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Topic: The Very Evil Children.
Message: Posted by: T. Sebastian (Jul 13, 2008 12:23PM)
What do you do with really bad kids.
I have pretty good ways of handling them but on a very few occasions I've run out of ammo and just can't seem to shut them down.
I'm talking about behavior that borders on deliberate sabotage here.
At my last magic club meeting we spent half the time talking about this and never really hit on an answer. I also did a search and couldn't find anything helpful, so I'd really like to get some more insight on how to deal with this.
Please and Thank You.
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Jul 13, 2008 03:17PM)
I assume these kids are at least 5 y/o. I rarely see this, but when it happens, they are generally 6 & up.

Try to get inside their head. What are they trying to accomplish? Most of the time they want attention.

The first thing I do is totally ignore them. I assume this will just escalate the kids you are talking about.

If this is the case either giving them the attention positively or showing them how to get the attention positively is the next stage.

If they are "invading your space" and won't stop, then have them go to the back of the group and don't do any more magic until they comply.

If they still are a physical problem have an adult intervene.

If they are verbally being a problem and ignoring them won't work, try a little peer pressure.

Remember just because they are young does not mean they can't have mental issues,and sometimes there is little to be done outside of removing them from the party.

It has been at least 10 years since I have had any serious problem. I attribute it to a stage hypnotism trick I learned. From the very beginning I am telling them what to do. If it a particularly rambunctious crowd I take even more control. In quick succession I tell them to stand up, turn around sit down, stand up turn around, stomp the right foot, stomp the left foot, ad then sit down. It is all done in a fun manner, and the kids look at it as a game. What this does is conditions them to follow my orders - and they do. --- I said orders. I am not asking, I am in charge. Every so often I may re-enforce it by telling them to do another series of random things.

Please note, only do this if the kids are out of control from the beginning By far, most parties don't need it or need a much more scaled down version - but always take control. No pleading, no deals - it is your way or no way.

Interestingly enough, the privledged (in my experience) often are much less well behaved than the middle class. Sometimes the privledged treat others like objects, and you could be “an object” - less than human to them. In this case, they learn it from their parents, and there is not a lot you can do but turn down gigs from them in the future.

This is a recient article from the NYPost:

CRUEL L.I. SLAVE MASTERS
By STEFANIE COHEN, KIERAN CROWLEY and KATE SHEEHY
A "monstrous" millionaire couple from Long Island's Gold Coast kept two Indonesian women as slaves for five years in their tony estate-turned-house of horrors - until one victim was found wandering the street half-naked this week muttering, "Master," authorities said yesterday.

Varsha Mahender Sabhnani and her husband, Mahender Murliddhar Sabhnani - perfume moguls from the mega-rich community of Muttontown - were hauled into federal court yesterday to face charges including beating, cutting and scalding one of the victims and committing "incomprehensible . . . inhumanity" against both.

"Home, I want to go home," sobbed one of the middle-aged women, identified as "Samirah," when she was found bruised and battered at a Dunkin' Donuts on Jericho Turnpike in Syosset at around 6 a.m. Sunday.

Less than a mile away, authorities said, was what had become her hell on earth: an antiques-stuffed, cedar-shakers mansion where she was beaten with brooms and rolling pins, repeatedly sliced on the ears with a paring knife, starved and forced to sleep on the kitchen floor.

Varsha - a 45-year-old mother of four - was the main torturer who doled out the horrific punishment while her husband, 51, watched, officials said. The wife is Indonesian; Mahender is from India.

Varsha's cruelty included forcing Samirah to take as many as 30 ice-cold showers in a row, run up and down a flight of stairs 150 times as fast as she could - and gulp down at least 25 "extremely hot chili peppers at one time," according to the arrest warrant.

"The conduct the defendants committed is monstrous," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Demetri Jones. "It's truly a case of modern-day slavery."

Authorities said the victims' nightmare began after they were brought to the United States by the couple to work as house servants.

They were told they would be paid $200 a month, although Samirah told authorities she later learned the Sabhnanis sent only half that amount to her daughter back in Indonesia.

