We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » Lessons from a regular nursing home gig (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
twm
View Profile
Regular user
of wine.
109 Posts

Profile of twm
[quote]On 2011-04-27 22:40, Amazing Magic Co wrote:
... This may seem like a silly querstion but can you do any mentalism routines like a book test or Impossible Insight.
/quote]
I'm going to try Alan Chitty's 'Behaviour Patterns'
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=109

This is highly visual and doesn't place too many demands on your audience. It will suit my small group, table hopping style as well as being suitable for larger groups. Though as you will see from the thread I refer to, you may want to make a larger version of the book for stage work.
DanielCoyne
View Profile
Special user
Western Massachussetts
544 Posts

Profile of DanielCoyne
This week, instead of doing a traditional show, I'm going to do strolling magic. I'll visit residents in their rooms and in common areas and try to reach some people who haven't been able to see my show.

For close-up/strolling effects I'm planning to bring d'lites, ring-scape (fantasma), maybe a gaffed deck or two, extreme burn, crazy man's handcuffs (which I follow-up with star-gazer), and maybe one or two other bits.

I'll also bring my ukulele and a few juggling props.

This is a bit of an experiment, so I'll post about how it goes.

Thanks,
Daniel
magicdano
View Profile
Regular user
Danny Habel
145 Posts

Profile of magicdano
Just great. I have always had the thought in my mind that I would work in a Nursing Home, but I never got motivated enough to do it. I think reading about your work will get me going.
I especially like your suggestions for the type of magic that works best for these spectators.
Mike Maturen
View Profile
Inner circle
Michigan's Beautiful Sunrise Side
2724 Posts

Profile of Mike Maturen
This is incredibly satisfying work, as well. I haven't done a nursing home in a long while...but am inspired to throw in on occasional visit.

I used to do a ton of these as a teenager. In fact, for my Eagle Scout project, I put together a variety show and visited many nursing homes with it. I had a pianist/singer, a dance act, myself and a couple of others.

Just the look of sheer joy on these people's faces was worth the time and effort. Many of them have, quite literally, NO ONE visiting them. They are unceremoniously dumped off by ungrateful children (now selfish adults), and left to die with only an occasional visit when convenient.

Excuse the harsh words...but I have seen far too much of this as a young teen doing these shows, that it made me vow to help my own folks stay in their own home as long as possible, and then--if necessary--put them in a nursing home. And I have already told my folks that they would NEVER be left alone.

My mother (now 80) visited her own mother in the home at least 2-3 times per week. I think that is a great example to follow.

Sorry for the rant. Just remember as we perform, we might be the only "family" some of these folks have.
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
The Magic and Mayhem of Mike Maturen
989-335-1661
mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
jcrabtree2007
View Profile
Special user
618 Posts

Profile of jcrabtree2007
Hi there.
Glad to see someone else is entertaining those seniors. They are very appreciative of the effort that you put forth. For many of them, it is the highlight of their day, week, or sadly, month. I have been doing regular visits to some of the local nursing homes in the area. I also plan to start doing two of our local veteran's homes. Cant forget our vets.
My experience with the nursing homes is that they like Big Stage Tricks. Most have failing eyesight and are hard of hearing so close up tricks and card tricks don't have the same effect on them. I literally spent years perfecting the false cuts and shuffles for Bill Malone's "Sam the Bellhop". Forget it, it kinda goes over most of their heads. Still, it is okay to do it if you want to practice it in front of a crowd...they are usually very cooperative but don't expect great applause. My nursing home crowds always let me know which tricks they like with their applause.
The tricks that seem to go over particularly well include:
Bill Malone's version of Rub-a-Dub-Dub (if you don't know this cups and balls routine-get his DVD "Here I Go Again Volume 1". It is worth the price of the DVD by itself!)
Axtell's Magic Drawing Board. They go nuts for this.
Linking Rings (Whit Haydn's Routine)
Ring and Rope Routine
Silk to Egg (break an egg)
Break-aWay Wand (silliness)
Billiard Balls
Acrobatic Knot
Rope Routine (Daryl)
Color Changing Silks
oh yeah- don't forget your D'Lites. Pull that out of their ears. They go absolutely nuts for this.
They really seem to enjoy Rub-a-Dub-Dub. Aside from the great routine, I think they really like the poem that goes with it.
I usually give my cards a rest and just have fun. I also go and visit some of the residents who may need some cheering up but are unable to make the show. I just ask the staff. I use sponge balls, sponge rabbits for these little visits.

