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Eternal Order
24107 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
Dan has a lot of interesting and creative effects on his DVDs. I would recommend it if you truly want to learn more. But do not try and copy his personality or character, be yourself.
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Special user
775 Posts

Profile of MoonRazor
On 2002-10-02 19:44, Dennis Michael wrote:
If you want a good birthday show, consider Birthday Magician's Handbook by Dave Fiscus. It appears to be the best on the topic.

I have Harlan's "Kids' Birthday Show" DVD and I personally feel there are many better videos for kids shows. I like all of BJ Hickman's Videos, I like a lot of David Ginn Videos, but I'm no David Ginn. His and my style are different, yet what he says and does related to kids shows is sound advice.

I just watched Kidshow Konnivery by Dan Garrett and thought it was better, Also watched 5 Minutes with a Pocket Handerchief by Quentin Reynolds and love the workings with the Handerchief Mouse. Today, I watched Bill Boley's Magic and Ventriloquism School Show 1994, and thought it was excellent. The Vent work was nice but I picked up a couple of great solid funny ideas and his opening was really great for a audience warn-up.

Ludo, just listen to Dennis. that should keep you busy for about 10 years. Good Luck!

Now the funny "nut" Patrick Page's "Funny Business for Kid's Shows" is equally great. I loved that too! Got great ideas from that. Ken Scott's "Making the Birthday Dough!" was also good, I really loved his Instant Magician routine.

None of the tapes are "me" but most of the above has bits and pieces I absolutely love and will add them to my acts. There is no one video that, from start to finish, is the perfect Kids Show video. Harlen's had nothing "for me" that stood out and I could say, I want to add that to my show. Keep in mind "for me", he may be right for others.

If kid's birthday shows are what you want then pick and choose what is "YOU" if you can get to view or buy videos from the master Kid Entertainers, Dave Risley, Steve Taylor, Samual Patrick Smith, David Ginn, BJ Hickman, Barry Mitchell, Trixie Bond, just to name a few which I feel has inspired my creative "juices."

Unlike Stage "adult" magic, there are new kids every day who never saw the standard tricks, and lots of videos point them out, Professor's Nightmare, Miser's Dream, 20th Centry Silks, Production Tubes and Boxes, all play well when mixed with comedy props and skits.

Good Luck on your Birthday Show Venture.

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Special user
775 Posts

Profile of MoonRazor
Ludo, just listen to Dennis. that should keep you busy for about 10 years. Good Luck!
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Inner circle
1969 Posts

Profile of charliecheckers
Based upon the number of posts Ludo has had in the past 10 years, either Dennis did tell him all he needed to know, or he found the advice on TMC not worth very much. LOL
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Veteran user
310 Posts

Profile of mcmc
I bought this DVD when it first came out, and I gave it another look. I've done my fair share of children's shows, and I don't think I'll be using anything from this DVD, except maybe the milkshake.

I know a lot of people give Dan props, but I was surprised at how poor his technique was with the TT (he holds his guilty arm very stiff and even tucks it very rigidly behind his leg, telegraphing something is going on there), he bits with making the kids scream for no reason, he lack of connection with the kids and saying odd jokes that they did not appreciate. I don't see much here that would be useful for a new or old children's magician.

Other parts that just seemed odd or did not work -
- The lollipop production, the girl was obviously aware that there were lollipops in her bag, and much better audience management could have been done here.
- The balloon animals were kind of a lame filler, hard to understand why he did what he did, and the bits of business could have been justified if it ended with something spectacular, but each animal was very underwhelming.
- Almost every effect, the climax was presented very limply and almost apologetically. Understandable given that the effects themselves were not very amazing.

Overall I think this has been similar to Dan's tone with other material. If you are looking for an Ammar-caliber clarity, brilliance of effect, and excellence, this is not it.

I would rate this a "do not buy."

Final note: children appreciate "real magic," and in my experience even down to 1st graders, a carefully explained and clearly presented "grown up effect" can be enjoyed, far more than what this DVD shows, which is primarily second-rate clowning.
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Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of vincentmusician
Buying DVD's and books is a good start. However, the problem arises when people think they can make a fast buck doing kids shows by being a copycat. Do not try to copy others. You will find out that what works for others does not mean it will work for you. Be yourself. Developing a Show takes time, hard work and Practise.
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