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Warren Peace
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Dallas
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Hello everyone,

This is my first post and I hope that it is not something that has already been posted to death. I am not new to magic, but I am new to doing magic for children...my question is:

What are some of the best opening effects and/or closing effects that you have seen for children's shows (parlor, not stage).

Also, my four year old daughter loves to assist me in my shows...any ideas on a great vanish, levitation or appearance for a child...I really wanted to do an Asrah effect but can't find a kid sized one...

Any thoughts or ideas would be truly appreciated!

WP
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Inner circle
Seattle, WA
4177 Posts

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Check out the "Flying Carpets" thread in the Grand Illusions area, for information on a kid-sized levitation.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
DarryltheWizard
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238 Posts

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One of my favourite closers for a kid show is the Appearing Umbrellas from Magic Hands.
I dress the kids up in umbrella hats . I pick a small boy or girl to make thunder with a thunder tube ( a hollow tube with a long spring attached) and another kid to made rain sounds with a rain stick. Two other helpers take the silks, one at a time, and they dance or sway with the "Raindrops Keep Fallin" music in the background. I call, "Give me thunder, give me rain!" I produce 5 umbrellas, handing them to the girl helpers.After the umbrellas, a large "The End Silk" is produced. I elicit applause for my rainman, my thunder boy , my raindrop dancer # 1 and my raindrop dancer #2. This routine has surprise, action, sound effects, music, audience participation, and it lets the kids know that the show has come to an end.
Darryl the Wizard Smile Smile Smile Smile
DarryltheWizard
"Life without mystery is like a candle
with a snuffed out flame." Albert Einstein
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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Sounds like a great ending Darryl.
Dennis Michael
Warren Peace
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Dallas
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What a great closing effect! That is just the kind of inspiration I need. I would love to hear some more ideas like that one!
Maynooth
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Australia
105 Posts

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Warren Peace,
I always start with a modeling balloon routine with two kids as helpers. But a lot of the balloons break, the wrong animals get made etc.
The kids get really warmed up with lots of laughs, find out that I'm a fun guy, and two of them end up with a balloon animal each.

Smile

Closing I usually produce Lollies (candies for the Americans) with the help of a child. Then while the child is handing out the WRAPPED lollies I can finish packing up with out interuptions.

cheers
Maynooth
The race is long and in the end it is only with one's self.
tboehnlein
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ohio
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My current opener is by far the best & most reactive that I have performed. It is the barehanded production of goldfish. A simple effect that I came up with the night before a
gig & against all better judgement entered it at the last moment.
Warren Peace
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Dallas
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Sounds interesting tboehnlein, I'd like to hear more about that one. Is it your own method or something in print somewhere?

I've seen the Mac King goldfish routine that is highly entertaining. You just don't see much magic performed with fish these days...
Joe
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Sunny UK
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I have a friend who does a production of a live goldfish using a TT and banknote. It gets a great reaction. He uses a fish for about 10 shows then they retire to his farthers pond. Some life eh! If they remember it.
Joe Smile
tboehnlein
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ohio
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I will get prior permission from the parent to present the goldfish to the child as a gift so I do not have to care & feed them. IO purchase a dozen feeder goldfish at a time for a buck & that will get me through a couple shows for the day.
WR
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Utah
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Smile For my opener I do the appearing 4 ft pole. This kills them. For my closer I like doing magic flowers. A dove pan effect.
Most magically yours,
WR Smile
"Tell Em WR sent Ya."
Blue Jockey
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Sheffield, UK
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Fir my opener I don't really have a quick trick. I just make jokes, to make them laugh. Then I move on to an effect using cardboard cartoons.

