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Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
576 Posts

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Hi, just finished the busiest time off year again. 51 shows in the first 3 weeks of December and my throat is like hell. I use a PA etc, but find that when the parents stay, they often sit at the back chatting, sometimes so loud that the children struggle to hear me. I've tried to politly tell them off, but they look at me as if I'm being rude. I don't want to get a louder PA, because it means even more equipment to carry between shows. Has anyone got any sugestions please? Thanks.
Best Wishes, Graeme (Billy Whizz)
Steven Steele
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Hesperia, California USA
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During my warm-up, I use the same speech as I do for my school shows. I act surprised that the adults are there. Then I ask the children if the adults/teachers should stay. We have some fun with it, but I always allow the adults to stay as long as they can behave themselves. That is, be quite and pay attention. All you have to do is stop and look at the adult and the children will take over. It makes the situation better, but it never goes away.

And the parents wonder why their children are so ill behaved... Smile
johnpert
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Ontario, Canada
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A huge pain in the neck, I concur.

Tips that I've read is get kids involved so the parents will pay attention. Another would be to get some of the parents involved.

As for telling them to be quiet, I don't know what to say that would make you look bad. Perphaps you could ask someone a question, then say you can't here them (when they reply). Say, you'll need to speak louder because of the noise.

cheers,

j.
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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Those parents that stay behind (I must have had about 30/40 adults around at yesterday afternoon's party and they all took one of my A5 leaflets home with them!)) could be worth a small fortune to you over the next 12 months! I have learned to live with it, but a capable PA (a combo amp. is ideal) and reasonable quality mike essential. Have short dancing breaks in your programme and get the kids to go get mum and dad to join in! The group I speak of yesterday are 3s going on 4s. - so years of potential business for Ace Parties. The only other entertainer they have seen before me will not allow photos of his show, shouts at not only the parents for talking, but also the kids for responding too loud to sucker tricks! This is the kind of competition I love!! Smile
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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HI,
maybe it's the way/type of magic I perform , But I want the adults to be there and I vertualy never have any trouble with backround noise.Adults enjoy watching my show
many times I am booked so that mam or dad can see me agian. I cannot quite put my finger on why they enjoy it. but one of my corporate clients said to me that they like using me because my show entertains the adults too. when I pick effects for performance I look for good strong magic. no hippty hop rabbits, colouring books, run rabbit run or Farmyard frolics and no stories. but object to nest of tins, linking rings, cards across, Misers dream that type of thing. I am also looking to put the child helpers into positions from which they can react and alow there personalities to shine through. I am there playing with them but the show is about them not me and I think that it is seeing the childrens reactions that keeps the adults entertained. This is just my opinion.
Phillip
Peter Marucci
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Once again, I agree with Phillip.
Gear your show to include the adults, rather than trying to aim at the children exclusively.
I've found that, in my kids' shows, it's often the adults who get the biggest 'kick' out of the magic.
But don't get a more powerful PA system; that only ratchets up the noise level, first from you, then from the adults, then from you . . . and on and on it goes.
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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The PA helps, setting the guidelines up front like Steve works, also when booking the show, consider mentioning a special talking room for the adults, so the kids can get more enjoyment out of the show. Involving the kids, usually shut's up the parent who wants to see their kid perform.

I've even resorted to using a magic word called "SHHHHHHhuuuuuuuuuuuu" and get the kids to use that and watch how quickly their parents respond. (For a short while)

