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Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Profile of Dennis Michael
Local Chapter #1 Meeting's Agenda
Topic: KIDabra Conference Purchases

The agenda format schedule was:

From 7:00 PM to 8:00PM We went right into the many products that was purchased at KIDabra Internation and did not present any video this night.

From 8:00 PM to 8:30 PM Guests Introductions, New Members and Business Meeting.

From 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM Discussion on what we purchased at KIDabra and at the Regional M.A.E.S. Conference..

From 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM on Marketing: Using Mini-wands as giveaways. Everyone got a mini-wand.

By 11:00 PM, everyone departs for their drive home filled with thoughts of the evening's exciting and informative discussions and new products on the market.

Below is the Charter Membership of Southern New Jersey KIDabra Chapter #1.
(Bold means Present at this meeting)

Jane Armstrong ([email][/email])
Ralph Armstrong ([email][/email])
John Bobik ([email][/email])
Peter S. Cuddihy ([email][/email])
John Domalewski ([email][/email])
Dennis Michael Dowhy ([email][/email])
Ron Geoffries ([email][/email])
Dennis Giovine ([email][/email])
Helen Giovine ([email][/email])
Donna Horn ([email][/email])
Dennis James ([email][/email])
Joann McDonnell ([email][/email])
Thomas McDonnell ([email][/email])
Michael Miller ([email]mmille8430@AOL.COM)[/email]
Jeff Pennell ([email][/email]) Beep-Beep
Reba Strong ([email][/email]) Silly Reba
Ted Stuessy ([email][/email])
Cathy Dowhy ([email][/email])
Larry Horn ([email][/email])
Richard Lessig ([email][/email])

Brian Richards ([email][/email]) and Ken Northridge ([email][/email]) are area Magicians, one from Berlin and the other from the Atlantic City Area. They contributed a lot of information and hope they join our membership ranks.
See: and

Planned Schedule of the 2006- 2007 Season for Chapter #1
September 25th, 2006: KIDabra Conference Purchases and Routines
October 23rd, 2006: Axtell Night: Puppet or Drawing Board Routines
November 17th, 2006: Duane Laflin Lecture (Special Meeting)
November 27th, 2006: Classics of Children Magic: Hippy Hop Rabbits, Egg Bag, Miser's Dream, Change Bag etc.
December 18th, 2006: Christmas Party and Show
January 22nd, 2007: Creativity Night: Performing an Original Routine and How to Develop an Original Effect
February 26th, 2007: Paper Magic
March 26th, 2007: Rope Magic for KIDs
April 23rd, 2007: Silk Magic
May 28th, 2007: Comedy Magic
June 25th, 2007: KIDabra Social & Show
July: no Meeting Because of Upcoming Conference
August 13th, 2007: KIDabra International Chapter #1 Pre-Conference Dinner and Show in Pigeon Forge, TN
August 14th - 15th, 2007: KIDabra International in Pigeon Forge, TN. Market Night Tuesday the 14th and Wednesday 15th
August 13th - 18th, 2007: KIDabra International Conference 15th - 18th in Pigeon Forge, TN. with Market days the 14th and 15th.

Reporting the Business Meeting
New Member
We welcome our newest member, Rich Lessig ( to the organization. Rich is a Children’s Magician who is a full time pro. Rich will be at the Oct 2007 Meeting. See:

Dues Structure
Yearly local dues are set at $25, due every January for members. This prevents the cost of International dues due around August/September and local dues due at the same time. A question was raised about associate members and their dues structure. We looked at the International Structure and followed their example.

KIDabra International Annual Dues - Member: $40 Local Annual Dues (Jan) $25 Member
KIDabra International Annual Dues - Associate: $15 Local Annual Dues (Jan) $10 Associate
KIDabra International Annual Dues - Junior: $15 Local Annual Dues (Jan) $10 Junior

KIDabra International has a $15 one-time registration fee and our local does not.

New Non-Performance Membership
We motioned, discussed, and adopted a new Membership category:
Non-Performing Member: Dues are Free: This is a member who is a KIDabra International Member, but does not perform or entertain. They generally are the spouse of a performing KIDabra International Member.

We have added to our Non- Performing Membership rolls, New Members: Larry Horn, Cathy Dowhy, and Helen Giovine

Tom McDonald is looking into embroiled T-Shirts, like the one Dennis displayed. He indicated the prices for these shirts are around $20.

