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Topic: Parents with Toddlers
Message: Posted by: jiayi (Sep 5, 2009 11:12PM)
Do you perform for a table with the parents and a toddler in the restaurant? To me, this is a pretty tough and challenging set because there is nothing you can do to keep the toddlers happy and they are always a big distraction when you try to perform for the parents. Workers out there, what's your take on this?
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Sep 6, 2009 12:08AM)
I find that sometimes the parents need a break, even if just for a moment or two.

You need to judge well if the parents are interested, and to be prepared to break it off quickly if need be, but sometimes you're a godsend.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Sep 6, 2009 08:25AM)
Agreed!

You're not there to entertain a 2 year old. There's is little if anything you can do that they could follow. My 2.5 year old enjoys watching me do color changing silks but that's about it.

The parents are looking for a moment of "adult swim" time and you're their lifeguard!
Message: Posted by: gdw (Sep 6, 2009 08:59AM)
I always open every table with sponge balls. Every toddler becomes fascinated with the balls. Even if they don't realise there's any magic, they just like the balls.

They can focus on them, while I entertain the adults.
Message: Posted by: joshsmagic (Sep 6, 2009 07:52PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-06 09:59, gdw wrote:
I always open every table with sponge balls. Every toddler becomes fascinated with the balls. Even if they don't realise there's any magic, they just like the balls.

They can focus on them, while I entertain the adults.
[/quote]

Sometimes the toddlers get a little to grabby with the sponges I've learned...even if they're in your hands or your spectator's (parent of toddler)

I'll still perform but I'll will keep it short and sweet.
Message: Posted by: VernonOnCoins (Sep 7, 2009 02:59PM)
Parents unfortunately assume magic is for infants/toddlers. "Oh look, little Johnny, a magician"

I gently advise that my magic is for the adults. But sometimes parents are put off by this, after all, their children are geniuses unlike any child to have ever come before....Advanced card plots and intricate three shell patterns are easy concepts for these little tykes.

So you must be careful and tactful when assuring parents that they too, can enjoy the magic

They usually understand pretty quickly when I get a routine going.

Smile, be nice about it, then ignore the kid
Message: Posted by: joshsmagic (Sep 7, 2009 03:06PM)
Its all about letting them see the first effect!
Message: Posted by: gdw (Sep 7, 2009 05:06PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-06 20:52, joshsmagic wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-09-06 09:59, gdw wrote:
I always open every table with sponge balls. Every toddler becomes fascinated with the balls. Even if they don't realise there's any magic, they just like the balls.

They can focus on them, while I entertain the adults.
[/quote]

Sometimes the toddlers get a little to grabby with the sponges I've learned...even if they're in your hands or your spectator's (parent of toddler)

I'll still perform but I'll will keep it short and sweet.
[/quote]

Yeah, I take advantage of that. I keep them out of their reach when I need them to be, but allow them to play with them when I don't, that way they can keep them selves occupied.
Message: Posted by: joshsmagic (Sep 8, 2009 07:55PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-07 18:06, gdw wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-09-06 20:52, joshsmagic wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-09-06 09:59, gdw wrote:
I always open every table with sponge balls. Every toddler becomes fascinated with the balls. Even if they don't realise there's any magic, they just like the balls.

They can focus on them, while I entertain the adults.
[/quote]

Sometimes the toddlers get a little to grabby with the sponges I've learned...even if they're in your hands or your spectator's (parent of toddler)

I'll still perform but I'll will keep it short and sweet.
[/quote]

Yeah, I take advantage of that. I keep them out of their reach when I need them to be, but allow them to play with them when I don't, that way they can keep them selves occupied.
[/quote]

very nice
Message: Posted by: Maestro (Sep 9, 2009 09:02AM)
Do you have to worry about choking/sanitation issues? Just curious, thanks.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Sep 9, 2009 09:39AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-07 16:06, joshsmagic wrote:
Its all about letting them see the first effect!
[/quote]

ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! So often people associate Magicians with a 90 year old man doing a change bag routine for the Benevolent Order of Antelope weekly meeting at the lodge or Scabs the Clown pulling a mile of silks from his coat sleeve.

Getting your first routine out there to set the tone is what it's all about!

Magic has come so far but the old stereotypes are still in place. It's not some silly gag...it's sophisticated sleight of hand.


Christopher
Message: Posted by: gdw (Sep 9, 2009 12:48PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-09 10:02, Maestro wrote:
Do you have to worry about choking/sanitation issues? Just curious, thanks.
[/quote]
I have big balls, but I also keep my eye on the kid, and so do the parents. Generally, if they are going to put the balls in their mouths, it's one of the FIRST things they try to do,and if that's the case, I keep them out of their reach after that.

