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Topic: Routining School Shows, Kids, Shows, and Illusion Shows
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (May 27, 2003 09:51PM)
Thanks to information provided by many here on the Café and lots of reading of books, here are some routining suggestions and effects that do work for kids, families, and illusion shows. It is nice to print out and reference. [b]There is no perfect way, just ideas that do work. Use this information as a guideline![/b]

Think of being a magician like you would an electrician, or a plumber, carpenter, a computer technician, etc. They all require a base line knowledge level before they can effectively do their job. There are no good instant (overnight) Construction Workers! Magic is no different. There are no good instant (overnight) Magicians

Four Illusions and Eight stage tricks, does not make an Illusionist, however, with lots of practice it is possible.

Developing a routine requires several steps:[b]

1. Learn the mechanics of the trick first.
2. Find a reason why that routine should be of interest to your audience.
3. List several additional tricks that can used with it. (Milk Pitcher: Comedy Funnel, Disappearing Glass of Milk, Comedy Ice pick, etc.)
4. List potential props that could be used with the trick.
5. Research, find, and list the potential comedy bits of business that fit the trick(s). View others on VHS tapes on how have done it, making notes on what you like and dislike and how it fits your personality or theme of trick.
6.Find the music, Listen to it, imaging your act with it. Daydream, Brainstorm.
7. Write it down then try it, practice it.[/b]

If the above is done for each mini-act you have a routine. Combine the routines and you have an act.

[b]Step 1:[/b] Choose the effects (3) that go together.[list]A. You perform them well
B. You are comfortable with them
C. They are tried and true routines
[/list][b]Step 2:[/b]
[list]A. Note time effects takes to perform
B. Stagger quick little effects with long effects
C. Add nice little effects with mind blowing effects. (Combining tricks)
[/list][b]Tips:[/b]
[list][b] Open and close with the most spectacular effects
Select effects that build on each other
Paper trail each effect. (Write it down)
Each routine is a mini-play
Each routine should draw the audience in
Each routine should ENTERTAINS 1st, Mystifies 2nd
Each routine should focus to bring out at least 1 emotion.[/b]
[/list][b]Format:[/b]
[list]
[b]Opening:[/b] should be fast colorful production act..Startling, change of color every 20 seconds, musical and fancy ending.
[b]Middle:[/b] Vary pace, short routines, variety...Mount Attack...Novelty.. Punch..Closing
[b]Ending:[/b] Mass, Beauty, Motion, Color, Rhythmic Action... Good thoughts..Going away "WOWing them"...
[b]Success is: Giving them something they can talk about on the way home[/b].
[/list][b]Developing Patter for Kid Shows: Explanatory Patter[/b]
[list][b]Pick a Theme[/b]
1. Explain what you're going to do
2. Describe the parts
3. Add the theme message
4. Pick a Magical word.
5. Write the skit down
6. Research Jokes and Puns
7. Tie in a Variety of Site Gags
[/list]

[b]Components for Developing an Educational Program[/b]
[list][b]
[*] Educational Objective
[*] Educational Theme
[*] Key Message to get Across
[*] Audience Participation Effects
[*] Magical Effects to get point across
[*] One-Sheet Teacher's Guide
[*] Classroom Participation Activity Sheets
[*] Parent's Flyer
[*] Press Release
[*] Bulletin Article
[/b]
[/list]
[b] School Educational Themes
[list]
Drug Awareness Themes
[*] Drug Awareness Program
[*] Say No! Magic Show
[*] Stranger Danger

Safety Themes
[*] Fire Safety
[*] Public Safety
[*] Think Safety
[*] Police Safety
[*] School Bus Safety
[*] School Safety
[*] Playground Safety
[*] Animal Safety
[*] Car Safety
[*] Stranger Danger
[*] Halloween Safety

Self Awareness
[*] Manners
[*] Self-Esteem
[*] Nutrition
[*] Dental Hygiene
[*] Motivational
[*] Fantastic Friends
[*] Conflict Resolution
[*] Diversity
[*] Morality

Educational Basics
[*] The Magic of Reading
[*] The Magic of History
[*] The Magic of Geography
[*] The Magic of Science

Country
[*] Patriotic

Environmental Awareness
[*] Environmental Awareness

After School Programs
[*] After School Magic Course
[*] After School Juggling Course
[*] After School Circus Act Course
[*] After School Puppetry Course
[*] After School Balloon Sculpture Course[/list][/b]


[list][b] Yearly Themes Shows
[*]1. School Safety
[*]2. Fire Safety and Fire Prevention
[*]3. Think Safety
[*]4. Patriotic Theme
[/b]
[/list]
[list][b]Seasonal Themes Shows
[*]1. Magic of Christmas
[*]2. Stage Fright: The THRILL-usion Show
[/b]
[/list]
[b]Power Illusion Program:
[list]
[*] Four Illusions
[*] Eight Powerful Routines
[/list][/b]
[b]Basic Format: Constructing Your Act
[list]
[*]Visual Impact, Fast Paced, Audience Grabber (Colorful, Musical, and with Animals)
Start Show Alone. Connect with the audience in character, costume, and expectations
[*]Sucker/Comedy Routine.
[*]Audience Participation
[*]Impact Production
[*]Element of Danger Magic
[*]Illusion- Strong Closer
Close Show Alone and Thank Them
Leave them wanting more!
[/list][/b]
[b]Kid's Safety Theme Show[/b] (40 Minutes)
You add the tricks.
[list][b]
[*]Warm-Up (Fire Book)
[*]Strong Opening (Production/Flash paper)
[*]Police and Fire Officers Are Friends Message
[*]Fire Safety Message
[*]Police Safety Message
[*]Environmental Message
[*]Drug Awareness Message
[*]Strangers Message
[*]Bus Safety Message
[*]Sharp Objects can Cut Message (Disecto/Chopper)
[*]Poison Message
[*]Another Fire Safety Message
[*]Patriotic Message: Strong Closer[/b]
[b]Reference:[/b] Safety Magic for Children by Karl Wagner[/list]

[b]KIDS Variety Magic Show (Example: 40 Min.) [list]
[*]Warm-up
[*]Strong Opening Magic Routine (Production)
[*]Magic Routine
[*]Ventriloquist Routine
[*]Running Gag #1
[*]Two Magic Routines with 1 Kid Assistant
[*]Juggling Routine
[*]Two Magic Routines with 2 Kid Assistants
[*]Running Gag #2
[*]Balloon Routine with 3 Kid Assistants
[*]Magic Routine with/without Kid Assistants
[*]Magic Routine with Kid Assistant (Danger)
[*]Running Gag #3
[*]Strong Closing Magic Routine (Levitation if possible)
[/list][/b]
[b]To Convert the Above into a Family Fun Entertaining Fund Raising Illusion Show. Add Four Illusions.[/b][list]
[*][b]1. Levitation:[/b] Broom, Super-X, Mechanical AGA, 3-in-1, Flying Carpet, OR Asrah
[*][b]2. Danger Trick:[/b] Sawing in Half, Head Chopper, Guillotine, Etc.
[*][b]3. Comedy:[/b] Twister, Balloon Sword Body Box, etc.
[*][b]4. Animal Act:[/b] Rabbits, Doves, Lions and Tigers..Oh my.
[/list]
[list]
[b]Illusion Show Routine Format[/b]
[*] [b]Opening Illusion:[/b] Flash Appearance, Portal, Fire/Lighting/Fog/Sound Effects
[*] [b]Establishing Image:[/b] Fast-Paced, Magical, Flash, Colorful, Animal Production (Rabbit)
[*] [b]Production 0f Assistant Illusion:[/b] Crystal Box
[*] [b]Illusion with Assistant:[/b] Mismade Lady, Zig-Zag, Saw-in-Half
[*] [b]Trademark Routine:[/b] Expose Your Personality to the Audience (A talking routine that is YOU and Your's Alone)
[*] [b]Novelty Illusion:[/b] Twister, Mismade Lady, Some Illusion that is funny
[*] [b]Audience Participation:[/b] Wiz-Kote, ProViper II, Head Chopper, French Arm Chopper, Visible Sawing-in-Half
[*] [b]Featured Levitation Illusion:[/b] Gamalo Levitation, Sword Suspension, 3-in-1 Levitation
[*] [b]Audience Participation:[/b] Wiz-Kote, ProViper II, Head Chopper, French Arm Chopper, Visible Sawing-in-Half
[*] [b]Closing Illusion:[/b] Statute of Liberty Production from a Square Circle or some Very Powerful Closing New Routine Leaving the Audience something to talk about on their drive home.
[/list]

Add a Running Gag Routine to keep the humor going, using the magician failure premise which finally ends in success.

[b]Running Gags[/b]

With any show a properly developed and presented [b]Running Gag [/b] can enhance the show. The gag gets funnier each time it is presented.

