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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Danny Orleans, Silly Billy or Both?? Please help (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Pompey2L.A.
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I'm hoping you guys may be able to help me.

I'm a hobbist who did a few kids shows about 10 years ago, apart from that my performing experience is limited to just family and friends.

I want to get into performing for kids again, I have some props but I know that props don't make a kids show, I need knowledge and professional advice, with this in mind I have sold a lot of my "hobbist" tricks that I have collected over the years so I can educate myself.

So here's my issue, I am considering Danny Orleans 3 DVD set which appears to be impossible to find a review that says it's anything but wonderful OR Silly Billy AND Danny Orleans Lecture on Penguin I simply cannot even nearly afford all 3.

Has anybody seen the Danny Orleans Lecture AND his DVD's? What is on the DVD's that not on the lecture or Vice versa?

How does the Silly Billy Lecture compare?

I hope that all makes some sense, thanks in advance for your help.
themagiciansapprentice
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Both of those are American ... and not all of their routines fit UK kids without adaptation AND/OR need additional props (so more cash)

I started with Terry Herbert (under-5s) and Pat Fallon (older children) dvds from Practical Magic. These are inexpensive compared to the American ones.

Have you tried searching for the Danny Orleans 3 dvd set on this forum? They were mentioned a few times in different threads when released. Here's one http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=17
Have wand will travel! Performing children's magic in the UK for Summer and Autumn 2013.
Robin4Kids
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I have both Danny Orleans' DVDs and Penguin lecture as well as David Kaye's DVD Seriously Silly and his Penguin lecture. You can't go wrong with either one, but both would naturally better! They both offer great information on entertaining kids along with some of their tried and true routines.

Their lectures don't include everything that's on their DVDs, but they do include some of the best information along with a few new things.

If you go with only one, I would definitely put the other on your wish list to add when you can.
Karen Climer
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I have the Danny Orleans DVD and the Silly Billy seriously Silly book and DVD. I don't have the Penguin lectures. It's hard to say which one is better.

With Seriously Silly, I like the book better than the DVD. It goes more in depth. He does typical tricks (coloring book, milk pitcher, etc.) but has great routines for them. He talks about the routines, but also the psychology behind them. He teaches concepts that you can apply to any trick.


Danny Orleans has a full show with commentary. (The Silly Billy DVD does not have a full show, just snippets). He also does common tricks, but has great routines. What I love most about his DVD is to see the way he controls the audience.

If I had to chose between the Silly Billy book and the Danny Orleans DVD, I don't know which one is better. I know that isn't very helpful. Good luck.
Greensboro
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You can also get Danny Orleans' Family Magic Show as a single DVD for far less than the three DVD set. I does not include commentary, but if you're capable of learning from a performance only, all the good stuff is there.
JoshLondonMagic
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When I first started I read Seriously Silly and I thought that screaming kids were happy kids. Boy was I wrong on so many levels. I quickly realized that my personality cannot handle kids screaming the way Silly Billy can get them going.

I then found Danny's dvds and my show has never been so well orchestrated. Everything is controlled and when chaos ensues it is controlled chaos.

I'm not saying Silly Billy is uncontrolled chaos, but rather his style is more chaotic for my liking. Danny is more gentle, not so with Silly Billy.

You just have to decide what style is more up you alley.

Josh
pbj100
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All I can say is when silly Billy first lectured and performed at the Blackpool convention he totaly died a death! He did not play well to British kids or British magicians ... Perhaps he was unprepared as I have only seen him the once . But at blackpool he was rubbish!
in fact he was the talk of the convention but sadly for the wrong reasons.
phil
Gerry Walkowski
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PBJ100,

Yes, I heard the exact same thing.

I wasn't there at Blackpool, but it's possible the negativity could have been attributable to his aggressive performing style (which possibly plays well in New York City) and his use of diapers and the other word for flatulence. Again, this is all a guess on my part. And while I know it sounds as if I'm trying to take up for David, all of us have OFF DAYS.

Sometimes things don't carry well on the other side of the pond. I heard the same was true when David Copperfield brought his big show to England years ago, To some, he came across as being stuck-up.

Still, I think David Kaye is a brilliant children's entertainer and a great magic thinker.

I don't think you can go wrong with his book and Danny Orleans DVD.

Gerry
pbj100
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Gerry ,
I agree we all have those days !
My post was more because the question was posed by a UK resident and after my experience of silly Billy at the convention it has made me question how well his stuff would work for a beginer in the UK .
phil
pbj100
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Hi,
I saw the Copperfield show in earls court and was at the magic circle dealers day the following day to where David made an appearence . I do not recall and negative comments the show was terrific phil
Gerry Walkowski
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PBJ,

I have a ton of British magician friends and they were 50/50 on his performance.