Hey Daniel- good luck with your Nursing Classes.
Jim Crabtree RN
Leland
View Profile
Inner circle
St Louis
1180 Posts

Profile of Leland
I think you're doing a great service to those folks that have no one else to turn to. Im sure that they look forward to you coming around to visit. I saw your site and it looks very basic but it works, very clean. Keep up the good work.
Life of Magic!
DanielCoyne
View Profile
Special user
Western Massachussetts
544 Posts

Profile of DanielCoyne
Thanks Leland.

Your statement about my website is exactly what I was aiming for. Simple, clean, legible, and friendly. Hopefully, as a potential client, you get a sense of who I am and whether or not I would be a good fit for your event.

-Daniel
Ethan Lin
View Profile
New user
76 Posts

Profile of Ethan Lin
I'm not a pro magician or anything but for medicine you are required to do voluntary work in homes etc and I was thinking that this is the best time to practice before going public. I've got a couple of visual effects (and anything I do would be done would be in a persons own room) like dresscode and Torn/Torn Too, Rapture, invisible deck and maybe alchemy. What sponge ball effects do you? normally I've stuck to card magic but for obvious reasons its best to throw visual effects in the mix it seems
"Now you’re looking for the secret. But you won’t find it because of course, you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to work it out. You want to be fooled." - Cutter
SD Houston
View Profile
New user
Billings, MT
61 Posts

Profile of SD Houston
I'm finding this thread quite inspiring. I've been considering the idea of volunteering to do some small magic shows for nursing homes here but have been a bit hesitant. However, I'm beginning to think it might be a really good idea. It'll still be a little while before I have enough material to do it, but it's definitely something that I'll be making a near-future goal of.
The art of anything is taking the time to learn everything
Ethan Lin
View Profile
New user
76 Posts

Profile of Ethan Lin
I feel the same Houston. I also feel I should be doing this on some kind of regular basis just because everyone else is helping out.

Question: are you doing it for groups or individually in their own rooms?
"Now you’re looking for the secret. But you won’t find it because of course, you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to work it out. You want to be fooled." - Cutter
BeThePlunk
View Profile
Special user
West of Boston, East of Eden
887 Posts

Profile of BeThePlunk
I'm also with you, Houston. I havn't performed in public yet and have thought about volunteering in local senior centers as a place to get myself going. This thread is both encouraging and instructive.
Bohacek
View Profile
New user
Haymarket VA
4 Posts

Profile of Bohacek
I have done one magic show at the nursing home, and wil do another in a week or so So I am preparing for it now. I have learned that they are not the best audience, can't come to the front and participate and some have a hard time clapping or using more than one hand. I handed out jingle bells with pipe cleaner loops to hold them and told them to jingle the bell when they liked something. They loved it, and many did not wnat to give the bells back. So don;t expect to get them all back.

My ideas for nursing home magic is BIG colorful and easy. It is sometime hard to come up with such tricks. Yes I also go for an hour, but at the end make balloons for the residents. For the halloween show I will have spiders, pumkins and ghosts to give away.

I can not use ANY fire, so the fire to cane routine has become a silk to cane effect, not as strong but still works.

I am currently on the lookout for tricks to use that are Big colorful and not complex, so I solicit your comments.

