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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Birthday Party Opener (replacing the coloring book??) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JAEIII
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Hi all,

Need some suggestions. For the last 10+ years I have always opened with the coloring book for my birthday show for kids. I know it has always been overused, but I love it because it's quick, it sets the tone that I'm funny and that I'm also a real magician. I've never had any problems with it and it ALWAYS starts my show with huge 'oohs' and 'aahs.' HOWEVER, I'm starting to think that the coloring book is now in fact overused and overseen. The last FIVE shows I have performed, at least one child in each audience shouts out "I've seen that," or even worse, "I own that." It happened again in a show I did today. Even my mother, who is an elementary school teacher, told me that one of her students ask if she could bring her 'magic ooloring book' for show and tale.

So, after years of loving this trick, I am now wondering if it is time to retire it and find a new opener for my show. I don't care if a child has 'seen' the trick before, but now that I'm running into more and more kids that actually own it, it's not something I want to perform anymore.

So, my questions is; does anyone have suggestions on really great tricks they use to open their show. I'm looking for something that is quick, funny, and quickly points out that not only am I a talented magician, but they are in store for a fun show. Please share your thougts!
Believe In Magic....I do!
Christopher Lyle
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Why not take the same idea and put into something new and original that they can't buy in a Magic Kit.

Why not make a photo album and come up with a story line using it. I know they also make a Coloring Book that's a Stamp collector's book.

Change it up...remember...it's NOT about the trick...it's about how you present it...

Christopher
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Christopher Lyle
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LVMagicAL
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Bill Abbott's 5 Card Opener. I use it for Daycare shows through senior center shows. It's a GREAT opening effect and sets the stage for the balance of your show. Lots of psychology built into the effect and it's the best opener I've ever used. I imagine using this effect as my opener for a long time to come.
Rodney Palmer
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Don't think 5-Card Opener works on the young ones. I cannot see using this for DayCare Shows unless the Children are over 8 years of age.

RJ
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In order to keep "MAGIC ALIVE" Please become a Mentor to a Young Person.
LVMagicAL
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OK, Rodney....you're welcome to your opinion, but it works for me. It's not a card trick, it's a story and a counting trick....and it creates great enthusiasm initially and works well as an enthusiasm call back for later show routines. It may not work for you, but it DOES work for me, from daycares (4 and 5y/o+) to senior centers and everything in between.
Futureal
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Also sounds bizarre to me to do that trick for daycares.
Ken Northridge
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I don’t know where to begin in recommending an opener as there are many effects that would work very well. Rabbit out of hat silk (Laflin), The hand eye trick (Mitchell), Mouth coil are just a few.

But before throw away the coloring book, a routine you obviously enjoy doing, try this:

After the show is over and after you’ve packed all of you equipment in your car, walked back in the house with the coloring book. This is usually when I thank my clients once again and possibly get my check. The kids are usually sitting around the table eating cake with all of the adults in close proximity. I say my farewells to the kids and then say, “Hey would you like to see one more trick?” Of course they say yes. Then I do the coloring book.

This gives everyone the feeling that they received a bonus. If they’ve seen the trick before they are less likely to be disappointed because its not part of the show, it’s just an after thought. And if they have not seen the coloring book, it’s a really good trick, even for adults. So, you’ve left on a high note and fulfilled one of the most important things you could do for any customer in any business…you’ve given them more than they expected.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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Red Shadow
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I agree with Chris. Don't throw away the routine, just change it. Make your own colouring book using unique pictures of yourself.
At the very least, just change the cover on the book you are currently using so that none of the children recognise it!

I stopped using the book and replaced it with the Vanishing Painting board. The exact same routine, but uses a board rather than a book. It stops that shouting out moment.

Steve
mcharisse
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I, too, open with a coloring book, and always ask up front who has seen the trick and who knows how its done. I then co-opt those in the know "to help me fool the adults." This works well for me, and helps set the tone that we are in this together, rather than "catch me if you can."

Marc
Paul Rathbun
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Ken,
What is the hand eye trick by (Mitchell)? Thanks.
BIGmagiclV
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I recently watched an excellent children's magician do the 5 card repeat as an opening trick for 6-8 year olds. I felt it didn't play well. Now, it could have been that particular group but as I watched the reactions, It just didn't hit hard enough, in my opinion. And I don't think it was presentation as I have seen the trick presented many times and it does well for an older crowd.
As for an opening trick, ALmost as worn out as the coloring book is the stiff rope but it still kills for me. It allows me to be funny right off(I say I will "make the rope stay straight with just my mind" and then balance one end on my head), then do the magician in trouble with it not staying straight. Then the third time I ask the kids whats missing (the magic word) and then it works but I don't notice. I jokingly berate the audience that not everyone said the word and they all need to for the magic to work. I keep the rope above my head so I can't see that it did indeed work.
Bill Abbott
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The FIve Card Opener is a call back trick and is perfect for 'daycare' aged children. In fact on the Five Card instructional DVD there is a performance of the routine for....3-7 year olds at a summer day camp. If you have the DVD you will notice that at the end of the last 'call back' that the entire group is on their feet yelling the word 'Amazing' in unison. What you don't see is the call back used throughout the rest of the show, at the end of the each routine/magical moment. If you haven't seen the DVD it may be hard to imagine that it would play so well, as most 5-6 card repeats have been historically performed for adults or mixed audiences. As LVMagical stated, "It's not a card trick, it's a story and a counting trick." which always plays well for this age group.

