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Topic: Ideas for a Cub Scout Blue and Gold dinner
Message: Posted by: smithpaul60 (Jan 20, 2008 03:01PM)
I was asked to do a quick show for a group of Cub Scouts (8-12 yrs old) at their awardsa dinner. I do mostly do coin and don't perform for a living so I was wondering if anyone had any trick ideas that would fit. I have a few stage effectsa ready ( prof's nightmare, cut and restored rope, linking rings. etc.) but I as hoping for some other effect that I could learn and do. thanks in advance.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jan 20, 2008 03:05PM)
The old Lasso card trick works well for Scouts as well as Lucky Loops, Linking Ropes and Walking Knot.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jan 20, 2008 03:28PM)
I have found that GOOD rope magic play well at blue & gold banquets. I usually do about 30 minutes of just rope tricks, and fifteen minutes of funny juggling routines, but my secret weapon is the Dennis Loomis knot trick plus it makes them cheer, scream, and chant Go Al. It takes from six months to a year to master Dennis's routine but when it is done right it makes kids eyes pop out, and go crazy every time. I have four cub banquets lined up for next month and I'm ready to take them on.
Message: Posted by: alexa (Jan 20, 2008 04:35PM)
I know there is a trick called "Nutty Neckerchief" or something like that, designed for blue and gold dinners. I believe it is a change bag trick, so you could certainly learn it in time and I believe that it has been memorable as it involves their activity/theme. I know Mike Bent was selling them at Kidabra.

Message: Posted by: todd75 (Jan 20, 2008 04:44PM)
Yep, that is indeed a Mike Bent creation. Get one, you'll love it!
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 20, 2008 06:47PM)
My wife and I really enjoy performing at blue and gold banquets and usually do many of them from February and into March. We have about 7 of them booked already for this year's season with 1 more pending. It will be a lot of work, but we do enjoy them a lot. I was a cub scout myself for years growing up and it is nice to be able to give back a little bit.

Some of what goes over well for them is:

1) Nutty Neckerchief (as mentioned above)
2) Blue and Gold Moutcoils can be added into your standard moutcoil routine
3) rope magic or cut and restored and geared towards making sure the scout knows his knots
4) Wiz Kote
5) Instant Magician (done with the scout master)

There are many more but this should give you a few ideas.

Message: Posted by: wdwfan71 (Jan 20, 2008 07:09PM)
Ditto on Mike Bent's Nutty Neckerchief. Mike's stuff is gold or should I say Blue & Gold in this case. ( Sorry I couldn't help myself).
Message: Posted by: MikeBent (Jan 20, 2008 08:42PM)
I do have some available, as well as a blue and gold change bag.
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Jan 20, 2008 09:16PM)
Keep it to maybe 3 tricks - they like their shows short because the rest of the agenda is ENDLESS!

Cut/restored Rope, Rings, pick one more, bow and get off.

When I was doing a few of 'em I made up a cut/restored cub neckerchief that went over well.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 21, 2008 03:29AM)
How do you market to the blue and golds? Mailings? Where to get their addresses, etc? How do you charge in relation to birthday parties? Thanks.

Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jan 21, 2008 06:26AM)
I am local, and Gigmasters had a B&G, a group which I am very familiar with offered a job. Because of my involvement, I do a very B & G magic show.

I do Ginn's Neckerchief, Cut & Restored Rope, a Patroitism routine, Wize-Kote, Pro Viper II, Rabbit Production as well as others. I don't have Mike Bent's Routine because I already do Ginn's routine.

So here is my List:
[*] David Ginn's Cut and Restored Cub Scout Neckerchief (5 stars)
[*] [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/search_post.php?topic=32552&forum=17&post=273559][b]Patriotism Routine[/b][/url](5 stars)
[*] [url=http://www.kenscottproducts.com/ScoutMatch.html]Ken Scott's "Scout Match" Cub Scout Routine[/url] (4 stars)

Well, being a nice guy, I lowered my normal fee $50. because they usually do not have a lot of money. Who did they hire, a guy who has a video of his show, lives 175 miles away and charged $75 more than I was asking.

Where to advertise, there are local scouting news letter for the council in your area, this is the best for advertising.

So old lessons to be learned.
[*] 1. Reduced fees infers lower caliber show
[*] 2. Giving a break for your "ideals" is not always good
[*] 3. A video enhances the show, at least 2 to 5 fold.
[*] 4. A focused "Target Group" does better than "A Magician" (preceived)
Message: Posted by: smithpaul60 (Jan 21, 2008 08:22AM)
Thanks guys, this is some great stuff. I didn't even know there were tricks made for scouts. keep em' coming.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jan 21, 2008 08:48AM)
I have heard nothing but good things about Mike's tricks, but to spend big bucks for one, or two tricks that can only be use in the month of February is simply not in my budget. Now if I were Kyle and did two banquets each weekend it would be a necessity. Perhaps if Kyle gets any more cub pack calls he will give them my number.

