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Topic: I want to be a children's/family entertainer but I'm scared.
Message: Posted by: Iamnewt (Dec 7, 2019 10:22AM)
I'm afraid that other adults will look down on me or something.

It's hard to explain or articulate exactly why I feel this way.

The thought of a grown man acting silly in front of children, doing often cheesy tricks and patter with cheesy little props. (and if it's a family show how do appeal to both children and grown sophisticated adults?)

I feel to most adults it will come across as just kind of lame and sad.

Please note, this isn't a dig on children's entertainers at all.

I really want to be one... but I have these weird limiting beliefs getting in the way.

Can anyone help bust them?

Maybe it's because I always wanted to be or picture myself as cool and edgy. (I'm not but wanted to be like this strong, buff, tough, rugged guy... I'm the total opposite. lol Not sure if I should embrace who I am or work to become the image of the guy I want to be)

And it seems weird for that kind of guy to be a kid's entertainer.

I don't know.

Any help?

Thanks in advance.

I look forward to having some discussions that can help move me through this.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Dec 7, 2019 10:32AM)
You have to build confidence in your self - it's like having a Guardian Angel on your shoulder saying "that's pretty good " on the other shoulder is a Demon saying "OHH BIG YOU" - Who do you listen to? Have your Guardian Angel walk across your shoulder and "POW" knock the Demon OFFFFF. NO I'm Not nuts - at 82 -Pro.Magician for 70 years - Just experienced. '
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Dec 7, 2019 12:28PM)
Who said you had to act silly?

Funny doesnít have to be silly and kids can still laugh and have a good time.

You donít have to be a clown to be a magician. Lots of kid routines out there that will get laughs without being silly.

I wouldnít worry about the adults; those there will be parents and will enjoy watching the kids have a good time.
But there is nothing wrong with having a couple of effects just for them.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 7, 2019 01:17PM)
I actually agree with Tom in that you are viewing this as a laymen's perspective of kids performers. Take the time to learn the real proper perspective of the industry and community. You will find it is just more than just cheap laughs and silly kid tricks (although you will find plenty of kids performers that are nothing more than this.) Quality and professionalism matter.

Being a kids performer can be quite fulfilling, however, you need to understand the difference in performing and entertaining, as opposed to just getting the kids yelling and screaming. That is not entertainment. Learn the art of kids performing and your eyes will be open to an entire world of possibilities and opportunities.

You will very quickly find there are two types of kids performers:

- Those that just perform tricks strung together, wear a goofy character costume, and go for the cheap approach of hack material, anything to get any kind of a reaction and make themselves the center of attention.

and the other is

- Those that truly learn the art of entertainment and kids entertaining, how to understand, work and control a kids audience, the controlling aspects of kids (and adults) performing, the important dynamics of the kids-parents connection, the realization that the entertainment doesn't come from the tricks, but rather from the performance (and everything that entails), and most of all the responsibility and expectations of a true kids performer (which so many miss or never truly understand.) I always say your first step is not to be a magician, but rather a performer, then eventually an entertainer. A magician does tricks. A performer and entertainer operates on a much more encompassing and greater level, which can make more difference than you can imagine. Right along with that is having an understanding of what the parents and those hiring you are truly interested in and expect. This is something that so many kids magicians get wrong.

Education and gaining the proper knowledge is the first step.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 7, 2019 04:22PM)
Welcome to The Magic Cafť. I have a few questions I will like to ask you. It will help me chose the right answers you are looking for:

1. How old are you?
2. Are you living in a rural or urban area?
3. How long have you been doing magic?
4. Have you done shows for anyone before?
5. What tricks do you have now?
6. Are you focusing on performing more for adults or children?
7. Why do you want to be a magician?

I started doing magic with no mentor by my side. The reason my confidence of being a professional was low was because I never seen a magician my race before. As I got older my confidence began to grow. My mother purchased more tricks for me. I always did close up tricks for children on the side. Later I tried performing stand up shows. But I was slow with the stand up acts. I was performing no more than 5 shows a year. Later my confidence built up. Everything was easier than I expected. It later became my full time business.

