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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Kevin James Instant Magician (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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TrickyRicky
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TrickyRicky
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Well, let me say this. I guarantee that in due time it will happen if you keep doing that trick.

I've been doing magic for children for over 45 years, times were different then. Today we have so many loony parents who are looking to get money even if it means using their own children to do so.

Some years ago in Toronto, a very famous children's entertainer was arrested and sued for sexually touching a child during one of his shows. After many years in court and not to mention the mount of money that it cost, charges were dropped.

His reputation was damaged and he was never the same.

In my opinion, the Instant Magician is not a good trick for children - sooner or later it will happen.

I do not allow children to put their arms around me for any reason even if the mother is present. You just never know who you're dealing with, I have to protect my reputation and what I do for a living.

Richard Lyn
kenscott
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Richard, I am sure everyone has their own way of thinking. My thinking is, without a doubt, different from yours. If the day comes when a kid wants to give me hug and I have to stop it then I will get out of the business. I have three kids of my own.

In the kid's eyes, we are stars to them.

I guess we should call up Mickey Mouse and tell him he cannot touch the kids??

Ken
Donald Dunphy
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I worked in childcare for 10+ years, as well as doing shows. We had to be careful how we hugged children. We were encouraged to hug around the shoulders, hug sideways, etc. Keep your hands open, on the shoulders (not lower), do not embrace too long, etc. We were never told not to return a hug, though. This was training for professionals specifically in the child care profession (after school programs and early childhood education).

Everything needs to be done in the presence of witnesses (other adults). As a performer, it is more appropriate to let the child initiate the hug, etc.

It is most likely that if you are a good and funny childrens' entertainer, the children will want to show you their affection by hugging you. Try to accept it graciously, but yet with intelligence as to what is appropriate.

- Donald.

P.S. I've had customers, not kids, who gave me a big hug, and a peck on the cheek. They also did the same to my wife. I've never been kissed by a child though, nor would do something like that back.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
mslj
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Human beings, including children are naturally tactile. It is in our makeup to have human contact. After making emotional contact with a child during a show it is a extension of that contact for a child to offer a hug if they so choose. In my opinion the response needs to be appropriate and with the consent of the adults present.

I have seen more children who are damaged by the lack of human contact than by it.

As appropriate adults it is our responsibility to interact with children in a healthy positive manner and not create an environment where human contact is to be seen as something to be avoided.
Emazdad
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Quote:
I guess we should call up Mickey Mouse and tell him he cannot touch the kids??


While I was in Florida at Easter, Tigger (I think it was him - it was one of the pooh characters), got arrested for child abuse! It was on the news etc. Apparently the kid's mum thought what he did was a bit inappropriate.

Maybe he was a pervert maybe he wasn't I don't know. But he won't be working in Disney or with kids again, his name was splashed all over the news..

The number one priority is protecting yourself. If a child is initiating a hug or something, you have to ensure that any reaction on your part cannot in anyway be misunderstood or twisted.

If the parents are with them you let the kid carry on, but you keep your hands in full view, turning slightly sideways is another safeguard. If the kid wants to kiss you, as long as the parents or someone is there watching you can let them peck you on the cheek. But you must never kiss them.

Quote:
I will tell you I am NOT going to let paranoia about peda-perverts get the best of me. If you do that you are saying perverts you win and the KIDS lose.


I understand what you're saying, but I don't see it as giving in. it's cause and effect. Because of these perverts anyone dealing with kids has to be whiter than white. It's for your own protection. My contract says there has to be another adult in the room at all times, this isn't to protect the kids, they're safe with me, it's to protect me.

When you're sat at home looking through the job vacancies in the paper - it's no good moaning, "I can't understand it, I've done it for years, hundreds of times and never had a problem before". Innocent until proven guilty does not apply to things like this.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
kenscott
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Finaly MJlF , I am not alone.

Ken
Christopher
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Ken,

The interesting thing is that this seems to only ever be brought up by other performers that do not perform the routine. In the hundres of times I've performed "instant magician" I have never once had any audience member or parent ever express any concern. Of course, I don't open with this effect and throughout the show the trust builds between me and the audience. If you are concerned, use a high back chair as the child's stage and this puts a barrier between you and the volunteer. Occasionally, I have fellow ring members attend one of my public shows, and if they mention the "instat routine" and having any issues with closeness, I always ask if they perform the routine and I have never once had anyone that has ever actually tried it with an adult, much less a child.

Quite frankly, I'm always glad to read these concerns from other performers, that means that they aren't doing the routine...much better for me.

Just a followup, after talking about this issue with other club members today I was reminded of concerns about other effects.

