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Topic: Kids' Birthday Show
Message: Posted by: Epting (Oct 2, 2002 03:14PM)
I would like to buy the Dan Harlan's DVD " Kids' Birthday Show " to have a good birthday magic show for children . It's a good DVD to obtain a lot of intersting ideas for childrens ?
Thank you for your help .
Ludo.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Oct 2, 2002 05:58PM)
I heard it was not so good. I have not seen it, however.
Message: Posted by: Drew from Spotlight (Oct 2, 2002 06:23PM)
I have gone back and forth on whether Iím going to order it. In the end I probably will because anything I have from Dan Harlan has served me well. At worst Iíll come away with an all-together different routine, a new comedy line, or new handling for something Iím already doing.

If youíre looking for great kids material you canít go wrong by taking the time to visit the web sites of David Ginn or Sammy Smith. Both these men are experts in entertaining children and have shared that knowledge in countless books and videos.

http//:www.ginnmagic.com
http://www.spsmagic.com
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 2, 2002 06:44PM)
If you want a good birthday show, consider Birthday Magician's Handbook by Dave Fiscus. It appears to be the best on the topic.

I have Harlan's "Kids' Birthday Show" DVD and I personally feel there are many better videos for kids shows. I like all of BJ Hickman's Videos, I like a lot of David Ginn Videos, but I'm no David Ginn. His and my style are different, yet what he says and does related to kids shows is sound advice.

I just watched Kidshow Konnivery by Dan Garrett and thought it was better, Also watched 5 Minutes with a Pocket Handerchief by Quentin Reynolds and love the workings with the Handerchief Mouse. Today, I watched Bill Boley's Magic and Ventriloquism School Show 1994, and thought it was excellent. The Vent work was nice but I picked up a couple of great solid funny ideas and his opening was really great for a audience warn-up.

Now the funny "nut" Patrick Page's "Funny Business for Kid's Shows" is equally great. I loved that too! Got great ideas from that. Ken Scott's "Making the Birthday Dough!" was also good, I really loved his Instant Magician routine.

None of the tapes are "me" but most of the above has bits and pieces I absolutely love and will add them to my acts. There is no one video that, from start to finish, is the perfect Kids Show video. Harlen's had nothing "for me" that stood out and I could say, I want to add that to my show. Keep in mind "for me", he may be right for others.

If kid's birthday shows are what you want then pick and choose what is "YOU" if you can get to view or buy videos from the master Kid Entertainers, Dave Risley, Steve Taylor, Samual Patrick Smith, David Ginn, BJ Hickman, Barry Mitchell, Trixie Bond, just to name a few which I feel has inspired my creative "juices."

Unlike Stage "adult" magic, there are new kids every day who never saw the standard tricks, and lots of videos point them out, Professor's Nightmare, Miser's Dream, 20th Centry Silks, Production Tubes and Boxes, all play well when mixed with comedy props and skits.

Good Luck on your Birthday Show Venture.
Message: Posted by: Patrick McKeever (Oct 3, 2002 12:35PM)
I never thought these words would escape my lips, but I have become interested in kid's shows. My training has been in clsoe up and I have been doing private parties and corporate parties for many years. Many of my dot com clients have gone away and I decided to explore other avenues. I recently did a couple of kid shows and enjoyed doing them. I get along great with kids but I realize that this is a completly different genre of entertaining and I have a lot to learn.

I would like to include a live rabbit load from somewhere and would like advice from some of you kid pros or stage magi that produce rabbits. Is there a good book or video on the subject?
Message: Posted by: DougTait (Oct 3, 2002 03:10PM)
A drawer box is the only prop I have ever use for producing a rabbit. Just be sure there is good ventilation in whatever type you use and do it early in the routine.

Obviously if you work Birthday parties outdoors the temperature has to taken into consideration. Attempting CPR on a lifeless bunny in front of the kiddies would probably not go over big. Be kind to you assistants, human or animals.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Oct 3, 2002 04:56PM)
There is an excellent spiral bound book call, [b]"The Bunny Book"[/b] by Magic, Inc. which gives great ideas with rabbits. It may be out of print, so finding it may be difficult.