There are all kinds of themes that can be presented with magic. In libraries I teach "Reading is Magic." Silly magic does not has to presented. Educational magic is what the librarians are looking for. In schools I teach themes like "Anti-bully," "Positive Self-Esteem," "Goal Setting" and "Drug Awareness. The children are learning while being entertained the same time.

Always remember to be yourself. Oopsy and Bozo the clowns were silly in their shows. Bozo also had a magician in his show. Kids loved him for his character. Marshal Brodien, Mark Wilson and Bill Bixby were great children entertainers. They were not being silly but they were being themselves. Just be yourself and see what your what capture is.
Message: Posted by: Iamnewt (Dec 8, 2019 03:25PM)
[quote]On Dec 7, 2019, TomBoleware wrote:
Who said you had to act silly?

Funny doesnít have to be silly and kids can still laugh and have a good time.

You donít have to be a clown to be a magician. Lots of kid routines out there that will get laughs without being silly.

I wouldnít worry about the adults; those there will be parents and will enjoy watching the kids have a good time.
But there is nothing wrong with having a couple of effects just for them.

Tom [/quote]


Who are children performers who aren't?

I've watched Silly Billy. (Silly is even in his name). I've watched Zany Zack (tony chris) who has a similar style.

I'd love to see some who aren't.
Message: Posted by: Iamnewt (Dec 8, 2019 03:27PM)
[quote]On Dec 7, 2019, Dynamike wrote:
Welcome to The Magic Cafť. I have a few questions I will like to ask you. It will help me chose the right answers you are looking for:

1. How old are you?
2. Are you living in a rural or urban area?
3. How long have you been doing magic?
4. Have you done shows for anyone before?
5. What tricks do you have now?
6. Are you focusing on performing more for adults or children?
7. Why do you want to be a magician?

I started doing magic with no mentor by my side. The reason my confidence of being a professional was low was because I never seen a magician my race before. As I got older my confidence began to grow. My mother purchased more tricks for me. I always did close up tricks for children on the side. Later I tried performing stand up shows. But I was slow with the stand up acts. I was performing no more than 5 shows a year. Later my confidence built up. Everything was easier than I expected. It later became my full time business.

There are all kinds of themes that can be presented with magic. In libraries I teach "Reading is Magic." Silly magic does not has to presented. Educational magic is what the librarians are looking for. In schools I teach themes like "Anti-bully," "Positive Self-Esteem," "Goal Setting" and "Drug Awareness. The children are learning while being entertained the same time.

Always remember to be yourself. Oopsy and Bozo the clowns were silly in their shows. Bozo also had a magician in his show. Kids loved him for his character. Marshal Brodien, Mark Wilson and Bill Bixby were great children entertainers. They were not being silly but they were being themselves. Just be yourself and see what your what capture is. [/quote]


1. I'm 32.
2. Urban
3. I've been doing magic for 26 years.
4. Yes, I've done shows before. (been several years though)
5. I don't have any tricks besides some card tricks.
6. I perform for adults now but would like to perform more for kids.
7. I don't know why I want to be a magician.

"Always remember to be yourself."

I sometimes struggle with this as I often have no idea who I really am. lol
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 8, 2019 04:40PM)
Who do you want to be? When you envision yourself as a kids performer what do you see?
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Dec 8, 2019 04:42PM)
[quote]On Dec 8, 2019, Iamnewt wrote:


Who are children performers who aren't?

I've watched Silly Billy. (Silly is even in his name). I've watched Zany Zack (tony chris) who has a similar style.

I'd love to see some who aren't. [/quote]

Ken Scott, Danny Orleans, Christopher T. Magician, Donald Dunphy, and many more have great magic shows thatís not considered silly.
Dynamike also does straight magic for kids without the clowning. Maybe you are confusing funny with silly.

