(Close Window)
Topic: Age range question
Message: Posted by: yeahidomagic (May 12, 2009 05:02PM)
Hello I usually perform for children 6- , but I have an upcoming show for 8 year olds. I had a few questions on their reactions . Such as do they laugh at silly magic , or the magician messes up? Tricks such as fire book , axtell drawing board , hippy hop rabbits , coloring book suitable? Thank you !
Message: Posted by: muzicman (May 12, 2009 09:51PM)
8 Year olds are a vocal group. They still like story based effects and love visual illusions. The coloring book, Axtell Drawing Board, hippity Hop, they are all good. Just use patter that the age group can identify with. They are not babies and may take offense if they feel they are being treated like one. Even puppets are good for 8-12 year olds if it has the right dialog.

I would just avoid anything that appears dangerous. Knives, razor blades, fire, spike through tongue, impaled are just a few to leave out. 8 y/o are very impressionable. Stick to rings, silks, easy cards, like 6 card repeat!

Make a joke about 4 year olds, you know, the kids that smell like cookies and dirt!
Message: Posted by: themagiciansapprentice (May 12, 2009 10:32PM)
There's not a lot opf difference between 6 and 8 year olds, just remember to keep them involved by the story-line, recurring tricks and use plenty of volunteers
Message: Posted by: MagikDavid (May 13, 2009 12:32AM)
I'm retired now, but I have quite a few kids shows under my belt. So far, you've gotten very good advice for the content of your show. I'd like to contribute that you should give careful consideration to how long your shows are. The following guidelines are my rules (others may have differing opinions.)

Age 4-6.... No more than 20 minutes
Age 6-10... No more than 30 minutes
Age 10+.... 40 to 60 minutes

If you venture over the time limits above, the kids will become fidgety and harder to control. The attention span of very young kids is not very long at all.

Of course, these are my opinions and others may dissagree. I only bring it up because many young magicians fail to consider the importance of time limits on younger crowds... and then wonder why they lose control of their show.

Message: Posted by: themagiciansapprentice (May 13, 2009 03:41AM)
I'd agree with those timings
Message: Posted by: Billy Bo (May 13, 2009 04:47AM)
I totally disagree with those timings, if you cant entertain a bunch of 5 year olds for more than 20 minutes I seewhy you don't doit anymore
Message: Posted by: yeahidomagic (May 13, 2009 05:08AM)
Thank you everyone for your advice . Does anyone think the disappearing banana trick from acme magic is a good opener?
Message: Posted by: Harv (May 13, 2009 07:15AM)
I totally disagree with those timings. You should be able to do a 45 minute show for the above age groups without a problem if you have an entertaining show.

Coloring book and hip hop rabbits for 8 year olds...not a chance.
Message: Posted by: Loual4 (May 13, 2009 07:39AM)
I would agree with the timings only if you are new at kids entertainment, and are very un familiar with kids. I agree with Harv and Billy Bo. 45 to 60 minutes is not difficult, but you do have to have a good show, and most of all, interact with the kids! You will keep their attention if you get them involved.

My 2 cents...

Louis Jutras
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (May 13, 2009 11:30AM)
No matter how well you dress up the Colouring Book, unless it vanishes in a puff of smoke a few seconds into your routine, or turns into a jar of candy, you'll lose 8-year-olds very quickly with this effect. Most kids of 8 have seen the CB done to death, don't bore them!
8-year olds love card tricks, danger tricks (I use an arm chopper, but there are less "dangerous" routines such as "Knitty Knitty Bang Bang" from Practical Magic.)
A TT vanish still works well, Vanishing Bandanna, puppet outines (not too childish, you may want to look at Bill ABbott's "Chico" routine)...and make sure you have LOTS of audience participation.
Learn some jokes that appealto this age, and don't use anyting like Hip-Hop Rabbits -again, they're likely to have seen these sort of effects many times. if the group is small, I include some close-up magic, this works very well for older kids.
Message: Posted by: Loual4 (May 13, 2009 12:25PM)
Solid advice from Potty!

Louis Jutras
Message: Posted by: yeahidomagic (May 13, 2009 02:23PM)
Thank you everyone for your advice. I already have a 45 min show planned , My normal shows range between 30-45 mins. Im not new to kid shows , I just seldom have the chance to work with 8 year olds.
Message: Posted by: themagiciansapprentice (May 13, 2009 10:43PM)
If you do vanishing bananas make sure you have the children responding how you want them to. If you want them shouting out then set boundaries and make it clear that soon you will be picking volunteers from those sitting sensibly.

Between 6 and 8 is not a lot of difference. You don't do nursery rhymes but can do more slapstick routines. If you dress up colouring book like that (like David Ginn) you get a very funny routine for all ages.

Timings will always set off some people. You have to flexible. The younger kids want to be entertained but have shorter concentration spans. I do have different show lengths for the different age ranges and it works for me and is a bonus for parents as I explain I won't do a 45-minute birthday show for a one year old or two year old. I'll do 20-5 minutes for their older relatives.
Message: Posted by: BScott8870 (May 13, 2009 10:49PM)
Square Circle works well with 8 year olds. Vanishing Bottle Routine. Also a Die Box Routine works great with this range.

Axtell Drawing Board will be a big hit. Change Bag Routine (if it is funny).

Good Luck
Message: Posted by: MagikDavid (May 13, 2009 10:59PM)
To remind those who read my post... I prefaced my comments about show timings with "...following guidelines are my rules (others may have differing opinions.)"

I knew that many of you would dissagree with 'my rules', and I certainly respect your opinions. The rules that I used for my shows, was NOT arrived at due to my inability to entertain 5 year olds for more than 20 minutes (as Billy Bo implied.) My reason for that limitation was actually twofold: #1 After 20 minutes, 5 year olds WILL become fidgety and harder to control (no matter how entertaining your show is.) You certainly can continue your 'entertaining' show longer than 20 minutes... after all, they are a 'captive' audience (this doesn't mean they aren't fidgety.) #2 My second reason (and the most important reason for the limitation) was based on the phylosophy of mine that... you should always leave your audience with them wanting to see more. I always wanted to end my shows with them wishing the show wasn't ending. To me, this keeps the interest in magic alive in their young minds. This is how I felt as a kid whenever I saw a magician... I never wanted the show to end when it did. This is at the heart of the reason I still love magic today.

I never intended for my comments to be taken as the right way or wrong way... these were just my opinions... the rules I used for myself. I appreciate differing opinions on this subject, and most others have posted their disagreements in a respectful manner. I don't appreciate the opinion that "...I don't do it anymore because I can't entertain 5 year olds more than 20 minutes." I don't do it anymore because I've retired... nothing more.