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gocall911
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Salem, VA
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I am going to be doing a show at a school soon and it looks right now as if it is only going to be K-5. So what I would like to know is what would be some of the best kid effects that can be done up close and are not too long?

I am finding out if middle and high schools will be there this afternoon. They would be there at different times of course. So any ideas for them would also be great! Thanks.
"Use your head." ~Dai Vernon~
Mago Mai
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Venezuela
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Magic Coloring Book, Cut and Restored Rope, Vanishing Hanky among others.
Mago Mai
I invite all of you to share some of my magic on videos.Please, CLICK HERE
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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I don't mean this post to come accross the wrong way, and I don't mean to run anyone down for asking advice on putting a show together.

But what amazes me is the amount of people like gocall911 who take a booking for a show without actually having a show ready in the first place. Shouldn't you have a show ready and rehearsed as much as possible before you take the booking?!!
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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I agree with Billy, I also don't mean to offend but it doesn't sound very professional if you're taking bookings and don't have an act.

If I go to a school or any other show I do my normal act. I've already got it, I perform it all the time and it's tuned to perfection. I can adapt it to suit all occassions. I'd never have to ask anyone what tricks I should do.

It sounds like someone buying a car before they can drive. Please remember if you're not used to doing kids shows and you go out with an act that is not worked up it's the kids' enjoyment that suffers.
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.
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,
I have said this very thing many times before. I 100% agree with Emazdad and Billy. Everyone says "Never perform a trick in public until you have practiced over and over", yet it seems 85% or more of the Café forum members are quite happy to put together an entire act without practice or rehearsal (which is a different thing).
Phillip
Steven Steele
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Hesperia, California USA
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Well ... maybe gocall911 does know his effects, but what amazes me is that there is no mention of a theme or educational program. I couldn't get booked into any school in California at all without an educational message that the school wants.

I do get booked for some end of the year, single classroom shows, but that's a whole different ballgame.
Dennis Michael
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Samuel Patrick Smith has a book on How to Make Money Performing in Schools. It is an eye opener on what Principals are thinking. He also has a ton of other material to help someone to learn how to perform for children.

Unpracticed, unrehearsed Magicians have given many principals a "dislike" for magicians. Many states have laws preventing the school from using school hours to display non-educational programs like Magic Shows.

There is so much good "stuff" out there that is educational, and magic can be used to get that message across. This is a skill like any other skill. It require time, training, practice, rehearsal, experience, and most of all a strong love for this type of educational message-related entertainment.

I can't imagine someone going in cold doing a show for the K-5 group, without some type of training from an experienced pro in this area. You'll be "eaten alive" by the little "know-it-alls".

The key is to know what they are going to say, know how to respond to those statements in an entertaining way, use them for enhancing the effect and continuously keep them involved. How can one learn this over night? Let alone book a school show and not have a tried and true act together.

There are ways of doing this but not without numerous free charitable smaller shows, or a year's worth of the Birthday Party Crowd under your belt.

Easy tricks like the self-working cassette taped Vanishing Bandana, Patriot/Rainbow Ropes, Coloring Book, What's my Job, any Silk Production Box (colorful and they get to say the magic word) are a few easy to learn and easy to do for the beginner in this field. Try them out with the neighborhood kids in your house, after practice and learning the technical workings.

Good luck and let us know if they controlled you or you controlled them in a professional way!
Dennis Michael
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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gocall911, you don't happen to be a student at this school yourself do you?
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Chrystal
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Hi Gocall,

Perhaps if we had a little more information as to what type of performance you will be doing. Will all the children be in the gym, or will you be visiting the classes? Is it a fundraiser type of event and does it have a theme such as a carnival? Is it going to be held in the evening or the daytime? Night time activities at a school do not have to be educational.

Mago gave some good suggestions as to effects that would work for this age group. It's better if you can give us more info.