As for rabbit boxes, there is the Wringer Rabbit, Rabbit to Dove, Dove to Rabbit, (or silk instead of Dove). There is the Balloon to Bunny box, Mirror Box, the Drawer Box, The Caboose Drawer Box, the Fire Engine Drawer Box, the Treasure Chest Box, The Square Circle, The Rabbit Crystal Cyliner and a dozen other boxes and ways that can produce a bunny.

The Wringer Rabbit box, is good because you put the rabbit in the box, he comes out flat, open the box it is empty, then put the flat rabbit back in and reproduce the rabbit.

Then there is the Rabbit in the Hat production. There is also daily care and maintenance of rabbits which is the biggest reason most people don't use rabbits.

They're pooping machines and have a strong oder from their urine, which turns off most magicians from owning them.

Tarbell has a lot of rabbit tricks. Here's one for you. Get the rabbit in hat silks and TT trick and produce the small rabbit silk, Place the rabbit hat silk on a table after the rabbit silk is produced, vanish the rabbit silk via TT and pick up the silk as if you were going to reproduce the rabbit silk and produce the bunny. Powerful routine, then go into the Wringer Rabbit. Once the rabbit apppears and your done with it the kids want to pet it, so consider it to be a closer routine.

Welcome to the unique art of entertaining children.
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Oct 3, 2002 05:23PM)
I have Dan Harlen's DVD. When I first watched it, I thought there was a lot of material that I could use...but as I performed more shows, I decided that there wasn't anything in it that I could use. It's an OK DVD, but I wouldn't recommend it.

By the way...want to buy a Dan Harlen DVD...only viewed once!

:stuckinbag:
Message: Posted by: Zorak (Nov 24, 2002 05:54PM)
I have been performing kidshows for 30 years. Kids have certainly changed over these decades. It is the kidshow performers job to keep up with their times, their interest, and their attention span.
You really don't get that from the Smith's, Ginn's, Risely's or any of the gurus of kidshow material.
Some of the videos I've seen look like the performer was trained by the WWF (world wresting federation). They are loud and obnoxious and somehow believe that their job is to make the kids as loud as them.
I'm not refering to anyone in particular but you know who they are. Since I have made a living at doing kidshow magic these past three decades, (and continue to do so), with many repeat customers, I make this statement with some credibility.
Kids require a sense of fun, a more kinder approach. They laugh, applaud, cheer, and go away feeling good about themselves. The parents appreciate the professionalism.
There is no shortcut to being a Lance Burton or a Daryl and..........
there is no short cut to becoming a good kidshow entertainer. It is not enough to watch the tapes, read the books, attend the seminars, or even to practice the effects.
You must put in the effort to explore what the kids are doing in your area. Check out their tv programs, their video games etc.
Get to know who they are. Build your show around that, than go out and purchase your trick boxes or whatever. You will be surprised how much of a rapport, almost instantly after awhile. Be your own big name kid magician. Who knows you may be around 30 years from now! :kewl:
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Nov 24, 2002 06:18PM)
AMEN, Zorak!
It amazes me the number of magicians who are ready to part with all sorts of money to buy the latest so-called "expert's" tape, book, DVD, etc. on "entertaining" kids -- but are not willing to expend any effort in finding out ON THEIR OWN what kids are all about and are interested in.
Between us, Zorak, we have about 80 years experience in entertaining kids and I agree with every word you write!
While kids are growing up in a world of comptuers and television, magicians for the most part are still doing kids' routines based on fairy tales and nursery rhymes.
And then they wonder why they get "eaten alive" by their audiences!
Respect them and they will respect you!
Far too many magicians really don't like kids but figure that doing children's shows is an easy way to pick up some money.
Wrong!
Doing kids' shows well (!) is about the hardest thing anyone will ever do in magic.
Go back and re-read Zorak's post.
Then "go and do thee likewise."
Message: Posted by: Zorak (Nov 24, 2002 06:50PM)
Thank you, Peter for your kind words. (Does make me feel old though).
I go along with you. Kidshows, while they are fun and rewarding in may ways are hard work. At 60 I can't do the 8 show weekends anymore. I just did 2 today and am kicking back for some r&r.
You must go into them party with energy and enthusiasm, Young enthusiasm.
It keeps me thinking young, if not always feeling so. But, I love kids. Spent my working years as an artist/cartoonist during the week, kidshow magician on weekends. I'll admit it took me almost a decade to develope the formula that works very well for me. I guess that's why, Peter, that I want to help the newcomer. That is why I want to say Slow Down youngster. Learn this craft, this art. Respect it and bring to it an educated unique kidshow star---YOU!
:sun:
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Nov 24, 2002 11:41PM)
Hello
I have a video that has been out for all most a year called "making the birthday dough". It is 85 mins long with a the first part of the tape my actual birthday show from start to finish. Then i do a q&a with the producer and then I go into talks about using music in your show and The god sent Showtech(remote sound system), I also talk about how to market your BD show and discuss using rabbits. I know this is not the place to tel you about this. But the tape is 29.95plus shipping and anyone that buys it from magic Cafť mention this and I will send you my birthday notes for free.

