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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ The little darlings Ľ Ľ Unacceptable behavior at a magic show (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dick Oslund
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Hello jd! Please accept my sincere apology! I wrote that, at 4:51 AM. My wrinkled old brain inadvertently missed the "...On February 14,2018, TKD27 wrote:..." and, yes, you are correct. I thought that TKD27's statement was YOURS. I'll go stand in the corner!
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jdstewart
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Thanks Dick
TheAmbitiousCard
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So for those that panic at the sight of a teen-ager at your show...................

WHY?


Anyone?

Bueller?
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Al Kazam the Magic Man
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I don't panic at the sight of a teenager at any of my shows. I try to size them up pretty quickly though. Are they standing there blankly looking me or are they just texting/chatting/snapchatting/ etc etc on their phones and look they are at the party against their will? Some can be great and seem to enjoy the magic and I encourage them to get involved as much as I can in an adult way. Others on the other hand just want to "get the hell out of Dodge" so to speak.

My show doesn't play for 4 to 18 year olds.
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Dick Oslund
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Well Frank! I don't panic at teenagers! In my book, I mentioned playing many SENIOR HIGHS that had, or were having internal problems. I "got" standing ovations, many times.

In the western rural states, like the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Washington, etc., many small schools are K-12. The older kids have younger brothers and sisters in the lower grades, and, they understand that the program must have material that is not strictly for the teens. I never did "kiddie" material, but routines with a broad appeal. The "classics", especially tricks with "generic" props, (not "Hippity Hop props or RUN SOMETHING RUN props") carefully selected, according to a rather strict criteria, helped make the program appealing to almost everyone.

Off season, I would pick up an occasional family party, or birthday party, with a very mixed age group. The "challenge" in those situations were more from adults in the next room who were more interested in cocktails!

When I had "big brothers or big sisters", they would enjoy the program, too! --As soon as they realized that I was going to fool them, without making fools OF them!

I really think that those performers who have serious problems, with teens at parties, just do a "kid" show, and, don't appeal to the older ones.

I always talk WITH the group, not AT, or TO them. I often ask questions of individuals, especially the older ones, to INVOLVE them.
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Dick Oslund
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P.S.!!! (It's a relatively well known fact, that: PEOPLE ALWAYS READ A "P.S."!)

Reduced to the ESSENCE:

From my half century of professional experience in, not only school assemblies, but, also family night programs (phone promotion shows) and many corporate events, etc. I have learned that I MUST COMMUNICATE with WHOMEVER is sitting, in front of me! THAT, doesn't mean making a speech! ("com" from the Latin "cum" = "with", not, "to" or "at"). See, my last sentence above!

A wise performer begins to establish communications with the group, AS HE ENTERS! For "informal" type performing, like birthday parties, this is CRITICAL! (In theater, and, other formal shows, a pantomime trick or act, CAN be effective, but, not, in someone's family room or patio, or garage, even!)

Then, it's the PERFORMER and his PRESENTATION that makes the magic ENTERTAINING! --NOT THE PROPS! My mentors always told me, "It aint WHAT ya do, it's HOW ya do it!!!!!!!!!!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
jdstewart
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The issue you can have with teens is they may enter thinking if you fool them you said something negative about their intelligence. So they want to prove they are not stupid. They can figure it out.

Here are the secrets I have discovered.

Trick selection: Dick is spot on about trick selection. I do not do kiddie tricks, even for preschools. And I do a lot of preschools. Why don't I do kiddie tricks? There are adults in the audience. Teachers want to enjoy the show too. Since everyone enjoys the show. I get a lot of repeat bookings. Tip 1: Do solid magic.

Routines: Some believe magic is not inherently entertaining. I do not know if I agree with that but there is a point to that. Here's a coin. Now it's gone. That is boring. That is not even magic. That is a puzzle. If YOU are entertaining teens will come along with you. They forget about challenging you because they like you. They want you to succeed. It is not about fooling them it is about having fun. You are their friend. Tip 2: Concentrate on entertaining not fooling.

Just thoughts from my experience.
Dick Oslund
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HALLELUJAH! AMEN!!!!!!!

I think that, even though we may have VERY MINOR differences of OPINION, jd, and I are 99,999% in agreement!!!

I worked a California YOUTH PRISON. (I wrote up THAT story in my book) This was NOT a REFORM SCHOOL. IT WAS A P R I S O N (HARD TIME) FOR TEENAGERS WHO HAD COMMITTED CRIMES LIKE MURDERING THEIR PARENTS. They were marched in to the auditorium. As they were seated, a fist fight broke out. The guards handled that. efficiently. I was introduced by the Chaplain. I opened the curtain, to a quiet audience. I did my standard opening for adolescents. They were attentive, and, became a very appreciative group. They laughed in the right places! I didn't get a standing ovation, but I got plenty of applause.

Again, "It aint WHAT ya do, it's HOW ya do it!"
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Ed_Millis
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I remember one of my first birthday parties. It was for a 1-year-old, who was asleep upstairs. I had four other kids, ages 4, 5, 8, and 12. They sent us off to an out-of-the-way patch of grass outdoors in the Arizona sun. I did a few things, saw the oldest looking very disinterested, and decided to pull out something a bit "higher level". Halfway through the trick, the 5-yr-old walks up to me and puts his hands on his hips, declares "you're boring!!", and walks off. I think I finished that trick and maybe one other, and then slunk away.

Fortunately, I've gotten better over the years. Not as good as I'd like to be, but better.

Ed
Dick Oslund
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Gosh Ed, I'm happy to hear that you've gotten better! (hee hee) From that story, ya couldn't have been any worse!!!

But, there IS a bright side. You've gotten better!

