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James Munton
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Okay Jeff,

No sarcasm, no humor. I promise.

Your original post which I ridiculed contained the following:
Quote:
Your perception of children may remain the same but children do not. The family structure with extended families have been replaced with single parent families, second marriages, gay parents as well as parents at work and children in daycare. The village has been replaced by a series of insular units. Given that families are different and with this so are our children.


Could you explain to me how having gay parents or having divorced parents affects the way their child reacts to a magic show?
The Great Smartini
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James,

The only point that I was trying to make is that the structure of the family has changed significantly. Society has changed, parents have changed and as a result of this our children can't help but be different. When we were kids we would be outside all day playing, riding our bikes and so on. The children of today never leave the sight of their parents for fear of strangers. Another point is that the attention span of kids has lessened and this along with the "cool" special effects that they see in video games/tv changes the way they view and interpret entertainers of all type. The number of hours they spend in front of computer/tv/video screens each day is staggering.

I hope this clarifies what I'm thinking.

jeff
Tony James
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But I take you back to an earlier post and I think this the point James is highlighting.

When children settle down for a magic show, they become involved and absorbed and for that brief period they are transported to somewhere else which is full of sunshine and laughter. Troubles and concerns are banished for the moment.

They behave as children always behave and have always behaved - they enjoy themselves. Family status, gender, race, religion have no bearing on it.

They're just children and it's not a theory. It's a practical fact demonstrated each time we go out and do a show.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
John Bowlin
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Did anyone read that article on "The great Zuchini"? Maybe it's grown magicians today that have changed.
Tom Riddle
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"When children settle down for a magic show, they become involved and absorbed and for that brief period they are transported to somewhere else which is full of sunshine and laughter. Troubles and concerns are banished for the moment.

They behave as children always behave and have always behaved - they enjoy themselves. Family status, gender, race, religion have no bearing on it.

They're just children and it's not a theory. It's a practical fact demonstrated each time we go out and do a show"

This is the most brilliant post on this thread in my opinion. I invite everyone to read it three times to digest the wisdom. It says it all. Thanks, Tony, for your insight!
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
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James Munton
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Jeff,

Sorry, but you didn't answer the question.

Please could you explain to me specifically how having gay parents or having divorced parents affects the way their child reacts to a magic show?

Or if you want to put it another way... would you do anything different in a magic show (or in the classroom) if you knew most of the kids in the room had divorced or gay parents?

I'm not trying to badger you, I just don't understand why you think it makes any difference.

James
chris mcbrien
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Quote:
On 2008-03-09 08:56, John Bowlin wrote:
Did anyone read that article on "The great Zuchini"? Maybe it's grown magicians today that have changed.

Where can I find this? I think I need to "unwind" (I'm sure it's obvious) after a long two weeks..although I'm going back on the road tomorrow morning!
I need to laugh. I'm going to rent "Death to Smoochy" as well...I think every children's performer should see this movie. (sometimes I think it was made just for us!).
Best to All,
Chris
PS: I think James has a good point. Children are unconditionally loving, versus many adults (myself included) who get caught in the trap of "conditional love". I may not agree with what everyone does or how they live their lives, but it doesn't mean I should'nt love them. I think kids know this better than we do. My point, I don't think that the lifestyle of the parents can always be deemed as a cause for behavioural change just because we don't agree with it. I think kids are much more accepting than adults, and I also think that that openmindedness is reflected in their enjoyment and sense of humor during a show. Kids accepted and loved unconditionally back in Rome, and they still do now. It's called "innocence".
The Great Smartini
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Quote:
On 2008-03-09 11:39, James Munton wrote:
Jeff,

Sorry, but you didn't answer the question.

Please could you explain to me specifically how having gay parents or having divorced parents affects the way their child reacts to a magic show?

Or if you want to put it another way... would you do anything different in a magic show (or in the classroom) if you knew most of the kids in the room had divorced or gay parents?

I'm not trying to badger you, I just don't understand why you think it makes any difference.

James


James,

I'm not sure how else to say it. Kids are different because of the environment that they grow up is vastly different then when we were kids. How does this impact on a magic show...I'm not sure. I did like your image of the bell bottom pants and I think this is a good visual. Instead of pants take some old looking props that look outdate and stale. The kids/adults may or may not respond to what they see as something kind of drab. Remember first impressions are important. Is this a 100% absolute...definitely not. As for the classroom I am reminded of a little girl who, while we were making a Fathers day craft, raised her hand and said "but what should I do if I have two mommies?"