thanks
Ken Scott
Message: Posted by: ruiefe (Nov 25, 2002 06:45PM)
Ludo:
I have the four DVD Pack Small, Play Big.
In fact, I think that the Kids Birthday show is not the worst.
I think you should go for the excellent advice given here, but I've learned one or two things from this Dan Harlan DVD.
Some effects seem pretty obvious and I don't know if kids are really "fooled" and entertained by them. Some of them are quite good.
I've read about a magician saying bad things about the DVD until he sat with his 4year kid watching the performance part - his kid loved it and it was a hit for some time.
If you want I can go into more detail (maybe in french) - PM me if you are interested.
Finnaly: buy all the others that were recomended here. From what I've read here and elsewhere, you can't go wrong. I think I'll profit from Ken Scott's offer to begin with my Christmas shopping list.
:idea:
Message: Posted by: danryb (Dec 6, 2002 11:10AM)
I like to boast. I am very well know as "Dani the magician" in my neighborhood. I am the most expencive form of childrens entertainers - always have been and always will be. I have had a booming 10 year career and full time at that. Not only b.day parties but also and mainly hotels (entertaining the kids).
I have bought a few books and a few worth mentioning are "performing magic for children", "childrens parties a speciality", laughter all the way" and more (I would be happy to send you the full list if you want) but I, unlike some other entertainers who try to pull a booking by saying they do every thing from magic to balloon sculpting, have always been dedicated to performing what I call "an entertaining magic show for children". And this is true - I don't sell c--p! I don't mean to say that other peoples ideas are no good - they are very good but I personlay have not ever used one routine from any of the books I have read. My magic is my heart and my love of making children happy. It just so happens i use magic tricks/props to assist me in getting my audience to laugh - again, I only use these instruments to "assist me". No heart, no love and believe me you will have no name and no one interested. Every single kid, no lie, knows me here and so do their younger and older brothers and parents. I hardly even advertize myself and never invested in advertizement - I love entertaining and making people happy. That is the true recipe - no books and no dvd's can ever teach you how to do that.
P.s - a good sense of humor and a clean cut -naturaly calm personality have also helped me.

"dani the magician" - entertainment for children.
Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Dec 10, 2002 10:02AM)
Danni,
I felt you summed a few of my thoughts on performing for kids very well. A love and enthusiasm to make them happy and entertain them. I couldn't agree more with you. I don't have many books or videos myself, and so have had to work on the entertainment part and using what little I have to really make a connection with the kids and show a genuine honest desire to connect with them and bring them along for the wonderful ride of a magic show.
My two cents worth,
JoJo <---never seen any Dan Harlan DVD's
Message: Posted by: flourish dude (Dec 10, 2002 12:38PM)
[quote]
On 2002-10-03 16:10, DougTee wrote:
A drawer box is the only prop I have ever use for producing a rabbit. Just be sure there is good ventilation in whatever type you use and do it early in the routine.



