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Topic: 12 Year Old Girls Party
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Sep 14, 2004 04:34PM)
I've been doing birthday's for a short while now, and just recently got two calls in a row for a girl's 12th birthday party. One is several months away, but the other is just around the corner.

So, what have I gotten myself into? Assuming it is all girls, am I headed for potential trouble? Obviously the rabbit-in-the-hat puppet is out (At least my routine) But should I be looking to perform more of an adult show for these kids?

From those of you who have "been there" I would welcome a word from the wise.

Scott ;).
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Sep 14, 2004 05:03PM)
I recently performed in front of a group of 14 year olds, (not too far off your mark) I made sure to do hippity hop rabbits early in the show for a couple of reasons.

1. It is a good sure fire jaw dropper
2. It guarentees the audience will get inot it, if only in thier efforts to expose you. It is sure to wake up the bored or the disinterested members of the group.
3. Teen agers love to be right. After the finish, you will have shut up all the know-it-alls you may have in the audience.

I will tell you that doing that worked great, and no one even noticed that one of the "black rabbits had a paint chip that I was sure would give it away. (I did not have a repair kit at the time).
Message: Posted by: flourish dude (Sep 14, 2004 05:56PM)
I would do a adult style show. 12 they are not sure where they are kids or adults. You could mix in a little of both but be well rounded. You can do a few mental routines as well as a bunny.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 14, 2004 06:05PM)
1) Bring a live animal
2) Make balloon animals
3) Don't do any tricks that require a 'belief' in your character. e.g. the die box is out because they'll KNOW you know that its obivous that the die slides back and forth.
4) Don't play down to them, treat them like adults.
5) Let them make fun of you....unless in gets TOO rude.
6) include some snot....12 year old girls love squealing at gross stuff!@
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Sep 14, 2004 11:51PM)
I find the 12 year olds would love the rabbit in hat puppet. Create some conflict betwen you & the rabbit & just watch the kids side with the rabbit.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Sep 15, 2004 05:07AM)
I'd turn it away, pointing out to the Mum that she wouldn't appreciate a magician as it would seriously damage her street cred and reccomend she just books a disco. Often the Mum's havn't thought about that.

My girls 13-14 would be horrified if I'd booked a magician for their parties. We're not kids would be their arguement.
Message: Posted by: El_Lamo (Sep 15, 2004 06:07AM)
Emazdad,

That may have to do with how you market yourself.
My daughter is 11 and her friends, younger and older, want me to perform at their parties.

Performing for this age depends upon your own comfort level. Know your audience.


Some suggestions for 12 year old girls...

1. Make the magic intimate... more close-up then stage.

2. Encourage them to make it topical, but try not to shape this yourself. Saying, "Isn't Brad Pitt hunky?" sounds very strange coming from a 40 year old man. Plus, they may see Pitt as very old and yucky anyway.

3. sponge bunnies are great...
4. mentalism is cool...
5. balloon animals are loved...

6. fortune telling is fun, fun, fun... (but check with parents first and it may not fit with your beliefs)

7. bizarre stories work... (they don't have to be satanic)

8. I have done H-H rabbits and had a great reaction.

9. Card stuff is better with a story. (Scott, your Ace Detectives would be fun.)

10. Breakway wands are fun... just play it very carefully... they will get the innuendo / double entendre without you drawing undue attention to it.

11. De Ja Zoo has worked well.

12. I don't have a bunny, but a bunny or kitten production would go over very well, especially if it was unexpected.

13. Escapology also is neat for this age.

14. Levitations if you are skilled and the angles work.

- - - - -

So Scott, I guess it really depends upon your comfort zone. Check with the parents, why did they think you would make their daughter's party special. Their answer will give you insight into how they perceive you and possibly some awareness of their child.

You enjoy singing. I don't know if you have built it into your magic personna.

Have fun.

Cheers - El Lamo
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Sep 15, 2004 07:54AM)
Hi, I don't market myself towards that age group, It depends where you live, here in Plymouth the kids are 13 going on 20 and see themselves far too grown up to have a magician. it would be uncool.

My kids don't even want me to park my car near their school, and god forbid I even speak to their friends let alone show them a trick. To your average teenager Parents are an emarrassment and are just there to finance their lifestyle, taxi them around everywhere, supply them with food and accomadation, and to be there when things go pear shaped.

