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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Is it ever too late to start? (16 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mblann1960
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North Louisiana, USA
6 Posts

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So, a brief introduction, I'm 57 years old, have loved magic as a hobby since I was a young boy. I've never performed professionally other than a few parties, for family and friends and once at a State Fair some years ago. I'm seriously considering doing Children's Birthday parties. Where I live, there doesn't appear to be much available as far as Magicians, Clowns, etc. I love children, I love magic, and am what I consider to be a outgoing, funny, young at heart kind of guy. I would like your thoughts. Is 57 too old? I don't mean to sound silly, just curious. I look younger than my age, for what that's worth. (If it even matters). I just don't know quite where to begin, Cost? Advertising? all those things. I still work Full-time. But I am very interested in pursuing this. Any feedback would be much appreciated!

Mark
Daniel Ulzen
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Berlin/Germany
391 Posts

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Hi Mark,

57 is the new 30 for childrens entertainers. It does not matter if you look like 47 or 67 years - in some months/years you can be the hottest childrens entertainer in your area. Well maybe (who knows) not the most physically attractive for the mothers but the best that lots of mothers and children want to have for their parties and other events. I can tell you from experience: If you have a great program that the audience likes the children and the parents want to get your for their dates. So maybe do not concentrate on marketing, concentrate on a great program that you love and that the children and the adults love. Check out the webshop of David Ginn (http://www.ginnmagic.com/). He offers lots of and great stuff for childrens entertainer. There are lots of other great webshops for childrens entertainters. Maybe just keep going: order and add some great gags and tricks, do your shows, get new bookings, get some money, order and add some great gags and tricks ...

"I just don't know quite where to begin"

Maybe invest some dollars to make your program better by buying some stuff from webshops. And maybe offer some free shows to churches, schools, ... and after your shows give out some stuff (e. g. printed magic trick) with your telephone nummer and www-adress if you have one. If the audiences like your show you will get new bookings.

Feel free to ask here everybody or me personally whatever you want. Lots of people here like to share their knowledge with you so you can grow very fast and much faster than earlier pre-internet-generations.

Good luck.

Daniel
mblann1960
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North Louisiana, USA
6 Posts

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Quote:
On Dec 6, 2017, Daniel Ulzen wrote:
Feel free to ask here everybody or me personally whatever you want. Lots of people here like to share their knowledge with you so you can grow very fast and much faster than earlier pre-internet-generations.

Good luck.

Daniel


Daniel,

Thanks for the input and great advice! I'm actually planning on purchasing some effects and start working on a routine since most of what I own is geared towards adults.
I'm also very interested in having a puppet routine as part of it.
Again, thanks so much for the feedback.

Mark
Mindpro
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Eternal Order
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I agree. I have many that I work with, including a retired physician, attorney and long-time CPA all of which are discovering performing in their late 50s-early 60s. I may ways it is easier for these guys to start at this age than with all of the youthful elements that come along doing it as most do.

My suggestion is to take advantage of the unique position you are in by learning and working on both the performance and business sides of this at the same time, as you will find many greater benefits, much quicker. Best of luck!
Daniel Ulzen
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OK! When I started in childrens magic I loved to read those books from David Ginn like "professional magic for children". Lots of great advice in these books and especially in this book.

David Ginn also offers in his webshop a trick with a puppet ("Magical Dog Arm Puppet").

There are other great webshops for childrens entertainers and other great books and other great puppet routines. There are even some books espcially about magic shows at birthday parties and the marketing of those shows. Just invest some hours and have a close look at those webshops and order what you like most.

Maybe call some other childrens magicians in your area and ask if you can watch their show. Some of them will be friendly and helpful.
jakeg
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Why do t you find out if there are any club meetings near you. Some are pretty good places to learn from others.
TomBoleware
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Hattiesburg, Ms
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Hey Mark,

Of course you are not to old. I’ve been starting new adventures for the past fifty year, I’m 70 now and still looking for new opportunities.

Once you have your show together, I would visit some of the childcare centers in the area and let them know you are in the business of doing magic shows. Daycare centers can be very helpful in spreading the word for you. Every child there has a birthday coming up. Getting to know the daycare staff can be one of the best, and cheapest investments you can ever make. Hint: They like doughnuts. Smile

If I can help, just let me know.

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

www.tomboleware.com
mblann1960
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North Louisiana, USA
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Quote:
On Dec 6, 2017, TomBoleware wrote:
Hey Mark,

Of course you are not to old. I’ve been starting new adventures for the past fifty year, I’m 70 now and still looking for new opportunities.

Once you have your show together, I would visit some of the childcare centers in the area and let them know you are in the business of doing magic shows. Daycare centers can be very helpful in spreading the word for you. Every child there has a birthday coming up. Getting to know the daycare staff can be one of the best, and cheapest investments you can ever make. Hint: They like doughnuts. Smile

If I can help, just let me know.

Tom


Tom,

Thanks for the idea! Sounds great...I noticed you're in Mississippi, I'm not too far from you in North Louisiana.

Mark
TomBoleware
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Hattiesburg, Ms
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Mark, Yes I’m not that far from you really. My son lives in South Louisiana, Covington, close to New Orleans and I get down that way sometimes but rarely go north from there anymore.