The above is good advice, and as already said above, it works for a short period of time.
Dennis Michael
Dynamike
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I understand. I was in that position myself at times. Try what was said earlier, involving the adults. If it doesn't work, ask the adults to leave to a separate room. But you must show a good attitude. I know it is hard most of the time. Or you can tell the kids whenever you give them a clue(make up a clue) they turn around and say to the adults, "Quiet Please."
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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WOW!! I can't belive the quick responce I've received. Thanks everybody. I'm going to try your advice Steven Steele, it sounds like the style I would use.
As for including the adults more Philip, I feel if I'm paid to entertain children, then I entertain children. I hear many complaints regarding a local magician here that his show is geared too much at the adults rather than the children, and the parents don't seem to like that. But thank you for your advice.
Thanks Peter regarding the more powerfull PA, that makes a lot of sense.
All the Best, Billy Whizz
JSMagic
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Boston
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I think that there should be one effect including and adult near the end. From shows that I have seen, if the kids are into it they will all be looking at their parents to go up and help which shuts them up...this is just what think.
If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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Billy and I are good mates and have discussed this many times. At childrens shows at social clubs, holiday camps etc where you are just one small part of the entertainment you can't expect the adults to stop drinking or talking during the show, they don't stop for the adult cabaret either. BUT at a birthday party or an event which is specially laid on for the children then I expect them to be quiet. I make an announcment before the start of the show. I tell them that the children are the stars of the show, and that as parents they will want to hear every word the children say, and if it's not their child on stage it is someone elses who will want to hear. I then tell them that If they don't wish to watch and enjoy the fun, and would rather chat, then they should go out of the room so as to not disturb the children or adults who do wish to watch. I finish by saying in a lighter tone, "I've tried for ages to come up with a way of getting the adults to shut up and not spoil the show for the children, and that's the best i've come up with, Thank you." This works quite well, but not 100%. If anyone does start getting too loud, I use the old, "That trick didn't work because we couldn't hear the magic word over that lady talking" routine. etc. After all else fails I then tell them off.
I also send out a Party timetable, and survival tips page with my birthday contracts, this reccomends they work a drop off and go policy at the party, and gives 3 very good reasons why, one of which is that parents can ruin the party by talking.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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I hear many complaints regarding a local magician here that his show is geared too much at the adults rather than the children, and the parents don't seem to like that. But thank you for your advice.

Hi,
I am sure that this can happen too, but it's all about finding that balance!
I do not think this happens to me or I would be soon told as I offer a 100% No quibble money back garuantee if not satisfied for all of my shows. (never had anyone call the garuantee yet)

"I also send out a Party timetable, and survival tips page with my birthday contracts, this reccomends they work a drop off and go policy at the party, and gives 3 very good reasons why, one of which is that parents can ruin the party by talking."


Boy this drop off policy must lose you lot's of work. We all (I hope) go to great lenghts to get our names/ details to the parents of the other children at the parties we perform then hope that our publicity will get them to call. But if they have actually seen your show and the reactions from the children what better sales tool could you possibly have.


Phillip
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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Hi Phillip, I understand what your saying re: parents staying to see your show. But at christmas parties, especially for pre-schools, the parents seem to forget it's the childrens party and treat it more as a mothers meeting to catch up on the latest gossip. sometimes, I'll have a child helping and their mum is at the back yapping and not watching their own child, ignorance!!
I give out colouring pictures of me to the booker to put into goodie bags for going home. That way, if the child is telling mum on the way home how much they enjoyed me, mum has my number.
All the best, Billy

ps: where's all your hair? You have a lot more on your website. Great site Smile
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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<<<<<Boy this drop off policy must lose you lot's of work. We all (I hope) go to great lenghts to get our names/ details to the parents of the other children at the parties we perform then hope that our publicity will get them to call. But if they have actually seen your show and the reactions from the children what better sales tool could you possibly have.>>>>>

Not at all Phillip, my birthday party shows are always timed so that the parents arriving to pick up the children get to see the last few minutes of the show, and all the children go home with a colouring picture with my details on it, I average between 25-30 shows a month, 60 in December, and even though I'm in yellow pages most of my work is reccomends and word of mouth.

Playgroups and pre-schools are another area where I think mum's shouldn't be present when an entertainers performing. there's a few playgroups down here that actually ban parents from attending when they hire an entertainer because they feel it's not fair on the children.

There are lots of occassions where adults do stay and watch my show and although I don't do anything specificlly aimed at them they do enjoy it, but I don't think it's right at birthday parties.

it's not just the parents talking at a birthday party that cause a problem, you've also got the tiny ankle biting little brother or sister of a birthday guest who has to stay with mum. They are too young to understand what's going on and can cause a big distraction when the mum's put them down and leave them to run about in the party room.
And finally you have the shy child who if mum stays will inevitably stay firmly locked onto mum's leg and will not join in the ganes, if mum goes they usually join in and have lots of fun.