Sincerely,
Bill
Ken Northridge
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Quote:
On 2010-02-16 08:08, Paul Rathbun wrote:
Ken,
What is the hand eye trick by (Mitchell)? Thanks.


Here it tis...Smile

http://www.barrymitchellproducts.com/sto......eyetrick
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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jimhlou
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I would recommend the crystal tube, where three silks are magically tied together. Silly Billy has an excellent routine that makes this a perfect opening trick for kids.

I use diamond cut silks in mine, they fit fine in the tube but look much larger when you blow them out.

jim
Spellbinder
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The overuse of the Coloring Book (but loving the concept) was the reason Jim Gerrish and his Wiz Kids came up with the routine you'll find in his Kid Magic section on my site. It uses an ordinary coloring book, colored in with real crayons. At the end of the routine, he pulls the colors back out (restores the vanished crayons to the crayon box) and hands the book and the box of "magic" crayons to the birthday kid. No one ever saw THAT done before.
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magicman1
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Sounds good Spellbinder, have to take a look at that one
Thanks

Don
LVMagicAL
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Abbott's 5 Card Opener isn't for everyone....and frankly, that's fine with me. It makes MY shows stand out even more with such a dynamic opener and tool to use throughout the rest of the show. I've said it several times, in several posts over the past few months, the props included with the 5 Card Opener are worth about $10, but the psychology and downright brilliant work that went into the development of the routine by Bill Abbott is PRICELESS. I wish he'd raise the price even higher to dissuade even more performers from using the effect. But for those who have studied the DVD, read the manuscript and ultimately personalized the effect to make it their own, you know what kind of dynamite you have in your hands. It is indeed PRICELESS!
LMLipman
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David Kaye (Silly Billy) addresses the issue of the overused coloring book and explains and demonstrates how he gets around it in his book and DVD "Seriously Silly." He has a very entertaining routine that works well--if you adopt his type of silly kids magic--even in front of audiences that have seen the coloring book before (and almost all of them have if they're over 5).

Larry Lipman
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wbzwolinski
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I used to feel the same way about the coloring book. I got tired of watching all the magicians in my area doing the trick and doing it the exact same way. Every show some kid would yell out "I've seen that before, I've got that, etc". So, I stopped using it for several years.

Then a couple of years back I was performing a Christmas party at one of our local Daycares. I had come across the coloring book earlier in the morning while looking for some replacement silks in my inventory and decided to take the coloring book with me. There were several teenagers that help out at the daycare at the party that evening. Do you know which effect astounded them?...the coloring book. At first I thought they were just being "wise" with me (some typical teenage smart-alecness) until, while I was packing up, they started bringing their friends and family up asking me to do the trick with the "coloring book" for them and wanting to know how do I do it.

Well, a few months later I was asked to do a high school graduation party...it was one of those teenagers from that Christmas party. They told me not to forget the Coloring Book. Again, I am thinking that I am being "set up" for some teenage mischief. My effects for the teenage crowd are obviously different then the ones of the daycare...except for that day - I brought along what my client wanted - the coloring book. Well, a quarter of the way into the show I pull out the coloring book and low and behold I have a teenager yell out "oh you have got to be kidding me!" Obviously this group had seen the trick before. I just responeded with "oh no I'm not!" and went into the routine. It went on for 10 - 15 minutes and it was the silliest and funniest part of the show. They were all taking part in the effect...I was making them laugh....they were making me laugh - and quite honestly that silly old overused coloring book was the best part of that show that afternoon.

I now always carry a coloring book (I have several) with me. As for kids that shout out "I know that trick or I know how that's done"...I let them come up and do the trick for their friends and/or classmates. They are the star and you would be surprised how humourous kids can be when you let them be themselves.

Well, I have rambled on long enough. I just wanted to convey that even though it has been beaten to death "it is not the trick or prop - it is what you do or don't do with it that will determine its entertainment value". Look at the rubber chicken. All I have to do is pull that silly thing out of a box, do a double take and people are on the flour. To me the coloring book is a simple prop and sometimes simple things can be the most entertaining.

Thanks for your patience!
Wolly
Keep it Simple...Play it BIG!!!
wbzwolinski
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...actually the people were not on the "flour" they were in the floor....never mind -
Keep it Simple...Play it BIG!!!
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