My Daughter Emma is now suffering major embaressment as her school have asked me to be magical advisor for their school production of Oliver. She had to meet me at the reception yesterday and take me to the teacher involved she wasn't a happy bunny..
Message: Posted by: El_Lamo (Sep 15, 2004 08:34AM)
I was asking my daughter about what effects would work.

... And I forgot about fire. She loves fire effects.
Pyro Perception... Torch to Rose, etc.

And Emazdad, she told me she wants to draw up a list of the effects that I can do for her next party. Meaning: She is going to review my act. (Smiles, so I guess... I'm on that slippery slope.)

Cheers - El Lamo
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Sep 15, 2004 10:00AM)
I hope it lasts, I really do. I remember the time when Emma used to come out and help me. It's just a shame that nowadays they seem to want to grow up so fast.

You'll know it's started when you drive to pick her up from her friends house, and she gets in the car, you say hello to her friend and as you drive off she says "DAD! I didn't say you could speak to her.

Nowadays she'd rather spend her time with her mates, which include some boys who have a rock band. I don't drop her off at parties anymore, I drop her off and pick her up from concerts with bands who play music that's just a thumping racket.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Sep 15, 2004 10:30AM)
I think its all in the area, I doubt it very much that on our side of the pond we, (me, Emazdad and Billy) would never get these sort of shows. 'Its just not cool' as Emazdad said. If I was booked for show I would do a close up cabaret, Rope tricks (real rope) impromptu tricks balloon animals cats poodles always seem to be popular and a birthday trick but not a 'Kids' one. As I still go to school, I am quite frequently asked to do shows for the new children and for rewards evening ect so I get to experiment, I have done 12 yr olds and you have got to remember to be really entertaining if your doing a stage show I would recommend rope, a card trick that involves the audience, 'grown up' kids jokes, basically anything that doesn't come across as kids magic. I say that but I was working in one of the roughest cities in the UK and I had mixed audience luckily enough I had a policeman watching just in case. I was meant to be entertaining the little kids but lots of teenagers watched as well, I just totally ignored them I dint ask them to help or anything, I didn't get any hecklers, but when I finished they wanted to see more! (this was 17 yr olds wanting to see more kids tricks!) I did do balloon animals and they loved them even more, I think it was the drugs, I'm not joking by the way.
Hope it goes well
Matt
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Sep 15, 2004 10:57AM)
For around this age I do balloon workshops but I do throw in a quick magic routine at the start (and sometimes later on if I have time). Rocky Raccoon goes down well with all ages.
I would say it's definitely possible to put together a show for 12 year old girls, if it was 12 year old boys, however, I personally would recommend hiding under the table and whimpering.

George
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Sep 15, 2004 11:15AM)
In my experience, girls are easier to perform for than boys.

The ADD tends to be less common amongst them.
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Sep 15, 2004 11:29AM)
Great posts from everyone. I was assuming I needed to do more adult style magic. But the idea of using a fire trick would be good. I've got a burnt and restored business card routine that is both corny and serious. This would work well. And doing a balloon workshop is a stroke of genius George. I'm hired to make balloons for them anyway. So if I teach them how to make some basic sculptures, this should work well.

El Lamo, Great ideas. Thanks for your post. You really do your homework before you post. Don't you? I do have one prediction effect that I will be doing. And, now that I think of it, the Fortune Telling Fish will be a really fun bit to present as a group as well.

Suddenly, I'm really looking forward to this show. But like you said George -- I'm really glad its not a 12 year old boy's party. I have enough experience to know that could make a grown man cry :).

Scott ;).
Message: Posted by: Regan (Sep 15, 2004 11:49AM)
[quote]
On 2004-09-15 11:00, Emazdad wrote:
I hope it lasts, I really do. I remember the time when Emma used to come out and help me. It's just a shame that nowadays they seem to want to grow up so fast.

You'll know it's started when you drive to pick her up from her friends house, and she gets in the car, you say hello to her friend and as you drive off she says "DAD! I didn't say you could speak to her.

Nowadays she'd rather spend her time with her mates, which include some boys who have a rock band. I don't drop her off at parties anymore, I drop her off and pick her up from concerts with bands who play music that's just a thumping racket.
[/quote]



Emazdad,
Be careful with those rockers. I used to play in a rock band.

