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Topic: A Smurf-tacular Magic Show
Message: Posted by: albertson (Jan 23, 2014 12:38PM)
So . . . . I have been asked to perform a birthday party show for 14 six to eight year olds girls. The bday child loves Smurfs; so that is the theme.
Now here's a question for all your creative minds: besides the obvious, of making a Smurfette disappear and re-appear elsewhere, Any ideas of a " A Smurf-tacular" magic routine? Thanks for any ideas. Best Regards, Paul.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jan 23, 2014 12:41PM)
I don't do Blue Material :)
Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Jan 23, 2014 01:27PM)
Are you charging triple to put together a custom show? I never give into requests for custom themed shows for birthday parties. If they want smurfs, they can hire a costume character. If they want a safari show, they can hire a petting zoo. If they want a princess show, hire a princess.

I know I have a quality show that entertains. If they don't feel that is good, they don't have to hire.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jan 23, 2014 02:03PM)
You could create a few of your own props, based on classic principles.

For example, you could do a Jumbo 3 Card Monte, with drawings of Gargamel, Azrael, and Papa Smurf. Papa Smurf could be the card in the middle. Talk about how Gargamel and Azrael tried to catch Papa Smurf. In the normal handling of the Jumbo 3 Card Monte, you turn the 3 cards around and pull out the middle one. At the end of the trick, you could turn the card around to show that the drawing of Papa Smurf has changed to be a drawing of three apples stacked (Smurfs are three apples high). Yet again, the Smurfs have evaded capture by Gargamel.

Another example is to change a child into a smurf, ala a customized rabbit wand prop (smurf drawing instead of a rabbit drawing, on the jumbo roll-out wand).

If something goes wrong in your show (wand breaks, clatter box breaks, etc.), you can blame it on Jokey Smurf. :)

Keep in mind that these are licensed characters (copyrights, etc.), so you have to be careful what you do with the props and your marketing. For example, I would never create a Harry Potter themed show, but some magicians have. On the other hand, some play it safe by referring to a Wizard School in a more generic sense.

- Donald

P.S. Magician Tony Daniels has out a DVD on the topic of [url=http://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/customizing-your-show-daniels-dvd/]"Customizing Your Show".[/url] You might want to invest in that, to get your creative juices flowing about ways to customize your show for certain customers.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Jan 23, 2014 02:34PM)
Color changing silk and leave it at that.

Except of course speaking Smurf.

From Wiki:
"The Smurf language is basically a variation of a human language where the word "Smurf" is substituted for whatever noun, verb, adjective, or adverb is being used. It is a rather intuitive form of communication, since only Smurfs seem to know without any sense of confusion what one Smurf is really saying to another Smurf in Smurf. It mostly depends on what context the word "smurf" is being used in since it can hold any number of meanings, including sometimes profanity, as accidentally and then later deliberately invoked by Patrick Winslow in the 2011 Smurfs movie."

Keep the usage very clear and INFREQUENT and look out for double entendres because the parents could get really smurfed off.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: gman (Jan 23, 2014 02:48PM)
Mary that is a smurfarific idea!!!! :D
Message: Posted by: arthur stead (Jan 23, 2014 02:56PM)
Not that anyone would care ... but the Smurfs franchise does have a little TM (trade mark) next to it. Which means they do take copyright issues seriously.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Jan 23, 2014 04:10PM)
As long as he is not using a costume or printed materials that are trademarked there should not be a problem but good point Arthur.

People do care (or should).

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Mike Brezler (Jan 27, 2014 09:17PM)
My only question is ... If you choke a Smurf what color do they turn?
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Jan 28, 2014 12:13AM)
You sick ***tard.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: stuartmagic (Jan 28, 2014 02:11AM)
I agree with a couple of replies on here. Once you start going down a theme show then you will end up with a lot of stuff that you will never use again, just like we all have currently.

If someone asks me to do a themed show then I try to gently lead them away from that as Matthew has said "I know I have a quality show that entertains. If they don't feel that is good, they don't have to hire."

I do bend the rules a little and this is where I consider other options before I purchase anything. For example I use a magic painting routine that also has a Santa image for Christmas time, it has a pirate image for a Pirate Birthday, and there is a Princess picture for a Princess Birthday Party, and a general picture for other times so this can easily be adapted with little fuss.

For a Pirate Birthday party I have used a toy sword instead of a magic wand for certain tricks.

It is easier with some tricks as they have different versions especially for Christmas time with items like who's who at the zoo and Rudolph the Reindeer trick.

Personally I just alter the patter slightly if they want a theme and leave it at that. As an example I use run rabbit run in the standard way and if asked to do a pirate theme party as I have been asked in the past then I tell the story about how the pirate ship was over run with rabbits and there was one last one that I couldn't find and the doors are the cabin doors on the pirate ship. Kids love it and no-one will question it, you could even say that there was a magician on board and the rabbit escaped and you can't find him anywhere. Similar things can be done for Smurfs. I am sure you get the idea.