Below are Ideas for Running Gags:

[list]
[*] [b]Lota Bowl[/b]
This Classic "Water from India" can also be designed to pour blood during a Halloween show.
[*] [b]Rabbit from Hat[/b]
This World's Greatest Trick can be done throughout the show with each time instead of a rabbit, it can be a Spring Skunk, the Rabid Rabbit, etc. ending with the production of a real rabbit peaking this classic effect.
[*] [b]Broken Props[/b]
The breakaway wand is an excellent comedy prop, How about other breakaway items like a fly swatter, a toilet plunger, a cane, an Arrow, a wooden spoon or fork, a sword, etc. Table with noisy props falling. Any prop with a handle can be designed to be a breakaway. An Added Comedy is to hold all segments but the last so just that part flops.
[*] [b]Phoney Ring[/b]
This is a fake phone ring with comedy patter lines such as: [b]"Is George there?[/b]...1. Hello... You have the wrong number, this is not George's cell phone.. Sorry, it was a wrong number for George... 2. Hello... Didn't you just call a little while ago? ...Again, You have the wrong number, this is not George's cell phone.. Sorry, it was a wrong number for George... 3. Hello..What?... That was George...He wanted to know if there was any messages for him.
[*] [b]Do a Comedy Commercial[/b]
Produce a product such as new and improved Spaghetti, and take out rope such as professor's nightmare and do a routine with them related to spaghetti. Another trick could be the popcorn Box trick, with hidden pockets, or sponge balls a meatballs, or food production trick stressing the importance of good nutrition. Just about any effect can be turned into a commercial. A popular modern related line from TV or Jiggle can add to the trick, something the audience can relate with.
[*] [b]Comedy Gag Egg Bag[/b]
This bag changes colors five different time, just looking for the egg.
[*] [b]Himber Flower Wallet[/b]
Each time the wallet is opened flowers are produced.
[*] [b]Cut and Restored Rope[/b]
Rope is cut and tried to be restored and can be a lead-in to Professor's Nightmare effect or the Professor's Dream effect.
[*] [b]Books-Books-Books[/b]
Explain a little bit about each book and definitions of big words.
Only You can prevent Forest Fires by Smokey the Bear: Hot Book, Herpetology for Fun & Profit by IBE Bitten: Spring or Fake Snakes, Water Safety for Life Guards by Splish Splash: Squirting Book, My Shocking Life or Kite Flying in a Storm by Ben Franklin: Sparking Book, Caring for your Chickens by KFC: Rubber Chicken,
[*] [b]Sponge Ball[/b]
Fail to vanish a sponge ball, and it changes into other sponge items, ending in a rabbit.
[*] [b]Man-Eating Plant[/b]
Ask the kids if they want to see a man eating plant. Don't show it until the third time and open the box revealing chattering teeth in a plant. Second time show it in the cloth.
[*] [b]Comedy Wands[/b]
Each time you grab a wand something happens: it falls apart (Breakaway wand), it Bends (Spring Wand), End Pops Off (Pop Wand), It explodes (Bang wand), It flashes (Flash Wand), Spring Franks, (Sausage Wand), It vanishes (Vanishing Wand), It Breaks (Ginn's Fishing Wand), Silk Vanishes (Silk Vanish Wand), It Rises (Rising Wand), It Jumps Out of Your Hand (Rising Wand), Paper Flys out (Confetti Wand), Giant Wand (Giant Spring Snake Wand), Changes into Toilet Plunger (Plunger Wand), Apprentice Hat (Plunger wand on Head), Turns into a Feather Duster (Duster wand), etc.
[*] [b]Giant Snake Wand[/b]
Giant want doesn't do anything, except the third time 25 snakes fly out.
[*] [b]Balloon Sculpture[/b]
Pencil balloons (260s) have the end cut off so they flop around, then rubber pig blows up balloon.
[*] [b]Hippity Hop Rabbits[/b]
First time they Change, The second time they are back, the third time do the turn it around bit.
[*] [b]Fraidy Cat Rabbit[/b]
Rabbit turns white, then it's black again, then white again, then black and do the turn it around bit.
[/list]

Here are stock routines that have always worked for Kid Shows:
[list][b]
[*] Warm-up
[*] Opening Production Routine
[*] Axtel's Drawing Board (Comedy)
[*] Production Routine: Temple Screen, Swivel Box (Colorful/Comedy/Audience Participation)
[*] Running Gag #1 (Spring Skunk From Hat)
[*] Vanishing Bandanna (Just grossly funny)
[*] Rainbow Ropes (Patrotic/Audience Participation)
[*] 20th Century Silks Routine (Assistant-Boy)
[*] Instant Magician (Assistant-Boy)
[*] Egg Bag Routine (Audience Participation)
[*] Professor's Nightmare Routine (Story Line)
[*] Miser's Dream Routine (Assistant-Girl)
[*] Flying Carpet Mini-Levitation Routine(Assistant-Girl)
[*] Running Gag #2 (Rabid Rabbit From Hat)
[*] Hippity-Hop-Rabbits or Fraidy Cat Rabbit Routine (Sucker Trick)(Audience Participation)
[*] Coloring Book, or Stamp Album Routine, What's My Job (Audience Participation)
[*] Laflin's Cartoon Silks (Two Boys & a Girl: Colorful, Funny & Produced anyway you choose. A Kodak Moment!)
[*] Milk Pitcher/Comedy Funnel Routine (Comedy-Assistants-Girls and Boys)
[*] Visible Sawing, French Arm Chopper, Disecto Routine (Danger Element in a Comedy Format -Assistant-Best Girl or Boy)
[*] Running Gag #3 (Picture of Rabbit on Silk then Real Rabbit From Hat)
[*] Closing Production/Vanish Routine (Levitate the Rabbit)
[/b][/list]
Other Options: Juggling Silks, Vern the Bird: Ventriloquism Act, or Balloons Animals

[b]Basic Magic Show Format
Visual Impact, Fastpaced, Audience Grabber, Colorful, Musical, and Animal Production Routines
[list]
[*] Personality Trademark Routines
[*] Audience Participation
[*] Strong Comedy Magic Routine
[*] Impact Production
[*] Element of Danger Magic/Illusion
[*] Illusion-Strong Closer (Levitation)
[/b][/list]
[b]Comedy Magic Show Format Example

(FUNNY), Visual Impact, Fastpaced, (FUNNY), Audience Grabber, Colorful, (FUNNY), Musical, and a (FUNNY) Animal Production Routine
[list]
[*] Strong Comedy Magic Routine
[*] Comical Personality Trademark Routine
[*] 20th Century Bra (on a guy?)(Assistant)
[*] Balloons to Dove or Rabbit Production Routine
[*] Comedy Magic Routine
[*] Card Sword Magic Routine (Assistant)
[*] Comedy Magic Routine
[*] Straight Jacket Escape (Assistant)
[*] Comedy Magic Routine
[*] Head Chopper/Guillotine Illusion (Assistant)
[*] Illusion-Strong Closer (Comedy Levitation)
[/list][/b]

[b]Suggested Comedy Routines
[list]
[*] Professor Cheer's Rope Routine
[*] Nest of Boxes (Smash Wrist Watch with Hammer)
[*] Wiz-Kote
[*] Snake-in-Basket (Pro Viper II)
[*] Bar Stool Surprise
[*] French Arm Chopper
[*] Head Chopper
[*] World's Greatest Magician Signs
[*] Vanishing Bandanna
[*] Comedy Sleeve Long Glove
[*] 20th Century Bra
[*] Straight Jacket Escape
[*] Balloon to Dead Dove
[*] Man-Eating Plant
[*] Bubble Gum Mouth Coils
[*] Mugged
[*] Grave Mistake
[/list][/b]

Now you have several basic formats, routines, now take action, practice, rehearse, and book you show!
[b]Enjoy...Have Fun and Most Importantly, Love What You Do.[/b]
[b]Any Comments?[/b]
Message: Posted by: Jimeuax (May 27, 2003 10:47PM)
Thanks Den---That post was better than about 98% of the books on kids magic I have bought---thanks for taking the time!---Cheers!---Jimo :bunny: :bunny: :bunny:
Message: Posted by: flourish dude (May 28, 2003 11:12AM)
Nice job DEN!
Message: Posted by: Timothy (May 28, 2003 08:30PM)
Excellent! Good lord, this should be a sticky bun, and required reading. It addresses (and answers) many inquires.

Thanks for the contribution!
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (May 28, 2003 09:16PM)
Wow!
I can't imagine ANYTHING being added to Den's terrific post!

That is a post-graduate course in magic all at once!

Many thanks.

:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (May 28, 2003 11:22PM)
Den,
Not only am I constantly impressed with the sheer number of posts attributed to you, but more importantly, that each of them has something of value and advances the purpose of this fourm.

I don't usually post things like "good going" or "I agree" because I think not only are they best left as private messages but they artificially increase one's numbers.They also get very tiresome to read.

I have made an exception in your case because you are an exceptional contributor. If I had some way to remove this post from my total I would.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (May 29, 2003 07:51AM)
Thanks guys,

Your comments are appreciated. I was beginning to think no-one was reading them and whether they were adding to the Café or revealing to much, which magicians tend to keep good things like above to themselves. (not all magicians) (By the way, when it comes to kids, I really like it when they say "He's a Real Magician!" It sounds so better than, "He's the Clown Mom hired!"..little pun humor here.)

A few times my posts were zapped by the Café security, which really forced me to rethink posting here again. Now I save these posts like above, so if they are zapped for whatever reasons, all is not lost.

