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Topic: Really Ridiculous Rules!!
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Nov 14, 2006 03:47PM)
It has been a while since I posted a new topic in The Little Darlings, but something I have been coming across all over other threads is magicians talking about rules! As many of you who have read my sometimes controversial posts may have noticed, I am not someone who likes rules. I actually think that the downfall of many entertainers, both adult and children, is that they go too much by the rule book. I have read people say you have to do this, or you have to do that when you are entertaining children!! Nonsense! Children themselves, for the most part, hate rules, so why should we who entertain them be any different?
Here are a few examples of rules I have read. You must never end a show with a vanish. You must never let spring snakes jump out into the audience. You must always have a live animal in your show if you want to get more bookings. You must never make jokes about a child's name. You must never do a show unless there are adults present in the room. You must never do card tricks or rope tricks for children. You must never do classics like the Linking Rings for children, etc., etc. I could fill a book with this stuff.
It is all nonsense, in my opinion, and it is up to the individual performer to perform to their very best ability, and not worry all the time about stupid rules that people make up and write down in books or type out on magic forums. Rules are there to be broken, in my opinion. What do others think?
Message: Posted by: Magic Jeff (Nov 14, 2006 03:53PM)
I think you are mistaking "rules" for opinions.
Everyone is different.

I'm pretty loose in my show, pretty crazy, in fact. I get kids wet, dirty, things like socks fly out into the audience, etc. But I know one guy who does a trick for kid shows where he takes his shirt off. (don't ask) So, are you saying that you have NO rules (like clothing), or you just have certain preferences?

I don't think we need to make fun of people's preferences here on this board.
Let's help out some others instead. Be positive.
Message: Posted by: calamari (Nov 14, 2006 04:07PM)
No rules, anything goes... I think you are just talking about rules you don't like, not all rules... (rules = opinions = preferences = wisdom from experience)
Most entertainers would not do geek magic for kids, like skewer through tongue. Kids would most likely love it, but the thought of some 6 year old sticking something sharp in their mouth in an attempt to emulate the performer keeps most sane performers from doing this. Objects into the audience - sure the kids love it, but my experience shows that most kids will try to fight for their chance to touch, hold, or whatever, something thrown into the audience... This can lead to injury, anger, fights, or crying... This is not what I am shooting for, and I gladly pass up the chance of causing any of that sort of thing. But we all have the right to our own opinion, no matter how wrong it is. (And, yes, I mean mine, also.)
Rich
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Nov 14, 2006 04:10PM)
Maybe I should rephrase my original post. No rules.......just common sense! JR
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Nov 14, 2006 05:41PM)
For my level, I relish the rules that others present. It gives me a framework to stay safely within while I build my act. I think it's a lot like music or writing - know the rules, then you will find where your style and abilities allow you to break them and become unique.

Ed
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Nov 14, 2006 07:24PM)
Hello, Jolly Roger:

I've not seen very many posts about rules. Like Magic Jeff as already said, I think you're confusing advice/opinions with "rules".

I think most of us agree that dogmatic rules aren't usually good, but sound advice from the mouths of those who are experienced is good.

Ron Reid
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Nov 14, 2006 07:58PM)
What looks like "rules" ("Booo! Nasty repressive rules! Bad!") may just be strong statements of opinion - but please consider that those opinions were very likely formed from long (and sometimes sad) experience.

I have rules that I gladly pass on to others in the field about "no fire, no liquids, no candy productions" ... isn't that drab and boring? Stodgy? Well, each of them came from an experience I wish I had never had.

As with finance ("Don't tell me not to speculate, I can invest in this scheme and make a million!"), sometimes boring and conservative is the way to go...if you want a future. If that results in drabness, find some other way to add sparkle.
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Nov 14, 2006 08:07PM)
"Snakes from PB jar: Rule #7 in The Basic Kid's Magic Show Rules Book, says don't send something into a kid audience unless you want mayhem and/or the object to be ripped to shreds."

