The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » The unhired assistant (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Dynamike
View Profile
Eternal Order
FullTimer
24023 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
Several times when I am performing a 2 year old child comes up because he/she wants to play with animals or go behind my backdrop. It gets frustrating when the same child comes repeatedly. I must watch around myself so I won't step on the child. At times I ask the audience "Who's baby is this?" A lot of times the mother brings back the child, starts her conversation again and the child wanders to me again.
Frank Tougas
View Profile
Inner circle
Minneapolis, MN
1712 Posts

Profile of Frank Tougas
The key word here is two-year old. That means two things, first the kid just wants to play and second, it is probably a pretty young parent.

Just be happy it doesn't happen all that often. In my other life I work as a therapist and work with children and families. There is a lot of poor parenting out there. We call it "babies having babies", and it seems to be on an increase.

You did the right thing asking who the parent was. What you can't do is make them good at being a parent.
Chalk it up to experience. As you work more and more with kids the show will become pretty "kid proof".
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
I have had this experience happen before to me as well. What I usually do is make a funny little comedy about it and try to use it in my show. This way the audience sees I can handle the situation and does not kill the flow of the performance. Even the classic, "Oh everyone wants to be in show business" can work. By me addressing it in that light, usually it is enough of a hint for the parent or a adult to come and get the child.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Dynamike
View Profile
Eternal Order
FullTimer
24023 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
Quote:
On 2003-07-31 13:45, Frank Tougas wrote:

We call it "babies having babies", and it seems to be on an increase.



The only thing I see positive about this, is it will get us more shows. Smile
Frank Tougas
View Profile
Inner circle
Minneapolis, MN
1712 Posts

Profile of Frank Tougas
I disagree Magic4u,

In this case it was a question of the parent not taking responsibility for their child's actions. If you remember this was a repeated occurance. This is a clear indication that the parent needed more than a subtle hint.

Yes there are many lines one can use in such a situation. Two that come to mind are the old Jimmy Durante line, "Everybody's trying ta get into da act!"

(Then again who even knows who Jimmy is these days, that's ancient history.)

Also there is, "Looks like the kid is going through a stage." I don't think either would have worked in this situation. At that time, as unfortunate as it was, the magician had no alternative other than to step out of character and assume adult responsibilities.

I am fairly sure the rest of the audience appreciated it as this type of obvious distraction meant they could not have had their full attention on the performance.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
p.b.jones
View Profile
Inner circle
Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
2642 Posts

Profile of p.b.jones
HI,
Put something easy to pick up in easy reach of the child with one of those detonator devices (a little device with a cap that goes bang when the item is lifted. underneath. personaly I use a snake can with 2 snakes and a detenator under the snakes I place another detonator under the can. just in case they try again ,usualy they run off crying and stay with mum though if they try agian the snakes and second bang rearly fail!
Phillip
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Frank:
I think you may have misunderstood me. I agree with you in that one sometimes has to step out of character and act as an adult. However, I was only suggesting that one can try that subtle approach first to see if it works. Sometimes that parent will take the hint and the problem will be solved without having to stop the show. Of course, if this does not work, then you should go ahead and handle the situation in the manner you mentioned.

PB:
PLEASE tell me you were only joking.. right? A performer should never try to make any child cry no matter what age level. You are there to be an entertainer and to put smiles on kids faces. Why would you want to hurt a child in this manner or frighten them like this.

To me it could only backfire on you. The kid starts crying and the focus is not on your performance, it is on the kid crying. Not only do you have to try and get the audience focus back, but now you have lost the respect from some of the parents from the poor way you handled the situation.

If you were only joking, then forget what I just wrote. =) I hope you were only kidding around.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Emazdad
View Profile
Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

Profile of Emazdad
See my previous posts reference toddlers and irresponsible parents. I have in the past taken the kid by the hand and led it back to Mum and told them directly to keep it on their lap. They still put it down and let it run around, that's why on my party timetable and tips page annoying toddlers are mentioned as a reason not to let parents stay.

1 loose toddler can riun a show if not dealt with asap. Not only can it get hurt, it can knock your stuff over, start wrestling with it's older sibling, or become a living baby doll/plaything for the maternal girls in the audience. Ifd it's allowed to run around behind the kids it creats a noisy distraction and can cause a kid with a very low attention span to start running around with it.

When I becom,e ruler of the world the first 2 thing on my list are
1, to make a law stating that anyone under 4 should not be allowed at a 4 and above birthday party.
2, all community centres and hall should be carpeted.
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.
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
I agree that the child must be taken care of and dealt with ASAP. That it can indeed become a nuisance and a distraction. I just think you have to be able to handle the situation in the best manner that you can even if the parents are complete "morons". Your the professional and should handle every situation the best that you can.

It is more the parents fault then it is the kids. The child is just being him or herself. The parents are the ones who should know better but often times do not.

