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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Assistants assistant (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

danryb
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During my childrens stage show last week, I called upon a young 6 year old girl to come up on stage to assist me to perform a routine.

It was quite a large stage with 250 people in the audience that evening.
As I chose this young girl, it seems one of the mothers had pushed her 4 year old boy forward and she must have told him to just go up on stage because....

...as the young girl was proceeding towards the steps, this young boy joined her. I did try to deter him from coming up by stating that it wasn't him I chose but rather the young girl.

He totaly ignored me and did "what his mother told him to do" -
The first thing that came to mind was to say out loud - "oh look dear, you have an assistant".

This got a good laugh and so the fun began.
Taking into mind this was the first show that I had professionaly filmed on camera and this occurance was the last thing I wanted to have on footage.
I had to adlib and act fast because the 6 year old was very cooperative and new I was going to have something for her to do but the little boy was full of energy and I didn't have a routine that entailed two assistants.

So, I blew up a balloon and after introducing the two kids to the audience I handed him the balloon and told him to hold on tight until I ask for the balloon back.

I did the routine with the girl and then took the balloon and proceeded with a humorous routine of needle through balloon with both assistants standing by my side.

Everything went just fine but I can imagine that in the hands of someone less experienced this could be a difficult problem to handle.

I also feel now as if something was lacking by having the two just standing there next to me as I was performing for the whole audience.

If this should happen again to me, I think I would probably do the same unless....

...anyone has any other suggestions that they could offer.

thanks in advance,
Dani
nucinud
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New York, New York
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Don't you just love mothers who volunteer their kids.
Especially when you need some older child for the Hand Chopper and they want their 4 year old up there.

Great story, great out come. You did the right thing.
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.



Now U C It Now U Don't

Harry Mandel

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magic4u02
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This is sopmething that just happens no matter how experienced a magician you are or how many shows you have done. It is bound to happen where a kid may think you chose them or they may just come up on stage by themselves or for various reasons.

I have learned to use them when I can and usually that is all the time. The last thing I want to do is send the kid back crying and letting them and the audience down. By doing that, I disrupt my flow of the show. So instead I do like Dani did above. I use the other child in my routine and get them both involved in the fun.

If you know your routines well enough, you should be able to adapt and improv in the event that this happens. I know my routines so well now that I just go into a different format when this happens and it still makes for a fun routine and it does not upset any child for me having to send them back.

It just works for me is all.

Kyle
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Steve V
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Happens.... it really was too bad about it being filmed. I've had it happen (not with the mother but saying 'you can come up' and two kids responding) and I changed to a different routine. It is a wrench in the works.
Steve V
magic4u02
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I think the important thing to learn here is that 1) this is bound to happen to any performer and 2) we must learn what to do in the event that it does happen to us and how we as performers are going to react to it and work with it. This is about being prepared and knowing your routines ahead of time so well that you also can find ways in which to involve mutliple assistants on stage in the event it happens to you.

Infact, one might say that maybe we as performers could come up with items and bits of business that we have set up behind our table so that we can immediately use them in the event that multiple assistants do come up on stage.

Kyle
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danryb
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Again, this is not something that has not occured in the past.
I mean, I have had a child wet themself on stage from laughter, and it doesn't get more embarrasing then that. It is down to us, the performers, to help these kids out of their predicament.

As Steve said, the drawback of this particular incident was the fact that I was filming. (I went all out on this one show and hired 2 camera men - one on me and one on the audience). Usualy, if a second kid would barge up on stage I would either include him or just give him a funny little "kick in the butt" send him back to his seat.

Still, I should get the edited performance back next week and hope all's well that ends well.

Dani
magic4u02
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Dani,

You handled it the best you could. Also, by the sounds of it, it looks like it may have gone over well and looked good on video as well. Let us know how it turns out.

Kyle
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danryb
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Thanks Kyle,
I can't wait for the Dvd to come out sometime next week.
I hope to somehow get the (2 and a half minute) clip on the net so you can see it.
I might need some help on that from you.

My wife has challenged me to write a book now. I think I might just take her up on that one.
We are looking at something like - "Dani's magic stories". What do you think.

A few years back (about 12) I was requested to do a "spot" for toddlers (2 to 3 year olds). I didn't have very much experience period in the field of childrens magic but I accepted the challenge and gave them my quote.
I took some of my colorful, visual props and cutouts of some animals and I created what I called a "magic story". Since then I have produced numerous stories with props.
I would like to put them (the 3 or 4 best ones) all under one hard bound cover complete with drawings etc and market it.
I understand you're an iilustrator - what tips could you give me on this.

Thanks in advance,
Dani
magic4u02
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Dani, I would love to see and review your dvd clip. It would be my pleasure to help you if I can. It sounds like you did a great show and should get some good footage from it.

You are right in that I am a graphic designer and Illustrator. If I can be of any help, let me know. It would be my pleasure. I can relate to you in that I also find my style using a lot of comical storytelling in the rouitnes and shows that I do. I find the kids love using their imaginations and stories are just a part of what they do naturally.

Putting a book or compilation together is a great idea and one in which it is nice to have all your rotuines and ideas under one bound source. I keep notebooks of all the ideas I constantly think up. It is great for me to go back to for inspiration for a new show etc.

What specific questions would you like to know in regards to your book idea from an artistic perspective? Please feel free to PM me and I can help you out.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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