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madmanmike1
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Hello all! Smile
I'm new to this brand of magic but am looking forward to performing for children. I would like to become a professional childrens magician. I am an accomplished close-up coin magician, but as we all know close-up sometimes just doesent cut it with the kids! My problem is I have my routine all together and have practiced it a number of times. I have just started performing for children I know so that I can polish my act before I go public. However in my "practice performances" I find that I am unsure how to end a routine. I finish a trick and I quite often lack an applase or even just a positive reaction from the children. So how do I let the kids know it's time to applase? I say "Taa daa!" sometimes but it sounds kinda out of place (and you can only say it so many times)
any help would be .. helpfull!

also those of you who perform childrens shows, do you play music during your act? if so how does it work - do you turn it on when you start and just let it drone on throughout your performance?

thank you all
Magic Mike Smile
"it's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide!"
madmanmike1
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Hello again,:wavey:
Just thought I would add that I usually perform for adults but this act is for school age children ages 7- 11 appox. Of course I am going to be public so it realy could be any age group. Also my act consists of a misers dream routine then a number of rope bits, a disecto arm chopper then a flaming head chest (flaming torch replaced with large magic wand through childs head)

Magic Mike Smile
"it's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide!"
Stevethomas
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The applause cues sometimes just aren't taken by the younger set...sometimes if it's a family show (library or such), the adults will let 'em know when to clap...other times, you're basically on your own. Ending an effect with the "applause stance" (arms out, feet together and a big smile) will also work.

On music, I don't usually do music for a birthday party, but anything larger I will. I use my Showtech system for that, with everything included...intro, music, sfx and close on there. Unless you have something like a Fender Passport (which will automatically lower the music when you speak), I wouldn't recommend running the music all throughout the show, even if it's a manipulation act...you'll need some kind of break in there.

Steve Thomas
Kool Kat
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Quote:
On 2002-07-21 22:31, madmanmike1 wrote:
. . . my act consists of . . . arm chopper then a flaming head chest (flaming torch replaced with large magic wand through childs head)

Magic Mike Smile


Mike, are you joking or something? You're a teacher - what schools would allow tricks with fire and chopper effects? Have you got good liability insurance, in case the kids try it out at home?

Cheers,
Kath Worsfold Smile
************************
Bill & Kath Worsfold
Kiwi Entertainers
http://www.billkath.co.nz
************************
p.b.jones
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"Mike, are you joking or something? You're a teacher - what schools would allow tricks with fire and chopper effects? Have you got good liability insurance, in case the kids try it out at home? "

HI,
I do not include chopper /danger effects in my childrens shows. However, I have had several Headteachers that have seen my adult cabaret (Many headteachers in my area tend to get together for a Christmas party and I have been the turn several times). specificaly ask me to perform this effect at their school shows. I also work a couple of Hotels which have school parties staying regularly as the hotel owners have seen my cabaret they to ask for the guilotine. I feel a little odd about this and when talking to the headteacher after the show I always explain tht the guilotine is not normally in my Kids show but the Hotel wanted it Every single one has said. Why not it's a great trick. I have no plans to make it a permenant fixture in my kid shows. But I think that a lot of Magicains are a little over worried about these things.
Phillip
madmanmike1
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Okay wow, where to start,
Well Steve Thomas thank you for your response I will try a more "Taa daa" like stance! and I would like to know more about that "showtech system" As for Kool kat please take a pill! the arm chopper is a powerfull magical trick that the kids love, I start it by saying stuff like "don't try this at home" although my chopper is decorated as a magical prop and needs the magicians magic to work! also I don't know where your'e from but in Canada our kids age 7-11 just aren't that stupid. Also the disecto is one of David Ginn's favorite effects for kids. As for the fire chest if you read my post I stated I don't use the flaming torch I use a black and white wand. In my show the trick is more of a dissapering head trick. I think P.B. Jones is right when he said that a lot of magicians are over worried with some of these tricks, because I do not present myself as a goofy clown I have to perform Magic that thrills the kids and no offense but the multi coloured coloring book sucks!As a clown K.K., I am sure it would look wrong for you to pull out a hand chopper, but don't dis the magicians who do (and do so responsibaly) I am new to performing birthday party magic but I have been doing close up , walk around and some restaurant magic for years!

Magic Mike Smile
"it's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide!"
madmanmike1
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After re-reading my post I believe that I was too abrupt in my response. I apologize Kool Kat if it seemed like a "flame" I only meant to be to the point.

I agree that there is no place for sword through neck, needle through arm, or guillotine type effects in a kids show, however the design of my props and the way I present them avoid any problems in the way of monkey see monkey do.

Once again let me reiterate that in my opinion magicians can get too worried about some effects, should we all stop doing "rope through body" just in case some kids try it?

Kids today see alot on TV and through other means and when they see Copperfield on TV impale himself on a 10 foot sword or Pen and Teller drive a butchers knife through thier arm the kids expect a little more then a squirting plastic flower from the magician their parents hired for thier party.