Look, I like David Copperfield, but I could see how his style might rub others the wrong way and come across as if he's a show-off.

I was also told that the British press were not very kind to David and that his big newspaper ad saying "Thanks for treating me like Royalty," was really meant to be a dig at the British media.

Gerry
pbj100
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Gerry ,
You are probably right but I never came across any of that negativity and I enjoyed the show
Phil
Gerry Walkowski
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Phil,

I don't want us to overtake this thread by talking about DC. If you want to send me a PM, I'll discuss that with you there.

Thanks.

Gerry
wwhokie1
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Quote:
On 2014-02-01 23:30, JoshLondonMagic wrote:
When I first started I read Seriously Silly and I thought that screaming kids were happy kids. Boy was I wrong on so many levels. I quickly realized that my personality cannot handle kids screaming the way Silly Billy can get them going.

I then found Danny's dvds and my show has never been so well orchestrated. Everything is controlled and when chaos ensues it is controlled chaos.

I'm not saying Silly Billy is uncontrolled chaos, but rather his style is more chaotic for my liking. Danny is more gentle, not so with Silly Billy.

You just have to decide what style is more up you alley.

Josh


Agree, the two styles you are considering are very different. Figure out which style suits you better and start there. And although you can learn from people that perform with a different style than you, with limited funds the next best purchase may be someone you have not mentioned that has a similar style. for example, my style fits better with Danny Orleans, and although Silly Billy has a lot to teach and I can learn a lot from him, someone like Ken Scott is closer to my style and I would make his dvd a higher priority than Silly billy. The Silly Billy dvd would also be a great purchase in that situation, I would just put it a little further down the list if he is not my style. So my recommendation would be to pick you style make that purchase and find others that would compliment that same style. Later check out other styles of performance, because anyone who is successful has something to teach you.

mark
wwhokie1
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I would add that most comedy is very strongly tied to culture and typically doesn't translate well from culture to culture. Using comedy from another culture is very risky, it can work but you have to strip the culture from it first. We typically don't realize how much we are influenced by our own culture, and that what we do and think isn't normal for the rest of the world.
Gerry Walkowski
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Not to dwell on this one thing that I mentioned previously, but I just wanted to set the record straight.

I know of several top notch British performers who bombed here in the US, and I know of several who've had great success.

Likewise, I know of several famous USA performers who had just mediocre success at some events while performing in England.

Again, it goes both ways and maybe some of these guys just had an off-night, like we all have had from time to time.

I don't want anyone to think I was picking on David Copperfield as I do believe he is ONE of the greatest illusionists of all times.

Thanks,

Gerry
Rodney Palmer
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My Honest Recommendation would be Silly Billy's DVD and Book.

WHY: First let me say that I really like Danny Orleans as a person and a Magician. However, Danny has been out of the Children's Market for a very long time. Well over 10 plus years and has been a very successful Trade Show Magician since then. He has some good Theories but most of those do not work with today children. A lot has changed since he was performing for children so many years ago.

I did go and see his Lecture and I certainly was not impressed. And the very HIGH Price of his DVD Set really through me for a loop. The information on the DVD is over 10 years old. YES, I know people are raving about his DVD Set but personally your money is better spent on Silly Billy's DVD and Book. At least Silly Billy's Routines and Ideas are up to date.

Rodney
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In order to keep "MAGIC ALIVE" Please become a Mentor to a Young Person.
pbj100
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Rodney,
I do not have these DVDs but I am interested as to what techniques no longer work ?
I have been performing for over 30 years and whilst I find material sometimes dates most techniques still work now as they did 30 years ago
Phil
robvh
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I just saw Danny Orleans lecture at Magi-Fest in Columbus this weekend. The lecture was preceded by a show which was opened to the public so you saw him perform for real children and their parents. The kids loved it, kids and adults alike had fun and enjoyed the magic, and he was in control of the situation. It was a no-brainer for me to buy his DVDs after that.

I would recommend Danny's DVDs without hesitation. He's the real deal and I don't think his kids show or theory is out of date at all having seen his effectiveness live with my own two eyes. Plus, I got to know Danny and his wife, Jan, a little and they seem like wonderful, genuine, and helpful people. Very lovely.

Cheers,
Rob VH
algebraic
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David Kaye's book "Seriously Silly" is the best children's magic book I've ever read. It's my number one book to reference in children's magic.
Rodney Palmer
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So here is my QUESTION?

