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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Spoilsports (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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Okay, I brought up this topic partly because I have a photo I find amusing that I would like to share with you guys. This was taken at a 6 year old boy’s party last week.

See the photo here.

For this photo I asked all the children to pretend they had just won the lottery and all wave their arms in joy plus make the appropriate yahoo type noises. All the children played along with the exception of one. Look at the boy in the front with the number 03 on his top. His strategy was to do the exact opposite of what ever I suggested. You see him with his arms down with the glummest looking expression he can muster.

My question is how do you guys deal with a child that behaves this way? If you ask them to sit they stand, you ask them to stay back they come forward, you ask them to be quiet they start yelling. There is usually only one in a group so I don’t want to change anything I am doing too much because all the other children are playing along. I also need to keep the pace of my show going.

I guess each case is a little different. Generally they want attention. I have successfully dealt with children like this by allowing them to help with a trick which requires them to behave to participate. With this particular child I had to send him back after starting a trick with his help. He would do the opposite of everything I asked so I chose a new helper.

Generally I have found the best strategy to dealing with this type of behaviour to just keep the show fast paced & ignore them. Hopefully they get tied up in the show & forget their silly antics.

Any other advice or stories about spoilsports like this?
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Chrystal
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Hi Andy,

Wow! Looks like all the kids including yourself were having an wonderful time!!

I've said it before on one of these forums and although I don't claim to have the exact answer. What I wouldn't do is assume anything about the little guy. Who knows what's going on in his life? His parents could be going through a divorce, he could be recovering from trauma, he may be Learning Dissabled, mentally challenged or any number of things. In a perfect world all kids are happy, social beings..sadly that's not always the case.


I think you're doing the right thing Andy, ignoring the behavior and keeping a fast paced show.(Although, once I call a child up I never send them back but just go with the flow). I do the same type of show, fast paced and always take the time to chat with that particular child after the show. I feel magi's in general should never take it personal if a child acts up during a show as they may be going through something we are not aware of. On the other hand if all the kids acted like that then ......(tThen maybe the magi should considering changing his act). :O)

Keep up the good work Andy! By the look on the rest of the kids faces it's obvious you are doing something right! Smile
NJJ
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He ruined a GREAT publicity shot!
Emazdad
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It's simple; ignore them unless they're actually spoiling it for the others, then if they're not playing the game and being a complete pain they don't win anything, and may not even get a balloon at the end, or if they do get a balloon it will be something small. My favourite for boys like that is to give them a pink dog.

With this lad it's hard to say without being there, sometimes as Chrystal say's they may have problems. Other times they're just spoilt kids who always get their own way and don't like it when other people but them get picked to help, or win a game etc. If they are spoilt and sulk because they haven't been picked or won I don't pander to them, I just let them sulk. It wouldn't be fair on the others who are being good and joining in.
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.
Frank Tougas
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You may be dealing with someone who has an actual diagnosis. Remember when kids are invited to a party, especially if it is from the child's class at school, you are geting a relative random type sample. Not exactly but for this discussion, good enough.

If so, yes he will do the opposite of what you asked, and that is okay because chances are he is a friend of the birthday child.

Do not personalize it, feel it reflects badly on you or is something you need to address. It's just about that "Diversity" thing we hear so much about.

I would be willing to bet that behind closed doors, that child will tell others what a great time he had, and how good that magic guy was.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Mark Martinez
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LOL Smile I think you just made my weekend!
Great Photo... I'm glad that I don't run into kids like this much, but I agree with Chrystal, don't take it personally and keep up the good work!!!

:rotf: The picture still cracks me up!!! Smile
Magically,
Mark

Success comes before work only in the dictionary. - Anonymous
Jim Snack
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Adobe Photoshop can work magic on that publicity photo!
Jim Snack

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David Garrity
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Andy,

Maybe you can use that as a publicity photo with the caption, "9 out of 10 kids recommend Andy Walker for their next birthday party entertainer!"
p.b.jones
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Why not say "I want everyone to smile except for ******* I do not want any smiling from you!
Phillip
johnpert
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Trying to figure out this young boy's problem will likely require many answers to question you wont be able to get.

I suspect he had a good time and you likely had a positive influence on him, despite his actions don't show.

I teach full time. It is impossible to be everyone's friend. Some kids always have a chip on their shoulder, despite your best efforts. If you let it bother you, it may become a real pain in your neck. Ideally, it would be great if we could connect w/ everyone, but I don't think it is always possible.

just my thoughts,

j.
Jimeuax
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I think you should use David Garritys idea---that was hilarious! Brilliant idea! I'm still laughing----cheers!----Jimeuax Smile Smile
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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I also like the 9 out of 10 comment but I wonder if parents really would eccept that. Too many parents might question why the kid was not enjoying himself and if that might happen in their show if they book you.

I like Jim's idea. Photoshop does amazing things and you can edit the kid out easily and still have a wonderful photo that you can use on your website.

I am a graphic designer by trade and deal with photoshop every day. editing that image does not take that much time to do. Let me know if you may need some help with it if you decide to go that route.
Kyle Peron

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NJJ
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Even if your not good enough in photoshop it could be quite cathartic to remove the small child's head.
magic4u02
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Nicholas:
That can work. =) If anyone does want the full picture edited, just let me know. It is pretty easy to do for me and not a problem.

I do love the idea that Andy does have pictures taken at some of his performances. I think that is a great source for promotional images that you can use. Just make sure thet the camera or flash does not disrupt your show. I use a digital camera and I get some really nice shots from it.
Kyle Peron

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Andy Wonder
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I usually take a digital camera to parties & snap some photos of the birthday child with the rabbit, or do a group shot like this. In this case I have the camera to the birthday Dad to take the shot.

I find quite often that parents are not prepared with a camera. Eeither the are too busy preparing food to take photos, or they are out of film, out of flash or just take terriable photos. So I use my camera & email them the photos afterwards with a thank you letter. It is just another way to exceed their expectations and make them remember you.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
NJJ
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I was going to do that but it turns out there are laws in Australia about photographing children without parents permission (i.e. other kids at the party).

Go figure.
Salazar Magic
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I LOVE the "9 out of 10 kids" idea. And, there's actually ten kids in the picture!
what
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Lehi, UT, USA
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The "9 out of 10 kids" line is excellent.
As per photoshop. You could photoshop a floating silk in front of the childs mouth and it will look like he's concentrating so hard that the silk is floating on his command.
Magic is fun!!!
Cheshire Cat
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Great picture Andy. I'd not even think of joining in the debate to analyse him!! Put this one on your website - or even better on Chris'!!! (He hadn't filled his pants had he?)

Tony.
p.b.jones
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I'd not even think of joining in the debate to analyse him!! Put this one on your website.

HI,
Provided you have permision in writing from the parents of every kids parent in the shot!

I have been advised by a solicitor that this is the only safe way to include any photo of a child in your publicity. Actually for the first time ever I had some one ask me if I took any photographs during the show because they had a child that's parents explicitly stated that they could only attend the trip (where I performed after lunch) if there where no photo's taken of their child and they would sue if this rule was broken!
Phillip
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