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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Catch this if you can! » » Juggling "Lessons" HELP!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
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So I am a magician and do some sideshow stuff and juggling and decided to expand my "business" a bit. Normally I just do birthday parties with magic and some animal balloons but to expand the options I thought I might offer "Juggling Lessons" kinda. I got the idea from Mystick toys.
http://mystiktoyz.com/for-hire/
It looks like people hire them to go juggle with the kids. Show them the basics and let them play. My plan is to get more juggling equipment and when they hire me I'll go for an hour, show the kids the basics of each item (Im thinking silks, balls, diabolos, poi swings and devil sticks) and then play and help them when they need it. I work in a magic store and sell these items and see kids pick them up and play in the store for HOURS so I figure this is a cool way of exposing kids to juggling. QUESTION How much should I charge (Im in Montana so I may not be able to charge as much as say Cali) and is there any other tips you guys might have? Thanks!
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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I do scarf juggling lessons. It is an hour course, good for all ages, the success rate is high, and I charge $200 for up to 100 kids. You can forget about other props because there just isn't time for them.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
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Let me rephrase. It wouldnt be really a "lesson" it's basically rent a juggler and a whole bunch of juggling stuff. I don't think they will learn anything, but it might spark an interest and I've seen countless kids pick up a devil stick and play with it for hours. Kids love playing with it and they may want to learn after seeing how cool it is. Then I could offer to sell them it as well because I can get it them at wholesale. This would probably be parties of 12-30 kids for maybe 45 min to an hour? Again not really a lesson but a chance to play with juggling equipment. Kids don't care if they are doing it right necessarily, just that they have fun!
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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What in the world are you talking about?
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
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Should I type slower? what do you mean? Whats the confusion?
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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I do not think that you can get there from here.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Roslyn
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UK
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I think I understand what you're talking about.

Here in the UK that sounds like your standard circus skills workshop. They have become very popular with schools as well as corporate events and birthday parties.

Its something I've done myself for many years!

I take a tightrope; unicycles; stilts; juggling balls, rings, clubs & scarves; diabolos and a mini bike to every booking.

Birthday parties run for about two hours. The kids get a half hour presentation/safety talk where I go over everything. I play, but at the same time emphasise the fact that things like the tightrope are extremely dangerous unless used properly.

The rest of the time is taken up with free time, where the kids get to explore the equipment. I'm there to show them the basics, plus they know what all the kit does because of the demo at the start.

About half way through I do a 20/30min structured workshop with the kids. Here I teach them scarf juggling or plate spinning. This way all the kids get to go home having learnt a new skill.

We end with the final half hour of free time.

Yes you need a space bigger than a living room. But the advantages are the kids are actually doing something and you don't have a top age group.

I've done this for private parties of kids as young as 5/6, for mixed family groups and also for adults. Just last week I did a 40th birthday party and a Stag Night.

Everyone loves it.

Oh and I can take up to 30 kids on my own. If there's more than 30 one sitting then I charge for an extra instructor/performer/tutor/what ever you want to call yourself.

As I said its big business here in the UK at the moment. Parents want something more than "just a magic show" (not my words, but the same quote from many of the parents that call me). The kids are active and beats the usual party games hands down. I know this because I used to do the traditional party games and magic show combo.

Hope this helps Smile
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Kameron Messmer
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Wow Roslyn! That really helps! I've never done it before so that gives me a lot to think on. The plate spinning thing is a great idea! I forgot about it honestly. I have to get me some. I don't know if I can get away with 3 hours, but I might do a mini version of what you talked about. Thanks!
Kameron
Roslyn
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I've run these for up to 5 hour sessions in schools.

The key is the structured "lessons". I have one for each of the manipulation pieces of equipment. So balls, scarves, plates etc......

Each "lessons" lasts between 30/40 minutes. In these situations the kids really get to learn the basics of everything. And they'll also find something they excel at too.

What's great doing it this way is it opens up opportunities for back-of-room sales too. You teach 30 kids to spin a plate, you now have potentially 30 kids to sell one to. About half will buy one.

The same with other juggling props.

In a birthday situation you have to be careful not to come across as too much of a teacher. But if you can find that fine line of being the cool guy that can do loads of cool then the kids will want to learn from you.

A 2 hour birthday is really quite easy to do though.

Lets break it down.

0.5 hour demo
0.5 hour free time
0.5 hour structured "lesson" in scarf juggling or plate spinning
0.5 hour free time

2 hours done before you know it. Easy.

And that doesn't include the birthday tea either. So if that has to be included in the 2 hours then you're only really doing 1.5 hours.

Have fun with it. And if you want to discuss it in more detail please just drop me a PM.
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Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Well now that Ros has spoke up I do remember doing a group picnic where I brought my bucket of toys, but they were mostly toys like the chattering ring, kendama, spinning plates, balls, clubs, hula hoops, diobolos. Most of my time was spent spinning plates for the kids, no one learned anything, but I was paid to amuse, and baby sit a large group of little kids.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
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Are there any other toys that might work for a party like this? Im thinking the easier the better...
One Man
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Frederick, MD
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I have also done a fair bit of this...everything Roslyn said plus...balancing peacock feathers, spinning plates, devil stick as well as juggling cups...(20+ years of doing shaker cups has left me with a large supply of dented unusable by me cups). I am also of the mindset that if the kid is 8+ that I don't even do scarves and move right onto balls.
esther_scheffer
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the netherlands
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You might want to add poi and the girls like twirling batons.... (they will use flower sticks for this also anyways :o)
May be hula hoop.

If they really want to learn something or for longer times I would opt for a more structured way. In this way they merely try, taste and play with the materials.

And I do not like to become a(n expensive) baby sitter neither but for occasions where there is lots of different activities going on at the same time (like there is also a bouncing castle and games and a dj and food/buffet and someone doing face painting and the kids (and adults run from here to there and come and go and come back again) and/or a situations where a lot of people pass by (like a festival or special markets/ braderie) I do like this version of workshops. I would not call it "lessons" though. I call it something like (but in dutch) "open circus arena"
Roslyn
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I've also done the drop-in type sessions mentioned above for school fetes, festivals and the like.

I don't like them as much as kit tends to wonder off much more than in a school situation. I always make sure I'm in a roped off area for this type of stuff and have some form of shelter should it rain (I'm in the UK, it rains) and I can also use it when I need to shut up shop and take a break.

In this situation I don't actually teach that much.

On a different note, after reading the bit on the shaker cups, anyone know of any decent material on learning them? They're one of those things I've tried at conventions once or twice, enjoyed, but never pursued. They could be a fun addition to my own repertoire as well as becoming a nice new piece for the workshops.
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Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Ros and I have put our heads together and we both agree that the chattering ring is no longer available. If you are looking for toys to fit this need you must go to a toy store yourself and shop around.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
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Thanks guys! This helps!
Roslyn
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Not to take this thread too far off topic, but I received an email from http://www.firetoys.co.uk this afternoon. I contacted them regarding the chatter rings and they pointed me in the direction of http://www.iqtoys.com.au/site/page=item/item=1787
in Australia. It would seem these guys still have them available. Although they're not the ones with the 5 different coloured smaller rings as those I saw in the 90s had. However it is a start Smile
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Roslyn
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Continued my search and have found these in the US - http://www.innovatoys.com/p/GYRO

It seems they're made by http://fascinations.com/unique-toys-gifts/gyro-ring.htm who specialise in physics related toys. Now to try and find a supplyier in the UK.

Happy days Smile
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