If you were a very successful Children's Performer why would you give that up? Danny gave that up to become a Corporate Trade Show Magician and is what I thought a very successful as a Trade Show Magician but maybe he is not so successful. So why all of a sudden does he start to Lecture and come out with a Set of Children's DVD's and a few props? WHY, does he have to go back to his roots because Trade Show Business is very slow or what? I would like to know. I asked him that question and he refused to answer it after the lecture. So after being out of the Children's Magic Business for way to long why come back now and Lecture and sell items for Children's Shows unless it is all about the money. Now there is nothing wrong with making money. But if you have been out of the game to long then you cannot come back full steam and try something you have never done.

PBJ100: Danny is very Old School and with his ways to Control Children he would die a very fast death where I live as the kids would eat him alive. His Philosophy about Entertaining and Controlling Children are way out dated in most ways. The only place his methods would work are at Schools or Shows where the Children are privileged: Higher, Very Upper Middle Class.

The Lecture I saw Danny at he was very frazzled and not even in control of himself. He left his Laptop at a Bagel Shop and was more worried about that then presenting the Lecture. He needed the Laptop for his Power Point Presentation. He was very RUDE and demanding towards the Magic Shop Owner and he was very controlling in the way, that it was HIS way or the highway. I personally thought he was just an A**. But this is my opinion. And I even tried to help him by calling the Bagel Shop but they were already closed.

In his lecture I felt like I was being treated like an 8 year old child. And I do not mean that in a good way. My first thoughts were that he is just in this for the money. His prices were so HIGH people did not even purchase anything except a few Aqua Cups and a Couple Sets of Lecture Notes. I even told him that his prices were way to high and he even admitted he did not know what he was doing when it came to selling merchandise. So here you are, a Lecturer and you do not even know how to sell your own merchandise.

So please just stick with Silly Billy, Ken Scott or Barry Mitchell.

Rodney
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In order to keep "MAGIC ALIVE" Please become a Mentor to a Young Person.
pbj100
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Rodney , lets have some solid examples ?
I assure you upper class children can be every bit a handful that under privilaged kids can .
Your statements are very sweeping and generalised .
You may be correct but lets here some solid examples
Phil
jakeg
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Rodney: I spent a long time making my living doing magic. I can tell you for a fact that very few magicians have steady bookings that bring in enough income to live 'well'. Another problem is that if you are unable to work, your income stops. The prudent thing to do is to do anything you can so that you are producing income at a steady pace.
I don't know Danny, have never seen him work, but many of the most successful in the magic business are deversified. We probably could name dozens of people that we think of a successful magicians who have allied side businesses going for them.
Karen Climer
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I saw Danny's lecture in Orlando, and it was fantastic. Yes, his stuff is expensive, but I have found it to be worth it. I would recommend his DVD to anyone who works with children or families. He uses (and teaches) psychological concepts that works as well now as they did 100 years ago. I'm sure they will work 100 years from now as well.
Markymark
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Yes I too loved the Danny Orleans DVD set.
It just sounds like he had an 'off' day.
I think you could just as easily say Silly Billy,Ken Scott and Barry Mitchell were old school as well.
I mean his warm ups,the giant colouring book and the traffic light lesson with Stratospheres.Then a dove
production! Killer stuff.
''In memory of a once fluid man,crammed and distorted by the classical mess'' -Bruce Lee
Jolly Roger
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http://www.comicmagician.com/page_childrens_products.html
http://www.SpiritualStage.com
http://www.ComicMagic.com
Gerry Walkowski
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Mac King and David Kaye (Silly Billy) rave about Danny's DVD. What more social proof do you want?

I actually saw Danny's lecture a few months back and it was very well received. My experience was 100% different than what Rodney Palmer experienced. In fact, Danny couldn't have been nicer.

At the end of his lecture he had a long line of customers buying his DVD, notes and other products, so he must be doing something right.

Gerry
Danny Orleans
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I was notified about the differing opinions about my DVD set and my work as a children's entertainer posted on this thread, so I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify and answer some of Rodney Palmer's questions.

But before I do, I must apologize to Mr. Palmer and the other magicians that attended my the lecture where I had lost my laptop in Michigan in January of 2013. Mr. Palmer thought that all I had was a PowerPoint on there. Those of you who have seen the lecture, know that there is footage of a children's performance filmed during the summer of 2012 which I use to illustrate the powerful audience management strategies that made me one of the most successful children's magicians in the country during the 1980s. Of course, he felt "treated" like an 8 year old, because it's hard to demonstrate props and techniques that work with young children, when there are a bunch of adult magicians in the room. That's why I wanted to use my laptop to show video, proof that my approach really works. It was certainly a low point for me as a lecturer, (I think it was my 3rd lecture on Children's Magic), but thankfully, I have grown from there and Jan Rose and I received rave reviews from magi attending our lectures at KIDabra, The Houdini Convention in Wisconsin, Magic in the Rockies, and most recently Magi-Fest, where Josh Jay sent me an unsolicited email saying that Jan Rose and I were the "hit of the convention."



