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Topic: Birthday Cake Ceremony
Message: Posted by: simchamagic (Mar 11, 2008 05:05PM)
Hello all,

Just thought to ask - what is your favorite way of presenting the cake, blowing out the candles, handing out pieces to the children? Do you use music at the background? Do you give out the cake in the end of a birthday or at the middle? Do you have a few alternative methods for different types of birthdays?

Best wishes,

Message: Posted by: Tom Riddle (Mar 11, 2008 05:18PM)
I present the cake on a plate.
I blow out the candles with my breath.
I play Beethoven's unfinished symphony.
I hand out the pieces to the children with my hands.

Then I remember........all of a sudden...........that I am a MAGICIAN, and I leave the cake in the hands of the mother to do with as she wishes, and carry on with Tyler's Saga or Sago! Seriously!
Message: Posted by: LVMagicAL (Mar 11, 2008 05:20PM)
My favorite way of presenting the cake is to let the mom or dad do it as I'm packing up my stuff to head to my next gig. Serving birthday cake isn't part of my entertainment services. Seriously......Who serves cake??
Message: Posted by: DJBrenton (Mar 11, 2008 05:44PM)
You mean you guys don't do the buffet as part of your act? Sheesh, some people just don't go that extra mile.
Message: Posted by: Futureal (Mar 11, 2008 06:27PM)
I'm already at the next show by then :)

If you guys want to do it as part of the service, fantastic, knock yourselves out.
Message: Posted by: kimmo (Mar 11, 2008 06:32PM)
In 25 years I have never been asked to serve cake!!

Occasionally a parent asks if I can lead the children in singing happy birthday and I always oblige, but they bring out the cake, they light the candles and then they take it away to serve it out.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Mar 11, 2008 08:07PM)
In other countries, customs are slightly different. I used to offer (and quit that very fast!) bringing the magic-themed cake...NEVER AGAIN! I perform. I don't do games, either. I don't do an (like some Café members do) hour show, a 30-minute intermission and another half hour show, either. Birthdays don't get backdrops or 10 trips to/from the car...no hour setup/takedown. Keep it simple.

Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Mar 11, 2008 08:48PM)
As the partyhost or emcee, presenting the cake is the most important part of a party (At least here in Manila)

I gather the birthday family to one side of the cake table...and the kids most of the time at the back...we either say a short prayer before the birthday music plays or the parents say their birthday wishes first before we play the music...after the candle has been blown, confetti cannons usually follow and a nice funfare music... :)

Sometimes, I even do a parade before the actual candle blowing ceremony. :)

Cakes in Manila parties are just too crazy...some are rotating like carrousels...some are super humongous... and the designs are so elaborate.

I'll try to take some photos this weekend and post them here :)
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Mar 11, 2008 09:27PM)
Does this mean you provide the cakes, as well, or merely present them and preside over the candle lighting ceremony? In the U.S., most parents would be a little wary about letting a stranger (magician/performer) handle or deal with the cake or edibles. As the performer, I would be wary about dealing with other people's food at all, too.

Message: Posted by: Bradley Roberts (Mar 12, 2008 12:28AM)
Most of the time they have the cake right after my show. I have been asked to stand with the child by the cake for pictures. I have made it habit to do that now. I also sing Happy Birthday with them. Then I let the mother cut and serve out the cut. That is the best time to get back to my stuff and pack to leave.

Message: Posted by: Tony James (Mar 12, 2008 02:46AM)
In the UK the cake is the climax to the meal or Birthday Tea as it is referred to. Lighting the candles, singing Happy Birthday, the birthday child blowing out the candles, re-lighting them several times to allow everyone to blow them out again and in so doing, spitting all over the cake, is a family thing.

I keep well away for that second before bringing the children back to my part of the venue for the climax - the magic show.

And mother takes the cake away, cleans off the spit and packs slices into the goodie bag for taking home.

Cake is always eaten at home, which allows all the mothers of the children to examine the cake and access how well made it is and whether or not the birthday party child's mother is up to standard.

Rest assured it will be discussed and judgement passed!
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Mar 15, 2008 11:16AM)
On 2008-03-11 22:27, Stevethomas wrote:
Does this mean you provide the cakes, as well, or merely present them and preside over the candle lighting ceremony? In the U.S., most parents would be a little wary about letting a stranger (magician/performer) handle or deal with the cake or edibles. As the performer, I would be wary about dealing with other people's food at all, too.