The most important point, which I think we both agree, is that if the performer is a professional at what they do then it really wouldn't matter what they used in their show. I think sometimes the props are for the magicians who like the fancy toys (me being one of them) and hopefully they put just as much effort into their show as the guy with the old props. I prefer the look of the newer props that I use because they do look different that what most other people are using. It also matches my character and the look that I want to present.

Finally, I'd like to hear your opinion on the McBride Mystery School which I attended last year and plan to again this year. Can you recommend another route to go if I want to improve myself? I was also considering signing up for a program with Avner the Eccentric who does a physical comedy workshop in Hawaii. I already have the luxury of teaching with a theatre professional (trained actor/director) who is a very good friend and helps me with my routines/scripts.

In addition to this his lovely wife is also a set designer/prop maker and she is kind enough to make props/sets for me. I'm really looking forward to having her finish what she's working on for me now. I have a Wacky Wolf Sidetable which I use along with a Charvet 10 second table. They don't match and my set theme is all over the place. She's making a three sided hand painted facade that will cover the Charvet table which currently looks like what it is ...a converted ATA case. The facade will have wacky Alice in Wonderland angles as well as have openings for my smaller sound system as well as a large bubble machine. I really see magic as a craft and I want to move myself along the performing continuum. I've performed basically the same show educational show for the past 3 years and have developed it quite nicely but am constantly examining it for ways of improving it. Things like my script, routine order and even whether the effects I'm performing are the most magical.

jeff
lou2
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The most important point, which I think we both agree, is that if the performer is a professional at what they do then it really wouldn't matter what they used in their show

Hi,
Are you pro then Jeff?
No insult intended but your profile does not give a website or anything and its always interesting to check who where listining to
lou
John Bowlin
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con......_pf.html

Chris...here again is the link to "The Great Zuchini" article. In a nutshell it is a look inside the life of one of The Washington DC areas kid magicians and what makes him one of the most successful. It is also a look at how kid's (and their parent's) needs really haven't changed. If you read the article something tells me that you will be the only one here that did. Most people here I would bet know way too much to garner anything useful from this article. Just the stage name he gave himself is pure genius. It is a comical read at it's very least.

Posted: Mar 9, 2008 8:46pm
As a side note...This article came out in Jan 06'. A friend of a friend that tried to book him about that time was informed that he was pretty much solid booked into October. Must have been his fine modern props.
Tom Riddle
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Is Zuchini the same as Courgettes?
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
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kimmo
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John - I have read the Zucchini article many times and on many different forums.

It's one of the things that made me think long and hard about all the stuff I was using in my act last year.
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sinful lynne
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Well, well, well. You men certainly know how to bicker about nonsense. Some of you certainly have no humor. I think James is a very funny man indeed. I bet he is a good magician. Kimmo, I want to learnt ventriloquism. Where should I turn for help?


Lynne
James Munton
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Jeff,

That's okay. I won't push you any further to provide specific differences, so we'll just have to agree to disagree. I don't think the sexual orientation of the parents or whether they are divorced makes the slightest bit of difference to how a child reacts to a magic show.

I have a high regard for today's kids. I generally find them polite, smart and having an awareness and tolerance of people's differences that puts most adults to shame.

I get irritated if I suspect someone is blaming the "kids of today" for their own shortcomings as a performer. (I'm not suggesting that you are, by the way.)

I used to live in Washington, DC and there is an area with a large gay, affluent community. I performed many times for kids with same sex parents. They were the same as any other kids.

I've performed for deaf kids, black kids, white kids, kids with Downs syndrome and autism, inner city, and rich suburbs, etc. You name it, I've done it. I do pretty much the same show every time. I'm not saying every show I do is fantastic, but when a show is sub par it is rarely because of the kids and usually because of the venue or other factors I couldn't control. Or I just had an off-day.

I don't know much about the McBride Mystery School. Jeff seems a very sincere and likable fellow. However, I have met several graduates of the Mystery School and seen them perform at magic club meetings and they have been almost without exception completely crap. So it didn't seem like the Mystery School taught them much.

And from what little I know of Mystery School it doesn't really seem that it would be that useful for family entertainers. I would imagine Kidabra would be a better place to go.

Finally, I hope you will understand that despite my sarcasm and acerbic humor, there is rarely ill-will intended. God knows what I must have said to Steve Thomas in the past to make him hate me so much, but I'm sure I didn't mean anything by it at the time!

