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Topic: What's your #1 best trick
Message: Posted by: Mr. Tyler (Oct 7, 2014 09:54PM)
So I am wanting to upgrade my show for children and I was wanting some advice. What is your #1 trick in your magic repertoire that children seem to enjoy the most. I have a few highlights like a Magic Die Box, Vanishing Bandana (Banana) but my #1 is probably a balloon swallow.
Message: Posted by: frankvomit (Oct 8, 2014 08:48AM)
Pin thru balloon, sponge bunnies, anything with rope, story telling cards , colour changing children's books. There's tons of others but that's what ingot from the top of my head, as far as ropes goes a good cut and resorted routine where you can make the knot move around probably works best for me when I'm entertaining Childeren so that would be my number 1. Hope this was helpful.

Frank
Message: Posted by: RedHatMagic (Oct 8, 2014 11:57AM)
Out of curiosity what provisos do you put forward to ensure that kids don't try to swallow balloons?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 8, 2014 12:41PM)
Right! Red Hat! Even a tiny scrap of a bslloon can cause suffocstion in s child!!!!!!!!!!!

Children DO try eo emulate! I hope you have LOTS OF LIABILITY INSURANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. EVERY TRICK I DO IS MY NUMBER ONE TRICK. IF IT WERE NOT, IT WOULD NOT BE IN THE REPERTOIRE!
Message: Posted by: Mr. Tyler (Oct 8, 2014 12:48PM)
I always state how I have practiced this method for years and that it is dangerous and that children should never try this at home and it has never been a problem. I have performed it for children for the last 11 years and it has always been received very well from children and parents.
Message: Posted by: RogerTheShrubber (Oct 8, 2014 02:02PM)
I only do coin and card magic myself. The ones that get the best reactions out of kids are the simplest tricks with hard-hitting visual impact: "Quick as a Wink" from the first Karl Fulves book on self-working card tricks, and "Automatic Pencil Writing" from Scarne on Card Tricks. I use a much different card force for "Automatic Pencil Writing" than the Scarne book recommends (I absolutely hate the one in the book), but it probably doesn't matter much - the visual impact hits hard.

I've found that you really do have to keep tricks simple with kids - no unnecessary deals because they lose interest quickly (the primary child spectator might not, but the kids around him / her sure do), and should you like spelling tricks (I can't stand them) you really need to keep it simple with kids. I once saw someone try that "The Magic of Manhatttan" trick with kids and it was a colossal failure.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 8, 2014 06:38PM)
[quote]On Oct 8, 2014, Mr. Tyler wrote:
I always state how I have practiced this method for years and that it is dangerous and that children should never try this at home and it has never been a problem. I have performed it for children for the last 11 years and it has always been received very well from children and parents. [/quote]

I've already made as statement in the other "Getting Gigs" post. I doubt whether your "warning" about trying the balloon stunt at home, would "hold up" in court. That may be OK in an adult comedy club, but if I were a parent, and you started that in front my my kids, I would stop you right there. --and I would be sure to tell my friends about you.

We have a "motto" on the wall of the Showmen's League of America club rooms in Chicago. It states simply: "YOU CANNOT SMARTEN UP A CHUMP."
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 8, 2014 06:53PM)
I have already ommented post.

Even the balloon manufactures warn about little kids and balloons. It's on the plastic bag!

There is a "thing" called INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE, One child suffocating because he tried to copy the magician, just might cure you of that.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 8, 2014 06:55PM)
The first line above should state "I've already commented on your other post
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Oct 8, 2014 08:51PM)
My wife almost spit out her tea when I said someone stated that their number one trick for kids was balloon swallowing. Wouldn't happen at any kids party she was at.

Hudson
Message: Posted by: RedHatMagic (Oct 9, 2014 02:01AM)
[quote]On Oct 8, 2014, RogerTheShrubber wrote:
I only do coin and card magic myself. The ones that get the best reactions out of kids are the simplest tricks with hard-hitting visual impact: "Quick as a Wink" from the first Karl Fulves book on self-working card tricks, and "Automatic Pencil Writing" from Scarne on Card Tricks. I use a much different card force for "Automatic Pencil Writing" than the Scarne book recommends (I absolutely hate the one in the book), but it probably doesn't matter much - the visual impact hits hard.

