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Dennis Michael
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Thanks to information provided by many here on the Café and lots of reading of books, here are some routining suggestions and effects that do work for kids, families, and illusion shows. It is nice to print out and reference. There is no perfect way, just ideas that do work. Use this information as a guideline!

Think of being a magician like you would an electrician, or a plumber, carpenter, a computer technician, etc. They all require a base line knowledge level before they can effectively do their job. There are no good instant (overnight) Construction Workers! Magic is no different. There are no good instant (overnight) Magicians

Four Illusions and Eight stage tricks, does not make an Illusionist, however, with lots of practice it is possible.

Developing a routine requires several steps:

1. Learn the mechanics of the trick first.
2. Find a reason why that routine should be of interest to your audience.
3. List several additional tricks that can used with it. (Milk Pitcher: Comedy Funnel, Disappearing Glass of Milk, Comedy Ice pick, etc.)
4. List potential props that could be used with the trick.
5. Research, find, and list the potential comedy bits of business that fit the trick(s). View others on VHS tapes on how have done it, making notes on what you like and dislike and how it fits your personality or theme of trick.
6.Find the music, Listen to it, imaging your act with it. Daydream, Brainstorm.
7. Write it down then try it, practice it.


If the above is done for each mini-act you have a routine. Combine the routines and you have an act.

Step 1: Choose the effects (3) that go together.
    A. You perform them well
    B. You are comfortable with them
    C. They are tried and true routines
Step 2:
    A. Note time effects takes to perform
    B. Stagger quick little effects with long effects
    C. Add nice little effects with mind blowing effects. (Combining tricks)
Tips:
    Open and close with the most spectacular effects
    Select effects that build on each other
    Paper trail each effect. (Write it down)
    Each routine is a mini-play
    Each routine should draw the audience in
    Each routine should ENTERTAINS 1st, Mystifies 2nd
    Each routine should focus to bring out at least 1 emotion.

Format:

    Opening: should be fast colorful production act..Startling, change of color every 20 seconds, musical and fancy ending.
    Middle: Vary pace, short routines, variety...Mount Attack...Novelty.. Punch..Closing
    Ending: Mass, Beauty, Motion, Color, Rhythmic Action... Good thoughts..Going away "WOWing them"...
    Success is: Giving them something they can talk about on the way home.
Developing Patter for Kid Shows: Explanatory Patter
    Pick a Theme
    1. Explain what you're going to do
    2. Describe the parts
    3. Add the theme message
    4. Pick a Magical word.
    5. Write the skit down
    6. Research Jokes and Puns
    7. Tie in a Variety of Site Gags


Components for Developing an Educational Program

  • 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


School Educational Themes

    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



    Yearly Themes Shows
  • 1. School Safety
  • 2. Fire Safety and Fire Prevention
  • 3. Think Safety
  • 4. Patriotic Theme


    Seasonal Themes Shows
  • 1. Magic of Christmas
  • 2. Stage Fright: The THRILL-usion Show


Power Illusion Program:

  • Four Illusions
  • Eight Powerful Routines

Basic Format: Constructing Your Act

  • Visual Impact, Fast Paced, Audience Grabber (Colorful, Musical, and with Animals)
    Start Show Alone. Connect with the audience in character, costume, and expectations
  • Sucker/Comedy Routine.
  • Audience Participation
  • Impact Production
  • Element of Danger Magic
  • Illusion- Strong Closer
    Close Show Alone and Thank Them
    Leave them wanting more!

Kid's Safety Theme Show (40 Minutes)
You add the tricks.

  • 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
    Reference: Safety Magic for Children by Karl Wagner


KIDS Variety Magic Show (Example: 40 Min.)

  • Warm-up
  • Strong Opening Magic Routine (Production)
  • Magic Routine
  • Ventriloquist Routine
  • Running Gag #1
  • Two Magic Routines with 1 Kid Assistant
  • Juggling Routine
  • Two Magic Routines with 2 Kid Assistants
  • Running Gag #2
  • Balloon Routine with 3 Kid Assistants
  • Magic Routine with/without Kid Assistants
  • Magic Routine with Kid Assistant (Danger)
  • Running Gag #3
  • Strong Closing Magic Routine (Levitation if possible)

To Convert the Above into a Family Fun Entertaining Fund Raising Illusion Show. Add Four Illusions.

  • 1. Levitation: Broom, Super-X, Mechanical AGA, 3-in-1, Flying Carpet, OR Asrah
  • 2. Danger Trick: Sawing in Half, Head Chopper, Guillotine, Etc.
  • 3. Comedy: Twister, Balloon Sword Body Box, etc.
  • 4. Animal Act: Rabbits, Doves, Lions and Tigers..Oh my.


