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Topic: "Magic is for little kids!"
Message: Posted by: Cartomage (Sep 30, 2009 10:01AM)
That's a phrase I hear A LOT when I perform a trick for some kids in my school. Is it jealousy because they don't want to admit it was good?
It seems a shame I'm doing magic =/

Message: Posted by: harris (Sep 30, 2009 10:18AM)
What type of magic are you doing.

Don't think razor blades from the mouth...or needle through arm would be good for the little ones.

Of course school officials would probably frown on sharp object being brought during the day. We have a safe schools act in our area.

Perhaps you could tell them about folks like Cris Angel.

As someone who works with middle and high school students, I have seen several of them with "Mind Freak" shirts.

Both Magic and Ventriloquism seem to this nearly normal guy as being seen more as an art form. That said, some people, even adults will say things like kids must love that. Perhaps it is easier to admit, rather than say they do like it. (not jealousy)

What kind of magic do you share? Also you might try sharing more with those that appreciate it rather than try to "win over" the ones that be little it.
Message: Posted by: Rockabilly (Sep 30, 2009 12:01PM)
If they say magic is just for little kids, they don't deserve to see any. If you love magic, don't let anyone ever tell you what is or is not ok to love. Keep it up, you'll be happy you did in the long run.
Message: Posted by: scaevola (Sep 30, 2009 12:28PM)
What is the first magical thing you do? If you aren't getting the respect you need when you do magic you want to make sure you are starting with something quick and VERY impressive.
Message: Posted by: MMark (Sep 30, 2009 12:51PM)
Carrying on with what scaevola said, maybe fine-tune the tricks for the audience. It seems some tricks work better with certain age groups. Or just limit the tricks to those who appreciate it. Don't get discouraged!

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Sep 30, 2009 04:28PM)
My shows are essentially for adults and they pay more than kids do. A sophisticated audience is much less likely to say this. Others have simply never been among sophisticated adults in the audience. Perhaps the “school” magician is the only live magician they have ever seen. It is not uncommon.

Humor them. They are not stupid but inexperienced. Welcome to America! Let them know that it depends on the audience.

Don’t make it contest. Instead invite them to a show for adults.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 1, 2009 12:33AM)
I believe this happens all over the world. The common thing I also get to hear is magic are for kids only. I get this too but the moment I shift my target market (the sophisticated audience) I never get to hear this statement anymore. In fact these audiences also appreciate magic in the art form too.
Message: Posted by: conankid144 (Oct 1, 2009 01:52AM)
So what kind of trick will have the best effect for the first time show ?
I am new to magic and a lot of people tell me "magic is for fun not for money" >!<
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Oct 1, 2009 04:39AM)
"What kind of trick" <---- DEAD END

Look at it from the following duality. There is the Yin of the effect (the nature of the effect itself) and the Yang of the effect (conviction in the effect).

If all your friends were into Poker, I'd personally have an effect that could slay them. If they don't care about Poker, my effect would fall flat. This is the Yin side of things. If your friends were all trying to find girlfriends, then I could do an effect where I could get vital information from a popular girl (what sort of guy she'd like, what her ideal first date would be, etc.) and it would play well. If all your friends already had girlfriends, or if the girl I chose was unpopular, the effect would fall flat. Again, this is Yin. To understand a Yin-based effect, you have to understand what it is that your audience values.

On the other hand, there's the Yang. To make a Yang-based effect play well, you need to understand what your audience thinks is possible. Young children are still trying to figure out how the world works -- they are more likely to confuse TV and stories with reality than an adult (usually). As such, subtle effects like mentalism usually play poorly with them, whereas obvious effects like making a rabbit appear from nowhere play strongly. If your friends are saying that magic is only for kids, it's probably because they think they are predisposed to being Yang thinkers. You can still fool them with children's magic, but it has to fool the pants off them. Arguably, it's better to hit them with an effect that's more geared to adults, because adults require less in terms of Harry Potter-esque fanciful magic effects, but they require more in terms of deceptive, fooling effects. Otherwise, they require effects that are meaningful for them, but which would not be meaningful for kids younger than them.

