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Topic: Show Line-ups
Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (May 15, 2009 06:09PM)
How long are your kids' shows? And what does your show consist of? I'm trying to get an idea for what a "typical" show looks like. I'm trying to get together a 20-30 minute show and below is my line-up. All suggestions welcomed.

I'm going to start with a small opener to music...rope to silk routine - appearing flower from silk - and finally gloves to streamer. The rest of the show will be as follows (not sure of the order yet)

Ever-Filling glass (reoccurring throughout the show)
Magic coloring book/vanishing crayons
Silk through mirror
Borrowed and signed $20 (parent's money, obviously) to fake (Canadian Tire) money switch - $20 to impossible location
PENetration or just passin' through (pencil through bill) with borrowed bill
Jumbo Brainwave Deck (if older kids, or parents help)
Vanishing and appearing Coke bottles (Both full and empty)
Vanishing Bandana
Finger Guillotine

Too much material for 20-30 minutes? Now that I see it written down, it looks like a lot! But how do you think it could play?
Message: Posted by: RJE (May 15, 2009 06:17PM)
For family or kids shows, I personally would not do the Finger Guillotine.

You may want to consider adding a sucker trick. There are quite a few good ones out there like Peanut Butter and Jam, Die Box, Fraidy Cat Rabbit etc....
Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (May 15, 2009 06:26PM)
Actually, now that you mention it, I have a domino in matchbox routine which could serve as a sucker trick.
Message: Posted by: spatrick (May 15, 2009 11:48PM)
Way too many effects for a 30 minute show! I do 9-10 effects for a 45 minute show.

I would take the finger guillotine out as well. I would also take out the Brainwave as kids and cards don't mix well and that's a routine they have to think about.

The coloring book is good only if you have a very unique presentation. They may have seen that before but if you put a new twist on it they will follow you.

I'd drop the money bit. Its great when it works but if you plan on doing this type of show allot you will find that none of the kids will have money in their pockets and it disrupts the flow of the show when you have a kid run out of the room to get a bill from his dad.

Do penetration, or Misled (my fav) with your own bill but let the kids inspect the bill (and pencil if you are doing Misled).

The other routines are great. The only advice I can give on kids shows is to tell jokes and do some physical humor before you get to the climax of the trick. Remember, with kids, it's not the destination - it's the ride!

S. Patrick
Message: Posted by: themagiciansapprentice (May 15, 2009 11:50PM)
It depends on your patter and how many volunteers come out to help you. At the moment most magicians could stretch those routines to an hour or more. One problem we all seem to have is that we rush our tricks as we become proficient at them. I videoed my new routines last week-end, watched them back yesterday and now have to consciously slow every-thing down for adults, let alone children.

For a reasonably paced show with humour thrown in try to have an introduction (rules, clapping etc) starter, closer and maybe four tricks for thirty minutes. One sucker trick is enough. Look at books by David Ginn about this topic.

e.g. for the colouring book use four volunteers on stage, three have funny wands (or other magical gimmicks, I some-times improvise with dog's toy carrots, bones etc) and one holding the book inside a clear bag. Then get every-one using their magic fingers to draw black outline pictures for the book, then later colouring then in. With a few "oh no the tricks not working you weren't loud enough"s thrown in this can easily be a fun 10 minutes routine)

Hope that is useful and gets you thinking.
Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (May 16, 2009 07:44AM)
Thank you everyone for the input! Very much needed for a newbie like me! I've been into magic for 23 years, but have never done an actual children's show. Always strolling. So, this is all very good advice!
Message: Posted by: Kevinr (May 16, 2009 09:57AM)
Personelly I do a 30 minute show using 7 effects.. Several are from Wolf Magic..

Message: Posted by: Matthew W (May 16, 2009 11:55AM)
I think some of your effects are too small and not appropriate for children.

The PENetration, impossible location and finger guillotine are not appropriate for kids, IMHO. Kids don't care that much about money for the pen thru bill to be entertaining and the impossible location is kind of a long trick. I avoid all dangerous effects for young audiences.

Here is what I do for a 30 minute childrens show (non-birthday):

Coloring Book
Paper Tear with mouth coil
Blooming Blossom (kids see the flower but you don't)
Silly Billy's White to Bread Trick
Hippity Hop Rabbits
Drawing Board
Diminishing cards
Message: Posted by: Rick Fisher (May 17, 2009 07:10AM)
I have been peforming basically the same kid show for 30 years - changing it up - but always keep a few classics in the line-up. Once you find a routine that works you can continue performing and tweaking which will allow you to adapt to all audiences. I always end up with a 10 minute vent routine....adding some variety to your act will also get you more bookings ie. juggling, vent. In this way you show your versatility and are "different" from most magicians.

My line -up?

Thumb Tip
2" Sponge Ball Routine
Paper Hat Tear (w/breakaway wand and Bergeron Multiplying Wands-great photo op)
Linking Rings
Fraidy Cat Rabbit
Vent Routine

Remember the old adage - less is more............Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Decibel33 (May 17, 2009 09:12AM)
Thanks again everyone! Some great advice and ideas! I'm sure I'll have a better handle on things the more shows I do. But these posts are gems! So, thanks for all your help!
Message: Posted by: jackturk (May 18, 2009 12:27AM)
Heck, since we're sharing, this is the lineup from
my current act:

-- blooming bouquet warm up
-- juggling routine
-- sponge ball routine
-- includes ball to jumbo cube
-- Peanut Butter and Jelly
-- cut the kid in half with tapes (rope and tape)
-- professor's nightmare
-- invisible card trick using spring skunk
-- Dave Risley's rabbit in hat
-- twentieth century silk bit with change bag, wands, etc.

It's pretty high energy throughout and runs about
35 to 40 minutes. Very focused on funny funny funny
the entire act, with the only semi-serious bit
being the Prof Nightmare.