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Topic: This is a repeat
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 31, 2003 02:25PM)
If you get a call to do the same party you did last year, do you use 100% different illusions?

The kids seem to forget about most of mine. The only time they remember is when someone recorded on a video tape.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 31, 2003 02:30PM)
I always try to make every repeat performance 80% different then the last show. The only things I may not change are my opener (warm-up and my closer). Everything else in the show is changed around.

Because I often get repeat gigs each year, It has forced me to create about 3 totally different kids type shows. With these 3 shows and effects, I can do several repeat performances without having to worry about the kids recalling what I did last year.

It also helps me to push myself to create new material and helps me to grow as a performer.
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Jul 31, 2003 02:43PM)
I would not perform a different show unless asked. people book me act as seen and that's what I give them.
I remember once I did the same children from a public school 13 times in 9 months and I asked several mums if they wanted me to put some different stuff in the show all said "Oh no they like the show as it is"
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 31, 2003 03:34PM)
That is fine if you feel you want to do that. I just feel that your not pushing yourself to be more cretaive if you never try and change the show around. By creating different shows or changing the effects in the show, you force yourself to learn.

I feel a different show performed for a repeat client, shows them I am professional and that I care enough to present a new performance for them. I gain their respect and possibly have a better chance of getting another performance from them in the future.

It also helps me in that I have a less of a chance of children having seen the effects before and therefor not enjoying the fun. Children remember far more then we sometimes give them credit for.
Message: Posted by: harris (Jul 31, 2003 04:12PM)
I do mixed.

There are two theories here.

Both have positives to them.

One is related to kids (and kids in adult bodies)

watching the same video(listening to the same song....)

27 times and loving it more each time.

The second goes to wanting to be fresh and creatively stimulated,(and ing)

I go for a combination of both.

I have been doing some of the same schtick I was doing 25 years ago. (funny is funny over time)

In fact I have been going back to some of the gags and songs I used to use when I did Singing Telegrams.

Keep growing and glowing and enjoy the journey whether the routine is used for the 20 th time or the
20,000 time.(Make it fresh for you and your audience.

Harris Deutsch
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 31, 2003 05:38PM)
Harris said it well when he said to make it Fresh for you and the audience. I also like what he said about being creatively stimulating.

If you do want to do the same effect, then try something different with it. Try the routine with a different twist or different story. Make it fresh the next time around and learn from your experience.

Just my opinion, but I would feel bad going to a house where I did a show 4 months ago and they want me back to perform with the same kids. I would not feel right giving them the exact same performance with the exact same patter and reactions. I want my audience to experience new joys of wonder everytime they see me. I want them to be suprised and delighted.

I also do this because it does push me to be more creative and it allows me to keep growing and learning in this hobby that I so love.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Jul 31, 2003 05:47PM)
I change my show annually, but some kids see it loads of times over the year.

As, 1, I never know for sure how many kids at a party have seen me before, it could be 1,3 or all of them. and 2, I often do 2-3 in one day. It would be arkward to take 2-3 different shows out on one day, quality would suffer for one thing. it's the same reason I don't change my show for different age groups.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 31, 2003 06:33PM)
I think changing the show annually is a good idea as it still gives you diversity and repeat performances. It also helps you to continue to grow creatively in the magical arts.

One thing that I do, that may be of help to some of you, is to always write down the show that I performed and the order of the effects, on the back of the booking sheet. This happens when I get in my car after the event and while everything is still fresh in my mind. I also write down any important notes for myself in regards to how the show went, unloading, loading, and any problems I may have run into.

When I get home, this sheet gets filed in my past show binder by date. This way if I get a call from the same person, or in the same general area, all I have to do is look up the past show sheet and I have all the information at my fingertips. I can find out what I performed and all my notes on how it went over. This allows me to fix problems or to change effects if I need to.

