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NJJ
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How many EFFECTS make up your standard kids party routine? How many should you have?

I just realised I have 6 effects in a 45 minute show!!!!!

1. Sponge Earplugs
2. Cut and Restored Rope
3. Axtell Drawing Board (is this even magic)
4. Sucker Die Box.
5. Nielson Bottle.
6. Rabbit Production.

I also do a little juggling routine with a rubber chicken from my clown days as well as few wands (spring wand, wonky wand etc.) which are not magic.
Cheshire Cat
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Usually pack about five magic routines Nicholas, - 4 good quality visual props and 1 'pack away flat' item. Magic is only about 20-30 minutes as we do a 14 minute marionette feature, about 10 minutes of balloons, plus lots of games and disco. Typical magic case would be Giant and Dwarf, a die-box, Chinese Washing Machine, maybe a floral magic gardening routine or Elusive (Hippety Hop) Rabbits etc. Typical easy pack would be a 3 section change bag and say a Mr and Mrs Green set, or maybe an old Supreme fold flat routine like Eddie's Ghost House. How many should you have? Well I'd better not get drawn into passing comments about magicians who 'pad out' tricks for ages, as I've probably said too much about this before!

Tony.
spatrick
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Tom Sawyer let me whitewash these
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It really depends on the show but I usually include about 10 routines in my performance. Since my show is kinda fast paced and furious I usually do about 9-11 full routines in a 1 hour show. These bits sometimes are drawn out for comedic timing and some are just throw-a-way bits that I use as fillers.

I guess it all depends on your style of performing. I love being able to do a full hour out of one suitcase and two tables. Some can't. Gotta love this business.

S. Patrick
Ron Reid
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Hi Nicholas:

Here's my standard show

1. Pom Pom Pole
2. Pavel's Krazy Knot
3. Die Box
4. Professor's Nightmare
5. Pro Viper
6. Balloons

Lots of business thrown it...breakaway wand, etc.

Ron Reid
flourish dude
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I also have ten routines for a 45 min show, then 15 mins for Balloons.
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
Just taking a step, is a step in the right direction because when you stop working, your dream dies.
www.magicalmemories.us
johnpert
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Howdy, My b-day party is about 6 routines also. Although it varies from time to time, this is the jist.

1. warm-up (chantig, clapping, laughing)
2. something that shows I am "magic"
(hanky w/ TT or music routine)
3. volunteer routine (silk blendo)
4. volunteer routine (egg bag)
5. volunteer routine (sponge balls)
6. mass participation (sucker effect-
sliding card, farm yard frolics)
7. birthday person routine (hat tear, b-day silk banner, party picture, baking routine, egg can, etc.)

other vounteer routines I use include:
-rope routine (prof nightmare, cut & restored)
I also do Darryl's routine as an opener sometimes
-mentalism routine (tony Griffith's "object lesson) - depends on age
-run on gags (sponge rabbit, skunk silk)
-head band blendo

cheers,

j
NJJ
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Well I don't so guilty now..

;)

I prefer magicians who make sure their routines are full and rich with narrative, humour, conflict and all the other stuff that makes performing fun instead of just doing trick after trick without allowing time to build up.

I love seeing a magician who can hold a crowd with one trick for ages.
flourish dude
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You also have to be careful not to get boring with one routine. I have seen guys carry the same routine on for too long and they loose the kids. My show is ten routines that's about 5 mins a routine, on average. Depending on the age group you need to change about every 5 mins (I think) Plus If I was a birthday Mom and paid someone 150.00 and they came in and did 5 tricks I might feel under whelmed. I know it's about the fun and entertainment but it is also about the perceived value the customer gets! Your focus should be on what the customer wants, how you can full fill their expectation. Not how long you can hold them with one trick.
I can't recall the last show where there where just kids at the show. If was to try and pull off 4 routine each having all the build up and bits of business then I am sure the adults what say "the kids enjoyed the show" instead I get " wow that was a great show" Why, Because there was enough change and variety to entertain everyone. I also think that the fast pace, routine change helps control the kids. They don't have time to get restless.

when I see magicians I used to think well maybe I get board because I know most of the routines. NOT true, watch the people you will tell if they are loosing them. I also asked my wife and she agreed. In fact one of my routines is 8 mins It is my balloon routine. My wife hates it. She says it takes way took long. The kids don't seem to mind but adults find it too long. I think you need to have a good mix.