Message: Posted by: Joseph_Then (Jan 28, 2014 06:21AM)
On 2014-01-27 22:17, Mike Brezler wrote:
My only question is ... If you choke a Smurf what color do they turn?
Pale blue. :)
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Jan 28, 2014 06:36AM)
There is an element of storytelling about most of what I do, so when I need to theme a show it is quite easy. I do it through the patter around the effects. There is no need to change any of the effects. I just adopt the story to make it fit in with the life of a smurf, a pirate, a zombie, a princess, or whatever the theme of the party might be.

I was asked to theme a show around the Wizard of Oz recently. I completely forgot that request until I pulled up at the house, and saw the yellow brick road leading to the door. But as all the themeing is in the patter, it was an easy job to breeze in and do a Wizard of Oz party. The parents were delighted afterwards. If only they knew...

Think about your patter rather than investing in new tricks, tricks you won't have road-tested.
Message: Posted by: harris (Jan 28, 2014 08:05AM)
With very little thought, money and a trip to party city, one can customize a few tricks.

I agree, one should only do what is going to be your A + stuff.

If you do say torn and restored napkin, it doesn't matter what motif is on the napkin.

I am a firm believer in use of adaptation & principles rather than buying new stuff.

If you can do say cups and balls, you might want to do a routine with smurf cups.
Can't think what the final load will be. Perhaps a fur ball from Azrael.

Parody song writing as well as vent routines come in handy.

These abilities help me in young kids as well as older ones. A few years back did a show for a 40+ b/day. The theme was KS State and Abba.

Message: Posted by: MagisterFreud (Jan 28, 2014 10:09AM)
Lots of great ideas in this thread! The torn and restored napkin (or poster, etc) is a good one. Make up a story about Gargamel ripping up Painter Smurf's portrait of whoever you have a picture of, and Papa Smurf using his magic to fix it. You could also get a Smurf coloring book and make it a magic coloring book. You could use a smurf figurine as a final load for cups and balls, and give it to the birthday child.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jan 28, 2014 02:32PM)
On 2014-01-23 15:03, Donald Dunphy wrote:

P.S. Magician Tony Daniels has out a DVD on the topic of [url=http://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/customizing-your-show-daniels-dvd/]"Customizing Your Show".[/url] You might want to invest in that, to get your creative juices flowing about ways to customize your show for certain customers.


P.S.S. You could also pick up a copy of my book "Sometimes the Jokes ar Just for Me" http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/master-payne/sometimes-the-jokes-are-just-for-me/paperback/product-5459010.html as it has information on how to create theme4d routines using standard props.
Message: Posted by: cwbny (Jan 28, 2014 04:16PM)
Buy five birthday cards. Each one has a silly animal picture or popular cartoon picture. One of the five is a smurf card (or whatever you want to customize your show for). Try to get a different color envelope for each card. Sign the Smurf (customized card) for the birthday child. Invite the birthday child up along with four friends (birthday child on your left and the other four on your right) to play a game of "Taylor's Birthday Party's Got Talent."

Mix up the cards and slowly eliminate them one at a time with the help of the birthday child using the PATEO system. Whichever card is left (the Smurf card - you know because of the color of the envelope) belongs to the birthday child.

Have the other four kids open their cards one at a time and provide their best imitation of what's on the card. I try to use cards that allow me to take each performance further. Like a picture of a monkey in a ballerina costume. The child usually acts like a monkey. Then I point out that it's a dancing monkey, so the child had to act like a monkey while dancing. The kids' performances are often a show highlight (especially for the parents).

After each child performs, they're sent back with a round of applause.

Finally, it's just the magician and the birthday child alone with the last card. They open they're card to find the Smurfs (or whatever specialized card for the child), and it's the only card signed by the magician with the child's name.

I used this routine for a long time to customize every show I performed. I'd ask the parent what cartoon or movie the child likes at the time, find a suitable card, and insert it into the stack of cards.

- Christopher
Message: Posted by: MickNZ (Jan 29, 2014 12:28AM)
Sponge ball routine with blue sponge balls. Call them Smurfs. Other than that, just do your A material.
Message: Posted by: harris (Jan 29, 2014 12:14PM)
Tony .and others....having a story telling,theatre, and improvisation work background sure does make things easier.

Some magicians say stick with what you always do.

As an actor, I know there are many scripts out there.
Some I have written, most written by others.
Message: Posted by: albertson (Jan 30, 2014 12:54AM)
WOW ! Thank you guys & gals for sharing so many Creative Ideas !!!
I would like to respond two posts; 1) Yes I am being paid for "customizing" my show.
I perform a great quality show that really entertains, and include one Themed routine. It "incorporates" something the Birthday child Loves,usually an animal or some kind toy/character. As many of you have suggested no new props are required, just "themed" patter.
2) I totally agree with Arthur Stead, we need to respect Trade Marks and copyrights. I'm sure I've broken many in the past, mostly out of ignorance, but now days I seek out Royalty free music; in fact I'm a costumer of Mr Stead. We are very fortune to have his talent and accessibility here in the Café.
Now respect in mind, I would like Thank all of you for sharing so many great ideas, and would permission from "cwbny" to use his birthday card routine.
I'm also considering using Ken Scott's great idea of Personalizing the show by using a picture of the birthday child, easily emailed may the parent. This idea comes from one Ken Scott's great book, sorry can't remember the name book, or lecture notes I bought.
If you have Any More Ideas please continue to share. Best Regards, Paul