I've found that you really do have to keep tricks simple with kids - no unnecessary deals because they lose interest quickly (the primary child spectator might not, but the kids around him / her sure do), and should you like spelling tricks (I can't stand them) you really need to keep it simple with kids. I once saw someone try that "The Magic of Manhatttan" trick with kids and it was a colossal failure. [/quote]

Hi Roger,

Never really thought of doing kids shows (though that's where the work is) - kiddie props are not my thing so your comment about using cards and coins really caught my eye. What age groups are the kids and how big groups do you entertain?

Thank you for your help,

Danny
Message: Posted by: RedHatMagic (Oct 9, 2014 04:29AM)
Hello Mr Tyler,

I am concerned that you may feel lambasted, put upon and vilified without your question being answered.

Should you feel that the concerns being raised about balloons are valid you may wish to consider "the Milk Jug" trick as an alternative. Though not a children's performer myself a friend does this trick regularly to great acclaim (the kids demand to see it in bookings) and it is scripted such that the kids do not take Dad's newspaper and pour a jug of milk down it.

Should on the other hand you feel that after 11 years of no kids dying you have nothing to worry about then I invite you to consider the turkey and the turkey farmer. The turkey says "this place is great, I have fresh bedding and the farmer comes and feeds me every day". Should disaster hit even once in 100 years you might want to consider how you would feel.

Hoping it never happens and wishing you well,

Danny
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 9, 2014 07:36AM)
Hi Danny!
Perhaps I reacted a bit strongly, but Mr. T. waved a 'red flag' and, I felt that I should speak up. We magicians don't need a story about a child dying after trying a trick seen at a party.

Then Mr. T "defended" his point! I inferred from that defense, that he had no intention of cutting the balloon bit from his program.

IMO, your turkey story made the point very well.

Looking back "up this thread", Frankvomit offered some positive suggestions. You,Danny raised a very valid point,I emphasized your point. Then, Mr. T. DEFENDED his point. Roger added some practical and useful observations about "what works". I came back and
re-emphasized the danger. 55Hudson very colorfully re-emphasized the danger. Danny asked Roger for some info. to clarify his points. Finally, Danny raised the point that "we" had only negative things to say, and made a good positive suggestion, and, again, re-emphasized (with the turkey story!) the danger.

I'll be "right back"...don't go away!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 9, 2014 07:55AM)
I'm back!

On Oct. 8 at 2:35 PM, in the "Getting Gigs thread, started by Mr. T, I wrote a fairly long comment. SEE THE LAST PARAGRAPH of my post.

I felt that Mr. T. was asking me/us to build his act for him. If he had asked for an opinion on a specific trick, I would have been happy to express my thoughts. But, he asked me to suggest specific tricks.

I have often helped beginners build an act, BUT, I charge a fee for this service, and I am well paid for my espertise. "THERE AINT NO SUCH THING AS FREE LUNCH!"

I have mentored a number of young fellows, who are now full time successful professionals.

When I was a talent consultant for school assembly booking offices, I was often asked to "play doctor". I was paid for this work.

SHOW BUSINESS, as I've often stated, is spelled: $how bu$ine$$.
Message: Posted by: Aus (Oct 9, 2014 09:08AM)
Mr. Tyler you probably have enough magic already and don't realize it, tell us what is in your act currently and what age bracket your aiming for.

Magically

Aus
Message: Posted by: silvercup (Oct 9, 2014 10:09AM)
Broken & restored toothpick/match
Message: Posted by: frankie5aces (Oct 9, 2014 10:50AM)
Something in me says that doing a balloon swallow might not be best to show kids. Check out Silly Billy's lecture on penguin. You can pick up some great concepts there
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 9, 2014 12:22PM)
Frankie5!!!

Apparently you resd down this thread! If our comments on balloon swallowing csused "something" in you to say NO, perhaps our comments helped.