The immigrant women arrived to find their new home, 205 Coachman Place, a sprawling, two-story manse in one of New York's most exclusive enclaves. Two large, stone statues of lions greet visitors at the driveway, a brand-new black Cadillac sits in front and a large, lagoon-like pool, waterfall and built-in stainless-steel barbecue grill grace the back yard.

Their new bosses ran a multimillion-dollar business from home, peddling Royal Mirage perfume throughout the world through at least five companies.

The Sabhnanis also own a $1.4 million, two-bedroom condo on Broadway in Manhattan and were known to frequently jet to such countries as Singapore, Bahrain and Australia for business and to visit family.

But if the victims - ages 51 and 46 - had dreams of partaking in even a smidgen of their employers' good life, they were sorely mistaken, officials said.

The Sabhnanis demanded the pair's passports as soon as they set foot in the country, the victims told authorities.

They then began working 21-hour days as house servants, and when they were allowed to sleep for the remaining three hours in the day, it was on thin, 3-by-6-foot white mats on the floor of one of the home's two kitchens, the women said.

Beatings were routinely administered either in the laundry room or bathroom, they said, with "a rolling pin, bamboo stick and a broomstick." Samirah said Varsha also tossed scalding water on her.

The feds noted in court papers that Samirah "bears highly visible scars that appear to be permanent over much of her body.

"She also has deep, open knife wounds behind her ears, which were inflicted by [Varsha]."

Samirah also showed cops at the house "a door stained with [her] blood that was the result of an injury sustained during a beating" by Varsha, according to court papers.

The abused women were starved to the point that they began hiding food, authorities said.

The second victim, identified only as "Nona," led authorities to the spot above a drop-ceiling panel in one of the kitchens where she stashed her meager but treasured personal belongings, as well as snacks she could sneak from the kitchen.

Nona told authorities she was once forced to strip naked and take as many as 10 icy showers in a row for "perceived wrongdoing."

She said that at one point, Varsha warned her that if she ever tried to flee, she would "use her considerable financial resources to ensure that Indonesian police jailed [her] and [her] husband, who is in Indonesia."

Whenever strangers came to the home, the terrified women said, they were ordered to hide in the basement or garage.

They were allowed out only at night - to take out the garbage.

After Samirah was found wandering and told authorities her tale, officials went to the house and discovered Nona cowering in a 3-by-3-foot closet under the stairwell leading to the basement.

Samirah was dressed in pants and a towel, weeping and carrying two plastic bags, when Dunkin' Donuts manager Adrian Mohammed, 26, spotted her early Sunday.

He said he thought she was homeless, so he gave her coffee, bagels and a jacket.

Asked where she lived, she pointed to her Indonesian passport - which Varsha had allegedly returned to her after it expired - and pleaded, "Home."

"She started crying," Mohammed said, and when he asked where she lived, she pointed in the direction of the Sabhnanis' home and said, "Master."

"She said the word, 'Master,' then she made a motion like she was getting slapped," Mohammed said yesterday.

He said she had dozens of perfectly circular bruises on her arm, like pinches. Her ears also had sores and cuts from what authorities said was more of Varsha's cruelty: nicking her with a paring knife when she was deemed particularly "bad" - suspected of stealing food because she was hungry or unable to find an item around the house.

"I felt bad for the lady, so I called 911," Mohammed said.

At the Sabhnanis' arraignment in Central Islip yesterday, the couple sat together - but with separate lawyers.

As the pair sat down and looked back at their 22-year-old daughter in the third row, the young woman burst into tears.

The couple was held without bail after Jones argued that they were an extreme flight risk, given their international connections and bank accounts.

Mahender's lawyer, Charles Ross, insisted, "This is not a human-trafficking ring. My client wants to clear his name."

He said the couple had been out of the country for up to 10 months at a time, leaving the alleged victims plenty of opportunity to leave the house if they wanted.

stefanie.cohen@nypost.com
Message: Posted by: T. Sebastian (Jul 13, 2008 04:16PM)
Um... ... ... I ... ... The cruelty of mankind never ceases to amaze me.


