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Topic: Small Show/Party Pros What Would You Do???
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Nov 29, 2005 07:56PM)
Every year for my Wifes Birthday I do something very special for her as a surprise. In the past, I have performed a full Magic Show...I have had a real Zoo show up with exotic animals wrapped in boxes as presents...(Monkey...Large Gator...Huge Python etc)...anyway...

You are offered $150 and some Eats to perform at a very small situation (2 People in the Living Room!)...Family material (not blue)...what would you do? What would you bring?
How long would you present your act? 15 min? 20 min? 30 min?

Month: Early January (3rd)
Location So Cal.

You show up...knock on the door...set up...do your act...have a great dinner if you like or just go home leaving your little audience laughing or thrilled with your performance.

Anybody...puppets or vent want to throw a hat in the ring?

You WILL get reviewed on Magic Cafť.

Don't be concerned with having material for adults...we've gone to Disney On Ice and Sesame Street Live...frequent Legoland and Disneyland...it's what we like to do. And we enjoy Marrionette Shows and Puppet Acts whatever the play or show as long as it's Pro and not a wannabee.


eMail me or PM if interested.
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Nov 29, 2005 08:24PM)
Dang, wish I was in So Cal rather than No Cal, I'd do it just for the honor and the food! You, sir, are a stud.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Nov 29, 2005 08:59PM)
Uh...thanks Steve...but that outburst decidedly and automatically disqualifies you from consideration.

Message: Posted by: LostSoul (Nov 30, 2005 08:26AM)
Hey Doug,

How about a true romantic! Those are great ideas (my wife would think I was over the top, but she would love it). Too bad Iím on the other side of the country.

My wifeís 50 is in 18 months and Iíve been trying to plan some sort of party for her. Iíll remember all of your ideas. (I donít know what Iíll do yet, Iíve been leaning towards a magician/hypnotist so far).

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Nov 30, 2005 09:57AM)
ALL: I was re-reading my initial post and I was less than articulate on a point. When I said ..."as long as it's Pro and not a wannabee.", what I meant was not amatuerish...I'm not asking for Copperfield or the reincarnation of Paul Winchel or Jim Henson. I mean someone who actually makes their money off of doing such things and not just wishes they did...a real act rather than a demonstration of a few skills.

Lost Soul: What I try for is the unexpected. Getting harder these days to do that.
The visiting Zoo was the gem so far. It helped that the company was top notch and really did a great presentation. Someone comes to the door who is dressed in the Safari Khaki look..they (in this case 'she') introduces themselves and tells the Birthday person they have brought some surprises for them. The 'Zoo Keeper' then procedes to carry in large Boxes all wrapped in paper and ribbons like Presents and sets them out in a line. At this point the intended BD target has no idea what this is about.
(When booking, you choose the amount of animals you would like presented. At the time, a few years ago you got 7 for $150 and chose from a long list of the animals you'ld like to see....in your Living Room!
Once the boxes are lined up (Some of them 'moving'!) the 'ZK' ask's the BD person to choose their first gift. In our case my Wife picked the box with the Lemur...very agile and energectic but it took to her right away and snuggled in...it was PERFECT! My Wifelikes animals (in th Zoo and on TV) but had never been around any...never even had pets so this was a real treat for her. Next was a 4 ft Alligator which she got to hold for a while. (Each animal is presented and there is a brief 'lecture' about it and the folks get to handle the beast...by the time the HUGE Albino Python was chosen from it's box, things were humming along...the big snake...well Lori had NEVER been around a snake of any kind and had the usual reaction for a second or two...but the resulting photos of her with that BIG reptile hanging from her shoulders with a big grin on Lori's face are still our favorite pictures.
The Monkey was a kick...there was a Hedgehog and a couple of other critters to total 7...then as a prize the ZK went to the truck and brought in a very LARGE Nile Monitor (You have to see these things walking around your Living Room...amazing!)...a funny bit was during the Monkey presentation, the Parrot had chewed its way out of its box prior to being chosen and came strutting across the floor and freaked out the Monkey...was a big laugh...

I think they are still operating this enterprize and may be the ones who present Jurassic Zoo where all the creatures are BIG reptiles (I'll bet the kids love that!)

