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The Magic Cafe Forum Index The little darlings Do you do shows for teenagers? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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sterlyn
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As a high school teacher I regularly perform tricks for fifteen, sixteen and seventeen year olds. Talk about a tough sell.

Even if they are clueless they'll shout out. Being tricked is a blow to their fragile egos. They hate and love it.

Chime in.
Darkwing
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Nashville Tn
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I did a birthday party show for a thirteen year old girl. Egos were very fragile. I did 25 miniutes in which I complimented the birthday girl at the very end. The kids were very tough and a bit unruly. You have to keep things moving at a fast pace and don't even give them a chance to get bored or you will lose control of the audience.

You do know what the difference is between a three year old and a thirteen year old?

Absolutely nothing!
Steven Steele
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Hesperia, California USA
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I enjoy performing for high school students as well as junior high. I have done several shows and they have enjoyed each and every performance. I had a heckler (a senior girl) at one show, but the peer pressure took care of her faster and better than any heckler putdown. I know Jim Sisti editor of Magic Menu enjoys that age group too.

Steven
Jon Gallagher
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Elmwood, Illinois
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I used to be a high school English teacher, and I've got two teenage girls of my own, so maybe that's why I can relate to teens as well as I do. I say that so you can take what I'm about to say however you wish....

I love performing for teenagers. I did six weeks worth of "After Prom" parties and had a blast at each one. Sure, some of the kids didn't want to watch "kids' magic," but once word got around that I was there and doing some pretty cool stuff, I had a crowd around me all night.

If I had my "druthers," I'd just as soon not perform for junior high age kids.... they're at the age where they think they know everything and aren't afraid to let you know that. I still do okay with this age group, but I always go into it with knots in my tummy.
www.jongallagher.com

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
ChrisZampese
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Hamilton, NZ
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I recently did a show for a lifeteen youth group I am involved with. There were about 120 teenagers (13-16 years). The gave me possibly the best reactions I have ever had!! It was a great show!
It gives me the opportunity to do magic that doesn't involve silly faces, names, rabbits etc which is nice for an occasional change!
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are
DaveWomach
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Dave Womach
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Wow, yeah. I just did a senior all-nighter party... talk about having 350, 17/18-year-olds in one room. Ugh...

Greatfully, I just graduated a year ago, so I'm still at an age where I can relate with them, but still... what a hard crowd! I found that "David Blaine" style things really blew them away. I performed Pyro Perception, and they LOVED it!

Teens are a hard audience! I wish I knew how to please them all.

Looking forward to all the other stories!

Dave

Smile
Vibono Magic
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Vxj,Sweden
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I do quite a lot of shows for teenagers and I have no problems as long as you don't treat them as kids. I usually do 20-30 mins. of magic and stand up comedy magic using all of my regular routines. There is a tendency to have more hecklers in a young crowd, but I don't see this as a problem as I have a mouth that shoots faster then Billy the Kid and the teenagers seems to like it when you can talk back to a heckler.

Jonas Karlsson
Vibono Magic
Sweden
:righton:
Vibono Mirage
Magic entertainer and Balloon artist
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I wear two hats in my work with teenagers. One as a nearly normal magician and the other as a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist. I use magic when wearing both hats.

Things that go over are:
My Nearly Normal Strait Jacket (though I get an administrator to strap the groin one)

Also sleight of hand routines that are entertaining with any object rubber bands, coins, cards.....and even ropes.

Back when I worked at the State Hospital in Reno, Nevada I used to let the guys try to tie me up in 100 feet of rope or chain. (Hmm haven't done that challenge in a long time.)

IMHO it is both my approach and the individual or group of teens that reflects on the outcome. I suggest do not play down to them.

With the help of folks on this board, and magicians I have met, I was awarded the
COMBAT (Community Backed Anti Drug Tax)
2002 Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist of the year.

Magic is only a part of my contact with teens. I also facilitate small groups and individual contact on subjects like:

Anger,Relationships, Street, Prescription and Over the Counter Drugs(including alcohol)
Suicide and Grief/Loss.

