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Topic: Now I'm in trouble
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Feb 3, 2006 09:52AM)
I've been doing a few effects around the office and they have been going over fairly well. However, one of my coworkes comes out and says "I'm gonna have you do my kids Bday party." Well, first I thought she was joking, but today she comes in and tells me "I told my son and he's already talking to all his freinds about it..." Time to panick.

It turns out the party is in September, he's turning 7. So much to think about. I certainly have not reached the point that I should be booking shows for money. BUT, if I get on the stick I may be able to get something together by then.

My first instinct is to refer her to a freind, but I don't have any( at least not that do kids magic shows).

Could be a good opportunity to force me to start really performing.

Anyway, excuse the disjointed rambling, but I'm rushing between classes while my students are on break.

Thoughts??

Jim
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Feb 3, 2006 10:08AM)
Years ago, before I started magicking, a coworker of mine was beginning to do some walk around stuff.
I invited him to perform at my daughter's 7th or 8th birthday.
He gathered the kids on the floor and did
"Sponge Bunnies", "Gem Busters", "Scotch and Soda", "Invisible Deck", "Vanishing Silk (TT)" and I forget what else.
Anyway, it was not exactly a professional show but the kids got a kick out of the tricks.
He didn't ask for money but got to get a feel for performing.

I'm not sure if he performed later on since he left the company and I lost track.

Read the 'Little Darlings' section.
Message: Posted by: stormchaser (Feb 3, 2006 11:24AM)
What Jaz said. Just do some tricks, for kids you don't need to be professional.
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Feb 3, 2006 11:52AM)
Make sure that you handle client expectations. Make sure that they know that you don't have a fancy polished show. You don't want them disappointed. It sounds like you really want to do it but are unsure of if you should and if you do, can you pull it off.

Well, as long as you manage your own expectations as well you should be able to give the children a fun time and have some fun yourself.

I would strongly suggest getting 'Mismade Flag' along with a zippered change bag. I was taught a routine for children by the man that sold it to me (Eddie Gardner of Diamond's Magic) that had the kids rolling. If you buy or have the trick and don't have a routine then let me know. I'd be happy to pass it along.
Message: Posted by: Corey Harris (Feb 3, 2006 12:51PM)
Some might disagree with me here. But I think you have 2 options with this. Option one- since its your first time and you werent really expecting it, let her know that its at no charge. But if she wants and likes the show that she can give you some money. option 2- quote her a price for the show and practice and live up to the price. Now who will be the first to flame me...lol.
Message: Posted by: jgravelle (Feb 3, 2006 01:54PM)
I did a couple tricks at my son's party last year.

One of the girls attending, as she was leaving, said to him "Now [i]you[/i] hafta come to [i]my[/i] party. Bring your Dad!"

You're in, mister. Deal with it. ;) Do twenty good minutes for free and kids that age are delighted. So are their parents. Don't stress over it. Relax and let your ha-- um... well, just relax. They're not worried about your double-lift, your half-pass, or your palming skills. They want you to eat the Gummy Worm that you just pulled outta your nose.

Worry more about the stories... jokes... presentation. Relate! Know what Yugi-Oh is... who Jimmy Neutron is... spend an hour at Nick.com.

Teach them a (public domain) trick. You've even got time to learn a few balloon animals. Tell the "A chicken walks into a library" joke, finishing with a balloon frog just in time for the punch line.

Remember, "Do that again!" is a compliment, and not a mandate. "I've got something EVEN BETTER!" is your reply and segue.

You're gonna have a blast.

Congratulations!


-jjg
Message: Posted by: what (Feb 3, 2006 02:42PM)
Do it.
Take the opprotunity to put together a 20-30 minute show.

Remember that this age group loves magic, but wants to be part of the magic. Your show should involve them.

Be sure to show up to the party looking like a magician (costume, Magic case, etc)

If you want to really WOW them, then play some magical PRE and POST show music.

I agree that you should try to downplay expectations, then completely exceed them.

