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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Children Birthday Parties (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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oscar
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Fred
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They are lots of fun. When the parents are loud when I'm doing a party I ask the parents "CAN YOU HEAR ME?" and if they say yes then I say "GOOD, I CAN HEAR YOU TOO". Most of the time they know what I mean. I also have the birthday child stand with me thought the whole show as my assistant and if anyother child wants to help I say "when I come to your birthday you can help me then. Smile
TheAmbitiousCard
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It sounds like the parents are not watching the performance?

If so, you might want to involve them.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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I always tell the parents before the show starts, that the children are the stars of the show, and if they don't wish to watch the entertainment, and would rather chat, then please go elsewhere and talk as it's not fair on the children. it works most of the time.
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 always tell the parents before the show starts, that the children are the stars of the show, and if they don't wish to watch the entertainment, and would rather chat, then please go elsewhere and talk as it's not fair on the children. it works most of the time.

HI,
Wow! Has no one ever give you a slap?
I am sure you would get one if you said that round here. At the very least a load of abuse. I know what your saying is right, but still I personaly would not dream of speaking to my clients guests like that.
Phillip
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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At the end of the day, it's the childrens party, not the adults, why should we allow them to spoil it with their yapping. I also tell them in a polite way to stand in the kitchen or any other room if they wish to talk as not to spoil it for the children.

All the best, Billy
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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I rarely have a problem with. I think the best solution has to be to entertain the parents as well. If they enjoy your show they will usually stop talking and watch, especially if their child is helping or doing something cute.
Using a small sound system also solves this problem. I have just brought one, but would only use it at parties with more than 30 children.
The other thing is if you send out a guide or list of FAQ's to the parent before the party you can put something in there. That way the host can make sure talking adults are elsewhere not you. Personally I always try to have the adults watch my show. I want them to see it because if they like it they will tell their friends or call me when they own child has a birthday. Your opportunity to obtain referrals is so much higher when the parents are there watching.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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"At the end of the day, it's the childrens party, not the adults,"

Hi Billy,
I have to say I only partly agree with this statement. often although it is the childs birthday the family use it as an excuse/reason for a family get together.
I did a show last Saturday where relatives had traveled from london and various other locations to West wales (a 4 hour drive) for the childs party.
Phillip
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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Quote:
they will usually stop talking and watch, especially if their child is helping, or doing somthing cute.


Using a small sound system also solves this problem.


Hi Andy, I've always used a sound system, I use it for every show whether it's 10 or 100 kids, I use it for sound effects during the show like blowing into the mike when the kids blow, making the balloon 'fart' etc. But I find even with the mike, the parents just talk louder.

With regards their child helping, at a recent show, the birthday child was helping, trying to get his dads attention to watch him, the dad looked, then looked away and carried on yapping.

I do enclose a party guide/tips page with the contract that is sent through the post, but I think the parents maybe read it, and then on the day, forget all about it, which is why I often tell them before the show starts to go elsewhere if they wish to talk (in a polite way).

All the best, Billy
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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At social clubs, holiday camps etc where there are adults in the room drinking and socialising the background noise of their conversations is an occupational hazard that we all have to put up with, hence the need for a good PA. In that situation there will always be people who are not interested in watching the act. they even talk during the adult cabaret.

However it's my view, like Billy's that a a birthday party, the entertainment, and the party is for the birthday child and their friends, not the adults, the adults should respect this and not spoil the childrens entertainment. it's rude, and unfair on the children. If you have a room full of 15-20 5 year olds and you start doing something to entertain these adults the 5 year old's will lose interest, I hear lots of complaints from bookers who have previously hired an entertainer who threw gags at the adults over the heads of the kids during the show.

It doen't have to be all the adults talking, it's usually a minority of rude and inconciderate people. You can have 15 adults in a room all enjoying the show, and haveing a great time watching the children haveing fun, and 2 rude ladies at the side talking loudly, This is like someone talking behind you at the cinema it distracts the children, you can't hear what they say, they can't hear you properly, even with PA. Especially those sitting close to the talkers. When this happens, I drop a few hints, IE, That trick didn't work because we couldn't hear trhe magic word over those ladies talking etc. If they ignore that I tell them off.

