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jondark445
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You've got a stage and a family audience for 30 minutes. What routines do you do that you know will not only be memorable, but will also hopefully capture the crowd's imagination enough to have them ask you for your business card....

--Jon
chris mcbrien
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John,
I'm not going to hand you my "A" list. I don't know why anyone would openly do that here. It's business. I'm going to tell you something more important. It's easy for full=timers to get negative about these inquiries, I know I've done this in the past myself. So please forgive me.
If you took a gig like this (hypothetically), you should already have "killers", or your "A Material" that you are fully confident will get laughs and entertain your audience, first of all. In fact, it should be that you simply take the gig and don't worry at all about it or think on it. You've simply got the material that's been tested so many times you simply walk out and go to work.
I guess I have to ask why you're posing the question..not to put you on the defensive, but simply to understand where this is coming from....
jondark445
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This is not a real gig....it is a hypothetical simply because I thought I'd start a conversation with other working magicians...but, alas, that doesn't seem to be possible in the magic Café. People are so quick to judge what you've written...reading into it...twisting it this way and that...ignore my first post and ignore this thread...

--Jon
James Munton
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Quote:
..ignore my first post and ignore this thread...


Okay.
Bradley Roberts
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I would say that it could be any number of effects for kids and families. I think it comes down more how you present the trick. I do my shows as a clownish Magician or Magician in trouble. I shoot more for the laughs and giggles then the wow A list of tricks. I can and have done some great things with just the needle/balloon, or stiff rope, or a change bag. It all comes down on how you perform it that will get the people to ask for you card, information, or to book you in the future. Anyone can read and do a trick, but to make it entertaining for the audience is the key.

B-Rad
B-Rad "The Kids Magician"
Brad Kids Magic Website
"A child's smile is one of life's greatest blessings."
Regan
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B-Rad is right. I try to make all of my routines my own, and I hope they are all good enough to be memorable to the audience. A magic show is not like a CD....there is no place for filler material. If I create a routine that falls kind of flat with the audience I rethink it as soon as possible. If I can change it up to where I think it will be better and get good reactions I will put it back in my show and try it again. With experience you will know when a routine is good or not before you ever do it for an audience. Not only that, but you will usually be able to tell if it will be a hit with the audience. Sometimes there is a difference between what you might think is good and what the audience might think is good.

I am currently working on a routine that I am pretty sure will become one of my favorites. (If I ever get everything together) I started planning it back in December of '07 and it has been really difficult to create. The amount of time and effort I have put into this is unreal. I went to some extra trouble for this one because it is one dedicated to my daughter, (and ex-magic assistant) so it is very special to me. I hope it will be to her, and to the audience. I ended up having to build 3 props for this routine in order to do some of the things I needed/wanted to do. The routine is kind of built around a teakettle (like Grant's Magic Teakettle) but again, if that were all I were doing I would probably never even use it. But with all the things that go with it I think it will be a fabtastic routine.

Of course most of my routines are built around a specific prop/effect, but most consist of several magical, and sometimes non-magical props also. If I tell you that one of my favorite routines is built around the Color Changing Rings, you will still have no idea what my routine is like. In my opinion the Color Changing Rings are not very good as a stand-alone effect, and I would never use them as a routine if that were all it consisted of. However, the way I combine the rings with Color Changing Plumes, a Crystal Casket, a Crystal Silk Cylinder, a silk tube, several magic silk effects, silks and streamers, a vanishing cane, a cane flower, and 2, one-of-a-kind props I built myself, it is one of my favorite routines.

It really is all about the journey. That's why I go to so much trouble and expense to create 5 minutes or so of magic. Most effects will fall flat when done alone. Combining them with the bits of business and comedy, gag props, other effects, and so forth is what will make the routine special and make it yours.

Regan
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KC Cameron
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Jon,
A search will show you lots of lists. I have given mine several times. Still, something that works well for one person can fall flat with another. Presentation, and character development are very important. I would say my current top rated routines are PB&J, Axtel board, linking rings, Miser's dream, Chair Suspension, and, to a lessor degree - Bigger Wands. None of these are done in the "standard fashion". All are presented in a way that adults enjoy as much as the kids. If you asked me a year ago it would be a different list. Presentation & personality are key - the props are secondary.
Tom Riddle
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"ignore my first post and ignore this thread..."

