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Topic: My four year old son
Message: Posted by: Jarana (Apr 26, 2006 10:38AM)
I have a 4 year old son who is very active and always wants to help and also wants me to constantly do magic to him- I of course do not want to discourage him from this type of art- problem is that I sometimes do him a trick, then he wants to know how Its done, cause he really wants to do it, and Iíve showed him how to do simple ones- but after he knows- he tells me that its still there where ever its hidden, like he does not understand yet that its supposed to be a trick. I tried waiting until he was older but it was impossible, when he tries to do a trick to someone for example he does it and then shows them how is done afterwards, I know for his age I guess its natural. Iím just wondering if any of you have any similar situations and how do you deal with it? I mean I donít want to spoil or ruin his interest.

Also sometimes we do kids birthday parties where he is invited and he constantly wants to volunteer and I let him but then its hard to get him off he insists on showing the other kids he knows- I guess its normal since he sees me a a lot. This weekend we did a show for his day care- and I let him come up once and help then he sat back down fine with his grandmother, but at another point he started crying when there were two other kids helping and I did not pick him out, luckily his grandmother was there with him- but it got to a point where I felt so bad and I just let him be a third volunteer along with the two other kids.

Any help will be appreciated.

Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Apr 26, 2006 12:03PM)
As much as I want my 6 year old daughter to do magic with me, she sadly just doesn't have the discipline or maturity to be part of it. I too am waiting a few years.
Message: Posted by: Jarana (Apr 26, 2006 04:22PM)
Question is how do you wait? Do you do it professioanlly?
Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Apr 26, 2006 08:33PM)
I have three kids. My two oldest (now 8 and 9) have recieved magic sets as presents before. My daughter is very smart and likes to do them. My older son is more the musician (which I am also). I bought him a guitar at christmas and he is already playing. He has learned a Greenday song and has written 6 of his own. I am very impressed.

My youngest is a natural performer. At the age of 6 months I was training him to balance siting on my raised hand. It actually strenthened his back muscles so much that our doctors are really impressed with his posture. He now stands on my raised hand and says "ta da!" I have had him at a few shows and put him in to show his skill. You can't beat the power of a cute 2 year old. He once scampered onstage at my finale while I was doing the straightjacket escape and was stealing my thunder. It turned out to be fun.

Recently he has been wanting to watch all the magic, juggling and circus videos I have. He seems to really like David Copperfield and Cirque Du Soleil.

It seems all kids who do learn magic go through that stage of showing how it's done. It is more of a "I want to share something with you" type of thing that they are doing. They can't understand why it might be wrong to do so. The only thing you can do, as in any issue and learning experience, is to keep repeating the right thing to do and only show him how to do certain tricks as he progresses and matures. "You can do the Zig Zag until you're sixteen"
Message: Posted by: Jarana (Apr 27, 2006 08:58AM)
Yes that's exaclty it! its a type of "I want to share something with you" type of attitude, Its just that I'm scared that when he gets older and realizes its not really magic - he might get upset and hate it- well I know its up to him to decide, but I would not like to ruin it for him though. Like he knows how its done and it does not interest him anylonger, that is my fear that I might be ruining magic all together for him- So I say to myself do I stop doing magic for like 3 more years or only practice when I'm home alone? which is like once or twice every month or so?

Im just wondering how many of you go through this type of scenerio.

thanks again.
Message: Posted by: Moyle with Parkinsons (May 11, 2006 07:59PM)
I haven't gone through this type of thing before but I can give you my scenario. My old man was not a magician but did love the few little self working tricks that he had. When I was younger he showed me how to do them I love showing my friends and I never told but I did tell older people because I sort of want to show how smart I was :) I didn't know I was just a kid. But dad never showed me any sort of real tricks mainly only self working ones. I watched a lot of magic on TV etc. and when I got old enough, about 10 or 11 Dad bought me a book of self working tricks from there I took it upon myself to learn sleights etc. and here I am today.

I suppose what I am saying is that the thing that got me so interested in magic was the wonder of how it was done. I wanted to know so badly so that I could also astound people and make them happy that it was sort of a natural interest. I would say expose your son to as much magic as you can but only show him a few little simple thing and then as he gets a bit older he will find his own interest in it once he realises that you wont just give him your secrets willy nilly. That will also teach him the way to conduct himself as a magician as he will use you as a role model. Not begin a parent myself perhaps this may not work but I suppose its food for thought.