To put it another way, if you go to a six-year old and show that you telepathically know what 4-digit number they're thinking of, you'll get a lukewarm response, usually -- these are kids who want to see doves appear out of nowhere. Do the same thing for an adult, and they might get concerned, because now maybe you can figure out their bank card's PIN number -- doves will mean nothing to them.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Oct 1, 2009 07:18AM)
I think that these types of comments will usually appear before you have actually started doing something. In other words, they judge magic by what they have seen before you, over which you obviously have no control.

I don't really perform magic and this is one of the reasons. One person may request it and then someone else basically yells "boooo!" It is not an inviting scenario and it happens from time to time. No matter how many winged words we can conjure up about bringing wonderous magic into people's lives, a great many people these days simply find magic outdated, cheesy, corny, childish or just creepy. Not because they have seen you before and you stunk, but because they have already formed a strong negative opinion about magic. A lot of people also fight you internally without wanting or bothering to articulate it or heckle.

The question then becomes if you are going to evangelically paddle against the stream and change their minds about it or as I do, forget about it. Better to walk away and live to fight another day, and so on.

BTW, I also find a lot of magic childish or corny and I never watch magic to entertain myself. Especially not if it is any kind of flamboyant top hat and cane wearing stage magic-like balloon folding colorful multisilk ta-daa type of thing. I think that is a completely respectable point of view or personal taste, like it is perfectly OK not to enjoy Garth Brooks, Kiss or Opera tenors in tails. Magic is a somewhat kitchy artform, always walking on the edge of vulgar taste.
Message: Posted by: Cartomage (Oct 1, 2009 12:18PM)
I am performing mainly card magic and some coin and rubberband tricks. Usually, when I perform for, let's say 6 people, two of them are blown away and say, dang, awesome. But when they see the others don't like it that much they say: well, it wasn't that good, and ignore me.
Message: Posted by: othelo68 (Oct 1, 2009 06:46PM)
Magic can be for little kids and for the kid a heart try just finding those two people who like your magic. maybe you can learn to find those people. maybe its where your performing or how you approach people?
Message: Posted by: RobertlewisIR (Oct 1, 2009 09:47PM)
In my experience, the people who say that are simply predisposed to think that way because their experience with magicians is either a clown at their kids' birthday party, or a different kind of clown wearing a top hat on stage. Once they see what I do, they don't think it's for kids--they may not always like it and that's just fine, not everyone is going to like something, but they certainly don't think it's a children's act.

Reason being, quite frankly, there's no way I can do such an act. I have utmost respect for children's entertainers because I know my own limitations, and as much as I like children, there's no way I want to be the designated "target" for a small army of them.

So I just make it clear from the beginning that I do things a bit differently than the children's entertainers they've seen before. Simply dressing the part, I think goes a long way. If you wear a smart suit, you're less likely to be confused for a children's performer than if you wear the cape or top hat. But no matter what you do, your first effect has to communicate quite clearly what you do, because that's where you're either going to win or lose a potential audience. It's on the basis of your first effect that they will judge the rest of your routine, often subconsciously, and you want to make sure that judgement is that you're a serious professional who can present something that they actually want to invest the time and energy to watch.

And if, after all of that, they still think it's just for kids, just cut and run. Some people just don't like magic. There's nothing wrong with that, and the worst thing you can do is alienate someone by trying to force it down their throats.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Oct 2, 2009 11:56AM)
I think if someone told me magic is for kids I'd tell them that I never grew out of wanting to have some fun. This would be an attempt to communicate to them that magic is fun, that I'm not going to argue, and to imply that they are missing out on something.

Don't insist on performing. Just have fun with it. Hey, it sure beats video games for actually having something to do and you have to admit that there are a lot of adults who spend a lot of hours gaming.