We have been told to ignore this thread. Pay attention the rest of you(except James).
"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
James Munton
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I always pay attention to what I am told.
Bradley Roberts
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I think we are giving some good information and not ignoring the thread.

We have samething to say Smile
Hard to keep me quite sometimes... sorry... hehehe

B-Rad
B-Rad "The Kids Magician"
Brad Kids Magic Website
"A child's smile is one of life's greatest blessings."
chris mcbrien
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Jon,
I had no idea of the context of your inquiry. Reread my post, I was really trying to give good advice. Solid (tried, tested and audience approved) material first and foremost. If you want them BEGGING for your business card, don't choose to try out new things that night (or day).
And I wasn't trying to be rude about not naming my effects. My list of "effects" won't help anyone. It's a fact. It's you they came to see, not your props. Of course, saying this can open a pandora's box here.
Sorry if you took my comments the wrong way.
Chris
Tony James
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Oh dear, dear me. What is wrong with people here? What is all this concern about lists and tricks and routines and tricks and tricks and tricks and more tricks.

As you are not new here are you a beginner? 388 posts and clearly you can't read.

Or if you do read, you don't comprehend.

I hope you're better at your day job.


Quote "What routines do you do that you know will not only be memorable, but will also hopefully capture the crowd's imagination enough to have them ask you for your business card...." quote.


How often does one have to tell people that to achieve that objective it has NOTHING to do with routines or material?


NOTHING. Got it?


It has everything to do with how you handle your audience of children, how you work your audience, raising their excitement, keeping it under control, bringing them down again and keeping this up for the duration of your booking.

THAT'S what will impress them. They won't even remember what you've done. Only the way you worked your audience.

It's quite simple to achieve. Go away and WORK for a couple or three years and then you'll no longer be a novice.

A few more years and you'll have improved. Hopefully.

There are NO shortcuts, NO buying into success from dealers. If you believe you can then you don't possess the commonsense to be a successful children's entertainer.

Success is hard slog and experience.

It's time a lot of people here on the Magic Café understood this.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
Futureal
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Great post.
drhackenbush
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The tricks themselves are incidental means to a specific end, entertaining the audience. A good measure of where you are in terms of your ability to entertain is if you can stand in front of the same audience and keep them entertained for 30 minutes purely by standing up there and talking with them. Look at the film, "Paul Daniels - Live in Edinburgh", two solid hours of a man onstage talking to his audience with an occasional trick thrown in, and he has them in the palm of his hand the whole time.

If you can't communicate with the audience by yourself with no props, it's a good bet you won't be able to communicate with them by waving the latest must-have expensive tchotchkes in front of their faces, and the same canned patter everyone else is using won't help either.

YOU are the show, not the tricks. The audience comes to see you because they want to spend a little time in your interpretaion of reality, because you have the ability to verbalize and express through your actions the emotions they feel and might not be able to express themselves in a clear manner. You give voice to their wonder, excitement and sense of curiosity and they are willing to pay, with money or their time, to share in your world.
danryb
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I don't understand some of you. The Café is all about magicians helping magicians. if/when someone brings up a topic or has a query, a question, a suggestion, a request or whatever - then if anyone wants to chime in then why not do so positively? (i.e. if you cant offer a direct answer then don't answer at all!).

30 minutes - family audience - stage:
1/ short warm up & introduction
2/ quick, funny 4 ball manipulation routine with patter
3/ finger or arm chopper (with older audience member)
4/ funny sponge ball routine + gags (with younger audience member)
5/ juggling act + zombie routine
6/ see/no see routine (I have 3 or four different props to chose from)
7/ needle through balloon

the above would be my choice routines although I could easily substitute routines 3 & 7 for 2 other routines I have with Axtell puppets (verne and cry baby play very well for families).