Best,
James

Posted: Mar 10, 2008 3:05am
Tom,

Yes, zucchini is a courgette. Although, the Great Courgette doen't sound quite the same, does it?

Zucchini is an interesting fellow.

I met Eric a few times and he seemed very nice. He specializes in shows for preschoolers. I would often book the same families once the kids turned five or six and would hear the comments of the parents about his shows.

Parents either love him or hate him. I've never met another magician who gets such strong reactions either way. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground.

And I will say that the kids seemed to universally love him. He genuinely, instinctively understands how to tickle the funny bone of a 3 year old.

I once came to the end of a birthday show and one of the kids put his hand up. In a sweet voice he asked if I knew who his favorite magician was. I smiled and waited for him to say it was me and instead in a big loud voice, the kid said, "the Great Zucchini!"

I thought the article was fascinating. Although, he should have credited me, because I was the one who told him to raise his fees while we chatted on the lawn of the White House!

I spoke to two people after the article came out who are friends of Eric and they both told me very different things. One person said that Eric was very upset because he felt that the journalist did a bit of a hatchet job on him in the second half of the article. The other said that Eric was delighted and was in serious talks with a movie studio about making a movie about him.

I think he is a unique performer but not someone that other magicians should try to model. Some performers have an instinct that allows them to do certain things that wouldn't otherwise work.

There is only one Great Zucchini!
Tony James
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Quote:
On 2008-03-10 02:16, James Munton wrote:

I've performed for deaf kids, black kids, white kids, kids with Downs syndrome and autism, inner city, and rich suburbs, etc. You name it, I've done it. I do pretty much the same show every time.



Yes James. And so have I. Indeed I've specialised in what is known over here as 'Special Needs Children' and especially those whose needs are such that they are educated in special schools. Less severely affected children are in mainstream education these days.

And like you, my show is fundamentally the same. The only concession one has to make when dealing with special needs 'children' often aged from 7 to 14 or more is to use uncomplicated words and initially, to take the show a fraction slower whilst the whole audience of very mixed abilities, settles down and adjusts to your voice and the manner in which you speak.

Occasionally, certain show aspects need a little more reinforcement, just to ensure everyone understands.

But entertaining the children is basically the same, regardless of age, ability or anything. Of course, not a lot of people know that.

Over here magicians will run a mile from these perceived difficult groups. Or they do take on the work and make a complete ballcocks of it.

Which is a pity because these markets then gain an impression that magic and magicians and their group of children don't really work well together.

Keep it simple, the man said. If only people would.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
Tom Riddle
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"Kimmo, I want to learnt ventriloquism"

Lynne, I believe Kimmo is giving a lecture on this subject at Kidology this year. That might be a good start.
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
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BIlly James
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Lynne and Tom,

You might find something of help here -

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......m=182&36

Cheers
Billy
Tony James
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Quote:
On 2008-03-10 16:14, BIlly James wrote:
Lynne and Tom,

You might find something of help here -

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......m=182&36

Cheers
Billy


Good heavens Billy. That post of yours was even longer than mine!

Are we related?
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
Tom Riddle
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What a wonderful post, Billy! It was actually not me who was interested in vent, but Lynne. It seems, however, that vent must be a huge draw for children, as I understand the 3 winners at Blackpool all did it in their acts. I tried it in my youth, but I found my lips moved more than the dummy's! Dennis Spicer, Terry Hall and Ray Alan were three of my favourites.
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
Chelsea, UK
kimmo
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Great post Billy!

Tom and Lynne - lip control is probably the least important skill of all. Character, manipulation and script are far more important. Go to the following site and click on the VIDEO button. This guy is FANTASTIC. He is not a ventriloquist and the puppet looks like he found it in a skip (dumpster), but that all ADDS to the charm:

http://chuckytheduck.com/

I'd be interested if anyone truly believes this act would be better if he replaced Chucky with an animatronic puppet?

(Thanks to Tom (TACROWL) for the above link)
VISIT MY ONLINE STORE!: www.kimmomagicshop.com
NEW LECTURE NOTES - SHOW US YOUR TRIX NOW AVAILABLE AS AN INSTANT DIGITAL DOWNLOAD!

Kimmo DVD available Now!
Watch the promo here!
Order your copy NOW! CLICK HERE!

ENTERTAINER,MAGICIAN AND VENTRILOQUIST'S BLOG - DON'T READ THIS...
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