Here's a little secret, when one writes/types down one's ideas, routines, and concepts, one tends to remember them. It also organizes one thoughts, and new ideas are created.

When it comes to entertaining children, there are far more than one could handle. You never have to worry about the mask magician ruining your act. And, with kids, there are new ones every day who never saw the same stuff before, and the one's who have enjoy seeing them again. It is something where there can be 10 magicians in your area and still have room for more.

Like Peter's posts and ideas in the Linking Ring, sharing the stuff in itself is rewarding. It's one of the few article's I really read in every issue.

Once again, thanks for your comments.
Message: Posted by: flourish dude (May 29, 2003 05:01PM)
Den you should collect them and put out a book.
Message: Posted by: MAGICBYTIM (May 30, 2003 08:54AM)
I agree with flourish dude about the book except if you put everything in a book it would require us to spend money on it. Since you post it here in the Café then we can all get it for free. Thanks for the free info.

Very good and helpful information.
Tim
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (May 30, 2003 09:26AM)
Add my thanks to your contribution above and contributions in general to the Café', Dennis. You're absolutely correct about writing. Guess I should know...

Jim
Message: Posted by: Magic_streak (May 31, 2003 02:35AM)
Well I must say when I was reading this post it really felt like I'm reading from a good book. I instantly thought of suggesting you compile all these thoughts of yours into a book Den. Excellent work.

I've a question for you though, of all these shows you've performed, all these effects, how much mime have you put in them? I've seen some performances that uses alot of mime. Jeff McBride has a full 10 - 15 mins of Miser's Dream that is totally mime. He never spoke a single word till the end when he thanked the helper from the audience. Do you use alot of mime in your show? Will kids appreciate it? Mimes tend to require alot of interpreting skills and a certain degree of patience. Do you think it can work for kids?

Thanks and keep posting~!
:thanx:
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (May 31, 2003 05:17AM)
I don't do any mime (per-say) That requires additional skill and time to master.

This does not mean I don't do misdirection or pretend. As Jeff McBride says, see the coin in a spot in the air, like it is a real coin, reach for it and pluck it out of that spot. Well in a sense, that is mime and that I do. I do facial expressions and have fun with the kids.

My personality is not a "second by second accountability" for each action. With kids, a lot can happen and destroy the "exactness" of a system. I do have a script and try to follow the script and not make it sound like a script. [b]No two shows are alike.[/b] If something presents itself that is funny, I'll ad-lib or make the most out of it. And, if something goes wrong, I let it roll off my back.

At one time I got out of magic for a few years, and then I was asked to do a show, one I really couldn't refuse. I did the show without any practice or reheasal. I missed lines, mess-up at certain times, and from my perspective I knew I was rusty, and it didn't go smoothly at all. My wife noticed it but not as much, and the rest of the people thought it was really good, funny and very enjoyable. They knew or saw none of the faults in the show. Other Magicians would have picked out some of the mistakes, but not the audience.

With a kids show, they forget very quickly, so a mistake is not held against you. With adults, and especially other magicians...they have "elephant memories"
Message: Posted by: Magic_streak (May 31, 2003 11:50AM)
You mentioned "second by second accountability". From your experience and knowledge of the audiences' mindsets, do people really question every move you do? Do they ask, why did he bring out a silk before appearing a cane? What is the point of placing a candle there without using it? Or do these people simply sit back, relax, and accept whatever comes to them.

Personally I feel that the latter scenario happens most of the time. People usually do not want to think and process alot of information when they watch a show. They just want to be amazed and entertained. In fact, they spend so much time figuring out how a trick is done that they don't consider these minor details. Sometimes they don't even see the smaller props in the trick. It's us magicians that are over sensitive. What do you think? :question:
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (May 31, 2003 03:47PM)
It appears you are talking about "people" meaning adult audiences or an audience with lots of adults and their child next to them so if the child said something the parent "slaps them on the back of the head" and tells them to keep quiet. (A little humor here, although it has happened.)

With kids, yes, they will analyze every trick and they they really believe they know how it's done. They will verbalize that belief and point things out. This is why Audience Management is so importhant and so is audience participation when doing shows with kids.

I also see you're from Singapore, and I was told the audience there are very respectable to entertainers. Quite possible, what you say is absoultely true in your part of the world based on the culture. Since I've never performed in Singapore, I don't know this to be fact.

"Second by second accountability" can mean very rigid in the shows performance, where every second is planned. This is what happens in Illusion shows, and why actors/movie stars ask "What is the motivation for that action?"

I hope this clears up the misunderstanding.
Message: Posted by: unklepaul (Jun 14, 2003 07:09PM)
Thank you so much for taking the time to post that information.
It will be a treasured source of good information to me in my youthful career.
Very much appreciated.

Unklepaul
Message: Posted by: wassabi_87 (Jun 15, 2003 07:15PM)
Another safety routine would have to be one on water saftey, and maybe one with animals. You could use the rabbit production for that one, and with water safety you could include a squirt gun or two.

When I began reading your post, I thought, "yikes" it was almost scary scrolling down, thanks a lot.
Message: Posted by: templemagic (Jun 17, 2003 07:07AM)
Hi,

Wow, that was useful, thanks for taking the time to write it. I was wondering Den, if you could possibly post a message in this topic regarding what effects/routines could be used for some educational/themed shows in some of the shows you mentioned when you said:

School Educational Themes
Drug Awarness Themes
Drug Awarness Program
Say No! Magic Show
Stranger Danger
Safety Themes
Fire Safety
Public Safety
Think Safety
Police Safety
School Bus Safety
School Safety
Playground Safety
Animal Safety
Car Safety
Stranger Danger
Halloween Safety
Self Awareness
Manners
Self-Esteem
Nutrition
Dental Hygiene
Motivational
Fantastic Friends
Conflict Resolution
Diversity
Morality
Educational Basics
The Magic of Reading
The Magic of History
The Magic of Geography
The Magic of Science
Country
Patriotic
Environmental Awareness

Thanks again,
TM
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 17, 2003 07:53AM)
There are three ways to find the effects. Invent them, use existing effects, or buy specialized effects.

For instant, a lot of [url=http://www.stevetaylorpro.com/educational.htm][b]Steve Taylor's Educational Material[/b][/url] is complete for reading, geography, self-esteem programs. His books detail the information and so do the effects when you buy them. He converted standardized effects to meeet the message he wanted to get across. This is the easy way. Buy the effect.

You could also purchase complete shows suc as [url=http://www.cjjohnson.com/for.htm][b]CJ Johnson's Complete Motivational Show[/b][/url] and almost complet shows such as [url=http://www.stevensmagic.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=2965][b]Tony Daniel's Just Say No Magic Show[/b][/url] And, [url=http://www.bjhickman.com/products.htm][b]BJ Hickman has A Reading Show[/b][/url] There is also [url=http://www.daverisley.com/products.html][b]David Risley's "The I Love America Show", "The Environmental Show", "The Self-Esteem Show", Etc.[/b][/url]

You could convert existing tricks such as [b]20th Century Silks[/b] to display a message in any theme you choose. You could use [b]Firehouse Frenzy[/b] to get a Fire Safety message,"Exit Drills In The Home" (E.D.I.T.H.)

Any effect that has "three" attatched to it can be used, such as [b]Strat-O-Sphere[/b] (Red for Danger, Yellow for Caution, Green it is OK.) A ton of messages can be created with this effect.

[b]Professor's Nightmare[/b] can also be easily converted. And there is a lot on the Café about this.

[b]What's Next[/b] can have six related messages attached to it. Anything with numbers or counts, or letters can be converted.

A lot of Gospel Magic can also be converted. The effect brings forth a religious signifiance, meaning, parable or saying. Just convert the message, to the topic of choice


Then you can create one, the hardest method. You have a message you want to get across. Using a book like Fitzkee's[b] The Trick Brain[/b], Which you find an object that matches your message, the pick an effect, Vanish, Production, Transformation, etc. and work out the details and overcome the stumbling blocks, until you have a finished product. This requires a creative mind, and those who are use to thinking creatively have an easier time at this.

There are ready made objects such as the American Flag Blendo, Mis-made Flags, Patriotic Ropes for a Patriotism theme.

First is pick a theme then the #1 message you want to get across. Research that theme and come up with related stories. Now find an effect that can be easily converted to meet the message.

If you are still un unsure the read up on this with [url=http://www.stevetaylorpro.com/books.htm][b]Steve Taylor's Books[/b][/url] Character Magic Routines, Writing Educational Shows, & Motivational Educational Magic, and Listen to Dave Risly's Cassette Tapes and Videos. There are others similar programs out there.
Message: Posted by: ThePartyMagician (Feb 20, 2005 12:38AM)
Thanks Den for ALL the info you share with us!

Kind regards
Mike
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Feb 21, 2005 03:01AM)
Without a doubt, this is one of the finest threads I have EVER come across! Den, you should be awarded a commendation for the first post and for your replies. As I am currently considering making a start in kid's magic (I've been working for adults and teens for about 36 years), this thread is an invaluable resource.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Feb 21, 2005 03:54AM)
[b]How good do you want to be?[/b]

To evaulate your presentation performance, video tape your show, and use the below criteria for improvement.