I'm not writing a book with descriptions of my routines but the above pretty much shows you what I would do on a stage for a family for half an hour. I'm not a stand up comedian, I am a magician. This is why I am booked and this why I am continued to be booked. If someone wants a stand up comedian -they will book a stand up comedian. if someone wants a magician - they will book a magician. if someone wants a singer - they will book a singer.

My signature is the fact that I do magic but I present it in a funny way and also involve the audience (sometimes even with songs). A comedian will only be funny (without the magic). A singer will be musical (without the magic).

So, yes, I would also like to know what some of you consider your most family entertaining stage routines.

Please feel free to ask me why I consider any one of the above to be my (and my audiences) favorites.

Dani
harris
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Helping and teaching others...somehow helps me as well.

Although I don't lecture to magic clubs, I do share quarterly with 7 & 8th grade drama students. Topics elements of comedy and elements of puppetry.

Things that I have used that help me stand out include:

1. a stick
2. different sized harmonica's and other instruments
3. use of the basics
4. not be afraid to play the fool (I remember taking a new performer to one of my shows...back when I did things like crawl through chairs and under tables to retrieve "dropped items") He said so basically you play a "fool". I said, Yes and there is nothing basic about it.
5. not be afraid to share and elicit other emotions
6. accept feedback from directors, other performers and my audiences

The last was the hardest to begin..

For a long time I kept things in my programs that were mostly for me.

Harris "2 old to know everything"
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
chris mcbrien
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He didn't post originally that it was what he later said it was....hypothetical.
I noticed some of you who would point to the rest of us waited until the full explanation came out .
What kind of 30 minutes is it? Comedy, scary/serious magician. what?
Tom Riddle
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"I don't understand some of you. The Café is all about magicians helping magicians. if/when someone brings up a topic or has a query, a question, a suggestion, a request or whatever - then if anyone wants to chime in then why not do so positively?"

I do not understand YOU, my friend. I actually think Tony made a brilliant post, and it should be read by many on here. It may not appear to be positive, but there is much wisdom in it. Sometimes the truth hurts. The truth is that performing for children has little to do with tricks. It goes far beyond that, as Tony makes very clear in his post.
"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
danryb
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Chris Mcbrien

I'm not sure I understand you. I hear what your saying and agree that it is not the tricks and routines etc but
when some one asks a typical question I know I have two options:
1. give a typical answer
2. typically don't answer

It was a typical question - one we've all seen before. It wasn't the question that prompted me to respond - it WAS the typical responses. (yours, Tony's and Jame's).

Usually, I wouldn't have answered this question at all.

As I said if any one wants to know why I have chosen the routines I have, then I would be happy to explain.
This is my way of helping others and the routines I selected are my 'A' routines and I am happy to share. I have over 15 years experience and am experienced enough to know how to share the reasonings of using these tricks/routines in a family show without divulging the actual routine. If you want to see me perform, be my guest - I live and perform in Eilat.

Dani

Posted: Mar 15, 2008 7:17pm
Tom,

Maybe my response (above) to Chris will put what I am trying to suggest/achieve into perspective.

I think that typical responses that have a generic "go get some experience' are not helping members that keep on asking the same question.

The reason they keep on asking the same question is because they keep getting the same answer (go get experience). I think this post has prompted me (at least) to go a stage further (i.e. show you what I do and/but more importantly - WHY I do what I do).

This is what people who ask this question need and I KNOW that these questions will be asked again but I have the choice to answer or not and if I don't like the question (because it has already been asked thousands of times) then I simply will not answer. Why answer if you have nothing new to add?

Dani
chris mcbrien
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Dani,
I appreciate all the time you put into your responses. I really do, and I know you're trying to sort this out and you've got your own way of doing things. I reaspect this.
Ok, now, I don't mean this to sound "mean", but it might.
But can we simply respond with how we feel about a topic, have a discussion and respect each other's answers without over-analyzing everything people say?
What on earth is the purpose of a forum if we're going to be picked about by others with differing opinions? The very topic gets lost in love, hate and makey-makey letters and we never get to the meat for all the potatoes and vegetables.
Now, let's dig into this steak, I'm tired of hearing the sizzle.
I'm still thinking about my response, and hoping he tells me if it's comedy or drama. There are two different approaches depending and I can't say anything until I know....
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