell them I don’t see it; they go nuts every time it goes up in the basket.

All I really need to do is show up with the snake basket and the rabbits and it’s all I would need to perform with and they will be happy
Message: Posted by: bowers (Dec 23, 2011 09:03PM)
My eight foot appearing straw from bag.
todd
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Dec 23, 2011 09:31PM)
For younger audiences, the Kandu Carton. For older kids, a comedy card in balloon routine using picture cards,

Jim
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 24, 2011 01:06AM)
[quote]
I get a lot of reactions from doing the Misers Dream routine.


On 2011-12-22 12:45, Brian Lehr wrote:
Benny the Bunny routine.

Jaws don't drop from amazement, but they do drop as the kids scream with laughter. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cciDrzeIWGc

Brian
[/quote]
Great routine. I have the same rabbit in hat myself. I got it this year. I do not like how the little round circles come off so easy.
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Dec 24, 2011 11:43PM)
I would say my Micro Clean, which is a modernized Wiz Kote Machine. See the attached pic. Secondly, I would say Barry Mitchell's Can Opener - Because it fills a large stage...
Message: Posted by: randyburtis (Dec 25, 2011 09:04AM)
Tony, I agree Can opener fills the stage, but I find it is a long routine that doesn't have the impact it could, the middle lags...any hints on how to make this trick a top trick?
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Dec 25, 2011 02:05PM)
Would I be able to program the board for art-o-magic for a different routine? Has anybody done so?
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Dec 26, 2011 12:13AM)
Hey Randy - About the Can Opener... I think playing up the repeated Duck funnies helps the routine in the middle. Move it along in a speedy way, don't let it get bogged down. Also, really build up the ending, "If we find a SHARK with a BOW TIE that is RED - I think this crowd will stand and give you an incredible round of applause. Make the child the hero.

One other point, I noticed that I had the absolute best result with this effect during my last show. It was a mother / son event. So, I had four boys on stage and about 50% of the audience was adults (moms). This is the absolute best case scenario. Moms love to see their children selected as helpers on stage. To use 4 of them at once was pure gold. The effect is a little diminished when it is a children's show only, with only a few adults. They are less enamored by seeing one of their own kind on stage, just an observation.
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Dec 26, 2011 09:47AM)
I'd say it depends on the audience. Stage shows for kids might be aimed at toddlers, pre-schoolers, 4-6 year-olds, 5-10 year olds, all ages, etc.
One routine I do which encompasses most of these age ranges is my "How to be a Pirate" routine. This involves several kids and one adult, who are put through their paces as apprentice pirates. There are several magical moments, which vary depending on the ages involved.
Generally speaking, stage routines which involve several volunteers tend to be very strong...as long as the routine is entertaining and carefully-crafted.
Potty
Message: Posted by: wizardpa (Dec 26, 2011 10:50AM)
For me it has to be the routine I open my show with; which is Taco my Axtell Expressions Hands Free Vent Toucan or my ending routine which is a 3 trick production of a real bunny, using a production box to produce a bunny puppet, and then putting that into a rabbit wringer, producing a flat bunny and then changing that to a real bunny using a circus wagon.
Message: Posted by: Lachlan Davis (Dec 26, 2011 10:00PM)
I would do mutilated parasol.
Message: Posted by: randyburtis (Dec 26, 2011 10:41PM)
Thanks Tony, I think I just need to tighten it up and run it a bit faster to get better impact...
Message: Posted by: Mumblemore (Dec 27, 2011 12:41PM)
Wolf's Blow Yur Stack, Three Cup Monte (Practical Magic sl--h effect with water), Nick Wenger snake basket, Great Painting Competition (Practical Magic), Wolf's ABC Recombobulator, Barry Mitchell Trash to Treasure, Tim Sonnefelt Tortoise and Hare with Nick Wenger doorbell ringer gag, Kandu Knot Funny and Comedy Box
Message: Posted by: axtell (Dec 29, 2011 01:45PM)
Wow!... to have our magic included in this list is a real honor. Happy New Year from Axtell Expressions! Ax
Message: Posted by: Jef Eaton (Dec 29, 2011 04:56PM)
It is an honor to have something you invented not only be popular with other magicians, but to have them say it is one of "the absolute best kid's Effects." I thanks you for the continued support, and here's wishing everyone here on the Café a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Regards,
Jef
Message: Posted by: henri loik (Dec 29, 2011 10:08PM)
I actually have a question. Is the EZ hat loader any good for kid shows?
Message: Posted by: Jef Eaton (Dec 29, 2011 10:28PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-29 16:56, Jef Eaton wrote:
It is an honor to have something you invented not only be popular with other magicians, but to have them say it is one of "the absolute best kid's Effects." I thanks you for the continued support, and here's wishing everyone here on the Café a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Regards,
Jef
[/quote]