This all started years ago when for her birthday I told her we were going to the Theater. (She liked Plays and such) What I did was take her to "Rug Rats LIVE" an Arena Show hahaha...not what she expected but we had so much fun with that 'wrong choice' and really enjoyed it that in subsequent years I try and find the unexpected in the same vein. She didn't have the fantasy intensive childhood that I had growing up...seeing every Ringling that came to Mad Sq Garden on my birthday etc. (In fact I took her to her FIRST ever Circus in her late 40's!) So it's a fun thing to do stuff that adults don't normally do or think of. Last year it was Disney On Ice and I did a Magic Show for her, props and all...and I gave her a Magic Set...the point was she was to take that Magic Set and learn it so that by April she could do her own Magic Show for MY Birthday. She did GREAT too!
We try to have fun...and we do.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Dec 1, 2005 03:43PM)
$150 too low? If so, excuse my ignorance...I did my BD party shows for $50...of course that was in the 60's! :) I thought I'd get a response by now...guess I'm outta touch a bit.
Message: Posted by: Daveandrews (Dec 1, 2005 05:50PM)
Doug, if I were closer I would jump at the opportunity.
You are obviously a caring husband and a gentleman to boot. It would have been no problem to bring my 'friends' and a little magic along to entertain you.
Alas it is not to be, but I wish you luck in your search and all best wishes to your wife on 3rd Jan.

Best of,

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Dec 1, 2005 06:36PM)
Thanks Dave! I appreciate that. :)
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Dec 1, 2005 08:00PM)
I can't do it cuz you rejected me....
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Dec 1, 2005 08:42PM)
I recant my rejection...I feel shame...
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Dec 2, 2005 01:22PM)
I'm an 'ants in the pants' kind of person...so not getting any results from this thread, I decided to make my own puppets last night and do it myself. The results of the initial test build is posted elsewhere.

Now Steve V...I can do your birthday! :)

Thanks for looking though!
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Dec 2, 2005 03:17PM)
Thank you.
Steve V <---former puppeteer
Message: Posted by: Budihaha (Dec 3, 2005 02:34AM)
How about watching a small, skinny & strange looking man doing magic, juggling, puppetry and ventriloquism. And he only speak in a language which both of you don't understand. Bonus: solo birthday song by him, in his language of course!

If you agree with that, I need additional transportation fee for 2 ways flight and 7 days accomodation. :)


Budi Ha Ha
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Dec 3, 2005 10:50AM)
Better I fly her over to you for the show!!! :) :)
Message: Posted by: Budihaha (Dec 6, 2005 04:50AM)
Hmm, that's a good idea!!

So it will be included strange food, drink and atmosphere.
Let me to calculate my fee again, before come back to you!


Budi Ha Ha
Message: Posted by: harris (Dec 8, 2005 01:06PM)
I would do a combination of magic in characters and feature Nigel the puppet that rocks and talks.

As an opener I would come in a casual suit with turtle neck.
The coat comes off, I as I introduce my self and talk about how special birthdays are.. Through a gray wig, voice change, oversized yellow slippers, and a pink bathrobe a transformation occurs. Know in the dinning room is my Mother Martha, who talks about how special her little Harris is and his early birthdays.

Accompaning her story is a bit of sleight of hand using washers (actually brain washers) to illustrate the passing of time....

Papers torn as an additional representation of calendar days passing...

and restored as I become Harris again....

Nigel would be brought out and I would slowly grow a bit somber.

Next a harmonica would be produced and the first bars of Amazing Grace....

A parody song would be sung....with information gathered from you...

Amazinnnnnng _______ , we can't believe....

you've been around so long...

But since you have we all agree

To honor you with a song....

Roses, or other object would be given out after a short routine about love....
families...and a song for your wife....

Barry Manilow's Can't Smile with out YOU.

Two ventriloquial lips worth from

Harris Deutsch
Laughologist and Nearly Normal Ventriloquist.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Dec 8, 2005 01:19PM)
Now THAT's Entertainment! :)

And thanks for actually answering the question!!!
Message: Posted by: harris (Dec 18, 2005 02:18PM)
My beloved Annie will be 60 next year.

She has taught me a lot about listening and finding our what my consumers/clients want and need. When I receive inquiries about my Nearly Normal Laughology Programs, I get gently reminded to listen more, and talk less.

For this A.D.H.D.(My wife calls it Attention Deficit Husband Disorder) it has been hard, but has paid off.

Both in closing more shows, and a happier wife.

She is the real magic in my life.

You are appreciated by,

Harris Deutsch