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1KJ
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I do mostly adult magic, but from time to time I get talked into doing a kid show. I really enjoy them, just not something I do often.

I will be doing a kid show soon and this one is a bit unique. For this show, I have a five year old who wants to do a trick where a "hotwheels" car changes color (It changes colors when dipped in water), and a nine year old wants to do a coin trick. I have agreed to include them in the show.

I am going to start with the five year old. I am going to use a vanish box, the type where you open the back door and the front door to show that the box is empty and have her lower the car into the box and pull it out a different color. I am going to do all the patter as if I am the commentator and she is the magician to make sure that all the kids see the car, get what color it is, etc.

I will then go to the nine year old. He is going to do a coin from ear routine. I'm not too worried about this because it is for a bunch of four, five, and six year olds who will likely be entertained, and the adults are parents who all know both kids and will be all "oohs and aahs".

Then, I am going to do just four tricks:

A kids monte routine about a couple brothers who are always trying to ditch their poor sister.

A routine using "Astonishing Bottle". I'm still trying to come up with a funny and appropriate ending that doesn't make the coke bottle the star and the orange bottle the "loser". I'm trying to figure out an opposite ending that has a message that is funny, but something the parents will appreciate. HELP WITH THIS ONE, PLEASE.

A Chinese sticks routine.

Finally, ending with a routine combining Platt's "Sugar Rush" and the old Chinese "Crystal Silk Cylinder", but ending with a cylinder full of candy for the kids.

Since I don't do many kids shows, any advice would be welcome, especially tips on how to make it funny for kids as kid humor and adult humor are very different.

I would also love some thoughts on how to end the Astonishing Bottle routine.

Thanks.

KJ
TKD27
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What age are the kids going to be? I feel like 4-8 year olds are one audience, and 9-12 year olds are a different audience.

For the younger kids, it's about being silly. Slapstick humor lands well, as well as miscalling things. Introduce anything, but call it something else. So for the hotwheels routine you can say, "here's a trick that Billy is going to help me with. We're going to make a Barbie change colors. What? It's not a Barbie? What is it? Oh, it's a STAR. Okay, we're going to make a star change colors. What do you mean it's not a star? You just told me it was a star! Oh, it's a CAR. I thought you said it was a STAR!" That's just a very quick example off the top of my head. You can definitely refine that, but you get the idea.

Older kids are, for me, harder. I have a harder time with that group, so I don't really have any great advice there.

For a fun kids monte routine, check out Tommy James' Hide and Seek House. It's a fun routine, and plays really well. The take away from it is that -- assuming these are younger kids -- you shouldn't play it straight, like, "let me tell you a story about these kids." Play it like a game and get the kids interacting with you.

If you feel like exploring the art of performing for kids, I strongly recommend Silly Billy's book, Seriously Silly, as well as Christopher T. Magician's book, Beyond Look Don't See.
1KJ
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TDK27,

Thanks. they are going to be 4, 5, and 6 year olds. Pretty easy age. I have Silly Billy's book and his videos. Maybe I'll take a look at them again.

I think I have a good premise for the Astonishing bottle routine. I'm thinking I will tell the kids I need their help in making my lunch bag. So far, I only have a couple drinks. I'll get them to help me decide which would be a better choice and get rid of the one that isn't healthy. This give me a reason to remove the soda bottle from my "lunch bag". I'm Still not sure about the premise for the disappearing orange juice. One of the challenges is to keep it simple for 4-5-6 year olds.

KJ
TKD27
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Seriously, don't worry about keeping it simple... keep it silly. The sillier the better. Is this the trick you're talking about? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6NFfa7lIro

Can you go back and forth, showing the orange soda, then the coke, then the orange again, then the coke? If so, you've got an easy sucker trick there. Just set it up as a transposition effect. "I have a bag with my favorite drink in it. It's orange soda! I love orange soda! But I also love Coke, so I'll switch it to Coke." Magic words, blah blah blah.