Message: Posted by: funsway (Oct 2, 2009 06:32PM)
A story told with a bit of magic thrown in will be remembered, a school lesson with magic used for an illustration will never be missed on a test, a sales presentation using magic to drive a point home will get you decision rather than procrastination. There are many ways to use your magic skills other than scheduling shows, parties or strolling. Each day provides an opportunity to use skills learned in perfomance magic. I have done thousands of one-on-one magic effects in such situations. No one has ever said, "Kid's stuff."

I have done one kid's party in the last 50 years. Each 11 year old received a magic kit with eight tricks. Together we learned, practiced and perfomed each of those effects as a group project. Each child selected two effects to perform for their parents -- and we practiced some more. I didn't charge a thing, but seven kids call me Uncle Ken and send me Christmas cards. I guess magic can be kid's stuff.
Message: Posted by: The Big Q (Oct 3, 2009 06:22PM)
Magic is for kids of all ages 4 - 104.
I've occasionally come across a person who just refuses to be entertained (some young, some old) They have simply lost the will to enjoy themselves.
Message: Posted by: tjaymagic (Nov 22, 2009 09:01PM)
I personally think that is the case, as an actor and performer, I have come accross people who refuse to be entertained by anything that isn't on TV, 'if you are not on TV, then you're no good' (I have heard that comment a few times!)

This also means that they would also say, 'magic is for kids'. I have performed in front of family and friends, I can fool a 65 year old with my magic...a 9 year old? Nope...

In my experience the kids are worse than the adults!
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Nov 22, 2009 10:51PM)
Magic is for little kids...the little kid in all of us. Those that tell you they don't have one are amazingly unaware of their being and that's yet another reason for magic. To open them up to life again.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Nov 23, 2009 09:18AM)
I agree with HerbLarry. Everyone, including grownups, have that little kid in them and they don't want to admit it. Being playful is an indication of that little kid wanting to play and enjoy.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Nov 23, 2009 11:40AM)
By any chance, catromage, are you in high school doing tricks for your classmates? If so, then you will have to work **very** hard to get _any_ respect from them!! The average teen is too worried about how he looks to let himself enjoy something just to have a good time.

Then again, check yourself. Are _you_ performing just to have a good time? Or prove to them who you are? It takes a peculiar approach to be totally non-threatening to a little ego in a big body who is afraid of looking like an idiot if he enjoys a magic trick or can't tell you how it was done! And this applies to all age groups - trust me, they are out there with grey hair, too!!

Best advice I've got is to find someone else to perform for. If the nimrods come back and ask to see a trick, just tell them, "Sorry - I'm not doing that today." And as you turn and leave, complete the thought - "for you!!"

Message: Posted by: Alex Palombo (Nov 29, 2009 10:11AM)
Same here
Message: Posted by: Bean (Nov 29, 2009 10:29AM)
Looking back over the vast chasm of time, you're up against two problems:

1. People from the ages of about 12-30 don't want to be different. That's where the reaction of, "...two of them are blown away and say, dang, awesome. But when they see the others don't like it that much they say: well, it wasn't that good, and ignore me" comes in. They can't admit that they like something that someone else didn't. That's very hard to get around.
2. What I like to think of as "early-onset cynicism". I've seen it all. Nothing blows me away because I am far too cool and above it all. That seems to affect roughly the same age range.

Small children aren't afraid of being different or expressing their own opinions. As people age, they stop caring what other people think. The age group you're likely performing for is a tough crowd. Andrew Musgrave had some excellent advice--you need to know your crowd. What are they interested in? What'll hook their attention? And then there are some poor, benighted souls who just don't like magic. Sometimes you just have to choose to walk away and perform for a more appreciative crowd.
Message: Posted by: stijnhommes (Nov 29, 2009 10:45AM)
You didn't say how old you are, but if you are a young magician performing at school, I'd recommend entering the talent contest. Even people who usually don't like magic are much more receptive to enjoying themselves at such occasions.
Message: Posted by: DaleTrueman (Nov 29, 2009 04:51PM)
Next time someone says magic is for little kids remind them that David Copperfield has earned over fifty million dollars a year, was engaged to Claudia Schiffer and owns a group of islands in the Bahamas.....