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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Fellowship of Christian Magicians! » » NursingHome Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Rickfcm
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Veteran user
lower Michigan
380 Posts

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My wife has volunteered me for a 20 minute program at a nursing home. Any ideas, I am drawing a complete bland on this one.
GaryLee
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275 Posts

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I would be the worse to give advice.

I only did 2 shows at a nursing home. My audience consisted of very old seniors. < I have nothing but my deepest respect to our seniors, I'm approaching that age myself.>

Some of them didn't even know where they were. Others didn't seem to care where they were. A few seemed interrested in what I was doing but their attention span seemed rather short. They sat in their chairs they were helped to, or their wheelchairs that they were pushed in to the common area where I performed. Some walked with a pusher. 12 seniors, and the youngest 84.

Rick, don't do any tricks that require misdirection. You don't need to. You won't need to bring a thumbtip either because they will never catch you ditching an object in your pocket. And, 20 minutes? 20 minutes to them is almost a whole day. Some of them will sleep, drool, be figety, vomit, or need a diaper change all in 20 minutes. The last thing you need to worry about is what tricks to perform. They were like children on prozac. I can never do another nursing home.
It was the longest 20 minutes of my life x2
Rickfcm
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Veteran user
lower Michigan
380 Posts

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I know they will be "out of it", just wanted ideas on what kind of tricks to use. I am working with the lady who runs the program and am trying to get a feel for the audience. Normally I only worked with Sunday school children so this will be new to me.
GaryLee
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I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound negative towards our seniors in nursing homes. I don't have the right heart to ever do a nursing home again. Colorful and short routines would be best I think.

I performed a few slieght of hand card tricks that didn`t go over well with them. My appearing cane seemed to just startle some. My disappearing candle routine lulled the remaining few to sleep.

Things that did work for me was color changing silk, silk streaming with thumbtip. It wasn`t enough though. I wish I had more silk routines with me. Blooming flowers worked for me as well, and again I wish I did more with flowers. Something with balloons would probally go over well too.

Sorry I can`t be of more help.
revmike
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Birdsboro, PA
647 Posts

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I love doing Nursing Homes and Assisted Living - The name of the show I normally do for them is called "You are Special" and I have to admit, I've gotten several good ideas for this particular show from Jim Austin and others just from being a Pastor and working with many of them in my pastoral capacity.

You can make even a wheel-chair bound, dementia patient feel special through magic. Do not be discouraged!
The magic is not in our sleights and illusions, but instead in our ability to bring love and joy.
MagicBus
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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Michigan
2875 Posts

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I did several shows over 10 years ago when my mother was in a large nursing home with severe medical problems. She was my best "promoter"- so people were excited to see me- and I brought with me the most colorful and largest things I could find. I fortunately own an Abbott's "Florabella" which I purchased used (Abbott's still has the video of me purforming it on their web site) along with Abbott's Goofus Plant which I bought from Abbott's- it was a big hit. So my advice would be, for what it is worth, use lots of silks (the biggest ones you have), lots of productions, lots of color, lots of "older" type music, with very non-complicated tricks. I enjoyed actually the few shows I did there- I tried to stimulate their minds with good old style humor, a big smile, overacting, and lots of streamers, a large hat coil, appearing canes, etc..
jamiedoyle
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Lafayette, IN
609 Posts

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I've played quite a few senior living communities. And I prefer those over those facilities that are considered nursing homes. since the residents in senior living communities are active and alert and have a ton of fun during a magic show - they still know how to act during a live show of any kind - in contrast to many young - middle aged adults.
Jamie Doyle

jamiedoyle.com
MagicBus
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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Michigan
2875 Posts

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MagicBob is one of the most active magicians I know and still he still works full time as a hospital administrator. He and SuZie actually now live in one of those very fancy "senior complex" condos- they basically agree to take care of you for life: from luxury condo to assisted living to finally nursing home if required. Amazing. This is rapidly becoming the wave of the future, if you can get off the waiting list to actually buy in. I betcha "The Villages" in Florida has a parade of retired magicians coming through/livin there...
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