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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Now that’s funny! » » Powers of darkness for high schoolers (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

dfrasure12
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I've got this show in a couple of weeks for a large group (300+) of high school seniors, and I really want to perform Caveney's "Powers of Darkness." However, I remember what it was like in high school and know that in a group that large, there is always that one kid, the class clown, who always shouts things at the most inappropriate times in an effort to be funny. Part of me has to believe that "Powers of Darkness" would provide the perfect opportunity for "this kid" to stand out by yelling that "it's on his back" or something, and in essence ruining the routine. Does anyone else see this as a potential problem with a group of high schoolers this large, or is this an irrational fear?

Thanks,
David
ScottSullivan
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I've done the Paper Balls Over the Head for high school kids and it played very, very well. They seem to, as a group, really like to laugh with/at their friends (which is why hypnotists are popular at high school and college functions) and also be kind of let in on secrets and I think the trick's premise should go over well. The thing that would scare me about performing Powers of Darkness for teenagers is the potential trouble with getting the volunteer to play along and keep his eyes closed while 300+ of his peers are laughing at a joke he isn't in on.
Powers of Darkness is also a little (not a lot, but still) complicated to follow and you'll be dealing with short attention spans.
Just my 2 cents, though.
dfrasure12
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Scott,

It is nice to hear that someone has performed a routine similar to P.O.D. for high schoolers with successful resuls. I didn't think about the risk in having an 18 year old keep their eyes shut while 300 of their friends/peers are watching, and laughing.

I just thought of this a second ago. What if instead of a student, I bring up a teacher, maybe one that all of the students seem to really like. Surely a teacher would keep their eyes shut and play along. For some reason it also seems less likely that a student would shout something out that would destroy the effect if a teacher was up there, rather than one of his/her friends. However, you say this might not be a problem anyways......
Christopher
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I used POD, I work ALOT of high schools and let me just say that it would be a HUGE mistake to try to do this. I know from experience and would highly advise against it. No matter what you do, you will get someone shouting out.
dfrasure12
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Really?

Do you think it is just that way for POD, or for all routines with that "dramatic irony" theme (i.e. paper balls over the head, etc.)? Interesting that you have tried this with very undesirable results...... I would imagine that there is no salvaging the routine when someone blurts out "look on his back," or something similar....
Christopher
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I can play paper balls over the head off as a joke if exposed. However, powers of darkness is just not salvagable. You are depending upon too much: The audience to play along, the volunteer to keep their eyes closed, and everyone to GET IT. Now I have done this for corporate jobs with no problem. I just think it is too risky in the situation you are talking about. There are really no outs if it gets exposed.
Dannydoyle
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It really comes to audience management skills.
Even high school age kids will let you make fun of their friends. Heck they are MORE likely to do so. Either of these routines would work.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
ScottSullivan
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I've worked for a good number of high school and middle school (they're probably worse) groups. The teacher idea might be a good one (although some of them are as - if not more - worried about being popular, believe it or not, so choose him/her carefully).
When I've done Paper Balls Over the Head I've always positioned it deep enough in the show that I've gotten the audience on my side and already slapped down (in a nice, funny way) the potential hecklers in the group so my risk has already been minimized. A lot of it probably depends on your performing personality in general and your report with this group in particular. I've never had anyone yell out anything that ruined it but I've always considered the risk and worked with it in mind.
Dannydoyle
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Again audience management skills.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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