Donít underestimate the young ones. Heck, about half of Copperfields show would work for kids.:)



Tom
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Dec 9, 2019 06:19AM)
[quote]On Dec 8, 2019, TomBoleware wrote:
Heck, about half of Copperfields show would work for kids.:)
Tom [/quote]

Copperfield is an excellent example of someone who can totally entertain children and adults at the same time. Study some of his specials on youtube and you'll have a ton of food for thought.

I would also remind you it is an 'act' you will be doing. For example, I am a very quiet and shy person, but when I get in front of an audience my alter ego takes over. Its a great release for me. The only way to find out what will work for you is to get out there and try it. Try different characters and routines till you find something that you like and your audience responds to.

As far as prop selection, I'm pretty sure your going to need more than card tricks, but you don't necessarily need cheesy props either. Start with the classics of magic and build on that. (Mis-made flag, linking rings, cut and restored rope, egg bag, miser's dream, Hippity Hop rabbits, 20th century silks.)

Best of luck to you!
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Dec 9, 2019 06:12PM)
Ken said it well, and he too is a great example of someone that can please children with amazing magic minus the silliness. Let me be clear oh, there is nothing wrong with the silly bits that magicians Like Silly Billy and The Great Zucchini perform. They play the part well and they have a special skill that many donít have. Very few can do what they do with any kind of success. Learn from them yes, but copying them will be tough.

Also let me add that regardless of how you perform, working with children requires a skill that many donít have; itís certainly not for everyone. You either love it or you hate it. You can learn to deal with all the challenges, but to be really successful at it you must have a deep love for interacting with children. Keep in mind, kids are not as polite as the adults; they donít care what they say and unless you have that teacher-like personality to control them it could get ugly in a hurry.

Good Luck with it
Tom
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 10, 2019 09:40AM)
1. I'm 32.
That gives you a head start. I am sure you have a lot wisdom on what magic really is. Magic is not just a trick. It is an art of entertainment that mystifies the audience. There is nothing wrong with adults performing for children unless the tricks are not presently correctly.

2. Urban.
This gives you another advantage because you have a large group of people around you to show your entertainment to. After you purchase and practice the right props that you feel comfortable performing, call libraries, schools, nonprofit organizations, etc to tell them your would like to come there and present a 15-30 minute show. You will be getting to practice for free in front of a live audience. Have someone record you also. Take home the recording and study what needs to be improved.

3. I've been doing magic for 26 years.
Wow. That is a long time. What comes to my mind is you are not sharing you skills enough with others. Never leave home without having a magic trick in your pocket. Be open in sharing your magics with anybody. That is what I always do. I take my sponge bunny rabbits wherever I go. When I am in line inside of a restaurant I present them short and fast towards kids. I make the sponge disappear. I next make it reappear from a different area. The parents like it also because it makes time go faster while waiting in a long line. You can do a quick card or coin trick. Usually when I am handing my money to the cashier I make it disappear while doing a pass. I looked surprised and tell them I have another one in my pocket and pull it out. It gets a lot of giggles from doing this. It helps me with marketing. I pass out more cards this way. It can help you with being relaxed from multiple practices.

4. Yes, I've done shows before. (been several years though)
Since you have done shows before, you can do shows again. Try searching for more age groups. If your friend's are having a party, bring a few tricks with you. If a child is having a birthday party bring a few tricks with you. Ask the host of family/holiday parties if it is okay if you perform a show for 15-30 minutes that will entertain their guest. You might be lucky and have a few kids in the audience. The more you practice it the more easier it will become for you. Then later in the future you might be a strong mentor on the The Magic Cafť helping others reach their goals.

5. I don't have any tricks besides some card tricks.
Try investing in some magic tricks. The props do not have to be large or expensive. If you do a search on The Magic Cafť you will notice threads dealing with "Small tricks that play big." Silk, rope tricks for example. You can also use impromptu items. The number one book I suggest you to start with is "Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic." That books get many votes from many magicians.