This is straight out of another thread on the Café. If you would like the link, I will give it to you. I will give you more examples in due course.
Message: Posted by: Smoke & Mirrors (Nov 14, 2006 08:13PM)
[quote]
On 2006-11-14 21:07, jolly roger wrote:
This is straight out of another thread on the Café. If you would like the link, I will give it to you. I will give you more examples in due course.
[/quote]

So, that was someone's opinion.
Makes sense.
Doesn't mean you have to agree.

What is your point here?
That you want mayhem? That's cool for you.
I had a kid wet their pants they were so excited and screaming about my Silver Scepter. Others were doubled over laughing, some were shouting. It was mayhem, and nothing got destroyed.

All opinions and personal taste, JR.
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Nov 14, 2006 08:35PM)
"So, that was someone's opinion."

Where is the word "opinion" mentioned, Smoke and Mirrors? I only see the word "Rules" there. Opinions are great! Hard and fast rules are what my opening post is about here. That is what I object to - Rules. Hard and fast rule books. Very different! If I listened to all the rules laid down over the years in various media about how to entertain children, I think I would have to give up my profession and take up a day job!!
Message: Posted by: Smoke & Mirrors (Nov 14, 2006 08:43PM)
"The Basic Kid's Magic Show Rules Book"

I don't think that book really exists. I think you had your leg pulled!

Don't get mad at me, I'm a nice guy. I just don't understand this post, except to pick on what others do?
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Nov 14, 2006 09:47PM)
In my opinion (not rules), it's OK to let spring snakes go into the audience on some occasions. Just be prepared for them to get mishandled by the children now and then, and also realize there may be some temporary pandemonium.

If it gets too much out of control, show the kids your new Lamborghini. They might be distracted by shiny objects. :)

- Donald

P.S. I also like the classics of magic!
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Nov 14, 2006 09:53PM)
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=177877&forum=109&27

Hello Donald,

I am not doing this in any way to promote my products, but there is a thread out there at the moment which is discussing this very subject of spring snakes. Check it out!
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Nov 14, 2006 10:57PM)
[quote]
On 2006-11-14 22:47, Donald Dunphy wrote:
In my opinion (not rules), it's OK to let spring snakes go into the audience on some occasions. Just be prepared for them to get mishandled by the children now and then, and also realize there may be some temporary pandemonium.
[/quote]

At one time, I held a different opinion about the snakes because I didn't like the lack of control and the mishandling of my props. So, I would have had a different opinion at that time.

Sometimes, opinions change.

And like I said, I think it's OK to do it on some occasions (and therefore, not OK on some occassions).

- Donald
Message: Posted by: kimmo (Nov 15, 2006 04:17AM)
I suppose we all develop our own styles and figure out what works for us. In that sense, we create our own set of self-imposed 'rules' for our own performances. I am quite happy to accept that what works for me won't work for everyone else, and I'm the first to point that out when offering advice to others on here.
For example, I always do a card trick in my kids show, I do linking rings, I detest long routines full of repetition, and I will not perform a trick, even for the very young, if I think the magical content is weak. However, I respect that there are many brilliant entertainers who would disagree with all of the above. How boring it would be if everyone worked in exactly the same way!
We all speak from experience and are passionate about our opinions, but I don't really think anyone is trying to impose their own 'rules' on anyone else. Even your 'anything goes' approach could be seen as a self-imposed 'rule', Jolly Roger, and judging by the reactions you get from a crowd, it's obvious that it works for you!

I enjoy hearing other people's views on entertainment - especially if they challenge my own. Sometimes, I will try something out just because someone else tells me it won't work!! Who knows - maybe in the next show I will end with the rabbit vanish!!
Message: Posted by: harris (Nov 15, 2006 07:51AM)
Know the rules, and then make a decision which to hold (that work for your persona) and which to bend or throw away.

A couple of days ago, I watched the Jolson story. He started singing in the synagogue and ended up breaking many rules because what he did made sense. I am one that likes to turn the house lights on during some points of stage shows. I didn't realize until watching the movie that at one time that was a "no-no".