Good luck, and Have Fun,

Mike
Message: Posted by: Foucault (Feb 3, 2006 02:51PM)
Jim - if it's really something that interests you, spend some time in the "Little Darlings" forum for some ideas.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Cory Gallupe (Feb 3, 2006 03:05PM)
Remember visual, colorful, and amazing. It cant be too simple, because you said you are dealing with 7 year olds. They aren't that easy to handle. they will be telling you the most complicated things about how you did it. Not too easy, yet not too hard. I wouold say 20 min is good. Make sure you get them laughing, screaming, crying, (well, maybe not crying...) and let them have a good time. Have lots of interactive tricks, involve them. don't make it too complicated. but once again, not too easy, because they will think, (Or will) know how its done. And write/print in on paper. You will probably need to read what the next effect is, and make sure you don't loose it, because it may just be gold. And then you will be all over doing parties for kids. My suggestion: make a routine for adults too when your done the kids show. Then you'll have adults booking you too! -Cory.
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Feb 3, 2006 04:10PM)
Call a local charity and see if you can do a few tricks at a function next month. I find the low pressure of a free show liberating. And the karma couldn't hurt either.
Message: Posted by: Paolo Venturini (Feb 3, 2006 06:31PM)
Go for it!

And remember to have fun with the kids... But be careful, you could find it addicting and you could feel you want do it again, and again, and again...
Message: Posted by: Jeremy L. (Feb 3, 2006 10:03PM)
[quote]
On 2006-02-03 12:24, stormchaser wrote:
What Jaz said. Just do some tricks, for kids you don't need to be professional.
[/quote]
I don't completely agree with you. But either way the kids don't book you, the parents do.
Back to the topic...
I may not perform paid shows but I've performed enough to know that if they even think they know how something works then soon every one there will know their idea. So make sure your routines are well practiced.
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Feb 4, 2006 10:44AM)
Wow, thanks for all the replies. Looks like I better spend some more time in the kids section.......

I hadn't planned on charging anything at all, but what about maybe asking the parents to pay for some low price hand out tricks for the kids?

Tks again
Jim
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Feb 6, 2006 09:33AM)
Jim,

You are being paid a HUGE compliment by the parent who booked you. She is entrusting you to make her child's birthday memorable. That's a big responsibility that I know you will not take lightly. This is an event that the child will likely remember for the rest of her life. She's so excited about it that she's already telling all of her friends - and her party isn't even until September!

This child has preconceived ideas of what a magician should be like. Those are the expectations you need to meet and exceed. In order to do this, you need to understand the psychology of a child. Then you need to design the presentation of your show around that psychological understanding. One of the leading books to understand how and why children react the way they do is David Kaye's book, "Seriously Silly". I would highly recommend this book as a solid starting point in developing your birthday party show.

The other thing you may want to do is pick up the Kidology tapes from David Ginn and one or two DVD's from Terry Herbert. These are some of the leading children's performers and you can learn a lot from them in terms of the tricks they do and the way they manage a child audience.

As for whether or not you should charge for the show, that's a judgment call you need to make. Just don't use the fact of a free show as an excuse to put on a poor show. It doesn't sound like you are the type of person to do this, but I've seen it done before. No only would that hurt the craft, but it would be completely unfair to the child.

Let me know if you need any help along the way. I'll be more than happy to give you any guidance I can.

Kent
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Feb 6, 2006 10:12AM)
Thanks for the tips. I'm actually talking to "mom" a lot to find out what her son and his guests are like. Of course, kids can change a lot in a few months time.
I'm wondering about adding some really big finish like a chair suspension for the closer. I won't be charging for this show, but I would hope to get a refferal or two from it. Not sure I can justify the expense, and more importantly, I'm not sure if I can do it well enough and safely by then. I need to find someone with one and check it out.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Feb 6, 2006 12:39PM)
I have used the Chair Suspension extensively for the last year. It is a tremendous effect that really punctuates a good show. The advantages to the chair suspension are as follows:

1. Portability - it can easily fit into a vehicle and move from show to show
2. Angles - it can be done completely surrounded
3. Set-Up - it can be set up and taken down in seconds
4. Impact - this effect creates a huge impact on the audience

The disadvantages for you to consider may be:

1. Cost - although this is probably one of the most inexpensive "illusions" you can purchase, it is still very expensive as far as kidshow props are concerned. If you are unsure whether you will be performing paid childrens shows on a regular basis, you may want to hold off on this item.

