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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Opener/Closer effect - help me choose (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Indyfan
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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I'll be doing my first kids show next month for a friend's kids. There will be 6 in attendance (ages 7-9). A nice starter group in my opinion.

The list of effects that I'm currently considering including in my routine are:

1. Rocky the Raccoon
2. D-Lites
3. Cups & Balls (or just a chop cup w/final loads)
4. Zombie routine
5. Balloon animals
6. Lifesavers changing into a silk fountain
7. Chick Pan production of birthday cake (or maybe a sponge cake).
8. a couple other tricks as well - TBD

My question is whether to have a silk fountain as the opener or closer. I'll be using diamond silks, so I'll be able to palm the silks prior to producing the fountain.

Any other suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance.
Amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
RiffClown
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Yorktown, Virginia (Previously Germany)
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As a fellow twister and magi, I'd advise placing the balloon animals last in your routining. Or at least far enough ahead of your magic to create a clear separation between the two. That way you don't have to worry about:

- replacing a popped balloon during your magic.

- getting startled at an inopportune moment due to a loud POP.

- trying to get the children's attention away from their really cool balloons to watch a magic trick.
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>http://www.riffclown.com
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
Indyfan
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Thanks, Rob. I considered that already from reading some other threads. I considered keeping the balloons as the 2nd to last, then as the kids are 'playing' with the balloons, do a quick silk fountain to end the show.

I understand what you're saying regarding the balloons, but to me, that seems like a 'fading-away' type of ending. I'd like to have one big scha-bang for a closer, making it obvious the show is over, not something that has the kids wondering if you're done or not.

However, a silk fountain as an opener would be that 'get-their-attention' trick that is needed (IMO).

Any comment? I appreciate your thoughts!
Amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,

I prefer to use balloon modelling as an interlude/gift for the helpers between each effect. I do not have any troubles with kids playing with the balloons as I always say after making the first one, "OK ,now please remember that you had a red...with a blue...and I will put this back here and you can have it when the show is over!" I then continue with suitable comments for all the other helpers' balloons that I make. No one gets a balloon in their hand until I am finished. (If mum follows my advice, she keeps the helpers' balloons and the other party children's balloons until home time.)
Phillip Smile
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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I do the same, Phil. When my helpers get their balloon model, which I make as an interlude/end to the routine, they get to hold it, take their bow, and then I take it from them and put it to the side until the end of the show. There's nothing worse than the noise of a kid playing with a balloon during the show, plus all the kids nearby want to touch it as well. Then when the show's over, all the kids get balloon models which I made earlier.

The promise of a balloon to take home is a good control thing, especially when they can see all the balloons waiting in a big box on the stage. (I use a large box to cover and protect my magic box in transit. This is turned upside down and placed to my right and all the balloon models are placed in there where the kids can see them.)

If you're going to include balloon animals during the show and give them all one before the silk fountain, they won't be watching the fountain, as the balloons will have all their attention.

How long is your show and how many assistants are you planning on using?
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.
flourish dude
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from ? But I know where I am going!
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Here is my Birthday show outline that I follow. This helps me build shows.

1. Intro / Warm up.

2. Skill / Getting Personal. Let them
know who you are.

3. Fun and Magical

4. 1st Audience Participation

5. Sucker

6. Audience Participation 1 child and 1
adult

7. Fun / Comedy Puppet / Magic break

8. Killer solo Magic

9. Closing special trick just for
Birthday child

10. Grand Finale with birthday child.
Rabbit Production.


Balloons with music back ground.

8 or 9 could be changed around.

Let's see if we can fill out my outline with your routines.

1. Intro / Warm up.
Lifesavers changing into a silk fountain

2. Skill / Getting Personal Let them
know who you are
D-Lites (not sure what you're doing with them)

3. Fun and Magical
Zombie routine

4. 1st Audience Participation

5. Sucker

6. Audience Participation 1 child and 1
adult

7. Fun / Comedy Puppet / Magic break
Rocky the Raccoon

8. Killer solo Magic
Cups & Balls (or just a chop cup w/ final loads)

9. Closing special trick just for
Birthday child
Chick Pan production of birthday cake (or maybe a sponge cake).

10. Grand Finale with birthday child.

Balloons with music background.