What was common didn't work for him, and he was told "no way" for quite a long time before he, i.e., changed the style of song "accepted."

This nearly normal guy has to balance dancing to the beat of a different orchestra(and yes, sometimes providing his own music) with connecting to the audience. Sometimes, I have held onto a bit/joke that I knew did not fit my audiences..

This week, I will be sharing on the elements of comedy in 5 middle school classrooms.

Elements, like rules, can be a great foundation for your, mine, and our programs.

Sometimes, though, it is still fun to risk...that is when I grow.

Harris
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Nov 15, 2006 08:02AM)
Change the word "rules" to "guidelines". If you want to use them, do so at your own "risk"... Risk meaning...be prepared to offend, be prepared to get negative testimonials, be prepared to accept the consequences of your actions.

Do you HAVE to use a rabbit (Animals)? NO. Must you NOT do 20th Century Underwear? NO. Must you take into consideration the cub scouts will step on the little kids hands and squash them trying to get that snowflake or candy thrown into the audience, or jump on other scouts trying to get that spring snake. NO!

"Common-Sense" is a phrase I eliminated from my vocabulary, because that phrase really means one's level of experience and intellect on a topic. It is an insult phrase. An experienced children's magician's common sense is quite different than beginners, or one who is well versed in magic just getting into children entertainment.

What does a magician want when he is performing for children? A topic that can fill numerous books. I attend KIDabra International every year, and every year I learn more and more from those who experience those little "flaws" or mistakes, which were not anticipated. Experienced children's entertainers use the audience reactions, plan for the unexpected, and build on those funny moments. We learn to avoid the "political incorrect", or at least take the "risk", if we choose to use it.

These are not rules. They are all guidelines to increase marketing, booking, stage presence, and quality of one's show. (And much More) We learn certain characters and certain locations in the states, as well as other countries, see things differently. There are NO MUST Do’s and MUST Don’ts, only advice from the experienced.

One chooses what they are willing to do. Do not do card tricks for kids is sound advise for numerous reasons. However, it does not mean you can't do Pro Viper, Card in Balloon, and hundreds of others. Card Tricks can be done if done "Right". There are hundreds of card tricks that should not be done. Do I do them? Yes, especially with boy scouts. Are there more better choices in my vast library of magic that is better than some of these standard card tricks designed for kids? Yes, so I make choices on what I do based on numerous factors, hence guidelines.

And most importantly, the need for an organization like KIDabra International is to teach others the vast amount of knowledge that can push a children's entertainer into the business world of family and kid show entertainment much faster than learning it on your own or through books.

This, of course, is my opinion.

Dennis

PS...Want to do School Shows and gain respect from the employer (principals and teachers have a lot to say)? Then you better understand this concept of "rules", and how to properly apply them, if you want to consider full time work. An "unorderly crowd" is different than a "controlled crowd of children responding as they should".
Message: Posted by: TrickyRicky (Nov 15, 2006 08:10AM)
Different strokes for different folks.
A mother called last week to book. She requested the snake can trick.
She said, "Dave loves that bit. He thinks it's funny."
Another requested the "flaming book". I told her I don't use fire in front of children.
Also, as J/R says --common sense.
Richard.
Message: Posted by: harris (Nov 15, 2006 08:29AM)
As someone who has done a few school shows, I realize the importance of a good connection with staff and kids. I work in a middle and high school, full time.

By risk, I mean adding a bit - i.e. before juggling a basketball and 2 baseballs...the first time, I brought on a H.S. Basketball player on the court for a quick 1 on 1. (It played well.)

Doing a magic routine with improv mixed in...(Getting a subject, emotion, place...)
is a risk.

Talking with our principles/principals, counselors, and staff, I get to hear feedback about the presenters for our media center and gym assembly programs. It is equally important to have good relationship with custodians and Caféteria persons.

Thanks for the food for thought.

Now, where is my accordion?.....Currently, I am thinking of adding last years Xmas present to my routines. I am going to play a song called, "I don't know how to play the accordion....."