    Illusion Show Routine Format
  • Opening Illusion: Flash Appearance, Portal, Fire/Lighting/Fog/Sound Effects
  • Establishing Image: Fast-Paced, Magical, Flash, Colorful, Animal Production (Rabbit)
  • Production 0f Assistant Illusion: Crystal Box
  • Illusion with Assistant: Mismade Lady, Zig-Zag, Saw-in-Half
  • Trademark Routine: Expose Your Personality to the Audience (A talking routine that is YOU and Your's Alone)
  • Novelty Illusion: Twister, Mismade Lady, Some Illusion that is funny
  • Audience Participation: Wiz-Kote, ProViper II, Head Chopper, French Arm Chopper, Visible Sawing-in-Half
  • Featured Levitation Illusion: Gamalo Levitation, Sword Suspension, 3-in-1 Levitation
  • Audience Participation: Wiz-Kote, ProViper II, Head Chopper, French Arm Chopper, Visible Sawing-in-Half
  • Closing Illusion: Statute of Liberty Production from a Square Circle or some Very Powerful Closing New Routine Leaving the Audience something to talk about on their drive home.


Add a Running Gag Routine to keep the humor going, using the magician failure premise which finally ends in success.

Running Gags

With any show a properly developed and presented Running Gag can enhance the show. The gag gets funnier each time it is presented.

Below are Ideas for Running Gags:


  • Lota Bowl
    This Classic "Water from India" can also be designed to pour blood during a Halloween show.
  • Rabbit from Hat
    This World's Greatest Trick can be done throughout the show with each time instead of a rabbit, it can be a Spring Skunk, the Rabid Rabbit, etc. ending with the production of a real rabbit peaking this classic effect.
  • Broken Props
    The breakaway wand is an excellent comedy prop, How about other breakaway items like a fly swatter, a toilet plunger, a cane, an Arrow, a wooden spoon or fork, a sword, etc. Table with noisy props falling. Any prop with a handle can be designed to be a breakaway. An Added Comedy is to hold all segments but the last so just that part flops.
  • Phoney Ring
    This is a fake phone ring with comedy patter lines such as: "Is George there?...1. Hello... You have the wrong number, this is not George's cell phone.. Sorry, it was a wrong number for George... 2. Hello... Didn't you just call a little while ago? ...Again, You have the wrong number, this is not George's cell phone.. Sorry, it was a wrong number for George... 3. Hello..What?... That was George...He wanted to know if there was any messages for him.
  • Do a Comedy Commercial
    Produce a product such as new and improved Spaghetti, and take out rope such as professor's nightmare and do a routine with them related to spaghetti. Another trick could be the popcorn Box trick, with hidden pockets, or sponge balls a meatballs, or food production trick stressing the importance of good nutrition. Just about any effect can be turned into a commercial. A popular modern related line from TV or Jiggle can add to the trick, something the audience can relate with.
  • Comedy Gag Egg Bag
    This bag changes colors five different time, just looking for the egg.
  • Himber Flower Wallet
    Each time the wallet is opened flowers are produced.
  • Cut and Restored Rope
    Rope is cut and tried to be restored and can be a lead-in to Professor's Nightmare effect or the Professor's Dream effect.
  • Books-Books-Books
    Explain a little bit about each book and definitions of big words.
    Only You can prevent Forest Fires by Smokey the Bear: Hot Book, Herpetology for Fun & Profit by IBE Bitten: Spring or Fake Snakes, Water Safety for Life Guards by Splish Splash: Squirting Book, My Shocking Life or Kite Flying in a Storm by Ben Franklin: Sparking Book, Caring for your Chickens by KFC: Rubber Chicken,
  • Sponge Ball
    Fail to vanish a sponge ball, and it changes into other sponge items, ending in a rabbit.
  • Man-Eating Plant
    Ask the kids if they want to see a man eating plant. Don't show it until the third time and open the box revealing chattering teeth in a plant. Second time show it in the cloth.
  • Comedy Wands
    Each time you grab a wand something happens: it falls apart (Breakaway wand), it Bends (Spring Wand), End Pops Off (Pop Wand), It explodes (Bang wand), It flashes (Flash Wand), Spring Franks, (Sausage Wand), It vanishes (Vanishing Wand), It Breaks (Ginn's Fishing Wand), Silk Vanishes (Silk Vanish Wand), It Rises (Rising Wand), It Jumps Out of Your Hand (Rising Wand), Paper Flys out (Confetti Wand), Giant Wand (Giant Spring Snake Wand), Changes into Toilet Plunger (Plunger Wand), Apprentice Hat (Plunger wand on Head), Turns into a Feather Duster (Duster wand), etc.
  • Giant Snake Wand
    Giant want doesn't do anything, except the third time 25 snakes fly out.
  • Balloon Sculpture
    Pencil balloons (260s) have the end cut off so they flop around, then rubber pig blows up balloon.
  • Hippity Hop Rabbits
    First time they Change, The second time they are back, the third time do the turn it around bit.
  • Fraidy Cat Rabbit
    Rabbit turns white, then it's black again, then white again, then black and do the turn it around bit.


