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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Number changes everything (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ruiefe
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Lisbon
131 Posts

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I've relatively at easy in doing kids shows for 15-30 kids.
I've done two shows for about 150 kids with no problems (charity).
Now I've been asked to do shows for larger audiences (150-300 kids) and I'm feeling uneasy. I've already refused two shows but this is becoming impossible to do.
I need your advice (assuming the age of the children is the same):
- what tricks?
- what stage apparatus?
- what sound (do you use any sound equipment? Always? Only with a big number of children...)
I know the "number" topic as been referred but not as a separate topic.
Thank you
Rui Fernandes
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Rui Fernandes
"Carpe diem" - Horatius
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
744 Posts

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With 300 children you really need to be using amplifier for your voice. I regularly perform to groups of 150 children without any amplification without problem. These are school groups however where the children are in a well disciplined environment. For a charity show I imagine the situation would be a little different and amplification would be a great help. Weather you need amplification depends more of the venue than the number of children. If you are performing in a hall with a high ceiling and a wooden floor you almost always need it regardless of how many children there are.
Most of the props you use can be the same as for smaller groups. Just try to stay away from anything too small. The egg bag or a finger chopper would be too small. An arm chopper or any kind of rope routine should be fine. I find David Ginn’s vanishing Coke bottle always goes over well with large groups of any age.
Smile
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
ruiefe
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Lisbon
131 Posts

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Thank you for your very, very helpful post.
The shows for 300 kids are not charity, they're paid shows. The person who hires me for the little birthday parties wants to hire me for this big shows. I have to consider that and your post will help me.
Where do you bought your Vanishing coke? I've read about it in one of David's books, I suppose.
Thanks again Andrew.

Any help from someone about sound systems and prices?

Rui Fernandes
Rui Fernandes
"Carpe diem" - Horatius
mslj
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Bradford, England
95 Posts

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I tend to use my small sound system at any venue regardless of size. It helps preserve my voice - particularly if I've been booked to present a full party rather than just a magic show.

The system I use is a little AmpCan with a radio mic. I toyed with the idea of getting a combined amp and cassette player but the portable nature of the Ampcan and the fact that it uses a rechargeable battery was the attractive feature. I can use it on the street awy from a power source if needs be. I also went with a hand help mic which I use with a clip around my neck - I present a routine where the children hold the mic so it's ideal for that.

Prices vary and I can't remember the exact price I paid for the total package. I felt it was expensive at the time but it has proved to be invaluable. Check out your local music store they will have a selection of amps and microphones.
p.b.jones
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Inner circle
Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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HI,
Genneral advise,
When picking silks for silk trick Always pick the biggest size you can sensibly use
That way it matters not if there are 30 or 300 kids.

deffinetaly use a sound system. Personaly I always like a hand held (I have a neck clip)
People are used to seeing comediens and profesionals use hand held mikes. it puts you subconciously in there catogory. I favour the systems where the Transmitter plugs into any XLR socketed mike it is much smaller than a mike with built in transmiter.
This also gives the advantage that if the transmiter fails I can wire to the mike and if the mike fails I can use my spare mike.
Typical birthdays (30 kids)I do not use amplification Except during busy periods to save voice strain.

Phillip
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
744 Posts

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You can buy the Vanishing Coke bottle from David Ginn's web site: http://www.ginnmagic.com
I use it in my school shows. It is the one thing children always ask afterwards is where did that Coke bottle go?. I have been using the same bottle since I brought it in 1989. I have used it in 100's of shows. Highly Recommended.
:pepsi:
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Joe
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Sunny UK
139 Posts

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Voice amplification is a must. I bought a good quality cordless (Senhiser) headset last year, I find it better than a hand held mike and now use it at every possible gig. It does save my voice and is much more profrssional than shouting, but most of all I seem to use only half the energy than when I don't use a PA. I think size of props does come into it but there are some great effects that are small and play big on stage, but you might want to think of more than one mike for this.
Joe Smile
tkuhns
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Kirksville, Missouri
134 Posts

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I recently discovered that, even in a small group with a small room, that voice amplification can make a big difference when you are working with particularly noisy kids.
Marty
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Hi: If you have access to a Musician's Friend catalog, right now they have a very good (I bought one) Custom mixer and speakers for $199. It has lots of power, and it's cheap! Thanks, Marty.
johnpert
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Veteran user
Ontario, Canada
322 Posts

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Regarding props and presentation:

From the back, everything will look much smaller, that includes how you move. If you want to express an emotion or action, make it look big so all can see it and appreciate it.

Regarding props and tricks. Big isn't always better, but being seen is important.
I've done Darryl's bounce - no bounce routine for 300 people and it worked well.

Having said that, I would consider using larger props than you might use at a birthday party, although some transfer very well. For example: a change bag routine, confusing crayons.

Something else to think about, a routine that counts on close interaction with the audience for feedback (that you might get at a birthday party) may not go over as well with a larger audience.

A music routine would be a nice way to start your show. Consider silks, balls, productions, vanishes, etc.

hope this helps,

john
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