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Salazar Magic
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New Jersey
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Okay, so I was doing this show at a restaurant. They have an extra room where they can send their kids and watch the show. I do a 20 min show twice a night; they have a platform stage and everything. I'm there every Friday. Pretty good gig... until yesterday.

I don't know what happened. Somehow I lost control of them. Kids yelling at me, standing up, going onto the stage, everytime I do something, "That's fake!", "You're a cheater!". Not just one or two, all of them! One would yell something, the others would repeat it. The adults were doing nothing. They were even taking pictures of the kids as they climbed onto the stage grabbing my props (They were not volunteers).

I brought up a kid to do the Miser's Dream. After 2 coins, he started doing the Pee-Pee dance and said he had to go to the bathroom. Why the heck would you raise your hand to help?!

I did about two tricks and the rest of the time, "Please have a seat"..."Shhhh"..."Who's kid is this?"..."please don't touch that". After 15 min. of that, I paused and said, "That's my show, goodnight!"

One "parent" came up to me and said, "I admire your patience, I don't know how you do it".

Patience?!!, Patience?!! Don't you realize this is supposed a structured show? I am not a babysitter! This is not a daycare! Do none of you teach your kids how to behaive?!!! How would you feel if I brought a bunch of kids to your work and let them play with everthing on your office? "Awww, don't they look cute playing with your fax machine, computer, shredding paperwork, telling you you're a fake?"

I said all that on the inside. Thanks for letting me vent, I just feel so defeated.
Mike Robbins
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Anchorage, Alaska
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I've had that "You Cheated" stuff happen before and I have re-structured routines because of it. Although I did like one I got recently: "You cheated. You used magic." I like that one.

But seriously, you might want to check your routines to make sure they don't come across as "challenging" the audience.

That said, I think you handled it quite well. I've been told often that I have a lot of patience when a child or two gets unruly. I find that to be a compliment as I've seen other magicians who, when they get in that situation, have a bloody meltdown. I figure I can be patient since the show will be over in 30-40 minutes and the parents will have to deal with the kid for the rest of their lives. Smile
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
Evan Williams
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I actually had a 16 year old girl heckler at my show today. She acted like she was 5, but all the other 5 year olds there (the birthday girl and all of her friends) were having a BLAST. She didn't stop yelling out "I KNOW HOW THAT WORKS" for the tricks that are aimed at little kids for entertainment. Coloring book, vanishing bandanna, come one, anyone 16 could figure those out. It was not a good experience since I am still very new at performing public kid shows.

Not bad compared to yours Salazar Magic:bwink: , but I have only done a handful of shows so far in my life Smile .

Regards,

Evan
Salazar Magic
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New Jersey
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I've done hundreds of show, and I can tell you this is the worst. I've never had to stop the show and walk off the stage. Mind you, I've only done 2 effects at this point.
Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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Kids can be a trial at times for sure. Kids shows are not easy!

You will find is that all it takes is for one to get the ball rolling. One kids yells something and off it goes.

I would also talk to the restaurant. You are a professional entertainer, not a nanny. Tell them that you are having problems with parents SENDING kids and ask them to advise parents to BRING them.

I my years of kids shows, I find parents are the worst problem because they refuse to discipline kids who are out of line and for some reason find it quite amusing. Just part of today's society, saddly.

Just remember that the majority of children will love you and your show. Work to them, shrug off the bad shows and carry on.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
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NJJ
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I know that feeling too well. No matter how much you prepare or make your show perfect for certain audiences, you will always come across one show in a thousand where all the pieces are just in the wrong place and it falls to pieces.

Its from these bad shows that we get our strength to make ourselves better performers and realise that despite our talent at amazing people, we are just mortal.

On the plus side, its sounds like from the audience's point of view that you handled it as well as you could. If you had snapped and walked off rather then ending your show neatly the parents would not have called you patient.

Good luck for future shows and don't worry too much. 95% of magicians will tell you they have had bad shows and the other 5% are liars!

In the future, you might like to try bribery. Have one special trick at the end that will need a helper and they will get a special prize. It won't make the kid's angels but it will slow them down a bit.

Smile
Frank Tougas
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Minneapolis, MN
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Audience management. Working with kids you have to set the boundaries, the rules and the tone. And this must be done before the show begins. I would venture to say if you walked into the homes of many of those in that audience you would see the same behaviors and a happless parent with a meek smile justifying how their kids are "usually" well behaved.

There is a thread here on what you say before the show starts. I can't remember the title but it should be easy to spot. Good information there, although some of it is questionable. I strongly suggest you read it.

Not only do I specialize in kid shows, I have been a classroom teacher and have worked the past ten years as a licensed psychologist dealing mainly with the very kids you had the unfortunate experience to have all at the same show.

Being a professional entertainer does not just mean you get an introduction and you are on. It means you are proactive in your approach and know any particular show could be the good, the bad, or the ugly.

Work with the restaurant to come up with some strategy to let parents know the entertainment is provided as a bonus and only for entertainment. They will be held responsible for their children's behavior during the show. The restaurant may have in some way promoted the "baby sitter" factor, or possibly an employee may have implied it.

If nothing else, remember this - most of the time it is a good gig.

Frank
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
David Garrity
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Salazar,

Did you do a warm up for the audience? It is important with kids to let them know exactly what is and what is NOT expected up front.

For most kids, this is the first time they have been "an audience" and they must be taught how to behave and react appropriately.

Ahhhh, the glamour of show business!!
Salazar Magic
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New Jersey
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The problem is, the restaurant uses this room so the parents can send the kids in it so they can have a peaceful meal.