In school shows, principals appreciate it when the performer can do a bit of inspiration, and/or motivation. I often used a little "sermon", that I called (to myself) "P P P". (PREPARATION, PRACTICE, PERSISTENCE). I'm busy today, but, I'll come back, ASAP, with the text!
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Howie Diddot
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Quote:
On Mar 24, 2018, TheAmbitiousCard wrote:
So for those that panic at the sight of a teen-ager at your show...................

WHY?


Anyone?

Bueller?


Frank;

I donít panic, I just donít perfer to perform for teen-agers, itís work, I perfer entertaining younger children where itís fun for me to produce a magical experience for them
harris
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Teenagers.....I've been working with them in a school setting as well as performing for them for about 20 years.

My programs regardless of the age are not all magic. I do include strong magic as well as other entertaining items.

I used to prefer not to share during 1st hour, but after a few quarters in the same classroom, even 7:30 A.M. shows can be engaging.


Harris
still 2 old to know it all
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On May 6, 2018, Howie Diddot wrote:

I donít panic, I just donít perfer to perform for teen-agers, itís work, I perfer entertaining younger children where itís fun for me to produce a magical experience for them


Sometimes you don't have the choice. Teen-agers, or adult for that matter, can and will be present from time to time to watch your show.
So how do you prevent what was stated in the original post...

Quote:
"the older kids got bored"


Not preparing and thus allowing a portion of an audience to leave thinking... "wow, that magician was boring. now I remember why I don't like to watch magic"
shouldn't be acceptable to any of us.
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Oscar999
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I recently participated in a show our magic club gave for a group of young people that are institutionalized. We had several magicians including me performing. Last year, this show was great fun. It had kids of all ages, from very young, first graders up to High School seniors.

This year, it was primarily VERY YOUNG, like pre-school-aged kids.

I'm an adult entertainer, mostly corporate (and from Mindpro's other posts, I must qualify that to say more like consumer business... or something like that) and small private events. I'm certainly out of my element with little kids, because I do very little truly visual magic, except for some rope and the linking rings.

The point of all this is that I understand the challenge of entertaining all age groups, I thought I'd mastered it, but discovered very quickly that's not the case. In this instance I just attempted to play to the adults overseeing the kids... fortunately for them there were kids entertainers present to pick up the slack. I'm sure some kids left thinking I was boring. Live and learn.

Oscar
Dick Oslund
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Well, Oscar, I've known magicians on both ends of the scale. Some, great with adults, some marvelous with High School young adults, some, very good with elementary kids, and some, wonderful with the primary moppets. Some, could perform for, and do a great job with senior citizens, and/or the moppets. Some, that I've seen can work with any mix!

So! You've learned something! When I was an early teen, I accepted ANY date that came along! (It was necessary. I lived in a medium sized town (about 15,000). Most of the dates that I could get were either family parties for Holiday events, or Lodge and Church group, after meeting, entertainment. (Birthday party "entertainment" didn't really exist yet. --Pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs, and'/or "Simon says" were standard for natal day celebrations. Occasionally, I was able to book a school assembly. I had to get experience, performing, so I had to learn how to do all of them! I'm sure that I wasn't GREAT, but, I was the only magician in town!

If the program that the club is going to do, is not YOUR best audience, offer to "pull the curtain" or handle the spot light! Perhaps, watching the member who is good with kids, will help you learn.
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Oscar999
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You're right about one thing Dick, I certainly learned who my audience "wasn't."

I think I'll take your advice about helping out in other ways whenever we have these events. I want to support my club and be there for them, but if the audience isn't right, then I'm not doing anybody any favors by going on with a card trick ending in a royal flush!

Oscar
David French
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Hey Dick Oslund. Is your book still available?
Dick Oslund
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THAT sounds like a darn good card trick! I have been fortunate to meet and know, most of the top cardicians. --Men like Dai Vernon, Jon Racherbaumer, Alex Elmsley, Ricky Jay, Ed Marlo, et al! I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them work. I read Erdnase, as a teenager, and learned all the fans, and flourishes. But, I realized that a teen aged gambler wasn't going anywhere.

I learned once how to do the 21 card trick, but, I've forgotten it!

I spent 50 years on the road, doing school assemblies. I'm retired!

Do what you do best, in the appropriate situations, and, enjoy performing!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On May 30, 2018, David French wrote:
Hey Dick Oslund. Is your book still available?


It sure is. I'll PM you with information.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Apr 4, 2018, Dick Oslund wrote:
Gosh Ed, I'm happy to hear that you've gotten better! (hee hee) From that story, ya couldn't have been any worse!!!

But, there IS a bright side. You've gotten better!

In school shows, principals appreciate it when the performer can do a bit of inspiration, and/or motivation. I often used a little "sermon", that I called (to myself) "P P P". (PREPARATION, PRACTICE, PERSISTENCE). I'm busy today, but, I'll come back, ASAP, with the text!


Near the end of the school show, I would say: "People are always asking me, 'How do you become a magician?' I always tell them that it's no different than becoming a doctor, a lawyer, an astronaut, or an athlete. I'll give you my three magic words: PREPARATION, PRACTICE, & PERSISTENCE.

PREPARATION: LEARN ALL YOU CAN ABOUT WHATEVER YOU WANT TO BE. PRACTICE: WITHOUT PRACTICING THE SKILLS NEEDED, YOU ARE JUST "COASTING" --AND YOU CAN ONLY COAST IN ONE DIRECTION! PERSISTENCE: KEEP ON LEARNING, AND, PRACTICING, UNTIL YOU SUCCEED!

Teachers and principals appreciated the brevity, and, the simplicity of that statement!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ The little darlings Ľ Ľ Unacceptable behavior at a magic show (9 Likes)
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