Best of luck to you! Smile
gocall911
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Salem, VA
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Sorry, I should have put in more info. OK, first off it will be in the gym. The kids (as far as I know) will just be walking around with their class because there will be many other acts/setups there. It is antidrug and stuff like that day. Like what you see on TV you know the "my antidrug is ..." stuff.

I won't really have time for a full act and that's why I was looking for what some of the strongest effects might be since each group will only have time for one or two. I also found out today it would be K-8 not K-5 like I had heard from the start. I already have most of the stuff planned out but just wanted to know what you think some of the best kid effects are. If I can't use them this time then I'm sure I can use them later.

And Andy I don't go to the school (I'm home schooled).

One last thing. Even with it being an antidrug show it's really about just trying to get the kids into stuff other than that. The point is I don't have to worry about doing a whole long thing about how drugs are bad, just try and get them into magic. I know this because I did it two years ago. I also had help then unlike this year. I will be doing 70% of it on my own this time.
"Use your head." ~Dai Vernon~
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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We're just saying you shouldn't take a booking until you have an act. When I first started I used to do magic tricks for my daughters and their friends. Then I decided to do a show for my daughters birthday party. I put the show together and practiced a lot.

The show went well and I enjoyed it, so I did a free show for my daughter Emma's class. Then when a neighbour asked me if I could do magic at her friend's kid's party (her friend's daughter was in Emma's class) and how much I'd charge, I said as I was new to the game I'd do it for expenses. That went well and I got another inquiry after that so I started earning. The point is I had an act before I took any proper paying work. I wouldn't even have done the school show if I hadn't had an act beforehand.

I used to belong to Balloon HQ and there were lots of people who would say "I did a dog for a kid in a supermarket and the kid's mum has booked me to do balloon modelling at her kid's party next week. I can only do a dog and a sword, has anyone got any ideas on what I should make, and any good patter or jokes?" How can people be so stupid as to take bookings for something they are not capable of doing? Not only will the kid's enjoyment suffer, but the bad reputation that they'll get for ruining the kid's party will hinder their chances of progressing in the performing world.

Now that gocall911 has explained in more detail, we now see that the above is not the case, and he's not as we were led to believe a non performing newcomer. He is experienced, he has an act, but wants advice about a specific situation.

It sounds more like a trade show setup so answering the following questions will help us come up with some ideas.

Will the kids be allowed to wander a round in groups of 3-4 or on their own? Or will it be larger set groups rotating around the stands with a set time at each stand? If so how long do they spend at your stand?

Will each group be standing in front of you, mingled around, or sitting down?

If they're sitting down and you have them for 5-10 minutes, one good routine with a bit of audience participation would be better than lots of quicky tricks where the message may get lost.
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.
Billy Whizz
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It's common sense that you have an act before you take the booking.
sourcerer
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This is true, you need to have an act when performing, but he never stated his definition of soon. Also he may well have an act together, and just wants to add something.

99% of a magic act is personality, presentation, and audience management, 1% is trick. I've seen magicians entertain rooms full of kids with a minimum of magic, yet the kids saw the best magician they'd ever seen. He simply might be one of those.

No matter how you twist or turn it, adding a magic colouring book to an act (unless it's a completely scripted out storybased magic act) is not really going to mess up anything that's already good.

To me a professional is someone who creates magic no matter what trick he or she does, and will be ready no matter what prop you hand them.


Kaj
Emazdad
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Quote:
To me a professional is someone who creates magic no matter what trick he or she does, and will be ready no matter what prop you hand them.

To be professional is 1) to be someone who earns money full time by doing whatever, or 2)to have a professional attitude, ie very high personal and performing standards. Ie ensuring your act is practiced and rehearsed to perfection before you sell it.
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.
kenscott
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Listen, the school market is one of the toughest markets to break into. One— they don't want a magician with a magic show. They want a presenter that will teach while entertaining. In the school market I am not even calling myself a magician. I am a magical storyteller. The word magician to many schools is not good.

