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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Darn with those kids shows. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dynamike
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Which of the following you dislike the most about kids shows?

1) Performing
2) Phone calls
3) Setting up the equipment
4) Taking down the equipment
5) Bad weather
6) Hecklers
7) Rushing to another show
8) Disturbance while setting up
9) Paper work
10) Something different you want to name

I was about to put "3" because I have a ton of equiptment. It takes me 7 - 10 trips getting my equiptment from my van to do a normal house birthday party. But I'll pick "9" instead. I was born to be a magician, not a secretary.
Ty Argo
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I'd say a combo of #3&8 and #6 close behind. What bothers me more than hecklers, are the parents that sit in the back and let it happen. The kid could knock over my table and the adult sits there with a smug look on their face. OK, I'm sounding bitter now.

The problem with a typical kid's show is that it's held in a house. You have 10-35 kids running around screaming while you are trying to lug in all your 'junk' and then sitting, watching, waiting for a secret while you try to set up.
"Please go away little boy... I need to do the dirty work on my tricks." He goes away only to come back 5 seconds later with fifteen of his closest friends to also watch you set up.
Wow, I have issues. Smile
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RoyHolidayMagic
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I also have to say 6, 8, and a variation on 3. I find that packing up is much more difficult than setting up the equipment. It's such a pain in the ..err..neck to pack up everything after the show with all the kids running up to you (I tend to have less of a problem with kids following me before the show). Hecklers are an annoyance too. I hate to make generalizations, but I have parents of a certain nationality. Many of the shows I do are for children with parents of [this nationality]. They all know each other/ Now, not that there is anything bad about [this country] (I love the country and go there every summer to see my family and the beautiful state. I recommend all of you make a trip to there as well; it has everything within a very close distance. Big city, and 30 minutes away there's a farm. I guess it really doesn't matter me telling you this because I have decided to delete every mentioning of the country and replace it with [this country] due to a fear of being hated). Anyway, people [of this nationality] tend to do everything last minute...so I almost always get booked only 1.5-2 weeks in advance. Also, the kids tend to be big hecklers. All of them. They have VERY short attention spans. 2 weeks ago I did a show for pure Americans after doing 2 months of all [this nationality]'s parties. Oh boy what a relief!!! That is one of the cleanest and smoothest-running shows I had ever had. I guess those hecklers in the [this nationality]'s crowds really toughened me up to the little nonsense I can easily put up with in American ones.
NJJ
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I agree - Rude children and their complacent parents are the worst. I don't mind fun heckling but kids who are obscene or who try and ruin the show are the worst.

All of the rest on the list are a part of running a business and being a performer so I am careful not to get too upset by them.

Roy Holiday-
I have found that children of any nationality apart from Australian are terrible. Americans, Greeks, Italians, English...ALL OF THEM. It was then that I realised that it is not them that was the problem...it was me. I failed to reach out an engage them on level that they understand and enjoy because I was brought up with certain ideas about what is entertainment and what is a correct behaviour.

For example, I find that Greek children can often be very bossy and act like I am their servant. They are not rude or bad children, they just come from a background where this is acceptable.
Andy Wonder
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Quote:
On 2003-08-02 01:36, Ty Argo wrote:
The problem with a typical kid's show is that it's held in a house. You have 10-35 kids running around screaming while you are trying to lug in all your 'junk' and then sitting, watching, waiting for a secret while you try to set up.
"Please go away little boy... I need to do the dirty work on my tricks." He goes away only to come back 5 seconds later with fifteen of his closest friends to also watch you set up.


If you need to set up things in the house without the attention of any onlookers then you are not very well prepared for the birthday market. You should be prepared to entertain the children from the moment you enter the house until the moment you leave. Children don't understand setup time.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Frank Tougas
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Actually if I truly hated any part of it, I simply wouldn't be doing kids shows. It is a business. I treat it as such.

As an aside, I remember years ago Hank Morehouse was doing a lecture on kids show magic. He was performing under the stage name of "Mr. Bubbles". This was years before all the marketers got involved.