I also crack up with the one box in theory. I mean come on, these people paid good money for you. Give them a SHOW!!!
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
Just taking a step, is a step in the right direction because when you stop working, your dream dies.
www.magicalmemories.us
NJJ
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Yeah,

There is nothing worse then a magician who just pads out 15 minutes with the die box

"No open the other door"

"no the other one"

If I include my juggling routine then I spend 6 minutes on each effect (+ alittle time left over for a few bits of business)
Emazdad
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In my 1-hour show I use,
1, Organ pipes, Helper gets a Nimbus 2003 white lightening broomstick, Made from balloons.
2, Practical magics Colour painting, using colouring book. Helper gets Helecopter Made from balloons,
3, Marmite the lion, he performs 'Who's Who at the zoo' Helper gets Plait with a heart Made from balloons
4, Birthday child magics their own present. Boy helper dressed as spaceman with balloons, girl dressed as fairy, Older girls get big heart flower made with 4" hearts.

From the moment the helper is called up to when they sit down is about 12-15 minutes.
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.
keeblem
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Hi Emazdad.
I like the way you have structured your show: magic - balloon - magic - balloon - etc. Is this your standard show? Do you do balloon modelling afterwards? If you're only doing an hour, do you get bothered with other children also wanting a balloon. Do you ever just do a half hour magic show? Do some bookers feel they want more than just 4 routines in one hour? Sorry so many questions, but it seems quite an unusual format - but that obviously works in your favour.
Mark
p.b.jones
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Hi Emazdad.
I like the way you have structured your show: magic - balloon - magic - balloon - etc.

Hi,
I work virtualy the same way as Emazdad, but I have a few more effects in my show a total of 7 for a 45 mins show.
phillip
Emazdad
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Hi Mark,

This is the standard format for all my shows, I put a show together that's aimed at the age range I work for ie 4-9yr olds, Last years show becomes show 2 which I take if I'm going to do kids who've seen show 1 a couple of times. I don't chop and change the show to fit the kids ages, it's one show fits all. After all on a saturday my first show may be for 3-4 yr olds, the 2nd for 7-9 and the 3rd for 4-6 I don't want to carry 3 different shows. I just change the way I perform to suit the age groups.

Each routine is full of fun and audience participation, I don't do any skill stuff to show I'm worth watching etc, I've never felt the need to prove my credentials as a magician, then helper gets all the credit and applause for all the magic happening I get my applause at the very end of the show.

The kids know that if they want to help and get a balloon they must be good, For Birthday parties the others will get balloons out of the bagful I made earlier at the end of the show. (As I've mentioned in previous posts for 1-hour shows I pre make them most of them at home, The rest once I've set up and I'm waiting for the kids to arrive/finish eating 2, hour parties they're made during the food break and once I've set up as the kids arrive.)

For other events/shows with larger audiences (If there's going to be less than 25 I generally include balloons for all the kids) For larger audiences if the booker wants me to do balloons for all the kids I charge them for an extra hour and do a Magic show and Balloon modelling package.

I don't sell a 30 minute show on it's own, Sometimes at fetes in a 2- hour package I do a 30 min show, then balloon model and finish with a 30 minute show, all I do is split my show down the middle. Sometimes they want me for just an hour but want 30- minutes magic show and 30-minutes balloons, once again I just do 1/2 my show. If someone phones wanting just a 1/2 hour entertainment I would do it but charge them the same as an hours show.

The bookers have never commented about the number of routines except to say how good the show was, and how much fun the kids had. That's whats important to them the kids enjoying themselves. I've got 47 kids shows to do this month most are reccomends, repeat bookings and word of mouth. On average I do between 25-30 a month. this month is very busy as I'm at a holiday camp (The same place for the 4th year running.) every tuesday and thursday.

