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Arkadia
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Hello everyone!

I just came back from a childrens party where I performed some magic and made animal balloons. The parents were over overwhelmed and asked me about all my different shows. (A "thank you" to all who post on this forum - I have gotten lots of great ideas and funny bits! Now I understand the exitment of the rubber chicken, the children go nuts!) It turned out that they had three children and that they throw a party for each of them. And I started to wonder...

What I was wondering was if you are to do a show to the same family, say for the second time, do you do the same show? Or, do you have a quantity of shows so that you can do different ones?

I quess that the parents of this party will talk to their friends and recomend me to others and the risk that the same children will turn up on an uppcomming show is probable.

So my question is: How do you handle this?

/Ark
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magicman414
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Oklahoma
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I was about to ask the same question.
Cameron

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Donald Dunphy
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What I would recommend as a course of action, depends upon your experience.

The main reason why, would be because you don't want to put magic out there for an audience to see, if it hasn't been practiced thoroughly, just for the sake of doing something new.

If you have been doing shows for a while, you will probably be in the habit of adding individual new routines in now and then, and expanding your repertoire.

That's what I have done over the past 25+ years, so I do have lots of strong kidshow / family material. (Although, of course, I am always still growing as a performer.)

So, because of that, I feel confident offering my repeat customers an alternate show. In fact, I have a couple of alternate ones, for when I work within the same circle of customers, or work again for the exact same customer.

For me, I handle birthdays a little different than my other shows. With birthdays, not only do I consider what material (shows) I can do as an alternate, I also do age-appropriate shows. So, if I do a birthday for a 5 year old, and then a siblings birthday who is 8, no problem. The 5 year old gets my 5 year olds birthday show (show "A" for that age group), and the 8 year old gets my 8 year olds birthday show (show "A" for that age group).

Now, if it were a Christmas show, I have a Christmas show "A", show "B" and show "C" (as well as other bits and pieces to put in and out to change up each of those a bit), so I just alternate from one show to another.

That's just one perspective on the subject. I'm sure there are others.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Jizmagic
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Donald - what percentage of your second show do you alternate from the main show? Also, do you discuss with the parents what magic effects the child liked from the first show to keep in the second, or is it up your discretion?
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Donald Dunphy
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Well, the answer to that depends upon the show.

I would say that in most cases, I try and do an all-new show. Sometimes, I will keep in about 1/3 of the same routines, but that is only in unusual cases. (Jim Snack handles this slightly different, I remember hearing in a teleconference he once did. Maybe he will chime in with his point of view.)

Here's a real-life example.

There is a local school that had our Magic of Reading Show back in March. Their school PAC (PTA) is having us back again in June for a for-fun show for the school wrap-up party.

Now, sometimes I do some of the same tricks from my Reading show, as in my for-fun show "A", just without the message (in other words, same trick, slightly different patter).

However, in this case, I am going to make sure that I don't do any of those Reading tricks in this show, even though there is different patter, because the students just saw my show a couple of months ago. So, out comes some of the other good material I wish to use.

So, in this case, I plan to do a show that is 100% new (for that customer / audience).

I hope that answers your question.

- Donald

P.S. For birthdays, I don't generally ask which ones the child liked, although that's a good idea. I just do a new show. There is one exception. If the customer has our deluxe birthday with the floating child, then I will repeat that effect. It's a key part of the deluxe birthday package. And often, that is a requested routine. So, in a way, I comply with the parent's special request.

I tend to think the customer wants me, not just certain tricks or routines that I do. Smile
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Joseph_Then
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My practice is that I change 50% of my show every year. Though I 'retire' some of my old stuff I still keep them just in case I get repeat customers who have not seen my old stuff that are more than 1 year old.

With the sheer amount of repeat customers I have this year, I may even consider changing 50% of my show every 6 months. (Can you imagine a group of kids who have seen my show for consecutive 4 months??? Smile)
-----



Joseph Then

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todsky
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It often happens to me that I arrive at a birthday party and some kids say they have seen me before, because I have done the 'circuit' in my city. Because of this, I always carry some extra tricks with me, so I will repeat a few of the 'favourites', and do a couple of new ones. Since I don't remember who's seen what, I'll sometimes actually ask the group "do you know this one?" If most say yes, I'll start to put it away. But if they say, "Do it again," I do it again. I go with the flow, and always try to add new 'B' effects in case of repeats. Of course, sometimes there's the kid who's seen my show four times, and gives a play-by-play of the effects. I tell them to try to keep quiet so it'll be a surprise for everyone else who hasn't seen my show.
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magic4u02
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I am like Donald. I have been doing shows for over 20 years now and every year I work on new routines to place into my shows. I do it to keep my shows fresh but to also continue to force myself to learn and grow my magic.

If I am asked back to perform for the same family, I am always now in the habit of changing most of the show around so they experience new and exciting things. However, there are certain effects I keep in the show as they make the b-day child special. I always i9nclude this in every show even for the same group, cause it is often requested of me to do so.

Kyle
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trevcmagicman
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This may just be me but I would change performances. If you perform the same thing and they remember it well then... I'm not quite sure what would happen. It might just be me but I would change routines.
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Arkadia
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Thanks for all the great answers. Me, aswell, have got a bunch of different tricks that I choose from. (Not made out of 20 years of experience though, more like two, three...) The problem is that I like some of them much more than others, and I don't want to remove the strongest tricks. And of course I want to add new and better routines. I'll keep looking for good stuff and construct some more routines.

Donald: Your system sounds great. Mind if I take it?