My grandson says the reason I get along so well with Middle School Students is that I am there size. Stephen is 6'1". I am 5'5".

I use a lot of humor back toward me, i.e. asking them if I look like Brad Pit.

They say NO! I say well how about the guy selling Chicken - Jason Alexander - George on Seinfield.

Harris Deutsch
Laughologist
http://www.nearlynormalmagic.com
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
magicgeorge
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Belfast
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I find it quite tricky. I'm just itching to do my silly kids gags and routines the whole time. If it's for a party I'll usually try and sell them either strolling entertainment or a workshop of some kind.
cmwalden
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Cedar Park, TX
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I have done performances for teens, though no where near the experience of Harris. I treat teens the same way I treat adults. I don't do blue material for anyone. I find that if you take them seriously, it goes a long way.
"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our reality."

- William Shakespeare
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I agree with Cm

Don't talk down to them.

Work with them.

This morning I had an ever growing circle of kids after I started doing close up magic during a summer school break.

It is fun to get a "David Blaine" street magic reaction without all the edits.

Harris Deutsch
Laughologist
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Christopher
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Teenagers make up 75% of my business. My busiest season is graduation time. I regularly do 5-6 grad parties each fri, sat, and sunday.

The key is to get their respect. Trust me, I learned this from several years as a substitute high school teacher.
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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No-one in this area would book a magician for a teenagers party, the teenager would die of shame and embarrassment. it would seriously damage their street cred. They'd see it as babyish to have a magician and would prefer to do something that fits their "Adult" status.
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.
DavidSak
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In order to perform for high school graduates, i find that you have to be a little mysterious and spooky. If you come in there with a clown mentality, they kind of lose respect for you. That's my two cents..
Chrystal
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Hi,

I've done shows too for teens and I really liked it.Good advice said about not talking down to them and treating them like adults.

Harris, I want to take this opportunity to tell you why I know you're succesful at what you're doing. You come across as pretty neat guy in your line of work. It's obvious why the kids like you as you seem to value and respect them. We need more people like you!! Hats off to you! Smile
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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I do not personally do shows for teenagers as I feel my character and style of performance is really more geared towards children and the family style audiences.

However, people bring up some good points. I think you indeed need to establish their respect right from the start and do not talk down to them.
Kyle Peron

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Terry Holley
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After I wrote the following, I went back and reread all the posts. Much of what I wrote as my personal experience reiterates what has already been shared, but possibly it will be of help.

I was "professional" youth worker for 12 years. Although the culture has changed since that time, there are some things that are the same. I think one of the biggest changes is the fact that they are a "media generation."

I have found that teenagers (both Jr. and Sr. Highers) enjoy mentalism. I think one of the reasons is the audience participation as well as the fact that this age group is really interested in the "psychic/occult world." But don't do drawn out routines that aren't moving forward. They're used to MTV!

I believe one of the problems of performing "straight" magic, particularly with Jr. Highers, is that it can come across as, "I, the magician, am smarter and more clever than you." I have found that if you come in with that type of show, look out!

My effective presentations of "straight" magic for this age usually include the same effects that I use for adults. Again, a lot of audience participation where you allow them to be in the spotlight, and don't embarrass them.

If you try to do comedy, you had better be funny.

As always, know when to quit! Always leave them wanting more!

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Terry:
Excellent advice. Thank you for sharing that with us. I think that is part of my problem and part of the reason I do not do many teen-type shows.

My brand of magic and my style is more comical in nature. I like to use patter and creative storylines in my shows. This often plays very well for the fair and family crowds I mainly work.

It is often hard for me toi switch characters entirely to do a teen party. It just does not seem like me any more.

I can understand your points and they sound dead on. I may have to try that the next opportunity I get and see if I can learn from the experience and grow from it.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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http://kpmagicproducts.com

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Dynamike
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I perform 20 minute stand up acts for teens. Next, I perform strolling. I get request for teens mostly for graduation parties.
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
941 Posts

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God forbid, it's bad enough having teenagers of my own! Would rather have a colonic irrigation with pure lemon juice!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index The little darlings Do you do shows for teenagers? (0 Likes)
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