What if I'm in a more open type of situation like a festival and the kid is just hanging around and there's no parent in sight?
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Jul 13, 2008 06:08PM)
This can be really a pain, but they hang around you because they think you are cool. They talk out of turn because they want to be cool too. They grab, and explain how they think things are to be done, & steal punch lines because they think it makes them look cool. Well they probably don't realize the damage they are doing, and may even think it is a game - so be easy (at first anyway). They probably admire you. Explain how what they is doing is NOT nice. I would try to make it a positive experience, and you may have to work the interaction into your show if they persist. If they continue, ask them to leave. If not contact security.

ALWAYS remember that others are watching how you deal with it, and they may or may not realize the harm the child is doing to your act. Be professional for your sake.
Message: Posted by: T. Sebastian (Jul 13, 2008 09:00PM)
I agree with you totally CaptainKid.
It did occur to me that that might be why they hang around.
And I am very aware of how my handling of the situation could affect me.
I want to continue to work locally so the last thing I want to do is go off on some kid in front of people.(or alienate an overenthusiastic fan?)
Thanks for the input.
This has only been a problem two times but it was bad enough that I want to ensure I'm ready next time.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Jul 14, 2008 04:37PM)
See if you can pick up a copy of "Seriously Silly" by David Kaye (Silly Billy). He's been doing children's entertainment for about 20 years. You can ssearch for reviews and comments aobut his book here on the Café. He has excellent insight on why kids act the way they do and how to control and direct their energy.

But also examine your show. Is your material appropriate for the age group you are performing for? If you're in an open arena, like a fair or a festival, you have no control over who will walk up and whether your material is suited to them. But at a more structured event, like a private party, school or library, you can get a pretty good idea of what age groups should be attending. (You can also specify that a certain number of adults should be present.)

One good section in Kaye's book is an outline of what kids understand at what age, and how they react to different effects. I remember doing effects which required thought patterns far beyond the kids I thought I was entertaining, and didn't know it! (I had a five-year-old walk up to me in the middle of my routine, proclaim "You're boring!", and walk off.)

Like you, it wasn't really a huge and constant problem, but it was enough that I've sworn off kid's birthday parties (at least they way they do them here!).

Cheers!
Ed
Message: Posted by: magicbob116 (Jul 14, 2008 04:39PM)
There are no evil children... just bad parents! :P
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Jul 14, 2008 09:17PM)
Sebastian,

There are so many different situations and different ways to handle each one. Knowing what to do for each set of circumstances only comes with experience. So let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

“Experience teaches slowly, and at the cost of many mistakes.” --Batman :nod:

[quote]
On 2008-07-14 17:39, magicbob116 wrote:
There are no evil children... just bad parents! :P
[/quote]

Hmmm. Sounds like an interesting debate. That's a subject that has intrigued me for some time and my mind is still open on this one.
Message: Posted by: T. Sebastian (Jul 15, 2008 08:14PM)
That story CaptainKid posted still bugs me out.
I have no problems when I'm doing my "show". It is constructed for all ages.
I actually depend on children for the crowd build.
I'm not a grouchy old magician who wants "Those darn kids to stay off my lawn".
The problem has been when I'm entertaining a group of adults and the kid (or kids) is hanging around causing a rucus. They see the routine a few times and start telling people what's coming or how they think I do it. While I'm doing it.
I don't hate kids. I have two of my own.
I chose the title of this thread to get attention because I needed insights on ways to handle this. The only true evil I can think of is D*** C*****.
You figure it out. heh
Should I maybe have posted this in the busker forum?
Can I post similar threads in different forums without getting in trouble?
Or being hated?
Too late?
Story of my life.
Well then I'm off to practice the old cups and balls some more.
Thanks for the input guys.
Oh, and by the way, Ken?
When did Batman say that?
I'm a huge fan of his.
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Jul 15, 2008 09:00PM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-15 21:14, T. Sebastian wrote:
Oh, and by the way, Ken?
When did Batman say that?
I'm a huge fan of his.
[/quote]

It was in the original series. I'm not that big of a fan so I can't name the episode, but I can tell you he was speaking to the boy wonder! :)
Message: Posted by: AndyComic (Jul 15, 2008 09:07PM)
I am not totally convinced of the evil people = bad parents. I've seen some kids who just come out as evil freaks while their siblings are fine. Mostly though, you're correct.