Message: Posted by: Father Photius (May 11, 2006 11:39PM)
I was actually about 4 years old when I got interested in magic, from seeing Mark Wilson on TV in his early years Dallas, TX, twice weekly 15 min Time for Magic show. I wanted to be able to do what he did. I hounded my dad, who having learned a few things from his father's cousin, showed me how to do a french drop with a coin, a retention vanish, and a finger palm. Not a lot, but my dad made a big point in explaining to me that I shouldn't show people how I do it, especially my friends because it takes all the "magic" away. I got a little flyer with a couple of tricks by saving Dr. Pepper bottle caps that Mark Wilson was offering on his show, and finally got my first trick apparatus (basically the buddha papers) from a give away at one of Mark's supermarket appearances in the Dallas area. Again, there were reminders in the instructions to not reveal the secret (I couldn't read, my dad read them to me). I got reinforced repeated by my dad that "this takes the magic away and ruins it for others".
It stuck in me, maybe he just needs to be taught some very simple things, and constantly reinforced how knowing the secret "takes the magic away". It worked for me. When I performed for my granddad's cousin (Uncle Harry) for the first time, he watched the worst cups and balls routine he probably ever saw. He even asked me "how did you do that?" and I told him "I can't tell you because it would take the magic away". I got highly praised by him for that. It was really the first lesson I learned in magic. Yet, in spite of the fact that Harry Blackstone, Sr. praised me for keeping the secret (and at that time I had no clue of who he was other than a relative I was told was my "uncle harry"), the person who most impressed me with the keeping of the secret was the man who taught me my first tricks and watched 99% of my other tricks, my dad. Never underestimate the influence you have over your child. Keep explaining, keep repeating, and praise him when he keeps the secret. Tell him to tell others when they ask "I can't tell you, it would take the magic away".
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 13, 2006 01:31PM)
I got my first magic set when I was 4. At 6, I did my first chained wrist escape for an audience. I never once gave away a secret.
Now I have a six year old boy and a seven year old girl. They go to all of my daytime "Family Friandly" shows. It absolutely KILLS them when I don't tell them how something is done. So I tell them. And they understand why they can't tell ANYONE. It ruins it.
So They don't tell anyone...and now they can do a lot of small illusions you wouldn't think that they could.
And when their friends ask how did they do that...They respond with "I learned it from the monster that lives in my closet...Do you want him to teach you? He was looking hungry earlier..."
They cover quite nicely with patter...
And yes...They love to be volunteers.
Might I suggest giving your 4 yr old a simple, non complex task to complete during the performance? Something like (Forgive me, I am terrible with trick names) emptying the jug that keeps refilling itself or counting out exactly 113 popcorn kernels to insta-pop later in a dove pan? Giving him an impossible to untie knot in a rope that you can make disappear later?
What I am saying is, keep him interested, let him participate in the capacity to which he is capable, and give him goals.
Questions asked just last week by my daughter at dinner. "Daddy, when can I learn the trick where you turn the scorpion into a the dove?"
"When you are thirteen, and can handle the scorpion all by yourself."
"Then...Can I turn a Bratz doll into the dove?"
"Yes Meg, you may."
"Daddy...I don't have a Bratz doll...Can we go get one?"
She got the doll, and now she does the trick.
They know how everything is done, and they love it.
Just my thoughts.
Message: Posted by: Marvello (Jul 25, 2006 06:25AM)
On 2006-06-13 14:31, gsidhe wrote:
"Daddy...I don't have a Bratz doll...Can we go get one?"
She got the doll, and now she does the trick.

I refuse to let my daughter have one of those. I dunno why, but they really bug me. Have you seen the Bratz stretch limo complete with champagne glass and ice bucket?

Cool story about your kids, BTW - I have a 5 year old daughter, who you probably saw at Mayfaire, and she loves magic also, and she is good at keeping secrets as well. I like the monster in the closet line.
Message: Posted by: Jarana (Jul 27, 2006 08:20PM)
Sorry I hadnít seen this post was moved here, Moyle with Parkinsons-thanks for your comments

Photius-You hit it right on , thanks for that phrase ďtakes the magic awayĒ sounds perfect

Gsidhe-thatís exactly what I mean Ė IT kills him when I donít tell him

so how do you guys do it when you are tryping to practice a real effect when kids around most of the time? when everyone sleeps? anyone have other jobs?