Do the switch. Then switch it back a few times... just enough to get the kids yelling that there's something else in the bag. From there, do all the standard vanishing coke gags. I would probably end it by asking the kids why they want to see inside the bag, and then conceding that, yeah, they caught me. There are two bottles in the bag. Then asking, "do you want to see the orange soda?" At that point I'd show the bag, but there's nothing there. When the kids react, I'd react shocked... like I really thought there was a bottle of orange soda there. I'd then accuse the kids of stealing my orange soda, which of course, is my favorite soda (and now what am I going to drink when I get thirsty).

But that's my character. If it fits for you, go for it, if not, re-work it.
magicgeorge
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I wouldn't start with the the children doing their effects. I'd get them engaged, interested and settled with your own routines before bringing the kids up to show their tricks.
1KJ
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On May 19, 2017, TKD27 wrote:
Seriously, don't worry about keeping it simple... keep it silly. The sillier the better. Is this the trick you're talking about? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6NFfa7lIro

Can you go back and forth, showing the orange soda, then the coke, then the orange again, then the coke? If so, you've got an easy sucker trick there. Just set it up as a transposition effect. "I have a bag with my favorite drink in it. It's orange soda! I love orange soda! But I also love Coke, so I'll switch it to Coke." Magic words, blah blah blah.

Do the switch. Then switch it back a few times... just enough to get the kids yelling that there's something else in the bag. From there, do all the standard vanishing coke gags. I would probably end it by asking the kids why they want to see inside the bag, and then conceding that, yeah, they caught me. There are two bottles in the bag. Then asking, "do you want to see the orange soda?" At that point I'd show the bag, but there's nothing there. When the kids react, I'd react shocked... like I really thought there was a bottle of orange soda there. I'd then accuse the kids of stealing my orange soda, which of course, is my favorite soda (and now what am I going to drink when I get thirsty).

But that's my character. If it fits for you, go for it, if not, re-work it.


Thanks. Yes, that is the right link. I'm not used to amping up the "silly", but I'm going to give it a shot.
1KJ
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On May 19, 2017, magicgeorge wrote:
I wouldn't start with the the children doing their effects. I'd get them engaged, interested and settled with your own routines before bringing the kids up to show their tricks.


It is a risk, I know. I have worked out with the five year old that I'm going to handle the patter and direct her. I added a bit more magic to the routine and worked out some silly bits of business.

I haven't been able to work with the nine year old. I suppose that could be a risk too, but I am planning on using Christopher T. Magician's bit on how to control an audience of kids so if they get a bit out of hand with the nine year old, I can step in.

We'll see how it goes.

kj
1KJ
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OK, show done! It was a ton of fun! It was also interesting. I guess with Kids anything that can happen, at some point will happen. First, the six year old was supposed to go first, but was in the back yard crying. Then, the Mom said to do ahead with the show while the Aunt went to get the six year old (bday girl). I started with my version of the kids monte, they loved it. Then, the six year old came back, and I don't know what magic the aunt did, but I jumped to her trick and she rocked! the effect didn't go exactly as scripted, but many of the kids liked her piece the best. Then I did a few more tricks and finally the ten year old did some magic.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have done one more trick after the ten year old, but instead I announced it was cake time and that worked out real well.

My hats off to the kid entertainers, there is s whole lot more thought that has to go into kid shows than adult shows, and I realized that I have to be able to roll with a lot more punches than usual.

Thanks all for the help.

KJ
1KJ
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BTW, I don't know if this is the downside or upside, but a bunch of parents wanted to hire me for their bday shows. Maybe I can refer them to some of my IBM buddies.

KJ
TKD27
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Kids shows are unique, for sure. Personally, I absolutely love them, but I completely understand people who don't.

Congrats on a job well done!
1KJ
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On May 22, 2017, TKD27 wrote:
Kids shows are unique, for sure. Personally, I absolutely love them, but I completely understand people who don't.

Congrats on a job well done!


thx
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