Re: "some great concepts": Did you see David Kaye ( aka Silly Billy) in that video last week. shoving that little girl all over the stage,at a national convention, trying to get her to kiss that little boy? YUK! It was some sort of routine in which the "princess" must kiss the frog to change it into the "handsome prince". The girl was obviously not willing. Silly Billy shoved her all over.

I don't think putting a diaper on a boy's head is "high comedy". Creating sounds of flatulence, because it makes kids laugh
doesn't quite make you a comedian or a magician.

I understand that his income is in the six figures, but, that's "chump change" in NYC!

Sorry but, IMHO, OUR OPINIONS on what constitutes "great concepts", don't coincide.

P.S. A friend from the UK send me a video of Silly Billy shoving the lttle girl at a national convention.
Message: Posted by: frankvomit (Oct 9, 2014 02:05PM)
Never done the balloon swallow for anyone under 12 I believe, don't think I would, I think balloon animals would probably
go over better for smaller kids cause it's something they're going to Cary around and play with for the rest of the party.
Message: Posted by: Robbie_Sales (Oct 9, 2014 03:20PM)
Mr Fantastic Plastic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCBOzBavD_c
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 9, 2014 05:19PM)
[quote]On Oct 9, 2014, Robbie_Sales wrote:
Mr Fantastic Plastic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCBOzBavD_c [/quote]

This is a kid TOY!
Message: Posted by: Robbie_Sales (Oct 9, 2014 05:29PM)
So its a good kid trick that people are fascinated by
Message: Posted by: RedHatMagic (Oct 10, 2014 02:23AM)
The issue of toys is an interesting one. I know a full time working magician who bought a toy from a magic store since this would take him over the threshold for free delivery. I do not recall the details but the gist was this.

The toy is present in kid's magic sets, but he came up with a non standard routine that he uses in his professional set for adults - it works and because the presentation is different to the standard presentation even people who know the gimmick do not recognise the trick (a guy went "I know that one...hang on no I don't I thought it was something else").

A coin is not even a toy - but look at the magic that can be achieved with it. Similarly an excellent trick, professional level gimmick can be made unmagical in the hands of the wrong performer. Personally I rather liked the link.
Message: Posted by: RobDougherty (Oct 10, 2014 02:35AM)
I actually find that simple coin vanishes and productions blow children's minds more than anything else I've ever shown/performed for them. I primarily got into magic to entertain the growing number of children in my family and as such children have been my main audience so far. I think it all depends on the age but for younger children there's certainly an attention-span issue that can get in the way of longer routines, there's also the comprehension of the effect itself to think about. I've literally been asked to repeat a coin vanish for over an hour (I varied the method of the vanish mostly to escape sheer boredom of repetition) and I think the kids would sit and watch me perform a retention vanish over and over again all day. My advice would be to use shiny or colourful props to catch their attention and then keep your effects snappy with little need to over-explain things. Simple vanishes, productions, transformations etc will all go down very well if you perform them well enough, just don't bore them with unnecessary waffling or extensive/confusing routines.
Message: Posted by: Aus (Oct 10, 2014 06:22AM)
Mr Tyler I have a feeling you’re asking the wrong question because just about anything can be a good trick for children depending on how you present it, and if it’s a number 1 trick for one person isn’t necessarily going to make it a number 1 trick for you. You don’t need to spend a fortune on kid’s effects unless flashy props to fill your stage is a major concern of yours. In my experience, appearance over substance isn’t something held that highly in the area of props with children, bits of business, fun and good magic is.

