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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ The little darlings Ľ Ľ How much magic? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Margarette
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Memphis area
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Just out of curiosity, how much magic do some of you do for a children's show...half hour or so? I was taught by a rather prominent children's performer that with the youngsters, it's not how much magic you do, but how much interaction you do with the kids. He explained that it is getting to the magic, not the actual magic, that the children love. The magic is for the adults in the crowd. Keeping that in mind, I developed a simple vanishing water routine revolving around the popular Cartoon Network character Dexter. The children absolutely went wild during that segment of the show. Not much magic in the routine, but it is one of the best received routines for children I have done.
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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Iíve said this many times: the secret to being a successful kidsí show performer is to PLAY with the kids! Just have fun, pretend and be silly. Love the kids and they will love you! I did a 40 minute kidsí show last weekend--performed four tricks and some vent work. Went over huge, got a 25% tip above my fee, and four more bookings from other parents. All I did was have fun with the kids--the magic was just the medium.



_________________

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Great Scott! Itís Magic!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Bengi
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Georgia
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GREAT SCOTT, GreatScott!!!! You hit the nail on the head!



Bengi
Peter Marucci
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Right! Itís not the magic, itís the entertainment.

Remember, especially for younger kids, almost everything they see is "magical" to them -- electricity, planes, cars, etc.

So when you perform magic for them, you are just another adult doing things they canít do yet -- just like all the other adults they know.

So when you entertain them -- anything from really corny jokes to sight gags to whatever it takes -- you are a hero in their eyes and, therefore, a hero in the eyes of the parents (who are, after all, paying you!)

cheers

Peter Marucci
magiker
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Sweden
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Entertainment is right, with a capitol E.



I do about 4 magical effects and balloons for a 45 min show. Itīs the bits of business that gets the little rascals.



Thats why I call myself childrens ent. and not magician for kids.
Magiker

Believe in the possibility of the impossible
markmcdermott
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Belfast, Northern Ireland
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I found that kids get fed up with magic, magic, magic. What works for me is to break the show up using other skills or competitions like balloon modelling or juggling. I can easily do a full hour that keeps the children very happy but with a ímagicí only show the kids have had enough around 40 mins. Smile
Steve Landavazo
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Northern California
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Hi Margarette!

I think GreatScott and Peter have hit it on the nail with playing with the kids as well as the entertainment value!

I love your post because just your inquiry and curiosity tellís me your probably already doing a great job with the kids!

Margarette, in case you havenít done so already, you should check out David Ginnís stuff! Particularly, "Professional Magic For Children"! His methods and philosophy in dealing with children are priceless!

In my childrenís shows, I use many of his ideas and generally only perform about six effects! In my own experience, Iíve found this to be just about right, and it leaves everyone wanting just a little bit more! I think this is good!

I think the greatest compliment you can give the kids is them knowing you came to have a good time; that youíre enjoying youself! If you are having fun, they will too. I promise you!

I think routining is very important for the basic structure of the show, but I think something has to be said for impromptu as well! I have had so much fun with shows that I just sort of, "rolled with", because of circumstances! This generally happens when someone in one of the showís, (a child will say or do something funny and the, "course" of the show gets a little sidetracked.) Rather than try to get back on track, I found itís more fun to go with the group, and just let circumstances dictate the outcome! By keeping this in mind, and knowing your effects and adding any bits of business that youíve found to be entertaining you canít help but succeed!

Above all Margarette, your goal should be to entertain and have fun!

In preschool shows, I like getting down to the childs level (on my knees), so they can view me as less intimidating! This is really helpful as you can develop trust with them!

Just my thoughts!
Steve

:dancing: Smile Smile Smile
Courage is the willingness to be afraid and act anyway!
Margarette
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Memphis area
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I already have a lot of David Ginn's stuff. This Saturday, he, Samuel Patrick Smith, and Steve Taylor will be doing a Kids Show Clinic. Unfortunately, I leave Thursday for Indianapolis for a week and a half and will miss it! Smile



I did attend the Kidabra Conference in Pigeon Forge,TN back in August, and got a chance to see some of the top kids show performers in action, and got to listen to their most informative lectures. In fact, I'm sure David Ginn will remember the arachaphobic lady he had onstage with him! Let's just say I'm glad I didn't break any of his stuff trying to run offstage!



I hate that I'm going to miss the Clinic, but I've rescheduled Indianapolis three times already, and really didn't want to reschedule again!



I plan on putting the Kidabra Conference on my yearly calendar of "MUST ATTEND"s! It is worth every penny!



Margarette
The only stupid question is the one not asked.
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Margarette,



Your first question, how long of a kid show. Most "experts" say 40 minute tops and leave them wanting more. I've done an hour and an hour and a half show. If they are involved all-through out and not leaving them to drift it can be done, however, 40 minutes should be the gauge.