Along with seeing other magicians, I suggest going to see presenters on History(i.e. Civil War), Herpetologist, percussionist/musicians, as they share in kid and family programs....

According to "Hoyle"...er
The Nearly Normal One...

aka

Harris "Still Learning after a few 24 hours in the biz" Deutsch
Laughologist
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Nov 15, 2006 08:42AM)
I do many school assembly shows. The part I enjoy most is when the Principal gets up there and says: "I would like you all to welcome our guest speaker today. His name is Jolly Roger, and he is all the way from England. I would like you to be very quiet in his show and listen to everything he has to say!"
At this point, I enter into my warm up and get the kids screaming and shouting, and there is apparently utter mayhem in the audience. Much of this consists throughout the show (naturally, in a controlled fashion), and at the end of the show, when the principal asks me back again the following year as she tells me she has never seen the kids enjoy themselves so much, I scratch my head and wonder if she remembers her opening remarks!
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Nov 15, 2006 09:47AM)
"I would like you to be very quiet in his show"

It's a common introduction, and that is why a prewritten introduction always helps.

The key words "controlled fashion" says a lot to me, but I don't think a beginner will understand what this really means.

Without kids screaming, shouting, and involvement as a group in "Planned Excitement" or "Planned Grouped Responses", my show would be a flop.

Planned excitement is like Steve Axtell's video on "Off the Meter". Planned Group responses would be, "Turn it Around", or any response I want them to say, so I can properly move on with either funny bits or actions based on the response.

At the conclusion of the school's show, especially school shows, it is the magician's job to quiet the kids down, so they leave the auditorium in an orderly fashion. Call that a rule, guideline, or opinion - failure to do that, you assume the "element of risk" for future bookings.

If they don't book you, then you can rationalize why they didn't in so many ways, unless they come right out and "truthfully" tell you why, which does not happen often. A simple, "We have decided to use another assembly program." would be a kind way to say we are not using you.

This posting, as well as others, does not reflect what may occur elsewhere or in other countries. Only personal experiences, as well as experiences of local club magicians and professionals I have encountered.
Message: Posted by: Billy Whizz (Nov 15, 2006 09:54AM)
[quote]
On 2006-11-14 16:47, jolly roger wrote:
I have read people say you have to do this, or you have to do that when you are entertaining children!! Nonsense! [/quote]

You say NO to rules, but you give them in other threads. The following is from just one of your posts:
[quote]
On 2006-11-12 17:13, jolly roger wrote:
1) Have a good website.

2) Have some good giveaways. I recommended the Tony Griffith Puppet. Also, a rolled up wand with contact info inside. Every entertainer working in London for Jolly Roger Entertainments gave these out at birthday parties, and they brought in masses of business.

3) Get a Database of email addresses of all your clients. I have already discussed this above, but let me know if you have any questions.

4) Use Google ad words/overture or similar, as discussed above. Stay ahead with new technology for promotion. Yellow Pages is not what it used to be!

5) Make sure you have a name people will remember. I have a separate thread going on The Little Darlings about this very important marketing ploy.

6) Have a good answering machine message...very important. Be creative with it. You will be amazed the number of people who have booked me entirely because of my message!

7) Be personable on the phone when taking a booking. Very important. Be business like...yet fun at the same time. I frequently get bookings entirely on the strength of my phone personality. Clients tell me they have been calling around, and find what I have to say is much more interesting. I am high energy and talk to the client about all sorts of things other than the show!! When I get round to the show, I usually clinch the deal.

8) Try the Eric Sharp idea of a business card in the shoe. It works like a dream.

9) Put your website, logo, and other stuff on your car if possible. I get lots of calls as a result of this.

10) At birthday parties, put your brochures in a special fun container like a cardboard cut-out wizard outside the clients house. Then, the mums will all pick one up as they leave. I never find the client minds this, plus it helps dress up the house for the party!!