I've made a statement at the biginning of the show, asking them not to spoil the show with their conversations, and that I will tell anyone off if I feel they are doing so. I've dropped a few hints, they're to ignorant to pick up on those so as a last resort they get told off.

After the show and make a point of going over and explaining my actions to them, and I always get an apology from them.
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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I hear lots of complaints from bookers who have previously hired an entertainer who threw gags at the adults over the heads of the kids during the show"

HI Emazdad,
But you do not have to put over the head gags in the show to entertain the adults. for an example take a look at BJ Hickmans video
"the BJ Hickman magic show"
and you will see a prime example of extremly entertaing magic that both the children and the adults will love. Look at the film "Shrek" or "Cats and Dogs(or most disney films) they are not so much Kids films as films for all ages. I have no kids, but I went to the cinema to see cats and dogs and it was really funny. I am not saying that you should not aim your show simply to the kids if that's what you want. but I think/know that there are other routes and as regards chatty adults this is a fine solution in my Experience.
Phillip
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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Though it sounds horrible in print what I do, it's all done in a nice way, I'm not rude to the adults, I spent a lot of time working on a polite way to ask the parents to think of the children without causing offence. It's never cost me any future work, and the number of re-bookings I get show that no-one gets upset, mainly because I put it across that it's the children who I'm thinking about, the parents can't complain if I'm concerned about the childrens enjoyment, in fact the looks that the other parents give the ones that do talk show they don't like the noise either. Often I don't have to say anything as the person sitting close to the rude guest tells them off.

I don't ignore the adults. The adults are included in what I do but not in the way of aiming a trick or even a joke at them. there's bits & pieces I do which include the adult as a silly bit of business for the kids to laugh at. IE when the kids say cheerio to the puppet I get the grown ups to blow him a kiss etc. another example is When the girl gets the heart in a plait, I tell her that when she holds it she will look so cute that all the grown ups won't be able to stop themselves going aaaaaaawwwww! very loudly.

My full diary says I must be doing something right, because if I was doing it wrong they wouldn't keep booking me. I've even had one lady book me who said "Ann saw you at johns party, I was the one you told off". It's not what you sat to them it's how you say it.
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.
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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I used to get terribly uptight about parents talking. Now I (we) tend to use the situation to advantage, as a tremendous selling potential. It still becomes a little overbearing at times - but I never pass comments directly - rather just have the children all turn round and go "shsssh"! Bear in mind though that we use amplification at all times and do very few houseparties, we also use music as a major item at all parties. Of course you should never fire anything at adults over children's heads, but involving them in the process of children being entertained, now that's a different story!
Smile

I think this has been discussed previously on another thread. Don't know about you, but after joining in at the MC since Nov. 2002 am now starting to lose interest a bit as it seems to be (probably naturally) going round in circles a little (?).
oscar
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Fred
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Thanks for your input (all of you). I think the best way is to have the parents help and a good sound equipment should do it. Thanks.
keeblem
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Essex, UK
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Just thought I'd quickly say that when I send out my confirmation letter I put in "...background converstation should ideally take place in another room...". It seems to work because I've never had a real problem with this
kenscott
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I send out a personal letter to them before the show that tells them how to hav the perfect BD party. several things are on it one is taling parents should go somewhere else, NO food or drick, No dogs or cats, Etc. If there are talking parents the BD childs parents ALWAYS takes care of it by asking them to be quite or go to another room so I am not the bad guy. It is the perfect letter for birthday parties.
Thanks
ken
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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Hi Ken, How do you word it in your letter? I've tried it, but it never seems to work for me. By the way, I love your web site.
All the Best, Billy
kenscott
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following is the letter that I use for birthday parites. it may be out of position I cut and pasted on here,

[[First]] [[Last]]
[[Address 1:27]]
[[City:30]] [[State:31]][[Zip:32]]

Dear [[First]]:

Ken is excited about entertaining for [[childs name]]’s birthday party. You will all have a great time! Over the years we have been fortunate to perform at more than 3,500 birthday parties. From those experiences we would like to share some ideas. We can, and have, worked in a variety of situations. Here are our tips for getting the very best show for your guests.

