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Topic: Which Tricks to Buy?
Message: Posted by: GetJet (Jul 4, 2002 08:17AM)
I would really appreciate some help on this.
I am an amateur magician (intermediate skill) who mostly does close-up magic on informal occasions.

I have been asked by a friend of mine to put on a small show for a birthday party (kids aged around 8-9). I am doing this for free, yet I would like to invest some money on tricks especially suited for kids. Could anyone point out some great routines?

I was thinking on the lines of "Hollingworth's Book", "Coloring Book", "Aesop's Ringer", ... Would these be a good choice? Any other ideas?

Thanks a lot!
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jul 4, 2002 10:44AM)
While you don't actually have to buy it, the Miser's Dream is ideal for a kids' show.
In fact, I open every children's show with it; seems kids don't think you are a "real magician" unless you pull a coin from behind their ear.
Keep the tricks colorful, flashy, short, and simple.
The Coloring Book is very good and reasonably priced.
Consider a change bag or drawer box to produce mounds of silk scarves (puh-leeze, don't call them "silks").
Use plenty of volunteers. For them, you can use the Breakaway (or Droopy) wand, the Nesting Wands, etc.
Sucker tricks, like the Die Box, are always good PROVIDED you turn the sting onto yourself and don't make the kids the suckers!
Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: GetJet (Jul 4, 2002 11:22AM)
Thanks a lot, I am going to check those items out!

Do you by any chance know if I can get some kind of bargain on colored silks? (I usually shop at Hanklee or LLpub)
Message: Posted by: GetJet (Jul 4, 2002 11:29AM)
I just noticed (in another post) that you are the Marucci who contributes tricks to the Online Visions! Well, I just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate them and most of all their originality.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jul 4, 2002 01:20PM)
Why, thank you kindly.
If you are a member of the I.B.M., you'll also notice that I'm the Marucci who writes the Showtime column, too.
(Even if you AREN'T a member, I'm that guy!) :rotf:
Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: professorpopcorn (Jul 4, 2002 02:07PM)
The three way colouring book - I'm never without it. :clown:
Message: Posted by: kaznzak (Jul 4, 2002 06:58PM)
I love the three way colouring book also,always goes down a treat and there are many different ways of presenting. I would think the most indespensible item would be a change bag because you can use it in so many different ways, and you can use it more than once in a show. Kids love it, they can participate in using it, and you can pretty well use with anything you happen to have lyingg around, it doesn't rely on complex props for effectiveness.
If cards is your usual thing (?) invest in giant pack - at 8 - 9 they are old enough to appreciate a couple of SIMPLE card tricks, but make sure you pick kids who look like they will reme,ber the card they chose! Lots of kids are not familiar with cards at at all and to them the 10 of hearts looks very like the 10 of diamonds. Very embarrassing when you magically produce the correct card with a flourish and they say that's not it....
Hope some of this helps and good luck - kids are the best to work with
Kaz :magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: David Fogel (Jul 6, 2002 10:13AM)
Here are some additional items that haven't been mentioned (and that have worked quite well for me over the years):

1) Glorpy (and get a fish net, so the volunteer can reach out into the air for it)
2) Temple Screen - easy and great for productions
3) Cut & Restored rope
4) 20th Century Silks
5) Invisible Deck (yes - I've done this for kids as young as 9-10, and they LOVE it!) -- just make sure that the kid you choose can name a card; I ask for a volunteer that plays cards
6) slush powder - I use the cups from the cups and balls, and do a sort of 'monte' effect. Before the trick, put confetti into 2 of the cups, and the powder in the 3rd. Then tell the kids you are going to pour the water into 1 of the 3 cups and they are going to have to guess which one it in. Pour water in, then switch them around SLOWLY, so they can clearly follow it. When they guess, tell them you are so sure they are wrong, that you're going to turn the cup over on your head. Do so -- nothing comes out! Then put this cup away, and bring 2 volunteers up. Take the remaining 2 cups and hold them over their heads. Ask the audience to tell you which cup has the water in it. You can milk this for a while, as you threaten to turn the cups over on their heads. At the end, of course, they both get hit with the confetti (or you can throw the confetti out over the audience).
Message: Posted by: David Fogel (Jul 6, 2002 10:15AM)
One more thing: I wouldn't do the coloring book for 8-9 year olds. It's too juvenile for them. Among the WORST thing you can do for kids is to do a trick that they think is for babies.
Message: Posted by: Billy_zoom (Jul 8, 2002 08:44PM)
My experience (limited as it is) was kids LOVE Rocco's D'lites. I did a routine with them this past weekend for a bunch of my little nephews and nieces and they were wide eyed and dismayed. After words I had them running around grasping at air trying to catch one of those "little light fairies" Some of them actually did!

Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: Adam V (Jul 9, 2002 01:45AM)

I'm intruiged about the idea of using the invisible deck for children. I have the deck, and have been performing for kids for a while now but have never thought to combine the two. Could you tell us roughly how you present it and the children react to it please?

Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jul 9, 2002 05:23AM)
The coloring book will work for just about ANY age group, if it's done properly.
For almost all my kids' shows I use the coloring book and a small drawer box of crayons, describing them as gifts I bought for my niece's birthday that's coming up.
Depending on how old the kids are, the niece is the same age, or older, or younger.
But whatever the case, I ask the kids at the party if they think that (the coloring book and crayons) is a suitable gift for someone the age of my niece.
We debate this for a while and then I slowly get into the color-changing routine.
The secret is to involve the audience (not much of a secret -- I hope!).
If they feel that they are part of what you are doing, then you can get away with almost anything.
Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: Xiqual (Jul 15, 2002 08:29AM)
Don't forget the breakaway wand.
Costume bags are also really great. They come with an excellent routine by Jim Sisti.
Mouth coils are always a winner too.
All in all, I think that comedy is the way to go with kids.
Message: Posted by: Adam V (Jul 17, 2002 01:25AM)
Costume bag is wonderful. My favourite routine uses one of them.
Message: Posted by: David Fogel (Jul 17, 2002 10:34AM)
Adam V-

My thoughts on the Invisible Deck for children are set forth here:



Great idea about explaining that the coloring book is for *another* younger kid, when performing it for older ones!!
Message: Posted by: TrickyPaul (Jul 20, 2002 01:15PM)
I always use "Spotty" during my shows for kids. It has always been a great warm-up trick for me, and the kids really open up and get ready for a great time together.
Message: Posted by: harris (Jul 22, 2002 03:40PM)
In addition the great suggestions you already have:

1. Simple sponge ball routines, with some
color changing and some finale such as
a. bunch of little ones
b. turning them into a jumbo
c. turning them into a kitchen sponge
d. changing them into your next prop ie a hankerchief

2. Stratosphere with YOUR own patter line
themed to your show.

3. Find out what the kids are into and get
party bags to get your props out that have that logo,ie Scooby Doo, Barbie etc.

Using a sticker of the same theme above ie
Scooby Doo, share with them the "Red Hot Mama
but make the stranger card the one with a sticker.

Have fun

Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jul 23, 2002 02:57PM)
My experience has been that the kids don't grasp the concept of mindreading and don't understand the Invisible Deck, conceptually. The bits of business, however, can be entertaining to them.
Message: Posted by: THOR (Jul 29, 2002 07:36PM)
I concur that D'Lites go over great with kids, especially the youngest ones. There's not too much magic you can do for very young kids (3 year olds) but D'Lites get them excited and don't seem to scare them.

By the way, I've actually done spoonbending at a kid's show where the spoon bends in a child's hand!
Message: Posted by: johnpert (Jul 30, 2002 12:07PM)
A few things not mentioned above.

First, sponge balls are a definate. Go with a simple routine of 2 in one hand 1 in the pocket idea combined with a few other touches and the volunteer will enjoy the sponges popping up in the hand.

Second, a silk blendo (Duane Laflin has many to choose from). I've been using the clown for about 10 years and it rocks.

Rope tricks always go over well. And the easiest is likely the Prof. Nightmare, great routine in the "MAGIC" magazine last month. Or simply purchase a gimmick set of ropes.

That is some good variety there. Once you explain what mentalism is to the kids I would consider doing Sketchomagic. Good audience participation, some built in funny stuff too. available from Sammy Patrick Smith, and many others. EAsy to learn and perform... just minutes to learn.

HOpe this helps,