I picked up a hardcopy “Magic for Monsters by Arnold Furst” at a magic flee market at a convention once and he didn’t use anything exotic at all. Things he used was Cut and restored rope, card duck, coin tray with a bunch of coins, T&R ticket etc. If you’re interested you can pick up an ebook copy at “The Conjuring Arts Research Centre” for $4.99 which in my opinion is a bargain: http://shop.conjuringarts.org/store/pc/Magic-for-Monsters-by-Arnold-Furst-PDF-52p282.htm#.VDe4XGeSy8A

Another magician you might like to look into is Mark Leveridge who is a British magician who packs his show in a 2liter ice-cream container, and he is a paid professional. You can find his book called “The Complete Magic Party” at library.com: http://www.lybrary.com/the-complete-magic-party-p-738.html

Now the reason I asked what other tricks you know (and I’m not just talking about kid focused ones here) is that just about anything can be recalibrated as a piece of children’s entertainment with a little thought. If you track down my “Presentation (A How-To Guide)” you will find a cards across regeared for children which I uses to illustrate a point in my guide.

Get yourself a magic wand and a ball and vase and you have a warm up routine that will have the kids screaming in no time.

Just think about it.

Magically

Aus
Message: Posted by: yair61 (Oct 10, 2014 06:49AM)
In close up it's stand-up monte by garrett thomas.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 10, 2014 07:19AM)
[quote]On Oct 9, 2014, Robbie_Sales wrote:
So its a good kid trick that people are fascinated by [/quote]

I repeat! >>>It's a kid TOY.<<<

If you think "...it'a a good kid trick that people are fascinated by" [You are displaying your lack of grammar again--no period at end of sentence (?)] I suggest you make up one, and feature it in your "upcoming (?) high school show! Maybe you're a strong enough showman to fascinate the teenagers with it.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 10, 2014 07:32AM)
Well said Aus!

I knew Arnold. I have used one of his tricks for 40 years. (Arnold developed a fresh presenttion for the T&R LAUNDRY TICKET. He "invented" FRESH FISH SOLD HERE TODAY. I've used it thousands of times. I've had the papers printed ten thousand at a time.

Arnold and I shared the same philosophy: KEEP IT SIMPLE MAKE IT FUN.

PRESENTATION PRESENTATION PRESENTATIN PRESENTATION PRESENTATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wish you could see Jim Jayes perform for kids.
Message: Posted by: frankie5aces (Oct 10, 2014 11:40AM)
Dick O.
You're right I totally did scroll down too quick. Looks like I'm not alone in that perception.

I didn't see silly Billy's video.. And. Yikes. Sounds pretty shady. But the man's got some gems of wisdom for kid magic. Lots of tidbits in magic mag as well. So.I take what works and leave the rest. Ya know?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Oct 10, 2014 12:36PM)
Hi Frankie 5!

Yes!l I think that Mr.T got more than he expected from the guys who work! I sincerely hope he "listened" to the comments, and cuts that bit, before we have another tragedy. What bugged me as much as the balloon thing, was that he wanted me/us to help him develop an act that he could "do" and make money from. (OOPS, I just did a Charlie Miller! I used a preposition to end a sentence WITH!)

A few years ago, I charged a young fellow $500. for an afternoon's consultation. His "act" needed "work" (both bookings, and production). He was very happy to write a check at the end of the afternoon. I wont name him. (Business confidence) Over the years, I've helped others, too.

Re: Billy. No one is totally useless--He can always be used as a horrible example! An old farmer once said, "Even a blind pig will find an acorn occasionally."

You are wise to "sift carefully" and select "what works"!
Message: Posted by: RobDougherty (Oct 10, 2014 01:14PM)
Dick, can I just say it's great to know that guys like yourself with so much experience even offer a mentoring service. Should magic ever become something I turn into a source of income (I'm acually a professional musician and artist - magic was supposed to be a "casual hobby" but wow if it isn't the most addicting thing I've ever done) I would happily pay for a consultation/advice/mentoring and it's great to know that's an option available to the aspiring magician. I wish there were more artists in performing arts who offered the same, I could've saved myself years of experimentation in both performance and playing if I'd had an "experienced eye/ear" to help me out along the way. Keep up the good work :)
Message: Posted by: Mr. Tyler (Oct 11, 2014 12:12AM)
[quote]On Oct 9, 2014, Aus wrote:
Mr. Tyler you probably have enough magic already and don't realize it, tell us what is in your act currently and what age bracket your aiming for.
[/quote]
Hello Aus I do have enough magic and my age range for shows varies from children ages 5 to teenagers as do my tricks. I'm quite proud of what I have in my act but I was just wanting to hear some opinions on what other magicians enjoy performing the most. The bulk of my shows are for children 5 to 12 but I have done shows for 15 to 16 year olds and I find that a lot of my tricks are equally effective with the older crowd but it is always nice to try something new or bring something back.
Message: Posted by: Aus (Oct 11, 2014 02:07AM)
Tricks I use are Milk from Elbow with comedy funnel, Milk Shake Monte, Cards Across, cut and restored rope and Misers Dream, that should give you some ideas.