Magic Mike Smile
"it's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide!"
Dennis Michael
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Kids, exposed to tons of movies and TV are not experience to the "how to" or "when to" applause. In school, they are told to sit still, and be quite. Parents tell them to be quite.

To do it properly, use lots of kids and participation. Get them to applause at those helpers. "Lets give Mary a great big round of applause for her help!" is an example. You are really getting the applause for the effect of the trick.

You can ask for it, such as, "Well, if I could really pull a rabbit out of this hat, what do you think? Does that deserve a round of Appaluse?"..."Yea!"..."But your really don't want me to pull a rabbit out of a hat do you?"...."Yeeeaaaa!"... I need you all to say that magical word...." Get the point!

Prior to doing tricks, give them a warm up speech, "If you see something you like or something that funny, it's OK to laugh...If you see something you really like you can applause, that's OK too!"

If you don't get applause, that's OK too! because there could be numerous reasons for not getting applause, most of the time, they are busy telling their friends on how it's done...or at least how they think it is done.

Getting applause from Kids is a skill you need to work on. Above are some examples. Think up a couple of others and you'll have enough for the show.

Good Luck on your new adventure.
Dennis Michael
Dennis Michael
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Related to music, it depends on your act. Kids shows are boring if it doesn't have talking and strickly done to music. As a matter of fact it will be a flop.

Yes, music can be used to enhance the show, like in the beginning and the end or when your doing a time consuming illusion like the Arrow/Sword through the head. Or a twister illusion.

Doing kids shows is a lot different than doing shows for adults. Just walk over and turn on the tape recorder, then turn it off when your done. Leave enough seconds between each time it is used. It is the easist way to do it, especially when you are alone. Yes, there are other expensive methods of doing it, but a boom box works well.

When doing kids shows don't get hung up on perfection because one thing is guarenteed, kids will say and do the darnest things when you least expect it and you must use that impromptu moment to enhance you show and flow with it.

Have fun... DO a little magic with music, do a couple of Patter tricks, do a small illusion with patter and music, do a couple of patter tricks then end with your best. It can be with music or without music or a combination of both. There are no solid rules here other than mixing comedy with magic so eveyone has a good time.

Laughter is the Applause so if they are laughing and having fun you are getting the sound of applause from the kids!
Dennis Michael
Kool Kat
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Quote:
On 2002-07-22 13:35, madmanmike1 wrote:
As for Kool kat please take a pill!
(1) . . . don't know where your'e from but in Canada our kids age 7-11 just aren't that stupid.
(2). . . As for the fire chest if you read my post I stated I don't use the flaming torch I use a black and white wand.
(3). . . because I do not present myself as a goofy clown I have to perform Magic that thrills the kids and no offense but the multi coloured coloring book sucks! As a clown K.K., I am sure it would look wrong for you to pull out a hand chopper, but don't dis the magicians who do (and do so responsibaly)
(4). . . I am new to performing birthday party magic but I have been doing close up , walk around and some restaurant magic for years!


Mike, I accept your apology. I see you made these comments the second day you joined - most of us wait at least a couple of days before we start telling people off (she says - speaking as a "seasoned veteran" of almost a week of membership - that was a joke - LOL Smile). I'm sorry if you thought I was "dissing" you - didn't mean to - just meant to ask a question. I apologise.

Elsewhere in this kids show forum, there's been a lot of concern about giving balloons to little kids, and liability insurance, etc. - some people are really paranoid about it all. Personally, I don't have any insurance - people don't sue in New Zealand.

To answer your comments, I've numbered them:

1. Right underneath my picture at the left, the words "New Zealand" are clearly written. I didn't realise that you were from Canada, as the only piece of information available about you at all on this website is that you are a teacher. I wouldn't have asked about the liability if I'd know you were a Canuck. I'm Canadian too (eh?).

2. Sorry - I did miss that about the substitution of the wand - all I saw was the "flaming torch" bit. The effect was a bit fuzzy in my head until I did a search at Google and saw one. Very classy piece of apparatus - expensive, too. Probably quite impressive to the kids. It is a nice touch to have one biggish illusion in a kids' show - shows them you mean business, and would make a nice climax to the show.

3. Um . . . I don't know what to make of this. I'm not now and never have been a clown - "goofy" or otherwise. I'm afraid this is the face that God gave me - sorry if it looks like a clown face in the picture. No offense taken about the colouring book - I don't do that trick. I don't know if my shows "thrill" the kids, but I do know that they and I have lots of fun, and I have many good references from happy customers.

4. I'm very sure you're much more of a magician than I - who would dispute it? I came here to learn more about magic. My puppet does some simple magic in my show - that's all so far.

I've made my full living as a performer/entertainer - an equal part of a duo (not as an "assistant" to someone else) since 1981. I've also been doing solo birthday parties as "Kool Kat the Puppet Lady" for four years now. (My husband also does solo birthday parties.)

My identity, photo and all the information about my whole life is available on this website, or from links off my profile page - any comments I make, I own. The only thing I don't reveal is my age - you've gotta draw the line somewhere!

