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Profile of Vilago
I've noticed that as a teenager I had what I consider to be a lot of tricks in my shows...probably around 9-11. Then I started looking at the presentations and started to create actual routines, and that brought my show total down to around 5-7 for a 30 - 45 minute show. I'm not saying this is better, but it seems to suite my personality more.

Anyway, I'm just many actual tricks do you all perform in your shows?
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Profile of JSMagic
I was also like you-I rushed to get about 12 tricks in there as I feel I had that many good tricks which I still do plus I have about 4 mopre good tricks so I created 2 different shows with 8 tricks in each-For the heck of it heres one:

Happy Birthday Silk Routine
Mouth Coil Routine (Pull mouth coil from birthday child’s ear) (2 Assistants)
Tricky Bottles (Assistant)
Super Frog (2 Assistants)
Equal/Unequal Ropes
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Mis Made Flag (Assistant)

If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
Billy Whizz
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Profile of Billy Whizz
Hi Vilago, I only use 3 routines in my 45 min show. Each routine is based around one actual magic trick, but might include a few different tricks, I hope that makes sense. The rest of the show is filled with loads of gags and sillyness. I NEVER do a routine without a helper, and that takes time as well, having fun talking to the helper and getting them to relax.

All the best, Billy
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Profile of Payne
In my standard show I do 3 or 4 tricks in half an hour.
My childrens show has about a dozen or so tricks in four ar five routines.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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Profile of Andy Wonder
In my water safety magic show school program I have 4 routines with 6 tricks and 1 story. It is a 60 minute show.

My birthday show has about 5-6 tricks and is 30 minutes.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
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Profile of mafedi
never more than 60 minutes
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Profile of magibrad
Mine contains approx 6 tricks...running time is about 30 minutes or more. What I have the most trouble with is the stories. In very early shows i was rushing through 12 tricks in 15 minutes. I dunno how to combat this except to make up stories...any suggestions? I worry that the children will get bored if i'm telling a big long story...what works for everyone else?

Billy Whizz
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Profile of Billy Whizz
Hi Brad, to make your show last a lot longer with less magic and more laughs, include lots of fun bits, loads of different wands that break, bend, wobble etc. Lots of sillyness with the kids.
If you blow up a balloon, start to blow it from the wrong end, snap your fingers with it, these are just a couple of examples. My show only includes 3 routines, but the children laugh/shout/have fun from start to finish.

I'm off to a convention next month for 5 days, and I'll be searching more for different gags than I will be for magic.

All the best, Billy Smile
Dennis Michael
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Profile of Dennis Michael

You seem to have the correct knack for doing a kid show right. Much of my kids show is props and of course there is magic. Even though the breakaway wand is a trick, it is more of a funny routine bit that adds to a trick.

There is a rule of three for a routine (turn 3 tricks into a routine), to make it unique, individual, and powerful. Appling this rule then one can do more tricks but less routines. For instance, a magician can present the 20th Century silks as per instructions. Explain you have two silks, tie them together and place them in your neck collar. Take a third silk, roll it in a ball and vanish it via pocket, or a silk pull. Produce the third silk inbetween the two tied silks (Boriiiinnnnggggg!).

Add an assistant with an assistant interview bit of business (Bending arm hand shake or Married routine bit), add a breakaway wand with a bit of business (Wineing and crying "You Broke my waaaaannnddd!" -adult crying is a funny bit... add a soaked sponge and it really looks funny), add a zippered change bag with a bit of business (Put something stupid or funny in the bag like fake dog poop and call the bag a doggie bag, let it fall to the floor and it becomes a comedy mini running gag bit, "Watch it don't step in the doggie poo." As you continue the show you walk around it or look on the bottom of your foot.)

Are you visualizing this?

Assistant vanishes the silk, another bit of business, "Wheres the silk?" Is he playing tricks on you again? Take back the silks you placed around his neck and WOW there is the third silk! How'd he do that? He gets the glory, you get the laughs, and the routine is rock solid powerful magic for kids done by one of their buddies. The kid will keep the secret for a long time (He doesn't know it!) but you have empowered him as a magician amoung his peers.

This is a not a story telling routine, but a magic comedy routine.

The rule of three means do three tricks to a basic store bought trick, a wand, a change bag, and the 20th Century silks, add a store novelity gag or two and it is a new routine which become yours. Now change the center silk to a Happy Birthday Silk, or a Santa silk, or a Four Leaf Clover silk, or a Ghost silk, or a Message silk, or ... well, you get the point same trick but presented with a holiday, or message theme to it.