This ratin is on a 1-4 scale and purposely left out average (1-5 scale 3 bring adverage) because average is a point where one can't make up their mind, therefore, one needs to be above average or below average. These guidelines also are designed for a individual who has been around a lot of magic and can be reasonably objective based on a broard understanding of the magic entertaining business. The purpose of these guidelines is to eliminate subjectiveness, and improve on performance.

[b]Scoring Criteria: will be based on a one to four scale in each dimension:[/b]

[list]
[*] 4. Exceptional Performance
[*] 3. Above Average, No Glaring Mistakes or Errors
[*] 2. Below Average, Mistakes Obvious
[*] 1. Needs Work
[/list]
[b]Scoring Dimensions:[/b] Performance should be judged on the basis of the following dimensions:

[list]
[*] [b]Presentation:[/b] The performer connected with the audience

4. The performer "WOWed" the audience, connected with the audience, and the audience could see the performance over and over again.
3. The performer demonstrated smooth transition between routines, and a positive connected with the audience, a repeat performance would also be enjoyable.
2. The performer has some transitions between effects, connected with the audience but needs work on entertaining the audience.
1. There was little transition between effects or routines, it appeared to be a series of unrelated effects, haphazardly presented with little or no audience connection.

[*] [b]Stage Presence:[/b] Confidence in one's abilities, attitude of assurance knowing the routine extremely well, well practiced, eye contact with audience, comfortable performing.

4. The performer demonstrated confidence and was comfortable with the routine, well rehearsed, with an attitude of assurance in performance
3. The performer demonstrated confidence and was comfortable with the routine, and made NO obvious mistakes or exposures.
2. The performer demonstrated confidence and was comfortable with the routine, but made glaring mistakes or exposures.
1. The performer needs a lot of practice, made glaring mistakes or exposured how the effect was done.

[*] [b]Audience Appreciation:[/b] The audience obviously is enjoying the performance, the audience is having fun and being entertained

4. By the applause and/or visual actions of the audience, they really appreciated the performance, and could watch the performance again, and again.
3. By the applause, the audience appreciated and enjoyed the performance and wouldn't mind seeing it again.
2. The applause was "forced", the performance was enjoyable, but once was enough.
1. Little applause and the audience seemed bored or demonstrated a lack of interest in the performance, the entertainer did not entertain.

[*] [b]Skills/Technique:[/b] The performer demonstrated the skills of a craftsman in the performance, clearly indicating a professional entertainer (magician).

4. The performer clearly demonstrated manipulated skills with no mistakes, with cards, coins, canes, TTs, or any effect required skill to do well.
3. The performer demonstrated manipulated skills with little or no glaring mistakes, with cards, coins, canes, TTs, or any effect required skill to do well.
2. The performer demonstrated manipulated skills with glaring mistakes, with cards, coins, canes, TTs, or any effect required skill to do well.
1. The performer demonstrated manipulated skills with several mistakes or exposure, with cards, coins, canes, TTs, or any effect required skill to do well.

[*] [b]Originality:[/b] The performer developed, enhanced a routine that is original material.

4. The performer demonstrated a routine and effect, which is clearly his own.
3. The performer demonstrated a routine, which is clearly his own, and used standard effects. (Professor's Nightmare, 20th century Silks, etc.)
2. The performer demonstrated a "stock routine", which for the most part is a common method.
1. The performer copied a routine from another, with insufficient original material added.

[*] [b]Humor (Kid Show):[/b] The performer entertained the audience with "appropriate" use of humor.

4. There were numerous bits of business with continued laughter from the audience.
3. The audience laughed over the added bits of business and the routine had several humorous elements to it.
2. The audience smiled, chuckled and the routine has obvious humor elements.
1. There was little or no laughter from the audience.

[*] [b]Children Entertainment Value (Kid Show):[/b] The performer clearly demonstrated an ability to entertain children, using humor, audience involvement and a child assistant.

4. The routine was clearly geared for children, used audience participation, lots of humor, and involved a child's assistance.
3. The routine was clearly geared for children, involved the audience, was funny, and involved a child's assistance.
2. The routine wasn't clearly geared for children, used little audience participation, some humor, and did not involved a child's assistance.
1. The routine wasn't clearly geared for children, used little or no audience participation, little humor, and did not involved a child's assistance.
---
The below rating makes up for some dimensions that are not listed above and is uses as an adjustment score. It seemed perfect but something was missing or it wasn't perfect, however, it really was a outstanding performance.
---
[*] [b]Overall Satisfaction of Performance:[/b] You were clearly entertained, you feel good about the performance, you had fun, and could watch the performance again because the performer has the right combination of skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.

4. The performance has the right combination of skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.
3. The performance has most of the right combination of skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.
2. The performance lacks the right combination of skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.
1. The performance needs much improvement related to combining skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.
[/list]
Obviously, the Children's Dimension is for a performance which focuses on children entertainment. Not all the dimensions are required for every type of performance.

What is left out is [b]Use of Music[/b] because music can take a bad act and push it into a good act. It can enhance a performance tremendously or it can hurt a performance equally by inappropriateness, timing is off and numerous other possible positive and negative behaviors. Music will push an act above a four and it can pull it below a one. [b]The best acts use music and take that chance!


One final point, you get once chance with schools. If you do badly, the principals will let other principals know this, so refine before performance, research before development, evaluate before presenting, and market by direct mail and showcase it.
[/b]
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Feb 21, 2005 07:50PM)
Great info Den!

FInal Point: Only one school I performed for did I receive anything negative. They used whistles during the sitting of the children. The children got really excited at my show and I did reach down a few times and the kids stood up (I was on the floor). The teachers hated this. When I used the school as a reference, all they told the other teachers was the kids got out of line.

I never had this happen again. I always go over "rules" at the beginning in a nice manner. I then re-enforce this throughout the show if I even see a child begin to stand.
Message: Posted by: RonCalhoun (Feb 22, 2005 03:21PM)
Fast - Do something magical quickly, within the first 30 seconds of the show opening

Fun - Get them laughing.

Audience - Bring up some audience members. This is a good bridge between fun and mystery.

Mystery - Prove that you really are a magician. Great place to do mind reading or an escape trick.

Finish - End with an applause getter.
Message: Posted by: keeblem (Feb 28, 2005 03:22PM)
I won't repeat everything that has already been said, but I will say that it was great to read Den's Post after a few grumblings recently about the "usefulness" of the Café. I know a couple of people no longer post (and presumably don't visit anymore?) all I can say is that there is still a lot to learn from this source as Den has expertly proven.
Mark
Message: Posted by: slangers (Mar 2, 2005 09:18AM)
What another great post from "the man" :D
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Mar 5, 2005 08:23PM)
Some great info there Den
Message: Posted by: chris mcbrien (Mar 9, 2005 08:02PM)
Holy $@%& those were good posts!
Yup, Den, time to write that book you've been putting off, then give me your address so I can pay you for a copy!

You've just summed up what it took me a looooooong time to learn the hard way.
It's true, too, if you mess up for a principal they rarely ever forget it, and it take much toe kissing to get back into their school (been there, done that). I used an interactive game that people generally liked, except for one principal, he said his teachers didn’t like it because they had to "get up" and they just liked to sit...then I noticed the size of the sitting teachers and agreed with him. Then there are librarians; I wish all my clients were librarians.

One thing I thought could be added, and I want to add "could" because you did cover a lot of great material, was the theatrical part of our presentations. Acting ability is really important to our art form. Acting is really the other half of magic. And scripting is another education in itself...
Great posts, Den, thanks so much for sharing!!!
Message: Posted by: paulmagic (Mar 14, 2005 09:36AM)
Den,

I am new to this and interested in children's magic and just reading your post I think that the first response is not an exaggeration.
-----
Thanks Den---That post was better than about 98% of the books on kids magic I have bought---thanks for taking the time!---Cheers!---Jimo
-----

Whoever said free stuff is of little value has never seen posts like yours! Thank you
Message: Posted by: chris mcbrien (Mar 20, 2005 08:39PM)
Den,
I really got a lot out of your posts! I'ts made me re-evaluate my show....and especially after I had a stressful week, it's helped to organize my show into different catagories and rate where I could use some improvement...
Get this: I printed out the pages of your post, stapled them together and put them next to my copy of Ken Weber's "Maximum Entertainment", if that tells you how much I liked what you said.....
Cheers!
Chris
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Mar 21, 2005 04:51AM)
Thanks for the comments. "Maximum Entertainment", puts that theater aspect back into your performance. It is well written and enjoyable reading.

Please understand these posts are not written in granite and there is room for improvement. In addition, the "rules" for entertaining kids are varied and have something to do with your personality, your morale beliefs, your sense of humor, your choosen character you protray, your family values, and the way you were raised.
Message: Posted by: markmagic (May 15, 2005 11:40PM)
[quote]
On 2005-02-22 16:21, RonCalhoun wrote:
Fast - Do something magical quickly, within the first 30 seconds of the show opening

Fun - Get them laughing.

Audience - Bring up some audience members. This is a good bridge between fun and mystery.

Mystery - Prove that you really are a magician. Great place to do mind reading or an escape trick.

Finish - End with an applause getter.