Now I've got that off my chest, excuse me - I've gotta go take a pill! Smile

Cheers,
Kath Smile
************************
Bill & Kath Worsfold
Kiwi Entertainers
http://www.billkath.co.nz
************************
Kool Kat
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Quote:
On 2002-07-21 22:07, madmanmike1 wrote:
. . . So how do I let the kids know it's time to applase?

Magic Mike Smile


Mike, I don't know what your character when you perform is like, but if you're flamboyant, you could always ham it up ridiculously, bowing many times very exaggeratedly with one hand at your waist and one out to the side. Then look as if you've embarrassed yourself.

I have my puppets keep bowing for applause (cunning move) - my little rabbit starts clapping for himself, and gets everyone to join in (I have a running gag with the clapping bit - I tell him to stop clapping, then I look away to my suitcase to get something out to show the kids, and he starts clapping. The kids of course tell me "He's still clapping". I look back, stop him, and look away again - more clapping and tattling, etc. - you get the picture.) - and my little vent guy, after he does his best to wreck a routine, then keeps bowing and saying "Big hand for Jerry - let's have a big hand for Jerry. Aren't I great? I'm so wonderful." etc., while I try to shush him up and tell him it's impolite to ask for applause.

Terry Herbert has an assistant up to help him with a trick. After the trick is over, he says: "If you clap loudly, we might do it again. If you clap really loudly, we might even tell you how it's done!" Then, after they clap madly, he says to his assistant "OK, tell them how it was done." Laughter all around.

There's always the hackneyed old "People usually applaud at this point."

As for music - we use mouth organ, bones and a little accordion for some live music during our shows. I may add some taped music later, as there's a neat game of Mark Leveridge's that I want to do, that depends on having taped music.

In general, I wouldn't think it was necessary - it might just be a distraction to what you were doing. The exception is if you have a classy silent routine that is visually stunning - then, music to complement the routine would be in order - but then, you probably already know this, because it would be the same as you'd do for adults with an effect like that. I don't know how a routine like that would go down with kids, though. They're not usually too impressed with visual, graceful stuff.

We have a video with - I think it was Tom Mullica - doing a hilarious silent routine to music. The music is really quirky, and everything he does goes exactly to all the little dings, dongs, blips and blubs of the music.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Kath Worsfold Smile
************************
Bill & Kath Worsfold
Kiwi Entertainers
http://www.billkath.co.nz
************************
p.b.jones
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OK,
I was going to keep this to myself, but here we go. In the Book Gene Gordons Magical Legacy page 114 is a bit of buisiness called SIM SALA BIM it will get you applause after every trick and some great laughs. Further more you do not have to ask for apllause this is done for you. I have used this for years. you must be able to think on your feet with it.
It is excellent but not mine to give away
there is so much in the book anyway that you will not be dissapointed if you buy it.
Phillip
Dennis Michael
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Dennis Michael
madmanmike1
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Thanks to all,
Sorry again kool kat (clown referance was not to the face it was...umm the hat and puppets) I don't use puppets, can't twist balloons, am just starting to learn to juggle, and am terrible at ventriliquism. As a 30ish male I try to just appear as a straight magician because that's what I do best. I will look for Sim Sala Bim sounds good, also I will try to find applause in other ways than clapping from the children.

Magic Mike Smile
"it's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide!"
Dennis Michael
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Danger Magic:

This has been a major topic of discussion, amoung all types of magicians. David Ginn talks about it in numerous books.

There are ways to present DANGER MAGIC, provided it is done right, which is the focus of many conversations. What is right? A tougher question to give an exact answer.

I do fire magic, smoke tricks and loud bangs, but I don't do match tricks. Easy obtainable object which can hurt children. Flash paper ignited by magical means, fire books, etc. is OK. I use fire in my Fire Safety program. I do balloons, and so do many other magicians and clowns.

Now, as a clown character, I can see certain tricks would not be appropriate. Now for an evening Family Fun Entertainment Show mixed with Adults and Kids, I do and use a blank gun in several comedy skits, (not all in the same show- only once in a show) but would never do that during a school assembly program, unless I am doing my Safety Show and talk about guns. Then it would be appropriate, but again, a well thought out approach to it's use and not as a play thing.

I have the Disecto, Finger Chopper, Finger Guillotine, Head Chopper, Sword through the Neck, Sword through the Head box illusion and other "Danger" props.

I have a bang wand which uses 22 blanks. Now I selective use these on stage, and careful what I would use at a birthday party.

As long as the trick is not presented with "fear" aspect and presented as an element of "preceived danger" it can be used. As a comedy skit it works well. I also tell the kids not to try it at home. For an example of a routine for a head chopper check out my script routine development for the Simplex Chopper You will notice all the comedy props, comedy lines, and the trick really takes about 30 seconds to perform, Add the build up and comedy props and you have a nice Comedy act.

Also it is not for everyone. Personality develops character and one's character plays a part on how the "danger" trick comes across to the audience.

There is a divide amoung magicans and entertainer on this issue. My stand is there are exceptions to the rule if the presentation and delivery are done "RIGHT?"
Dennis Michael
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