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Nat
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Please help me select the children show opening and closing effects. Your suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Nat
krowboom
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Often I will open with a routine I do with a gag bag. In the zipper part of the bag is one of those cards that open up several times into a big card at the end. I force the card that matches this to open the trick. I then say I already knew what you would pick and put it in my blue bag (or whatever the first bag color is). I pre-load each part of the gag bag with silly items (sponge carrots, bananas, ice cream cone, mushrooms, etc., fake hand, $50 spring load bills), or any other silly stuff I can think of. Each time I go into the bag I produce a silly item and then say, "oh no, I left it in my red bag", etc. etc. The gag bag allows 5 changes. The fold up card I use has gags on it also like one part of it has the 52 cards in one, another part says "your card", etc. You could always make up your own.
At any rate this routine takes 5 to 7 minutes, takes no skill so it's all showmanship, and has the kids laughing the whole time. It works for me.

Hope this helps
JoshRyan
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I try to open and close with my best material ... and put the live animal tricks first. So I open with a dove production and I close with 20th century silks - it's not my best magic but the routine gets the most laughs from kids and adults.
ProfessorMagicJMG
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Ok this is old but I thought I would chime in; I have had good luck opening with a "party popper" and saying "Let's get things started with a BANG!"
I also have started with a bright red silk hank to appearing cane; it's very visual and shocking to the kids, and they know they're about to see some MAGIC when they see that. I have heard that funny sponge ball routines are great opening routines, too. I mentally separate my "opener" which grabs the kids' attention, from my actual first opening routine.

To close, I have used a stage-filling Houdini Chain Escape that uses 5 volunteers plus me; four kids hold the corners of my "magic bag" where I secretly get out of the chain shackles, and 1 adult to lock me in and hold the key. It gets great reactions. The other big closer is my "invisible rabbit" production, followed by pictures with the rabbit still in the circus wagon and then a line for kids to come and pet the rabbit one at a time. Another great closer if you can find it is "Bigger Wands" by Creative Magic, with any quick visible trick like the appearing cane or a flower up sleeve bouquet production.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Clarke's 3rd Law

"Any sufficiently primitive technology can mystify a postmodern audience." - Green's Corollary to Clarke's 3rd Law
Dick Oslund
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I have a little ink left in this "infernal electrisch peckenclacker", so I'll inject a thought that may revive this thread.....

Those reading this, who don't know me, might learn an old truth about performing, whether you are performing for senior citizens, Kindergarten children, Cub Scouts at a Blue & Gold Dinner, a Rotary Club Ladies Night, a 7 year old's birthday party, a Senior High School after Prom "lock in", an American Legion Annual Banquet, a Day Care Center, or several hundred school kids, Kindergarten thru Senior High School. in a rural school in South Dakota.

Kindly notice that I made sure to include some "kid" groups in there so I wouldn't "cut and not restore" this thread!

What far too many forget--or, don't even realize, IS: THAT THOSE IN THE AUDIENCE, (ANY audience) JUST WANT TO BE E N T E R T A I N E D!!!
--AND, MAGIC IS N O T INHERENTLY E N T E R T A I N I N G.

Our "task" is therefore fairly obvious: MAKE SURE THAT YOUR P R E S E N T A T I O N of the tricks that you do, (ANY TRICK) IS E N T E R T A I N I N G.

Entertainment has nothing to do with the size of the prop! (Entertainment doesn't "come" by the pound or by the yard.) It comes by the smile, giggle, and LAUGH. (SURPRISES do help!)

A good magician can get great laughs with a simple sponge ball, or no prop at all. (The late Fetaque Sanders quote comes to mind: "Patter packs easier than props!")

There have been a half dozen or more suggestion about specific tricks to do, by very fine performers with a lot of experience. I'm NOT saying that those tricks are no good, or that those who have suggested them, are not fine performers. What I'm saying is that most didn't emphasize that the one thing that MAKES THE DIFFERENCE for any of those groups that I mentioned in my first paragraph is: the PRESENTATION of those tricks!.