Billy is right "Lots of sillyness with the kids." makes a 2 minute trick into a 10 minutes funny routine. It all hinges on how you "Play" during it.

PS... For the perfectionists out there, this is NOT stretching a trick or making it a time filler. The secret ingredient for a kids effect is make them laugh and keep them laughing. Do this and you're a winner.
Dennis Michael
Geoff Weber
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Profile of Geoff Weber
I've been doing childrens parties for about 4 years now, and I'm still fine tuning my act. If I am doing something that my audience is obviously enjoying, I might linger on it a bit longer, even if I have to shorten something else later. I wear a watch, but I almost never have to check it, because I have a pretty decent sense of how long things are running.

at the moment my childrens show includes:
Which Way?
Sponge Bunnies
Change Bunny Change
Professor's Nightmare
Drooping Flower (a David Ginn routine)
Linking Rings
Card in the balloon
Tennispheres (my version of stratosphere)

If the lighting conditions are right, I might replace Card in the Balloon with a D'Lite routine. And if the kids are a little on the older side, (like 11-12) I probably would replace Drooping Flower with Bill to Orange.. So I guess a lot depends on the audience.. Since saying "kids show" can mean a lot of things. An act that plays well for first graders, would probably seem a little too cutesy and lame for fifth graders.
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Profile of Emazdad
My 1-Hour show contains four routines, each routine is one trick but may contain other small bits of magic where the trick goes wrong. I use lots and lots of funny props, wands, silly business which keeps the kids pointing shouting laughing and having lots of fun. I also play on something that's the kids have picked up on a bit longer, and if necessary can cut other bits out of other routines. Flexibility is another important factor in entertaining children. I use the same show for 3-4 yr olds as I do for 8-9 yr olds, what changes is the way I perform.

When doing magic for children the entertainment comes before the magic. They'll remember the funny wand, or silly prop more than the magic trick you were using it in.

I find videoing a full show helps to fine tune it. You get to spot all the dead spots, and the stuff which you thought was working that really isn't. The trick is to watch the video of your show with a very critical eye, and don't just watch and listen to what your saying, with the camera behind the audience you'll hear everything they say as well, which can be very informative.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley

"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.
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Profile of johnpert
It seems all are on the same wavelength. It is the journey that leads to the magic which is important.

My shows usually have 6 tricks/routines which look something like this:

1. Music routine
2. Individual magic (presents my personality, shows I can do magic)
3. Routine with volunteer
4. Routine with volunteer
5. Sucker Routine (mass participation, lots of laughs)
6. closing act with birthday child or a routine that will lead to a "The End" finale if performing for larger group.

This format is variation of what Duane Laflin has written about in his books. It has worked for me. The show lasts 45 minutes. Sometimes I will use a run-on-gag also.

just my thoughts,

Mark Andrews
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Profile of Mark Andrews
Like a few others who've posted here. My own Magic Show (30mins in during) consists of two or at the very most three tricks deping on audience responce age group etc.

Usually it's Magic Painting of some description - for ages 5,6 and 7

Or a nursery rhyme/story based trick (like Three Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood etc) for 4yo.

Always finishing with a Rabbit production.

As others have said it's the bits of business you include in the routines which extend things and make it funny.
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Profile of cmwalden
My show dropped from 11 tricks as a teen-ager to about 6-7 for a thirty minute show. Time taught me to slow down in some of my presentation.

The pacing of the tricks varies from as little as 1 minute for an effect to about 7 minutes for a mutilated umbrella routine that involves a good deal of audience participation and has three phases.

Though not kid-related, I've been doing more work with spooky and bizzarre magic. There, the stories are much more involved and include much more give and take with the audience. The trick number goes down even further because it is more of a play than a magic show.

I don't think you should be afraid to have non-magical moments in your show. There's time that can be spent which shows the audience more about you and your assistants' character which adds greatly to the entertainment value.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

- William Shakespeare
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Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
I do a one hour show. Hand Crafted Magic
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Profile of Vilago
how many effects in that one hour?

On 2003-01-24 01:47, cmwalden wrote:

Though not kid-related, I've been doing more work with spooky and bizzarre magic. There, the stories are much more involved and include much more give and take with the audience. The trick number goes down even further because it is more of a play than a magic show.