[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Woodfield (Nov 15, 2006 09:56AM)
Hey, for you guys that like to throw things into the audience, here's a routine I used. For an ending to my egg bag routine, I would take the egg and hit it with my other hand as if to break it, then I would toss it into the audience where it turned into white streamers. Great reaction, followed by a frenzy of kids grabbing
and tearing it into pieces. Of course, after the show, I was the one to clean up the mess.
If I give my opinion on this or any forum, I try to explain the rationale behind it. If my 25 years of experience as a full-time magician can help another performer do a better show, and avoid some possible mistakes that I've made, then I'm happy.
Woodfield
(no agenda, nothing for sale)
Message: Posted by: Billy Whizz (Nov 15, 2006 09:57AM)
[quote]
On 2006-11-14 16:47, jolly roger wrote:
You must never do a show unless there are adults present in the room. [/quote]

This is common sense, but you disagree with it. I still can't understand your logic!!
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Nov 15, 2006 10:07AM)
"It is the magician's job to quiet the kids down, so they leave the auditorium in an orderly fashion."

Hello, Dennis. Good to have you on board! I believe it is the first time we have spoken in cyberspace. Some good thoughts there, Dennis. However, I would disagree with the above statement. I frequently end my show in organised chaos, such as the snakes jumping out of the Peanut Butter jar, etc. However, after my show, if the kids are still over excited and enthused about what they have seen, I believe it is the teacher's job to calm them down. Just my opinion......definitely not a rule!! Ending a show like this on a high excitable note has not, I believe, ever prevented me getting re-booked.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Nov 15, 2006 10:22AM)
Oddly enough, even though I can let the spring snakes go into the audience now and then, I don't like the streamers or Mylar confetti getting into the audience.

I think it is because I can get back the snakes and stop the distraction. But, I can't do that with some of those other things.

How's this for a rule? I saw a performer put scissors into his mouth to free up his hands from holding them. He was doing cut and restored rope and didn't place the scissors onto his table or into his pocket after the first cut. I disagree with placing scissors into your mouth. I'm hoping it was just a temporary mental lapse -- not really sure why he didn't use his pocket. Does anyone here think it's OK to place scissors into your mouth, and why?

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Nov 15, 2006 11:16AM)
Just don't do any "running gags" while you have scissors in your mouth. :)



Seriously, it's probably not a good idea. Always best to set a good safety example when in front of impressionable young children. (IMO)
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Nov 15, 2006 11:38AM)
[quote]
On 2006-11-15 12:16, Scott O. wrote:
Seriously, it's probably not a good idea. Always best to set a good safety example when in front of impressionable young children. (IMO)
[/quote]

Kind of like the advice of no chopper tricks or fire tricks?

What about impressionable older children? :)

- Donald

P.S. I have done fire tricks, and also chopper tricks, in my kids/family shows at some time or another. But for the most part, I don't do them now.
Message: Posted by: calamari (Nov 15, 2006 11:45AM)
I have a huge list of things I think should never be done for a children's audience,
and I see children's entertainers break them all the time. Example - using inappropriate music. I saw one performer use Mambo Number 5 for a children's program...very upbeat music, happy, fun, etc... I just question the Gin and Juice line in the song as being appropriate for a kids show. (Not to mention the adult nature of the song to begin with.)
I just wish entertainers for children would think about their choices more. I am not a prude, religious zealot or think everything has to be Disneyesque to be appropriate for kids, but I think we should be very careful in our choices. It is our responsibility to provide quality and appropriate entertainment.
IMHO
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Nov 15, 2006 12:28PM)
This is the topic to which Billy Whizz is referring:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=183790&forum=44&start=120

I think all children's entertainers should read this from the beginning, as there are some wonderful posts on there. However, your point, Billy, about me being guilty of having rules (quote, "You say NO to rules, but you give them in other threads.") makes absolutely no sense!
All I am doing in that post is offering some of my marketing tips to folks out there who have been asking for them. Where, I would like to know, do I use the word "Rules?"
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Nov 15, 2006 01:39PM)
Now you know why I haven't responded before... What works for you just will not work for many others, in my humble opinion.
Message: Posted by: John Bowlin (Nov 15, 2006 05:53PM)
Couldn't agree with Dennis more. If everyone abided by a certain set of "rules", what a boring lot we'd be! And what is acceptable in one venue, may not be in another...or at another point in time. Your perception of how your audience perceives you should be your best guide. If you aren't that perceptive, leave a questionnaire with each customer and some incentive to give you the feedback.
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Nov 15, 2006 06:10PM)
"If everyone abided by a certain set of "rules", what a boring lot we'd be!"