Thanks
jcrabtree2007
View Profile
Special user
618 Posts

Profile of jcrabtree2007
Here is a BIG tip for the nursing homes that I have made it a habit of doing. For me to volunteer my time- they must advertise the show to the resident'a families. I make the routines very kid friendly (good thing kid's magic plays well for seniors). Get the kids (grand kids ) to come to the show. The seniors will be so excited watching the kid's get excited about the magic. It will really help liven up the room and make the seniors happy.
To do this you gotta accept the fact that the children are the center of the senior's attention. But hey - half of them were probably sleeping anyways. I'm not that interested in getting the referrals myself (don't have the time) but you will get people imterested in booking you for their shows. (Just remember- even though the nursing homes, schools are charity - birthday parties are not. )
Try it- it will liven up the day
Rook
View Profile
Special user
I went to the Magic Cafe and all I got were these lousy
767 Posts

Profile of Rook
Admittedly, Senior centers are a different animal from nursing homes, but I kind of wanted to share a lesson recently underscored at one of my engagements. I perform free at just about any venue that provides a service to the underserved and at risk. I make it a point to work themes of hope and empowerment in each effect. I've recently been getting a *lot* of requests from senior centers and have gone on what I've jokingly called my "Senior Tour."

The day before yesterday, I did a show for a small group at one of the centers. The audience was engaged, we laughed, had fun and processed things like positive relationships, achieving goals, breaking patterns and the like.

There was one elderly gentleman, however, in the front row, who didn't seem to be enjoying himself at all. He avoided eye contact. He didn't laugh or even crack a smile. Each moment I drew near (I walk through the audience quite a bit), he quickly looked away. When I offered him an opportunity to participate in an effect that involved the entire front row, he muttered something unintelligible and closed his posture.

Ah, well. You can't draw everyone in, right? Best not to pressure him and move along.

The show went otherwise successfully (that is, no one knew what went wrong but me) and members of the audience approached me after the show to thank me and simply chat. The 'unresponsive' gentleman slipped out as quickly as he could.

The next day, however, I received a phone call from the events coordinator for the center. She just wanted to thank me for the show and to let me know something about one of the audience members.

"You may not have noticed him. He's quiet and doesn't like to interact much. We don't know what's really going on with him most of the time, but he went into the directors office right after the show and told her it was the best thing he's been involved with in years. Thanks for that, you never can tell what's going on inside people can you?"

Folks at the senior centers have a lot of experiences and, sometimes, a lot of difficulties. Just because they don't give you the immediate feedback from which a performer thrives, doesn't necessarily mean that the show didn't work for them.

-Tom
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

-Roald Dahl
Lou Is
View Profile
New user
73 Posts

Profile of Lou Is
Some very good posts on this thread. It's really worthwhile doing shows in these kinds of environments. Both for the performer and especially for the residents.

And as others have mentioned, there are a wide variety of seniors residences.

Independent living: seniors who are still independent, do their own shopping, mentally still sharp. It's essentially an apartment setting with all the security that brings. Great group for all kinds of magic.

Assisted Living: seniors who need a bit of help. Some mobility issues, onset Alzheimers is common, meals provided. This is definitely the most common setting. Can be tricky to perform for. Audience participation should be non challenging, and clearly explained. Even then, it is impossible to tell somes degree of mental functioning just by appearance. Working in the audience, giving people things to hold, a slow friendly pace, are all important. Although often very subdued, these audiences really enjoy the variety and (hopefully!) amazement a magic show can bring.

Alzheimers/Dementia wards: often an additional branch attached to Assisted Living residences. Residents can cover a very wide range of states of mind. This is challenging. Often there will be several aides in attendance too which are very handy when requiring audience participation "on stage". Simple, direct, colorful and visual magic is best. This is not a kids show though, so leave those "sucker" things (which I freaking hate at the best of times) at home. These shows can provide some extremely funny moments and generate some amazing responses from the residents.

Seniors shows are a great way to try out new things, make some "ok" cash, and help get your name out. It also will bring some amazingly touching reactions from the residents. Trust me on that one.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » Lessons from a regular nursing home gig (4 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.22 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