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Topic: The 'meaning' of your show?
Message: Posted by: felix501 (Dec 14, 2005 08:59AM)
Do our shows have unifying themes? - or a basic 'meaning' in some way? If so what? I think an underlying theme could make a show more satisfying for older children....

This kind of follows from a previous thread ("Show Format Question")

Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 14, 2005 10:51AM)
Nearly all my shows are character based and have themes. Tommorrow I'm doing my Cowboy show for a Cub Scout Blue and Gold. Saturday I'm in my Renaissance attire for a Christmas Party and Sunday it will be my Mediaeval character for a Yulr Feast.
As for meaning. I leave that up to my audience to find whatever deeper meaning they wish to overlay upon my performance.
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Dec 14, 2005 11:15AM)
For older kids yes, for younger I have a script but roll where ever the kids lead. I'll often develope the theme and shift it during performance based on how I read the reactions.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Dec 14, 2005 11:36AM)
I sometimes feel we get too wrapped up in finding the meaning of things, especially magic, and do not give enough credit to our audience in finding their own meaning in what we do. This may be a little too existential, but I'd much rather focus on the wonder than the meaning. I am not yet convinced magic has any inherent meaning or if by its nature is above meaning. I believe Payne has pretty much nailed this one and I could not agree more.

Frank Tougas
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Dec 14, 2005 12:19PM)
The theme is magic. The meaning is fun. What more do you need?
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 14, 2005 01:28PM)
On 2005-12-14 13:19, Starrpower wrote:
The theme is magic. The meaning is fun. What more do you need?

Perhaps a reason why magic is generally regarded as little more than a diversion for children
Message: Posted by: srayproctor (Dec 14, 2005 02:10PM)

When you say "unifying theme" or "meaning" are you searching for a way to segue from one trick to the next without relying upon "and for my next trick..." type patter? Or are you interested in themed shows, directed towards a specific target market, such as an Environmental or an Anti-bullying program, etc.?

Message: Posted by: felix501 (Dec 14, 2005 02:36PM)
I'm not simply talking about tying routines together, no - more something like a show having some sort of moral message or meaningful storyline carrying a theme along... but which is bound up with the magic

It's something that appeals to me but I haven't managed to devise yet...

I suppose gospel magic might be an example, but this isn't what I'm after personally

Message: Posted by: spatrick (Dec 14, 2005 06:16PM)
My basic theme is to show my audience a great show and have some fun along the way.

I then tell the kids that my show is divided into three parts.

Part A is magic that is cool and fun
Part B is magic that is cool and dangerous (emphasize dangerous)
And part "3" is magic that is cool and gross and disgusting.

The kids always love part 3 the best.

That way I can transition into the different parts cuz the kids always want to know "When are you gonna do the gross stuff???"

Of course the theme of a birthday party show should be about the birthday child (not every routine but the most important ones), and other theme shows (Harry Potter, Cub Scout) are the exception.

S. Patrick
Message: Posted by: Popo (Dec 14, 2005 10:22PM)
Our birthday shows have the message that it is not the cake, presents and games that make it special but the family and friends. We tailor all off our routines on how things like making or eating cake can get messed up, the presents are not what we wanted,etc. and end with an effect that brings home the message all in a fun and entertaining way. This is what we strive to achieve. The thing is, as has been mentioned, sometimes the audience dictates where it goes. As long as they are entertained and the character is maintained I too believe that that is the most important part. I do try not to delude myself. A five year old is not going to grasp the deeper meaning but will love when I'm the magician in trouble and he/she has to save me by doing the magic. Then again, I am really selling to moms. They often love the message!
Message: Posted by: mrmystic (Dec 14, 2005 11:02PM)
I do several different themed show, each with there own basic storyline that they follow. However as for the meaning of them on a deeper level I think this is twofold. First I am there to entertain and put on the best show that I can, and secondly I am there to get paid. The cash is very deep and meaningful to me and my family.
Message: Posted by: paraguppie (Dec 15, 2005 12:37AM)
Mine is not nearly that deep, sometimes I wish it was a bit deeper.