Magically

Aus
Message: Posted by: Prometheus (Oct 12, 2014 01:36PM)
Hello mates,

The ultimate classic trick of all: a simple coin vanish. Or animate objects.

Cheers

Prometheus
Message: Posted by: Holistic Magic (Oct 14, 2014 03:27AM)
I like the 3d sponge rabbits from Gosh. Everyone loves when magic happens in their hands.
Message: Posted by: Thorn (Oct 21, 2014 04:15PM)
I have never perform for kids before . When that opportunity arise for me in the future , I would like to perform a cartoon deck, rope routine , or a very colorful and visual effect. ex) small coin to big coin , red silk to blue silk etc.
Message: Posted by: heybobby08 (Oct 22, 2014 08:13AM)
I have never performed for children either, but I think Silk to Egg might be a good one for them
Message: Posted by: RogerTheShrubber (Oct 26, 2014 02:16AM)
[quote]On Oct 9, 2014, RedHatMagic wrote:
[quote]On Oct 8, 2014, RogerTheShrubber wrote:
I only do coin and card magic myself. The ones that get the best reactions out of kids are the simplest tricks with hard-hitting visual impact: "Quick as a Wink" from the first Karl Fulves book on self-working card tricks, and "Automatic Pencil Writing" from Scarne on Card Tricks. I use a much different card force for "Automatic Pencil Writing" than the Scarne book recommends (I absolutely hate the one in the book), but it probably doesn't matter much - the visual impact hits hard.

I've found that you really do have to keep tricks simple with kids - no unnecessary deals because they lose interest quickly (the primary child spectator might not, but the kids around him / her sure do), and should you like spelling tricks (I can't stand them) you really need to keep it simple with kids. I once saw someone try that "The Magic of Manhatttan" trick with kids and it was a colossal failure. [/quote]

Hi Roger,

Never really thought of doing kids shows (though that's where the work is) - kiddie props are not my thing so your comment about using cards and coins really caught my eye. What age groups are the kids and how big groups do you entertain?

Thank you for your help,

Danny [/quote]

Danny,

First of all, I apologize for the late reply. School just started and I haven't had time to spend online. I'd certainly have answered you earlier if I had been online.

Age groups in my case cover the ages of my kids: 7-13, which means my "target audience" generally winds up being anywhere from 6-14, but usually the ages are more focused (for example, four kids 11-12 one time, three nine year-olds the next time, three or four kids in the 12-14 age group another time, etc - it depends on which of my kids has friends over at the time). Usually 2-3 at a time, but often six or seven. I don't feel comfortable with anything above eight because a.) I'm still far from being a master of slight of hand, and b.) the tricks I pick are the ones I believe hit hard visually and I want people basically seeing everything straight on, not from an angle. Nothing in my experience kills a card trick faster than a kid not having a great view, knowing something happened but having to establish what the effect was. If you have to work on even determing what I was trying to do, my trick is next to worthless for you.

Again, apologies.

Cheers,

Roger
Message: Posted by: regimbeaup (Nov 7, 2014 09:40AM)
Fabrice Delaure's MP 2
Message: Posted by: 443magicman (Dec 29, 2014 04:23PM)
Overstuft by bizzaro is great because it uses an oreo.
Message: Posted by: MScapes (Jan 1, 2015 11:00AM)
Williamson's ring and rope
Message: Posted by: dannywu (Jan 1, 2015 08:29PM)
Stand up Monte by Garrett Thomas