I totally agree with you, John! JR
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Nov 15, 2006 08:52PM)
Let's see, now ... picture some magician, somewhere, who has posted some "rules" ...

"Hey! You! Yeah, YOU! You're not abiding by my rules! I'm calling the cops!"

This is a little like the time I studied music (a lost cause) or journalism (also wasted on me) - I was young and stupid, and I hated it when somebody sat me down, showed me a piece of my work (complete with red pencil corrections and a failing grade), and told me that I seemed to have no idea what the rules were. I would reply that I was striving for something beyond the rules, and the instructors would point out one important fact: you need to understand and really absorb the rules before you can break them effectively or creatively.

Of course, being headstrong, I would think "that's bull." But looking back on the work, often from the perspective of just weeks or months, I would see that my work was genuinely, thoroughly bad, and that those attempts to "push the envelope" had no hope of producing a decent product.

You see, the rules weren't written to "keep me down" or dampen my creativity ... they were written because they define what works for sure, and what the audience will understand. I could START with work based on the rules and proceed from there to stretch beyond them far more effectively than if I just "flew off the handle".

Remember Robin Williams' first HBO specials? "Genius!", people cried, "he breaks all the rules, he's brilliant!" But looking back at them, you can see him building on a foundation of classic forms and letting his creativity fly from there. How else could the audience follow such a fast-paced stream of new ideas? Could you expect them to take off from the ground and appreciate someone flying so high? Would you expect him to be so funny without one really valuable tool: taking our "rule-based" expectations, leading us right to where we expected to go (according to the rules), and suddenly tweaking the whole train of thought?

Maybe one thinks of "punk music" and its successors ... "Breakin' all those stupid rules!" - Yeah? Then, show us your never-seen-before instruments - the ones that don't use the same notes Beethoven used. You're still up on a stage, and the audience is still down on the floor and paying at the door. It was the same in Shakespeare's day, show me something different (OK, Burning Man, maybe that's it.)

The rules are there to be broken. But if you don't understand them, you're just flailing. Nobody pays a dime for that.
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Nov 16, 2006 01:54PM)
[quote]
Would you expect him to be so funny without one really valuable tool: taking our "rule-based" expectations, leading us right to where we expected to go (according to the rules), and suddenly tweaking the whole train of thought?
[/quote]

I actually think that is a very wise and scholarly post, Rossmacrae. Especially, the Robin Williams example. I agree totally with what you are saying. I do it all the time, and I believe in many ways I am a better children's entertainer because of it!
Message: Posted by: Harry Stanley (Dec 19, 2008 09:16PM)
Donald Dunphy just made reference to this interesting thread. It is interesting that JR can no longer contribute, but Magic Jeff can.........except for the fact that he is in jail, I believe.
Message: Posted by: keeblem (Dec 20, 2008 09:42AM)
Sorry, but what happened to Mr Roger?

Mark
Message: Posted by: LBP MAGIC (Dec 20, 2008 11:29AM)
[quote]
On 2006-11-14 16:47, jolly roger wrote:
It has been a while since I posted a new topic in The Little Darlings, but something I have been coming across all over other threads is magicians talking about rules! As many of you who have read my sometimes controversial posts may have noticed, I am not someone who likes rules. I actually think that the downfall of many entertainers, both adult and children, is that they go too much by the rule book. I have read people say you have to do this, or you have to do that when you are entertaining children!! Nonsense! Children themselves, for the most part, hate rules, so why should we who entertain them be any different?
Here are a few examples of rules I have read. You must never end a show with a vanish. You must never let spring snakes jump out into the audience. You must always have a live animal in your show if you want to get more bookings. You must never make jokes about a child's name. You must never do a show unless there are adults present in the room. You must never do card tricks or rope tricks for children. You must never do classics like the Linking Rings for children, etc., etc. I could fill a book with this stuff.
It is all nonsense, in my opinion, and it is up to the individual performer to perform to their very best ability, and not worry all the time about stupid rules that people make up and write down in books or type out on magic forums. Rules are there to be broken, in my opinion. What do others think?
[/quote]