Not sure if this will help you get an idea or not. This is just the way I do it. Of course, it may not be the best and for sure not the law, it's just to give you an idea of how I put together a show. A lot depends on your style, how you hold a audience, and how long each of your routines are. A lot also depends on how long your show is. Mine is 45 mins with 10-15 additional minutes for balloons.

You may not want to have as many Audience Participation's as I do, but I find it helps keep the Audience interested in the show. Why? Because their friends, or better yet, they themselves might be up helping.

One more thing. I do 10 effects. A lot of folks on the board think this is too much. But it works for me and you'll have to find what works for you. I think this basic outline is a lot like other kid show performers. It seems to be a good formula.
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
Just taking a step, is a step in the right direction because when you stop working, your dream dies.
www.magicalmemories.us
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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The main thing is to find out what works for you. If you feel comfortable with the show as a whole, it doesn't matter what anyone says. If we were all the same, life and this forum would be a bit boring.
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.
Indyfan
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Thanks a lot, Flourishdude, for your suggestions. I am currently working on a 1/2 hour show. I have a feeling it will go longer (I haven't actually timed myself yet, that comes this weekend).

Someone had suggested on another thread Greg Wilson's "Head Trip," perhaps with a parent as the 'victim.' I don't want to have the kids laughing at another kid for any reason. Laughing at an adult, on the other hand...that's great stuff!!!!
Amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
GlenD
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Hey, way to go Indyfan. I can imagine how excited you are. Wasn't too long ago that I did my first show for a group of kids. I still consider myself an amateur, just above a beginner. But it's all good and best of all is getting real life/situational experience. Nothing better than that to help your confidence, etc.

One thing I would suggest you do is find out if you're going to be in or outdoors. You might be surprised how many times you end up outside at kids shows. At least I have been. Now it is like a luxury if I am inside for a children's show. If you are outside, just about anything using thread could be compromised and depending on the balls used for your cups and balls, you could have a problem there also (lightest breeze or wind wreaks havoc).
But anyway, sounds like you're ready and I wish you the best of luck!!

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
Indyfan
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Thanks Glen. I see you're from LA. If you've ever been to Calgary in April, you can pretty much assume the birthday party will be indoors. It's been -30°C lately (although today is strangely +2°C.....go figure).

Yeah, I'm pretty excited. I showed my friend & his girlfriend my routine last night, and considering how much I had them laughing and enjoying it, I think I'm on the right track! (They LOVED the D-Lites....which I'm going to steal 'light' from a candle, place into a change bag, then produce a jumbo appearing candle from the 'lights' I took).

Thanks for all the advice.
Amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
SethL52
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Good luck and make sure to tell us all about it. I remember my first kids show. Hope yours goes better than mine did. Smile lol Actually, mine wasn't too bad of a flop.
twistedace
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Remember, when you're doing a kids' show, there is nothing funnier than the magician being hurt in some way. Make a balloon animal and have it snap back as you're stretch it, swing your head back and palm a clown nose onto your nose. Come up and say, "Owww! Did it leave a mark!?" Anytime you get "hurt" the kids laugh.

As far as your routine goes, you have some great tricks which can flow nicely. I would actually close with the birthday cake trick. I always try to do the last trick just for the birthday child and have something to give them, too, usually a magic wand that they use to help me do the trick and a birtday card that appears signed from "the Magician". After your show, I suggest balloon animals. They are magic in themselves. DO NOT come with them already inflated and twisted. I saw a magician do that once and the reaction was just, "Eh, I don't really want one," from the kids. What makes balloon animals so magical is the fact that they watch them made just for them. Save them for after your show as parting gifts for all of the kids.
Take care and good luck,
Bryan
Emazdad
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For a 2 hour party, I make the balloon animals as they arrive and during the food break. They get to watch the balloons being made. They are then put in a box until the end of the party. For a 1 hour show, the magic show takes up the whole hour so I make them either at home, or once I've set up the show, depending on the numbers, if there are 20 kids or over I make about 75% before I go. This means that when the parents arrive to pick the kids up they see the end of the show with all the kids seated, nicely having fun. I finish the show, give them their balloons, and the mum gives them whatever party bag she's giving out they then leave.

