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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Performing in an arcade (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

JSMagic
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Boston
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I'm in a tough situation. I was asked to do a show (now I don't get too many offers because of my lack of publicity). The party is at an arcade/food type place. They have a separate room for parties. There will msot likely be more then 1 party there. I was asked to perform. Do you think it's a good idea?

On the good side: it's in a separate room. But on the bad side: they will be thinking too much about the games and stuff and won't focus or even want to see a magic show. Now what do you do in my situation?

Most of you are older, experienced amgicians that really can keep a crowd under control. I'm ok at that, it's just because I'm only 10 years older than them that they don't listen too much. Basically I'm asking, in my shoes, what would you do? Take the party and work extra hard on my skills to shut 'em up or deny their offer? Thanks for your time. Josh
If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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If it's in a separate room and you can shut the door to drown out the noise, as long as you've got PA, you can do it. If the door is left open and the birthday mum leaves them with a choice, some will watch you for a while, some will watch the whole show, and some will run back and forth between you and the arcade. So it's important that you make it clear to the birthday mum that you are the only choice they should have during your show. If your show is fun enough and you keep them happy and laughing then the arcade will be forgotten.

Sometimes they expect you to do your show while the kids are eating. This, as any experienced entertainer will tell you, is a no no. They can't concentrate on you and the food at the same time. Plus any helpers are liable to have sticky fingers.

If, however, as you say, there may be another party in the room ,then you're going to have a lot of extra backround noise. You may only be separated by a thin partition. You can't include the kids from the second party in your entertainment as your birthday mum may get upset as she's the one who's paying you.

As to whether you should do it or not, it depends on the venue. Taking the things I've said into consideration, go and look at it. Sometimes a separate room is just a cordoned of area. If it is, don't do it. If it's a proper room with a door, and your show is not going to be while they stuff their faces, so the kids can sit on the floor in front of you and enjoy the entertainment, then do it.

I've just re-read your posts.

Am I right in saying you're 20? That makes the party kids 10. You'd stand a better chance if they were younger. Personally, 10 year olds in an arcade, no I wouldn't do it. 4 to 8 year olds, yes.
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.
eddieloughran
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Go for it.
Cover yourself and take every precaution. You will never know if you don`t try.
Just do your best and learn from it.
You have nothing to fear but fear itself.
It`s all corny but true.
Peter Marucci
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Josh,
It's probably worth doing just for the experience in that sort of venue that it will give you.
And, as you say yourself, your lack of publicity may be holding you back, and this might be a chance to build some. (Publicity, that is.)
It might be a bad experience, but what the heck, we've all had those and will probably have a lot more.
But, there's every chance it may be a great experience, too.
Go for it!
JSMagic
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Boston
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I've accepted because of your kind words. Thanks. It's April 6th, I'll let you know how it goes.
If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
BarryRice
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Indianapolis, IN
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I am glad to see you are going to do it. Everyone learns better when we are are put in tough situtations. I think this will be a challenge, and that is great. Just be sure you are as prepared as you can be.
"The magic of the tongue is the most dangerous of all spells."
-Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton

http://www.amazingbarry.com
JSMagic
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Boston
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Thanks Barry - As a matter of fact, I have practiced my show, individual effects, and patter 3 times in the past 2 days.

As you said, I want to be as prepared as I can. What I'm lacking is "connecting lines." By that, I mean a funny line that will connect my words with the effect - I have hilarious jumbo props and accessories like comedy wands, dirty hand gag, disobedient phone [my clever routine, the kids really get a kick out of it!], and many more.

But I'm lacking stuff that will just make the kids laugh, kind of like jokes, but I need them to fit my personality and my effects. If you understand what I'm trying to say (tough to explain), then if you can help me out, great! If not, OK, thanks anyway! I appreciate everyone's advice!