[/quote]
Have to agree with Ron, And I always make the birthday child "The Star" of the Show!
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (May 17, 2005 08:35AM)
Den, I also have to congratulate you on some fine points for these type shows. A friend of mine wrote a book on those doing magic for daycares. Tom Boleware of Pine Belt Forum put it out earlier this year.

Since he owns a daycare, and is a magician, he has put some info that is much needed to know the trials and tribulations of doing shows at daycare. You can email Tom at TomBoleware@aol.com for further info on the book.

Glenn Hester
Message: Posted by: michaelrice (May 24, 2005 06:26PM)
I know this is not a new post, but I must say it is filled with great advice and very helpful.

Does anyone recommend (how will I describe this kind of trick.......) The kind of trick where the magician doesn't see what the kids see!!! The kids say ''look its there'' then the magician looks and there's nothing there. I think this presentation is good and can be played out for awhile.

Do you recommend any particular effect as I have described above?

Mike ~
(sorry if this is the wrong topic)
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (May 24, 2005 10:08PM)
It is called "Look No See!"

And This occurs with the "Run Rabbit Run" type of effects and many more.
Message: Posted by: michaelrice (May 25, 2005 12:06PM)
Do you recommend any good "Look No See!" effects? Something in the price range of $50.

Mike ~
Message: Posted by: kentastic (May 25, 2005 12:08PM)
There are many "Look-Don't See" tricks.
Some that I am/have used are:
Blooming Flower
Wilting Flower
Peanut, Butter & Jelley

KenTastic
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (May 25, 2005 01:54PM)
Included and similar are the "Turn it Around" effects like Hippy Hop Rabbits. Many of both these effects are in many of David Ginns books.

Multiplying wands are about $35 dollars and it too is in the "Look No See" catagory. Even the Break-away Wand or Breakaway Fan fits this same category.

Many tricks in the routine development can be designed to fit the "Look No See"

One of the most powerful is Sammy Smith "Puff the Rabbit" routine where the kids see the rabbit puppet doing things you don't. These are all less than the price range you suggested.

You can have more than one of these types and if you design it right you can have a wild show, where the audience is seeing things happen when you're "back is turned".

Mike, I see you're from Ireland, and a thought just occurred for a great routine. Imagine a Leprechaun puppet pulling tricks on you "you don't see" similar to Puff the Magic Rabbit. It could be a funny routine.
Message: Posted by: bluemagic (Oct 19, 2005 02:06AM)
Thank you for information and it's going help to my routine stronger.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Oct 25, 2005 02:14PM)
BlueMagic,

Your name caught my eye and reminded me of a search engine fluke I had to deal with several years ago. On my commercial website I had a little blurb about family magic and "no blue magic". Immediately google picked up my site for the searches but made a major edit in the description. You guessed it: "Blue Magic".

It took nearly a year to get it corrected. Finally I just edited the site. Looking back I should have just changed that page to say "You are here through another google error". But apparently the wrong person got embarrassed and I have to ask people to go to Yahoo Search to find me on the Internet now. Google almost refuses to admit I'm out there. (Black and Blue search engines!)

Keep us posted. Show routing is a very important part of the world of magic. We all learn something.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: abc (Nov 25, 2005 11:16PM)
This topic should go into a section where everyone on the Café gets to read it. I never read the little darlings sectyion because I am not currently involved in much childrens magic and I only stumbled upon it while doing a search for something totally different but WOW....what an excellent few posts.
Den in Taiwan we would call you Shi Fu or Master. This is one of the best threads I have read on the Café.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Nov 26, 2005 04:23AM)
Thanks,

Silly billy's new new book, [url=http://www.sillymagic.com/magicshop.html][b]"Seriously Silly" How to Entertain Children with Magic and Comedy
[/b][/url] is also an excellent book to understand how to entertain children.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jan 29, 2006 05:25AM)
Some one PMed and ask how a posting can get on top. He was new to the Café and thought this thread was worthy of review.
Message: Posted by: sspanks (Feb 21, 2006 03:23PM)
Will somebody please post the best time of year to do certain shows for day care? I know February is Dental month but not sure about others except the obvious Holiday shows. I guess Child safety in the fall?

Thanks.
-stephen
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Feb 21, 2006 05:38PM)
A theme show strickly focuses on a specific topic for that weekly half-hour show. Themes can focus on holidays, educational messages, special occasions, etc.

The entertainment for the weekly show can focus on that theme.

Shows can focus on:
[b][list]
[*] Jan: New Year's Day, January 1st.
[*] Jan: Birthday of Martin Luther King, third Monday in January
[*] Feb: Groundhog Day, February 2.
[*] Feb: Lincoln's Birthday, February 12.
[*] Feb: Valentine's Day, February 14.
[*] Feb: President's Day
[*] Feb: Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February
[*] Mar: St. Patrick's Day, March 17.
[*] Apr: April Fools's Day, April 1.
[*] Apr: Easter
[*] Apr: Earth Day, April 22
[*] Apr: Arbor Day is often the last Friday in April
[*] May: Mothers' Day, second Sunday in May
[*] May: Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May.
[*] May: Memorial Day, last Monday in May
[*] Jun: Fathers' Day, third Sunday in June
[*] Jun: Flag Day, June 14th.
[*] Jul: USA Independence Day, July 4.
[*] Jul: Parents' Day, fourth Sunday in July
[*] Sep: Labor Day, first Monday in September.
[*] Sep: Grandparents' Day, Sunday after Labor Day
[*] Oct: Fire Safety, 1st week in October
[*] Oct: Columbus Day, second Monday in October
[*] Oct: United Nations Day, October 24.
[*] Oct: Halloween, October 31.
[*] Oct: National Magic Week, October 31 week.
[*] Oct: Tribute to Houdini, October 31.
[*] Nov: Veterans Day, November 11th
[*] Nov: Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November.
[*] Dec: Christmas Day, December 25th.
[/list][/b]
Message: Posted by: MagicKev (Feb 22, 2006 08:23PM)
Den,

Your posts on this subject have been invaluable.

As a former teacher of very various ages of children (toddler, preschool, elementary, middle school), I can tell that you possess great insights into how children think about and perceive magic.

During my long career as a teacher I was basically performing for children all day long. I discovered that the best way to hold childrens' attention was to first grasp hold of their minds by crafting stories that would draw them in to my lesson. Allowing the children to interact during the lesson, either with me or each other, was another effective teaching technique. It's very difficult for children (actually, for anyone) to learn if they are bored.

Performing magic effectively for children (and adults to some extent as well) relies on those very same principles. I've had the most success with the simplest effects that were presented as part of an engaging (funny, dramatic, silly, or scary - it doesn't matter) story. Adding appropriate music to a routine helps to draw the children in to the story, heightening the emotions of the routine. The music also allows you to stop talking at times without it actually being "quiet." (By the way, don;t be afraid to stop talking to the children. One of the things I learned while teaching was the power of silence over children.)

Here's an example. Accompanied by a version of the song "When You Wish Upon A Star" playing softly in the background, I asked the children if they knew about "baby stars." I explained that just like people have babies, stars can have babies too. Normally these baby stars spend their time circling around their mommy and daddy stars... but sometimes they sneak off to come down to earth to play. "Have you ever seen one of these baby stars? No? Of course not, they are invisible to us because the move so fast that our eyes can't see them (while moving my fingers quickly in front of my face in a blur. So they fly around amongst the trees and the animals and the people."

Dimming lights while I light a candle. No comments, just dim the lights and light the candle, but keep talking about the baby star.

"Well, ever since I learned about baby stars I've been determined to find one. Well, I discovered that I could use magic to not only see baby stars, but to actually grab hold of them (reaching out in front of me to "grab" a star between my fingers). The only problem is that baby stars are very hot. They burn red hot, so I can only hold one for a few seconds at a time before I have to let it go. Would you like to see one?"

"Well you're in luck, because last night I caught a baby star and brought it here today. Would you like to see it?"

At this point I either bring out a small clear glass lantern that resembles a glass and brass "cage," complete with a small door, covered with a large silk, or depending on the venue, I may have had it sitting in view but covered throughout the show. I dramatically remove the cloth and walk around with it allowing each child to see into the "cage" up close.

"Can you see it? Of course you can't, remember, they are invisible. But I can show you. Do you want me to let it out? I have to warn you that if I do it will fly all around the room...Okay."

At this point the music changes to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I don't comment on the music. But I do say, just as it starts, " By the way, every time a baby star comes down to earth a rainbow appears in the sky."

I slowly open the door to the "cage" (I never refer to it as a cage - too negative a word) and reach in and "grab" the star (with a red d'lite - you need two for this routine) and throw it into the air. I then walk around the room and grab it with both my left and right hands, being careful to conceal the one not in use in my back pocket - easy to do when the audience is looking at your other hand and you turn slightly to the side. This move also allows you to show your hands "clean." I then cup my hands together with the "star" inside and nearly visible between my fingers. I walk amongst the children letting them see the star in my hands blinking. I let it go in the room. I then approach the candle and tell them that sometimes baby stars hide in candlight. I pick up the candle, hold it directly in front of me and blow it out simultaneously "grabbing" the star from the wick just as it's blown out.

I end by telling the children that the baby star has to go home to it's parents in space and I capture it one more time and toss it towards a nearby window (or just up to the ceiling if you don't have a window.