/Ark
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magic4u02
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Anpther thing I do and suggest is to keep the initial trick but change the routine or presentation of the trick. Often times by changing the routine and patter, the trick as a whole looks and feels totally new and different. It is a way of retaining a good effect but creating new entertainment value for your audiences.

Kyle
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Joseph_Then
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I agree with Kyle.

I alway use crystal box in my show everytime but I'll change the items to be produced, add in couple of extras, change the storyline to make it 'fresh' but the main gist of the effect(the outcome that I want) still remains.
-----



Joseph Then

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Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2005-05-22 04:17, Arkadia wrote:
Thanks for all the great answers. Me, aswell, have got a bunch of different tricks that I choose from. (Not made out of 20 years of experience though, more like two, three...) The problem is that I like some of them much more than others, and I don't want to remove the strongest tricks. And of course I want to add new and better routines. I'll keep looking for good stuff and construct some more routines.

Donald: Your system sounds great. Mind if I take it?

/Ark


Thanks for asking. You are welcome to the idea of changing up your show, if it works for you. It seems to be something that just works well for me, and I've also seen lots of other performers do it, too. So, not a new "system", by any means.

After years and years, you will have different shows for your school customers, for birthday customers, for event/mall customers, for Christmas (holiday) customers, and for church customers, just as I do.

When you focus on creating specialized shows for each market, you will get more customer response, and great reference letters.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
p.b.jones
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HI,
I have performed shows for 25 or so years I would say get a show hone it and keep honing it, I very rearly perform where people have not seen me before I do the same act. I suppose its good from a marketing point of view to say you change your act every year or whatever but you will never get a truly polished act until you have performed it year after year after year.
Phillip
Deke Rivers
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Do the same show. They LIKED that show. Kids will like it again, too.

When I was a kid (and still today) I really liked The Beach Boys. I saw them in concert many, many times (and even got to open for them once!) If they didn't play their "favorties", like "Fun, fun, fun" or "Little Duece Coupe," people would feel cheated. Forget if they saw it before, they want to see THAT show and hear THOSE songs again.

There's no need to change your show. Sure, you'll hear "I've seen that!" (but you'll hear that, anyway!) When you do, ask "Did you like it when you saw it?" "YES!" "Do you want to see it again?" YES!"
magic4u02
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I can understand about not changing the show, but in my own area and the markets I work, there is a perceived value and benefit to my customers that I can offer them a different, customized and unique show experience each year they have me, should they want it. It adds vlaue to them in their minds eye and is a unique selling point to them and their patrons.

I also change routines around in my shows so that I am constantly learning. I can not grow my magic if I do not work on learning new things and staying creative as I can. Working out new routines and honing old ones by new presnetations, helps me to stay fresh and to constantly expand my magic. My audiences appreciate this effort.

Now I also understand about changing to frequently that you do not get to hone the routine to where it needs to be. I get around this by a method and rule I force upon myself. This is the fact that NOTHING gets placed into my show unless I have rehearsed it, practiced it and feel comfortable that the routine is ready for an audience. I will never allow myself just to throw in any new routine without my dedication and time to get it to where it needs to be.

I also never change the show 100%. I always add in a new routine to a show that is already set and has been performed numerous times. This way my new routine is sandwiched between time-tested routines. This way I can learn the reactions to the new routine and the response I get from it, while not jeapordizing the show's quality.

I would also like to point out that for me personally, I see myself not as just a maician, but as a person who can solve the needs of my customers through providing solutions to them. Sometimes these solutions go towards me customizing my show a bit to meet their needs and to exceed their own expectations.

Donald also pointed out something that I also do myself. I have unique customers in very unique markets. This means that I will create and customize a show to meet that market. For example, I have holiday themed shows for Malls and Holiday Lights and first night events. I have other customized shows for schools that are based upon fun through learning with a magical educational theme. Each market and customer requires a different way of me performing and presenting my magic to them.

I find if I can be diverse enough to create a polished performance and show for each of my customers, they will remember me and use me year after year because my value to them intensifies.

Just my own personal opinion as for what has worked for me. Each perfomer must decide what works best for them.

Kyle
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Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2005-05-21 11:35, Donald Dunphy wrote:
That's just one perspective on the subject. I'm sure there are others.


See, I told you there would be others. Smile

And they are not wrong either, just because they are different from the point of view I presented (it's just my personal opinion, based on my personal experience. Their's is a personal opinion, based on their personal experience).

You must decide what works best for you and your style regarding this subject, then follow that. Sometimes that involves trial and error.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
magic4u02
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Exactly. Just because I prefer to change my show and create different shows to meet different needs of the markets I work, does not mean that my own methods are for everyone.

You must simply try and find out what works best for you and what keeps getting you the work you want to be getting.

Kyle
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eddieloughran
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For repeat shows I do a very similar show because I've been booked on the show "as seen". As Phillip said above, the show is far more polished. I've had years of refining the routines and fitting them to me.
If certain signature effects aren't included the children, and their parents can feel cheated. They actualy look forward to some bits, and like to know what will happen to an assistant.

Of course the show isn't exactaly the same, its more of a framework.
Like the Beach Boys adding a couple of new songs between the hits.
magic4u02
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Well that is what I try and do as well in most instances. All of my shows have a standard framework for which I construct the show around. But I can change in and out the various parts of the show to be able to customize the show for what my clients needs are.

Because not all of my shows now are b-day shows, I must customize and have different shows available to meet the needs of festival clients, b-day party clients, theater clients etc. Each market has their own needs that I must be willing to address through my show program.

Kyle
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