Also work out of one suitcase for birthday parties, I've had most of my props disappear in one show by leaving them on tables.



Everything said in this section is excellent advice. One can see some real professionals by what is said in this section!



Smile
Dennis Michael
John Zander
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Downey, CA
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Playing with the kids ala "entertaining" them is the key, I totally agree with all of you.

I have my show down to one case which includes extras if I need them.



I have not really thought about how many tricks that I have been doing lately... maybe 6 or 7 in a 40 minute show.

Plays big and packs small (flat is even better!) is my golden rule as well as a quick reset.



When you are going to another show it is nice to reset as you are packing up, sometimes you just do not have the time when you get to the next show.

Or, using effects that do not need to be reset... even better.



Here is an example of my schedule for next Saturday, busier than most but if you know So. Cal. you will get the idea...



Thousand Oaks at noon

Duarte at 2:15

Van Nuys at 3:30

Downey at 6:00



The less "tricks" that I do the better, as long as it is still a good strong show. And ONE TRIP FROM THE CAR! Very important.



Smile



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John Zander

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http://www.AllMagic.net

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Thank you,



John Zander







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The Award Winning

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John Zander

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SimonSpiff
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Alaska
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Yes...I think kids can get too much magic. You must add other fun things as well. Kids like to volunteer and raise hands so ask silly questions. I try to add stories to some of the tricks (depending on the ages). I add costumes...(Safari hats with Chico the Chimp), (Chef's hat when cooking with my Dove Pan)...etc.



Also a couple of items which have gone over bigger than I ever expected are Axtell's bird puppets and their Magic Drawing Board. A nice change from the ordinary.



And maybe some funny add-ins such as The Breakaway Wand, Nesting Wands, and The Black Hand Towel.



Smile
John Zander
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Downey, CA
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Hi Simon,



Have you enjoyed "Chico"? I just ordered it but have not received it yet. It sounded like a fun routine.... and packs flat! I love that.
Thank you,



John Zander







***************************

The Award Winning

Comedy Magic of

John Zander

http://www.ZanderMagic.com

http://www.AllMagic.net
Peter Marucci
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Den and John hit the nail on the head.

I keep my kidsí shows to about 30 minutes and everything is in one case.

I screw the table base to the flange on the bottom the case, open the case,and -- in one move -- Iím ready to begin. (It wraps up at the end just as easily.)

You never know under what conditions you will have to perform, so those beautiful side tables, covered in props, become a liability instead of an asset in some situations.

This, again, is a case of "learning by experience". You will get to know, depending on what tricks you do, how long is "long enough", before they start to get restless and out of hand.

It may vary from one performer to another, but the half-hour, 40 minute rule is not a bad one. (Consider why school classes are the length they are: they are designed to match the attention span of the students.)

cheers,

Peter Marucci
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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Whilst we do carry 'a lot' of equipment for our two hour stay (with teabreak) parties - the magic show takes about 20 mins. Don't forget, even if you were only five, after 20 mins of being sat crosslegged on a wooden church hall floor with a stomach full of tuna sandwiches and a bladder full of Ribena or Coke, wouldn't you be getting restless? If you are asking how many tricks then probably about 5, a mixture of helper participation routines and maybe one - 'magician only' miracle! I sometimes do 2 tricks at once - but this probably requires years of experience to time when to break from (a) to go to (b) and when to return, and how to place two magical endings. We don't carry equipment with the worst scenario in mind as in a difficult situation a little can always stay behind in the car. "What the eye doesn't see . . . " Smile
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,
I agree with the 45 mins max,
I do about 6 routines in that time and use about 8 helpers on stage during the show.
I make balloons for the helpers after each effect.
Phillip
Dynamike
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Eternal Order
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90% of my acts are 1 hour long.
Mike Maturen
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Michigan's Beautiful Sunrise Side
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I generally do about 30 minutes for a kid's show. In that time, I probably do 5 effects, and use helpers 75% of the time. I will often stay to eat or have cake with the kids after, as long as I don't have anywhere to get to.
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"

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TonyB2009
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I do an hour long show. If I was to take out the magic and do it without the patter and bits of business, I suppose I could cram the hour into five minutes or so.

But the other 55 minutes are the bits I enjoy most.
The Mighty Fool
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I feel like a big-top tent having
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My shows usually run about 35-45 min. If I tried for an hour, I'd probably have to expand into puppetry or something. And my show is 75% FUN and LAUGHS. There are a total of 9 illusions amid 17 bits o' business.
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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An example this summer is my library shows.

The show is about 43 and 1/2 minutes.
The show is schtick, puppet, improv and music heavy.

He's not heavy, he's my puppeteer said Nigel the puppet that rocks and talks.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
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