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Jon Gallagher
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Elmwood, Illinois
395 Posts

Profile of Jon Gallagher
This school year, I've put together an anti-drug, alcohol, and tobacco show for elementary schools. Funny how I THOUGHT it was an original idea till I started checking the web. Silly me.

Two questions for discussion: High schoolers have already experimented with drugs and alcohol by the time they get there (I know... I used to be a high school teacher) and if I did this type of show for a high school or even junior high, I think I'd be laughed off the stage (or so my own children tell me). Is there a way to gear this type of message towards a high school, or should I be looking at a different type of theme. I had hoped that the anti drug show for elementary schools would keep me busy this year, but so far, that's not the case.

Second question: How does one go about routining a theme show? I know David Ginn does a great job at coming up with a new theme each year, but I'm not sure where to start. I think if I got a start, I could probably go from there and put together a nice routine based on a theme, but getting started seems to have me stumped. Any suggestions? Is the "show in a box" the way to go here, or is that just the lazy side of me talking?

Thanks! I'll be listening!

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
2642 Posts

Profile of p.b.jones
Dave Dee is giving with his Millenium marketing course, (supurb! as one of the bonuses) an ebook on creating theme shows.
Easily check it out Here!

The theme show bonus only comes with the gold edition, if you click on the buy now link you will see a second upgrade offer and it is listed there.

(I already have it)

Jon Gallagher
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Veteran user
Elmwood, Illinois
395 Posts

Profile of Jon Gallagher
I'm still getting PMs on this subject. Most are trying to sell me their particular show in a box.

Has anyone else had any luck with this type of show? Do you create your own? I'm willing to listen.

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
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101 Posts

Profile of Magicrma
Being a teacher, I'm sure you're aware that the students feel that they are always being preached "AT". Getting your message across is very difficult. I have found that when you try the direct approach "Don't do..." the kids are long gone at the "Don't". I'm sure you already know that.

What has worked for me, is to present a good story that has the elements of the message within. Make it entertaining to them. If it holds their attention for the short term, you can get the information across.

Young adults are one of the hardest audiences to work for, their view of the world is very different and seems to be constantly changing from that of most target audiences.

Advertising agencies have been targeting them for years and the pitch doesn't always work.

For me it's a challenge and I am always working on that type of presentation.

I know your up to the task and look forward to hearing about your presentation.

Smile MagicRMA
"The art of Illusion is at least 95% applied psychology" Henning Nelms (Magic & Showmanship)
Jon Gallagher
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Elmwood, Illinois
395 Posts

Profile of Jon Gallagher
The Just Say No Show was successful this year, and I think in big part because I wasn't preaching AT the kids. My approach was to entertain first, then get the message across. If you start off preaching, you lose a good portion of your audience. The key, I think, is to hook them, make them interested in what you have to say, and then get the message across.

By the time kids get to high school, most of them have experimented with either smoking or alcohol, sometimes, believe it or not, with their parents' blessings. Therefore, it's extremely hard to get across a message of "don't try it, not even one time" when they already have and nothing bad has happened. To get that point across to elementary kids, I tell the Len Bias story and then tell them, "This might not happen to you the first time you try drugs.... but what if it did?"

The most effective presentation I saw when I was a teacher was a guy who came to school and spoke while he had a slide show behind him. He showed his little sister and talked about what she did in school - cheerleading, honors student, etc. There was his hook. He got plenty of interest by telling her story. Then he told how she had been murdered. Those who hadn't been hooked, now were. He went on to tell about how she had been murdered... before revealing that he had murdered her by driving the car she was in while he was drunk. Three hundred high school students in a gym, and I swear, you could have heard a pin drop. Kids walked around the rest of the day talking about this guy. Prom was that weekend.

Naturally, three of our kids went out, got drunk and smashed up their car. No deaths, but it just goes to show you can't reach everyone.

I guess maybe I just answered my own questions. Pick something that will get their attention, tell an interesting story, and let the message reach as many as possible.

Doggone... now I got to put my brain back in gear.

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
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Profile of MagicCoach
CJ Johnson, one of the best "real world" magical marketers, has an interesting Motivational Magic Show for schools.

Details here

In all "theme shows" it's a delicate balance in getting the level between the Content and the Entertainment. The content helps you sell the show and justifies the school booking it, the entertainment value of the show dictates how well it will go down with the target audience.

timothy hyde

I meant to add this to the post. I know quite a few MagicCoach subscribers use it to add "content" or get ideas for school presentations.

(It was also listed on a recent Tour Bus issue as one of the best educational resources on the web.)

You can't talk about educational resources on the Internet without mentioning Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators. The Guide is a free, categorized list of over 2,000 Web sites useful for enhancing curriculum and professional growth. [Think Yahoo or Google Directory for educators.] Best of all, Schrock updates the list DAILY to include the best new sites for teaching and learning.

Timothy Hyde
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SLC Utah
125 Posts

Profile of khuber
I've been a police officer for 15 years and I've been working with schools for 8. I do exactly what you want to do. I do assemblies for Elementary schools through High Schools on just about every topic.

I just started putting magic into my assemblies. You're right about telling a story with what you are doing. Make it something that they can relate to and then give them the message at the end. Make sure the story is true and has something to do with the subject.

I have a powerpoint presentation with pictures of accidents due to DUI which I use in the drug, anti-DUI, and other assemblies. If you would like a CD of it PM me.

Good luck and remember,
we do make a difference! Smile
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Harris Deutsch
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Profile of harris
As a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist
I work with both Middle and High School age students. I also provide programs for places such as Adult Detention Centers, Juvenile Holding Facilities and Juvenile Court Family Nights.

Here are a few suggestions.

1. Check out Steve Taylors pamphlets on
Magic and Vent and Education Shows.

2. Research your subject

3. Ask yourself why you want to reach this market.

4. Get accurate information

5. Be real if you can about how this has
affected you or your familys life.

6. Use study guides.

7. Use pre and post questionaires.

8. Know your target school.

9. Know yourself

10. Keep learning about the subject

11. Use mulitmedia, ie music, live instruments, Power Point/MS Word,
Smart Boards. (large screens to display
images to large groups)_

12. Enjoy, keep learning sharing and asking
what if???

Harris Deutsch
2002 COMBAT Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist of the Year.
Laughologist and Nearly Normal Magician/Ventriloquist
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
music, magic and marvelous toys
Richard Landry
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New user
Chatham, Illinois
18 Posts

Profile of Richard Landry
Steve Taylor has some great notes on how to develop and promote theme shows.

I come up with a theme first, (conflict resolution) and then I research the subject on the web. Then I look at the material and try to brainstorm different ideas on how the message can be relayed to a certain age groups. I even went to a local grade school and talked to the counselor there about conflict resolution and she gave me a copy of the school's peer mediation program, of which I read and pulled out 3 basic points to cover for grade schoolers.

Richard Smile
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