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jkwebber
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I am doing a magic show for 4-6 year olds at my Grandson's birthday party in January. I am hoping that one of the other parents book me for their kid's birthday party. So..when you get a booking from a person that was at your original show, do you put on a totally different show or do you just perform the same original show with just a few changes in it? Thanks
magic4u02
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In most cases if I am at one show and a parent sees me there, they are booking me based on what I presented. I will always do the same show. I feel that the parent (client) is booking me because of what they experienced and feel that the product and service I provide to them will be the same wonderful experience for their own event.

Kyle
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jkwebber
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Thanks Kyle for your advise. I was worried that the child would say or think "I have already seen that one". I know that it really doesn't matter as long as long as they have lots of fun.

(Kyle ,by the way, I am going to put in the chair suspension at the end of the show. I got your e-book on the chair suspension and it had a lot of good information).
magic4u02
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Thanks so much for your kind words. I do appreciate it. if you have any questions while you are working on it, please just let me know.

As far as your show, I will always do the same show. The client is really almost expecting it as that is what they saw the first time that they really enjoyed. it is almost like going to a friends house and he shows you his iMac. You want one wo you would hope that the store carries the same one and not give you something different.

In most cases, if the kids love the show, they will want to see it again any ways. Also, usually a lot of the kids are different in the crowd. I know when I do one b-day aprty and get booked by a parent for their son's party, I will do the same show and everyone has a good time.

the only time I may change things around a bit is if 1) the party is very soon after the one they saw me at and 2) the audience is comprised of almost the same exact kids at the first aprty. I usually ask questions and then base my decision off of that.

Hope this helps.

Kyle
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Red Shadow
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I have 8 children's shows I can call upon, if given the need. But truth is, most of those props just sit on the shelf gathering dust.

I have my magic box which contains 2 and a half hours of material. It means I have a different show for toddlers, children and young adults, with just a few overlap tricks that play to all ages (like the puppets). This means I can switch shows during a performance if I discover they have seen me before.
This is often the case because its rare that I go to a booking knowing they have seen me before. They probably told me over the phone but I never record those details. I read my audience upon arriving and choose the best tricks for them for that event, based on seen before, majority age, gender and what mood I'm in.

In some cases, they want to see the same tricks twice. This is because they liked them or want a second chance to figure them out. Either way, I give the audience what I think they want.

The other 5 shows are sat at home for a variety of reasons. The first is that they are too big for my box. If they don't fit in the table, they don't fit in my show. In some other cases I found something that plays better or I got bored of the trick and decided to retire it. There are theme shows like Christmas / Halloween which aren't really needed. A few are backup tricks, potential tricks for the future and tricks that are too big for transportation and nobody will bid on them when I list them on eBay.

Steve
magic4u02
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Steve: Great advice and thanks for your thoughts. if you know that a client was at one party and saw what you did, loved it and booked you for their own party...wouldn't you perform probably the same show?

I am not trying to fish for an answer. I am just curious. I think in many ways, they want you because of what they saw and they want the same experience and same solutions that you provided at the other party.

Just curious is all.

Kyle
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Red Shadow
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I found that changing at least part of the show was necessary to help keep control. Once the kids get it in their heads that 'they've seen it before', they get restless and start running around. By changing the show, they are more likely to stay and watch.

I also find it brings in more repeat work if they have seen me do several different shows, they think a third will also be different.

And while I too agreed with you that the same show was fine for quite a while, I have now decided to change my thoughts on that and I now believe that a different show each year / booking with the same client helps generate work and is more interesting for the children. I don't go to any lengths to create a new show, I simply add new tricks that I'm working on into my kids show because I want to try them out. All the new tricks in my show are because I choose to add them and not because of public demand. But they have made the show better, and increased my skill level with manipulation as well.

But there are still a few tricks in my box which have been in there for 15 years and are still part of my main show. If I ever get lazy or don't feel that the children will allow me to perform the complicated slights, then I do these effects as they have little chance of going wrong and play to all ages. Those are the cut & restored rope, arm chopper and silk through mirror.

Steve
magic4u02
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I think the difference here is whether or not the b-day child is the only one at the last show or if a majority of the kids are. I think you have to make a judgement call at that point and be prepared to switch it up a bit if you feel you need to.

I do agree if the same client books you for a repeat performance, then I would change the show up for sure. I usually will always do that and let them know of it in advance.

My main issue was a person at one party seeing your show, loving it and wanting to hire you for their event for the first time. that is a bit of a different situation.

Kyle
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jkwebber
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Steve and Kyle. This is great advise so far. You both obiviously do a ton of parties and I appreciate your input. Thanks. It will be interesting to see how other magicians handle the same situation.
Al Angello
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I do a family show. If I'm doing a just for kids show I will change a few tricks, and if I'm doing a just for adult show I will change a few different tricks. I know the hand picked tricks that I do backward, and forward. If I learned a lot more new tricks for the sake of variety I feel that I would not be nearly as good. I have tried, and rejected a lot of tricks that don't meet my standards, and I still have all of them in my office. I will always stick with the material that I have come up with over the years that fit my show. I bought a new trick last December, and I'm still working on it. My God how good can your show be if you do hundreds of tricks, but you don't do any of them well?
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MagicSanta
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Since your show should be scripted an expectation to do different shows doesn't make sense. So you should have a good solid show which can have a few variations for repeate customers. By that I mean I will change closers if I do the same kids party.
Al Angello
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I get return calls, and referals all the time, but it is infrequent that I do more than two shows for a family. I do get phone calls from satisfied customers that want me to recommend another magician for their third child, so I see no need for me to have one "A" show, and several "B" shows. There is a middle school near me that calls me up every three years to do an assembly, which coincides with their turnover of students.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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keeblem
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I try to make a few changes but I do have favourite effects that I use in every show - for example Axtell's drawing board which is often requested and the most talked about trick.