I finish with danny Archer's "Birthday banner". - if it's a birthday party Smile. So far it has been only birthdays.
How fast do hotcakes sell?
magicgeorge
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Belfast
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Rather bizarrely,my opening trick is multiplying Billiard balls!! Which is not exactly famed for being ideal for kids routines. I like it because I start off by producing the ball from under a childs arm which always gets a "oooh" from the kids and establishes you in their mind as someone who can do something special.After a few manipulations they'll start shouting I'm using two balls which I deny claiming I use only one) then start multiplying them (and pretend not too notice) this is where they really start shouting.
Thats just a brief explanation of the routine but basically what I'm trying to say is if your first trick is both magically astounding and also a whole heap of fun and shouting you've set the scene for the rest of your show Smile
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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I twist up a balloon animal as an opener. It helps me keep children under control because I explain the balloon animals are for children polite etc..
The trouble is it does not have any magic as such. Does anyone have any experiance performing a quick magic routine with balloon animals. Cut and restored balloon or color changing balloon etc??
As a closer you can't beat the production of a live rabbit. At birthday parties I let the birthday child hold the rabbit while I get the other children to gather around for a group photo. I take the photo myself with a digital camera. I tell the children the photo will be up on my web site if they would like to see it. Smile
That works well to promote my show because the kids go home & ask their parents to bring up my web site so they can see the photo.

http://www.madjik.co.nz
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
mslj
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Bradford, England
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My main objective at the start of any show is to introduce myself and establish both communication and reaction. As a result it's usually 5 to 10 minutes before I begin any magic.

I walk on or just turn and ask the kids if they can help me as I have a bit of a problem - 'I'm lost. I'm supposed to be in a place called (whatever town/city I'm in).' Of course the kids will respond with 'It's here', then I go onto 'Great, I'm supposed to be at a party for (child's name), does anyone know where the party is?' 'it's here', they shout.

I introduce myself, playing games with my name "The Great Si Moano". This leads on to identifying the birthday child by magic.

So no magic. However, I've set the tone for the show - daft! I've got their help - thus they are established as part of the show and the energy used is a great warm up for the kids.

It gives me space to settle in and also to observe the group to see who is reactive and who perhaps alittle more reserved. I can then adapt my routines to incorporate as many children as possible.

I suppose I want the opening effect to be me rather than a piece of magic.
Adam V
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I always open with Miser's Dream. The production of the first coin always gets gasps (even from the parents) and when you make a bunch of them pour out of the kid's nose they all scream. Perfect opener in my opinion.

Andrew, you said that you open with a balloon animal. I've always heard that balloons should be left till the end of a show to stop distractions like them popping or kids playing around with them. Have you had any problems like that?
Adam V - 9 out of 10 dentists recommend him.
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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I don't actually give the birthday child the balloon at the start. I spend about 5 minutes with a comedy routine including blowing it up the wrong way etc... Once the balloon animal is made I explain it is supposed to be a surprise for the birthday child later so I must keep it until then. The balloon is just put aside until the end of the show.

The other way I sometimes use balloon animals as an opener is if I have an older group of say 13-16 year olds. In that situation I give each child a balloon at the start and then teach them how to make a simple balloon dog. So they all make their own dog. Younger teenagers love doing this and it helps me establish that I am not going to treat them like kids.
Then I can continue with my regular silly kids act. Smile
13+ year olds seem mature enough to watch the rest of my show without being distracted by their balloon doggies, although I don't usually open this way if there are younger siblings around.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Adam V
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Sounds like a great idea. I like the idea of teaching them to do a dog, but it must take a long time to blow up one balloon for everybody present Smile
Adam V - 9 out of 10 dentists recommend him.
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
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I use a hand pump to blow them up. The whole dog making routine would take about 7-8 minutes with 10-12 children. Some kids will make an absolute knot out of their balloon which can be a big laugh. I make sure the person that made the best looking dog gets a big cheer & clap from the rest of the group, then we are on to the magic. Smile
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Daniel Faith
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Neenah, Wisconsin
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I always like to start with a pantomine routine to music, using either a flashy silk routine or zombie ball routine. At the end of either I produce something big. Like spring flowers from my zombie ball and a dove from my silks.
It gets there complete attention then, follow it up with something up close and personal that I can relate to the kids with.

Smile
Daniel Faith
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