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Topic: Magic for Seniors
Message: Posted by: LMLipman (Aug 11, 2015 04:28PM)
At last week's Kidabra, Gary Shelton hosted a discussion of performing magic for seniors at assisted living and independent living facilities and noted the similarity between routines that could be used for children and seniors.

Does anyone here regularly perform in assisted living facilities? I've done about a half dozen such shows, but I wouldn't say I regularly perform there.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Aug 11, 2015 05:03PM)
I've done several shows at senior centers. I basically did my family show, leaving out the tricks that I felt might insult their intelligence. ( the ones targeted at the very young kids.)
Ions word of caution. Just because these people may be older, and some physically impaired, it does not mean that they aren't intelligent and sharp. The easiest way to lose an audience of seniors is to talk down to them. It's insulting and degrading.
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 11, 2015 06:34PM)
I regularly perform at these with and without a band.

Upscale ones often have a wonderful grand piano.
Listening to wonderful stories before and after gigs is a bonus.

I have met T. V. Stars, folks that used to your with ______.
Many are used to first class entertainment on cruises.

Bring your A Game.
Message: Posted by: LMLipman (Aug 13, 2015 03:26PM)
I totally agree--you must not talk down to this audience. My take away from Gary's discussion was drop the silliness and replace it with kindness and respect. But some of the effects used for children could also work for older adults.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Aug 13, 2015 05:05PM)
Here's something else to consider. I know a number of people who hate being called "senior citizens". It comes with certain negative inferences including cognitive impairments, and physical impairments which supposedly typifies the group as a whole. If I have reason to make any reference to the group, I will generally say, 'people of retirement age.' The only time nobody minds the term Senior Citizen, is when it's time to get the discount.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Aug 13, 2015 06:33PM)
My program, using my criteria, was planned and produced to entertain almost anyone, almost anywhere.

The props trouped in a 13" x 20" x 8" case, which weighed slightly over 20 lbs. It "set up" in 4 minutes or less, and packed up in 2 minutes.

I've done hundreds of senior centers.
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 14, 2015 10:11AM)
For the past year I have collaborated with a group that has created cross generational programs.

The latest was a play about Alzheimer's. This included people with personal experience as a care giver or one with that challenge.
The projects brings therapist, actors, puppeteers, musicians and others together to create and share.
It was shared at this years Kansas City Fringe Festival.

Through the Kansas City Senior Theatre, I have learned that it is not just during the summer that Libraries use performers.

still 2 old to know it all
Message: Posted by: MAGICBYTIM (Aug 14, 2015 10:46AM)
Another great resource is Jim Austin. ( http://greatseniorshows.com ) He gave a lecture at Kidabra a few years ago. Both Gary and Jim have a great passion for this area of performing. Not the highest paying gigs from a money standpoint but you get so much more than money from performing for the Senior "retirement age" centers.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 14, 2015 11:03AM)
Tim -

Did Gary or Jim have lecture notes to sell, on the topic of performing for seniors?

- Donald
Message: Posted by: danfreed (Aug 14, 2015 11:32AM)
Gary had lecture notes, I quickly glanced at them, and Jim Austin happens to have a DVD set for $20, it has 2 shows plus another disc with notes. I am going through it now.
Message: Posted by: arthur stead (Aug 14, 2015 05:04PM)
I've done a few shows at nursing homes and senior centers. For material I selected a few colorful tricks from my kidshows which seemed appropriate. Did some online research and found quite a few corny "old folks" and "doctor" and "nursing" jokes. And I added the Baffling Bra trick, using one of the staff nurses as my helper. It went over great and got the biggest laugh!
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Aug 27, 2015 03:21PM)
I do senior citizen shows on a regular basis. I do silk effects, a square circle production (6' butterfly), linking rings, floating table, the torn and restored newspaper, and several other effects. We always end the show with a large botania. Don't pop any balloons, or "frighten" the audience. And leave the card tricks at home, unless the chosen card doesn't matter. No one will remember what card was picked. Just my 2 cents.

Message: Posted by: MichaelCGM (Aug 27, 2015 06:52PM)
Jim is right about cards, unless it's a quick 'm' easy effect that doesn't require a lot of explanation. A signed card to wallet, for example, or six-card repeat. Also, if you still have an old color-changing-records routine, they love that someone actually remembers classic records.
Message: Posted by: danielluskmagic (Sep 10, 2015 04:29PM)
Yes I do them quite often. I design my show to be interactive with out them having to get out of the chairs. One that I use just for senior shows is the three ropes on a wooden bar trick. I knot a watch on it and call it "Time Flys" At most of my other shows, nobody wears a watch anymore. I also stay away from ripping up money like in my bill and lemon trick. Ripping up someones dollar can be considered quite rude even in a magical setting.

Just a few things I do.
Message: Posted by: harris (Sep 10, 2015 04:47PM)
Our band MoKan(Missouri / Kansas) ReUnion is sometimes described as "Oldies playing The Oldies.
We return for the 4th time to the same venue with a fifth scheduled for Christmas.
Message: Posted by: vincentmusician (Sep 19, 2020 10:24PM)
I like performing for Seniors and usually everything goes well. I have found magic to music gets a good reaction. Comedy, fun Magic works. I even put one of my kids routines in. One of the best compliments I got was from a lady that said, "Your Show Was Fun!" That is exactly what my goal is when I perform for all audiences!