Oh, it's very kid-related Smile. I can't tell you how much impact Gene Poinc's works have had on me and my thinking. Watching the bizarre thread on this site has also been very helpful in sparking my own thought-process and creativity. Just another example of taking what works in one area and applying it to this branch...
Rupert Bair
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Profile of Rupert Bair
My Typical Kids for a 1hr show would include

1)Warm up
2)Charlie the monkey
3)Book of spells
4)Run rabbit run
5)Silver sceptre
6)Union Jack flag trick
7)Magic Painting
8)Luvvy Duck
9)Rabbit Production

Ive just bought a nice story from a dealer that sold me at hafl price becuase one of the cards was printed wrong, basically you have a big book 'the animals of meadow farm' abd you get up six kids and give them all animal cards they have to make the noises as you say their name in the story you say the rabbit, THE RABBIT and no body anwers you get annoyed and look down the line of kids and see theiers no rabbot their so you open the book and a rabbit pops up and you don't see him then you read on with the story and it says farmer brown found the rabbirt ect and you open the book and the ir is alarge picture of the farmer carrying the rabbit the kids turn over the cards and it spells THE END a nice little photo oppertunity

I seem to be ureopening a lot of old posts its quite interesting as people have new experices to add.

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Profile of Mac_Stone
From what I understand the "Bits of Business" are very important, and me really just starting out in magic I don't happen to know what the "Bits of Business" are. So if any of you guys can give some examples more than just the break-away wand it would be really helpful.
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Profile of magicgeorge
"Define Bits of business", now there's a question.
Bits of business usually means; 'all the entertaining bits in my show that I don't want to share so I'll just say "and then I go through a few bits of business".'
Seriously though, bits of business is a fairly all encompassing phrase for anything entertaining that happens within a routine.Den gives some good examples in his post. I'll try my best to define the common kinds of bits of business:

1)Bits with a comedy prop: This is a prop added to the routine for it's comedy value. Comedy wands, rubber chickens, Bongo's hat. They're usually incorporated into the routine for a reason and then used to the max to entertain. It's important to get maximum entertainment from them. For example you can get a big laugh from just handing a break-away wand to a child then acting upset but you can get a lot more entertainment by handing the wand to a child and wandering off to pick up something else not realising it's broken, then trying to fix it a couple of times and having it break in different ways or having it break on yourself when you're not looking and it righting itself before you look towards it.

2)Bits with the actual magic prop: Funny entertaining pieces with the actual props you are using, this could simply be looking through the middle of a production box, accidently trapping your fingers/bonking self on head with prop. Simply putting a prop on a table and knocking it off as you walk away can get a big reaction.

3)Patter and storytelling: Jokes etc A funny line that works for kid's accompanied by the appropriate facial expression.

4)Interaction with the kids: Asking kid's questions and having a good supply of 'off-the-cuff' answers. Saying things to the kid's which will make them act funny. Asking them if they're married, jokes about there name, age or school.

5)Dressing up: Either dressing kids up or dressing yourself up. I dress up as a clown in one of my routines and get lots of entertainment out of it.

In my dressing up part the first thing I put on is a bow-tie. I'll write out this part of the routine as I think it serves as a good example how something simple can be given added entertainment value.
What happens: volunteer takes a large bow-tie out of a bag and I put it on. That's all, should probably take about 15 seconds but I get a few minutes out of it thus:
After I finish my patter about wanting to be a clown I ask the children if any of them know what a clown might wear round his neck. I get a few answers and react to them accordingly. After a few answers someone will say a bow-tie or dicky-bow (if they don't I prompt them "a bow....?".
I then ask the child if they can find a bow-tie in the bag. They grab it and I comment that I hope it's not a giant spotty one because I don't want to look too daft. As I say that I pull the bag away and put it on the table, the child is left holding a large spotty bow-tie. The kid's laugh when they see it and then laugh again when I see the bow-tie and react to it.
I then try to put it on.
"How do you wear these things?"
First of all I put it on like a hair bow and dance like a big girl's blouse."Like this?"
I then do an impression of Minnie Mouse.
Next I put it so it's sitting on my nose "Like this?" Then I act like an aeroplane.
Then I put it around my neck. "Like this?" Kid's shout yes. I say great and pull it out a bit then let it snap back unto my neck and act like it hurt. Then unto the wig...

I hope this serves as a good example how something as simple as putting a bow-tie on can be reworked so I get 6 big laughs from it.

The most important thing about any bit of business is:

Hope this helps,
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Profile of Jewls
Well done George! Smile
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