The reason I say the centers can help, I owned a Daycare center in Hattiesburg for 19 years. Parents talk to the teachers about what is going on in the life of their child and the teachers are aware of all the upcoming birthday parties. Maybe you could do up a magical coloring sheet with your name on it and have it go home with every child there. Things like that can help spread the word.

Hang in there, it takes awhile but it will all come together for you. Lots of good people on here willing to help.

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

www.tomboleware.com
arthur stead
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When I played soccer, I hit
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I was 50 when 9/11 destroyed my business as a composer in NYC. My wife and I had to relocate to a new state and completely reinvent ourselves. We did so by merging our knowledge and experience in the music industry with my lifelong love of magic. Did a lot of research, bought some colorful props, developed original routines, and created school, library and daycare shows (all featuring our own original music, of course). It took a few years, but we survived and eventually made a good living. Have since retired from doling magic shows. (But we’re still writing and recording music).

Just so you know, Mark: Tom Boleware wrote a great book about booking and performing daycare shows. Highly recommended.
Arthur Stead
royalty-free music and interactive routines
www.arthurstead.com
mblann1960
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North Louisiana, USA
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Wow, thanks to everyone for all the input. Really got me thinking, plus giving me some great ideas and encouragement.
The Great Zucchini
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My grandmother got her college degree at 73 years old. It's never too old to do something you love. Good luck
Blindside785
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Olympia, WA
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Rick Anderson is a local around here, he is 61 or something. He has a Penguin lecture you can check out his material. His bread and butter is somewhat mostly birthdays and kid's parties. Never too late.
jakeg
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You mentioned picking up some tricks. Before doing that, I would do a lot of reading and a lot of watching DVDs. Instead of buying tricks, I would put my thoughts into routines that fit your personality, and that you like doing.
We all have drawers, and in some cases, rooms full of ‘junk’ that we will never use. Don’t get caught in a buying frenzy.
82, and still looking for the one trick that will change my life to one of fame and fortune.
bkmeyer
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Mark,

Let me recommend that you spend time working on performance skills as an entertainer rather than simply learning tricks. People pay performers to entertain rather than simply fooling them with magic tricks. Some resources that have helped me (in addition to David Ginn's materials mentioned earlier) are Julian Mather and Ken Kelly's (http://kidsentertainerhub.com/) website. They have courses you can purchase ("Build Your Magic Show" is an excellent help to get started). Some of their materials are free (podcasts and interviews) and others are subscription-based. You'll learn some magic in these resources, but you'll also learn how to entertain. Happy learning as you begin this adventure.

Bruce
Dynamike
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Eternal Order
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Age is just a number. One thing that is important is your strength. If you do not mind lifting heavy objects no problem. If heavy weight lifting is an issue to you I recommend "packs small, plays big" props for you to work with.
Dick Oslund
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"Those who give themselves to ready practice before they have learned the theory, resemble sailors who go to sea in a ship without a rudder." ----Leonardo Da Vinci

Another very wise old magician, long ago, said: "Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." --S.H. Sharpe

YOU CAN IGNORE THESE WORDS, IF YOU LIKE, BUT IT WILL COST YOU A LOT OF T I M E, AND M O N E Y!

At 57, you really don't have a lot of TIME to waste. (Maybe you have a lot of MONEY to waste....)

Look back to your second post. YOU CANNOT PURCHASE AN EFFECT. (An EFFECT is WHAT THE SPECTATOR PERCEIVES. THAT is IMPOSSIBLE to BUY.

You can't BUY a TRICK either. A TRICK, somewhat like music, only EXISTS WHILE IT IS BEING PERFORMED.

You can buy a PROP, and/or a SECRET.

USING that PROP, and/or SECRET, you can PERFORM a TRICK. If you perform the TRICK, with a GOOD PRESENTATION, you MAY ENTERTAIN the spectators.

(MAGIC IS N O T INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING.)

Remember Da Vinci's quotation above. First learn the theory! It will save you TIME and MONEY. Then pick up a copy of Ken Weber's book, "Making Magic Entertaining".

Dariel Fitzkee'a Trilogy, is a bit "heavy going", but, it will help.

Here's a quote from Fitskee's, "The Trick Brain" -part of his trilogy. (pp308,309): "I must insist that tricks are but tools. This eagerness to add new tricks to the workshop, at the expense of learning how to use the tools we already possess, definitely results in overcrowded workshops, but unskilled artisans."

SOME of those who already have posted above, may, disagree with me. They can, if they want to. I've been there and done it, for 70 years.

I have made a very good living as a full time professional magician for 50 years. Before that, I was a part time professional. I started THAT. as a 13 year old, in 1945. I traveled coast to coast and border to border (USA). I was never out of work, in 50 years. I worked mainly for young people, from Kindergarten through High School. (about 20,000 shows)

I'm 86. I keep busy, mentoring, and doing a few shows locally. My props, pack small and light, and play big. The props weigh about 20 lbs. The show, which plays for almost anyone, almost anywhere, sets up in 4 minutes, and packs in 2 minutes.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Mindpro
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Eternal Order
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Always excellent advice from Dick!
Doc Willie
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I started magic 2 years ago at age 71. My teacher says I have learned faster than anyone he has ever taught. Q.E.D.
TKD27
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Wallingford, CT
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Hey Mark, sorry I missed the thread when you first posted. I'm curious what came of your interest in developing a kids' show? Are you still working on it? Have you started performing? Any new specific questions you need help with?

Matt
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