It is a nice system that seems to work nicely for me. Does anyone else have a similar system?
Message: Posted by: Mike Robbins (Jul 31, 2003 06:53PM)
I've found for kids that it is less desirable to change too much. I did that on my first repeat years ago and had the kids disappointed that I didn't do the "so-and-so" routine. My birthday party show evolves over time, but it doesn't change (as far as effects and presentation) more than 10% - 30% over the course of the year. The way I have it structured, however, makes it unique each time. It depends a lot on the birthday child and any volunteers. I set the situation so that they can take the show in different directions, so no two shows are the same.

For adult shows, like corporate holiday parties, I find I have to change those more. Even having set up the "flowing situation", the attendees are by and large the same people from the year before. So that show is updated 80%-100% each year. For example, for one I did my comedy magic show the first year and my mentalism show the second. This year will be a comedy magic show that will have maybe 25% of the first year's show.

Another variable to this are the routines themselves. The more the effect of the routine relies on surprise, then the less likely I am to repeat it.

As far as creativity, there are many ways to exercise that muscle. Exercise the way that you enjoy.

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 31, 2003 06:58PM)
Thanks for your response. It was full of great information and thank you for sharing it with us.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jul 31, 2003 10:06PM)
I get a lot of calls from parents saying "You were great...do you know any who is like you for next years party?"

Should I be hurt they don't want me or pleased they like the show
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Jul 31, 2003 10:47PM)
I get a lot of calls from parents saying "We were at another party and saw a magician there. He was fantastic & all the kids loved it so much... That is why I thought I'd get a magician & call you"

It is true people sometimes assume we just have one act & never change it. That is one reason why it is good to do themed shows like a Christmas or Halloween themed show. Obviously you would not be doing the same Christmas themed show for Johnnyís party in April.

Actually my show is like Granddads axe, the one thatís had 4 new handles & 3 new blades. It is still the same axe. Iíve got one show but change & improve it bit by bit all the time.

Also in the Thank you letters I explain that I change my show regularly as well as do different types of shows for different age groups. One of the aims of my thank you letter is to encourage referrals. I don't want my past clients saying things to their friends like, "We hired that magician Andy Walker & the kids loved his show so much. I recommend hiring another magician or clown that can do a show like Andy's."
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Jul 31, 2003 10:52PM)
Nick, Just say "Sure I'm just like me." I have two grown kids and and now have a 3 year old! The pattern I find is that kids love playing thre same video's over and over, the smae songs and play the same games, so changing your show is not nearly as important as staying fresh.

Every show, by its live nature is different. We play the crowd differently, honed our jokes, schtick and pieces of business over the course of a years time. As long as we don't get in a rut and do our show by rote memory. What they call "phoning it in" we can't help but have a new look.

A decoration here, a new bit of costume there, we are always doing a new show. If you aren't, you're not much of an entertainer. Kids love consistency, predictability and good natured humor, parents like having their kids happy. I think we can do that with a solid act.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 31, 2003 11:39PM)
I did enjoy all of your comments. I really have nothing to worry about now because The Magic Cafť did help guide me to newer tricks.
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Aug 1, 2003 02:37AM)
That is fine if you feel you want to do that. I just feel that your not pushing yourself to be more cretaive if you never try and change the show around. By creating different shows or changing the effects in the show, you force yourself to learn.

Hi Kyle,
I do not change my act so that I become really really good and I am (modesty aside) If you have not done the same act hundreds of times for 10 or 15 years it is hard to explain. My act is far far more polished now than if I had done it for a year then dropped it. on Monday I did Jameston Fayre (a local event) and several people commented as to how I get better every time they see me. Terry Herbert, Terry seabrooke Alan Shaxon and Ali Bongo gave me the advice to stick with the same act where ever possible so I have. It does work I know the act inside out, I do not have to think I can put my full attention into presentation which is what makes each show different the kids reactions comments ext which I react to. if someone books me they do not mind paying my high fees because they are getting someone who has 20 years + experience of performing that act.

I feel a different show performed for a repeat client, shows them I am professional and that I care enough to present a new performance for them. I gain their respect and possibly have a better chance of getting another performance from them in the future.

