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palmern
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Pennsylvania
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I have been doing close up shows for friends and family for almost 3 years. Now I would like to do parlour magic at kid's birthday parties. Does anyone have tips on what to do and what not to do? I have a 40-45 minute routine with optional ballon animals and/or goody bags.
Cory Gallupe
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Nova Scotia, Canada
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One thing. 40-45 min is very long for kids. Mine is 20 min long, and sometimes they are tough to handle even in that short time. You would really have to keep theire attention for that time amount. That means your material has to be visual, easy to follow and understand, and must be very impressing. They are very hard to entertain because they are at the age that they think they know everything. Now, Im talking about kids around 7 and up. Kids below there are very easy to amaze and entertain, but still, not for a long time. Kids 9 to around 11 are in my opinion the hardest, because like I said, they think they know everything. Kids over that age aren't really all that hard. But it depends. So only use 40 min if you think you can hold theire attention, and if your material is very good. Anyways, good luck!
Steven True
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Bonney Lake,WA
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I agree with TheMagicMan101. 40-45 mins is a bit long for kids. If you have a fast paced show it is easier to hold their attention, but stll hard to hold them for to long. Remember young kids have not yet been taught to believe in the unbeliveable. I found that a 20-30 min act is much easier to perform for children than a longer show. See what works for you and just let it happen. Good luck and let us know how it goes for you.

Steven
magicman226
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San Antonio, Texas
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My kid shows are 30 minutes, and they pay attention. They are usually sad when it's over and I sometimes do more than that. It all just depends on what tricks you are doing and how well you perform and can handle kids.
Loual4
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Montreal, Canada
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My shows are usually 45-60 minutes... By all standards, avery long show for kids! But then again I have been doing this for over 20 years, and have the experience to handle most audiences made up of children...

For your first show, I would recommend you try a 20-30 minutes show. Not because I don't think you can make it, but rather because your audience will be easyer to handle on a short period of time. If you have difficulty holding their attention after 20 minutes, you will not have worry about losing ALL the attention in the next 25 minutes... In other words, don't set yourself up for failure on your first time out! Make the show very visual, and interactive so that your audience doesn't lose interest.

Magicman101 has a very good point about age groups. get ready to have a bit of difficulty if you are dealling with boys between 8-11 years of age. They can be a handfull! The ballon animals will go big with the younger kids.

If you feel good about your first performance, there is no reason why you can't strech it to 40 minute or more in later shows... but start with a smaller show and see how it turns out, what gives you the most difficulties. If you practiced enough and are good enough, your main preoccupation now is to gain experience. You will have good shows and bad shows. Examine what went wrong, see how you can avoid the bad situations, and focus on what went well! Above all, don't get discouraged if you have a hard time with different crowds... Some shows are tough, and others go extreemely well!

Have a nice day!

Louis Jutras
palmern
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Pennsylvania
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Thanks guys. Do you think that Dlites would be a good starting trick?
DanielSteep
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If youre doing kids shows deffinately get the hippity hop rabbits a dove pan and candy factory
Brad Burt
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30 minutes is a good length for a kid's show. You can use the Balloon work as an add on for extra money. Some will want it and some won't, but it makes a great up sell.

Good openers: Six Card Repeat, a short rope routine, anything fun and flashy that immeadiately says that YOU are a magician and not a hack. You want to set the tone for fun, but serious fun. Helps in controlling your audience, etc. A great closer is the Linking Rings. I have used the routine on my Linking Ring DVD for over 30 years and it works great. Lots of flash and magic and ends big. Another great closer is Hippity Hop Rabbits. Done well you should have general mayham by the time you are done and a stunned audience to go with it.

Don't rule out things like the Magic Coloring book despite it's being over done. If you know your area you will know whether to include it. Another great kids trick is Chinese Sticks. I recommend the inexpensive Adam's model. Done with the correct attitude this is a killer. The wonderful magician and former Magic Castle host Don Lawton turned me onto this years ago as a walk around trick! I started putting it in every show.