6. I perform for adults now but would like to perform more for kids.
Try using "The Magic of 30 Days" formula. Many people use that method in reaching their goals. I don't know how it works, but it does work. I am not saying you will be professional in 30 days, but I am saying it will bring you closer in reaching your goal with performing for children. Break everything into different plans. Mainly what I mentioned to you earlier can be in plan number #1. (Buy a kid's entertainer book, buy the props, practice freely, etc.) Second step of 30 more days will be for you to contact public places offering to perform a show at no/little charge. Your third step of 30 days will be to watch recordings of yourself. Try improving what you think is best. Put a lot of time in practicing over and over again. If you satisfied with your skills you might want to try marketing your business.

7. I don't know why I want to be a magician.
A lot of people want to be a kid's magician. Most people fail. The reason they do not succeed is because they want to be a kid's magician just to make a lot of money. I advise those people to search for something they like to do. Maybe an mentalist or escape artist might satisfy them. Trying to be a kid's magician just because an individual wants a lot of money never works. The individual is just waisting their time. But those who are doing it for the interest of making kids' happy with entertainment are doing it for the right reasons. If it is fun for the performer, it is fun for the children. There is nothing wrong with an individual for not wanting to entertainer children. The only thing wrong is when an individual tries making a living out of something he/she is not interested in.

I advise you to go and search for family and kids' magicians on Youtube. You will see some that are funny. You will notice some silly ones also. See if anyone of them fits your interest.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxfbWijWyfo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsNx3hQg1fI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUR3T57WGKI

You can try street busking also to get your practice. You will receive tips by enhancing your skills. There is a street busking forum in the Magic Cafť. Try checking with your city and other cities that neighbor your city to see if street busking permits are offered.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 10, 2019 10:26AM)
[quote]On Dec 10, 2019, Dynamike wrote:
"Small tricks that play big." [/quote]
Correction: "Packs small plays big."
Message: Posted by: MaxfieldsMagic (Dec 10, 2019 12:12PM)
If you're not already familiar with his work, I'd recommend checking out the performance style of Scott Green for a great example of kids magic that's fun but deliberately not slapstick silly. He wears a suit and throws in plenty of gags for the adults. He also has a couple of very good books on the topic, a multi-DVD release on his philosophy and effects, and other items at www.scottmakesmagic.com
Message: Posted by: danfreed (Dec 10, 2019 04:03PM)
People will not look down at you for being a kids entertainer if you get good at it. They will admire your skill at entertaining kids and holding their attention, and may be jealous that you get to do it for a living. As an entertainer you are solving a problem for your clients - the need to entertain kids and keep them occupied for their event/party. You can entertain the adults at the same time, the degree to which you do that is up to you. And there is no reason to be cheesy. Being silly and being cheesy are 2 different things, and skillful silliness is very much admired, look at Steve Martin, Laurel & Hardy, or I could name a hundred others.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Dec 27, 2019 08:20AM)
You might be surprised that you might fool a few of the adults. The key is to engage the kids. If they are having a good time, then you have succeeded. Also, you need crowd control skills.

If chewing gum annoys you, be prepared with a nice way to remove it ala the great tomsoni

https://youtu.be/MixsEEORh-Y

You will have to learn what routine works with different age kids. Create a base routine for 5 year olds. And a different routine for 10 year olds. Consider that your base routine. How long is your base routine 15 minutes, 30 minutes?

Now add a custom trick for an event/theme (birthday ect). Then, add in a grand finale for an additional cost (negotiated at point of sales). Maybe a levitation? balloon animals? Livestock?

Watch other magicians and see what works. I like the sucker magic (devils handerkerchief). What is your competition doing?

Also, what are you wearing? What your costume says will influence your perception. Clowns are more silly, someone in a tuxedo are more professional. Regardless, are you the peacock in the room? Do you stand out?

