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310 Posts

Profile of JAEIII
Excellent posts. Thank you!
Believe In Magic....I do!
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13411 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
On 2010-01-20 23:07, davidbreth wrote:
Danny Hustle is RIGHT on (above)!!!

..."DO NOT try to fool them, ENTERTAIN them.

Please don't confuse that with...
"I don't care if I fool them. I just want to entertain them".

That's the biggest hack excuse in the world and I've heard it before.

Let's be clear...
'To entertain them you still MUST fool them."

You have no excuses for being technically poor.
Learning the technical side of a magic trick is far easier than learning a little
ditty on the piano or the guitar. Hand Crafted Magic
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Laurel, Maryland
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Profile of EricHenning
I perform for and teach magic classes to middle schoolers (ages 11-14) and agree with most of the points already made. Some excellent ideas worth rereading periodically.

Two ideas further:
First, when Silly Billy found his core audience was growing up and thinking that Silly Billy was "little kid stuff," he developed a completely different act and character, "Dr. Blood." I took his advice and used the same strategy (with a different concept, of course) and it has served me very well. If you are primarily a family performer, it will expand your market and you can charge a premium price for a unique show that plays to an audience others in your market will avoid.

Second, tweens and teens are fascinated by the strange, and also are super-sensitive to being part of the "in" group. One can appeal to both by pulling back the curtain (so to speak). I have a couple of routines that refer to stories of great magicians or things that have happened to me, or unusual people I have known. (It helps that my sister is a sword-swallower and tattoo artist.)

These "backstage" stories are my way of letting them behind the scenes, and help establish rapport. Con game "exposures," such as the Three Shell Game, Fast and Loose, etc. play well. Many teens are fascinated by poker, and gambling demos and poker deals tend to play well.

If the client has not booked my premium show (which is designed for Harry Potter (r) fans), then I do a variation of my adult show.

After the release of "The Illusionist" and "The Prestige" films a few years ago, I got many calls for 16-18 year old birthdays in which the teens had specifically asked for the kind of parlor magic they had seen on screen. These shows went very well, and I no longer underestimate the abilities of teens to understand and appreciate magic at a fairly sophisticated level.

For post-Prom and after-Graduation parties, Close-up seems to work the best, especially in the wake of Criss Angel and David Blaine - indeed, for many young people, close-up magic IS what magic is.

Hope this helps,
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Profile of JAEIII
Thanks again to everyone for their great advice. The show went very well. It had room for improvements, but now that I have performed for this age group I will not be afraid to do it again. Overall it was a great success. Thanks to all of you!
Believe In Magic....I do!
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Profile of vincentmusician
Older kids? I do most of my adult show. Be confident and show that you are having fun. If you do, so will they!
Don't do kiddy Magic. Throw in something they have not seen before. This age is fine as long as you have the right material. Cheers!
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Gainesville Fl
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Profile of MeetMagicMike
Those kids are ten years older now. Grown ups.
Magic Mike

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