Instead, you may want to look at a more versatile effect such as the production of candy from a Dove Pan. I did this for years (and continue to so so) with great effect. It is a strong production with which to end your show, and the handing out of the candy by a grown up can help buy you the time you need to put away your props.

2. Weight - there are limitations on the weight capacity of the illusion. Although most instructions suggest that it can take up to 120 lbs., I have never used the illusion where the child exceeds 85 lbs. This is to protect the illusion and the safety of the child.

3. Bulkiness - Many kidshow entertainers like to only make one trip from and to the car. With this illusion, it's virtually impossible to do so. There's just too much to carry.

Although this is an easy illusion to perform technically, the actual presentation of the effect requires a thorough understanding of the psychology of the illusion. Never forget that the paramount importance here is the SAFETY of the child. Don't be hesitant to pull the effect out of your show if you ever feel the safety of the child is at risk.

In short, don't feel as though you need to spend a ton of money to produce a good kidshow. The key elements of fun and participation are what will make your show a success. That is brought out by your personality - not your props.

Kent
Message: Posted by: Pinto2 (Feb 6, 2006 03:34PM)
I think this is definatly good for you. You seem to be like me, know some tricks, know what you like and don't like, and want to get the best affects you can. Well, I find the this thinking leads to one thing... never presenting infront of larger audiences and always learning new things before you really have somthing else totally mastered. However, this april I have a larger show for my school that I must do, and personally I would like more time to practice. Therefore, you, like me, are being forced into preforming before your confortable. What I'm saying is that I think this is good for you, as it is causing you to take the first, and in my opinion hardest, step to becoming a preformer. If this opertunity hadn't come yet, who knows how long it would be untill you preformed.
Daniel
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Mar 6, 2006 12:37PM)
Well, the latest news is...

The party is a pool party outside :O From everything I've read, that sounds less than optimal. I'm going to try to secure a place to do the show inside if I can. If not, well...... we'll see.
Message: Posted by: Sergey Smirnov (Mar 7, 2006 03:29AM)
I have the same problem. The only difference is that my show is in a couple of weeks. And the kids are of age 3-5, hence no card tricks. This worries me, since I am mostly into cards. I can do TT stuff, cutting and restoring rob, one rubber band trick, but that's about it. It won't be a very long show. :(
Message: Posted by: jgravelle (Mar 7, 2006 08:24AM)
Three to five? Yeeeesh...

D'Lite
Sponge Bunnies
That four mile long paper streamer dispenser thingy
Squeaker
Wand in a wand in a wand in a wand...