When I started my restaurant work I was warned by fellow newsgroup members not to do CMH (you could snap someone's eye), anything with a ring (everyone is looking to pull off the ever popular switched ring scam), spongeballs with children (should never touch a child's hand), as well as any rope routine involving scissors. Not quite sure what was going to be left. Maybe some performers are a little too paranoid...ya think?
Jeff Alan
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Christopher,
Rumor has it some magician from Denver got a rope burn on his little finger doing professor's nightmare...stay away from it!
Aim high and you won't get your shoes wet.
Christopher
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Jeff,

I guess I will just have to stick with the bullet catch and razor blade illusions.
magicbytodd
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I, too, have been concerned about using the effect for the reasons mentioned earlier but was wondering about having the assistant sit in a chair rather than standing. My thinking is that the chair would create a safety barrier. What do you think? Would this even work with the effect?
The Great Smartini
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Its always best to be comfortable in your dealings with people both big and little...it is more than a little sad that we even have to engage in this kind of discussion and that it is an issue...i'm with ken scott on this issue...i have two kids and have been a primary educator and as such can see all sides...still, I will do the instant magician...one could always ask pre-show are you okay with your son/daughter being the magician?...here's what it looks like...hopefully the adult booked me because they feel comfortable with me as a performer

Jeff Christensen
aka The Great Smartini
Christopher
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Remind me never to work in the U.K. I thought people here in Amish country were tough.
Rupert Bair
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Uk aint that bad, just sum parts of the country like any are'nt so good.
Matt
Emazdad
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Jeff has a good point, If you are going to do such a trick, ask the bookers permission first. Over here if the local paper turns up at an event they wont even take a childs picture until they's asked the parents permission.

Parents have been banned from taking photo's of their kids at school events unless they have written permission from all the other parents giving their permission for their kid to be in a photographed.

I dress a kid up in a balloon outfit, it involves me getting quite close to the kid as I put the stuff on. I take great care to ensure that my hands never go out of site behind the kid at any time.

True Story:-

a few years ago a magician mate of mine had a mum complain to him that he hadn't picked her little angel to help in the show, (it was when he used to use a live rabbit), A couple of days later out of the blue the RSPCA turned up because someone had phoned saying he was cruel to his rabbit during the show. After discussions with the booker it turned out to be this Mum had done it because her kid didn't get picked.

Obviously on examination they went away happy that the rabbit was well looked after, but imagine what ammunition this woman would have had if he'd done the instant magician. It wouldn't have been the RSPCA knocking at the door.
[
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
The Great Smartini
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Unfortunately, people can say almost anything they want and seemingly without any recourse...all we can do is to do what we do and to do so with care and with integrity...when we perform we need to do so with an attitude of respect, wonder and joy as we share our magic...see Juan Tamariz's book The Five Points in Magic where he describes the performer presenting themselves in a way and creating a space/setting/atmosphere where spectators want to share...as it has been said "Do what you love and love what you do." (Source?)

Jeff Christensen
aka The Great Smartini
Frank Tougas
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In spite of the fact Christopher chooses to make light of this subject, the fact remains each performer has to make up his/her own mind and be in their own comfort zone. That's what makes us unique. It would be awful if we were all doing the same tricks, the same way and using the same costumes...hey, I think I've just described most of the Vegas magic acts.

Anyhoo, it wasn't all that long ago that a very well known magician, specializing in kid shows, who wrote several wonderful books on the subject and many articles was arrested and convicted of child molestation.

Just being magicians does not mean the percentages of odd or perverted people does not exist in our ranks the same as in the general population and stories like that are remembered.

Just my opinion, but I believe it to be a valid one.

Frank
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Christopher
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Frank,

I agree. There are some performers whose personality and presentations would make no sense at a kid's party at all, let alone with such a routine. It is all in how the audience accepts you. I've seen Ken several times, and I know my own act, I believe the audience is more than accepting.
Emazdad
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Even though I'm a young good looking sexy 44 I still wouldn't do it myself. I think if your a young guy, you probably have a good chance of performing this trick with no problems, an older guy playing around behind the kids may find a different reaction, The Public see most peada-perverts as dirty old men.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Christopher
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After double checking your avatar, I agree, maybe you should stick with something else...lol
Magic.J.Manuel
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Boy I remember doing something like this at Boy Scout talent shows with a poncho and the front guy has boots on his arms, looks like a short hiker. And we had several very funny routines set up between the front guy and the hands. But we did it with two similar aged scouts, so I agree that an adult getting behind a strangers child would be somewhat questionable, like someone said Even though nothing is going on, the appearance of impropriety is sufficient to raise suspicion and reason enough to avoid the situation.

Now how about making Daddy the Instant Magician? Or the Pack Leader. And give them a short script ahead of time to make it extra funny? The person can read the Disappearing Bandanna instructions and you grab the wrong prop...pie eating contest...blow nose...
Nothing would get done at all, if man waited so long that no one could find fault with it.
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