I believe I was trying to say "thank you" not "thanks you." I must have missed the spell checker.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Dec 30, 2011 12:31AM)
Jef, if you live in New Zealand in a certain age-and-community group [teenagers mostly] you could use the term "Thank yous".
"Yous" being the plural form of "you", so used for two or more people. Hailing people on the street: "Hey, yous!"
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (Dec 30, 2011 10:14AM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-30 00:31, MagiCol wrote:
Jef, if you live in New Zealand in a certain age-and-community group [teenagers mostly] you could use the term "Thank yous".
"Yous" being the plural form of "you", so used for two or more people. Hailing people on the street: "Hey, yous!"
[/quote]

MagiCol, I heard the "you's" usage when I lived in New York....it mostly came from people who lived in The Bronx. They might have been Kiwi transplants though.

To stay on topic, I get great mileage from Peanut Butter & Jelly.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Dec 30, 2011 11:10AM)
Yous is also a Belfast thing.

There was a joke that there was going to be a local version of "silence of the lambs" called "Shut up yous".

I get a lot of mileage from Jef's karton, too.

But if I was going to pick one prop I'd choose my hat.
Message: Posted by: Magic Patrick (Dec 30, 2011 12:32PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-22 12:45, Brian Lehr wrote:
Benny the Bunny routine.

Jaws don't drop from amazement, but they do drop as the kids scream with laughter. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cciDrzeIWGc

Brian
[/quote]

Brian,

What kind of backdrop do you have in this video?

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Dec 30, 2011 12:53PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-30 12:32, Magic Patrick wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-12-22 12:45, Brian Lehr wrote:
Benny the Bunny routine.

Jaws don't drop from amazement, but they do drop as the kids scream with laughter. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cciDrzeIWGc

Brian
[/quote]

Brian,

What kind of backdrop do you have in this video?

Patrick
[/quote]

Patrick..i think it's one of Jeff Jones Backdrops. Here's the site:

http://www.magicbackdrops.com/

Ken
Message: Posted by: Kevinr (Dec 30, 2011 02:37PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-27 12:41, Mumblemore wrote:
Wolf's ABC Recombobulator,[/quote]


I have one of these for sale and its like new in the for sale section.

The price is super cheap with free shipping if anyone wants a great prop!
Message: Posted by: CesaralM (Jan 14, 2012 02:02PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-23 03:23, The Mighty Fool wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-12-22 19:43, danfreed wrote:
they went so wild they couldn't hear the recording (I made a reading theme recording for it).
[/quote]

You Mein freund, need the Cesaral soundmaster. If you cant do vent, this device will allow you to control what the face says and when, give you a choice of reactions, allow you to return to the original recording where you left off at any point.
[/quote]

Yes, indeed. The combination of the Axtell Talking drawing (any of the versions) with the Cesaral Soundmaster is amazing. If you want to know more about this just send an email to cesaral@cesaral.com.

Best wishes

Cesar Alonso (Cesaral Magic)
Message: Posted by: danfreed (Jan 14, 2012 02:27PM)
The Soundmaster sounds very cool but not in my budget now, I'll put it on my wish list. I've never been refereed to as mein freund, sounds like something the bad guys would say from Captain America.
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Jan 15, 2012 03:46AM)
It's the villian in me slipping out now & again. :evilgrin:
Message: Posted by: Brian Lehr (Jan 16, 2012 01:45PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-30 12:32, Magic Patrick wrote:
What kind of backdrop do you have in this video?