Regards,

-jjg
Message: Posted by: MagikDavid (Mar 7, 2006 03:41PM)
Jim,

Good luck with the show. I've got a lot of kids shows under my belt and will be here for any questions you may have. When I first started, I worried about everything... was I good enough? will the kids get roudy and spoil my effects? did I practice enough? ... by the time I started the show, I was a nervous wreck. Don't overlook the good advice you've gotten from the others here... especially about "having a good time." Go there with the mind-set that you're just a big kid, joining in the fun, i.e., don't be afraid to put on a birthday hat or 'accidentally' pop a balloon and jump back in a very animated way in surprise, feeling your chest to see if you've been shot (kids that age love that stuff.) When you get a volunteer to come up and help, and ask his name and he says, "Billy"... then start your trick by saying, "Okay Johnny, here's what I want you to do..." The kids will let you know that you've made a mistake by shouting and screaming, "BILLY"... then you say, "Oh, I'm sorry George..." It's that kind of stuff that kids love. Eventually though, you've got to try to regain control by starting the trick with confidence and assertiveness. Bottom line... just take the kids on a journey of fun, laughter and amazement... just bend with the fun and exitement of the moment... just be a kid yourself... you'll feel yourself loosening up as it progresses. By the way, you'll most likely hear a kid yell, "I know how you did that!" or "That's not magic!" or other remarks. Just ignore them. Final thoughts: for that age group, keep the tricks quick, colorful and simple... also, keep the show going quickly with no dead spots between effects (keep a list of your routine so you know what is coming next.) Dead spots will encourage the kids to take control... and I agree with the above suggestions to keep the show no longer than 20 minutes. Kids that age will become very antsy around that time.
That's all I can think of right now... Hope this helps.
Dave
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Mar 7, 2006 03:53PM)
I talked to "mom" the other day. It appears that her son is very proud that he is going to have his "very own" magician. By the time September rolls around, they will be expecting the likes of Houdini :O I have been taking advantage of my proximity to mom to find out what He (and she) expects a magician to be. What does a magician wear, and what does he look like etc etc.

The funniest thing so far is whan the Bday boy to be piped up and said "Mommy, I think I need to meet your magician friend before the party." So I guess I am up for an "interview." :)

Off to find a "Big hat and a cape."'

Jim
Message: Posted by: jdbach (Mar 8, 2006 09:39PM)
Suggest you spend some time thinking about how 7 year olds act in a group. Keeping children from grabbing at your hands and your props is part of your job.
Several great books on the subject of performing for Kids is a good place to begin with your research.

I started performing for my grandchildren and a few other children to learn how to present to kids. Test your market!!!!
Message: Posted by: Mercury52 (Mar 8, 2006 10:47PM)
[quote]
On 2006-03-07 09:24, jgravelle wrote:
Three to five? Yeeeesh...

D'Lite
Sponge Bunnies
That four mile long paper streamer dispenser thingy
Squeaker
Wand in a wand in a wand in a wand...



Regards,

-jjg
[/quote]

Absolutely agreed. While I don't use squeakers much, at my last kids show I used D'Lites, Bunnies, a mouth coil, and the nested wands (as part of a coloring book routine) and all went over very well, epsecially the nested/multiplying wands. This was for kids around 6 years old.

You have plenty of time to get some stuff togehter for a show in September. Shoot for 20-30 minutes, get some routines together, and you'll be A-OK.

Kevin
Message: Posted by: abc (Mar 9, 2006 11:39PM)
May I also suggest you do some balloon sculptures.
Kids love them and they are really easy to make and something they can keep.
Message: Posted by: mouliu (Mar 12, 2006 06:47AM)
The above has covered most of what you needed, I add one.

Enjoy getting along with the kids! Talk to them, play with them AFTER your show.

When I first started doing magic, I did it in schools. Beside performing, I found the time I spent with the kids after the show was very enjoyable. Ok, I admit that I like the feeling of being their hero, and listen to those little sweet hearts' compliment and questions. :)

Who knows? You may make one of them grows up to be another Houdini!
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Mar 13, 2006 10:05AM)
You are lucky to have such a good amount of time to prepare. I wouldn't charge for this show. I WOULD have her aware that you are doing this as friend and that you are not professional. Nothing wrong with being up front with a client, even if pro bono. Or, maybe especially if pro bono.

Also...make sure that she understands that the show MUST be inside. Outside shows can be a disaster if you have any kind of wind that comes up, etc. It's also frequently more difficult for people to see outside depending on conditions. If they have a large family room you are in. Maybe plan the show to go BEFORE the kids start swimming. That give them someplace to go off to after you have done your gig.