Anyway, when I totally have no control of a kid (and this is the last resort) I firstly ask if their parents are in the room and ask them to help me control them, the next step is to quietly say that if they don't want to watch the show, they don't have to and they are welcome to play up the back of the room somewhere. Sounds harsh but it works well and they mostly stay. Remember that if the show get ruined by one kid then there goes the enjoyment of all the other kids any booking for more parties. Besides, if the kid doesn't really want to be there, then why force him. Same reason why the parents shouldn't shove their kids up the front.
The worst is the b'day boy, if he's acting up you cant really ask him to leave. but on a plus side, his or her parents are always there to help.

I had one show where the b'day boy was this type of child. All he wanted to do was run out and push my case over - all the time. The parents were no help. The show was a right off. It was like this kid was on speed, he couldn't focus for more than one second on anything. Even the other kids were annoyed. Sometimes there are no answers except the Dexter method.

Andy
Message: Posted by: Vibono Magic (Jul 16, 2008 01:35AM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-15 21:14, T. Sebastian wrote:
The problem has been when I'm entertaining a group of adults and the kid (or kids) is hanging around causing a rucus. They see the routine a few times and start telling people what's coming or how they think I do it. While I'm doing it.
[/quote]

Take longer breaks or have another set with you on the street
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Jul 16, 2008 10:14AM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-15 21:14, T. Sebastian wrote:
The problem has been when I'm entertaining a group of adults and the kid (or kids) is hanging around causing a rucus. They see the routine a few times and start telling people what's coming or how they think I do it.
[/quote]

Yeah, kids are attention freaks. And they are very into anything that can increase their status among their peers, such as gaining control of a situation by grabbing the focus.

If you're going to perform outside, you're going to run into this. Part of the job description. BUt I'm sure the buskers would have some great ideas on how to minimize damage and maximize control and entertainmentin such situations. I'm sure there are ways to turn most of these around to your advantage - I'm also sure I can't hink of a single one of them!! Which is why I'm not brave enough to go out into a raw public setting like that.

Ed
Message: Posted by: T. Sebastian (Jul 16, 2008 04:52PM)
More guts than skill over here.
And not much guts.
Message: Posted by: Hansel (Jul 17, 2008 01:39AM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-14 17:39, magicbob116 wrote:
There are no evil children... just bad parents! :P
[/quote]


Maybe the most sensate words that I read in this days.So, if I have a very "uncomfortable" kid I use this formula. That kid wants attention, he wants to be the star and stole your bright for him, maybe his way is ruining your show, so here is what I do (Sometimes I do with "funny" fathers too)Have a wizard assistant hat (with the plunger) and put it, take some silly sunglasses and put it in your "helper",do the Popsy Topsy wand,break away wand, maybe the break away table...make to him the mess that he wants to make to your show. As a killer do a SUCKER trick!!! ("Fraidy Cat Rabbit" works EXCELLENT for this situation, "topsy turvey bottles" too!!!) So maybe you think this system its cruel, but if you manage with perfect Attitude and professionalism nobody was injured!BELIEVE ME THAT THIS KID NOT TRY TO DESTROY YOUR SHOW ANYMORE,
Thanks,
Hansel!
Message: Posted by: T. Sebastian (Jul 17, 2008 09:32AM)
The Plunger Hat. Yes! I thought of that too.
My idea was to give him the wizard award.
"Ladies and Gentlemen. This young man has learned all there is to know about magic in his short eight years of life. So, to honor him and his vast wisdom, I would like to present him with the prestigious Wizard Award."
Put the hat on him, turn him around for all to see, then reveal the plunger.
Mean? Maybe.
Will it work? Probably
I would reserve it for only the worst of situations.
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Jul 17, 2008 02:01PM)
Hmmm I don't recommend that embarrassing a child. Don't stoop to their level, people may laugh, but they may won't hire you. Would you want your child to risk being ridiculed? I do the plunger all the time, but it is ME, not the kid.