Patrick
[/quote]

Sorry for not seeing this post sooner. Ken was correct, it's the Jeff Jone's backdrop (which I love!).

Brian
Message: Posted by: John Breeds (Jan 17, 2012 02:42PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-22 20:57, revmike wrote:
For children 5 & under, without a doubt the Practical Magic Wacky Washing Machine.
[/quote]

I make these for Practical Magic, England.
I presently have 6 Wishy Washing Machines for sale – but only to Magic Café members who live outside of Europe. These six machines are offered at a ridiculously low price just to say thank you. Email me at jbreeds@talktalk.net for details.

John
Message: Posted by: CesaralM (Jan 23, 2012 07:13PM)
[quote]
On 2012-01-14 14:27, danfreed wrote:
The Soundmaster sounds very cool but not in my budget now, I'll put it on my wish list. I've never been refereed to as mein freund, sounds like something the bad guys would say from Captain America.
[/quote]

Here is how it looks like when you use at the same time the Axtell Hands free drawing with the Cesaral Soundmaster. Both products are great so....It works like a dream :)

http://www.cesaral.com/Integration%20of%20the%20Axtell%20Hands%20free%20drawing%20with%20Cesaral%20Soundmaster.pdf

I hope it helps!

Cesar Alonso (Cesaral Magic)
Message: Posted by: A Show By Joe (Jan 23, 2012 07:28PM)
I would do my comedy snow storm.
Message: Posted by: davepb (Jan 25, 2012 07:23PM)
At the end of my school and pre-school shows, I always asked a teacher to compleate a simple questionaire on the show that had just finished. (this can be seen on my web site http://www.mountainmagicperform.com click on lecture notes.) Almost every one remarked on the Foo Can and Funnel routine. The foo can I made from a plastic Milk Shake glass, I purposely made it to alow a small dribble of water drip down the childs forehead, when it was placed on the child's head, with the ply square between it and his head. After pulling out the board, then lifting the foo can every one including me expect the water to pour all over him. When it doesn't, I'm upset, looking for the water, then discover he has a hole in his head. I then get it back via a magic funnel. There is heaps of room for very funny patter, The adults laugh as hard as the kids.

Dave Boyd
Magic Mountain's Mr. Magic
Message: Posted by: Hugh Entwistle (Jan 26, 2012 07:46AM)
I am fascinated with the axtell drawing board and I know how it works, I appreciate the awesomeness of it on stage, but if I were to perform it on a more 'intimate' kids show in someones house or something where I don't have much space, do you guys feel confident that the kids don't want to examine the board, if they don't, that's fine although I would appreciate some backup. Any clean-ups for the board?
Message: Posted by: RNK (Jan 26, 2012 11:30AM)
My sugar to candy routine using the simple Candy Factory Prop. A nice 7-10 minute comedy routine with a simple prop. Of course there are some other props used along the way in getting the sugar to finally change to the candy. An example, after you have the volunteer on stage you ask him/her and the audience what a magician uses to make magic happen. Of course they say a magic wand. You tell them you have a very special magic wand that likes when volunteers use it to make the magic happen. So you get the magic wand and proceed to hand it to the volunteer, but wait... it changes into a snake! I tell them, "Oh boy, you know who this is.... this is Sammy, Sammy the Clean Snake. He comes out when someone who has dirty hands tries to touch the wand, he senses the dirt." So I ask the volunteer if he/she went to the bathroom before the show? And if so, did you wash your hands when you were done?Hmmmm? I tell him/her not to worry and that I have a rag with me to clean your hands. Then I use the Dirty Hand Gag Rag to show the rag is clean but after wiping their hands- it shows dirty hands all over it! I then go on and on with some different gags to finally get the volunteer to make the magic happen! Just plain fun for all!

RNK
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jan 26, 2012 07:32PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-29 22:08, henri loik wrote:
I actually have a question. Is the EZ hat loader any good for kid shows?
[/quote]
It's good for an experienced magician. It requires that some misdirection be routined into it. The model that I saw was made long ago, and was adequate for the job. Hopefully, the quality has gotten better.