In my opinion the booker re-books you on how well you did with the audience they saw you at/ booked before

It also helps me in that I have a less of a chance of children having seen the effects before and therefor not enjoying the fun. Children remember far more then we sometimes give them credit for.

on Occassions where I have changed the show I have had children come up and say "Oh you never did the .... today. why not I like that one"

Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Aug 1, 2003 04:11AM)
I did the same playgroup 6 times in a 2 month period, I took a different show the 3rd time and all I got from the kids was "you havn't done this, and when are you going to do this" Etc. They love familiarity and sometimes laugh more the 2nd or third time than the first, they know whats coming and the anticipation builds up inside them waiting for it to happen.

Though I hold very little regard for Silly Billy's talents after I saw him in blackpool he did say something in his lecture I agreed with. He said that when kids say "I've seen that before", they're not saying "Oh no I've seen this BOOOORRRRRING" they're saying "I'm familiar with this, I really enjoyed it last time and I can't wait for it to happen again."
Message: Posted by: Payne (Aug 1, 2003 01:10PM)
Im with PB on this one. I too get booked because of "The Act" a performance I've been honning for a lonf, long time.
I've been performing virtually the same act at a local fair for over twenty years. Invariably if I drop a bit someone will comment that they came all this way to see it and I didn't do it.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 1, 2003 01:17PM)
Your comment is the one reason why I do indeed change my show and tell them about that. I want the client to book me for next year and continue to use me as their magician. If they know I am versatile, then they are more likely to want me back next year because I have already proven myself and because I can perform a new and wonderful show for them next year.

i do not think it is a bad thing for someone to stay with the show they have been doing. Just make sure to improv it a bit and improve it where you can. I just find that if i change my show's around every year, it keeps me more excited, allows me to learn more and I get a lot more repeat performances.

I love your analogy of the axe. Nicely said and that does make a lot of sense. I also agree that thank you notes and letters are very important.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Aug 1, 2003 01:57PM)
On 2003-07-31 16:34, magic4u02 wrote:
*I just feel that your not pushing yourself to be more cretaive if you never try and change the show around.

**By creating different shows or changing the effects in the show, you force yourself to learn.

***I gain their respect and possibly have a better chance of getting another performance from them in the future.


*Kyle professional magicians have their own ways of doing things. If a magician does not change his show around, maybe he wants to be creative by doing the same act and not trying to be like other magicians who do change their show around. It's best to be yourself, not like someone else.

**It's possible for magician's who keeps the same act might travel nationwide. They can still learn more about the same tricks they perform by repeating them.

***Kyle, if you read the post of the "repeated shows" above closely, they said they got "repeated shows." How could those magicians do a repeated show if they were not called again? I look at them in a professional manner.

Kyle, always remember: Positive thinkers will get more from their clients.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 1, 2003 02:56PM)
Thank you for your response. I am not saying that changing your show around each year is for everyone, or is even the right way to go. I am only trying to say that it is the right way for me and has really worked quite well, especially in the kid show realm that I work in.

I can understand a stage performer not wanting to change the act around. That makes sense as the magician wants to be well known for his one style of act and he/she can tour with this to different locations.

In the children's party world, I get a lot of requests for repeat performances or for a performance where the kids have mainly all seen me at a different party already maybe even 3 weeks prior.

For me, it makes sense to offer the client a different show, should they request it. I always tell them that I have different shows that are all entertaining and fun for children. I let them decide if they would like me to perform a new show or if my standard show is ok for them.

The client appreciates me being honest and upfront with them and likes the fact that I am being versatile enough to care about the entertainment value the second time around.

I am not saying this is for everyone, it just works for me. I guess everyone has to do what works for them. If your getting repeat gigs and the kids are still having fun with it, then by all means continue doing that one show.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Aug 1, 2003 04:47PM)
Thank you for reading my previous post. Your last post sounds a lot better than the previous ones. If you would of placed your first post like the last one, everyone would have agreed with you.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 1, 2003 09:34PM)
I guess sometimes we all just forget to be more clear and precise as we want and should be. I will have to try to make sure I do a better job of making myself more clear with my thoughts.

