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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » Preparing for Assisted Living Home Gig (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

TyTheMagician
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Sometime in the next two weeks, I'll be performing walk around for the residents of an assisted living home to provide the residents with some (hopefully) good entertainment and gain more experience performing myself. I already know what effects I'd like to do, but I'm not sure if I've chosen too many or if some don't play well in a retirement home. Any advice?
-Professor's Nightmare
-Extreme Burn 2.0
-Infinitum or my own rubber band routine
-5 and 1 Transept
-Invisible Deck
-Handkerchief through Handkerchief
-Sloppy Shuffle Triumph
-Card through Handkerchief
-Coins Across
-Dr. Daley's Last Trick
-Ambitious Card

Does anyone also have any other performing advice on performing for the elderly?
Theodore Lawton
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A lot of this depends on how receptive your audience is. Meaning, how well their eyesight and hearing still work. How well their mind functions. Keep in mind too that old people often have arthritis and so it can be difficult to do some 'in the hands of the spectator' stuff. You have to be very gentle with them.

Even for walk around, with older folks you might want to consider bigger, colorful and tricks that are not too involved with them having to remember anything.

Not knowing your specific audience I'll make some comments regarding your trick selection. Take it with a grain of salt and "know your audience."

Professor's nightmare will be good. Easy to see and easy to follow.

Extreme Burn should work well for those with decent eyesight. You could even up the contrast with paper to bills, etc. 5 and 1 Transpo might be difficult for the arthritic.

I wouldn't do the rubber band magic. It might work, but it could be hard for many of them to see. Only my opinion.

Invisible Deck will be okay as long as they are well functioning mentally and can "select" and remember their card. The contrast of the back showing will help them see some "magic" has happened and if their eyes are working well they will be able to see the pips when you reveal it.

The handkerchief tricks should play well. I probably wouldn't do both for the same person, but maybe you have a set worked out with them. Silks are popular and fun.

Slop shuffle should work well, for the same reasons as the ID. Contrast and easy to follow. You mess up the cards and voila.

Coins across is visual and pretty easy to follow. Should work well.

Dr Daley- Again, it's in the hands, could be difficult. Maybe if they are shaky of arthritic you can set the cards down on a surface. Red and black contrast should be easy to follow.

ACR- Easy to follow plot. Card keeps coming to the top. This should work well in my opinion.

And really- these are just my opinions based upon working with elderly people. Your results may vary. It entirely depends upon the state of the spectator. Well, and your presentation; of course, but big and colorful and easy to follow are always the best bets in this situation. You could also be ready to do some in the hands stuff with the people who seem able to do it with you.

Maybe try breaking your tricks into sets with some that have in the hands magic and some not and be ready to jazz on the fly depending on how the situation plays out.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Make them laugh, talk to them and make the show all about them. Your magic is secondary to spending time with these people. They will appreciate YOU more than the magic in many cases. Especially if you are funny, nice and personable and willing to listen.

And be prepared to listen. Some people will want to talk more than they want to see magic. Humor them and chat. You may be the first visitor they've had in a long time and you could be their last!

Go make their day and God bless you!

Theodore-
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
TyTheMagician
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Thanks for the advice. One more question, though. With the ACR, should I have the card signed? Do you think the residents will be able to write their name on their card?
Theodore Lawton
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If they can, I would. It just depends on your audience. Let us know how it goes.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
robvh
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I'm interested to hear how it went also as I've recently been asked if I would be willing to perform close-up magic for a small group in an assisted living home.
santaknows
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I can't tell from your post whether you are planning on a strolling or club-type show. If strolling, keep each effect short, big and colorful. Your interaction with the residents is more important than the effects you perform. If club-type, audience participation is always good but you may encounter constraints if the residents are wheel-chair bound.
TyTheMagician
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Well, I called yesterday. The assisted living facility said that many of the residents are highly functional, and that they would rather have me do a 30 minute-1 hour show for all of them in a few weeks. This means I'll have to cut and add quite a few things, but luckily, Mark Wilson's course has quite a few tricks suitable for a large audience!

I'll let you all know how the show goes when I do it.
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