All best,
Brad Burt
palmern
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Pennsylvania
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Quote:
On 2006-01-23 16:42, MagicalOdyssey wrote:
If youre doing kids shows deffinately get the hippity hop rabbits a dove pan and candy factory


Is hippity hoppitty rabbits mini any good? The normal size is a little expensive for my current budjet...
jgravelle
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Milwaukee (Head shown not actual size)
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I'm gonna go out on a limb here, dude.

By your picture, I'd say you werrrrre... under forty? More aptly put... you're IN the demographic (age range) for the people you want to serve. So it comes down to this: Put yourself in the audience.

What would YOU want to see?


Regards,

-jjg
Brad Burt
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Part of the problem with the smaller sets of Hippity Hop Rabbits will be how well they can be seen. Most of the sets I have seen and played with over the years are really not worth the money. I would suggest waiting until you can get a full size unit. Mak Magic has a really nice set.

There is another problem with 'mini' props used in a stand up parlor type show. They reflect on the performer. Even a young performer has to take this into account. The 'mini' rabbits just do not look professional and if you are charging money you are at least a semi-pro. Even if you have to take some time, build up your act slowly and carefully investing not only time in practice and rehearsal, but also in quality looking props. I highly suggest getting a nice suitcase table. Again, for around $300 or so Mak Magic has a very nice starter table. My basic show is still kicking around in one.

With any parlor work set up and take down time will become a big issue. Also, a way in which to protect your props from the children, etc. will also be an issue. Being able to place each prop as you finish into a table that folds easily and quickly into your transport device is very, very, VERY nice to have.

I got my first suitcase table and my set up time went from a harried 30 minutes to a relaxed two minutes. If you can't afford that....consider building your act into a regular suitcase the you can find around the house, or buy used. Set up an inexpensive t.v. style table and set the suitcase on top. Flip open and check props and you are ready to go. Only thing you may want is a second tv table to work some of the effects upon..like the Hip Hop Rabbits, etc.

Trust me on this: Figure out HOW you are going to carry your act around first. Then build your act into the carrier. You want the fewest number of things walking in the door with you. One suitcase table with all inside is optimum. As you add things it gets more difficult to move the act from one show to the next. At your stage with good promo you could be doing 2-5 shows a weekend at $50-75 a pop or more.

Ramblin', ramblin', ramblin'....All best,
Brad Burt
Cory Gallupe
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Nova Scotia, Canada
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Quote:
On 2006-01-23 15:14, palmern wrote:
Thanks guys. Do you think that Dlites would be a good starting trick?


The d'lites are perfect for kids. I would love to have them in my show, but I find they are kindof pointless. I mean, there is no story line that I can think of, there is no beginning, middle, or end. It just kindof happens, then its over. Does anyone have any good ideas for story lines, patter, climaxes? Thank you. -Cory.
magicman226
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San Antonio, Texas
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D'lites are like the best for kids. I personally don't think you need a routine. I do it at kid shows all the time and they LOVE it.
Cory Gallupe
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Nova Scotia, Canada
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Well, what do you do? Pluck them from the air, put them thru your head, thru a kids head, in your mouth out your butt? (Kids love that one!) What do you do with them that makes the kids like it?
magicman226
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San Antonio, Texas
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Just that, except for the butt one. They do like it, so I continue to do it.
Cory Gallupe
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Nova Scotia, Canada
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Exept the butt. What kind of magicina are you doing th d'lites for kids and not even attempting to put one in your butt! Smile the kids get a huge kick out of that one. Altho, I wouldnt do it in a professional situation. lol
magicman226
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San Antonio, Texas
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I just don't to give the kids any idea. Smile
magicman226
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San Antonio, Texas
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Are tables worth the price? I have a close-up pad and a large magic box that someone made for me to hold props. I usually just borrow a table. Would it be better to have my own table? I had one, but the top got too small for my routine.
DanielSteep
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I got a whit table with 4 drores and is on wheels. I got it at canadian tire for $24
Cory Gallupe
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Nova Scotia, Canada
1272 Posts

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I bring my own tables. Just the wooden folding ones. I have two. One for my suit case, the other for performing on.
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