He said something that has stuck with me for over twenty years, "Mr. Bubbles loves kids, although Hank Morehouse may ocasionally tire of them."
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
p.b.jones
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Hi,
1) Performing (love it)
2) Phone calls (great unless they phone late at night -- then it's annoying. But I never let them know or feel I think this)
3) Setting up the equiptment (I have no problem with setting up)
4) Taking down the equiptment (ditto 3)
5) Bad weather (I get paid for work I have not even had to do! though sometimes it can be annoying if the rain starts half way through the show)
6) Hecklers (not a problem)
7) Rushing to another show (I always allow enough time charge more so that you do not have to do so many shows a day)
8) Disturbance while setting up (same as 3)
9) Paper work (the computer does most of it )
10) Something different you want to name (clients running really late and wanting you to hang on I build in 10mins but any more and I explain I need to start or cut the show.

Phillip

Smile
Emazdad
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Just like Phillip none on that list bothers me, and my answers are the same. it makes me wonder though why you do it if you hate everything about it, my list would be

1, Rude Parents talking
2, Toddlers
3, Late caretakers of halls
4, Parents who don't read my party timetable and tips page and a, cover the floor in balloons, b, let the birthday child open presents before the show, c, give out noisemakers, d, let the children have access to food and drinks during the show.
5, Grandparents who arrive in the middle of the show, walk noisily into the audience and drag the birthday child away to open their present. (Once I even had one drag the child away while he was helping, she didn't take any notice of his protests.)
6, Adults smoking and swearing in the same room as the kids.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

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magic4u02
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Frank:
Amen to that. I really agree in that if you hate any part of the process, then maybe you should reevaluate if doing kids shows is for you.

Yes, some of the things can be a pain to deal with and we all get frustrated. But to me, it is all a part of the business that I am in and it comes with the territory.

The best thing I can do for myself is to go through every one of the items you mentioned on your list and try to tackle them one at a time. Go through them all and figure out ways to alleviate that problem from happening.

For example if one of the items is set-up time, then I really look and work towards making my set up time both easy and effecient. This then would be my project to make this happen. I would research and look into ways to store my equipment and also ways to have as much set-up prior to me getting there. This to me is a part of being a good performer and will only result in a better performance with less hassles.

I also think that you can avoid the problem of on-lookers while you set up, if you remember the following things. 1) the kids could watch me set up and still have no clue as to what I am really doing. The kids are not interested usually in figuring it out. They just want to be around you because you are the magician. They have been told that the magician is magical and unique. 2) remember that you are the party specialist. You may be a magician, but you probably know more about how to run a party then any of the clients you are hired for. With this in mind, do not feel like you can not help give the person some advice. Often times they appreciate your advice. If you let them know that you need set up time and to keep the kids occupied, perhaps they could open gifts or play a few games while you are setting up. Usually the parents love the idea because they have just not thought about it themselves.
Kyle Peron

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Ty Argo
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Quote:
On 2003-08-02 02:34, Andy Walker wrote:
If you need to set up things in the house without the attention of any onlookers then you are not very well prepared for the birthday market. You should be prepared to entertain the children from the moment you enter the house until the moment you leave. Children don't understand setup time.


Almost everything I do is kid's shows can be set-up, put together or what-not with people looking on. My main problem is getting a rabbit loaded w/o onlookers seeing. They see a bunny go in a box, but later, the box is shown empty. Suspicious??? YES! Plus, they know what is going to happen probably.

I agree that you are "on" from when you walk in the door, but sometimes we do need a minute or two to ourselves. I think it is the parents responsibility to provide you with a small setup time, if needed. Kyle's post asbove has good ideas.

Also, please do not judge me or my skills as a performer until you have seen my shows. No harm meant.
-Ty
Dyslexics UNTIE!!
magic4u02
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Ty:
Great information here and well stated. Thanks for sharing. It's great that you set up can be done with people watching you and that you have minimized your set up time. That shows you take care and effort in your performances wether you are on stage or off.

