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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Fire in birthday party? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ste
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Italy
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Does anyone of you use fire effects in kids birthday partys?

I mean: time ago I asked myself if there is an opener trick (also before the warm up), something very “flash” that can be used to create in the mind of the kids that in front of them there is a magician… in order to create attention and curiosity.
Until now I never used something like that but sometimes this idea come back in my mind.
The first thing I thought, was something flash effect with fire.
But it can be dangerous…. Smile
Any comments?!?

Ste
Steven Steele
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Hesperia, California USA
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I never use fire or ANY effect that a child might try to emulate. Of course, I live in California the most law suit happy area in the world (and probably universe).

A lawyer friend once told me that 90% of all law suits in the world are filed in the United States. Of those, 90% are filed in California... Smile
Payne
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Seattle
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I always use a fire palm or fire book in my kids shows. It always gets a great response, in fact many times the kids come up to me after the show and want to see the fire book again.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,
I think it's important to check that your Public liability insurance will cover the use of fire whether working for children or adults.

Personally I would not use fire in my childrens shows, But that decision is down to you, even in my adult show I find that a shredder actually gets better reactions than Burning in my banknote routine.
Phillip
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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There is a lot in writing both pros and cons on the subject.

My fire safety program uses the hot book and and fire craker routine and others. The key is not to make it playful. No matches, or stuff easily and obviously lite from matches. Yes, to flash paper.

As for birthday parties, there is so much good stuff out there, there really is no need to use fire at a birthday party. You can get so much more out of puppets, balloons, and the Instant Magician making the birthday child a star, that there is no room for fire.

Many pros use flash on school assembly shows because there is something magicical about instant flash.

If done RIGHT, fire magic can be used to enhance a magical effect as it should be used!
Dennis Michael
johnpert
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Ontario, Canada
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If you do use fire... than you need to clearly explain fire is not to play with. you are trained and such.

I sometimes open my shows with a ball production using flashpaper. I also tape some to the bottom of the wonderbox and when lit on fire... the box opens and the silk is gone.

It certainly can be, used in the right context. I wouldn't suggest juggling or making it look like a toy though.

just my thoughts.
john
tjmagic
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Los Angeles
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John,

I am with you. If you underscore the message that fire is NOT a toy and that it should NEVER be played with, you can actually reinforce that standard message to kids.

I do currently use fire in one trick, but have been considering dropping the effect since there is validity to the arguement behind NOT using fire in a kidshow.

Smile
Tim Mannix
<BR>www.funamazingmagic.com
<BR>
<BR>"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig." -- Lazarus Long
Payne
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Seattle
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In my act I use fire in a clever routine where I give all the children matches and a small supply of lighter fluid wrapped in flash paper and encourage them to "try this at home" after the show. I found this a good lead in to my audience participatory you do as I do Razor Blade swallowing effect, which always goes down big.

Seriously though I generally perform for
"older" kids (seven and older) and have never had any problems with them attempting to replicate what they have seen. No matches or lighters are ever used (well at least seen) things (a fire book mainly) just bursts into flames. I suppose if I was doing the old cake in hat or a run of the mill dovepan routine where I was actually doing something that a child might try to replicate I would reconsider using fire.

When fire appears in my show it does so magically and in a way I don't think a child would try to duplicate.

In my Renaissance act I routinely eat fire and there is always a number of children in the audience watching me do this and I always tell them "Children attempt this not at home, it pays not well, do this on the street" which gets a good laugh but drives the point home as well without having to break character and sound like their mother.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
WR
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Utah
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I use two fire effects in my shows. The first, for older kids 9 and up, is Daryl's Fusion illusion. In all of my shows I do a Dovepan effect with fire. I tell the parent up front what I am going to do, Use fire, and get their go ahead. If "NO" then I do not use fire.
Most magically yours,
WR Smile
"Tell Em WR sent Ya."
MagicRyan
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NH
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I learned by mistake... (about 10 years ago)I did an old version of an appearing candle (the version where you actually break off a match head and wedge it into the tip of the collapsable candle) .. I was at a birthday party and always made the candle appear to light the dove pan (flash paper in the pan)well the match tip was not wedged in all the way, when the candle appeared, the match head flew across the room and landed on (luckly) the coffee table!! There has never been fire in my kids shows since.

My stage/platform show has fire in it but it always happens "magically" you never see me
"play" with fire. I never light a match, the dove pan ignights magically... the silk vanishes in a flash of fire...

