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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » Kid's Party - some help? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Sophocles
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Hey all,

Would appreciate any advice. I'm an amateur. Usually do some tricks at Xmas for friends and family. A bunch of random stuff. Some card tricks, rubiks and mentalism mostly. A friend asked me to perform at her daughter's birthday. Ages 3-6. I figured that the experience would be good and maybe it could turn into something I could do on the side as I'm a people person and generally kids like me (I have 2 of my own). I'm doing this gig for free.

What effects do you think is most appropriate for this age group?

I'm thinking of keeping it simple and even using stuff found in kid's sets (eg. card box where card disappears, coin paddle, cups and balls (just basic performance), hat with fake bunny inside). I think with the right excitement they will like it. Is this a bad idea?
I have a few magic wands (the breakable one which gets a lot of laughs, the shrinking one, flower in one)

Also thinking of using TT, Needle through a balloon, rubik's cube in bag solve (Brundage), colouring book and disappearing crayons. I built my own Stratosphere which I'm thinking of using.

After the magic, I'm thinking of playing kids music (I know the right music for this) and use a bubble machine (I'm thinking of getting the one from Early Learning Center). After the bubbles/music I can make dog and sword balloons.

What other effects should I do? Any recommendations/thoughts would be great.
Dapperdan
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Sophocles... yours is not a simple question and is probably addressed in MANY different places here in the Café. But, I'll share a couple of my thoughts...

First... 3-6 is a pretty challenging age group and is quite a spread in age (think about it... the older ones are twice as old as the younger ones... Smile )

With these ages, you'll find that silliness (or more generally, your character) are as important (if not more than) the magic. I've learned a LOT from Silly Billy!

In fact, kids these young may not even recognize some of the magic. For example, the first time I did Fraidy Cat Rabbit, the kids didn't even recognize that I was turning the "door" around... and I was WAY over exaggerating the move.

You'll find that getting the kids laughing and yelling is the best way to guarantee that they're having a good time!

My 2 cents...
Tada!...

.
Sophocles
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Yes, it will be difficult indeed! I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old. I did some of the simple tricks above to my 5 year old and he understood it and loved it. My 3 year old was a different story...

I'm going to have to make a list of effects and then sortof play by ear I guess. Any effect recommendations for 3-4 year olds?

I'll google Silly Billy. Thanks for that.
Dick Oslund
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Please refer to my comments to you a few days ago, in the "new members" forum!

I gave you S.H. Sharpe's quotation, about "TRICKS"! Maybe you should read it again, AND, THINK ABOUT IT!

I also mentioned PRESENTATION!! (It aint WHAT ya do, it's HOW ya do it!)

You mention above, some TRICKS, that you are thinking of doing for your friend's birthday party. You wanna be a MAGICIAN? --or, a guy that does SOME TRICKS?

"Fools rush in, where angels fear to tread!" I suggest that you think about it.

You said, in your reply, in that other thread, that you would think about PRESENTATION!

But, you are just thinking about TRICKS.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Sophocles
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Dick, I did listen to you and have used the word effect several times in both my posts above. I'm sorry that it bothers you this much but as you know habits take time to change. So rather than repeating yourself, I would appreciate any constructive advice such as that by Dapperdan
daffydoug
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I agree with the poster who mentioned character over tricks. Took me a long time to learn that, but when I'm before a kid's audience my character is totally transformed And I BECOME Daffy Doug. I am no longer Doug, I am a totally different character that I developed over time. Takes times and patiience my friend. Rome was not built in a proverbial day.

It tales some experience to discover what really makes kids tick; to learn what they respond to and what makes them laugh.

And if you can make them laugh, you got 'em in the palm of your hand.

There are just so MANY THINGS that are universal to kids, as far as appeal. For example, the classic "magician in trouble" theme, where the trick just won't work for you, backfires on you, and you even get "hurt", for example blowing up a balloon and the balloon snaps you in the nose. (thanks to Dan Harlan on that one!)

Getting "hurt"? Remember, it worked for the Stooges, and it still works today. Call it slapstick, if you will. Kids love slapstick, when done right.

I can't recommend enough that you get your hands on and read any and all books by David Ginn. His books are like a college credit for kids entertainers!!

Make the kids love YOU before they love the tricks you do. If they love you, you can get away with practically anything! (Except presenting a crappy, unrehearsed, not well thought out show!)

Check out the website of Samuel Patrick Smith for excellent kid's show resources.

Lots more I could share with you, advise wise.