MagicBob,
First I would like to say I LOVE your magic book. I just bought it and it is GREAT. On the other hand, your statement about kids sounds great, is PC, but not accurate. Yes, bad parenting can produce an unsocial child, but it can also produce a great child too. Nature has an immense role in how a person develops, and all the good parenting in the world can still produce an unwieldy child. Just look at the studies of twins separated from birth.

As for kids being evil, I really don't believe in "good" and "evil". On the other hand, a blanket blame of the parents is just not facing reality – especially now with our current understanding of biology. Much of what we consider our "personality" is due, or at least heavily influenced, by our chemistry. My son is an amazing child - NOW. From 1-4 one could swear he was possessed by the devil. In fact both my wife's parents and mine are quite religious, and they hinted of that. Year before last he was nearly kicked out of school – and he was in a special classroom for kids with his issues. Some days he would have over 50 (yes fifty!) documented assaults in one day. Don't ask me how he could work so many in, but he did.

Time and time again when he was acting out in public (ok, I mean REALLY acting out, nothing like that of a normal child) we would get nasty stares from other people who knew nothing of the situation. He was EXTREEMLY violent and uncontrollable outside of brute force.

It took time, therapy (3 x week at $125 a session) and drugs, but now he is a joy to everyone and has totally turned around. He just finished his drug routine and is doing well. He still goes to therapy 3 x a week.


I REALLY don't appreciate being judged by people who were blessed with a typical developing child. If you haven't had a severely autistic child you don't know what a bad behaving child is like. One moment they are angels, the next as far from that is possible. For 3 years it took both of us to handle him. He would wear on person out pretty fast, so we both worked from home. Please lose the “bad child = bad parent” thinking. It doesn’t hold up and is very unfair to many parents who are doing everything in their power to raise their child right.

On the other hand, before we had our son, I had the same wrong thinking. I pray no one learns this lesson the way we did.
Message: Posted by: magicbob116 (Jul 17, 2008 02:35PM)
I'm surprised you say that my statement was PC. I rather thought it was very UN-PC (which is much more my style).

My comment was meant to be hyperbole. Please note the :P that I added at the end. Just my twisted sense of humor... always trying to tweak or "stir the pot" (must be the rotten parenting that [i][b]I[/i][/b] received). :P Oops... there I go again!

I certainly didn't intend to lump in kids with developmental problems, etc. In fact, my own son has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, which is (thankfully) on the mild end of the autism spectrum, so I can sympathize with those types of situations.

Those weren't the kind of people I was referring to. But you must admit that there ARE quite a few kids who behave badly simply because the parents either let them get away with it or are so self-absorbed they never even notice it. We've all seen them. THOSE were the parents that I was excoriating.

"Bad child = bad parent" is not how I would describe my overall thinking. It was merely an admittedly sarcastic commentary on the sad state of parenting that is so rampant in our society. For those that are doing everything they can, I have the utmost respect. For those that just LET the kids run rampant, not so much.

P.S. Thanks for the compliment on the book!
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Jul 17, 2008 02:59PM)
I am sorry about ranting. I guess it just touched a nerve . . . sorry. I am sorry about your boy too.

I do agree that bad parenting is often a cause for mis-behaving youth (and adults) and I HAVE NO HARD FEELINGS. I generally thought that before I had kids, and I understand your sarcasm.

As you know, many autistic children (like my son) can look perfectly normal (as opposed to a child with Down Syndrome). People assume they are typical, but in fact no child is typical.
Message: Posted by: T. Sebastian (Jul 17, 2008 08:47PM)
I would not want my child ridiculed.
But, I have taught my children good manners and how to behave. (through example and constant nagging)
So, I would hope that neither of them would ever engage in the types of behaviour that would provoke the wrath of a warrior wizard.
You're right though, Captain.
I shouldn't do that.
I'd also like to comment on the resolution of the misunderstanding concerning the evilness of a child with respect to his/her parents.
That, ladies and gentlemen is how adults behave.
I will endeavor to follow your example.
And to remember my own parenting principles when I am working.
Message: Posted by: Hansel (Jul 18, 2008 12:52AM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-17 21:47, T. Sebastian wrote:
I would not want my child ridiculed.
But, I have taught my children good manners and how to behave. (through example and constant nagging)
So, I would hope that neither of them would ever engage in the types of behaviour that would provoke the wrath of a warrior wizard.
You're right though, Captain.
I shouldn't do that.
I'd also like to comment on the resolution of the misunderstanding concerning the evilness of a child with respect to his/her parents.
That, ladies and gentlemen is how adults behave.
I will endeavor to follow your example.
And to remember my own parenting principles when I am working.
[/quote]