I would be very careful and think about the over all effect... just don't do it because you know it will get ohhs and ahhs... ask yourself if it will really fit. I almost ended my magic career by burning down someone's house!!
The Simply Magic Ryan Mahoney
www.simplymagic.net
Ryan@simplymagic.net
DougTait
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Sebring, FL
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Quote:
I am with you. If you underscore the message that fire is NOT a toy and that it should NEVER be played with, you can actually reinforce that standard message to kids.


In my most humble opinion fire or flash effects should never be used when performing for children. Consider the contradiction that is presented when they are told that fire is not a toy and should not be played with. To the children a magic show is playtime and the magi's props are toys.

75% of all we learn come from the sense of sight, and only 13% from hearing. Your admonishment of "Don't you do this" is a verbal message followed by the intense visual experience of seeing the fire effect.

Children quite often do not do as they are told (believe it or not!). The warning of a stranger who is funny, tells jokes, clowns around with them etc. may not have much of an impact on them. In fact if I were to do any fire effect for children (I wouldn't)I would just do the effect without any warning to them.

Children love challenges and when they are told they can not do or have something that they have an strong desire or interest in, they often will be defiant. Can you visualize little Johnny or Jane experimenting at home with a roll of toilet paper and a match?

All the performance insurance in the world (and I hope you have plenty if your are using fire in your act) will not make up for the possiblity of a child injuring him/herself or worse. To me, the risk just doesn't seem to be worth it for what is attained.

That's my take on the subject for what it is worth.

Best wishes and good luck.

Doug
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing."
Drew from Spotlight
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NJ
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I don't use fire in my children's shoes.

Whenever there is a need for fire (i.e. using a Dove Pan) I have the kids say the magic word instead.

Drew
Dynamike
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Eternal Order
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To me it depends on the audience. If most kids are 3 or 4 years I don't use any fire. If they are the right age, I 'll perform the "Fire Chest" (fire thru head). When I'm performing the trick I'm discussion don't play with fire.

Abracadabra,

Dynamike Smile
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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With the simple exception of Candle through Balloon I have always found fire unnecessary. Even with my Chinese Candle Clock there is no necessity to light up. Not having flash paper in a Dove Pan does diminish the effect though and this should be borne in mind. Kids parties are NOT a controlled Cabaret environment, if you drop wax onto a carpet at a houseparty it could cost you dearly. Liability insurance must be studied (mine says no fire-eating or trapeze!) - and I was just about to start swinging from the ceiling upside down at age 53!! Then of course, no matter what their parents do in front of them - as that is up to them - I personally could not live with the thought of a 4 or 5 year old doing a 'mimic' magic show at home and causing themselves serious injury. A clear, audible 'in control' voice (amplified or not) will let them know there is a magician in the house . . . honestly. Smile
DanTheMagicMan
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Edgewater, Maryland USA
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I don't use fire either for the same reasons mentioned. Also, one should consider the venue when using fire. Using fire at a birthday party in a home without getting the OK from the parents ahead of time could cause the parents to worry the entire show ("oh, there is a fire in my living room, what will be next?").
Dan The Magic Man
e-mail:[email]info@familymagicshows.com[/email]
web site:www.familymagicshows.com
MagicEvents.org - View or subscribe to upcoming magic events and birthdays.
The Great Smartini
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A little common sense goes a long way...kids see you "playing with fire" and they want to emulate this...i'm not so sure about this...i think check with the host of the party or at the very least you should don't try this at home and a reminder that you're a trained professional is more than enough...how many stories do you hear about children attending magic shows setting things on fire after they see the magician lite some flash paper in a chick pan...think about it...guns aren't toys either but how many toy ones do you see around!
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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I've just done a job for a local radio stations halloween party, the guy they normally used has been dropped because he introduced fire into his act and they were horrified that he used fire so close to the kids. I had to have a meeting with the organisers before the event so they could ensure that I was not going to do anything like that in my show.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
dearwiseone
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Portland, OR
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Never use fire close to people. Even flash paper can be dangerous! However, when the venue and the show permit, fire is great! I sometimes use flash paper, even in people's homes, for birthday shows. I use a very small piece, that makes a small flash for what I need. However, I would not suggest using more than that, unless you're pre-arranged the fire with the venue, managers, or event staff. Small amounts of fire, when properly controlled and safe-guarded, do not pose a large threat.
TrickyRicky
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TrickyRicky
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I never use fire at birthday parties.
Its just not safe to do this in homes.
I one knew a magician in Toronto that almost burn a house down using flash paper.
It was a hot summer, and the mother had a powerful fan on to keep the kids cool. The fan blew the flash paper from the dove pan unto the sheers behind him, and you know the rest of the story.
Richard Lyn
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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There was a house that was gutted in Northern England (Stockport) by 'magic relighting candles' that were not extinguished properly. Thankfully an entertainer was not involved.
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