Here are stock routines that have always worked for Kid Shows:

  • Warm-up
  • Opening Production Routine
  • Axtel's Drawing Board (Comedy)
  • Production Routine: Temple Screen, Swivel Box (Colorful/Comedy/Audience Participation)
  • Running Gag #1 (Spring Skunk From Hat)
  • Vanishing Bandanna (Just grossly funny)
  • Rainbow Ropes (Patrotic/Audience Participation)
  • 20th Century Silks Routine (Assistant-Boy)
  • Instant Magician (Assistant-Boy)
  • Egg Bag Routine (Audience Participation)
  • Professor's Nightmare Routine (Story Line)
  • Miser's Dream Routine (Assistant-Girl)
  • Flying Carpet Mini-Levitation Routine(Assistant-Girl)
  • Running Gag #2 (Rabid Rabbit From Hat)
  • Hippity-Hop-Rabbits or Fraidy Cat Rabbit Routine (Sucker Trick)(Audience Participation)
  • Coloring Book, or Stamp Album Routine, What's My Job (Audience Participation)
  • Laflin's Cartoon Silks (Two Boys & a Girl: Colorful, Funny & Produced anyway you choose. A Kodak Moment!)
  • Milk Pitcher/Comedy Funnel Routine (Comedy-Assistants-Girls and Boys)
  • Visible Sawing, French Arm Chopper, Disecto Routine (Danger Element in a Comedy Format -Assistant-Best Girl or Boy)
  • Running Gag #3 (Picture of Rabbit on Silk then Real Rabbit From Hat)
  • Closing Production/Vanish Routine (Levitate the Rabbit)

Other Options: Juggling Silks, Vern the Bird: Ventriloquism Act, or Balloons Animals

Basic Magic Show Format
Visual Impact, Fastpaced, Audience Grabber, Colorful, Musical, and Animal Production Routines

  • Personality Trademark Routines
  • Audience Participation
  • Strong Comedy Magic Routine
  • Impact Production
  • Element of Danger Magic/Illusion
  • Illusion-Strong Closer (Levitation)

Comedy Magic Show Format Example

(FUNNY), Visual Impact, Fastpaced, (FUNNY), Audience Grabber, Colorful, (FUNNY), Musical, and a (FUNNY) Animal Production Routine

  • Strong Comedy Magic Routine
  • Comical Personality Trademark Routine
  • 20th Century Bra (on a guy?)(Assistant)
  • Balloons to Dove or Rabbit Production Routine
  • Comedy Magic Routine
  • Card Sword Magic Routine (Assistant)
  • Comedy Magic Routine
  • Straight Jacket Escape (Assistant)
  • Comedy Magic Routine
  • Head Chopper/Guillotine Illusion (Assistant)
  • Illusion-Strong Closer (Comedy Levitation)


Suggested Comedy Routines

  • Professor Cheer's Rope Routine
  • Nest of Boxes (Smash Wrist Watch with Hammer)
  • Wiz-Kote
  • Snake-in-Basket (Pro Viper II)
  • Bar Stool Surprise
  • French Arm Chopper
  • Head Chopper
  • World's Greatest Magician Signs
  • Vanishing Bandanna
  • Comedy Sleeve Long Glove
  • 20th Century Bra
  • Straight Jacket Escape
  • Balloon to Dead Dove
  • Man-Eating Plant
  • Bubble Gum Mouth Coils
  • Mugged
  • Grave Mistake


Now you have several basic formats, routines, now take action, practice, rehearse, and book you show!
Enjoy...Have Fun and Most Importantly, Love What You Do.
Any Comments?
Dennis Michael
Jimeuax
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Thanks Den---That post was better than about 98% of the books on kids magic I have bought---thanks for taking the time!---Cheers!---Jimo Smile Smile Smile
flourish dude
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Nice job DEN!
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
Just taking a step, is a step in the right direction because when you stop working, your dream dies.
www.magicalmemories.us
Timothy
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Excellent! Good lord, this should be a sticky bun, and required reading. It addresses (and answers) many inquires.