that's exactly was I mean...DONT RIDICULED,But if he wants attention...make the way to that!!! If he is screaming and making your show a mess...HE WANTS ATTENTION...So lets bring a little help. Sincerely I do that in every "Evil kids situation" and never the kid go off offensed...maybe happy because you bring attention to him. that's is more about the treat and management of little audience members that you have...
Thanks,
Hansel!
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Jul 18, 2008 12:32PM)
So if he is acting bad and wants attention and you give it to him, you have just rewarded his obnoxious behavior. What do you thnk he's going to do when the show moves on and he is no longer the center of attention? Or the next time he sees you performing and he wants attention?

I live in an area with many people from another culture. As far as I can tell, their children can do no wrong, and they are protected at every turn from anyone attempting to discipline them. Any punishment is met with cries of prejudice and racism. The most severe punishment they dish out is "Darling - no - stop that." Let me physically lay a hand on such a child to separate one of my props from him and I can be jailed or worse!

I personally think there is a time to simply tell the whole audience "I'm sorry, but I can not continue because this person is totally disrupting my performance. I apologize for having to stop my show, but I'm not legally allowed to stop him."

And then you pack up and leave. If the audience cares about your performance, they will stop the misbehaving one and request that you stay and finish. If they don't care that much, then why stay there and perform? I would never have let any of my four kids be that disruptive and disrespectful, nor make any performer suffer through their bad behavior. Why would I want to present myself to people who lack the basic element of respect to abuse me like that?

You have no control over any part of the situation except whether you stay and perform. Leaving is your only weapon - use it if you must. And make sure that if this is a contracted gig that there is a clause in the contract allowing you to decide if performance conditions are too demanding and if so leave with full payment.

Again, I do not perform on the streets. And I no longer do birthday parties here for this same reason. So it may be that I am just hiding from own lack of ability to control an audience. Please factor that into my reply.

Ed
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Jul 18, 2008 01:34PM)
I think the goal of the magician in this situation is generally short term, "How do I get through this show!" and not worry about the future. But the future is important, not with just that kid, but how your audience perceives you. Your audience is full of potential gigs. Personally, I think prevention is much easier and professional than a cure. It has been very successful for me.


Everyone's situation is different, so what one has to deal with can be different from another - even in the same area. Walking out of a show can appear unprofessional, and that would have to be weighed against staying. I would ask parents from that culture what to do to keep control of the kids - maybe you may get some useful information.
Message: Posted by: Hansel (Jul 18, 2008 03:51PM)
[quote]
On 2008-07-18 13:32, Ed_Millis wrote:
So if he is acting bad and wants attention and you give it to him, you have just rewarded his obnoxious behavior. What do you thnk he's going to do when the show moves on and he is no longer the center of attention? Or the next time he sees you performing and he wants attention?

I live in an area with many people from another culture. As far as I can tell, their children can do no wrong, and they are protected at every turn from anyone attempting to discipline them. Any punishment is met with cries of prejudice and racism. The most severe punishment they dish out is "Darling - no - stop that." Let me physically lay a hand on such a child to separate one of my props from him and I can be jailed or worse!

I personally think there is a time to simply tell the whole audience "I'm sorry, but I can not continue because this person is totally disrupting my performance. I apologize for having to stop my show, but I'm not legally allowed to stop him."

And then you pack up and leave. If the audience cares about your performance, they will stop the misbehaving one and request that you stay and finish. If they don't care that much, then why stay there and perform? I would never have let any of my four kids be that disruptive and disrespectful, nor make any performer suffer through their bad behavior. Why would I want to present myself to people who lack the basic element of respect to abuse me like that?