The balloons for the helper gives a brief change from the magic, it's something different for the kids to focus on, and then the next trick is something different again, the constant changes of things to watch is why they sit and enjoy the show for the whole hour. I've often heard people say you can't entertain kids especially 4 year olds for that long, I do the same 1-hr show at pre-schools and they sit and enjoy every minute of it. As Emazdad is me an not a charactor I'm playing I talk to the kids during the show, not at them, I can change the patter to fit how the kids are reacting and saying and to fit the event, I try not to come across as Emazdad the performer, but Emazdad their friend the magicman.

Wow that's a lot of typing for a Saturday morning.
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.
Vibono Magic
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Hi

My normal kid show in about 30min. The basic effects that never ( almost never ) leave the show is:
1. The rope rutine
2. Drawer box rutine feturing Rocky raccoon using break away wand and nested wand.
3. Supreme magic company´s comedy clock suprise
4. prof. Cheers comedy rope trick
5. Chinese sticks

This is the basic speaking part of the show however I usualy start of with a smal music part containing some manipulations and production of silks.

i always do a large balloon scolpture for the birthday kid ( if it is a birthday party ) or a some what smaler one fore the kid helping me out. If it is a bithday party I try to sell the idea to the parents of buying smal one balloon animals to all the kids at the party to take home with them insted of candy bags (common here). If they buy the extra balloons I always ask them how manny kids that will be at the party and pre make them at home together with some exta once, this way I don't have to go through the trubble of kids going I want that and I don't whant that color.

Jonas Karlsson
Vibono Magic
Sweden
Smile
Vibono Mirage
Magic entertainer and Balloon artist
Cheshire Cat
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I understand Jonas' remark about pre-preparing balloons. Balloons are such a headache. We would love every child at parties to have one - but we do large parties in venues usually of 30 children. We are a husband and wife business so we have a capacity for 4 parties a day. Ever tried electronically blowing up 120/30/40 balloons and bagging them prior to setting out on a day's work? Ok, some entertainers blow up individually by mouth at parties for every child. I ask the question: what are the rest of the children doing whilst you are attending to each one? Are they just running riot? (I ask the same question when people propose to just have a face painter at a party). Then you are packing away ready to travel to the next party and kids are picking their models to bits and parents coming back to you saying 'can you fix it please'. I just wish there were some simple solution - and if anyone has one then after 25 years in the biz. I'll still listen!! But don't forget - we don't just entertain 6 kids in someone's lounge, (not suggesting you do), - we can see 120+ a day. Our present method is to make around 16 models a party and let the birthday boy or girl decide what they want to do with them.


On the subject of routines and time spans I tend to go along with FLOURISHDUDE and NICHOLAS. Yes Flourish, people have paid good money to see a show. We have probably all seen some resident old-style holiday camp/site entertainer 'padding out' tricks and deliberately slowing down movement as they have 6 programmes a week to present and probably don't have the material to fill them. But on Birthdays parents are paying top dollar (or they should be) for lively, crisp entertainment aren't they? I'll add one final point here though: Yes, you can make a trick last 15/20 minutes - as long as it's injected with lots of fast and funny other 'bits of business' along the line.

Tony.
Emazdad
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I've got 2 x 2- hour parties today one for 30 kids in a hall the other for 25 kids in a house, They'll all get balloons made in the manner I've described before. The average number at most parties is about 20 kids, sometimes more sometimes less. The only difference between 6 and 30 kids at a birthday party is the size of the models, for 6 kids I get to make all the big ones, for 30 it's smaller ones, If they say there's going to be 50 kids at a birthday party, (which some mad fools do) I charge them extra as I will have to pre-make a load at home even for a 2-hour party. That's why my price for a 1-hour show is not that far different than for the 2-hour as for a one hour I have to spend time working at home pre-making the balloons.