Josh

Ok - Heres how it went for anyone that is interested. I get there only to find out that the "private room" is a non enclosed room (no doors or anything) right5 next to the games and the noise...When I asked the birthday mom she said it was a private rom which I of course got the image of an enclosed room. Ok - The setup. I set my stuff up right in the corner, all the kids sat at the table while I set up my stuff so that stunk they were watching me like a hawk!! So I talk to the birthday mom and she asks if I can do the show while the eat. I refuse. I did it before they eat. As usual, there was that one annoying kid who you want to smack in the face. This kid was worse then I have ever seen though. Every trick "I KNOW HOW YOU DO THAT........" (And he was always wrong!) - So after 2 effects he comes up on stage to hold something for me...I just happened to find someone here on the Café who was selling this: its a foam word that's together and it says "SOMETHING" - So the annoying kid comes up to hold something for 5 or 6 minutes make him look like a good. BAD IDEA! He grabs my Peanut Butter and Jelly and exposes it to all the boys and girls. t that point I want to throw him off a cliff. I say to him "Come with me, your going to theback of the room to sit with your mommy because you are not letting the other boys and girls enjoy the show: - END OF HIM! NOW I CAN PERFORM IN PEACE!!! ---------- The way Im going to do this is tell you what effects were succesful compared to my last show (very surprising) - I started off with my intro. and introducing the birthday kid, and pulling a mouth coil out of the birthday childs ear. I have another assistant pull it out the full length after I start it. This is an absolute gem of a beginning, it got great reactions (as I expected). Next:I did Run Rabbit Run - Surprisingly Succesful ( didn't do it at my last show) - I then did The bubble gum coil routine with 2 assistants - Kids loved it along with the parents (The kids loved getting to chew gum too!) After that I did Peanut Butter and Jelly - Good at first but then as I said before the annoying kid ruins it. After that I did Disecto - There was some controversy of wether we should do it at shows or not - this kid was 7 and I brought a finger chopper to his house before when my parents met his parents. He loved it! And he loved Disecto and so did the audience! Its coming with me to all of my older kids shows!!! Then I used the Chrystal Silk Cylander to produce 20th century silks. This was the hit of my last show but at this one they didn't seem to care? Weird. One show kids love it, next they don't even care. And I ended the show with my rabbit in the hat. "he" produced a candy bar and a magic wand from his hat for the birthday child. And that was the show. I gave out magicians assistant certificates which the birthday mom put in all the grab bags and on the way out after the show I heards a mom asay "hey (name) we should get josh for your birthday" - So all in all, it was a success (not my best) but aside from the annoying kid, it was fun. Thanx for everyons advice. Until next time - Josh
If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
Peter Marucci
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Josh,
That's the sort of show you build a learning experience on.

It may have been rough on you but I'm glad you did it, so long as you learned from it.

(BTW, basic rule of kids' shows: It's always going to be a worse venue than you figured!)

There's an old joke:

Question: How do I get good judgment?
Answer: From experience.
Question: Well, how do I get experience?
Answer: From bad judgment!
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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Ah, the joys of learning! Well done Josh, you have gained from the experience. Eventually when you are older and established you will be able to lay the Law down as to just what you will do and won't do, and you will not care about the ones you lose, as they probably would not be worth having in the first place. We will personally not do parties where: a bouncy castle (jumper) is to remain inflated, or where we have to entertain children at fixed (bolted down) tables and chairs which prevent any dancing or games etc., or certainly not next to an open arcade. We are also cautious about any open or semi-open to the public environments too.
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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I can't understand what parents expect when they ask you to perform while the children eat. That is a disaster waiting to happen. It is like they are treating you like a television, just leaving you on in the corner in case anyone wants to watch during the meal.

The first rule of performing for children has to be the less distractions, the better. Any loose objects like food, toys, noise makers or balloons are lethal weapons to a magic show when they are in arms reach of a child audience.

Even just sitting on chairs can be a nightmare. Children are clumsy & the chairs will always be in the wrong place or facing the wrong direction. Whenever a parent puts chairs out for the children I usually end up with one long single row of chairs & children sitting out to my extreme right & extreme left. Hopeless.

I find that tactic of giving a troublesome child something to do to help usually only works if their over enthusiasm is the cause of the problem. If they are attention seeking or wanting to disrupt the show to challenge you (& claiming to know the secrets is classic attention seeking), there are two things I do. 1.Use a bribe 2. Make sure my show has plenty of surprises and bits that make them laugh which will hopefully cause them to forget about the disruption they were trying to cause.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
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