There are special shops who provide the cakes...really big and nice cakes :)

I just handle the ceremony because Im the emcee :)

Lately, I have been trying gigs without hosting (Emcee) just the show and I love it because the job is much easier...talent fee is less but the work is less too :)

For Easter Sunday...I got two gigs without the hosting part...Ill just do my Ventrillusion act :)
Message: Posted by: magicmarkdaniel (Mar 15, 2008 09:06PM)
The cake ceremony is another photo opportunity. After I have done the magic show (in my 2 hour package), the children have food and before the party dancing starts I do the cake. I offer a table (my rolon table with my name on it) to place the cake on and tell the adults to get their cameras ready. Cheeky? Maybe. But hey, grab the opportunities with both hands!!

Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Mar 15, 2008 09:46PM)
Following my show for younger children, I have the children line up behind the birthday child. I assign imaginary band instruments to each child and instruct them on the perfect "parade wave." We lead the children on an orderly, circuitous parade around the house and to the cake table. The waving and imaginary instruments are a popular video and photo op. As the cake is being served, I reset my show case. As the children are eating, I make balloon party hats for each child, bid everyone farewell and move on. Serving the cake is Mom's domain.
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Mar 16, 2008 04:17AM)
I always make a big production out of the cake ceremony. Parents in the UK love this, as most entertainers don't bother. I play my pirate guitar, and have all the parents sing in harmony.
If you'd like to see what I do, it's on the end of this megavideo clip (if you're able to access it):
There are lots of fancy cakes here too now, it's not uncommon for the parents to spend £50 - £100 or more on an elaborate cake. I see many, many pirate ships, desert islands, princess castles, etc, and also a lot of sumptuous chocolate cakes from a local supplier called "Choccy-Woccky-Doo-Dah".
I also know the Birthday Song in several languages, as well as other Birthday songs such as the Swedish "Ja Man Ha Leva", which has a different tune. For me, this is the highlight of the party, and I can't imagine not making sure it's bright, exciting, and tuneful.
Potty :)
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 16, 2008 01:59PM)
I think if you are serving the cake and such, that is fine, but that should be clearly stated as one of your optuions in your show package when they call to book you. Or you should offer it as a different show package. The bottom line is that if you do this, then you should be comepnsated for it and make sure that you and thge client agree upon it in writing ahead of time.

Personally, I have never done this in all the years of doing birthdays. I just choose not to and the client usually never even asks it of me. for my wife and I we would much rather get additional income from the party with a teahcing workshop add on. It just works better for us is all.

I also do multiple shows in a day and I like to be able to keep my time at a party to a certain time frame to accomodate other shows. Once again this just works for Kelly and I. I have no problem with anyone who offers serving the cake. Just make sure you are getting paid well to do that part of the party.

Also, I wonder if the serving of the cake by the entertainer is also a cultural thing and perhaps varies in different countries? In the US and where I live, most always that is something that is dear and close to the parents and child. Usually the mom and dad want to be there to handle that because it is them bonding and celbrating with their son or daughter.

Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Mar 16, 2008 03:27PM)
If I have time I sing Happy Birthday, and eat a small piece of cake just to be courteous. I have never been asked to do anything after my show, and it is not our custom.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 16, 2008 04:23PM)
Al: would you agree at leats in our area that parents usually never ask us to perform any of the functions of cutting the cake or introducing the cake etc? I know I have never in my years ever even been asked to do this. Have you? I just feel that the parents feels this is the most important part of the birthday event where they are with their child to bring the cake out etc.

Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Mar 16, 2008 06:10PM)
I have never been asked to do anything more than my show, but if I sing the loudest, pose for pictures, and eat a piece of birthday cake the mom will give me that look that tells me all is good.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 16, 2008 06:14PM)
Yeap I agree with you there. I also have never been asked to do anything like that as well. I was just curious if it was just me. lol I totally agree though about the professionalism and extending that beyond just the show. Give that added value.

Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Mar 19, 2008 09:15AM)
It's rare for parents to ask me to sing the Birthday song too, but it happened often enough for me to decide to make it a part of my Birthday party package. Truth is, if I don't lead the Birthday Song, it can be a really flat moment; often no one will really sing out, and it can feel like a real anti-climax. Of course, it's up to each individual entertainer to decide if he's comfortable leading the singing. But realistically, a performer is likely to make more of the ceremony than the majority of parents.
As I've mentioned here before, I only offer a full 2 hour party package for Birthdays, which maximises my income. I only work 2 parties a day maximum.
Message: Posted by: Vegasvent (Mar 19, 2008 05:46PM)
I've never been asked to serve the cake.