I looked up that guy you refered to, and I must say his credits are as long as your arm.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 21, 2008 10:05AM)
Great stuff guys. Let me try and answer some of the questions that were mentioned and asked above. Hope it may be of some help. There are a few ways to market to Blue and Golds that have worked for me.

1) go to the actual councils in your area and ask them about their newsletters (placing an ad in one) or even asking them if they would be able to help you get the word out about your shows.

2) doing some internet research through search engines like Google and then "qualifying" the list and doing a mailing out to them. I use both and have worked very well for my wife and I. It is amazing the information you can obtain through simply asking for it.

In regards to fees or what to charge, I have found that at least in my own area, you can probably get a standard birthday party fee and perhaps a little bit higher but your birthday fee is probably about the norm or a good place to start. They do have budgets but not always a large one. As an example, if your birthday fee is about $200, then I would start your B and G fee range at around $175-$225 and go from there. A few contacts will determine for you what the range is in your own area.

In regards to buying magic specific to blue and gold banquets, I do understand and agree that paying a learge fee for a trick you may only do once, is not to your advantage. However, if you are booking on average of 4 or more blue and gold banquets a year, then adding a blue and gold themed effect works well and you pay it off in one show easily. It then adds value to your show from that point on. If you do many Blue and golds then this becomes a nice investment.

A few things you will want to keep in mind when working a Blue and Gold:

- try and keep your show to either 30 minutes or 45 minutes. In fact, be able to do either or. Ask them in advance what works best for them. Now my fee does not change regardless of how long I do. The reason to have your time length set like this is because most Blue and Gold Banquests have a lot of stuff going on that day. You are up against award ceremonies which take time to do. Asking them what works best for them is a value add and they will appreciate you asking them in advance.

- keep in mind that because they usually want to do awards and a ceremony at the banquet, that you will want to try and go on first if you can help it. Once again, simply asking them usually works great here. If you do not ask, then be prepared to wait and go on later then your scheduled start time.

- get the cub master involved in the show. The scouts absolutely love it if you get the scout master involved in the show in some way. Use your imagination on what will work best for you. This can be anything from an Instant Magician routine to having the scout master help you with a "Do as I Do" style effect.

- yes your goal is to entertain the scouts. However, keep in mind that this is a family event and if you can gear your show towards having entertainment for all ages in attendance, you will do much better.

- get used to asking what is on their schedule for that evening. Most follow a very similar plan but some like to mix it up and have the awards at a different meeting. I usually ask upfront so that I can determine when the dinner will be and the proper order of things. This allows me to better tell them where my show will fit best.

- remember that this is a golden opportunity to market yourself before and while you are at the event. Blue and Gold banquets usually always have a program that someone does. I always ask if I might be able to be listed in it and I then give them my information to be included in the prorgam. This is free advertising for you so feel free to ask them about it. I have never had any problem with it and they are more then happy to assist you. while at the event, having some sort of marketing material the kids will like to keep is a great way to give something out that they will hold on to. Also have your business cards with you cause you will be asked by folks after the show if you present a good performance.

AL: You are already on my referral list my friend. =) I have it right by my computer and phone in the office. If I get any more asking for the same date, I will be sure to go to my list. Not a problem at all and my pleasure to do so.

Hope this helps.

Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jan 21, 2008 10:40AM)
Thanks buddie
I must say that 8 blue and gold banquets is quite a statement on your cub scout marketing.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 21, 2008 10:59AM)
Most welcome anytime Al. My pleasure. Glad to help out when I can. Thanks for the complement on our marketing. Kelly and I have created a system that works well for us for different markets we work.

We started coming up with the process about 2 years ago. 2 years ago I think we did 2 of them. Last year we did 6 and this year we are on track to do 8 plus 1 or 2 pending. So, we are glad it seems to be working out well for us. It takes a little bit of time to do, but now that the system is in place, it is not as hard as it may appear. Of course it also helps that Kelly loves magic as much as I do and works with me on marketing for these shows. She is a keeper for sure.=)

Thanks again my friend.

Message: Posted by: AshleyW (Jan 21, 2008 11:04AM)
Good points on pricing Dennis.
I have 3 booked this year at $225 a pop, and last year I allowed packs to combine and charged $400 per show. Maybe really small packs don't have the $$, but that is when you encourage them to join up with other local packs to form a large event. I hope everyone considers price hikes this year, these organizations are pros at whining that they don't have the budget, but the fact is they have it, but choose to spend it on other things. And as long as there are magicians out there willing to work their butts off for cheap, how can we expect them to change?
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 21, 2008 11:11AM)
Ashley: Great share there and good information. Thanks for sharing it with us. it is great to know that you are also getting about the same amount in your area as I am in mine for this years Blue and Gold performances. I also LOVE your idea of suggesting they combine for a larger event. I have had 2 of them in the past do just that and togther they had a great event and could combine budgets to afford me. It worked out ideal for them and myself as well. I have to remind myself to remember that idea so I can offer it when it comes up again. Thanks for that.

