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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Good News! » » Any Sage Advice For Nursing Homes? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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asopfable
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Hello, thank you for posting this, as I have learned a lot from reading through all the very informative responses.

I actually started performing in nursing homes and assisted living communities when I was 13 because my father worked as an occupational therapist. He was able to provide me a steady stream of gigs, which allowed me to fail and fail again while honing my skills. I think the best thing I learned for that particular audience was to use youth to my advantage. The older people LOVED seeing a dapper young 13 year old up on stage performing for them. I played into what they wanted to see by smiling really big, wearing a tux, and just basically being a kid. In addition to that stage presence, I did visual effects, which I found played really well. Rocky the Raccoon, Red Sponge balls, vanishing something with a devil's hank, 1 to 100 dollar bill, Egg Trick, Coloring Book, and some others that I can't quite remember now. Another thing that I remember worked well was going out into the audience instead of staying on stage. This ensured that those who had a hard time seeing could see, and also that everyone stayed awake (which can be quite a problem in rest homes!)

Obviously, as I've gotten older, this approach doesn't work as well in all venues, but I do believe it does still hold some truth. I recently did an event at a retirement community in Florida. It was easier than any other event I've ever done. I believe this is because the retirees could see the youthful energy that I brought, which excited them and "pumped them up." Ever since performing for them, I have been pursuing retirement communities in my area because they are such great audiences to work with!

Anyways, I hope everything works out for you. Best of luck!
daffydoug
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I'm coming along well with my club/commando show, and I have some visual stuff in it, so I'm soon going to try out some of these effects on these audiences, but my hair is beginning to take on that salt and pepper look, so I don't think I'll be able to pull the youth thing very well any more.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
sirbrad
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I also walk to the audience a lot as I have a lot of interactive tricks but I also am sure that I can do them myself if I have to and sometimes I use the activity aides as well.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
harris
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Breaking the 4th wall is something I do at times.

Can't remember if I posted this above.

During a playing of the song Good Night Irene, it became obvious that there was a lady in the audience named Irene.
While Dave continued playing guitar and singing I moved to her table.

Getting down on one knee, I grasped her hand in, while continuing to play my harmonica.

Things like that can really add to programs.
They do to mine/ours.

love and prayers...

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
daffydoug
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I've heard of the "fourth wall", but never studied it extensively. You're post gives me a clue as to what it is. Is that the same as I've heard where a performer on a TV show will speak a comment to the TV audience at home? (Or is that the THIRD wall?)
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Doug,

I can't remember at the moment whether it's called the 3rd or 4th wall.

An old reference would be when George Burns talked to the audience.
Newer in TV shows like The Office.

I'm back in the drama classroom next week.
Will ask the drama teacher or my beloved wife, Annie. (if I remember)
Her undergrad degree was in Speech and Theater. Her acting and directing experience, knowledge as well as being a loyal and trusted servant of our Lord, is a blessing for me.

love and prayers.

brother h
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
daffydoug
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Brings me to mind of Oliver Hardy of Laurel and Hardy fame. Often, after Stan did something dumb, which was just about every minute he was on screen, Olly would look directly at the audience through the camera with the most pitiful, pained "Why me?" look.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I'm guessing you and your puppet also know that he/she can break the wall.

How you use this and other tools can add to the enjoyment of your Assisted Living,Nursing, Church or other venues.

Some Nursing/Assisted living are open to Gospel Songs.
Some ask for say Christmas Shows, but please now religious ones.

Love and Prayers
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
daffydoug
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Gospel songs? That's precisely what I have been doing with my gospel group, "The Almond Branch" for the past several months.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
sirbrad
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TV is known as breaking the "3rd wall" because the camera is not supposed to be there. However during a live performance you are not breaking any wall because you are performing for the crowd, and you interact and acknowledge the crowd. So there is no wall really to break. Unless you are in a play, or doing an acting scene where the audience is supposed to be invisible. I suppose you could do a slilent act like that for someone on the stage with you while the audience looks on etc, but for the most part you interact with the crowd which is expected so there is no wall in that case.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
daffydoug
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Perfect!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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