Thanks for the contribution!
-Magical Tim
Magical Tim's Magic Shows
[email]tim@magicaltim.com[/email]
"Magic is a vanishing art!"
Peter Marucci
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Wow!
I can't imagine ANYTHING being added to Den's terrific post!

That is a post-graduate course in magic all at once!

Many thanks.

Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
Frank Tougas
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Den,
Not only am I constantly impressed with the sheer number of posts attributed to you, but more importantly, that each of them has something of value and advances the purpose of this fourm.

I don't usually post things like "good going" or "I agree" because I think not only are they best left as private messages but they artificially increase one's numbers.They also get very tiresome to read.

I have made an exception in your case because you are an exceptional contributor. If I had some way to remove this post from my total I would.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Dennis Michael
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Thanks guys,

Your comments are appreciated. I was beginning to think no-one was reading them and whether they were adding to the Café or revealing to much, which magicians tend to keep good things like above to themselves. (not all magicians) (By the way, when it comes to kids, I really like it when they say "He's a Real Magician!" It sounds so better than, "He's the Clown Mom hired!"..little pun humor here.)

A few times my posts were zapped by the Café security, which really forced me to rethink posting here again. Now I save these posts like above, so if they are zapped for whatever reasons, all is not lost.

Here's a little secret, when one writes/types down one's ideas, routines, and concepts, one tends to remember them. It also organizes one thoughts, and new ideas are created.

When it comes to entertaining children, there are far more than one could handle. You never have to worry about the mask magician ruining your act. And, with kids, there are new ones every day who never saw the same stuff before, and the one's who have enjoy seeing them again. It is something where there can be 10 magicians in your area and still have room for more.

Like Peter's posts and ideas in the Linking Ring, sharing the stuff in itself is rewarding. It's one of the few article's I really read in every issue.

Once again, thanks for your comments.
Dennis Michael
flourish dude
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Den you should collect them and put out a book.
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
Just taking a step, is a step in the right direction because when you stop working, your dream dies.
www.magicalmemories.us
MAGICBYTIM
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I agree with flourish dude about the book except if you put everything in a book it would require us to spend money on it. Since you post it here in the Café then we can all get it for free. Thanks for the free info.

Very good and helpful information.
Tim
JamesinLA
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Add my thanks to your contribution above and contributions in general to the Café', Dennis. You're absolutely correct about writing. Guess I should know...

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Magic_streak
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Well I must say when I was reading this post it really felt like I'm reading from a good book. I instantly thought of suggesting you compile all these thoughts of yours into a book Den. Excellent work.

I've a question for you though, of all these shows you've performed, all these effects, how much mime have you put in them? I've seen some performances that uses alot of mime. Jeff McBride has a full 10 - 15 mins of Miser's Dream that is totally mime. He never spoke a single word till the end when he thanked the helper from the audience. Do you use alot of mime in your show? Will kids appreciate it? Mimes tend to require alot of interpreting skills and a certain degree of patience. Do you think it can work for kids?

Thanks and keep posting~!
Smile
Dennis Michael
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I don't do any mime (per-say) That requires additional skill and time to master.

This does not mean I don't do misdirection or pretend. As Jeff McBride says, see the coin in a spot in the air, like it is a real coin, reach for it and pluck it out of that spot. Well in a sense, that is mime and that I do. I do facial expressions and have fun with the kids.

My personality is not a "second by second accountability" for each action. With kids, a lot can happen and destroy the "exactness" of a system. I do have a script and try to follow the script and not make it sound like a script. No two shows are alike. If something presents itself that is funny, I'll ad-lib or make the most out of it. And, if something goes wrong, I let it roll off my back.

At one time I got out of magic for a few years, and then I was asked to do a show, one I really couldn't refuse. I did the show without any practice or reheasal. I missed lines, mess-up at certain times, and from my perspective I knew I was rusty, and it didn't go smoothly at all. My wife noticed it but not as much, and the rest of the people thought it was really good, funny and very enjoyable. They knew or saw none of the faults in the show. Other Magicians would have picked out some of the mistakes, but not the audience.

With a kids show, they forget very quickly, so a mistake is not held against you. With adults, and especially other magicians...they have "elephant memories"
Dennis Michael
Magic_streak
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You mentioned "second by second accountability". From your experience and knowledge of the audiences' mindsets, do people really question every move you do? Do they ask, why did he bring out a silk before appearing a cane? What is the point of placing a candle there without using it? Or do these people simply sit back, relax, and accept whatever comes to them.