Both halves of the routine, the intro and actual appearance of the star, are timed to coincide with the songs.

The entire routine lasts about 8-10 minutes and the kids are spellbound. Not a peep. Less than half of that time is spent performing "magic." However, the looks on the childrens' faces tell me that the true magic is in the story. They are hearing something that they've never heard before - before they see something that they've never seen before. Their imaginations make the magic happen before I do.

I've had parents tell me a year after I've performed this that their children still talk about "baby stars."

I apologize if I've gone on too long. I thought it was important to provide a complete example in order to effectively illustrate my point.

Den is right, let your imaginations take flight. Find a trick you can master and then just spend some time daydreaming about it. Inspiration can come from a favorite song as well. For example, I really wanted to use the song "Under the Sea" in a routine so I came up with a routine involving my pet fish named "Abracadabra" who keeps vanishing in his bowl because, you know, it's not easy having pets when you're a magician. You see, being around all of that magic all of the time in your house, pets tend to develop a few skills of their own... It took me two years to come up with an idea for the song, but just five minutes to create a ten minute routine that is now my finale!

Thanks again Den for inspiring me (as well as countless others who have read your posts) to continue to develop new routines.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Feb 23, 2006 05:26AM)
Your post MagicKev, is not to long. Your point is clearly understood by it.

Thanks
Den
Message: Posted by: edwin (May 24, 2006 02:53AM)
Nice posts all! I'd really like to read about more of your routines MagicKev--that one about the star is a jewel!
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Jun 4, 2006 01:21PM)
Thanks guys, for making this the best thread I ever read at Magic Café. This is what the site's all about, isn't it? Our "talents" are gifts, and if we share what we have, we will be given more in abundance.
Message: Posted by: Ethan the emazing (Jul 12, 2006 12:53PM)
Thank you so much for posting that.
Ethan The Great
Message: Posted by: Ethan the emazing (Jul 23, 2006 05:08PM)
Could you tell me what a good street magic routine would consist of ?
Message: Posted by: Marvello (Jul 23, 2006 05:29PM)
Dennis- I just wanted to thank you for sharing the great posts. They seem like an outline for a book (hint hint) :)
Message: Posted by: Nick-V. (Sep 8, 2006 04:40PM)
Nice posts everyone.
And, great outline you got there Ron.
Thanx
Message: Posted by: Krisgar (Sep 24, 2006 05:14PM)
Sorry for this De-ja-vous moment, but I'm serious; Great Post DEN, I seriously enjoyed reading that as I have wondered about the outline of my own kids show and I'm pleased to say various bits matched.

A fully worthwhile post.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Jan 15, 2007 07:00AM)
Wow!!! Great stuff from Dennis. Thanks!!! Will incorporate it in both magic show and Ventriloquist act :)

Thanks again...

Wanlu
Message: Posted by: Rodney (Mar 29, 2007 06:11AM)
WOW, this is one of the best post I have looked at so fair.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Mar 29, 2007 07:23AM)
[quote]
On 2005-05-17 09:35, Police Magician wrote:
Den, I also have to congratulate you on some fine points for these type shows. A friend of mine wrote a book on those doing magic for daycares. Tom Boleware of Pine Belt Forum put it out earlier this year.

Since he owns a daycare, and is a magician, he has put some info that is much needed to know the trials and tribulations of doing shows at daycare. You can email Tom at TomBoleware@aol.com for further info on the book.

Glenn Hester
[/quote]

I didn't realized that I did not commet on this post.

Absolutely one of the best books on Daycare Magic is from af Daycare Director and Magician, Tom Boleware. It is a must read book if this is the field you want to get into. It is a good area, fun area, great audience, and can lead to more birthday parties as well as elementary school shows.

For more information on this book go to Tom's Forum and read about it and how to purchase it: [url=http://tomboleware.ipbhost.com/][b]Tom Boleware's Pine Belt Magic Forum[/b][/url]
Message: Posted by: Rock_Slatestone (Jun 3, 2007 05:58PM)
Dennis,

Thank you for your posts. I am getting back into performing magic for birthday parties. These posts are perfect to make sure I am not missing something. Plus, it will help me to stay organized.

Thanks Again,

Steven
Message: Posted by: zappyjingles (Jun 17, 2007 04:20AM)
Thank You for all the great info. I will be able to make sure I maintain a professional level with all your great posts. So many ideas all brilliant.

Hugs N Giggles
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Apr 9, 2008 12:23PM)
Good Grief!! I've been years on this Café and just now fell upon this terrific thread and EDUCATION from Dennis. My vote for the best thread and posts EVER. Thanks Dennis...as a creator, this is enough food for thought for a lifetime! (mine anyway.)

Doug
Message: Posted by: Michael_MacDonald (Apr 23, 2008 01:48AM)
All I can say is WOW!
Message: Posted by: brownsentertainment (Aug 1, 2008 05:30PM)
I heard mention of "Maximum Entertainment". Is this a book avaible on the market?
Message: Posted by: colin underwood (Dec 13, 2008 07:04AM)
Good advice ,well done
Message: Posted by: gman (Jan 30, 2009 08:28PM)
Just did a search for this book and found this link: http://www.ken-weber.com/

George P
Message: Posted by: paulbrown0833 (Mar 7, 2009 06:36PM)
Thanks for the link. Lots of good stuff on the pro-magic website.
Message: Posted by: KidMagic (Mar 22, 2009 07:33PM)
I am very glad I took the time to read this, worth every minute! Some awesome ideas and concepts! This has been saved under my favourites for a major reference to all my shows, thanks a bunch!

Zach
Message: Posted by: MatBlack (Mar 24, 2009 05:06PM)
I add my words of thanks too - this has become a permanent bookmark on the browser.
Kudos to all who have contributed.

M@
Message: Posted by: googoodolls (Apr 14, 2009 06:24PM)
I love this thread absolutely good advice.
Message: Posted by: John J Walton (Apr 16, 2009 01:42PM)
Dennis

I want to start doing kid shows. Thank you very much for the info. I think it will be a big help to me.

John
Message: Posted by: electric.ceu (Apr 16, 2009 08:37PM)
Thanks for the great ideas!

I have found that producing a rabbit is always a favorite with the kids. You can either use something like a square circle or my favorite is to produce a bunch of silks from a phantom tube, then produce a small bunny from the silks. Make sure you give them a chance to pet the bunny at the end of the show.

One of my favorite routines is to have the kids pluck "invisible" candy from the air, and one at a time "throw" the candy to me which I catch in a paper bag, and then show the candy has appeared in the bag. On the third throw I fail to catch the candy and when I turn to look for where the candy went, the kids see a piece of candy which I prevously taped to my back. Of course they are all shouting, laughing, etc. about the candy on my back. I use this misdirection to switch the paper bag with a paper bag full of candy from my suitcase table. After I finally notice the candy on my back I have all of the kids throw their candy all at once and I make a show of catching it all. Then when I pour the bag full of candy in a clear bowl, everybody is surprised by the appearance, even the adults. And you also have something to give out at the end of the show.

Speaking of make believe, kids love the ABC blocks and I pretend to cause the blocks to become invisible and then throw them to volunteers in the audience. They throw them back and I put them on the spindle. Of course the B block gets away from me and I can't find it. I lift the tube and it's not there. I finally find it in the hat that I showed empty previously. I believe that David Ginn has the routine in one of his books.
Message: Posted by: Raffy (Aug 28, 2009 12:09AM)
Fantastic writing Dennis. Enjoyed the topic
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 1, 2009 09:31PM)
Im doing a big school show this weekend (5 sets) and thought I'd review this thread.

Thank God I did... :)

Great work Mr Michaels...
Message: Posted by: JimbosMagic (Sep 3, 2009 11:09AM)
So much useful info here for every one semi pros and pros. Well done
Message: Posted by: Raffy (Sep 16, 2009 02:36PM)
Good advice to be followed
Message: Posted by: DN777 (Oct 19, 2009 01:35AM)
A great trick is to make the kids yell. Trick I learned from a DJ at a strip show - "Who can make the most noise?", "Let me hear you say "Yeah", etc. It's good stuff if not abused.
Message: Posted by: Alex Palombo (Nov 25, 2009 07:46PM)
Cool
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Jan 16, 2010 12:14AM)
Take a look at the new Ebook by Sue-Anne Webster 'Have You Ever Thought About School Tours'.

Should be on sale ($10) in our store in the next 24 hours.

30+ pages of very valuable, hard earned advice!

http://www.AustralianMagician.com/store
Message: Posted by: Zendor (Jan 16, 2010 03:46PM)
Gee - I wish this was available when I first started in magic!
Message: Posted by: Tim Ellis (Jan 17, 2010 04:26PM)
Always good to get back to basics no matter what stage of your career.
Message: Posted by: Ceutadigital (Feb 10, 2010 01:25PM)
I have learnt a lot with this these post, thanks everybody

From Spain
Message: Posted by: johnjack (Jun 4, 2010 08:18PM)
Wow what a great post. I have a question regarding. I have a 5th grade school show consisting of 10 year olds approximately 150 of them. Yikes! I must be honest I am a bit nervous.