6-7 kids wouldn't be too bad, but if you have to make balloons for 20-30 kids after your show all the mums see is the kids who've got their balloons running wild around the room, and the kids waiting queued up bored with you twisting like mad to get them all done. Not a good visual impression.
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.
Devin Knight
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I always open with the Bubble Gum mouth coil. I tell kids I'm a bit nervous and would they mind if I chewed some gum to calm down.

The following pulling and stretching of the gum always makes for much laughter and gets the kids in the mood for the show.

Devin
Peter Marucci
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Indyfan,
Good luck.
How long a show is it going to be?
I agree with Rob that the balloon animals would probably go best at the end; that's when I do them and for the reasons that Rob gives.
But your idea of following them quickly with the silk fountain sounds like it would work, too.
And I love the D'Lite/change bag/candle idea.
The bottom line is to go with your own judgment and find out what works.
If it works, keep it; if it doesn't, get rid of it.
Do that often enough, and people will call you a genius! <G>
0pus
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Indyfan,

I would suggest you add simple warmup. Try the blooming bouquet, wilting flower or flashlight routines honed to perfection be Trevor Lewis.

0pus
itsupyoursleeve
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Hi there Indyfan,
I would go along with Peter and a quite a few of the other posts.
It sounds like you have got an excellent base for your show and have obviously done some homework on childrens parties. Like Peter says go with your own judgement. You will notice which effects get a better reaction than the others. Build upon these effects with bits of business and maybe additional gimmicks such as breakaway wands etc. If you feel that any of the effects didn't work as well as you had expected, rather than throw them out of the act and replace them, have a look at performing them in a different positon during the act first.

I feel that the key part of my show is within the first 5 minutes. This is where all the bits of business over names and shouting and acting stupid takes place. One you have got the kids on your side you will find that they will be much more responsive throughout the show.

good luck and let us know how you got on

Paul
net
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venezuela
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opener: artistic fish
closer: Chick Pan production of birthday cake
Indyfan
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Hey folks.
I just wanted to put down in words how my first kids show went. In a word...good. Yes, I made some errors, but the kids seemed to enjoy themselves, and were all anxious to be chosen when I needed a helper. I didn't have to prompt for applause, so I suppose that's a good thing.

I admit that I'm my own harshest critic, so I think it actually went better than I think it did. The biggest mistake was the cups & balls. Ugh. I messed up bad. So bad, I had to start over. Then I messed up again.......to the point I had to move on to the next trick. I mean guys practice that for years, I didn't. I now know why!!

Everything went well, but that. I began thinking that maybe I jumped into the kids shows a little too soon. Perhaps my routine could've been better. Perhaps my patter could've been more rehearsed. Perhaps I should've practiced more.....perhaps.

What I am thankful for, is that I now know what to expect. I've given up on the shows for now, as I know I need to practice more. But at least I know what to expect. I know what to practice. I know what kinds of reactions I should get. I know what can go wrong (well, admittedly, one NEVER knows that, but how else do you learn without making mistakes?).

So, did I start doing kids shows prematurely? Perhaps. Did I learn an invaluable lesson? Absolutely. Did I have fun? Yes. Did the kids enjoy themselves? Yes.

I guess, then, it went well, but for now, I'm going to practice what I know before doing any more shows. Live & learn.

Thanks to all for their advice above. It was very much appreciated, and helped tremendously!!
Amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.
Dennis Michael
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Indyfan,

Welcome to the club! There is not a kids magician out there that didn't make mistakes. It is a learning process. Murphy's law hold true with kids, "If something can go wrong, it will!"

Don't give up. Flourish Dude above gave an excellent outline. You might want to view some pros doing magic on video and see what they are doing and how they control the audience. Ken Scott has an excellent video to help here.

If at first you don't succeed...
try...try again. Kids audience are tough. No one said they would be easy. They are brutely honest.
Dennis Michael
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