As for sanitation, kids NEED to eat dirt. It's the kids who are kept in a padded world who end up with poor immune systems. they NEED to be exposed to germs to be healthy, oddly enough.

Kids put EVERYTHING in their mouths, my balls are not going to kill them. Also, you want to clean your balls before every performance.

I, personally, think about the germs, but I have OCD. I am constantly aware of the germs on my balls, but I have never had anyone act iffy when I go to put my balls in their hand. Even after they open their hands, and the balls fall out and bounce into their pasta (which I do everything to avoid, but every now and then, they open too soon, or what have you.)
Message: Posted by: Nash (Sep 9, 2009 01:21PM)
Glenn.. you just have to put "my balls" and "putting them in their mouth" within one sentence huh?

For these tables, its hit or miss. Sometimes the baby is way too out of line and started making a mess. Next thing you know the parents are occupied with that little punk (me hates performing for kids).

But if the kid is behaving, I'll do some simple coin effect that slays the adult as well. Often times I even make that fact known when the adult are amazed.
"And you thought that's just for kids huh? huh?" high five.


holla.
Message: Posted by: gdw (Sep 9, 2009 02:46PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-09 14:21, Nash wrote:
Glenn.. you just have to put "my balls" and "putting them in their mouth" within one sentence huh?

For these tables, its hit or miss. Sometimes the baby is way too out of line and started making a mess. Next thing you know the parents are occupied with that little punk (me hates performing for kids).

But if the kid is behaving, I'll do some simple coin effect that slays the adult as well. Often times I even make that fact known when the adult are amazed.
"And you thought that's just for kids huh? huh?" high five.


holla.
[/quote]

AND I was talking about kids.
Message: Posted by: derrick (Sep 9, 2009 03:09PM)
I use the old cat trick with a laser pointer except I combine it with a d-lite. It will keep toddlers happy for hours and adults amazed and laughing. Get a red laser pointer and swirl it around the table, just about any toddler/kid will grab for it. I don't care if the child is only 9 months old. You can pick it up with your d-lite and put the light in your pocket. If you need a little more time, just get the light back out of your pocket and toss it back in front of toddler. The kid/toddler is usually tickled to death, the parents are happy and you get to treat a kid like he/she is a cat. It is a win, win, win situation. BTW, this works with bigger kids too. Just happens that it will work from the moment a toddler can follow anything with his eyes. I hate to state the obvious but I guess I will, don't shine the laser in the kids eyes, or anyone else for that matter.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Sep 9, 2009 03:09PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-09 14:21, Nash wrote:
Glenn.. you just have to put "my balls" and "putting them in their mouth" within one sentence huh?

For these tables, its hit or miss. Sometimes the baby is way too out of line and started making a mess. Next thing you know the parents are occupied with that little punk (me hates performing for kids).

But if the kid is behaving, I'll do some simple coin effect that slays the adult as well. Often times I even make that fact known when the adult are amazed.
"And you thought that's just for kids huh? huh?" high five.


holla.
[/quote]

Brings up a good point! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6YgccuLi6w&feature=channel_page
Message: Posted by: gdw (Sep 9, 2009 07:45PM)
Ah yes, Lyle's video is a great lesson on caring for and cleaning your balls.

Keep your eyes out for any suspicious lumps too. Never too early to catch.
Message: Posted by: slyhand (Sep 9, 2009 09:56PM)
Years ago I started out entertaining kids and I got to hate it.

I now find it a pleasant way to get to the adults. It seems a perfect "in". Once I get rolling, the adults enjoy it more than the children.

There was one parent, who recently, after I ended with the climax, slapped his son in the chest so hard it made a "thwack" and yelled "How the H*** did he do that!"

It made me smile cause the kid was being, well you know, a wise***.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Sep 9, 2009 10:15PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-09 20:45, gdw wrote:
Keep your eyes out for any suspicious lumps too. Never too early to catch.
[/quote]

HAHAHAHA! I just blew coke out of my nose! Thanks for that!
Message: Posted by: gdw (Sep 9, 2009 10:50PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-09 23:15, Christopher Lyle wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-09-09 20:45, gdw wrote:
Keep your eyes out for any suspicious lumps too. Never too early to catch.
[/quote]

HAHAHAHA! I just blew coke out of my nose! Thanks for that!
[/quote]

Your welcome. Always looking out for my fellow magician.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Sep 10, 2009 12:17PM)
Produce a 36-inch scarf and cover the kid? Stick a pacifier with a balloon on it in his/her mouth?
Message: Posted by: JimbosMagic (Sep 11, 2009 03:44AM)
I also do the spong balls. when I finish depending on how old the child is I ask them to hold a an invisable ball really tight. Then do a couple more tricks for the sdults then at the end ask the child if they felt anything happen. when they say no, tell them to open their hand and shout wow, you made it dissapear.