This is my first show consisting totally of this age group. I primarily perform for a mixed age group therefore having a trick or two for everyone. So my question is, I will be performing Vanishing Bandana?, Losander floating table as a closer,thinking about a sponge ball routine,(not sure if hippity hop rabbits will work) a trick with slush powder, rope through me or a teacher with two helpers (forgot about that one until I read this post. So thank you.

Can I do a mind reading routine like a tossed out deck? Any suggestions/ comments would be appreciated. I need packs small play big because the show is in a week.

Thanks all.
http://www.johnryansmagic.com
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Jun 4, 2010 08:38PM)
Ten year olds are smart. Do your best stuff, your personal favorites(and be funny). This age group pretty much understands anything an adult group would, just keep it clean of course.
Message: Posted by: johnjack (Jun 4, 2010 08:47PM)
Thank you Mr. Pitts I was also thinking of doing fantasy magician (Ken Scott) with this group? mmm...and the tossed out deck Will the children be too imature and be childish with the deck For example (take it out of the rubberband?)
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Jun 4, 2010 09:14PM)
Be prepared for anything, but don't worry too much, kids are usually pretty good. It's adults who always act up. That's why I recommend you do stuff you're confident with, it will show in your presentation and the kids will pick up on it. If they get a confident vibe from you they are far less likely to misbehave. Just remember that the audience, even kids, are actually on your side and generally will be interested in being helpful and having a good time. Just relax and have fun with it like they're all your age and you're all friends. They're just little people. Use your sound system with a group this big of course. Being the guy with the mic tends to automatically make you the guy in charge.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 5, 2010 04:47AM)
Cards are not the best routine to do. I avoid these like a plague. (Except for the pro-viper which is more of a comedy scary routine than a card trick.)

The Vanishing Bandana is a comedy routine more than a magic trick. It is best in the middle of the act some where. It has no real interaction with the kids. I tell them its a new trick I just received. and it comes with instructions. (They might not know what a cassette tape is if you have that model.)

Hippy Hop Rabbits will work if you have a lot of young kids involved. They will say what you want.

Mentalism is out of character. Are you a mentalist or a Magician, or a Clown, or a Juggler. Yes you can do a variety of fun things, however, it is best if you focus on one main area.

I did a 8 week class teaching the this age group to do Magic. They bought the Dollar store box magic and I taught them how to do eight tricks. Don't send all of the tricks home or you find lost items and broken items. So teach one trick each week. I also did a few good tricks in the class.

The chair suspension is a good illusion. Rainbow ropes as a patriotic routine, 20th century silks, a good production are good tricks for this group.
Message: Posted by: paulbrown0833 (Jun 9, 2010 10:37PM)
Do you spend an hour a week with them for those 8 weeks or a longer amount of time?
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jun 10, 2010 02:07AM)
Paul, One hour. They had specific pick-up times because this was an after school club. "The Magic Club" And they paid for the box tricks.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jul 13, 2010 05:42AM)
I just re-read this whole thread, and the information is still good today. The positive comments are nice.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jul 23, 2010 07:30AM)
Here is a post regarding the [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=373629&forum=208#0][b]Birthday Party Business[/b][/url]
Message: Posted by: paulbrown0833 (Jul 23, 2010 09:48PM)
Thanks Dennis!
Message: Posted by: wizardpa (Aug 6, 2010 04:26PM)
One trick that Dennis mentions is a spring skunk from a hat. For anyone out there with a spring skunk may I suggest something I do that works. I hollow out an egg. Then I color my egg with a black marks a lot leaving a white stripe in the middle.
I now have a skunk egg. I put my spring skunk in a dove pan. I bring out my egg and ask the kids if they know what this is? I then explain that it is a skunk egg and proceed with my routine.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Aug 6, 2010 07:29PM)
I have a turn around cloth "Rabunk" on one side it is a skunk, and on the other side it is a skunk. I pulled it out of a top hat. I only see the rabbit and the kids see the skunk. All the turn-it-around jokes work with this. Since it is half rabbit and half skunk, it must be a "Rabunk".

It is not made by anyone, and was a trick I used back in the sixties before I got Hippy Hop Rabbits. I use only one-turn-around routine in my show.
Message: Posted by: pepita (Oct 2, 2010 03:03PM)
Whoooaaaoo, what a rich and useful thread.
Thank you so much !
Message: Posted by: Gary Shelton (Jan 12, 2011 07:35PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-02 16:03, pepita wrote:
Whoooaaaoo, what a rich and useful thread.
Thank you so much !
[/quote]

I second her
Message: Posted by: francisngkl (Feb 8, 2011 05:24PM)
The information here is worthy to be published as a book! Thank you!
Message: Posted by: MagicB1S (Feb 11, 2011 07:34AM)
Dennis, I want to comment on the PHONEY RING ( the whole George Bit) If you set your cell phone on alarm for three different times during the show it will ring on its own. It also gives you an idea where you are in your show time wise. you can use it to see if you are behind in time and have to speed the show up or going too fast and need to slow down. I hate when I see a performer say Where am I for time and then they check there watch, This is a way to do just that without letting them know you are checking the time. and adding a funny bit to the whole thing.
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (Feb 20, 2011 08:50PM)
Wow....thanks for the wealth of information.
Message: Posted by: unclemagicmike (May 18, 2011 08:53AM)
This is my first post since joining "Magic Café" and I must say that this has been very helpful.
I plan on doing some kids shows in the near future and I'm glad I stumbled upon this thread.
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Jun 3, 2011 10:12AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-11 08:34, MagicB1S wrote:
Dennis, I want to comment on the PHONEY RING ( the whole George Bit) If you set your cell phone on alarm for three different times during the show it will ring on its own. It also gives you an idea where you are in your show time wise. you can use it to see if you are behind in time and have to speed the show up or going too fast and need to slow down. I hate when I see a performer say Where am I for time and then they check there watch, This is a way to do just that without letting them know you are checking the time. and adding a funny bit to the whole thing.
[/quote]

I am new at performing, I don’t understand the time confinement; if I am performing in a children’s show and the children are interested and excited about my performance, what does it matter if I am slow to end?

I understand that If I booked a show later in the day, I need to end and leave for my next show, but the 15 minutes should not matter, if I planned my shows apart to make sure everyone is provided the best show you can perform.

Buzz
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (Jul 17, 2011 11:23AM)
I kinda like the idea of a phoney ring during a show....easy to ham it up and be silly & get some laughs from the kids with it. I'm just can't do it because there may be slight variances in the contractural start time if the parent asks for a couple more minutes because of some late guests...or if one of my routines varies slightly longer or shorter due to unpredictible responses from kids/volunteers during the show. Then the phone could ring at an inopportune time.
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (Jul 17, 2011 11:25AM)
I kinda like the idea of a phoney ring during a show....easy to ham it up and be silly & get some laughs from the kids with it. I'm just can't do it because there may be slight variances in the contractural start time if the parent asks for a couple more minutes because of some late guests...or if one of my routines varies slightly longer or shorter due to unpredictible responses from kids/volunteers during the show. Then the phone could ring at an inopportune time.
Message: Posted by: rjones683 (Aug 25, 2011 07:09AM)
The phone gag would be really funny if you said something prior to it going off. Kind of like make sure you have your cell phones set to vibrate as to not interrupt the show. Say it a few times prior to the phone going off. I think it would be really funny each time it goes off.
Thoughts?
R
Message: Posted by: rjones683 (Aug 25, 2011 07:18AM)
[quote]

One of my favorite routines is to have the kids pluck "invisible" candy from the air, and one at a time "throw" the candy to me which I catch in a paper bag, and then show the candy has appeared in the bag. On the third throw I fail to catch the candy and when I turn to look for where the candy went, the kids see a piece of candy which I prevously taped to my back. Of course they are all shouting, laughing, etc. about the candy on my back. I use this misdirection to switch the paper bag with a paper bag full of candy from my suitcase table. After I finally notice the candy on my back I have all of the kids throw their candy all at once and I make a show of catching it all. Then when I pour the bag full of candy in a clear bowl, everybody is surprised by the appearance, even the adults. And you also have something to give out at the end of the show.
[/quote]

I do something similar where I switch a witch's cauldron. I have the child helper place funny balloon halloween items in it (eye, spider, etc). I keep going to the table to get the halloween items so the movement is normal. The child holds a witch broom as the magic wand. The last time I come back, the item will not fit, or I say that would be too much so I leave out the item. Of course that was when the switch was made to a cauldron containing candy.
Regards,
R
Message: Posted by: btedeski (Sep 1, 2011 01:06PM)
Howie Diddot, I agree with you

>> I am new at performing, I don’t understand the time confinement; if I am performing in a children’s show and the
>> children are interested and excited about my performance, what does it matter if I am slow to end?

What does it matter, School shows, ok your the last thing at the school for the day, school lets out at 3:00, it is now 2:50. When they bell rings your done..... :)

Did a picnic the other day, I was scheduled to be right before food was served at 4:00, I needed to be done when the caterer was ready to server.

If there is an act following you, then you need to be in your time window, so not to take from there time.