Kids are easily entertained. Facial expressions always worked on me. Don Knotts and Steve Martin have a special place in my heart. If you are a kid at heart, being silly should be easy. But you do not have to be silly. You could be caring. Fred Roger's entertained kids for decades. What is your personality? Do you have kids or nephews/nieces to practice with?

You can record yourself, and place it up on youtube and ask for constructive criticism from magic Cafť forum members. This would help polish you up before going live.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Dec 28, 2019 08:24AM)
They say never do several 'sucker' tricks - I've found and have done several in a row- just DON'T do them as 'HA HA I FOOLED YOU' do a few as if 'YOU' were fooled , and/or a story with the effect as the climax -'not FOOLED, you.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Dec 29, 2019 02:25PM)
For instance - kids-- "want to see my pet SPOT (1) (doing your own count )-" and his 3 sisters - 4 brothers - 6 cousins and 8 PUPPIES ??? For Family/adult - at the end I would say "if you see too many - don"t drive home" L-0-L
Message: Posted by: imgic (Jan 1, 2020 10:33PM)
I do some busking and, ironically, not too long ago in the Sidewalk Shuffle room, there was a discussion on how other magicians look down upon buskers and street performers..that itís not a prestigious line of work, nor worthy of the art of magic.

But it is what you make it. If doing birthday parties is what excites you, then do it. Learn how to be the best you at performing and go forth...donít worry about others.

Weíve a party planner in our neighborhood that specializes in childrenís parties. She found out I do magic.

She was interested in lining me up as a magician to expand her offerings. I flat out said no. I am not a childrenís magician. I did one kids birthday party when younger and it was worst magical experience of my life. Itís not my style, itís not what excites me when doing magic, nor something I want to learn.

I admire those who can entertain children...itís not something I can do. Be you and youíll be great.
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Jan 3, 2020 11:50AM)
I felt the same way you do when I first starting performing, Children are the best to start with, if you do make a mistake, no one cares, in the years Ive been performing, tricks have broke in the middle of the routine, when I first started, I forgot to set up the entire routine and in middle of the routine it just stopped because the prop was still sitting in the case somewhere.

The adults just laugh, the kids donít know whatís going on, just pick up the next trick and continue, Iíve learned a lot from my mistakes and now every routine comes out perfect.

Buy large colorful tricks that are self working in the beginning so you can concentrate on your performance without having to remember a complicated trick. Interact with the kids and be kind, donít tell them to shut up and watch when your performance

You canít learn practicing in front of a mirror, you need to experience a real audience, so go buy some kids tricks that you think you can perform and book a free show. In a hospital, or community center to get practice.

I have an entire warehouse of tricks that looked good on YouTube, but when I got the trick, it wasnít for me, so donít use them in a show if youíre not comfortable.with the trick,thatís what Magic Auction and the Cafťís trade and sell forum is for.


Good Luck

Buzz
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jan 30, 2020 04:41PM)
Defining the character you're playing can help make your actions comfortable, if it's consistent with the character you play. You will make mistakes. Learn from them and change the show as you learn.
Message: Posted by: the fritz (Feb 5, 2020 06:50PM)
[quote]On Dec 7, 2019, Iamnewt wrote:
I'm afraid that other adults will look down on me or something.

It's hard to explain or articulate exactly why I feel this way.

The thought of a grown man acting silly in front of children, doing often cheesy tricks and patter with cheesy little props. (and if it's a family show how do appeal to both children and grown sophisticated adults?)

I feel to most adults it will come across as just kind of lame and sad.

Please note, this isn't a dig on children's entertainers at all.

I really want to be one... but I have these weird limiting beliefs getting in the way.

Can anyone help bust them?[/quote]


It is normal to think this way, especially if you don't have kids of your own. I am assuming you don't. Once you do, you will find that adults actually appreciate a children's entertainer. Think about other family entertainers. Go to a library and watch the guy who plays his guitar and sings silly songs during story time for the kids. Every town has one. The women appreciate him and even strike up conversations with him. Go to a vacation spot like Hilton Head, SC or some other similar place and watch the guy who stands up at the boardwalk or the pier or under the huge tree by the amphitheater and watch him perform. No parent looks at him and ridicules him. It is the opposite because parents realize how valuable it is to have entertainment the entire family can enjoy. Go watch an animated movie. Why are they so popular today? A children's magician is no different. I would agree with you if you said you were performing a children's show and acting like a clown in an auditorium full of people who are expecting to see David Copperfield or in a comedy club full of stand-up comedians playing to drunk adults. That is not your environment. Do children's magic where children's magic is expected and everyone will appreciate it.

My wife passed away a few years ago (she was 40, to give you a context to this) and I started doing children's magic when our kids started preschool. She appreciated it. I started dating again and I was reluctant to tell my girlfriend that I did magic because of the same fears you have described. I thought she would think I was immature. It turns out she likes magic so much that she made me go to the car to grab a deck of cards when we were on a date waiting for our food at a restaurant. She wanted me to perform some tricks for her brother and his date. He keeps asking if I am coming to family events so I can do magic for "his daughter." Simply put, many people really like magic as a performance art and few have seen a magician who really cares about what he does. Instead, most see a person who just likes to show off, does poorly thought out and rehearsed magic or doesn't share appropriately, when it is expected.

Do children's magic proudly at an event where it is expected and every adult in the room will appreciate you. Push through the fear one time and see. If it goes terribly, you don't ever have to do it again. But my money is on once you do, you will want to do again and again because it is just fun. It's fun when you begin to see that sponge balls appeal to both kids AND adults. And the stupid joke about the two red balls changing places... "Wanna see them go back?" is a joke that people really laugh at. Truly, they do... I am not kidding. It's fun when you realize that a simple cut and restored rope where you slide the knot off the end appeals to both kids AND adults. You'll know when you hear the collective gasp and the "How did he do that?" comments. You'll know when you hear them all react to an old sliding sucker die box that this is something that appeals to kids AND adults. You'll know when you see the "What the...?" look in their eyes when you make a handkerchief disappear, or you do your version of the sucker silk to egg, that this appeals to both kids AND adults. Go watch Max Howard make a handkerchief vanish, watch him do the sucker die box, watch him do the wand in bottle trick from beginner's magic books and tell me if you think he looks like a clown. Those tricks could go into every children's show and you could play them without Silly Billy's gags (which he does beautifully), and you will see that it goes over well and you don't look like a clown. Just do it and you will see.

Look through the eyes of a parent who loves their child with everything in them and see how their heart lights up when their kid looks back at them when the magician called them up to help out with the trick. Then you will see there is nothing silly about being a children's entertainer at all. On the contrary, it takes guts and a huge heart to do it. Appreciate the bond you are helping a parent build with their child and it will be totally worth the time you spent doing it.
Message: Posted by: nyborn (Feb 9, 2020 10:09AM)
[quote]On Dec 7, 2019, TomBoleware wrote:
Who said you had to act silly?

Funny doesnít have to be silly and kids can still laugh and have a good time.

You donít have to be a clown to be a magician. Lots of kid routines out there that will get laughs without being silly.

I wouldnít worry about the adults; those there will be parents and will enjoy watching the kids have a good time.
But there is nothing wrong with having a couple of effects just for them.

Tom [/quote]

I'm a long way from any kind of performing, but I'll be holding on to this advice along the journey should it lead in this direction. Thank you!
Message: Posted by: nyborn (Feb 10, 2020 02:44PM)
I was watching Patrick Page's Thumb Tip magic from his Secret Seminars Voume 1, and he does a couple of delightful tricks that he states he used to do for children. But I believe it's his warm paternal underplaying of the magic that would go over with kids along with his selections that engage them in thinking they saw what he did. which is probably a whole technique itself, since once proved wrong they're likely to engage more fully. Just my thoughts as I was thinking "this I can do."
Message: Posted by: 0wen (Feb 13, 2020 02:30PM)
[quote]On Dec 7, 2019, Iamnewt wrote:
I'm afraid that other adults will look down on me or something.

The thought of a grown man acting silly in front of children, doing often cheesy tricks and patter with cheesy little props. (and if it's a family show how do appeal to both children and grown sophisticated adults?)

I feel to most adults it will come across as just kind of lame and sad.

Please note, this isn't a dig on children's entertainers at all.

I really want to be one... but I have these weird limiting beliefs getting in the way.

Can anyone help bust them?

Maybe it's because I always wanted to be or picture myself as cool and edgy. (I'm not but wanted to be like this strong, buff, tough, rugged guy... I'm the total opposite. lol Not sure if I should embrace who I am or work to become the image of the guy I want to be)

And it seems weird for that kind of guy to be a kid's entertainer.

[/quote]

The self perception and confidence issues are probably something you're going to have to work out on your own; but something you need to work on to get comfortable in your own skin (in life and performing!). I think most of us may have had some issues with this at some point and to some degree, but it's just something you need to 'do.'

I have 3 main acts, all pretty different from each other - Comedy Magic, Spook Show, Flea Circus. The Flea Circus was probably my most difficult show at first because of how ridiculous it is, but I embraced it, and today might be my favorite show to perform. Certainly my most popular festival booking and earner. It's the closest thing I have to a pure kid's show as my magic act is a general 'family show.'

As far as the adults looking down on you... A.) So what? b.) They're paying you hundreds of their 9-to-5 dollars to show up for an hour and be a nerd. I'll take that arrangement 24/7, 365 if it keeps me from working a "normal" job.
Message: Posted by: nyborn (Mar 31, 2020 11:01AM)
[quote]On Dec 7, 2019, Iamnewt wrote:
I'm afraid that other adults will look down on me or something.

It's hard to explain or articulate exactly why I feel this way.

The thought of a grown man acting silly in front of children, doing often cheesy tricks and patter with cheesy little props. (and if it's a family show how do appeal to both children and grown sophisticated adults?)

I feel to most adults it will come across as just kind of lame and sad.

Please note, this isn't a dig on children's entertainers at all.

I really want to be one... but I have these weird limiting beliefs getting in the way.

Can anyone help bust them?

Maybe it's because I always wanted to be or picture myself as cool and edgy. (I'm not but wanted to be like this strong, buff, tough, rugged guy... I'm the total opposite. lol Not sure if I should embrace who I am or work to become the image of the guy I want to be)

And it seems weird for that kind of guy to be a kid's entertainer.

I don't know.

Any help?

Thanks in advance.

I look forward to having some discussions that can help move me through this. [/quote]

I was wondering if reframing silly to playful would be a more helpful mindset. And instead of going full blown clown, like going zero to sixty in an instant, to gradually increase your comfort level by wearing something that makes you feel playful, curious, and open that no one need to know of but yourself. For example red socks, or a colorful bow tie. Something that's for YOU, not necessarily a costume piece.
When I'm rehearsing a monologue or other acting piece, I keep a kazoo around to blow (or not) to remind myself it's just play and I have a little nerf basketball hoop to remind myself not to hold onto anything too tightly, that I'm just throwing up foul shots.
Music, wacky (like the Benny Hill theme) or otherwise that can be listened to before a performance or entry music.
I guess the gist of what I'm aiming at is to find those things that open a playful un-selfconscious state (NLP would call this an anchor/talisman). Just thinking about playing with my no longer two and three year old nephew gets me there.
Also practicing this 'state' in non threatening no consequence situations; on the phone with a customer service, a sales interaction (post Covid19). Looking back, that's how I gradually became more outgoing, by starting little chit chats ("you guys look busy" or "slow day") compliments about attire, questions about something, gradually building more comfort and teaching my subconscious that there's no danger here.
Message: Posted by: MagicDUK (Apr 14, 2020 06:04PM)
Hey,

I thought I'd throw in my own advice which may be helpful. So I'm a professional family entertainer (I've stopped calling myself a children's entertainer which I'll discuss later) I've been at it pretty much full time for the last six years, live in an urban area like yourself. When I started out I tried to be "cool" - I wore a nice suit (which may or may not have been for tax reasons too) But anyway it didn't work for me.

I came into this much like you, wanting to be cool and not pander down to kids, and also I wanted to seem respectable too. But for me, this didn't work. It took me nearly a year to figure out what was wrong, but when I did it all fell into place. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give you is to find your own character. I'm not talking about being a clown, juggler, "Silly Billy", scuba-diver whatever, but by a character I mean someone who you are on stage. You may say that you want to be yourself. You can be, but the key thing is that you will never be yourself onstage but a character of yourself. Find that character and your worries will go.

This character will define you and your act and will really help you. For me, I have two characters that I use. They are very similar but slightly different depending on the audience. My first one is for my "grown-up"/corporate audiences. I wear a suit do a bit more mentalism in my show, and it has less silly jokes but the energy and character is still there.

The second one, of course, is my "clown". I'm calling it a clown because of the costume, but it's very rare that I go full clown with it. The character developed from a jacket I got from my stilt walker costume which when I added some bits to make it into a costume - when I started wearing it, it just felt right. Suddenly the character started to develop. It was silly, full of energy, a little bit cheesy but very charismatic. Think kids entertainer on speed. Controlled Chaos...

As I started to create this character the same thought came into my head like yours. How on earth will people respect me as a performer and take me seriously? But the weird thing is that people love me more since getting the costume and character. Adults love it. You may get the odd alpha male type who says "nice socks" or makes a crappy joke about it, but the majority of people don't really notice or care. When they get to know me, see my act and see my rapport with them and others they seem to love what I do and really enjoy it. In fact, I've made lots of friends, regular clients and even got people offering me their phone numbers and other "opportunities" - while I'm dressed in my clown costume - which is in the picture below (I may add I'm happily married and professional so I never took these offers up but still!)

Once you get confident with your character it really shows and people like confidence more than anything else. They will forget the fact you are dressed like an "idiot" and respect you and the show more. To get this character, find something in your show that you really enjoy doing/wearing and use that to develop your character. As I said for me it was my jacket (and my puppet). And for my adult show, it was an improv single line as I walked out one-night "Thanks... I know what you're thinking... Ron Weasleys career has gone downhill since leaving Hogwarts"

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What you said about appealing to both adults and children really strikes a chord with me. One of the reasons why I call myself a family entertainer is that I designed my show to entertain both children and adults. There are silly tricks in there and bits where I can add in daft jokes but I always make sure I include the adults. One of my opening bits is that I say my magic words are "Ooh ee ooh ah ah". When the kids repeat it with me I play the Cartoons Witchdoctor and play around with it, stopping it with "magic" and starting every time I say those "magic words". The kids love the silliness, the adults love the jokey nature of it and then I bring the adults back into the joke by adding in "grown-ups... if you want to have fun like this - £15 from amazon and flashing them the remote.

Its things like this that keep the adults entertained as well. And the trick that I do aren't just your silly kids tricks but are tricks that will keep the kids amused, but the adults entertained. I like Vanishing Bandana for this (I've updated it with Alexa for myself) and the most popular trick I do is Snowstorm in China - my own adaptation, telling a story about my own little boy. The kids love the snow at the end and the adults love the story and the trick.

You've got to remember in the end that the kids are the highest priority when it comes to entertaining at these events, but the adults should be entertained too. After all, they are paying the bill in the end and will be the ones sharing you with other potential clients. So keep them entertained as well and it will improve your business and your show.

Finally - have fun with it. However ridiculous you may feel it's the most important thing. When you have fun with it so will your audience. They won't care what you look like as long as your show is good. If you're looking for ideas I've got some bits on youtube and on my website etc where you can see some more pics of my costume and some clips of my shows - www.magic-dave.com