Look to get a nice 20-30 minutes, but no more. Try to pack small....all in a suitcase that you can set on a tv tray for instance. Flip open the Magic Suitcase and go to town. Here are some suggestions from a gazillion years of selling magic that I know from experience are effective and easy to put routines to...and, they play well in a standup situation:

Needle thru Balloon
Chinese Sticks...I suggest the Adams unit. Better than Royal
Chinese Linking Rings (Brad Burt routine and DVD of course! Why? It's a full 8 ring routine and it makes a killer finale to a show. Easy to learn and spectacular. Very magical AND it uses lot's of folks to examine the rings.)

Any solid short rope routine: Doing Proff. Nightmare followed by Cut and Restored using the long rope is a winner.

Torn and Restored Newspaper is a great effect. Many around including the one I sell for Joel Bauer.

The classic Vanishing Milk Pitcher is also killer for kids.

Mak Magic makes a trick called the Comedy Egg Trick. Inexpensive and a GREAT effect for any show. Fools adults AND children!

Believe it or not, if these kids are in an area that has not seen the Magic Coloring Book, then $10 spent on one of these is a great investment. Lot's of routines possible and I have used it even with adults to great effect.

If you are in an area without a lot of working or no working kids magicians you don't have to reinvent the wheel. The classics are classics for a reason and all above just keep selling year in and year out. They are effective and excellent for the beginning to get some confidence, etc.

Another excellent opener is the simple TT vanish of a silk. Secret door in hand, etc.

I always did one mouth coil when I did kid's shows. For the older ones 7 and up I would do the classic coil from mouth. For little guys you can borrow a show and pull from there. Look on 4 year olds face is worth it! All best,
Message: Posted by: gollymrscience (Mar 14, 2006 02:43PM)
Everybody has given some great idea on effects. All of them reputation makers for you as a kids magician as long as you do the routine well. To me the greatest work has always been on the routine. The mechanics of a trick are certainly important but a routine not only builds the trick it acts as crowd control, misdirection, and flow of the show all come from good routines.
A lot depends on how you like to magic.
For kids I like maximum comedy. When I was younger and doing magic for kids in my teens I wanted to be the mysterious magic guy (oooooo!!). It was harder to get them involved and played better for older kids. In the 7 year old group it was easier to go for laughs and I had more fun too.
If you have good routine and story line you can cut down on the number of effects and concentrate on milking each effect.
One rule I follow is never embarrass anybody in the audiance. Some kids can be kidded more than others.
My act now is more a series of magical calamitites that get resolved more or less ok for me though we get to break an egg or two and still can't get some of those metal rings apart.
Little bits of clowning around can really sell something. I used to do a cut a restored rope but as I gathered the rope up I would absentmindedly gather my tie into it. The malicious delight of those little barbarians would be almost at a frenzy as I would look like I was about to cut the end of my tie off as I cut the rope.
If you wish to throw all dignity to the wind then Professor Cheer is good for a few minutes and makes a good segue to or from other rope tricks.
Don't forget the classic sucker effects - Run Rabbit Run, Fraidy Cat Rabbit, finger chopper- but don't go spending huge money using the upcoming show to justify spending way more money than you should. that's MY approach to new magic purchases and I have it copyrighted though I have been hearing rumors that other magicians have been stealing that system and not paying royalties.
Message: Posted by: sb (Mar 14, 2006 04:05PM)
I think the fact that the children are around 7, and not turning 4 or 5 is good for you. You already do some simple magic, that can translate well to kids of that age group. The littler kids, would possibly need more age specific material.

You have plenty of time to get ready. And everyone who is going to do or does shows, HAS to do a first show. Good for you that you have plenty of time to prepare.

Be prepared with a 20 - 30 minute set.

Do things that you are very comfortable with. Show time (especially in your case) is not the time to experiment with things that you aren't very good at. - But you do have a long time to get good at anything that you may want to add. Which brings me to....

Make 2 lists. One of what you can do now, that is suitable for the kids or easily adaptable to them. Now make a second list of items (effects/routines) that you would like to incorporate into your show. (ie. Rocky the Raccoon, chair suspension, whatever.) The second list should probably be more of standup type material (I am going to assume that most of your current routines are more close up).