This is why on my contract and when I talk with people on the phone, I let them know that every show must have several adult supervisors who are there to watch the show and the kids along with me. Usually I do not have a problem with this request as it shows I am thinking like a professional and it lets them know that I want to present the best show that I can to the kids at the party.

Also, going through this process and asking what I ask, helps the client to realize that I am NOT a babysitter. My job is never to watch their children while they talk and get drunk. I am an entertainer and they realize through my contract and by talking with me, how I take what I do seriously.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Andy Wonder
View Profile
Special user
Auckland, New Zealand
744 Posts

Profile of Andy Wonder
From my experience this problem can be prevented before it happens most of the time by pre-empting it in your communications with the booker. Here is an excerpt out of the letter I send to parents that have booked my show.

If there are any children under the age of 3 present please try ensuring they have a parent nearby that can keep them at arms reach. Two things happen with very young children and live entertainment. Either, the energy of the performer scares them and they cry, OR they get so excited with the performance that they want to be right under the foot of the performer. Keeping very young children close by helps prevent show delays.

Another subtle way to avoid this problem is to entertain the adults in your show. When they are watching they tend to appreciate the annoyance it is creating and are much better at keeping their children from interrupting. Even if you have very young children that you are playing to with content that is a bit juvenile if you start with something serious that adults appreciate, you can hook them into watching the whole show.

When this happens to me I try to create a little bit of humour out of the situation. I will offer the child directions to the toilet or give them a business card and tell them to go and give it to their Mummy. With crawlers I use a great idea from Silly Billy & pull out a remote control unit & pretend to try and put the child in reverse. I have never had to go any further than this by being stern with the parent.

Some routines can be really spoiled with this type of interruption. I know if I get this type of distraction during the egg bag routine I’ve lost the tricks impact. When the children refocus they can’t remember where the egg was supposed to be or when it vanished they feel I could have easily hidden it with all the distraction from the toddler.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
NJJ
View Profile
Inner circle
6439 Posts

Profile of NJJ
I too have that in my contract (after talking to andy).

I sometimes work in a gag about the baby being a trouble maker and how they have 'rushed the stage' and pretend to talk to my lapel as if I have a walktalkie there saying "security to sector G". This gets a laugh and usually the parent comes and get the child.
Frank Tougas
View Profile
Inner circle
Minneapolis, MN
1712 Posts

Profile of Frank Tougas
Hey Nick,

I think the Walkie-Talkie gag is fantastic. Mind if I lift it?

Looking scared and shouting "Baby Stampede!" might get mom's attention. That is if she's not on her cell phone.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Dynamike
View Profile
Eternal Order
FullTimer
24023 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
Nick and Frank,

Those are good comedy lines. I will give it a try. I will let you know how it comes out.

Thanks, care for anything?, help yourself.
Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
Emazdad
View Profile
Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

Profile of Emazdad
I sometimes say, "Paul Daniels gets Debbie Magee I get you, now quick get back on mum's lap before you turn into a boy/girl"

The other problem occurs when the mum gives the toddler a balloon to play with behind the kids, this is like holding a box of chocolates in front of my wife, in tends to draw the attention of boys in the audience who then want a peice of the action. I usually walk over take the balloon and say look I'm going to use this for a magic trick, throw it behind my stuff where they can't get it and say, there it's vanished. accompanied with a special look in the direction of the mum it stops them doing it again. I can be quite harsh to these mum's sometimes, but I do warn them before the show that If they talk or do stuff to spoil the kids enjoyment I will tell them off. (Said in a nice way of course.)

The other day a mum gave her kid one of those noise makers that they blow, I did the same thing, I had to throw 3 behind me before she took the hint and stopped giving them to her kid.
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.
Kronos9326
View Profile
Loyal user
Toronto
229 Posts

Profile of Kronos9326
I find it amazing at the attitudes that parents have with children and performers. I mean, it might not be common sense that some performers would prefer not to have children running around, but to not be able to take a hint after one is dropped in their lap? Sheesh.

David.
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Great comedy lines mentioned here. I like them and think it is a great way to try and remain in character while making sure the parent knows you want them to get their child. Good stuff.

I think combing the lines would be funny. Yelling "Baby Stampede.. AGHHHH..... security to sector 12" would be very funny and really get the message across for the parent to take action. Of course if that does not work, then you must be an adult and fix the problem yourself before going on.

I think part of the problem is 2 things actually. 1) Parents often feel that you are a pricey babbysitter. That is gives them an exscuse to do whatever they want cause your in charge of the kids. and 2) Some parents just should not be parents in the first place. I am sure you all know what I am talking about.

Sometimes I get in my car to go home and just shake my head at how crazy and stupid some of these parents are. Things that should be common sense are not.

You just start to learn how to deal with situations the best that you can while remaining as a professional.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » The unhired assistant (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.16 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL