The Magic Café
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Kids' Birthday Show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
View Profile
New user
10 Posts

Profile of Epting
I would like to buy the Dan Harlan's DVD " Kids' Birthday Show " to have a good birthday magic show for children . It's a good DVD to obtain a lot of intersting ideas for childrens ?
Thank you for your help .
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13417 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
I heard it was not so good. I have not seen it, however. Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Drew from Spotlight
View Profile
Regular user
124 Posts

Profile of Drew from Spotlight
I have gone back and forth on whether I’m going to order it. In the end I probably will because anything I have from Dan Harlan has served me well. At worst I’ll come away with an all-together different routine, a new comedy line, or new handling for something I’m already doing.

If you’re looking for great kids material you can’t go wrong by taking the time to visit the web sites of David Ginn or Sammy Smith. Both these men are experts in entertaining children and have shared that knowledge in countless books and videos.

Dennis Michael
View Profile
Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
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.

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.
Dennis Michael
Patrick McKeever
View Profile
New user
79 Posts

Profile of Patrick McKeever
I never thought these words would escape my lips, but I have become interested in kid's shows. My training has been in clsoe up and I have been doing private parties and corporate parties for many years. Many of my dot com clients have gone away and I decided to explore other avenues. I recently did a couple of kid shows and enjoyed doing them. I get along great with kids but I realize that this is a completly different genre of entertaining and I have a lot to learn.

I would like to include a live rabbit load from somewhere and would like advice from some of you kid pros or stage magi that produce rabbits. Is there a good book or video on the subject?
View Profile
Elite user
Sebring, FL
490 Posts

Profile of DougTait
A drawer box is the only prop I have ever use for producing a rabbit. Just be sure there is good ventilation in whatever type you use and do it early in the routine.

Obviously if you work Birthday parties outdoors the temperature has to taken into consideration. Attempting CPR on a lifeless bunny in front of the kiddies would probably not go over big. Be kind to you assistants, human or animals.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing."
Dennis Michael
View Profile
Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
There is an excellent spiral bound book call, "The Bunny Book" by Magic, Inc. which gives great ideas with rabbits. It may be out of print, so finding it may be difficult.

As for rabbit boxes, there is the Wringer Rabbit, Rabbit to Dove, Dove to Rabbit, (or silk instead of Dove). There is the Balloon to Bunny box, Mirror Box, the Drawer Box, The Caboose Drawer Box, the Fire Engine Drawer Box, the Treasure Chest Box, The Square Circle, The Rabbit Crystal Cyliner and a dozen other boxes and ways that can produce a bunny.

The Wringer Rabbit box, is good because you put the rabbit in the box, he comes out flat, open the box it is empty, then put the flat rabbit back in and reproduce the rabbit.

Then there is the Rabbit in the Hat production. There is also daily care and maintenance of rabbits which is the biggest reason most people don't use rabbits.

They're pooping machines and have a strong oder from their urine, which turns off most magicians from owning them.

Tarbell has a lot of rabbit tricks. Here's one for you. Get the rabbit in hat silks and TT trick and produce the small rabbit silk, Place the rabbit hat silk on a table after the rabbit silk is produced, vanish the rabbit silk via TT and pick up the silk as if you were going to reproduce the rabbit silk and produce the bunny. Powerful routine, then go into the Wringer Rabbit. Once the rabbit apppears and your done with it the kids want to pet it, so consider it to be a closer routine.

Welcome to the unique art of entertaining children.
Dennis Michael
Steven Steele
View Profile
Chief of Staff
Hesperia, California USA
1904 Posts

Profile of Steven Steele
I have Dan Harlen's DVD. When I first watched it, I thought there was a lot of material that I could use...but as I performed more shows, I decided that there wasn't anything in it that I could use. It's an OK DVD, but I wouldn't recommend it.

By the way...want to buy a Dan Harlen DVD...only viewed once!

View Profile
Regular user
Maryland, USA
114 Posts

Profile of Zorak
I have been performing kidshows for 30 years. Kids have certainly changed over these decades. It is the kidshow performers job to keep up with their times, their interest, and their attention span.
You really don't get that from the Smith's, Ginn's, Risely's or any of the gurus of kidshow material.
Some of the videos I've seen look like the performer was trained by the WWF (world wresting federation). They are loud and obnoxious and somehow believe that their job is to make the kids as loud as them.
I'm not refering to anyone in particular but you know who they are. Since I have made a living at doing kidshow magic these past three decades, (and continue to do so), with many repeat customers, I make this statement with some credibility.
Kids require a sense of fun, a more kinder approach. They laugh, applaud, cheer, and go away feeling good about themselves. The parents appreciate the professionalism.
There is no shortcut to being a Lance Burton or a Daryl and..........
there is no short cut to becoming a good kidshow entertainer. It is not enough to watch the tapes, read the books, attend the seminars, or even to practice the effects.
You must put in the effort to explore what the kids are doing in your area. Check out their tv programs, their video games etc.
Get to know who they are. Build your show around that, than go out and purchase your trick boxes or whatever. You will be surprised how much of a rapport, almost instantly after awhile. Be your own big name kid magician. Who knows you may be around 30 years from now! Smile
Magic is in the hearts of children from 1 to 101
Please check out my Website:
MAGIC CARTOONS all drawn by Zorak
Peter Marucci
View Profile
Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
AMEN, Zorak!
It amazes me the number of magicians who are ready to part with all sorts of money to buy the latest so-called "expert's" tape, book, DVD, etc. on "entertaining" kids -- but are not willing to expend any effort in finding out ON THEIR OWN what kids are all about and are interested in.
Between us, Zorak, we have about 80 years experience in entertaining kids and I agree with every word you write!
While kids are growing up in a world of comptuers and television, magicians for the most part are still doing kids' routines based on fairy tales and nursery rhymes.
And then they wonder why they get "eaten alive" by their audiences!
Respect them and they will respect you!
Far too many magicians really don't like kids but figure that doing children's shows is an easy way to pick up some money.
Doing kids' shows well (!) is about the hardest thing anyone will ever do in magic.
Go back and re-read Zorak's post.
Then "go and do thee likewise."
View Profile
Regular user
Maryland, USA
114 Posts

Profile of Zorak
Thank you, Peter for your kind words. (Does make me feel old though).
I go along with you. Kidshows, while they are fun and rewarding in may ways are hard work. At 60 I can't do the 8 show weekends anymore. I just did 2 today and am kicking back for some r&r.
You must go into them party with energy and enthusiasm, Young enthusiasm.
It keeps me thinking young, if not always feeling so. But, I love kids. Spent my working years as an artist/cartoonist during the week, kidshow magician on weekends. I'll admit it took me almost a decade to develope the formula that works very well for me. I guess that's why, Peter, that I want to help the newcomer. That is why I want to say Slow Down youngster. Learn this craft, this art. Respect it and bring to it an educated unique kidshow star---YOU!
Magic is in the hearts of children from 1 to 101
Please check out my Website:
MAGIC CARTOONS all drawn by Zorak
View Profile
Inner circle
1867 Posts

Profile of kenscott
I have a video that has been out for all most a year called "making the birthday dough". It is 85 mins long with a the first part of the tape my actual birthday show from start to finish. Then i do a q&a with the producer and then I go into talks about using music in your show and The god sent Showtech(remote sound system), I also talk about how to market your BD show and discuss using rabbits. I know this is not the place to tel you about this. But the tape is 29.95plus shipping and anyone that buys it from magic Café mention this and I will send you my birthday notes for free.

Ken Scott
View Profile
Regular user
131 Posts

Profile of ruiefe
I have the four DVD Pack Small, Play Big.
In fact, I think that the Kids Birthday show is not the worst.
I think you should go for the excellent advice given here, but I've learned one or two things from this Dan Harlan DVD.
Some effects seem pretty obvious and I don't know if kids are really "fooled" and entertained by them. Some of them are quite good.
I've read about a magician saying bad things about the DVD until he sat with his 4year kid watching the performance part - his kid loved it and it was a hit for some time.
If you want I can go into more detail (maybe in french) - PM me if you are interested.
Finnaly: buy all the others that were recomended here. From what I've read here and elsewhere, you can't go wrong. I think I'll profit from Ken Scott's offer to begin with my Christmas shopping list.
Rui Fernandes
"Carpe diem" - Horatius
View Profile
Special user
506 Posts

Profile of danryb
I like to boast. I am very well know as "Dani the magician" in my neighborhood. I am the most expencive form of childrens entertainers - always have been and always will be. I have had a booming 10 year career and full time at that. Not only parties but also and mainly hotels (entertaining the kids).
I have bought a few books and a few worth mentioning are "performing magic for children", "childrens parties a speciality", laughter all the way" and more (I would be happy to send you the full list if you want) but I, unlike some other entertainers who try to pull a booking by saying they do every thing from magic to balloon sculpting, have always been dedicated to performing what I call "an entertaining magic show for children". And this is true - I don't sell c--p! I don't mean to say that other peoples ideas are no good - they are very good but I personlay have not ever used one routine from any of the books I have read. My magic is my heart and my love of making children happy. It just so happens i use magic tricks/props to assist me in getting my audience to laugh - again, I only use these instruments to "assist me". No heart, no love and believe me you will have no name and no one interested. Every single kid, no lie, knows me here and so do their younger and older brothers and parents. I hardly even advertize myself and never invested in advertizement - I love entertaining and making people happy. That is the true recipe - no books and no dvd's can ever teach you how to do that.
P.s - a good sense of humor and a clean cut -naturaly calm personality have also helped me.

"dani the magician" - entertainment for children.
Al Kazam the Magic Man
View Profile
Special user
Living in Perth Western Australia
997 Posts

Profile of Al Kazam the Magic Man
I felt you summed a few of my thoughts on performing for kids very well. A love and enthusiasm to make them happy and entertain them. I couldn't agree more with you. I don't have many books or videos myself, and so have had to work on the entertainment part and using what little I have to really make a connection with the kids and show a genuine honest desire to connect with them and bring them along for the wonderful ride of a magic show.
My two cents worth,
JoJo <---never seen any Dan Harlan DVD's
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
flourish dude
View Profile
Inner circle
from ? But I know where I am going!
1195 Posts

Profile of flourish dude
[quote]On 2002-10-03 16:10, DougTee wrote:
A drawer box is the only prop I have ever use for producing a rabbit. Just be sure there is good ventilation in whatever type you use and do it early in the routine.

I made my Drawer box for my large lop ear bunny. I load him into the box before I go into the house. Once I am in the house and I am set up I place him under my prop box.This is a suitcase type box sitting on a keyboard stand. I have a silver cloth around the box to make a skirt. I place the box under and behind this so it is out of view. Once it is hidden I pull open the box so there is about 3" opening this give him all the air he needs. My rabbit can not push the box open so it is very secure. BTW I could sit my rabbit it the box and leave it open and he does not get out. This is how I have the kids pet him after he is produced. You never know when he might hop away or pee or poop so I keep him in the box while the kids pet him. he will not pee or poop on himself my rabbit holds it.:0) I use a rouitne where I bring out a invisible rabbit ect..ect.. then I bring out the invisible reverser THE BOX. I have the child place the rabbit inside then I go into wand gags.. I finally end with the wands not working and I use thier smiles to produce the Rabbit. BTW I use the bday child to produce the rabbit then I play the freeze game where everyone stands around the bday child making a funny face. a group photo with me the rabbit and the whole group. Then I line them all up The bday child stays with me and one at a time they come to pet the rabbit this is the end of my show.
I always do the milkshake trick (Dan Harlen Kid show) and The billard ball routine (his all purpose show) I have changed it from Herman to a different story but it is a very good routine with a story and the billard balls. I guess to each his own. I belive to can learn something from anyone the only bad thing about a video or a book is what YOU don't get out of it not what was put into it..
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
Just taking a step, is a step in the right direction because when you stop working, your dream dies.
View Profile
New user
30 Posts

Profile of simage
Zorak, Extremely Excellent Advice!! I have had young children myself, but they age with time... So, it was easier a few years ago to connect with young children because I had a young child myself. We watched Barney, Power Rangers, etc. together. Now we watch wrestling, sports, and play video games together. I don't yell and scream at kids at my show, but I also haven't watched Mr. Roger's Neighborhood recently either. I have a good kid's show, but research probably isn't buying DVD's or videos or books, but is sitting down and watching Barney, Bugs Bunny, and reading Harry Potter.
Thanks! Smile
Definitely a nerd, in science, technology, and magic.
View Profile
Inner circle
Instead of practicing, I made
3010 Posts

Profile of MaxfieldsMagic
Dan Harlan is such a talented magician, he easily could have put together a solid show of deceptive magic, presented in a way to entertain the children and impress the parents. I was a little disappointed to see, on this DVD, the coloring book (with no presentational twists), Dan slapping himself in the nose with a balloon, and several other standard kids routines presented without much original patter or bits.

On the other hand, he does a good job with his "Gosh Man" trick, and his presentation of the milkshake trick at the end is fun and deceptive. There's also one with a bunch of vanishing lollipops that looks good and uses an interesting method.

But much of the performance seems a bit forced and derivative (ie, loud slapstick by someone to whom slapstick does not seem to come naturally). Worse, it often seems age inappropriate for much of audience, which is composed of young ladies apparently ranging in age from six to pre-teen years. IMO, many of the children in this audience were more than ready for some serious adult magic, which Harlan is obviously qualified to deliver.
Now appearing nightly in my basement.
View Profile
Special user
Auckland, New Zealand
578 Posts

Profile of MickNZ
Not great, but his thoughts on packing small and also on routining (triple trilogy format) are worth the investment.
View Profile
Inner circle
Oklahoma City
2285 Posts

Profile of MichaelCGM
I've got to side with Zorak and Peter. Go ahead and buy the recommended books and DVDs. There are some great ideas and routines to learn from and to borrow from. But, most of all, make that personal connection with the kids. Study what they're about (as Zorak said, "in your area"), talk with kids in your target age-range. Find out what they like on TV, music and hobbies. Get to know and respect them. Then build your show around your studies. You'll not only build a clientele, you'll build a fan-club as well.
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael Smile Laus Deo!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Kids' Birthday Show (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.25 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL