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Topic: Kids effects based on the Tarbell Course in Magic
Message: Posted by: ageo (Dec 28, 2015 12:25AM)
I am relatively new to Magic Café and have not been able to flip through all of the amazing amount of information that is available to its members. Nevertheless, after searching using multiple keywords I cannot find any relevant thread about Tarbellīs Course in Magic and effects which are useful/successful for kidsī audiences. Card tricks are generally to boring for young people to understand or care; we magicians tend to avoid them when performing for kids. Below is an example of an effect from Tarbell that works well for children of up to ten years of age.

For over twenty five years, I have performed a couple hundred times an effect which appears on page 284 of the first volume of Tarbellīs Course (on the ninth printing of the first edition - 1971). It was originally called "The Devilīs Letter". As indicated below, I modified it slightly to be used for a childrenīs audience.

A boy and a girl are called up front. The girl is handed a cloth purse, which she examines and states to be empty. She is asked to hang it from her shoulder and guard it closely. The boy assistant is asked to freely select a card from a Jumbo deck. A four of hearts is forced. Four black cards are then separated by the magician from the deck. The boy is asked to place his card between the fanned four cards. The magician cannot see the cardīs faces; only the backs. After closing the fan of five cards, the forced card is secretly moved towards the back. The cards are counted one by one and placed "on the back" of group of cards. In reality, the magician bends the back card (4 of hearts) slightly to allow for the incoming already counted cards to be placed in front. That is fourth from front to back of the group of five cards. After the four cards are counted, the last one is not exposed, and remains on the back. Thus, the chosen card "disappears".

The magical words are pronounced and the bicycle horn is honked to make the card "appear on the girlīs purse. After a lot of searching, repetition of the magic words and honking, the card fails to appear inside the purse. The magician states that he gives up and excuses himself for an effect failing. He argues that on rare ocassions, "Raton Perez" (literal for "Perez mouse". The o and first e are accented. Accents were ommitted here.) fails to help with execution of magic effects, because he is too busy. A polite complaint message is then sent to "Raton Perez", which is the mythical character that brings money to kids each time one of their teeth falls off. It is an animal version of the Tooth Fairy, which traditionally operates in Spanish-speaking countries.

An envelope with an internal division helps to magically produce a rapid delivery of the message to the mouse. Seconds after waving (and honking) the envelope with the message, a "formal" letter arrives. It is written in Spanish, on special orange letter-head with a large molar which can be seen by the audience. The mouse offers an explanation for not having done his part in the effect. He apologises and states that to make things better he sends the chosen card along with the letter. After reading the text of the letter, the card is revealed to the audience and assistants. Its upper left and lower right corners are concealed by the magicianīs fingers. Thus, the audience can count the number of pips. That is five hearts. After counting them out loud, and noting that the card is not the right one (the magicianīs powers fail again...!), the middle pip is magically removed after saying the magic words and blowing the horn.

I would appreciate comments and suggestions on other tricks from the Tarbell Course in Magic which have been adapted for junior audiences.

Thanks to colleagues who have dedicated many hours of their time to share their experiences with others.

Cordially yours, from Bogota, Colombia,

Alberto Lobo-Guerrero, "Mago Tato"
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 28, 2015 05:54AM)
Amigo Mago...

I read, and "worked", my way through TARBELL in the mid '40s. MUCH of the show that I do (and, DID, to make a living) most of my life (I'm now 84)came directly or indirectly from TARBELL!.

I started as a 13 year old, in 1945, performing in schools. I, almost immediately became a "part time professional". My pals were bagging groceries for fifty cents an hour, and I was making $10 with a 30 minute show.

20 years later, I "went" full time, and just retired a few years ago.

I learned early that TARBELL was a "lecture style" performer. (The "patter" in his course is ARCHAIC!!!) I "updated" and adapted his presentations to fit ME.
(The performer, and his presentation, are more important than the prop(s)!

I learned, from TARBELL: >>>PRINCIPLES<<<! --I use mostly generic props, like silks, balls, rope, cards, and coins for "classic" tricks like Misers Dream, 20th Century Silks, silk and rope knot tricks, a ball routine, fancy card flourishes, etc.

"Victorian" style magic shows were OK in "those days", but modern audiences (especially kids) want to be involved in the program, mentally and physically.

So! I would suggest that you pick out a half dozen tricks, and UPDATE the presentations!
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 28, 2015 08:16AM)
One of my favorite Tarbell effect is Patriotic Chips modified for the setting and audience.

Baskets and stones, paper hats and candy, bread pans and cookies. Many wonderful story lines like, "Three kids had a problem with sharing ..."

It can be impromptu. The fun part is the items can then be used in other effects.

There are many other effects that can be modified in the same way.

As Dick said, the principle is what counts.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Dec 28, 2015 01:26PM)
Ageo, interesting topic. And I like the sound of that trick.

I found an old effect, not in Tarbell but some other old classic that escapes me now, and it was a staple in my show for a few years, then my ex began doing it, and she used it in every show. Over a hundred years old and a beautiful piece of magic still.

In fact, I am just back from Lapland but my luggage is still travelling. I was thinking of making up the old trick tonight for tomorrow's show, as I don't think my act will have returned in time. The classics are always worth a look.
Message: Posted by: ageo (Jan 8, 2016 07:06AM)
Thanks a lot for your comments, Dick, Funsway and Tony. Hopefully others will add on this topic. Have a great year.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 8, 2016 07:42AM)
Keep in mind that Tarbell was a lecture style performer (..."When I was in India, I visited an ancient temple...." (etc.)

I'm sure that kids in Colombia are just as "up to date" as kids in the USA. --You DO have TV!!! In the old days, grandma would read fairy tales to kids, from a BOOK!. Since Thomas Edison invented television (!?!?!?) and Dr.Suess wrote the "Cat In The Hat", the culture has adapted a bit.

But, young folks still have imagination! They still like to laugh! ETC.

TEMPO, TIMING, TIME, are more critical today, then they were when I was a child! (I'm 84)

I use the principles of magic that I got from Tarbell, and created routines that "moved" faster than in Tarbell's day. Of course, I use some newer concepts ("Professor's Nightmare", Joe Ovette's "Repeat Knots", the "big needle thru balloon", etc., but, I also use sympathetic silks, color change silk thru hand, several rope/knot tricks, egg bag, 3 ring routine, 20th Century Silks, Misers Dream!

You might find my new book: "Dick Oslund, Road Scholar" helpful. I wrote up the routines that I used to make a living in schools across the states.
Message: Posted by: ageo (Jan 8, 2016 08:30AM)
Thanks, Dick, for your comments.
You may find useful a post I made earlier today on the "One Trip From Car" thread in the Little Darlings section: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=14646&forum=17&52&start=30#21.
Message: Posted by: ageo (Jan 8, 2016 08:45AM)
Dick, is there a way to purchase your publications directly through you? If so, at what cost and how can we proceed?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 19, 2016 01:11AM)
Dick Oslund, Philo Farnsworth invented the television, he lived here in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Every trick in the Tarbell Course can be performed for children. It is the presentation that you need to work on for the kids. Kids like magic, and love to watch it.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Jan 20, 2016 01:05PM)
I thought a Scotsman invented television.

John Yogi Bear or something...
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Jan 21, 2016 03:37PM)
You want to entertain kids? I suggest throwing away all those Tarbell books and buying ALL of Tommy James' products and DVD's (Nuk nuk nuk)
Message: Posted by: MoonRazor (Jan 22, 2016 07:41AM)
Tommy..... too soon. :)
Message: Posted by: TommyJ (Jan 22, 2016 10:55AM)
[quote]On Jan 22, 2016, MoonRazor wrote:
Tommy..... too soon. :) [/quote]

Sorry couldn't resist :)

The Tarbell books are a wealth of information.