When we understand that "magic" only happens in the mind(s) of the audience, and the creation of that "magic", depends on the performer's PRESENTATION,
it should be rather obvious, that, IT AINT W H A T YA DO, IT'S H O W YA DO IT!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Mike Maturen
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Dick Oslund is absolutely correct. I have been entertained by him with some very old effects. His advice would be well-taken: Focus on how you present the effects, and you will have a winning act!

Naturally, you have to pick material that is appropriate for the audience, and present it at their level. Being flexible is also key.
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
The Magic and Mayhem of Mike Maturen
989-335-1661
mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
Dick Oslund
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Thank you Mike, for your kind words!

Yes! I do "old stuff"! --Much of my "repertoire" came from Doc Tarbell. Of course, Doc wrote his course in 1927 {91 years ago} so, the reader will learn PRINCIPLES, but, the PRESENTATIONS, need updating!!!

THAT is where the magician needs to think, "today"!

I use several silk tricks (knots, vanishes and productions,20th Century, etc.) rope tricks (knots cut and restoration) paper tricks (Lyle's tissue paper to paper hat, Laundry ticket) cards (fancy shuffles, and flourishes) egg bag (Mardo/Sterling) linking rings (3 rings) coins (Misers Dream).

Check out YOU TUBE! --for the 20th Century Silks. You will see dozens of DEMONSTRATIONS, n o t PERFORMANCES! I spent several YEARS, searching for a PRESENTATION that had laughs, and a surprise! I "found" it. It's next to closing in my school show!!! (I wrote up my routine in my book.)

I wrote up my PRESENTATIONS for most of the tricks/routines, in my book. --They "kept me working" for 50 years!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Gee Mike! There have been about 400 views of our comments, in the past 3 weeks! --And, nobody has added any negative, or positive comments! Maybe I should write a book! heehee
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Blackington
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I have to agree with the premise that the "story" or "presentation" is the key to delivering an enjoyable performance. Magicians can use the structure of a Fairy Tale or Myth (or any story) that begins with a question (aka, the problem) to provide the structural framework for delivering the "magic" to the audience. Usually the important parts/phases of a Fairy Tale have all the elements of a storyline that are both interesting and 'logical', in the magical sense of the word. The very nature of a Fairy Tale's structure has allowed it to withstand the test of time- and it's well-worn progression is ingrained in our consciousness. If a "transformation" occurs in the tale, it can act as an ideal structural template for organizing, developing, and presenting an effect that ends with a transformation, or any other magically derived development and ending. It's important to point out that the familiarity with the "storyline" approach allows the magician to enter the audience's world. And, in exchange, the audience will gladly allow the magician to "drive the car" - simply, they'll follow the magician because he/she has earned their trust. And, as soon as they trust, members of the audience give the magician the 'car keys'. They'll willingly go along for the ride because they're willing to leave their own reality in exchange for the one that is provided by the (capable) magician. When this 'exchange' takes place, the members of the audience will be convinced that it's been done on their own terms. Now, for the magician, that is a welcoming room to be in! He's now their host, and tour guide -- he has the keys! Add to it, once the audience's trust is earned, they'll even root for the magician to succeed. That's not a small feat -- and it creates "theater". With all of that in mind, the usage of old effects/apparatus will work well because it'll add to the visual interpretation of the 'story', without overpowering a magician who might otherwise be upstaged by apparatus.

That's all for now - I really do hope that this resonates with you! Thanks.
Chris
Dick Oslund
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I'm glad that you realize the importance of PRESENTATION over just the "bare bones" of the TRICK! I'm sure that, as you progress, you will "grow" in your ability to develop good presentations.

Yes, "Fairy Tales" can be a good premise, BUT, you must keep in mind that the Fairy Tales of OUR CHILDHOOD, are now just a wee bit outdated. Grandmas don't always live close enough to tell the little ones, those (now) ancient stories.

