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Topic: Audience Participation
Message: Posted by: Gideon Sylvan (Jan 31, 2005 11:00PM)
Do you guys feel this is a must in a kids show? Can one be done without it? If not, what is your favorite audience participation trick? Do you change it depending on age?
Message: Posted by: Cholly, by golly! (Jan 31, 2005 11:48PM)
In my experience, kids seem to pay more attention when one of their friends (or parents) is part of the show. Audience participation = more attentive kids = better show = happy parents = repeat bookings.
Message: Posted by: Joseph_Then (Feb 1, 2005 01:07AM)
Yes, it's a must.

You can do a show without help from kids but it will not be a very good show.

The reason is that it is not because it's a KIDS show, but it applies to ALL types of show.

Imagine a Snake Charmer showing the snake without audience participation. Kinda bored...
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Feb 1, 2005 01:29AM)
Kids will usually sit still for about two minutes when they see you standing up in front of them asking them to "be quiet, now, and watch 'wonderful me' flourish some cards." Adults are more polite, but about half of them wish they could be anywhere else - UNLESS you're as skilled as Copperfield at intriguing and amusing them.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Feb 1, 2005 02:01AM)
It's a must, and it should be used in all you kids show routines, even if it's just getting the kids to wiggle fingers, or shout the magic word.

The most successful kids entertainers always magic with the kids, not at them.
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Feb 1, 2005 02:46AM)
Kids get board very quickly. By involving them you are making the magic fun and exciting. Every child wants to see the show and most want to participate. Without help from the audience, you don't have much.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Feb 1, 2005 07:11AM)
I find audience participation is just as important for adults as children. Of course, a Copperfield type show would be suffcient without it:)
Message: Posted by: Gideon Sylvan (Feb 1, 2005 07:14AM)
Would something such as everyone shouts a magic word, and some goofy wands that always goes wrong in the kids hands count as audience participation?
Message: Posted by: Loual4 (Feb 1, 2005 09:27AM)
Audience participation is an absolute must in a kid's show. The children just love being near the magician. It is where the action is and they can see it happening in their hands, their friend see them, they are part of the attention... I could go on and on! Just make sure that you don't perform a "sucker trick" on them. If you do, make sure you turn out to be the sucker. This goes a long way to insure that the kids actually enjoy the show. They can talk about it later and be proud to say they were part of it!

Some of the tricks I use with audience participation are "Linking Rings", "cut and restored rope", "Coloring book". Depending on the age, I will also do some card tricks...

Have a nice day!

Message: Posted by: spatrick (Feb 1, 2005 01:22PM)
Even a Copperfield show has audience participation. Magic is one of the few live theater presentations that allows the audience to break through the "4th Wall" and be a part of the show.

A childrens entertainer must absolutley include the kids in with the magic. I would say that all but 2 of my routines need help from a child in the audience.

This allows me to do several things. First, it makes sure that most of the group (if not all) are involved in making the show fun. Second, it allows me to perform a special trick for the (birthday, host, bar-mitzvah) child. Third, it allows me to make the child the star and ask for applause at the end of the effect for the child (and me inturn).

Using your audience to help you create the magic is an absolute must in childrens magic.

S. Patrick
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Feb 1, 2005 02:37PM)
To help a magician? That's why kids come to a show. MUST is a MUST. Years ago Hank Moorehouse did a lecture on performing for kids and I always remember this quote. "Mr. Bubbles (his character's name) loves kids, Mr. Moorehouse occasionally tires of them but Mr. Bubbles Loves Kids!"
Message: Posted by: Cholly, by golly! (Feb 1, 2005 02:38PM)
On 2005-02-01 08:14, SwissKid 52 wrote:
Would somthing such as everyone shouts a magic word, and some goofy wands that always goes wrong in the kids hands count as audience participation?
You're definitely on the right track with the magic word but be careful with those wands. It may get a good laugh but the kid with the wand can sometimes feel humiliated. Parents are fair game though. Kids love seeing grown-ups look foolish.
Message: Posted by: Quentin (Feb 1, 2005 02:45PM)
Once a top professional speaker was asked if you should use humour in your talks. His reply was, "Only if you want to get paid."

Same goes for audience participation in a children's show.
Message: Posted by: ChrisJ (Feb 1, 2005 03:42PM)
Emazdad said:

"The most successful kids entertainers always magic WITH the kids, not AT them."

I couldn't agree with you more Emazdad. If the audience feels like they are part of the magic they will surely enjoy it more. Some of the best things can happen when a volunteer says something or reacts a certain way. Yes, include the kids IN the magic.
Message: Posted by: Gideon Sylvan (Feb 1, 2005 06:05PM)
Thanks for the help, I already do do some audience participation tricks, but as I am re-routining my act, I just wanted to hear what you guys had to say on the topic.
Message: Posted by: Loual4 (Feb 2, 2005 07:45AM)
Glad to have been of help!