I know who billy is on about as I've heard the all complaints about the magician who spent all his time throwing gags to the adults over the kids heads, Personally I entertain the children, that's what I'm paid for and I, like Billy can keep 3-4 year olds sat down for an hour no problem.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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ps: where's all your hair? You have a lot more on your website. Great site

Hi,
I appeared to have more hair on my website
but i was thinning severly on the crown of my head which you cannot see. so I thought Bugger it lets crop the lot to match. I now have it even shorter than my avatar I used to have a no1 attachment not I just have it clippered with no attachments!

I guess we will just differ in our opinions of having adults present. because I sill love to go to a group that I have not worked for and find as many adults as kids. because I just no that I will be flooded with new clients.
Phillip
Peter Marucci
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BillyWhizz,
I didn't mean (and I don't think Phillip did, either) that including adults in the show means gearing the show for them.
Yes, you were hired to entertain the children but, by doing so, you should also try to entertain the adults in the room; in other words, get them involved and on your side.
Kids like nothing better than to see an adult in an awkward spot; remember, adults are authority figures to kids and the kids see themselves as relatively powerless. So, when an authority figure is singled out, they go wild!
Once again, yes, a children's show should be primarily for children; but there's nothing wrong with including the adults in it!
Smile
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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The Children are the stars of my show, they do all the magic and take all the applause, I get mine at the end of the show, after all the children applaud themselves for being so good, That way the adults that are interested in the children it really get a kick out of the show. As opposed to those that see us as paid babysitters while they chat. It really annoys me when a child is up in front performing and I know the women chatting to her friend and taking no notice is that childs mother, sometimes it's the birthday Mum, When my kids do stuff like that I stop and watch.

I include adults in a very minor role in the show, 1)when the puppet gives a women a kiss and claims her breath smells like frogs, and 2) at the end when we magic the birthday present and everyone in the room has to join in with the magic word, (which involves singing happy birthday while wiggling your fingers and sticking your tongue in and out.) I sometimes if there is time get a naughty adult who didn't do it up to do it in front of the children. That is it and even then the adult involvment is geared toward the childrens enjoyment.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
KC Cameron
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Raleigh, North Carolina
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Most of the successful movies for children have lots of lines for adults too. The magic I do for adult stage is much the same as for my kiddie birthday parties. I spend a lot of time finding and working with magic that crosses age barriers and venues. Actually, a lot of my close up I can do on stage as well. Yes, the patter changes somewhat for each venue.

Let’s look at Sylvester the Jester. His kids show hold the adults tight. I LOVE his show, and find him an incredible inspiration.

I think a good method is not to have magic for adults, AND magic for children, but to insure everything works well with everybody. Need an idea of what I am talking about? My next big purchase is Wolfs Magic ABC Gumball Re-Combobulator http://www.wolfsmagic.com/ABCinfo02.htm . Now here is a prop that can have a great presentation that will entertain EVERYONE from CEO to daycare. One I just purchased is from Lou Hilario http://www.geocities.com/macawmagi/talkingmaskweb.htm , and I cannot wait for it to come in! It too will support a presentation that will fly for CEOs to daycares.

Also, my birthday shows are loud and rambunctious. The kids are yelling and jumping and NEARLY out of control - nearly. The volume is so high it is impossible for the adults to carry on a conversation. if adults want to talk, they are forced to leave the room. Some do leave, but most stay.
kenscott
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Tim Hanning has a CD that has an announcement that says to parents nicely NO talking during the show. The CD that TIM has is great and has many many other announcments on it.


Ken
Smoke & Mirrors
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Quote:
On 2006-04-15 18:55, kenscott wrote:
Tim Hanning has a CD that has an announcement that says to parents nicely NO talking during the show. The CD that TIM has is great and has many many other announcments on it.
Ken


Yeah, I love it when the parents are talking OVER the announcement about not talking!
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