Speaking of close up, if I am right about most of your material being close up stuff, then when you practice it- practice it as if you were doing it in front of a bunch of kids sitting down (stand up style). It can feel weird trying to do some effects in a stand up situation.

My final advice.....GO FOR IT, like I said, everyone has to do a first show. Heres your opportunity!

good luck
scott
Message: Posted by: sb (Mar 14, 2006 04:08PM)
I think the fact that the children are around 7, and not turning 4 or 5 is good for you. You already do some simple magic, that can translate well to kids of that age group. The littler kids, would possibly need more age specific material.

You have plenty of time to get ready. And everyone who is going to do or does shows, HAS to do a first show. Good for you that you have plenty of time to prepare.

Be prepared with a 20 - 30 minute set.

Do things that you are very comfortable with. Show time (especially in your case) is not the time to experiment with things that you aren't very good at. - But you do have a long time to get good at anything that you may want to add. Which brings me to....

Make 2 lists. One of what you can do now, that is suitable for the kids or easily adaptable to them. Now make a second list of items (effects/routines) that you would like to incorporate into your show. (ie. Rocky the Raccoon, chair suspension, whatever.) The second list should probably be more of standup type material (I am going to assume that most of your current routines are more close up).

Speaking of close up, if I am right about most of your material being close up stuff, then when you practice it- practice it as if you were doing it in front of a bunch of kids sitting down (stand up style). It can feel weird trying to do some effects in a stand up situation.

My final advice.....GO FOR IT, like I said, everyone has to do a first show. Heres your opportunity!

good luck
scott
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Mar 22, 2006 02:02PM)
Thanks for all the advice so far. This is my progress on the can do and want to do lists.

Can Do / have already
Tiny wand grows to normal wand, grows to 6 foot wand.
PB&J
Martian Rabbit Eggs
Mismade Flag
Chosen card to picture frame (a 7 since it's his 7th Bday)

Want to do/learn/get:
Production from Silks (like the champagne bottle, but I want to produce Rocky)
Build/Buy a square circle
build/buy a take apart vanish

I'm working on some baloon animals too.

I really want (notice I said "want," not "need.") a chair suspension, but we'll see if I can get the finance minister to approve that one in time. :)

The Bday boy asked his mom if there would be live animals the other day. Thankfully she didn't commit me to that one. My other half is allergic to rabbits, and my dog is not quite ready for his debut ;)
Message: Posted by: DanielCoyne (Mar 22, 2006 06:59PM)
Good luck. I'd love to hear how it goes (how it went?)and what insight and advice you'd give to someone else thinking about when where and if to do a first gig. (Like, say, me!)

-Daniel
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Mar 22, 2006 07:20PM)
Stay tuned till September :)

Who knows, if the opportunity comes up earlier, I may take it.
Message: Posted by: Julie (Mar 22, 2006 07:44PM)
You might want to check some of David Ginn's books (complete with routines).

Professional Magic for Children is a good place to start...
Message: Posted by: Sergey Smirnov (Mar 24, 2006 06:58AM)
I did my first kid's show 1.5 weeks ago. I have to say I really enjoyed it. Kids were 4-6 y.o. I statred with a mouth coil, then did the magic coloring book, then a silk with a TT, followed by sponge balls and sponge rabits. I don't want to brag, but it was a success. The kids were absolutely astonished. My girlfiend's nephew literally fell off his chair when I'd first vanished the silk. After the show they played pretending to be magicians during the whole party. That was so much fun.
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Mar 24, 2006 04:28PM)
Pozderavlyayu Sergey!