Message: Posted by: wdwfan71 (Jan 21, 2008 12:09PM)
On 2008-01-21 12:04, AshleyW wrote:
Good points on pricing Dennis.
I have 3 booked this year at $225 a pop, and last year I allowed packs to combine and charged $400 per show. Maybe really small packs don't have the $$, but that is when you encourage them to join up with other local packs to form a large event. I hope everyone considers price hikes this year, these organizations are pros at whining that they don't have the budget, but the fact is they have it, but choose to spend it on other things. And as long as there are magicians out there willing to work their butts off for cheap, how can we expect them to change?

Amen Ashley! Great points!
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jan 21, 2008 12:25PM)
It used to be possible to get a "Cub Scout" insert for the popular Kids trick: Instant Art. That was the original Supreme Magic name. I think that Hank Lee nows makes them (Supreme is gone) and I'm not sure if he does the Boy Scout. I have the original Supreme set, and I got all of the inserts, so I have Santa Claus, the Boy Scout, a Circus Clown, a Jack-O-Lantern and maybe one or two more. The Clown is great for birthday parties and School shows and you use the others when appropriate.

To Al,
Thanks for the plug about my routine. Remember this, you don't have to do every knot I do, and so many of the effects don't take so long to learn. There are just two or three that require a lot of practice. But then, if you pay the dues, you'll have something that few other magicians are doing.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jan 21, 2008 08:33PM)
I do my own version of your routine, but the six knot finish each one on top of the previous knot is what makes the kids go wild. You sold me your DVD, but gave me my trademark routine.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Jan 22, 2008 11:56AM)
This topic keeps coming up in various guises and here are all the irrelevant question that cross my mind every time I hear it mentioned:

What the heck is a blue and gold banquet?
Why blue and gold, aren't scouts a greenish sort of colour?
Why are cubs being given banquets anyhow? When I was a cub and the closest I got to a banquet was a plate of fried fish fingers followed by a self-cremated marshmallow.
Did any of the Kipling references make it across the pond?
What's a ging gang goo?

Message: Posted by: harris (Jan 22, 2008 12:12PM)
Don't forget that April's theme is Abracadabra....

I used to only concentrate on February's Blue and Golds.

We usually close with Nigel and I doing a ventriloquial version of a patriotic song..such as (for USA) Star Spangled Banner...

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 22, 2008 12:50PM)
In my neck of the woods we get Blue and Gold banquets from February through march. I even have had a few in the early parts of April as well.

Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jan 22, 2008 12:57PM)
My friend you would need an American passport, or at least a valid green card for me to reveal that much Americana to you. LOL
Message: Posted by: smithpaul60 (Jan 22, 2008 09:42PM)

A "blue and Gold" Is an awards banquet honoring the achievment of the kids.
Blue and Gold anr the Cub Scouts Colors on this side of the pond.
ALL of the Kipling references made the long and difficult journey across the big blue.

Thanks again guys for the links and tips. I've ordered some stuff and will turn some classics cub themed.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 23, 2008 06:10PM)
Never guess why we import 20th Century Silks in blue and yellow?

(We also import it in blue and gold but the yellow is closer to uniform colors.)

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Jan 23, 2008 07:40PM)
Cheers SP.
Message: Posted by: harris (Jan 24, 2008 07:24AM)
Happy Boy Scout formation day..

Back in the UK? I salute you all ..said Nigel the puppet that rocks and talks.

Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jan 27, 2008 10:30AM)
Here's another thread on the subject: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=243237&forum=8&4

Some packs will have large budgets, so get that info if you can. One pack that I performed for would have hired me for a $1000 show, if I had that elaborate of a show available.

Be prepared for extreme delays, going on at times. On pack that I performed for had a cubmaster who was a loose cannon - not the person who booked me for the banquet. He did his own thing and I went on two and a half hours later than specified in the contract! Luckily, I didn't have other gigs booked that night, like I sometimes do.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 27, 2008 04:51PM)
That is why I stick to the contract and make sure I am clear when I do my conformation call 2 days prior to the event. On the phone I clearly state that I need to go on BEFORE the awards ceremony and I am just honest with him about it and how it works better for everyone involved. I make sure the contract details are covered off on.

Of course this is not to say everything would have run smooth. However, if they had me go on that late, then I would have pulled someone aside, showed them the contract agreement and made sure they realized I had to go on. If that still did not work, Then I would have packed it up and left.

It sounds harsh but my time is money and they are under contract. There should be no reason for them to have you on that late if you talked about it, agreed upon the terms and they signed a full contract.

My 2 cents.