This is live theater created for your child. You can help make the most of this experience by keeping distractions to a minimum. Here are some ways to do just that. The show should be INDOORS, with an open space for the children to sit on the floor, please do not put the children in chairs. The fewer obstacles between them and the show, the better (this would include all toys). The children are encouraged to participate during the show. Do not give the children food or drinks during the show. Their enthusiasm and your carpet will suffer. Pets who are part of the family should be in another room during setup and the show.

Noise can be a distraction too. Background conversation should take place in another room. Ken cannot compete with talking parents, family, and friends in the back of the room. This will make an enormous difference! Besides, this is a great opportunity for them to experience some wonderful memories with their children.

Ken will arrive a few minutes before the show is scheduled to start. It takes about 10 minutes to set up and it’s best if the children are playing outside or in another room during this time. Also, Ken brings in a lot of gear for the show so it is very important that he can park in the driveway for easy access to get in and out. We never expect tips but they are always appreciated when given.

An excellent length of time for the party is 90 minutes to 2 hours. A sample party might go like this:
1:00 The party begins with guest arriving
1:15 Magic Show
1:50 Balloons made and Rabbit Piñata (See below)
2:15 Refreshments and Cake
3:00 Parents arrive to pick up

The perfect party size seems to be 15-25 children. If you do plan larger party, have plenty of adult helpers. We are currently running a special on our Rabbit in the Hat Piñata, normally $30.00 filled, it is now only $19.50 if you have it with your magic show. Ken will bring it with him. It is a very cool activity that the children love to do! The piñata is a pull string piñata, which allows the children to pull strings on it, in which one of the strings will release the piñata open allowing the candy and toys to fall to the floor safely as opposed to hitting it with a stick. The piñata will not be damaged and the children will not be injured by a swinging stick. It comes with over 100 pieces of toys and candy. Call us to for details and take advantage of this limited time offer while it last.

Thank you for these considerations. Ken will see you soon! We look forward to making this event memorable for [[childs name]]’s special day!

Tonya
Event Scheduling Coordinator
TroyRoark
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Springfield IL
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Well done Ken! I have a similar conversation with adults, but don't do the letter. I do goody bags, but the pinata sounds super cool!

I look at adults differently. Let's keep in mind who's buttering the bread here. Whatever you do, don't tick off the parents! They are the ones who will refer you, not the kids. They have your card, not the kids. They are signing the check (which they probably haven't done yet.) not the kids.

I encouage parents to stick around during the show. For one, I'm no babysitter! And two, I also do adult shows, and I purposely gear a good deal of humor towards the adults. The kids are going to think you are a god, whatever you do (these are the same kids that are wondering how grandpa pulled the quarter out of thier ear.) I am assuming that you are a good magician. If you're bad, that's a whole other problem.

Parents who book magicians for birthday parties are also the type that are active in civic organizations, cub/girl scouts, PTA, office party planning. You see what I mean? Definitely work for the adults while entertaining the kids.

Troy Roark
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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A great letter, I send out a party time table and tips page, in the tips are much the same words of advice, I sent out questionairs with the first few contracts to gauge peoples reactions and didn't get one complaint. I thought I'd cracked the being polite problem, but your letter shows I can do better. I do like the general idea of your letter, I've tried for ages to come up with a way of saying these things and not being too negative. Bookers don't want a negative letter saying don't do this, don't do that, your letter says that, but in a nice polite, positive manner. Ken, would you mind if I use the idea and harvest some of the stuff for my own use?
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.
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
576 Posts

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Quote:
Ken cannot compete with talking parents, family, and friends in the back of the room.


Simple words like this can make a difference. Thanks Ken, I like the way you've worded your letter. Thanks for sharing it.

All the Best, Billy
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