:)

My daughter is still very interested in my magic. She doesn't work as my assistant on stage very often anymore, but she still helps me out a lot. She likes to see my new routines and critique them before I actually try them out on stage. I try to involve her in the creative process also when I am writing or trying to improve my routines and scripts.

As far as being around her friends, I guess she has gotten used to it. I have coached her in various sports since kindergarten and I am currently the coach of her high school fastpitch softball team, so I guess she doesn't have much choice.

A show for this age group is tough, but being around these girls all the time gives me a lot of opportunities for magical moments. Most of the time they seem to enjoy it and often request that I show them tricks.

Regan
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Sep 15, 2004 01:18PM)
<<<Be careful with those rockers. I used to play in a rock band.>>>

It doesn't matter whether they are rockers or saints, they're still boys and it scares the pants off me.
Message: Posted by: Regan (Sep 15, 2004 02:10PM)
I know exactly how you feel.

Regan
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Sep 15, 2004 03:01PM)
Boys are lees imature so you could possibly get away with more.
matt
Message: Posted by: jlibby (Sep 16, 2004 07:18PM)
I've recommended in other posts a routine by Larry Becker called "The HG Wells Time Machine." I used this effect in my library shows this past summer, and I always tried to use a girl in the 12-14 year range as my volunteer. Usually, the girl got a look on her face that was priceless, and at that point the rest of the audience knew I had performed a miracle.

See ya!
Joe L.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Sep 16, 2004 10:33PM)
Scott -

There are other threads in this "little darlings" section, where we have discussed this exact subject before, or something very similar.

Be sure to look up those older threads, too, for lots of great ideas.

That is why the index is such a great thing.

- Donald.
Message: Posted by: triadsong (Sep 17, 2004 07:08AM)
I know that it won't last but I thank God everyday that my daughter is only 5!

Best of Luck!!
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Sep 17, 2004 12:54PM)
Donald,

Thanks for the info. And, yes, I've searched the Café for this topic prior to posting. This thread provided just what I was looking for though.

Thanks again to everyone who is willing to share from their storehouse of knowledge and experience.

Scott ;).
Message: Posted by: Mike Robbins (Sep 17, 2004 01:03PM)
[quote]
On 2004-09-15 08:54, Emazdad wrote:

My kids don't even want me to park my car near their school, and god forbid I even speak to their friends let alone show them a trick. To your average teenager Parents are an emarrassment and are just there to finance their lifestyle, taxi them around everywhere, supply them with food and accomadation, and to be there when things go pear shaped.

[/quote]

lol. I can relate!
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Sep 19, 2004 10:10PM)
Just a quick update. Some people enjoy hearing how their advice has helped, so here it goes. This past weekend I had the opportunity to perform the show that started this thread.

I must say I couldn't have asked for a better bunch of 12 year old girls. I performed my coins from silk close-up routine, many routines from my family show, directed a couple of fun games (really more of an outlet for some personal expression), taught everyone how to make a basic balloon animal, and then made balloon animals for everyone. The show was really well received.

Oh yeah, I also perfomed one of John Zander's routines, Your Card. And it fryed everyone there. John has an excellent lecture. If you get a chance to see it, DON'T GO. I don't want everyone else using his material too ;).

Scott O.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Sep 19, 2004 10:18PM)
When I do shows for this age group, I do an adult show (clean, always! :) ), and am sure to include mental epic (they seem to like mentalism, as well as magic). They also really like balloon hats at this age.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Sep 20, 2004 09:40AM)
Actually, one of the effects I did is a mentalism type effect. I display a small box containing an object, and I ask a few people to guess what is in the box. After a few guesses, I explain that there is a whole world full of items that might fit in the box. So, I have conveniently reduced it to about 30. Each of these is written on a slip of paper and placed into a bag. After reading 5 or six (like toy car, can of green beans, message from your Aunt Mabel) I give one person (in this case the Birthday girl) a chance to "do the magic." With a message of "you can do anything if you put your mind to it" I have her concentrate on the bag and then the box. I tell her "When you're ready, just dig into the bag and pull out one slip". Of course what's written on her slip and what is in the box, match. And she is amazed at her own ability, plus gets a nice little gift.

This is just the outline for the routine, but when fleshed out, it gets a nice reaction from everyone.

Scott ;).