I thank you for letting me know and hope others will do the same if they are not sure what I am trying to say or if they are not understanding me.
Message: Posted by: LMLipman (Oct 18, 2008 10:15PM)
I was going to post pretty much the same initial question as what started this thread: is it better to do that same show for a repeat client or related client or do an entirely different show? I have a birthday show coming up for the cousin of a child I performed for six months ago. I'm sure there will be a lot of children at that show who saw my first show. Also, I'm performing a Halloween show for the same community I did last year.

These posts are now about five years old. I'm wondering if anyone has a new take after having read the posts from five years ago? My shows generally stay the same although they have evolved over the years and I find that sometimes I leave a trick out if the show is running long for some reason. I also occasionally try to put a new trick in.
Message: Posted by: TRUMPETMAN (Oct 19, 2008 12:00AM)
I got booked for a birthday for a five year old boy. The family loved the show so much that they asked if I could also do a party for their daughter who was turning eight about six months down the road. They also asked if I could do a different show. They wanted it a bit more geared for an older child. Also, it coincided with the 4th of July, so I combined my patriotic show with my birthday show and had a Red, White & Blue Birthday. Everyone loved it, and I got a big tip on top of my fee.

I do different shows all the time in schools and preschools. I try to match my themes with what the kids are studying. I have many different ways of doing this, and it works for me.

ON that note, I sure hope I don't get blasted in posts by those who think that the old school of doing one show for your entire career is the only REAL way to do magic ! I prefer to follow my own path.

As my mentor reminds me constantly, "the house of magic has many rooms, enough for all of us".

To each his own.

Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Oct 19, 2008 09:10AM)
Heh, this old chestnut!

One point I don't think was mentioned is if you're 4 a year is a very long time. If the children hadn't seen the show for a year I'd do the same one.

I'm in two minds about this issue. Everyone seems to be one extreme or the other and when I listen to them argue about it I often wonder whether they are trying to convince others or themselves.

I think people who change their act monthly are fooling themselves that it needs to be done. It's just an excuse to buy more tax-deductable toys. As magic was usually a hobby before it was a job for most of is (now it's a jobby?!) we all prefer buying new effects over replacing old ones. Routines do need a lot of stage-time to be perfected and even the most adept entertainers won't refine it into gold within a few months. A good routine maybe, but not in the 'know it inside out-know why you say everything and how to deal with any situation that comes up' way that comes from years of honing. And yes, children will want to see the same show again and complain if you don't do certain things that you've done before.

ON the other hand.....

People who think that you can do just the one show for years and the adults & children don't expect anything new out of you are also fooling themselves. I have had quite a few bookers who have called me and said "we have been using so-and-so for years he's great but it's always the same act so we thought we'd try someone new". Children will watch your act several times but if you become the in thing with a certain group you may see the same children several times in a month. I think even if the kids love it the adults see it as lazy or uninspiring. It's also very hard to introduce a new trick into your show if you've got old old favourites. It's great to do an effect you don't have to think about so your mind is 100% focused on the audience. When your doing a new effect you tend to be focused on what [i]you're[/i] doing not the crowd.

So I think there must be a happy medium between buying every new prop that comes out and doing the same act all your life. Themeing it at Christmas and hallowe'en is one good method and having a great second show definitely helps. Your show will also feel different everytime if you have fun and do a lot of ad-libbing.

Message: Posted by: TRUMPETMAN (Oct 19, 2008 11:23AM)
Good points George. I like your thinkin'.

I get a little tired of seeing how crazy some of my fellow magi go over the latest effect. I have seen several marriages become strained over rampant spending and plastic abuse due to magic purchases. Not to say I don't buy some effects currently on the market. Everyone does. I also confess to a closet fetish for collecting change bags!

I get around the prop addicition problem two ways.

