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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Strait Jacket in Kids Show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MaGiShN46
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Hello,

I have a strait jacket I usually used in adult shows but I heard of people that use it in kids shows. But I tried it and they were bored to death of it. How can I make this AWESOME escape amusing for kids?

Thanks for your help all !
drwilson
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Well, what are kids interested in?

If a kid can get an adult to do something silly, they love that. You get asked over and over.

If a kid can expose an adult as a liar, a phoney, or an idiot, they find that pretty amusing too.

I have a friend who did torn and restored napkin in every kid's show. The kid's napkin restores, his doesn't. They went nuts over this.

So a kid has to live in a world of these big lurking, lying dorks with a lot of stupid rules put there for no reason. Adults can do whatever they want, and from a kid's perspective, a lot of them just want to rain on the kid's parade and say no all the time. Look at the depiction of giants in fairy tales. Big, ugly, dumb, coarse brutes, easily outfoxed by clever Jack! Why do you think that they like those stories?

So an adult demonstrating his power using escapes is not a matter of great interest to them. They already know that adults have all the power.

In another post on this forum, Mark Tripp talks about the Cub Scout Escape Show. Notice why his show works. The Cub Scout Leader is trapped in cuffs the whole show! The kid sees the guy who has been giving him grief reduced to helplessness by another lying adult. It's time for some payback! Break out the candy! Can we gag him too?

How do I know this? I was a kid once. So were you. Hang around with some kids and play. Do whatever they want. See what they like? Think about it.

Yours,

Paul
MaGiShN46
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Thanks, But can you think of any patter or any quotes to do/say when I'm doing it?
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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The biggest problem is that most of them have no idea what a straitjacket is (a coat with belts?)

The 75' challenge tie, or a chain & lock torture harness (which looks like restraints in adventure cartoons) they can understand.

Been there...done that.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
drwilson
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Well, if you understand the situation, the plot, and your character, you should be able to write a good script.

Look in the kid's show forum for good advice on what kids like, the kids of plots and situations.

I don't want to be needlessly mysterious about it, but a lot of things that I might say wouldn't sound right coming from you. I also don't tell "jokes," all the humor comes from the character and situation.

Let's think about what might make an escape seem funny, or silly.

The thumbcuff escape is the only one I play for laughs. The joke here is that the escape artist keeps slipping in and out of them so fast that the audience member helping out doesn't even notice the first few times. The audience laughs because the usual tension of an escape act is dissipated with rapid escapes. The joke is, how many times can the escape artist do this before the audience member helping out notices? How will they react? This is funnier if the escape artist plays it dead serious.

What if the whole death-defying escape thing were turned silly? Suppose that the penalty for failure was not a drowning death, or being impaled on a bed of flaming spikes, but...GASP...being made to eat a black jelly bean? NO ONE LIKES THOSE! Of course, this too is funnier if it is played dead serious.

Again, start with the situation and plot, then think about how different characters might deal with it. Think about cartoon characters if that helps. Imagine Rocky and Bullwinkle doing an escape act. This would be different from Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. Don't you think that lines from one of the cartoon acts would be wrong for the other act?

Yours,

Paul
Cliffg37
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If you want to get the kids up hooting and hollering for any escape, wait unitl you are in restraint, and wince in pain because you have to go to the bathroom. Cross you legs, bend over, what ever it is to make them believe you.

Personally I don't find that the least bit funny or amusing. I am a teacher, and I know how it feels to really be trapped when you have to go.

Adults won't lagh, but trust me the kids will eat it up.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Kondini
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Have used escapes in front of kids (Not strictly a kids only show more a family type presentation)Used chain releases,cuff escapes and SJ`s. All with my head in a bucket of water, use a kid as your assistant (With a stop watch etc)If you can`t get howls out of this type of situation then give it up. It works out that the kid gets the laughs and you get wet,and paid !! You gotta have fun,drop your natural barriers,ham it up,act like a looney (I find this easy) !!
MarkTripp
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Thanks for the kind words. In here you like me, other places...

...the kid show forum is missing the point, but I digress.

OK, let us grasp three universal truths about magic as a PERFORMANCE art.

1. Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD.

2. YOUR favorite effect means NOTHING, THEIR favorite effect that YOU do means EVERYTHING.

3. Watching a "smart ass" or a "wise guy" or a "look how great I am" show is a lot like masterbation; fun for the person doing it, FAR LESS SO for those of us who have to watch.

I can go into detail, but in here I am sure I don't have to.

Mark Tripp
Decomposed
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Ohhh please move this topic to the Little Darlings section.....Dr Wilson, Mark, Kondini, Cliff, thanks for some excellent takes.

Kids shows are defintely a challenge to this art.
I was doing Siberian Chain escape and had a whole different mindset.
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