Products Purchase at the KIDabra Conference:
The following new products were purchased and discussed:

Steve Axtell’s Puppets and Wide-Open CDs
Donna Horn’s Party Animals
Jozo Bozo’s Change Bag Hat
Tim Sonefelt’s Monkey Monty
Tim Sonefelt’s Peck a Card
Tim Sonefelt’s Magic Worthy of a Message
BJ Hickman’s Showcasing
Jim Snack’s Ice Cream Social Fundraiser
Ken Scott’s New Library CD
Barry Mitchell’s “Eye Can”
Michael Mode’s Napkin to Rose
Michael Mode’s Bowling Pin
Greg Hamilton’s Book and DVD Lecture Notes on Hare Brain Ideas.
The Expanding and Shrinking Head Illusion
Eddy Wade’s Magic Camp Kit
Eddy Wade’s Halloween Show Kit
Silly’ Billy’s Running Gags
Fire Book’s
JB Magic “A Word in a Million”
Numerous Lecture Notes, and Books

Obviously, it would take a book to cover all these topics.

Round Table Discussions: Ethics in Performing Children Shows;
Use with extreme Caution- Actions and Statements that Can Offend Your Customer and Guests:
These topics which were discussed by the group were eye-opening and numerous examples were given. The question of politically correctness has no “correct answer.” People will be offended over the most unusual things. As an example, one magician failed to pick a handicap person for an assistant, and was reprimanded by the parent, another only picks those who raise their hands and want to assist and because an ethnic child was not picked the parent complained, the magician was a racist. Another got offended by referring to the white rabbit living in the box with the white hat on it and the black rabbit living in a box with the black hat on it. A casual toss of a spring skunk into a ditch bag got young children upset that the skunk would be hurt. Below is a list of items discussed and they will serve as a reminder on how you can improve your shows and avoid the “Politically Correctness” individuals from complaining or worse yet, talking negatively about your show. Ultimately, you will have to make the decision on what you want to keep or discard in your shows.

Cruelty to Animals:
The care and handling of your pet and puppet used in magical performances, can easily upset the children. Some animals like birds can scare kids. It’s OK to place a rabbit in a box just before performing a box trick, just do it quickly. The how to do it was also discussed. (Clown make-up which was also brought up in the conversation scare some children).

Fire: Routines Involving Fire:
Children mimic entertainers and such routines must could be a violation of local fire safety rules and regulations. If any approved act involves fire, a fire extinguisher must be physically present and ready for use by a stage hand or approved fire official. Fire is OK if the children don’t see you light a match or a candle. Tricks involving matches should be avoided. Expect children to mimic your actions because you are their hero. The Fire Book is a fine example of an effect that could be used and not mimicked by children, however, a no fire effect policy is being adopted more and more by conventions and conferences. Entertainers who use fire in competition are being disqualified.

Mouth: Routines Involving the Mouth:
Children mimic entertainers and a child may try routines which can injury them. The standard mouth coils used by the entertainer are examples of routines which a child will stuff paper in his mouth. The placing of a small ball in the mouth and retrieving it from the stomach, was an example of a complaint from a parent who’s child swallowed marbles and was trying to retrieve them from the belly button. Obviously, razor blades or needles in mouth are examples of dangerous routines, which a child could mimic. Others feel there are germs and things put into the mouth is an unsanitary act.

Touching Children: Routines where Touching Children are part of that routine:
Parents are very protective of another who touches their child and such routines although very innocently done in action are quickly and easily felt by many as an inappropriate act. This does not include hand shaking, or movement and positioning of a child on stage. Routines, including picking up a child or placement of anything on a child’s blouse are examples where many feel this is an inappropriate action, and they do complain. If you are using a child in your routine, consider all potential actions as a source for a complaint. Any form of embarrassment will offend someone. The break-away wand is an example of a trick some magicians took out of their act as a source of embarrassment. This belief is not shared by all, and it has become an individual decision with a potential of a negative complaint. Ultimately the decision must come from within and the character of the performer must be taken into consideration. What works for one magician may fail for another, simple based on the performer’s character.

Exposure: Exposure of normally covered body parts:
Routines involving the exposure of body parts which are normally covered, such as upper/lower body parts (Bare chest, hairy legs, etc.) Use of tricks like 20th Century Bra or Underwear will offend and embarrass a child, so these should be obvious examples of effects to be avoided. It is still murky waters where a magician produce a large Sponge-Bob-Square-Pants underwear from himself. True, it is funny and kids love it, but will parents be offended?

Violence: Routines involving physical violence, including violence or cruelty to puppets:
Children are impressionable and parents are protective to exposure to physical violence. Any routine or handling of puppets which involves an act which may be interrupted as cruel or inhumane actions can offend. There are great bits of business that can be done with squishing, twisting, pulling or tugging puppets. Some parents feel this is cruel and their child will mimic that action with their toys. How an entertainers deals with this is like other, an individual choice.