I agree with you on almost everything except one point. And I do think it should be a rule for ANY child performer. There has to be at least one adult in that room. In todays lawsuite happy world the last thing I need is false accusations.

The rest of the rules are funny to me. Never use cards. hahahahaha I open with a card trick!!! It might be the kids favorite thing that I do!
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Dec 20, 2008 01:26PM)
The worst rules come from PTAs and school districts.......

(He said, sitting back and waiting for the thread to run into hundreds of posts)

One of the silliest was a custodian who was holding up the procession of kids coming in the MP because the floor needed cleaned and it was district policy to make sure everyone had a clean floor.

The problem - and I pointed it out to the man - was, all the kids sat in chairs - so I asked him how often the chairs were cleaned..... "Never' he replied. And with that he made a quick get-a-way looking like a beaten dog.

(Please continue. I'm getting a sandwich)
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 20, 2008 01:43PM)
I am not too fond of "rules" for the sake of having rules.
(Clean floors dirty seats and keep the kids waiting...right)

However, some rules keep performers out of jail
(or in some rare cases in jail where they belong)

Happy H'Days,
Walt
Message: Posted by: The Great Smartini (Dec 20, 2008 04:12PM)
Old thread back up for discussion. My belief is that you can have all of the fun and controlled mayhem that you like but some principals/teachers would prefer to have their students calmed somewhat before they take them back to the classroom. I say this because as a classroom teacher I hear the comments from my colleagues as they walk their students back to the class and sometimes even later in the staffroom. I think doing this recognizes what they need to be able to do and so I specifically tell the audience that my last trick is going to be something quiet. If I hope to get rebooked I need to please as many of the students/staff that I possibly can. I think that this approach gives you the best of both. In some cases sending several hundred riled up students back into the confined space of the hallways could even pose a safety hazard. Also, some teachers would perceive a lack of control in your show and feel that it wasn't something that was professional or educationally sound. Teachers already see students sometimes bouncing off the walls without a magician coming in and adding to the mayhem.

I don't think that calming the students before sending them back in any way takes away from the fun they had at the show. I would hope that they wouldn't forget the fun had they had so quickly. In my program I like to have a variety of responses to my magic including: laughter, applause, disbelief and even some sadness. I also believe that in an educational setting that you would want some sense of decorum so that your show doesn't just look like a "noisefest" birthday party style show because you've included 7 pieces with look don't see.

Whether you agree or disagree I would appreciate it if you would respond politely. Remember, its okay to disagree without getting grumpy! :)

jeff
Message: Posted by: Harry Stanley (Dec 22, 2008 04:22PM)
"Whether you agree or disagree I would appreciate it if you would respond politely. Remember, its okay to disagree without getting grumpy!"

I disagree with you 100% Jeff, but I am never grumpy! 'Tis the season to be JOLLY!!! Happy Christmas!
Message: Posted by: The Great Smartini (Dec 22, 2008 05:50PM)
[quote]
On 2008-12-22 17:22, Harry Stanley wrote:
"Whether you agree or disagree I would appreciate it if you would respond politely. Remember, its okay to disagree without getting grumpy!"