What I would suggest is to put a KILLER show together and if you don't have an educational message behind try to do the after schools programs. After school programs are where students go after school hours, kinda like a daycare. In this setting you can do more of a magic show and less message.

I have been doing a reading show for five years in the school market and the school market is a tough one. Schools only have a handful of programs a year, and yet they get thousands of performers sending them stuff to review. So you don't want to go into the school market with less than a PERFECT show from start to finish.

As performers we have the responibility to give 100% the best program we can and to leave the stage better than when we took the stage.

There are so many performers for example who say they do an anti-drug show and go into the school and tell the kids drugs are bad don't do them and then go straight into a magic show. This is BAD business for everyone.

But if your are wanting to put an educational show together do the research. For example this summer in the libraries the theme is BOOKS AHOY! It is all about the ocean, boats, underwater animals. And look at what you have in your tricks/routines that you own and see how you can teach your message with the prop.

Good luck to you!

Ken Scott
http://www.kenscottmagic.com
gocall911
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Salem, VA
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Quote:
Will the kids be allowed to wander around in groups of 3-4 or on their own? Or will it be larger set groups rotating around the stands with a set time at each stand?

Some of the older kids go around in small groups but most of the younger kids stay in pretty large groups.
Quote:
If so how long do they spend at your stand?

About five minutes.
Quote:
Will each group be standing in front of you, mingled around, or sitting down?

They will be standing in front.

Please do not think I am unpracticed and unrehearsed. I make sure I have EVERYTHING down before doing a show. I already have three or four short routines ready and I am only asking what some other great effects are I might be able to add. If not now then the next time I do something like this.

Right now I have a Cups & Balls, a silk act, and a coloring book routine. They all don't run too long but yet I can link them if I have more time then I thought. I will also be doing a lot with cards for the older kids.

I would still like to have any ideas as to some stuff I could add (now or later). The middle schoolers will be the harder ones to work with (I think you know what I'm talking about), so I would also like some stuff that would just blow their minds. That's what most of my card effects and Cups & Balls can already do.
"Use your head." ~Dai Vernon~
BryanDreyfus
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OK ... bottom line is:

The guy didn't give a time frame.

If it is too short to "work-up" an act then all of the negative remarks hit home. If it is long enough to "work-up" an act then all of the anti-negative remarks are true.

I have been quoted in an article saying simply, "you have to have an "act" before you can sell it". An act is a cohesive performance ready line-up of effects and an outline or a "hard" copy idea of what you will say.

I don't think anyone will argue with the fact anyone who goes and does a bad show due to not being ready for whatever reason hurts the business of magic. The next magician to do that venue must overcome the negative stigma left by the last "professional" magician to leave his mark.

And any "new" magicians can become ready with practice and rehearsal.

Bryan
Oh sure, I can spell "Antidisestablishmentarianism", but I can't type t-h-e.
gocall911
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Salem, VA
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I'm not trying to come up with a whole new act! I'm just asking for effects that I could add. Like I said if I can't get them down then I won't do them until a later time.
"Use your head." ~Dai Vernon~
Emazdad
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I've never done a themed school show. Any time I've been booked for a school it's as a fun treat for the kids, not an educational event. Five minutes is not long. I don't think I've ever done a show or trick that short, and you've got to get a message across as well. Tricks with an assistant are out, you'd lose too much time getting one.
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.
gocall911
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Salem, VA
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I don't have to worry about a message. It's really just trying to get the kids a hobbie. Also when you get to the older kids if they like what they see they could hang around longer then most. There isn't really a set time, it's just how ever long the class wants to stay and since it's magic they might stay there longer. So I could have up to ten minutes but not more then that.

I have a great Cups & Balls routine that ends with sponge balls under the cups so if they were still there I could just flow into the sponge ball routine.
"Use your head." ~Dai Vernon~
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