These kids have been there before, but without the entertainment. The are used to getting the run of the place. They came in while I was resetting for my second show.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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First off I would like to mention that I know Salazar as he is in my same general area. I have always known him to be a compitent and professional entertainer in all that he does. He certainly has done his homework and knows how to perform a wonderful and fun show for children.

With this said, I think that even the most accomplished kid show performer can run into a problematic show every now and then. It is just one of those things where all the pieces seem to fall apart and the snowball turns into an avalanche.

The only thing you can do at this point, is to handle it like a professional. Do the things I feel Salazar did. Be patient, try to gain control in a pleasant manner. If all of these do not work right, then end your show politely and professionally and move on.

The important thing to realize here is to NOT let it get you down. Do not assume you did anything wrong or that your show needs to be totally redone. This may not be the case at all. More then likely you just hit the kids at thew wrong time. Shrug it off and do a great performance the next time. Not every show will be a disaster, and if it is, then yes, and evaluation of your show is then in order.
Kyle Peron

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Mike Robbins
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Anchorage, Alaska
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Quote:
On 2003-08-10 12:02, magic4u02 wrote:
Not every show will be a disaster, and if it is, then yes, and evaluation of your show is then in order.

Actually, evaluation of your show is always in order. One of the most limiting sayings ever is "If it ain't broke don't fix it." Unfortunately most people mis-read it as "If it ain't broke don't improve it."

Mike
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
magic4u02
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Mike:
My apologees. You are 100% correct in what you stated. You should always be evaluating and examining your show after every performance. That is the way to learn and to grow.

I guess I ment to say that you REALLY need to examine your show if the above sitauation is happening all to common for you.

Thanks Mike for bringing that up and correcting me.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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http://kpmagicproducts.com

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Mike Robbins
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Quote:
On 2003-08-10 15:24, magic4u02 wrote:


Thanks Mike for bringing that up and correcting me.

Didn't mean to seem like I was "correcting". I apologize if it came across that way. I meant to just add my thoughts.

Mike
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
Salazar Magic
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New Jersey
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Thanks for the kind words, Kyle. This show seems like a freak occurance. I've kid hecklers before, but not like this. I have reviewed my show over and over in my head trying to figure out what went wrong. Then again, thinking about it too much might just drive me crazy.

The only thing I can think of is that I was too lazy to hook up my wireless mic. That, in combination with kids who can yell louder than I, is where I think I made a mistake.

I just feel bad because there were a few kids who really wanted to see the show. I took them aside after I packed up and showed them a couple of close up effects.



-- Today's magic word is... Ritalin!
Brian Lehr
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Inner circle
Edmonton, Canada
1600 Posts

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Quote:
On 2003-08-09 19:16, Neale Bacon wrote:
I my years of kids shows, I find parents are the worst problem because they refuse to discipline kids who are out of line and for some reason find it quite amusing. Just part of today's society, saddly.

On the other hand, I once had the exact opposite happen at a child's birthday party. The parents were very stoic people, and were raising their children likewise. I knew I was in trouble from the very beginning, when I couldn't even get a peep out of my usual "noise-raising", magician-in-trouble gag/trick.

When one of the kids finally made some comment, I thought, "Finally, they're starting to wake up!" Much to my horror, however, the parent immediately took the child into the kitchen and scolded him for pointing out the magician's mistakes! Oyyy! Smile

It never did get any better than that.

I think I'll go back to doing magic for my dog -- at least she barks!

Brian
Mike Robbins
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Anchorage, Alaska
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Quote:
On 2003-08-10 21:04, blehr wrote:
Much to my horror, however, the parent immediately took the child into the kitchen and scolded him for pointing out the magician's mistakes!

Brian

I had a principal come to me after a performance apologizing for the students' behavior. They were great! I asked him what he meant and he said that they were booing me at one point. (There's a point in my act where I act like what I'm doing is the greatest magic trick in the world and it really looks lame. I'm able to "save" it later).

Mike
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
Ron Reid
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Hi Salazar:

My question is: Did the restaurant provide ADULT supervision for you in this room, or were you there by yourself with the kids?

I've learned through the school of hard knocks that there needs to be adult supervision so that you can concentrate on doing a great show, entertaining the kids instead of being the disciplinarian, like the role you were forced into playing. A busboy or such won't do it either - it needs to be a mature adult who knows what to do if kids get out of hand. That way, with just a little, "Sir, may I get a little help here?" to the adult who then comes and takes the child away is all that's needed. You don't look like the bad guy so much, everyone else gets the message that it doesn't pay to be a brat, and you can continue on, doing a great show.

I guess the big key word here is being "Proactive." I've had a show or two very similar to yours, and believe me, I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure it never happens agains.

The audio series by David Ginn, Sammy Smith, and Steve Taylor addresses this well. If you don't have the series...get it!

Ron Reid
Dynamike
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Eternal Order
FullTimer
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Quote:
On 2003-08-10 21:30, Ron Reid wrote:
The audio series by David Ginn, Sammy Smith, and Steve Taylor addresses this well. If you don't have the series...get it!

What is the name of the tape set? Who sells it?

Thanks

Dynamike
Salazar Magic
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New Jersey
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<<<My question is: Did the restaurant provide ADULT supervision for you in this room, or were you there by yourself with the kids?>>>

Ideally, I'd like to perform for adults more. I honed in my act in a night-club type venue, yet i do the kid shows to pay the bills.

However, what happens id that the adults send the kids to watch the show so they can have a little peace and quiet during dinner. Unfortunately, this is how the restaurant promotes the evening.
NJJ
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The restaurant should still have other adults there. You are not a childminder!
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