Experiment! --but, don't be surprised, or concerned if the moppets have no idea of what you are talking about, if you are talking about the "little red hen"!

Watch a few of the current cartoons on TV. "Tom & Jerry", "Bugs Bunny" et al, are pretty much gone. "Attention spans" are extremely short, nowadays!

I'm 86, and, the presentations that I used as a teenager, are long gone!!!

The big "thing" is to talk WITH them, not TO or AT them. Get into a CONVERSATION! People, even tiny ones, are much more interested in participating, not just watching. If they are talking WITH YOU, they wont be talking with each other!

Involvement, mental and physical, is critical to your success!

One final thought....In general, SITUATION COMEDY plays much better than funny patter, when you perform for kids.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Blackington
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Hey Dick -- yes you're right, the "fairy Tales" of the past are much different than today's tales. And, it'd be a misstep to base the patter around some obsolete tale. It won't entertain the kids who (naturally) will want to hear references made to the stories that they're familiar with....that IS what entertains them.

I'm at the very start of developing a show- it's an enjoyable project to pursue, and it will take work! At this early stage it's easy to dream of what a show should be like. LOL... and, at this stage, I know that more can go wrong than will go right.

Thanks - Chris
magicvincent
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I find that verbal exchange and engaging your audience keeps them interested in what you are doing. If you show them that what they do is important, then they will give you the response and interest that is needed for a successful Show!

Click here to view attached image.
Dick Oslund
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Yes! I've been "preaching" what you mention, for eons, and, I think it may, at last, be "sinking in". I call it "communicating with your spectators by talking WITH them, not AT, or TO them.

That's a nice picture, but, how does it make your point??? Or, how does it "fit" your point?
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
magicvincent
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I was trying to add the photo to my profile. I did not know it just adds to a comment instead. Also a good presentation that you mentioned can elevate and also strengthen a Magic routine. In addition, I also used to believe that there must be that one great prop to buy to make me better as a Magician then the others. It took me years to realise that the Magic is in You, not your props. It is not what you do but how you do it!
Yours truly, Vincent
Dick Oslund
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Yeah! We had a guy visit the Café last year, who wanted suggestions for a prop that would make him a big success, and also make him famous! Some of us managed, I think, to explain that it wasn't a prop, that would make him a success, and, famous, but talent, and presentation. I haven't seen his name since! Yup, you are right! (Some, never ever realize that "the magic is in YOU!", the performer! You are correct! "It is not what you do, but how you do it!" --ONLY, Ya said it wrong!!!!!!! (Here is the "correct way:::"It aint WHAT ya do, it's How ya do it!!!!! hee hee hee
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Blackington
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I live near where the thoroughbred horses race. I've noticed that there's a reoccurring type of comment/question here that asks "will this trick make me successful?" ..as if it was like the magician was betting on a horse to win a race, and then that's what will wind up being called a 'success'. Unfortunately, the horse doesn't know that the magician has followed someone else's advice before placing the bet (aka, invested $$ on faith), and doesn't know what $$$ is to begin with. But the horse cost its owner $200,000 … with absolutely no guarantee of profit. LOL - it's just a musing!
Blackington
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But here's what I really wanted to say -- Does KIDabra sell videos on performing magic for children? I feel that I learn more by watching others, and it seems that KIDabra would be a good starting point for it. Any and all comments welcomed! Thanks.
Mark Boody Illusionist
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Blackington

Here is a good place to start, these are well worth the investment if plan on performing for children!

https://www.amazekids.com/magic/audience......hildren/

https://www.amazekids.com/magic/audience......enagers/

Best of Luck

Mark
Blackington
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MBI -- Thanks for the note -- yes I'll give Danny Orleans' videos a try. I'd seen his Kidshow book, the vids are probably excellent. Thanks!
Dick Oslund
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I have known Danny for more years than I care to count. He is very talented, and very successful.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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