Daff
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Jun 5, 2018, Sophocles wrote:
Dick, I did listen to you and have used the word effect several times in both my posts above. I'm sorry that it bothers you this much but as you know habits take time to change. So rather than repeating yourself, I would appreciate any constructive advice such as that by Dapperdan



Sorry if I upset you, Sophocles, BUT, "REPETITIO EST MATER STUDIORUM!!!!!" (REPETITION IS THE MOTHER OF STUDENTS!!!!)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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I don't KNOW Dapperdan. He seems to be "sold" on Silly Billy. I worked a matinee with Silly Billy, at the Abbott's Get Together, about 15 years ago. I was not impressed.

I was on the road for 50 years. (Never was "at liberty".)

I don't want kids YELLING. I want them LAUGHING.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
daffydoug
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My sentiments, exactly. Gotta make them laugh!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Mark Williams
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Also check out The Great Zucchini and his DVD's. Admittedly, his show is a bit more chaotic and fast paced, yet the kids seem to love it!


Best Magical Regards,

Mark Williams
"Once is Magic!! Twice is an Education!!"
daffydoug
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Kids indeed do love fast paced.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Dick Oslund
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There are FOUR "Ts", that are pertinent. TALENT...TIMING...TIME...TEMPO.

To PERFORM well, with a good PRESENTATION, that is ENTERTAINING, requires some TALENT.

To fill the appropriate TIME, requires PLANNING.

To use proper TIMING, so that the best laugh, and/or the most applause results, requires PLANNING, and, a certain natural ability.

TEMPO, or PACING, of the PERFORMANCE, requires careful planning. Lack of PLANNING & lack of TALENT can spoil A PRESENTATION if it is too fast, or too slow. An eight minute ACT, can be FAST. A longer SHOW needs variety of TEMPO. to maintain interest. Cf. NELMS, WEBER, FITZKEE, et al. for more detail.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dapperdan
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Quote:
On Jun 9, 2018, Dick Oslund wrote:
I don't KNOW Dapperdan. He seems to be "sold" on Silly Billy. I worked a matinee with Silly Billy, at the Abbott's Get Together, about 15 years ago. I was not impressed.

I was on the road for 50 years. (Never was "at liberty".)

I don't want kids YELLING. I want them LAUGHING.


Mr. Oslund... I'm sorry... but I've been participating on this forum for a number of years now (and, for the record, doing magic for many many more than that). I generally read through your many posts that are crass, critical, mean, and often times rude to the many amateurs, semi-amateurs, and professional magicians that participate in this forum, and I shake my head and let it go. After all, you HAVE had an enviable long, successful career in magic... one that most of us can't even dream of achieving. No doubt that you have learned a TON over those years and that you could be an amazing source of wisdom. BUT... your delivery SUCKS!

As for me being "sold on Silly Billy", I made ONE mention of him in my post ("I've learned a LOT from Silly Billy!"), and I have! Some of the biggest laughs I get from the kids is a DIRECT result of emulating one of his "shticks". So, maybe you were "unimpressed" with him, but that does not make it the final answer on what he has to contribute to kids' show magic. (What's the matter... has he sold more DVDs than you?!? - low, I know... but I couldn't resist.)

Again... I incredibly respect the successful career you've had!... I only wish you had a better way to share the treasure trove of learnings you have.

Cheers...
Dapper Dan
Tada!...

.
Dick Oslund
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Well, I'm sorry that you feel that way, Dan. I have a "shoe box" full of "thank yous" from young (and, old!) fellows, who tell me that, my suggestions have been of great help to their performing.

I do admit to sometimes, speaking rather plainly, if I feel that it's the only way to get the attention of someone.

I recognize that Socrates gave advice, and, they poisoned him. I am not presuming to be that wise old Greek philosopher, but, I have successfully made a living, performing magic, in MANY situations (mostly schools with groups from Kindergarten thru Senior High School (and, some colleges, too) Some times I had a K-2 PRIMARY SCHOOL, sometimes K-6, sometimes a 9-12 Senior High, sometimes a 7-9 Junior High, and, often, in rural midwestern states, a K-12 school. Many of those schools, rebooked my program, on my next tour. The bureau managers often sent me in to "square the beef" when a performer, had not presented a satisfactory program.

I get PMs that YOU never see. from those who have benefited, from my writings. Occasionally, in the public areas of the Café, someone will totally, even "violently" disagree with something that I've said or written. They, and you, are certainly entitled to to their, and your opinion(s).

I have lectured all over North America, for Rings, Assemblies, magic shops, regional and, national conventions, and, even the Magic Castle (twice). Some of those groups booked me 3 and 4 times. My lecture was not about "new tricks". It was about how to present an ENTERTAINING SHOW.

The Michigan Magic Day, thought enough of me to present me with their "Hall of Fame" Award, in 2012.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
daffydoug
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Dick,

Your post blew me away.

Tell ya' what. What'ever you got to teach, I sure want to hear it. I have willing ears, and I sense I could learn a TON from you. And I really mean that.

Daff
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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