I did my first small impromptu show for a youngin' today. Actually the little sister of the September Bday boy I'm getting ready for.
She is turning 3 today and came into the office with mom for a few minutes. I did a silk vanish with a TT and then with a change bag, a multiplying sponge ball bit, and made her a pink dog balloon. She was happy :)
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Mar 31, 2006 04:40PM)
Jim:

Get trick where a couple of the kids can participate. Milk pitcher / milk through ear, coin flight, card in balloon, etc. Let them keep mementos from the show.
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Mar 31, 2006 05:04PM)
I agree about giving things out during a performance. Good for memories and behavior control. A magic store clerk once advised me to give away the knot during a cut and restored routine. He was so right. The kid who gets it always treats it like gold. For your card trick, you could sign the card and have a signed card reappear. Then give the child the card to keep. Oh (a little brain storm), the signed (by you) card is removed from the frame and opened up... it has become a birthday card! *** THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE **
Message: Posted by: ChristianR (Apr 1, 2006 08:19AM)
Seriously Silly?

http://www.sillymagic.com/magicshop.html
Message: Posted by: Williamanon (Apr 1, 2006 04:48PM)
[quote]
On 2006-03-06 13:37, Jim Poor wrote:
Well, the latest news is...

The party is a pool party outside :O From everything I've read, that sounds less than optimal. I'm going to try to secure a place to do the show inside if I can. If not, well...... we'll see.
[/quote]

Congrats on the gig. It's really a rush.

As for the pool side entertaining you've got a couple of options:

1. Arrange for a special place indoors or sheltered or at least away from the pool. Tell mom that kids falling/leaping into the pool is not a good thing. If you have to perform pool side then pick a spot where you are facing the pool and the children have their backs to it.

2. If #1 is not possible then (and this is the one I'd go for) Ask mom for access to the pool area the day before when BDBoy is off to school and preload the place with several effects (hide cards in weird locations etc.). Make sure mom and dad know what's going on.

On another note you mentioned animals. I don't use any and here's what I do if they really really want them:

You know guys (Or folks or guy and gals or people just don't use "kids") I was going to have Magical Mr. Bunny appear in this box (or pop out of this hat or appear in this pan, whatever) but something happened and he's just too tired. (Multipling sponge bunnies) Magical Mr. Bunny and Mrs. Bunny kissed and Poof! bunnies everywhere. Magical Mr. Bunny is so tired from helping around the house with all the little bunnies.
Message: Posted by: Williamanon (Apr 1, 2006 04:53PM)
[quote]
On 2006-03-22 15:02, Jim Poor wrote:
I really want (notice I said "want," not "need.") a chair suspension, but we'll see if I can get the finance minister to approve that one in time. :)
[/quote]

Forget the chair until after the gig. Then you'll KNOW whether or not you are itching for a career change.
Message: Posted by: magicdave777 (Apr 26, 2006 12:11PM)
I agree. I would get the chair after the show. Make sure you want to make an investment into this type of performing first.
Message: Posted by: Stimpy (Apr 26, 2006 02:16PM)
I wish you all the best for your show, but I must admit that I find it somewhat impolite from that lady that she didnīt ask you first if you would like to do a show for her son. I mean, itīs your spare time...but maybe thatīs just me. ;-)

How long are you doing magic? Do you feel confident with it? (If you are showing tricks at your office, you probably are)

I think you got some great tips, although I have absolutely no idea about magic as I am a total newbie...hehehe. I would also try to keep it simple, no scary stuff nothing too complicated. Also I would hand out a lot of stuff to the kids....candy, toys, balloons and such things. Also if you need some ideas for presentation maybe it might be a good idea to get a book with jokes for kids or find a webpage that contains some funny stuff. But I guess you have a lot of good ideas as you make a nice and houmorous impression.

Let us know how it went. I am sure you will perform great.

P.S. Please excuse my strange english...I am german. ;-)
Message: Posted by: andre combrinck (May 4, 2006 02:23PM)
I'm not a pro-but believe me that it is more difficult performing for kids than adulds/teens.But don't let this discourage you-go for it!I'm glad to see Brad Burt giving advise.His opinion can always be used.The effects he mentioned are classics.There is one effect that should also not be underestimated-20th century silk with bra/underpants gag.The children love this!
Good Luck
AJ