I disagree with you 100% Jeff, but I am never grumpy! 'Tis the season to be JOLLY!!! Happy Christmas!
[/quote]

Harry,

Can you elaborate on one or more of the points you disagree with and share your thinking?

jeff
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Feb 26, 2019 02:50PM)
Looking at this thread after all these years is rather interesting! :dancing: JR
Message: Posted by: TrickyRicky (Feb 26, 2019 07:02PM)
Rules are made to be broken. Whether by the magician or the children.
The only rules I apply to the kid to respect my space and that they can't enter until I invite them in. Other from that everything goes, as long as we are all having fun.
I'm hired to entertain the children not to hand out rules. With experience=, you will know how to control the riot.
BTW Roger --great to see you posting again.
Tricky Ricky
Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Feb 27, 2019 02:35AM)
It's even more interesting to see JR here. Do you have something to sell JR? :rotf: :rotf: :smiles: :smiles:
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Feb 27, 2019 08:56AM)
Yes...it's great to be back, and see some of the old familiar faces!!! :ridinghorse: JR
Message: Posted by: randysburtis (Feb 27, 2019 03:52PM)
Yes. Welcome back JR. I would say other than a few ground rules it is about entertainment and if you are doing that rules aren't needed therefore not needed to be broken.

I tell kids to stay seated so everyone can see and that they MUST have fun. Those are my rules
Message: Posted by: diamondjack (Mar 24, 2019 11:31AM)
I probably woulden't do any gambling demos or bizarrist routines where you sell your soul to satan for kids shows.
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Mar 25, 2019 08:44AM)
[quote]On Mar 24, 2019, diamondjack wrote:
I probably woulden't do any gambling demos or bizarrist routines where you sell your soul to satan for kids shows. [/quote]
Unless the customer specifically asks. (Don't laugh, I've had few strange requests in the past!)
Message: Posted by: The Mighty Fool (Mar 29, 2019 04:00PM)
Well, going over the ones listed in your original post:

Never end a show with a vanish---Rubbish, I personally end with a production, but I know many who use a vanish as their finale.

Snakes into the audience---As long as youre OK with the fact that some might get mangled / stepped on/ fought over and streeeeeetched out!

Live animal---That WILL get you more bookings to be sure, but it doesn't mean you must have one!

Name joke---Balderdash, there's maybe a 1/1000 chance that it will backfire, and so far for me, it never has

Must be adults present---This one's tricky. As far as memory serves, I've never once done a kids show where there wasn't at least one adult (besides me) present. So it's kind of redundant as it never seems to arise.

No card/rope tricks---Poppycock, if you need proof, just do a youtube search of various kidshows.

No linking rings---Blasphemy!! I use this in my kidshow and it kills every time!
Message: Posted by: Jolly Roger (Apr 2, 2019 11:47PM)
[quote]On Mar 29, 2019, The Mighty Fool wrote:
Well, going over the ones listed in your original post:

Never end a show with a vanish---Rubbish, I personally end with a production, but I know many who use a vanish as their finale.

Snakes into the audience---As long as youre OK with the fact that some might get mangled / stepped on/ fought over and streeeeeetched out!

Live animal---That WILL get you more bookings to be sure, but it doesn't mean you must have one!

Name joke---Balderdash, there's maybe a 1/1000 chance that it will backfire, and so far for me, it never has

Must be adults present---This one's tricky. As far as memory serves, I've never once done a kids show where there wasn't at least one adult (besides me) present. So it's kind of redundant as it never seems to arise.

No card/rope tricks---Poppycock, if you need proof, just do a youtube search of various kidshows.

No linking rings---Blasphemy!! I use this in my kidshow and it kills every time! [/quote]

Excellent response!!! I agree. JR
:rotf:
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Apr 5, 2019 08:36AM)
Some of these rules are really just personal planning that becomes habit, due to the peculiar peccadilloes that performers
choose to make permanent in their acts. One thing I was suprised at though, is that among some of these "rules" you will find some gems.
For example, kids need to know they have permission to yell etc at a certain time. If not they tend to be reserved and don't think they are free to do so. So there is some wisdom among all these habits that people pass on.

One area I do not follow too much is accepting old tricks just because they are old. Like the transposing metal bunnies. I don't think kids give a rats a s about these over painted metal fekes. I think we can do better to make magic more natural and humorous as well.