I made my Drawer box for my large lop ear bunny. I load him into the box before I go into the house. Once I am in the house and I am set up I place him under my prop box.This is a suitcase type box sitting on a keyboard stand. I have a silver cloth around the box to make a skirt. I place the box under and behind this so it is out of view. Once it is hidden I pull open the box so there is about 3" opening this give him all the air he needs. My rabbit can not push the box open so it is very secure. BTW I could sit my rabbit it the box and leave it open and he does not get out. This is how I have the kids pet him after he is produced. You never know when he might hop away or pee or poop so I keep him in the box while the kids pet him. he will not pee or poop on himself my rabbit holds it.:0) I use a rouitne where I bring out a invisible rabbit ect..ect.. then I bring out the invisible reverser THE BOX. I have the child place the rabbit inside then I go into wand gags.. I finally end with the wands not working and I use thier smiles to produce the Rabbit. BTW I use the bday child to produce the rabbit then I play the freeze game where everyone stands around the bday child making a funny face. a group photo with me the rabbit and the whole group. Then I line them all up The bday child stays with me and one at a time they come to pet the rabbit this is the end of my show.
I always do the milkshake trick (Dan Harlen Kid show) and The billard ball routine (his all purpose show) I have changed it from Herman to a different story but it is a very good routine with a story and the billard balls. I guess to each his own. I belive to can learn something from anyone the only bad thing about a video or a book is what YOU don't get out of it not what was put into it..
Message: Posted by: simage (Dec 13, 2002 10:04AM)
Zorak, Extremely Excellent Advice!! I have had young children myself, but they age with time... So, it was easier a few years ago to connect with young children because I had a young child myself. We watched Barney, Power Rangers, etc. together. Now we watch wrestling, sports, and play video games together. I don't yell and scream at kids at my show, but I also haven't watched Mr. Roger's Neighborhood recently either. I have a good kid's show, but research probably isn't buying DVD's or videos or books, but is sitting down and watching Barney, Bugs Bunny, and reading Harry Potter.
Thanks! :wavey:
Message: Posted by: MaxfieldsMagic (Mar 21, 2012 11:15PM)
Dan Harlan is such a talented magician, he easily could have put together a solid show of deceptive magic, presented in a way to entertain the children and impress the parents. I was a little disappointed to see, on this DVD, the coloring book (with no presentational twists), Dan slapping himself in the nose with a balloon, and several other standard kids routines presented without much original patter or bits.

On the other hand, he does a good job with his "Gosh Man" trick, and his presentation of the milkshake trick at the end is fun and deceptive. There's also one with a bunch of vanishing lollipops that looks good and uses an interesting method.

But much of the performance seems a bit forced and derivative (ie, loud slapstick by someone to whom slapstick does not seem to come naturally). Worse, it often seems age inappropriate for much of audience, which is composed of young ladies apparently ranging in age from six to pre-teen years. IMO, many of the children in this audience were more than ready for some serious adult magic, which Harlan is obviously qualified to deliver.
Message: Posted by: MickNZ (Mar 22, 2012 12:13AM)
Not great, but his thoughts on packing small and also on routining (triple trilogy format) are worth the investment.
Message: Posted by: MichaelCGM (Mar 22, 2012 01:07AM)
I've got to side with Zorak and Peter. Go ahead and buy the recommended books and DVDs. There are some great ideas and routines to learn from and to borrow from. But, most of all, make that personal connection with the kids. Study what they're about (as Zorak said, "in your area"), talk with kids in your target age-range. Find out what they like on TV, music and hobbies. Get to know and respect them. Then build your show around your studies. You'll not only build a clientele, you'll build a fan-club as well.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Mar 22, 2012 07:21AM)
Dan has a lot of interesting and creative effects on his DVDs. I would recommend it if you truly want to learn more. But do not try and copy his personality or character, be yourself.
Message: Posted by: MoonRazor (Mar 22, 2012 08:23AM)
[quote]
On 2002-10-02 19:44, Dennis Michael wrote:
If you want a good birthday show, consider Birthday Magician's Handbook by Dave Fiscus. It appears to be the best on the topic.