All my balloons come with a before I drive away garuntee, which is why I don't give them to them untill I've finished and they're going home. If the break it on the way out the door it gets replaced with a quick model. I always keep a few spare balloons in my pocket. It doesn't cause me any problems, the one I hate is can i take one home for my brother/sister, do it once and they'll all want one to take home. I do however have a weakness for puppy dog eyes and if a younger sibling comes along with mum to pick up big bro or Sis, and I see them looking wide eyed at the balloons I often give them a quick model.

Ace if your doing a party for 30 kids and you only give out 16 balloon models isn't that a tad unfair on the other kids?

<<<<<<<Yes, you can make a trick last 15/20 minutes - as long as it's injected with lots of fast and funny other 'bits of business' along the line. >>>>.

That's right, Ace, If you are doing the holiday camp padding out bit your MT diary will soon tell you, If your making the whole routine fun and entertaining your diary will respond by filling up with booking. The way to judge whether what you are doing is right is always to consult your diary. My diary tells me loudly that my format/methods work well for me.
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.
Cheshire Cat
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The balloons we make are quite clearly the property of the Birthday Child - so not even a tad unfair! We have always traded on the understanding that people are buying entertainment and not a gift service. We have seen so many entertainers go down the rocky road of "buying bookings" - with 'free gift for every child' - 'every party entered into prize draw for bicycle' - 'room decorations supplied' - 'all party bags supplied free' - 'free bouncy castle (jumper)' - (of course upselling extras is a different and legitimate subject for those who wish). Unfortunately there are one or two "pain in the ****" entertainers around us who probably do 1 party a week and spend half the morning making animals, drawing eyes on them, tying the joints with cotton etc! Whilst I personally WOULD like every child at our parties to have a balloon as I believe it NOT to be buying bookings, I feel that storage in hot/freezing vehicles is a problem. Cost is negligible bought wholesale. Also say you made a sword for every boy/a mouse for every girl to simplify matters - they leave the party, drop it in the carpark (bang!) and come straight back in expecting a busy packing away entertainer to make another. Also we can get through 8 parties over a Saturday and Sunday and I'm none too keen on being up at 6 a.m. making animals that little Johnny will stamp on 5 seconds after I give it to him! So the logistics of the 'balloon for everyone' is still not acceptable personally to us bearing in mind the oversize shows we have created our reputation with and people expect, already.

Yep, - I was quoting the "diary tells it all" sentence back in 1980 Clive - and still do! I think the thing is over ANYTHING on the MagicCafe. If it works for YOU then stick with it. I have learned that 'The Magic Café - Magicians Helping Magicians' in the "Little Darlings" section can turn into individuals vying for some sort of high ground and righteousness on certain topics - thus I 'lurk' in the "It's Not Magic" section mostly these days!

Sincerely, - Tony.
p.b.jones
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That's right, Ace, If you are doing the holiday camp padding out bit your MT diary will soon tell you, If your making the whole routine fun and entertaining your diary will respond by filling up with booking. The way to judge whether what you are doing is right is always to consult your diary. My diary tells me loudly that my format/methods work well for me.


Hi,
Perhaps you should add "and my annual turnover"
to the above!

I am sure we all no the ents out there killing themselves with so many shows but getting little for them financialy

Phillip
keeblem
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Quote:
I do however have a weakness for puppy dog eyes

You and me both! Occasionally my wife comes along to parties (if they are very big) and I remember once I could see her getting quite annoyed Smile when I kept on giving in to those "puppy dog eyes" Smile and getting my balloon pump out again! "OK, just one more..."
Mark
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Wonderful post everyone. Thanks for the great information. I like to always think that it really is not the amount of tricks that you do but the amount of entertainment that you provide to your audience that really counts.

If doing a lot of tricks gets you a lot of laughs, audience interaction and many smiles, then keep doing those many tricks and do them well.

I always measure my show by the reponses I get from the children and the feedback i receive from the parents afterwards. It is the Children's enjoyment level that helps me pace my show.

Sometimes even comical bits of storytelling, with no nmagic at all, can often be very entertaining for the children.

Bottom line is, use what works to give you the best reactions and always listen to what your audience is trying to tell you.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

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