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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The August 2014 entrée: Jason Palter » » Birthday Parties? » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Thunder Island
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I'll go second I'm only 12 so I would like to know how to make a bit of money.

1 way I thought of was birthday parties but don't know how long and how many tricks to do. Smile

thank's, Theo
Jason Palter
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Hi Theo:

Thank you for your message. I don't really do children's events any more (I do community library shows every so often), but I did my first birthday party when I was 10 years old, so you're at a PERFECT age to start doing this! I ended up doing it for a neighbour's child who was turning 5 I think.

What I tell anyone interested in starting to perform, is just get out and do it as often as you can (family, friends, church, school, etc.). If you know anyone that you can approach and let them know you're available to do kid's parties, it's great....Even ask your parents to let their friends know, and to pass around the word.

Personally, I don't like to perform more than about 30-40 minutes for young children, because their attention span is only so good. Depending on how long each of your routines are, will determine how many tricks to do, so you'll have to time yourself. I also find that if they are too young (under about 3 or 4), then they just don't understand the "concept" of what magic is, so they sometimes don't really pay attention. But also remember that what 4 and 5 year olds like to watch, the 8 and 9 year olds can get a bit bored with, and the 11 and 12 year olds couldn't care less about. By the same token, what the 11 and 12 year olds like (which is basically the same "sophisticated" stuff you would do for an adult crowd) to watch, the 8 and 9 year olds will sort of get, but the 4 and 5 year olds probably won't understand. So before you do the show, find out what the crowd size and age(s) are so that you can properly plan your show.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, and good luck!!

Best regards,

Jason
MaxfieldsMagic
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Thunder Island - as Jason said, keep in mind that children perceive magic differently at different ages. When they're very, very young, they probably don't really "get" the magic because they don't understand the laws of physics that you are busy defying. When they're a little older (5-8), they really believe in the magic, which is very cool. Then later they catch onto the fact that magic isn't real, and they may tend to act up, particularly as tweens, to show their friends that they weren't fooled. But later something amazing happens, and they relax and just start enjoying the magic for what it is - entertainment that needn't challenge their egos. When that happens depends entirely on the individual's maturity level.

But good for you for getting out there at age twelve. By the time you're 24, if you stick with it, you'll be very accomplished, and still a whole lot more charismatic and handsome than most of us fogies, which is a big part of showbiz, like it or not.

Jason - would you be willing to share any anecdotes from your "birthday party" days? Anything that warmed your heart, made you panic or just made you laugh?
Now appearing nightly in my basement.
Jason Palter
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Hello all:

I totally agree with what MaxfieldsMagic wrote. And yes, good for you Thunder Island for getting out and starting now!!!

I have many stories not only from past show days, but also from more recent days to share. Here are a few:

1. I used to do some ventriloquism, but not as much in recent years, and usually it was for children's parties to end off my magic show. So while performing for a group of 8 year olds at a birthday party when I was about 15, my ventriloquist dummy's head fell off. Yup, you read correctly. Like a ninja I grabbed it as it was falling off, and realized it was now only hanging by the strings for the control of the mouth, and because that was so slack now, the mouth wouldn't operate properly. I suddenly remembered a story I once read about a vent who was on live TV many years ago (Jerry Nelson maybe?) and had to continue with a dummy that had its mouth stop working, so he just kept the dummy's head turned away from the camera. So I did that for about a minute, threw the dummy back in the case, and ended off with a couple of extra magic tricks I had with me. The kids were none the wiser.....thank goodness! I can just imagine how those parents would have come after me to help pay for their children's therapy bills after witnessing the head falling off and rolling on the floor! Yeeesh!

2. I was doing my weekly gig in a restaurant. I'm not sure if others have experienced this, but sometimes patrons can be a bit tough to deal with because they think that you're going to make them pay for the magic at their table. Every restaurant I've worked at always paid me, and I sometimes would have to patiently explain it to the customers---and some of them were still afraid that I was going to find a way to make them give me money. Crazy!.........Anyhow one night I'm at this table that had a family with a small little boy. The parents were really being a tough crowd, and I think that it was in part because they thought they had to pay for the magic. I was about to do another and they seemed a bit wary, so in a fun and non-confrontational way I said, “Hey guys, how about a little more excitement—it’s FREE!” The little boy’s eyes grew wide, and he looked at me with a big surprised/happy look on his face and exclaimed: “I’m Free too!”......You may not understand from reading, but he was saying with his little speech impediment at that tender age was that he was "3". He thought I said that I was THREE! I was laughing so hard, and that little boy just melted me! Hilarious! lol

3. I was performing a trick on stage for about 300 people, where a borrowed ring appears in an hourglass. One of the spectators on stage had very clear instructions from me: When I was to give them the word, they were to step behind me (I am facing the crowd), and simply turn over the hourglass to start the sand falling, to time me for what I was doing in the routine. Well, this lovely woman misunderstood. Not only did she turn it over, but she actually picked it up and put it behind her back. All this happened without me seeing because again, she was slightly behind me. So I carried on with the routine, and then for the climax I'm supposed to turn and point to the hourglass to reveal the ring there, and the crowd usually goes nuts. So when I turned for the climax, the hourglass was gone OFF THE TABLE. I think that I pulled a muscle in my back in an attempt to hold in my bodily fluids, because I nearly lost it! Those of you who do routines with borrowed objects, know that there's always that niggling feeling in the back of your head that you just HOPE nothing goes wrong and you lose their ring, watch, etc. Well that is what I was thinking right at that moment!.....Anyhow I truly had no idea where the hourglass was. I knew that it hadn't fallen off the table and shattered because I would have heard it. I had done this routine countless times and never had a problem. This woman wasn't trying to be mischievous; she thought that she was supposed to do what she ended up doing. So in a cracking voice, I weakly asked where was the hourglass? She suddenly spoke up and said, "Oh here it is!" and brought it from behind her back. Thank goodness I recovered quickly, and I turned to the crowd and said, "Well ladies and gentlemen, she’s a better magician than me. She actually made the other person’s wedding ring, AND the hourglass disappear. She’s here all week!...Can I please get another pair of pants?", and the crowd burst out into laughter. Scary, but a fun time! lol

Anyhow there are some stories for you, and hopefully they made you smile!

Best regards,

Jason
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