I have Harlan's "Kids' Birthday Show" DVD and I personally feel there are many better videos for kids shows. I like all of BJ Hickman's Videos, I like a lot of David Ginn Videos, but I'm no David Ginn. His and my style are different, yet what he says and does related to kids shows is sound advice.

I just watched Kidshow Konnivery by Dan Garrett and thought it was better, Also watched 5 Minutes with a Pocket Handerchief by Quentin Reynolds and love the workings with the Handerchief Mouse. Today, I watched Bill Boley's Magic and Ventriloquism School Show 1994, and thought it was excellent. The Vent work was nice but I picked up a couple of great solid funny ideas and his opening was really great for a audience warn-up.

Ludo, just listen to Dennis. that should keep you busy for about 10 years. Good Luck!

Now the funny "nut" Patrick Page's "Funny Business for Kid's Shows" is equally great. I loved that too! Got great ideas from that. Ken Scott's "Making the Birthday Dough!" was also good, I really loved his Instant Magician routine.

None of the tapes are "me" but most of the above has bits and pieces I absolutely love and will add them to my acts. There is no one video that, from start to finish, is the perfect Kids Show video. Harlen's had nothing "for me" that stood out and I could say, I want to add that to my show. Keep in mind "for me", he may be right for others.

If kid's birthday shows are what you want then pick and choose what is "YOU" if you can get to view or buy videos from the master Kid Entertainers, Dave Risley, Steve Taylor, Samual Patrick Smith, David Ginn, BJ Hickman, Barry Mitchell, Trixie Bond, just to name a few which I feel has inspired my creative "juices."

Unlike Stage "adult" magic, there are new kids every day who never saw the standard tricks, and lots of videos point them out, Professor's Nightmare, Miser's Dream, 20th Centry Silks, Production Tubes and Boxes, all play well when mixed with comedy props and skits.

Good Luck on your Birthday Show Venture.

[/quote]
Message: Posted by: MoonRazor (Mar 22, 2012 08:24AM)
Ludo, just listen to Dennis. that should keep you busy for about 10 years. Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Mar 22, 2012 04:35PM)
Based upon the number of posts Ludo has had in the past 10 years, either Dennis did tell him all he needed to know, or he found the advice on TMC not worth very much. LOL
Message: Posted by: mcmc (Aug 22, 2014 10:24AM)
I bought this DVD when it first came out, and I gave it another look. I've done my fair share of children's shows, and I don't think I'll be using anything from this DVD, except maybe the milkshake.

I know a lot of people give Dan props, but I was surprised at how poor his technique was with the TT (he holds his guilty arm very stiff and even tucks it very rigidly behind his leg, telegraphing something is going on there), he bits with making the kids scream for no reason, he lack of connection with the kids and saying odd jokes that they did not appreciate. I don't see much here that would be useful for a new or old children's magician.

Other parts that just seemed odd or did not work -
- The lollipop production, the girl was obviously aware that there were lollipops in her bag, and much better audience management could have been done here.
- The balloon animals were kind of a lame filler, hard to understand why he did what he did, and the bits of business could have been justified if it ended with something spectacular, but each animal was very underwhelming.
- Almost every effect, the climax was presented very limply and almost apologetically. Understandable given that the effects themselves were not very amazing.

Overall I think this has been similar to Dan's tone with other material. If you are looking for an Ammar-caliber clarity, brilliance of effect, and excellence, this is not it.

I would rate this a "do not buy."

Final note: children appreciate "real magic," and in my experience even down to 1st graders, a carefully explained and clearly presented "grown up effect" can be enjoyed, far more than what this DVD shows, which is primarily second-rate clowning.