The favorite of my kidshow audiences is my egg bag routine. The ending is strong!
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Jan 28, 2012 03:44PM)
If I had to do just ONE routine it would be the snake basket.
Message: Posted by: Magic Patrick (Jan 30, 2012 10:18PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-30 12:53, Ken Dumm wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-12-30 12:32, Magic Patrick wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-12-22 12:45, Brian Lehr wrote:
Benny the Bunny routine.

Jaws don't drop from amazement, but they do drop as the kids scream with laughter. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cciDrzeIWGc

Brian
[/quote]

Brian,

What kind of backdrop do you have in this video?

Patrick
[/quote]

Patrick..i think it's one of Jeff Jones Backdrops. Here's the site:

http://www.magicbackdrops.com/

Ken
[/quote]

Ken,

Thanks a lot!

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Jason Johnson (Jan 31, 2012 12:27AM)
It's hard to find just one. I've only performed this once, but the kids were dead silent at attention when my bunny assistant put my head in the dagger chest. I had an ear mike on, and the sound of the daggers amplified, and the kids ooed and awed.
Message: Posted by: TrickyRicky (Jan 31, 2012 06:41AM)
The Kandu Hankey Trick from Jeff Eaton,Misers Dream and the Egg Bag (Hobson's).
I've featured Kandu Hankey Trick in my show for the last 2 years. It's a fantastic trick and a laugh a minute.
Tricky Ricky
Message: Posted by: under6 (Feb 21, 2012 03:35PM)
[quote]
On 2012-01-17 14:42, John Breeds wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-12-22 20:57, revmike wrote:
For children 5 & under, without a doubt the Practical Magic Wacky Washing Machine.
[/quote]

I make these for Practical Magic, England.
I presently have 6 Wishy Washing Machines for sale – but only to Magic Café members who live outside of Europe. These six machines are offered at a ridiculously low price just to say thank you. Email me at jbreeds@talktalk.net for details.

John
[/quote]

Thanks so much for this post - I have my Wishy Washing Machine, sent very quickly & shipped rather inexpensively from John in the UK. The kids really enjoyed the effect! I had two little girls helping with the wash and they had a blast. Very easy to work and so magical. Thanks John, it will be a favorite for my young audiences!
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Feb 21, 2012 03:54PM)
For a larger venue (as the title of the thread says), I'd go with Jumbo Sidekick. Lots of comedy by-play, you can dress the spectator if you want and have loads of fun.

Steve
Message: Posted by: axtell (Feb 22, 2012 11:04PM)
Hugh there is an non-gimmicked magic drawing board you can hand out subtly allowing folks to write their name on or discover when you are packing up, or examine if needed
Message: Posted by: RNK (Feb 28, 2012 02:18PM)
I get great reactions using the Goofus Plant throughout my show as a running gag in waiting for it to bloom. I tell the kids that the plant blooms every 100 years and today is the 100th day. And when they hear the music- (I Que music)- maybe it will be time for the plant to bloom. I proceed to tell them that maybe the plant needs a little something magical to get it to bloom. I use something, i.e. magical milk- produce a glass of milk from my magic book- pour it into plant pot- doesn't work, then say, maybe it could use some magical jellybeans-(use the jellybean snake can)-doesn't work- I go on and say maybe it isn't the right time yet- do a couple more effects- Que music- then do some other gags-use special wands, i.e. jumping wands- jump out of my hand - topsy wand- tips blow off when I try to use it etc...
Do some more tricks, then finally- the plant blooms at the end with the use of what all plants need to grow- the watering can in which the snakes (worms) jump out. Kids just go nuts when the music is qued- I play some fun 70's game show music and get them up clapping and dancing each time. Really gets their juices going!

RNK
Message: Posted by: robholland (Feb 29, 2012 01:21PM)
Most of Axtells props are great anywhere!
Message: Posted by: CesaralM (Mar 15, 2012 12:09PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-22 13:13, The Mighty Fool wrote:
Darn it....in all honesty I'll bet the Axtel remote board WOULD be the best stage effect for kids, but I'm saving up for the Cesaral sound-master to program a whole act to.