One is by building the majority of what I use. This allows me to create things specifically for certain themes. I have always loved building my own tricks, and have done it since my first days in magic as a youth. I never build to sell, only to use on my own shows. I also don't create carbon copies of currently marketed effects. We all saw the horrific example of the guy who tried to copy Chance Wolf's effect and sell it on eBay. YUCK !

The second way I avoid going broke buying the latest toys is to read books. Between Tarbell, Henry Hay, Rice, and Hoffman, I have access to more stuff than any magic store could stock. My wife is always telling me I should get more sleep instead of staying up half the night reseaching my magic tomes.

I do buy my puppets, since that is a field of artistry I would rather have someone else who is more competent take care of. It is not the cheap way to go, but since my figures perform many different routines, the same puppet can be used show after show.

Not to tread on thin ice, but I have spoken with a well known performer from the UK who now lives in the SW USA, (initials JR) who feels much as I do, and has MANY diiferent theme shows that keep him working constantly in schools and preschools. This is the majority of my work. The birthday thing I mentioned in an earlier post was a fluke. I rarely change up my birthday show.

Message: Posted by: themagiciansapprentice (Oct 19, 2008 11:51AM)
I always check with the client first. I have got lots of tricks but prefer doing a set show for parties. I've one kidshow for 2007/8, another for Christmas 2008 and a third for Gospel events. Normally, I just do the former unless the client wants something different for their child. (Then I can do an Arabian theme, dalmatians, colour, sports, pirates, animals etc.)

Next year, I'm leaving my current show in the UK and doing a new Colourful Magic 2009 for the Gulf. This is to stretch me and allow me to use the new skills and patter I've developed - not just too include new props.

I agree with Trumpetman about the reading being important. I'm browsing Tarbel, Ginn, Laflin and Rice at the moment trying to sort out next years show.
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Oct 22, 2008 04:05PM)
Wow, lot's of great information. I would say that if you change your act when doing a repeat booking, ask whomever's booking you "is there anything you've seen me do before that you want me to do in this show?" This will avoid the "why didn't you do ....." problem.

Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Oct 23, 2008 05:55AM)
I always find out where the kids have seen me before, check my records, then bring along almost entirely new material for repeat shows. For me at least, it's easy to have hundreds of routines which I can refresh quickly and put into a show at a moment's notice. And it's always fun to work a routine that you haven't done for years.
In my opinion, this keeps my shows fresh, and exciting. Working with a vast body of material keeps me on my toes, and ensures that I always enjoy performing. If you sing, you learn thousands of songs....and can sing them all from memory with no practise at all. Why should magic routines be any different? Once you've learned a routine, you'll never forget it.....though perhaps a quick glance at the script is needed sometimes.
The down side is if you spend loads of money on new kit - which I admit I do - this year I've spent about £15000 on my shows. Then again, with lots of the best kids' props, I earn pretty good wages for my efforts......
Message: Posted by: Hansel (Oct 23, 2008 06:00AM)
On 2003-07-31 15:43, p.b.jones wrote:
I would not perform a different show unless asked. people book me act as seen and that's what I give them.
I remember once I did the same children from a public school 13 times in 9 months and I asked several mums if they wanted me to put some different stuff in the show all said "Oh no they like the show as it is"

Message: Posted by: gadfly3d (Oct 23, 2008 10:05AM)
Al Goshman once said that "an amateur does new tricks for old audiences and a professional does old tricks for new audiences".

While some change is good to expand ones repertoire, it takes many performances to get any specific effect to a professional standard, and too much changing can lower the quality of ones act.

Message: Posted by: vincentmusician (Jun 4, 2021 07:53AM)
I have found for Christmas Shows, I repeat a lot of material and everyone is fine with that. For little kids repetition is okay. For older kids at Birthday Parties, I use new Material. If I perform for businesses, I asked if they want me to repeat my Show or do a new one. For Adult Parties, I perform a New Show. For Strolling, I repeat the same Magic routines.
So it really depends on the client, and the audience. I agree that doing a Show for years makes it smoother and you can improve your Show. However, doing the same Birthday Show for the same older kids who know everything that will happen just does not work for me. Do what works for you. Cheers!