Weapons or Explosions: Routines involving an explosion, gun or loud noise:
Children are impressionable and parents are protective to exposure to violence. Any routine which involves a gun, or explosion or loud noise which could potentially frighten a child, cause a child to cry, or has the potential of offending a parent must not be allowed within a children’s show. Bring a gun to a school show, and you could quite possible end up in jail, here in the USA. Jumbo Side-Kick with a gun is out. Even those props that look like a gun can offend. Magician have been told not to make swords or guns out of balloons.

Sexually Related Material:
Entertainers of Children Magic should promotes wholesome clean family and children entertainment. Under no circumstances is sexually related material acceptable. This includes words, props, balloon sculptors, routines, and intentional innuendos. There are double meaning of words where the child would not understand but an adult would and they can be very funny. Adults may laugh outwardly yet feel uncomfortable inwardly.

Foul or “Inappropriate” Language:
Under no circumstances is foul language acceptable, it will offend someone. It is amazing what is acceptable in some parts of the country and not acceptable in others. Sections of the country are very deeply into religion, and others are not. Example of inappropriate words would be “Stupid” Crap” “Oh My God” These can be heard on a daily basis. As one member in our group said, “Oh My God” is a violation of one of the Ten Commandments and they are offended when they hear this.

We learned a lot during this discussion. We learned about each other and the mistakes we made, and most importantly, we learned how to avoid mistakes, to be cognizant in using a mixture of assistants, include those who may be handicapped, cautious with our choice of words, and the props we use as well as dealing with children and the dangers of the “touching” of a child. We as entertainers are not bound by these topics, yet we must give serious consideration to them if we want to call ourselves professionals.

Today’s society is quick to judge and become offended. Routines that offend cultures, races, and religions are to be avoided, as well as violence, cruelty, and unsanitary actions. Our language is to be self-monitored as well as our actions related to chosen assistants. Take action and use effects and routines at your own risk.

For more research on what effects are considered “appropriate” Samuel Patrick Smith’s Book “Kiddy Patter & Little Feats” has listed effects he found appropriate as well as effects he cannot recommend related to the preschool age crowd. In Dick and Virginia William’s book, “Lights! Camera! Magic!”, they lists over 500 tricks they used on TV and a special section which details their top 200 picks for magic to be shown on TV. While we might consider our local region, the Williams had to consider the country as well as the TV ethics monitors. There are enough magic tricks and enough appropriate skits, props, and jokes, that we really can develop a show without offending anyone. Well, for the present time period, because we will offend those anti-establishment persons, politically “incorrect” and those who just want to gripe about something.

I write this in the mist of preparing my [highlight]Halloween Spooktacular Fundraising Magic and Illusion Show [/highlight]which contains, a head chopper, swords through the head, a snake routine, a production of a werewolf to scare those who bravely attend this show. (At least they know what they are going to see!) This proves, one can go against the some of the guidelines (Violence) (Scary) (Cruelty: Let the dangerous werewolf lose in the audience.) and take that risk the audience will love the show!

Compiled and Written by
Dennis Michael
President of Chapter #1

Marketing Tips

We all got a mini wand and discussed how we can use it for close up magic and giveaway within our shows.

Take Home Effect:
Steve Axtell’s DVD on Puppets
Each member Present that didn’t get the DVD from KIDabra got the Steve Axtell Product DVD which had lots of tips and action on it. Steve Sent 20 More so October’s Meeting can focus only on Steve Axtell’s Products. .


Dick and Virginia William’s book, “Lights! Camera! Magic!”
Samuel Patrick Smith’s Book “Kiddy Patter & Little Feats”

Internet Links
Jim Snack’s Fund Raising Material:
DVD Ken Scott’s “Library DVD” Now SOLD OUT

DVD Scott, Ken “Library DVD” Now SOLD OUT
DVD Hare Brain Ideas Lecture

KIDabra International Dealers (Support KIDabra Dealers)

Barry Mitchell:
BJ Hickman
Dave Hill:
Dave Risley
David Kaye:
Dazzling Magic
Duane Laflin Magic (Lock Family)
Harry Allen:
Julian Franklin:
Ken Scott Products
KIDabra International Products:
Mike Bent:
Samual Patrick Smith
Steve Axtell Puppets
Steve Taylor:
Steve Kissell:
Tim Sonefelt:
Eddy Wade Magic Products:
Dennis Michael
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