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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » I had 3/4 of a great show. Help!!!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Magic Tad
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I had 3/4 of a great show. Then the 11-13 year old boys, wrestling fans (AKA the little barbarians) became too rambunctious for me. I have never had to yell or ask the parents to control their children before. But this was really tough. I am sure most of you pros have had bad shows, but I have always managed to finish and end well. However this time when they grabbed two of my props off my table and fought me, well I had enough I whacked their hands and said I'm finished. If they had damaged my props well you know how much they cost us most people would not see the actual value of our stuff. I just had to vent and I hope find some tool to help me deal with this type of audience. I did only my a list the egg bag A prediction using flames and the ember burning fuse product a disappearing trunk and some rope tricks I pulled my five pound rabbit out of my hat too. All of my tricks were done well however they would not stop shouting out their guesses (99% wrong by the way). I don't know what I could have done? Maybe I need to learn more on crowd control like more jokes or sharp comebacks. I have never had to do this. My performance role has always been a very nice guy it would be slightly out of character to snap on some kids. Normally when I have a kid with this problem I am able to quite him down by putting him in the show which I did. I have always believed the out spoken ones are just looking for attention, or maybe a little jealous that I have all of it at the moment. So if you can give me any help it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Magic Tad
Stevethomas
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Southern U.S.A.
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Might top that with yesterday's show. 20 boys, all 6 and 7. Collector's Workshop "Khyber Kobra"...I'm playing the flute (recorder)...first bunch of cards launch outta the basket...15 of the boys launch themselves towards me, the cards on the floor,my table and the $1300 prop. Table starts to tip over forwards. I reach down frantically to grab the basket and keep it from hitting the floor. Recorder/flute was in my left hand, hand comes down, flute hits the kid square on the head. Now, I don't know if these cheap plastic recorders have an expiration date on 'em...I've had this one for about 20 years (used with the same effect). When it hit his head, it literally SHATTERED into about a million pieces. Seriously. I was afraid it appeared that I hit the kid. I think maybe one kid's hand got stepped on (he was scrounging on the floor for a playing card!) as I was rushing to the aid of my VERY expensive prop!

The dad must've known what was going on...tipped me $30 at the conclusion of the show!

Steve
Magic Tad
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Wow I empathize with you. It helps to know we all have these days. How will you deal with this in the future? I am considering setting boundaries in future shows like laying a rope on the ground and joking about a kid who crossed the line and disappeared mysteriously (or was hideously disfigured, for the bad kids). I also wonder if I need to talk to the parents before hand to express an expectation that they control rambunctious children. Could this hurt my show? Magic Tad
jstone
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Someday I'll have
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Tad,

Wow! Rough crowd.... I always place a strip of masking tape around my performance area. I tell the kids at the beginning of the show that if they're good, I'll give them candy at the end of the show. I just do a dove pan production where I produce the candy.

If, during the show, they get a little rowdy, I'll say something like, "it looks like some of you don't want candy." That usually gets things back under control.

Also, at the beginning of the show, I do a very visual and clean coin vanish. Then I ask the kids if they know how I did it. I then tell them that even though it looked like magic, it wasn't. I then tell them that there is no such thing as magic, but for the next few minutes we're all going to pretend that there is such a thing as magic. "Are you guys all good at pretending?" They all yell.

Right after that, I say that throughout the show, you guys will see some cool things that are exciting and will make you want to scream and yell, but the proper way to react is by clapping... So let's get all the screams out of our system right now. On the count of three, I want everyone to scream as loud as possible! They scream, and I say that I couldn't hear them, and that they'll have to scream louder.

Then I tell them how good they did at screaming, and I tell them that this is the last time they can scream in the show. From now on, you have to clap when you get excited. If someone screams during the show, I'll pause and ask the group, "what do we do instead of screaming?" Of course they all "scream" out the words "clap your hands." Then I jokingly tell them that they just screamed. Then I say, this time, don't tell me what to do, show me: So what do we do instead of scream... they all then clap.

If all of that stuff doesn't help, then you've got a group of kids who have crappy parents. Smile

Hope that helps man. Good luck next time.
Mark Rough
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Ivy, Virginia
2110 Posts

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Nice, Jeff. Good advice.
What would Wavy do?
Ron Reid
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Hi Tad:

There is a cassette tape that I think will be very helpful to you. It's by the late Brian Flora and is called "Kid Show Tutorial". It's over 20 years old, but you can still purchase it from his widow, Jan, at http://www.floraco.com for about $15.00 or so.

I think Brian did a wonderful job on this tape. Basically, it's an audio of him doing a kid show, but he stops the audio of the show at various places, and explains why he says what he says, etc. His basic approach is that he explains the rules/expectations up-front and makes the kids accountable...all in a fun way. But it lets them know where the limits have been set, and he goes into much more detail than I'm explaining too.

Jeff: I agree with Mark - that's some real valuable advice you're giving. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Ron
Peter Loughran
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Ontario, Canada
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Hey Tad, some great advice here. When I used to do a lot of school shows, Sometimes there wasn't a stage seperating me, so I had a rope or taped line 10-20 feet from where I was performing and with a recording or assistants would warn the children that this line was not to be crossed during the show sine we use fire in our program and it was for their own safety. And they were only to cross this line when asked by me personally during the show. And this really made the adults aware and if any kids did try and make a run for it, usually there was an adult to stop them. It was a great tactice and once I used it, I never ran into problems again like you had(we've had) experienced at one time or another.

P.
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SoCalPro
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Southern California
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Magic Tad,
Can you give us a complete list of the effects you did? I find that with that age group in particular, I have to modify my show.

JIM
Doug Higley
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Here and There
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Jeff, your script is really descriptive and demonserative...in my opinion, is PERFECT for Adults these days...far to advanced in concept for our loveley though poorly raised and educated youngsters. How about just a simple Punch In The Mouth?
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