It is important to be able to fit your show into a time window, otherwise you limit yourself to being the back yard birthday performer were it does not matter

Take Care,
Message: Posted by: John Long (Nov 26, 2011 09:23PM)
[quote]
On 2007-03-29 08:23, Dennis Michael wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-05-17 09:35, Police Magician wrote:
Den, I also have to congratulate you on some fine points for these type shows. A friend of mine wrote a book on those doing magic for daycares. Tom Boleware of Pine Belt Forum put it out earlier this year.

Since he owns a daycare, and is a magician, he has put some info that is much needed to know the trials and tribulations of doing shows at daycare. You can email Tom at TomBoleware@aol.com for further info on the book.

Glenn Hester
[/quote]

I didn't realized that I did not commet on this post.

Absolutely one of the best books on Daycare Magic is from af Daycare Director and Magician, Tom Boleware. It is a must read book if this is the field you want to get into. It is a good area, fun area, great audience, and can lead to more birthday parties as well as elementary school shows.

For more information on this book go to Tom's Forum and read about it and how to purchase it: [url=http://tomboleware.ipbhost.com/][b]Tom Boleware's Pine Belt Magic Forum[/b][/url]
[/quote]

Does any one have an updated link for this book on Daycare Magic?
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Nov 27, 2011 04:18AM)
Tom is on the Magic Café. (TomBoleware)
Message: Posted by: amart (Nov 29, 2011 01:14AM)
I'm glad I found this post! Thanks Michael for this.
Now, I am excited to create my own act!
Message: Posted by: John Long (Dec 2, 2011 08:29AM)
[quote]
On 2011-11-27 05:18, Dennis Michael wrote:
Tom is on the Magic Café. (TomBoleware)
[/quote]

Thanks.

Tom's website for this is http://www.tomboleware.com/daycaremagician.html
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Dec 23, 2011 02:54PM)
Great info here. I think the study of public speaking will enhance any performer's performance 10 fold. It does not matter who you are entertaining.

My nickel, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good day.

Decomposing with Santa Portrait
Message: Posted by: mikedobias (Dec 31, 2011 01:26AM)
Great post started many years ago, but absolutely very relevant, and should be required reading for any magic performer, especially children's performers.

I wanted to re-emphasize to anyone reading Dennis' original post that putting together a 30 or 45 minute show doea not mean it has to be packed full of trick after trick after trick, but rather, as he points out so well, fun routines that tie everything together and get the kids laughing again and again. I do a routine with a rising wand (adapted from Terry Herberts Silver Sceptre) that lasta about 5 minutes (with only a little bit of magic. Same thing with Creative Magic's Bigger Wands--whatever magic effect you tie them to may be very quick, but the overall routine with all the bits of business can go on for 5 minutes or more and have the kids laughing and involved throughout.

It doesn't take very many of these routines to fill a show, but your show will be full of laughter, the most important thing for kids shows.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Dec 31, 2011 04:18AM)
Slap Stick humor still works today, however more and more schools are requiring educational material.
Message: Posted by: paulmagic (Jun 7, 2012 08:24PM)
Thanks for this old post but superbly practical and helpful!
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 7, 2013 09:52AM)
Paul Osborne Does it again with his new Kidtrix book (Props and Presentations for the childrens's performer. [url=http://hamiltonholtinc.stores.yahoo.net/kidtrix.html][b]Kidtrix[/b][/url]

Here is a book for every kid performer. And yes, for family entertainers as well. It is full of easy to make items and how to use items that are sitting on your shelf.

[list]
[*]Wristnosis: A script for your Disecto with tips
[*]Giant Crayon: A modern design for Break-away Wand
[*]My Pet Frog: A modern version of Hippy-Hop-Rarbits (Real Nice)
[*]Ear Cleaning Machine: Head Vanish Illusion
[*]Insurance: Script and new routine for the Comedy Insurance Trick
[*]Magic Tables: Build your own Magic Tables. (Worth the price of the book)
[*]Statospheres: Nice Script
[*]Poor Man's Snake Basket: Make your own Snake Basket, with routine
[*]Slingshot: How to use your Expensive Jumbo SideKick without a gun.
[*]Snowmanship: Rabbit Production you can make
[*]Brainscan: A Slate Trick routine
[*]Skunk Hunt: A nice Production Routine you can build
[*]Kid's Kup: A new approach to the chop cup
[*]Cheapo Chop Cup: Cheap way to do the chop cup.
[*]Mr. Lincoln's Hat: A nice educational illusion
[*]Jaws! Boy you can have fun with this one. Add in Jaws Music! An Easy to Make Hand Chopper
[*]Catch Up with Ketchup: Rubber Bottle trick
[*]Proof Tacos: Flash Production Trick
[*]Tube of Destiny: Tube with Pom-Poms
[*]Train House: A nice Story telling Routine
[*]Balloon Sawing: Nice Illusion with a Balloon
[*]Top Ten: Tips for Performers
[*]Conclusion
[/list]

This belong on your shelf if you are a Kid Magician... Wait a minute. If you like Osborne Stuff then this is a must have!
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Oct 17, 2013 11:42PM)
Some great stuff in here!

I'm currently on a 45 state national stour with my original school show. We have already performed in 55 schools in 7 states in the past 6 weeks.

I can tell you first hand that schools today want more out of their school assemblies. I have been in this school market for about 10 years and backup in the day you could get away with a 40 minute show with 5 minutes of it being educational. Today they want more substance. More meaning. More education

As I have mentioned else my where on the Café you must become an expert in the subject you wish to present.
Your show should be a blend of magic comedy and education. Not every trick should come with a message at the same time not every trick should just be a trick

You need to weave ur message thru the show. I suggest narrowing it down to 3 points that you can drive home and end the show with something that ties it all together

Some tips if not suggested already
Have a tech rider
Include length of show and all the things you need the school to supply but don't ask for to much
Example we ask for 3 folding chairs, 1 music stand. One long table , and an extension cord If out let's are more then 10' from my performance area
And that the center post be removed. We ask that all this be done prior to our arrival


You must also be prepared that some schools will not be ready for u. Some will never read it some won't realize the importance of having it done before you arrive.
Some schools will ask you to start early others want you to end early. It's ur job to present the best show in what ever time frame you have. There have been shows where we needed to cut routines.

It's also very important that you make sure you get the kids to know their role in the show. Meaning talk to them explain a little bit of what ur going to do.
I also recommend starting with something strong and flashy to help establish ur the magician.

Remember in some schools you will have k-5 while in others you will have all the way to 12th grade. Be prepared to adjust ur show as some things won't work with older kids.
Also some schools might be out numbered within more 4th & 5th graders then all of the 1-3 combined. Again ur gonna need to adjust ur show

Well it's late here in Cali and need some rest before my shows tomorrow here in Los altos california.

Hope this info helps those that take the time to read it

Magically urs
Sam
Message: Posted by: DallasFrank (Apr 8, 2014 09:30AM)
There is a video out by the most prolific school performer of all time that would be of great help to many of you.Believe it or not JB Bobo the writer of New Modern Coin Magic was a school performer that I happened to see and become acquainted with in the 1970's.Bobo says in the video he has done 15000 school shows in his career.He gives advice about everything associated with school magic in his video.The DVD is the Greater Magic Video Library.Volume 23 Bobo.It even has one of his school shows included.
BTW Bobo said he made as much as corporate e executive doing school shows.Great DVD that brought memories of my childhood.

Frank
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 13, 2015 01:18PM)
Hi Dallas! --a long time since we've corresponded!

I miss J.B.! We first met in 1951. I was in the Navy, and he did a lecture in Norfolk, VA where I was stationed. We were friends, since then. I was touring Texas, Louisiana for National School Assemblies in the early '90s, and got close enough to spend a Saturday with him. A delightful visit! We both estimated that we each had done about 20,000 school shows at that time!

Unfortunately, the "school show" that was taped for Greater Magic Vol 23, was apparently in a TV studio. I believe that the kids were "brought in" to see the show.J.B. did a fine job, but, the studio audience, being in a "strange environment", were a bit subdued in their response.

Last summer, I finally finished My book on SCHOOL SHOWS, and, I've been busy attending some conventions to "book sign". Jon Racherbaumer "kvetched" me into writing a "history" of the LYCEUM field (school assemblies). I wrote an "auto biography", mentioning most of the school assembly magicians that I met and knew, and described their programs. Plus, all the magicians that I met along the way! I told a gezillion anecdotes of things that happened on the road, in schools.

Also, I wrote up most of the routines that I had developed for touring schools with every conceivable "assortment" of age groups from Kindergarten thru Senior High.

"Landmark" wrote a review of the book. Check Landmark's last 25 posts to read it. The title: "DICK OSLUND, ROAD SCHOLAR".
Message: Posted by: Sam Sandler (Dec 17, 2015 02:42PM)
Dick

i will have to look into this book of yours. I have enjoyed traveling america with my school show and have enjoyed the comments you have made on the Café.

i hope one day I have a book to put out with my fun stories and routines to share.

school assemblies have been such a fun thing for me all these years.

have a very happy holiday and happy new year!!

sam
Message: Posted by: higherstudy (Apr 16, 2018 03:53AM)
I agree with flourish dude about the book except if you put everything in a book it would require us to spend money on it. Since you post it here in the Café then we can all get it for free. Thanks for the free info.

Very good and helpful information.