My "theme" is all based on a running color through the show. Most every prop is colored yellow and purple and seems to tie the show together nicely. The events are all different, but it still feels like they belong together because of the look of the props (thanks in part to some killer work by Chance Wolf, Jack Murray, and Chris Murphy). This color includes my small props all the way up to the big illusions. Even the ATA cases are colored! The theme I guess is "fun"!

Message: Posted by: danryb (Dec 15, 2005 01:16PM)
I have two family shows. one is a "classic magic" show and the secong is a mixture of magic and puppets called the "coola buba" show.
They both entail a lot of fun and humor and are both as entertaining as each other.
I have another "story telling" show with magic for toddlers and an "advanced show" for older children.
I also perform a "close up" show for all ages.

None of these shows have a "meaning" as such, but I live in a very hot region and throughout the show, as a type of running gag, I take a sip of water and say "le'chaim" (to life) and explain each time the neccessity to drink water. I also have some kind of "blendo" trick in each show and here I comment on how nice it is "to be as one" and other such meaningful moral messages that I try to convey to my young audiences although, I have said it in a previous topic here:
If you are going to entertain, then just entertain. If you are going to educate, then entertain as well.

Message: Posted by: harris (Dec 15, 2005 03:46PM)
My programs are known for the "Magic with a Message". This can include

1. The one I did 3 times today...The Magic of Friends and Family
2. Character Education for K-6
3. Choices and Consequences for Middle School
4. A Nearly Normal look at: a. Fun with out Drugs..For recovery centers
b. Hospital Casemanagers
c. one I did yesterday...Nearly Normal look at
Volunteers. The ages of the audience ranged from
teenagers to 93 years young.

Be safe, well and creative.

A magic show just for the fun of it can be ...er fun.

One holiday memory after a show many years ago jumped into my head.

A lady came up and hugged me in tears....(not because of my bad jokes) said, "Thanks this is the first time I have really laughed since my husband died."

It was a family type show with all ages and the theme was the holidays, but really just some fun mix of magic, juggling and vent.

What really helped my show, was finding meaning for me, and letting more of me and my audience come out and together.

Just two liberty half dollars worth from

Harris Deutsch
Message: Posted by: cardcaptor (Dec 15, 2005 06:10PM)
I'm formulating now an act that deals to the people for them to realize that magic is an art. at first I'm trying to make them feel that the magic is really in the power of love and understanding then I will get them to realize that magic is an art. "they say magic is fake, no it is an art, say it magic is an art!" I love that line from my script. haha!
Message: Posted by: JordanMalfreed (Dec 15, 2005 07:46PM)
It is not a requirement for a show to have a through-line or a meaning or message. Note that regardless of whether or not you intend a message or not, there is always a message or multiple messages there.

Following the protocols,
Message: Posted by: nucinud (Dec 18, 2005 08:47AM)
The meaning of my shows:

To fascinate
To educate
To spread joy
To have fun
To share
To help people forget their troubles
To stimulate
Message: Posted by: Lucasw (Dec 18, 2005 10:33AM)
"Making you dreams take flight"

Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Dec 25, 2005 04:41AM)
My shows are known as Police Magic. This carries crime and drug prevention themes as well as personal safety, stranger danger, etc. I have been told numerous times that it is both educational and entertaining. I use a lot of humor with the children (and adults) and sometimes end the show with a puppet to reinforce the messages learned. My style is unconventual and unorthodox and very animated. I have done these type shows in my police uniform, but prefer to do it with my police magician logo (as I don't like to wear a gun while doing shows for kids).

Message: Posted by: Bob Johnston (Dec 28, 2005 04:52PM)
Payne and Frank Tougas understand young children very well.

You do not need an underlying themes to drive a predefined magic show, just good magic.