However, I don't get too hung up about it. I try to add new tricks to my show periodically to keep it fresh. However, there are some tricks that have remained in the show for years. For example Creative magic's bigger wands but also an extremely simple change bag routine with a set of clown silks.

Mark

Quote:
On 2010-07-17 17:03, ku7uk3 wrote:

This is often the case because its rare that I go to a booking knowing they have seen me before. They probably told me over the phone but I never record those details.


Hi Steve

This surprised me because I always ask where they got my details from and if they have seen me before I like to know where it was.

Mark
Potty the Pirate
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I have 20 distinct shows, several for each age. If the kids have seen me before, I ALWAYS bring a different show. There's no compromise on standards - I work hard to ensure that each show is high quality. And precisely BECAUSE they are scripted, there's no problem if I haven't performed a particular show for a while - I can simply re-read the script.

It's common for me to see the same child for 5, 6 or 7 years consecutively. Sometimes, their friends also have me at their parties. this can mean over the course of several years, I do indeed see the same kids 20, 30 or 40 times - so repeating the same material ad nauseam would get boring. (In fact, I just wouldn't get re-booked). If you only have one show, I suspect you'll rarely see the same kids more than 3 or 4 times, before they figure out that you're never going to offer them any variety.

If you were a musician, would you play just one set all your life?
As we've talked about countless times here, it's YOU, not the tricks, which are important.
:)
Tony James
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Quote:
On 2010-07-18 03:37, Potty the Pirate wrote:


I have 20 distinct shows.......................



Good heavens. I don't even have one show.


But then, I have always approached this job from a quite different perspective.
Tony James

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Al Angello
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Tony
I also find 20 shows an unbelievable number. It kinda makes my one show look bad. There are only about 25 tricks for family, and kid shows that I really do well. Anyone that hires me more than once does so because they like ME, and they don't necessarily remember that many of my tricks.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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Mr. Pitts
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Recently I added a medicine show to my repertoire. It's still a work in progress, but I currently have about 15 minutes of solid material for that with another 15 minutes in the works. I currently book the medicine show as either an act for a variety show or as a strolling street act, which works better as a shorter act.

For many years though, I have had only one act that I would vary slightly to fit a given audience, changing it only to adjust the length. I did however change it in that I would refine it, improve it, add a line or bit of business that seemed to fit or get a laugh. I spent 20 years or more just polishing it. I have found that if I were to leave a bit out, people who have seen it before would say "Why didn't you bring Henry?" or "It was funny but why didn't you use the Red Baby today?" They want to see what they've seen before, they don't mind that it's the same, in fact they want it to be the same. Maybe it's because they are telling the person next to them, "Watch, this part is hilarious.." I don't know.

I recall a very interesting conversation with a colleague and friend I respect for his originality and intelligence. It was about how 'surprise' is overrated. He contended that most surprises in life aren't really all that great. Many are like, "Surprise! I hit your car!", or "Surprise! You've been laid off!", or "Surprise! The toilet is clogged!" You get the idea. People, especially kids, tend to appreciate and enjoy being able to anticipate, expect and enjoy something more than once. Watch a kid and his video selections.. they often watch the same thing, over and over.

So my goal from the start has been to develop an act that had the same kind of durability as Senor Wences and George Carl's acts had. To do that my approach has been to refine, polish and add to the act until it becomes 'MY ACT', a unique and original entity that people recognise and anticipate seeing.

Maybe I'm just not talented enough to have 20 different shows, but this approach has worked well for me. I can't imagine being able to refine 20 different shows to the point I have been able to with one.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
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Scott Burton
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Wow...just imagine if you took the best material out of your 20 shows and created 2 shows of the most solid and tested material you have. IMO, there has to be some compromise in show quality when you have that many shows. Why go for quantity when you can show them your very best every time!
Al Angello
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Let's do the math together. 20 shows with roughly 15 tricks per show equals 300 well done magic tricks. It took me about 20 years of practice to feel confident doing 25 kids tricks. At that rate it would take me another 500 years to master 300 tricks. I guess I will just have to stick with the tricks that I already know.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
seadog93
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Julian Franklin has 12 shows
http://julianfranklin.com/programs.htm

I guess I kind of have a half dozen or so, but mostly they are for different groups and different types of magic.

For kids I have my standard show and a birthday show that is mostly the same, but with a few routines switched out for birthday themed ones. I want the birthday show to get a little more birthday focused. I also have a magic class for 8+ years old. I plan on have a tween show soon.

I also have a magic show for adults, a con-man show, a mentalism show and bizarre magick show. I plan on soon having a more solid script for the bizarre show and a second, Lovecraft themed bizarre show as well as a seance. I've also done combined magic-con man-mentalism shows a few times that played very strong and I may start officially offering that as a show if it ever seems to be appropriate.

I don't do most of these shows that much, so they are nowhere near as polished as my family show (which is not very polished either come to think of it!) but I look forward to a time of being able to do schools and other kid/family shows in the daytime on weekdays and more adult themed (there should be a better way of saying that Smile ! ) magic(k)/mentalism in the evenings and weekends; I think that would give me a nice sense of variety and artistic satisfaction.
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

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