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NJJ
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Do other performers have a clear narrative for their kid's shows?

Or do they just link the tricks loosely?
Or do they just do a whole bunch of cool tricks?

Smile
Scott Ocheltree
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I think most magic shows, mine included, are more like concerts rather than like plays.
Each trick is like a song. It should have some point to it. The actions within the trick should have some kind of motivation, but each is usually separate from the other effects.
I have seen shows with full storylines to them, and enjoy this type of performance. But I think that it is quite challenging to use any kind of stock effect in this way without it seeming a bit "shoe-horned" in to the storyline. Sometimes the real Trick in these shows is seeing how the magician figured in a reason for their character to have to cut and restore a rope, or float a table, or whatever other effect they have in their arsenal that they feel they have to include.

My birthday party show has 3 phases:
A manipulation routine involving the birthday child which combines about seven or eight quick effects or tricks into a fast moving sequence. This introduces me to the kids.
The middle phase is where I put my prop magic like strat-o-sphere and linking rings. I do not try to combine these effects the way I do in my intro. When I present these, I tell stories about my fictitious magical uncle, "Ivan the Great". I inherited all of these artifacts from him, but I supposedly don't know how many of them work. I present them in a sort of "show and tell" fashion, discovering their magical properties as we go.
The final phase is close up magic with things like sponge balls, etc. This is also when I produce a magic gift and card for the birthday child.
Emazdad
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My is scripted, but with a lot of space for adlib etc. So if I find circumstances make my usual stuff unsuitable I can change. Like tonight when I walked out on stage to do my kids show at a holiday camp to find my audience consisted of Josh age 3 and a little girl of 2 on mum's lap. A lot of adlibing was neccessary to include the grown-ups in the fun. they played a blinder, and acted the part of the kids and it was a good show in the end, but very hard work.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

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NJJ
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Quote:
On 2003-06-05 09:53, Scott Ocheltree wrote:
I think most magic shows, mine included, are more like concerts rather than like plays.
Each trick is like a song. It should have some point to it. The actions within the trick should have some kind of motivation, but each is usually separate from the other effects.
I have seen shows with full storylines to them, and enjoy this type of performance. But I think that it is quite challenging to use any kind of stock effect in this way without it seeming a bit "shoe-horned" in to the storyline. Sometimes the real Trick in these shows is seeing how the magician figured in a reason for their character to have to cut and restore a rope, or float a table, or whatever other effect they have in their arsenal that they feel they have to include.

My birthday party show has 3 phases:
A manipulation routine involving the birthday child which combines about seven or eight quick effects or tricks into a fast moving sequence. This introduces me to the kids.
The middle phase is where I put my prop magic like strat-o-sphere and linking rings. I do not try to combine these effects the way I do in my intro. When I present these, I tell stories about my fictitious magical uncle, "Ivan the Great". I inherited all of these artifacts from him, but I supposedly don't know how many of them work. I present them in a sort of "show and tell" fashion, discovering their magical properties as we go.
The final phase is close up magic with things like sponge balls, etc. This is also when I produce a magic gift and card for the birthday child.


That's a great metaphor about concerts!

I am big fan of stories in magic but I think it has to make sense other wise you end up with those very dodgy routines!

That said, maybe they seem shoehorned to us because we KNOW that the effect exists outside of the routine.

My kids show is about my rabbit who has vanished (original isn't it?). All of the tricks are about finding ways to may him appear.

When I think about it, there are only FIVE tricks in my 45 minute kid's show!!! And that includes the semi magicial axtell drawing board
m.ruetz
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Sometimes I think a cohesive theme or story for kids is not really that important. But recurring gags which seem to keep popping up thorughout the show are always a hit. I've used David Ginn's "Tree of India" routine described in "Clown Magic" which is a routine for a flower botannia in which you keep coming back to it. Spring snake or rubber chickens that keep showing up when not expected or wanted can also achieve some of the same effect.
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NJJ
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Quote:
On 2003-06-05 19:51, m.ruetz wrote:
Sometimes I think a cohesive theme or story for kids is not really that important. But recurring gags which seem to keep popping up thorughout the show are always a hit. I've used David Ginn's "Tree of India" routine described in "Clown Magic" which is a routine for a flower botannia in which you keep coming back to it. Spring snake or rubber chickens that keep showing up when not expected or wanted can also achieve some of the same effect.