Right now, I'd say my biggest killer is the comedey-chair. Like Brian's rabbit: it's short on effect but loooooooong on laughs!
[/quote]

You may like to see this great video from Steve Axtell. Thanks Steve!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RztCSWfYAww

I hope you like it

Cesar Alonso (Cesaral Magic)
Message: Posted by: axtell (Mar 15, 2012 01:16PM)
Cesar I was so amazed with your remote trigger concepts I had to create a video for our customers to see... Great work! Ax
Message: Posted by: KeirRoyale (Mar 28, 2012 12:03AM)
Run Wolf Run
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Mar 28, 2012 01:48PM)
The Axtell remote control stuff is amazing (and I would love to own the monkey version) but as for a remote control in a wand - wouldn't it be cheaper and more satisfying to learn ventriloquism?
Message: Posted by: MichaelCGM (Mar 31, 2012 07:37PM)
[quote]On 2012-02-22 23:04, axtell wrote: Hugh there is an non-gimmicked magic drawing board you can hand out subtly allowing folks to write their name on or discover when you are packing up, or examine if needed[/quote]I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on teh Axtel Drawing Board. I just have one, last question: What's the average life-span of the Drawing Board (uses) before one needs to start replacing parts? Thanks.
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Apr 1, 2012 04:43AM)
Michael,

The Axtel boards are pretty sturdy. I take mine apart on occasion, and have repaired one (I have two) - but I use them all the time. I can get about 8 minutes of non-stop screaming with my routine -- and it never speaks! In birthday parties you will sometimes get kids trying to look at the back, and I have found two easy solutions that eliminates this completely. First, you can show the back of it in the beginning when you are introducing the board. Your arm can easily cover the controls, and since the action hasn't started, they don't think you are hiding anything. The second is to do something like a sucker trick. I use the marker's movement to make them think I control it with the marker - totally throwing them off track. Toward the end I demonstrate it was not the marker, and that stops them cold. To be truthful, only a few kids, usually older ones trying to show how much know even care. Most shows I try real hard to make them think I am controlling it to no avail... they are too enamored with it to care.

As for an ungimmicked board, I feel it's only use is to make you feel more comfortable - it is totally unnecessary.
Message: Posted by: MichaelCGM (Apr 1, 2012 01:17PM)
[quote]On 2012-04-01 04:43, KC Cameron wrote: The Axtel boards are pretty sturdy. I take mine apart on occasion, and have repaired one (I have two) - but I use them all the time. [/quote]Thanks KC. I appreciate your input on the use of the board, and I do understand that they are sturdy, but I'm curious about a time-frame of use before having to perform maintenance (perhaps number of performances before repairs or something similar).
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Apr 1, 2012 01:27PM)
I'd recommend a clean up of the Drawing Board surface (with lighter fluid or similar solvent, so long as it doesn't dissolve the plastic surface) every 25 shows or even more often if the board is noticeably marked. About every 100 shows, it's a good idea to check the mechanics, and the state of the return spring.
That said, my remote board has worked flawlessly for years, much improved after I returned it for a service after about 2 1/2 years. It's probably due for another service now, but I also want to source a really good quality easel. My one criticism of the Remote Board is the "dedicated" easel I received. Maybe Ax has subsequently improved it, but mine has literally fallen apart. I can't even repair it now. Due to the particular shape and size of the RCDB, most artists' easels are unsuitable, as they're designed to hold a canvas....and more easels for whiteboards, etc, are too large and cumbersome, not to mention expensive. If anyone can recommend a good floor-standing easel for the prop, (a good easel should last a lifetime), it would be much appreciated.
Potty
Message: Posted by: MichaelCGM (Apr 1, 2012 05:27PM)
Thanks for the help, Potty. I think you helped me make up my mind. This will probably be the only new effect I buy this year - breaking my New Year's resolution NOT to buy a new effect for a full year. :) The only easels I've seen that might meet your criteria are at Hobby Lobby. It might not be feasible to have one shipped to you. But, they have a ton of easel selections. Here's just one: http://shop.hobbylobby.com/store/item.aspx?ItemId=157606