Personally I feel that the latter scenario happens most of the time. People usually do not want to think and process alot of information when they watch a show. They just want to be amazed and entertained. In fact, they spend so much time figuring out how a trick is done that they don't consider these minor details. Sometimes they don't even see the smaller props in the trick. It's us magicians that are over sensitive. What do you think? Smile
Dennis Michael
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It appears you are talking about "people" meaning adult audiences or an audience with lots of adults and their child next to them so if the child said something the parent "slaps them on the back of the head" and tells them to keep quiet. (A little humor here, although it has happened.)

With kids, yes, they will analyze every trick and they they really believe they know how it's done. They will verbalize that belief and point things out. This is why Audience Management is so importhant and so is audience participation when doing shows with kids.

I also see you're from Singapore, and I was told the audience there are very respectable to entertainers. Quite possible, what you say is absoultely true in your part of the world based on the culture. Since I've never performed in Singapore, I don't know this to be fact.

"Second by second accountability" can mean very rigid in the shows performance, where every second is planned. This is what happens in Illusion shows, and why actors/movie stars ask "What is the motivation for that action?"

I hope this clears up the misunderstanding.
Dennis Michael
unklepaul
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Thank you so much for taking the time to post that information.
It will be a treasured source of good information to me in my youthful career.
Very much appreciated.

Unklepaul
om mani padme hum
wassabi_87
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Another safety routine would have to be one on water saftey, and maybe one with animals. You could use the rabbit production for that one, and with water safety you could include a squirt gun or two.

When I began reading your post, I thought, "yikes" it was almost scary scrolling down, thanks a lot.
bike during the day,
do magic at night,
and very early the next morning,
homework.
templemagic
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Hi,

Wow, that was useful, thanks for taking the time to write it. I was wondering Den, if you could possibly post a message in this topic regarding what effects/routines could be used for some educational/themed shows in some of the shows you mentioned when you said:

School Educational Themes
Drug Awarness Themes
Drug Awarness 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

Thanks again,
TM
ROBERT TEMPLE
"The Power to Amaze"

robert@roberttemple.co.uk
http://www.roberttemple.co.uk
Dennis Michael
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There are three ways to find the effects. Invent them, use existing effects, or buy specialized effects.

For instant, a lot of Steve Taylor's Educational Material is complete for reading, geography, self-esteem programs. His books detail the information and so do the effects when you buy them. He converted standardized effects to meeet the message he wanted to get across. This is the easy way. Buy the effect.

You could also purchase complete shows suc as CJ Johnson's Complete Motivational Show and almost complet shows such as Tony Daniel's Just Say No Magic Show And, BJ Hickman has A Reading Show There is also David Risley's "The I Love America S......Etc.

You could convert existing tricks such as 20th Century Silks to display a message in any theme you choose. You could use Firehouse Frenzy to get a Fire Safety message,"Exit Drills In The Home" (E.D.I.T.H.)

Any effect that has "three" attatched to it can be used, such as Strat-O-Sphere (Red for Danger, Yellow for Caution, Green it is OK.) A ton of messages can be created with this effect.

Professor's Nightmare can also be easily converted. And there is a lot on the Café about this.

What's Next can have six related messages attached to it. Anything with numbers or counts, or letters can be converted.

A lot of Gospel Magic can also be converted. The effect brings forth a religious signifiance, meaning, parable or saying. Just convert the message, to the topic of choice


Then you can create one, the hardest method. You have a message you want to get across. Using a book like Fitzkee's The Trick Brain, Which you find an object that matches your message, the pick an effect, Vanish, Production, Transformation, etc. and work out the details and overcome the stumbling blocks, until you have a finished product. This requires a creative mind, and those who are use to thinking creatively have an easier time at this.

There are ready made objects such as the American Flag Blendo, Mis-made Flags, Patriotic Ropes for a Patriotism theme.

First is pick a theme then the #1 message you want to get across. Research that theme and come up with related stories. Now find an effect that can be easily converted to meet the message.

If you are still un unsure the read up on this with Steve Taylor's Books Character Magic Routines, Writing Educational Shows, & Motivational Educational Magic, and Listen to Dave Risly's Cassette Tapes and Videos. There are others similar programs out there.
Dennis Michael
ThePartyMagician
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Thanks Den for ALL the info you share with us!

Kind regards
Mike
Lee Darrow
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Without a doubt, this is one of the finest threads I have EVER come across! Den, you should be awarded a commendation for the first post and for your replies. As I am currently considering making a start in kid's magic (I've been working for adults and teens for about 36 years), this thread is an invaluable resource.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
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