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Profile of magicman6
Have any of you ever had a show where the children inch closer and closer to you as you finish each trick? I always think of new ways to keep them back...what do some of you do? I keep the needle from my needle thru balloon trick and joke around with them about making it float and poking the bad kids. It works sometimes!!!

-Greg Smile
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Profile of NJJ
Until they call your bluff! Smile
Peter Marucci
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Profile of Peter Marucci
Threaten to poke them with a foot and a half of sharpened steel! What a charming idea! I'm just glad you aren't juggling chain saws!

Threatening an audience for whatever reason just shows a lack of audience-control ability on the part of the performer.

If you want to keep them back, you might try Jeff Brown's "Danger -- Magic Zone" yellow tape (like police tape) or lay a rope down and ask (don't TELL) them not to cross the line or the magic won't work.
Frank Tougas
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Profile of Frank Tougas
I set the front row at the start of the show, by standing there and making sure the people in the front know they are the front. I also say I move around quite a bit so don't get closer cause I might accidentally step on you. I know where the front row is supposed to be and I don't always look. Then at show time I push my table back about a foot and one half giving me a larger performance area. I've never had trouble.

I also enlist the help of an adult to keep things in line, a very easy job for them.

The tape line Peter speaks about is good, but rather than buy something I have used draftsman tape. I don't use masking since it is much stickier (is that a word?) and I don't take chances with client's property.

Then again, if it becomes a persistent problem - that juggling chain saw Idea ain't bad either Smile
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
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Profile of Payne
I rarely ever have this problem. I too will stand where I would like the first row to be and make sure everyone sits behind that spot. I'm a big guy and I frequently stand right at the edge of the audience, which generally keeps them from scooting closer. If the audience version of continental drift does start to occur I will just tell them to move back.
While, in the proper hands, threatening your audience can be a funny schtick it also has the very likely potential to backfire horribly.
Remember there are more of them than there are of you and with a balloon needle as your only weapon you’ll only be able to take out one or two before being completely over run.

I have never put a tape or rope line down and personally feel that to do so is a declaration of failure to properly manage one's audience. This however is just my own personal belief and many find symbolic barrier of rope or tape to be an effective audience management technique.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
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Pleasant Hill, CA
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Profile of oagwood
I understand kids get excited during magic shows and have the tendency to move forward, so I just tell them they need to scoot back. Some shows I have to do this several times and some not, depends on the area.

Perhaps instead of a threat, one might say that for safety sake I need everybody to keep back.

Mark Martinez
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Profile of Mark Martinez
I use a rope like Peter said, set the rope down and ask the kids not to cross the rope otherwise the magic might not work! That way you never has to stop your show and ask them to side back...

Success comes before work only in the dictionary. - Anonymous
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Profile of magicgeorge
Like Frank, I stand at the front and get them to sit in front of me at the start of the show. I stand a good few feet forward from my performance area to allow a little creepage. I point out where the best place to sit would be and explain to any of the children sitting at the sides or trying to move forward that they won't see the tricks properly if they stay where they are. I also make the point that I pick my volunteers from this area.

I also like to assess the area I'm working in before a show and use the shape of the room to the best of my advantage. If I'm doing a house show there will often be a rug. I'll usually shift this to where I want the kids to sit and use appropriate reasoning to keep them on the rug. I've never tried the rope I always get the feeling if I put a rope down it would be picked up or the kids would make moving forward into a game by moving the rope forward when I'm not looking.
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Profile of Grandillusionsmagic
I put a rope down before the show and as the kids come in I ask them to sit behind the rope. Then the second trick I do I use that rope and I don't put it back. By just casually picking up the rope the kids don't pay attention too much and they think for the rest of the show that the rope is still there (usually) Smile
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Profile of Emazdad
I put a line of tape down and tell them if they cross it the boys will turn into girls and vice versa. It works most of the time. Occasionally you'll get a boy who sees it as a game to cross the line, but once he finds out only the good people get to help, he soon falls into line.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley

"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.
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Crestview, Florida
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Profile of japanjazzy
I use the rope idea but instead of saying the magic won't work, I tell them they will block the show so others can not see. If that happens I will have to stop the show for them to move back so everyone can enjoy. Most of the time the other children keep everyone back. I do not see using a rope as any lack of control of your audience.
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Profile of NJJ
I've used a rope but found some kid's delight in move the rope around or peeling up the tape (little punks! Smile )

I had one child on Saturday who was so excitied she insisted on sitting on the stage and had to be physically restrained by her older sister (parents did nothing!)

A lot of my problems with audience control come from the fact I am an idiotic magician and the children have not respect for me.

Maybe I need to bring my friend Bonecrusher The Clown along. Smile Smile
Patrick T.
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Esslingen / Germany
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Profile of Patrick T.
On one of Jeff McBride's videos he shows how to produce a water fountain out of a paper. He said if you do this at the beginning of your show you can get the kids to go back so you have enough space.
Patrick Thomas Smile
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hemel hempstead, uk
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Profile of unklepaul
I have encountered this problem in my first few performances to date. I will definitely have to employ a rope method. Its tricky as a lot of my show involves children coming back and forth to help with tricks. The keen ones tend to stick around (or stick their hands in the box of tricks!!)
I think this will be one of the areas I need to learn fastest!
Thanks for the advice above though, it will help me a lot.
om mani padme hum
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