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Devin Knight
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Just wondering what your thoughts are on how many sucker tricks you can do in kid's show without overdoing it?

Currently I use about 3 per show. I've seen some performers make almost every trick a sucker trick but I think that is overdoing it.

Your thoughts?
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Profile of ChrisZampese
Up until recently, I used two and I noticed that the kids were not as enthusiastic when I got to the second, so I dropped it. I have 5 tricks that make up a 1/2 hour show:

1 sucker trick - a variation of run rabbit run
1 where I show I am definitely magic - billiard balls
1 where the whole audience helps do the magic - a transportation
1 with a helper - cut and restored rope
1 Grand Finale - Production of a Rabbit

I used to have 2 sucker tricks in there. I took the other one out and extended the routine I do for the C+R. I would like to add another effect with a helper.

My style of presentation does not really suit sucker effects, but I am sure that it is possible to include multiple sucker effects if you present them correctly (although an entire show full of them does seem a little extreme).
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Jerry Hornak
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I think one sucker trick max, near the start of the show, would make the know-it-alls a little less likely to voice their opinions and free up the time for meatier routines using helpers.

Any more would seem like repeating a gag, even though in a different guise.
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Profile of p.b.jones
Personally, I would not use any sucker effects. As sucker effects, I like to change them to kill the sucker aspect. Why would I want to wind up/get one over on a group I am there to entertain?
Peter Marucci
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Phillip is exactly right.
You can use nothing but sucker tricks -- IF you take the "sucker" sting out of them.
Or, if you can't do that, then turn it against yourself.
I use several such effects in my kids' shows, although most people wouldn't even recognize them as sucker tricks (because they don't zero in on the audience or one audience member).
In the wrong hands, one is too many.
In the right hands, a thousand may be just right.
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Profile of Emazdad
In my book Run Rabbit Run is not a sucker trick, it's a fun trick with lots of participation.

A sucker trick is basically where the helper is given a choice and is always wrong, with the magician coming out as the winner. I don't use any in my show but if I were to use them (I tried one once but it didn't suit my style), as Peter said, I'd make it so I lost out and the kid always won.
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Cheshire Cat
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I love sucker tricks, BUT the child must always be given the credit for the magical ending. Smile
Mike the Amazing
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It also helps if they are rewarded with something for their effors. An example (not the best, but the only one I can think of right this second) is with my JackPot Bags. Yes, only one of them holds the "riches," but the others hold candy, and the three who pick their numbers actually get what's in the bag. From here I can also do a routine with my change bag, something to the effect of , "Well, which one of you would be willing to put your piece of candy into this magical bag?" (lol that sounds like patter that came on a set of instructions) and then "change" their single piece of candy into enough candy for the entire group, then allow the child to pass it out (they love getting to be the one to do this).
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Profile of SethL52
I enjoy sucker tricks. Mostly I try to look foolish, but occasionally I will let the kid be the sucker if he is having a good time.
flourish dude
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Well, again this depends on who for, what, and why your doing them. If you do the patter right out of the box then 2 MAX or even just 1 and never back to back. I take the sting out just like everyone else says. If you really look at a lot of kids magic it contains a lot of sucker type themes.

I have Hocus Pocus hare, PB and J,
and the milk shake trick (egg over head type routine), but you would never see them as sucker effects. Hocus is a story, PB and J is a look don't see "I can't do this trick" type patter, and milk shake is a special trick I just picked up on the way to the show.
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I only do sucker tricks when a kid disturbs my show. And I keep a friendly attitude with him. Just a way to calm him. At the same time, I make every assisting kid the star of the show. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.
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As has been mentioned already, it's all about how you use them. I always do the Half-Dyed Silk, which I suppose has a sucker element, but I present it as a lesson in magic - explaining all along that there are 2 handkerchiefs, and failing to notice that they keep appearing and disappearing for real. The appearance of the half and half silk confirms what the kids have been telling me all along (That it's real magic!), and I am the one proven wrong and the butt of the joke.
The Rabbit Vanish Supreme is another example - I like to take the audience on a little emotional journey with this effect. So much goes wrong for me, and it's so clear to everyone that I have goofed and the rabbit has failed to disappear, that they usually end up feeling sorry for me. When the rabbit finally does vanish, they cheer like crazy. I don't think anyone feels silly - it's a really magical moment.

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On 2006-11-20 11:32, kimmo wrote:
As has been mentioned already, it's all about how you use them. I don't think anyone feels silly - it's a really magical moment.

I agree. And the kids like the excitement in the middle and at the end of a sucker trick.
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I usually use one sucker effect in my show.

Mister Mystery
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Is the egg under arm (egg bag) also a sucker trick? Or do you mean tricks in which the children think they know the secret?
Potty the Pirate
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The term "sucker" trick implies that you're making a fool of a kid, or the whole audience. That's to do with your presentation, and not really the trick itself. Basically ANY magic trick can be a "sucker" trick, since we're making things happen that the kids don't understand. My approach is to simply act as surprised as the kids when the "sucker" element happens. That keeps everyone laughing, and also means if or when a kid shouts out his idea of how it works, you're able to say: "Oh, is THAT how it works?"
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Profile of erlandish
I think this goes beyond kids shows... Any routine where the spectator is made to feel stupid is dangerous and can lead to people turning on you. Tommy Wonder even suggests that it's risky to have a routine where you appear to screw up, only to fix it all later; because if people are actually, genuinely concerned that you've messed up, but then later feel you were leading them on, they might come to resent you a little.

As Potty said, any effect can become a sucker effect, and conversely, just about every effect can be made into a non-sucker effect (although here's a challenge: make Paper Balls Over The Head into a non-sucker effect).

We could try it here. What are your sucker effects? How could they be changed so that there is no challenge to the spectator's ego, while the strength of the magic is intact?
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I wouldn't use more than two in a show. Try reversing the sucker gag and having the kid as the hero. Then, ask him/her how they did that. It gets a great reaction, and putting them on the "how's it done" side will change things around.
Skip Way
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I have 3-4 "sucker" tricks in each of my shows...but, I always play the role of the sucker. I use them as backfire gags against myself. The laughter is guaranteed, the children come out as the heroes, and they fit well into my stage persona. Bottom line: I believe it all depends on how you present them. If you present them as a "Ha! Gotcha!" or a "Look how great I am", then even one is too my opinion.

Some sound advice from many skilled artisans above. Just remember, "If I fall down an open manhole, that's a tragedy. If you fall down an open manhole, that's comedy." Woody Allen

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Potty the Pirate
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Skip, in your avatar, it looks like you're covered with bullet belts.....surely not?
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