Yeah, but I think adults (i.e. the people who pay the bill) like to see that you have a thought out routine rather then just random effects.

I am VERY big on have a point or a reason for doing everything effect for adults or children and a story helps me do that.
p.b.jones
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"Sometimes I think a cohesive theme or story for kids is not really that important."



HI,
I always think this ! Story magic makes me cringe. it did when I was a kid too.

"Yeah, but I think adults (i.e. the people who pay the bill) like to see that you have a thought out routine rather then just random effects.

Both the children and the adults just want to be entertained and have a good laugh. Presentation is not about stories as many magicians seem to think. I use presentations to help sell me and my personality not to tell a story. At the end of the show I want them thinking oh phillip is really good fun and entertaining not what the three little pigs did or the funny little ...

Just my opinion though
Phillip Smile
NJJ
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"Story magic" is that awful stuff where each prop represents something else like all those three little pig professor nightmare routines. Smile Its even worse when you see close up card guys try and tell stories about hotel rooms and robbers and detectives. JUST DO THE TRICK!

I meant more bringing in an overall arching narrative to the show. I.e. What is the story of the magic show. Imagine that you were to write a short story of your show beginning Once There Was A Magician called....

I like the idea of someone being able to read such a story and feel that there is a point. The show introduces a concept - Tricky Nick The Magician wants to find his rabbit. conflict - Tricky Nick's rabbit has vanished. resolution - Tricky Nick finds his rabbit.

And in between all of that I come up with ways of trying to make a rabbit appear or find my lost rabbit. Each routine blends into the once before it creating and overall concept.

Of course kids care about the story! Each trick we do is a story! And the only reason they care and enjoy it is because we, as the story's hero, create conflict and resolve that conflict.

Smile
p.b.jones
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And in between all of that I come up with ways of trying to make a rabbit appear or find my lost rabbit. Each routine blends into the once before it creating and overall concept

Hi,
Maybe we should call it "Concept Magic" to avoid confusion?

I personally do not have a concept to my shows. However, I feel it could be succesfull if it suits your style.
My shows do flow and the few magicians that have seen my shows have commented on this. how the effects moved from one to the other without dead spots or looking for props.
But whilst I have a structure/formula of what type of effect goes where for dramatic build up /variation ect. I have no theme or concept as such.
Phillip
Dennis Michael
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Quote:
Do other performers have a clear narrative for their kid's shows?..
..Or do they just link the tricks loosely?
..Or do they just do a whole bunch of cool tricks?


Well, I've done both, when trying out new tricks at the family picnic, I loosely add tricks to see how they play out. In the past, I also did a bunch of cool tricks with out a story line attached to it.

Both work, however I try to link the effects in some way. For instance moving from patriot ropes to 20th century silk I show the ropes as a solid rope. "It really is solid" I go into the audience and have a boy wrap it around their hand and ask him to stand up and show everyone, well some people can't see this in the back, so (like a leash) I ask him to come up onto the stage so everyone can see it.

Now that he is on the stage I ask him if he would like to be a magician and help me with a trick. Then I go into the 20th Century Silks.

Since this was posted in the kids section I am focusing on kids peformance. Adults require a smooth transition from one effect to another for greater impact. Not just doing a series of cool tricks, except in a comedy routine, this is OK.

Now theme related shows for school assemblies can and do have a common bond between effects, and that is the message you are trying to get across.
Dennis Michael
Hobie the Magical Hobo Clown
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If you entertain the kids with good visual tricks, sight gags and jokes and riddles then I think you have a winning combination.
Get the kids involved in every trick you do.
That is the key.
:magicrabbit:
One Mustn't study a magician to closely,
Never look up his sleeve,
Never look under his hat,
Just sit back and let him do his act.
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