If the parents are communicated to in a professional manner, they usually do not have any problem helping you out by having a planned event happen to give you time to set up prior to your performance.
Kyle Peron

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Andy Wonder
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I used to always load my bunny at the boot of my car parked in the clients drive way. That was until one time I heard cries of 'he's got a Bunny!'. All the children were standing watching from an upstairs window. Sometimes children are literarily waiting out on the street for 1st site of my car with hot anticipation.

Now I usually look for a safe spot to stop before I park, sometimes a block away to load the rabbit.

I must admit I don't know how to load my rabbit in a crowded room of inquisitive children without it being noticed.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
wizardofsorts
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Andy, I don't know what you load your rabbit into but a block away before the party, sounds like a long time for that bunny to be in where ever it is. I use a doves to rabbit box. When I park I set up the d to r box and put the rabbit in it (without the trap set) at the car. I carry it into the party with the front of the cage toward my body. So, no one sees the rabbit. I set it up in a corner with the open front toward a wall. I do not set the trap until I begin the show. Some times I don't even set the trap until right before I turn the box around to use it.

Ty, you would be surprised how many people see the rabbit before the show forget about it by the time it appears.

Edd
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magic4u02
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I like Edd's suggestion. If you load it and have it facing you and the wall.. it will work fairly well I would think.

I also try to have the parents let the kids outside in the backyard to play games before I get there. This leaves me alone in the room to set up prior to the show. It does not always happen this way, but I try to arrange it when ever I can. It also tires the kids out a bit more. hehe
Kyle Peron

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NJJ
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Quote:
On 2003-08-02 02:34, Andy Walker wrote:
Quote:
On 2003-08-02 01:36, Ty Argo wrote:
The problem with a typical kid's show is that it's held in a house. You have 10-35 kids running around screaming while you are trying to lug in all your 'junk' and then sitting, watching, waiting for a secret while you try to set up.
"Please go away little boy... I need to do the dirty work on my tricks." He goes away only to come back 5 seconds later with fifteen of his closest friends to also watch you set up.


If you need to set up things in the house without the attention of any onlookers then you are not very well prepared for the birthday market. You should be prepared to entertain the children from the moment you enter the house until the moment you leave. Children don't understand setup time.


I have no set up time. I arrive and fold out my rolon table and start. There is another topic on the forum about this in Little Darlings.

As for rabbit loading, I too load my from the car but the box is very big and has no mirrors, flaps that will push the rabbit into a tight spot or make him uncomfortable.
wizardofsorts
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Nick,
What kind of box is it? I'm always looking for props to make my assistants more comfortable.
Edd
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p.b.jones
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HI,
I do not load the bunny until the kids are sat in position for performance, I then load it into the production behined my rollon table. I have no problem with this. I have a cloth cover which goes over the rabbit carrier for entering the venue
Phillip
NJJ
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Mine is called the Pet Shop Production. It consists of two boxes that fit snuggly inside of each other. Both are show empty and then outer box is designed like a pet shop with door and window holes.

It is similar to a square circle but with bottoms on the boxes and lids on the top.
Futureal
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Anyone who needs to make 7-10 trips from their van with gear for a kids birthday party needs to rethink their show.

What on earth are you doing in your kids shows, Dynamike?

Copperfields "Flying" ?
magic4u02
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I agree to an extent with Futur but I say as long as you do not mind lugging that stuff in and as long as the kids are having a great time with your performance, then keep doing it. If it works for you,and it is not broken... why fix it.

Personally, I like to minimize my props and load in time but maximize my show and entertainment value. My rolon table carries most everything I need and a second duffle bag holds some of my bulkier props. I just bring in a boom box and I am all set.

I sometimes bring my chair suspension to float the b-day child at the end of the show. This gets great reactions and really sells my show to them and makes the b-day child feel like a star. But, it too is not all that heavy or cumbersom to carry. Just two folding chairs and the board.
Kyle Peron

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