Rodney asks..
"If you were a very successful Children's Performer why would you give that up? Danny gave that up to become a Corporate Trade Show Magician and is what I thought a very successful as a Trade Show Magician but maybe he is not so successful. So why all of a sudden does he start to Lecture and come out with a Set of Children's DVD's and a few props?"

Answer: I didn't really "give up" children's performing. As a matter of fact I have a birthday party gig this weekend in Chicago, and another event at a religious institution the following weekend. Also have a children's theater event in April in a Chicago suburb. What happened during the early '90s was an outgrowth of me becoming a very competent close up magician and referrals from magicians and agents for trade shows. During the '90s, my career slowly morphed from doing children's shows at schools, to doing more and more trade shows. I never turned down school tours until my daughter was born. It was much better leaving home for just a few days to do a trade show as opposed to leaving home for two weeks to do a school tour. So my career was comprised of local school shows, trade shows, private party work, the mind reading act that I perform with Jan Rose, and corporate events. As noted above in the thread, being a full time pro often requires diversity, and happily, I've achieved that in my work.

Success, is a subjective. Last year, I performed at 28 trade shows, most of them multi-day events. Some may say that's successful, some may not. You can see my current schedule for this year on my site http://www.dannyorleansmagic.com. Why do I "suddenly" start to lecture? Because it was time. I had a successful career as a children's magician and, like many children's magicians before me, I wanted to pass on my techniques, audience management strategies and routines to the next generation of magicians. My DVD set, "The Art of Presenting Magic for Children," as noted by one reviewer, was a "legacy project." I put my heart and soul into the project and gave every detail of my performance, every trick, how to build them, perform them, and even included the audience management strategies which is something I've not seen discussed anywhere before with the thoroughness that Eugene Burger, Michael Brandwein and I covered it. Expensive? Depends how you look at it. The DVD set is literally teaching my entire act, to the purchaser. For $129, ($99 at lecture) you are being given a show with which you can make a living, or for a part-time pro, a nice income. many purchasers have told me it's a bargain.

My techniques are not outdated at all. Teachers, Camp Counselors, and Organization leaders complement me every time I do a show. A typical comment is, "Your best trick is how well you controlled the children. -- And Rodney, I do shows for all different economic classes, not just the "privileged." Ask any magician who saw me at Magi-Fest perform my show for 100 children -- children who were from all economic classes, and their parents-- The children, all of them, sat quietly, engaged for 45 minutes, laughing, participating, having a great time. No one left, no one cried, no one fidgeted.

So, I hope sometime you'll be able to see my show live, or at least watch the video of my live show (it wasn't entirely clear if you've seen the video or not) so you can make an informed decision by witnessing my work, rather than making assumptions about my work through my lecture.

I think that magicians who want to learn more about performing for children should invest in books and DVDs from all the magicians named in this thread, including David Kaye, Barry Mitchell, Ken Scott… as well as British Magicians, Terry Herbert and Trevor Lewis. There are many different approaches. You have to find the one that will fit your personality and reflect an approach with which you are comfortable.

Jan Rose and I will be lecturing in the U.K. in April and May where I'll be very interested in getting feedback from UK magicians and determining just how "different" children and the magicians that perform for them are from their counterparts in North America.

If you've read this far, thank you for your interest in this thread. If you've seen my lecture of a live performance of my kids show, I'd be interested in reading your thoughts, so please do not hesitate to post.
robvh
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I concur with all of the positive statements above.

Who hasn't had a bad day?
Quentin
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Quote:
On 2014-02-05 01:28, Danny Orleans wrote:

Why do I "suddenly" start to lecture? Because it was time. I had a successful career as a children's magician and, like many children's magicians before me, I wanted to pass on my techniques, audience management strategies and routines to the next generation of magicians. My DVD set, "The Art of Presenting Magic for Children," as noted by one reviewer, was a "legacy project." I put my heart and soul into the project and gave every detail of my performance, every trick, how to build them, perform them, and even included the audience management strategies which is something I've not seen discussed anywhere before with the thoroughness that Eugene Burger, Michael Brandwein and I covered it.



The key phrase here is, "Because it was time."

Question: How many DVDs and books are released to children's entertainers and the magic community in general by those who are ignorant of even the basic fundamentals of stagecraft, audience management and presentation.
Answer: Most of them.

When someone explains and teaches a new concept or strategy to you, you try it out and it works, it is a great feeling. But it may well take hundreds of performances for you to know and understand it.

That takes time.
Magicians and mentalists check out entertainment at

http://www.speakinschools.com
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