You have no control over any part of the situation except whether you stay and perform. Leaving is your only weapon - use it if you must. And make sure that if this is a contracted gig that there is a clause in the contract allowing you to decide if performance conditions are too demanding and if so leave with full payment.

Again, I do not perform on the streets. And I no longer do birthday parties here for this same reason. So it may be that I am just hiding from own lack of ability to control an audience. Please factor that into my reply.

Ed
[/quote]

Ed:
I see your point, but you mention here people of other cultures...very good! In the culture that I work: Puertorricans, if I said: I cant continue with my show... THE AUDIENCE COMPLETE EAT YOU!! Now only you don't have the problem with the Evil Child, now you have problem with an Evil audience!! And don't have doubt if probably they say to you the VERY BAD AND ERRONEUM but popular phrase of: Treat with that children is YOUR work...
Thanks,
Hansel!
Message: Posted by: T. Sebastian (Jul 18, 2008 05:46PM)
Ed makes a very good point.
And it is where I am torn.
I cannot bring myself to reward horrible behaviour.
This goes against every one of my parenting principles.
But, I can't rightly tell someone else how to be a parent either.
And I certainly cannot discipline their child for them.
Conundrum.
Message: Posted by: Joseph_Then (Jul 19, 2008 09:12AM)
All your trick should always cater to 'evil' kids.

Always think: "What if the kid snatch the trick, screams at you, runs up, etc. at the most critical stage of the trick?"
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 19, 2008 09:38AM)
No. I consider that part of being a professional and part of learning proper crowd control. My routines are all geared for the best entertainment value only.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Joseph_Then (Jul 20, 2008 12:59AM)
I must have phrased it wrongly. :)

I know what you mean Kyle, all routines should be maximised for best entertainment for all. But, always be prepared for naughty kids who may disturb your show so that you do not look stunned or look lost when it really happens.

That's what I mean. :D
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Jul 21, 2008 10:49AM)
There will always be circumstances - children! - beyond our control. If one is to make entertaining children the primary career goal, then one should study all the ways in which to control and direct even the most difficult children.

My oldest son is a teacher, and got thrown into a 5th/6th grade class for an entire school year! He was able to win over almost every child to his side by the end of the year. Those are the kind of kid control secrets I want to learn.

I understand Hansel's point - from the perspective of those who hired you, making this work is your job, so do it!! But ask any repairman, contractor, designer, etc. - there may well come a time when you simply have to tell the customer they have put you in an impossible situation and you cannot complete the assignment.

If I read Sebastion's original question correctly, though, he's talking about an open-forum performance - street or fair - rather than a private party. If you've been hired for a private party, you have a contract (you _do_ have a contract, don't you??!!) that states your limitations and solutions. But an open-forum venue would be quite different. At a fair, you can perhaps have fair staff on hand to help with crowd control. And you would probably have a contract with the fair management that stipulates your working conditions. On the streets, though, you've totally on your own.

I think if these were my choice of venues, I would make every effort to link up with some experienced professionals and simply shadow them for a while. Watch how they handle the crowds and individual people. Ask them all the "what if?" questions you can think of.

Again, all this is from the perspective of one who does not perform on the streets or at massive children't birthday parties for all the reasons that incited this thread. I do have some experience with children and with performing for children. When they are good, it's a wonderful time for all. But when one of them is nasty and evil, it ruins it for everyone.

Hey - maybe they would like to assist you in the Great Duct Tape Escape routine!

Ed
Message: Posted by: vincentmusician (Oct 5, 2021 08:58PM)
Bad kids? Every situation is different. Regardless of what Paul Daniels said, something like, there is no such thing as a bad audience, only a bad performer. He has not done enough house kids Birthday Parties because he was wrong. There are good and bad kids. It could be from parents or other bad kids influencing their behaviour. The solution is not easy. I have walked out on Shows before I even started and told the parents to keep their money because of repeated extreme rudeness from the parents. In 25 years, luckily it has only happened twice.
Only once did I walk out because of kids behaving badly. I have a line that if crossed, I walk. Physical violence is that line. If a kid tries to kick, punch or assault me, which has happened, I walk. You do not have to perform if conditions are not comfortable for you.