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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » How many Sucker Effects in your act? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Steven True
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Bonney Lake,WA
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I have been reading David Ginn's book, "Professional Magic for Children". He says in his book that you should have only one sucker trick in your act for kids. I am in the process of redesigning my new kids show, It is in it's 4th revision. My line up is as follows:
20th Century Silks/Appearing Cane
Silk Tube
Break Apart Vanish
Square Circle
All of the above done to music.

Spot Can/or What's Next
Paper Hat Tears
Forgetful Frankie
Visible Painting
Start-O-Sphere's
Needle Through Balloon
Milk Pitcher Mishap/My version of the Egg Can
Hippity Hop Rabbits
Dove Pan/Foam Birthday Cake Appearance
"These are all done to patter."

Am I trying to put in to many sucker effects or is this about normal. This act is being developed for 9-12 year old kids. Bday parties and maybe some school shows.
Is this to many sucker tricks, or to many tricks in general?
I really want to do the best show that will work for everyone over all. I hope that made sense. Anyone out there that is doing kids shows a lot I would really be intrested in knowing your ideas and any help. Like I said already, this is the 4th reveision of this new act. PLEASE HELP!!!!! All input would be of help here.

Thank you all
Stveen
Stevethomas
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Maybe one and another that's not a STING-type sucker effect...

Steve
Cody Comet
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Louisville, KY
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I read another book of his that was actually a collection of excerpts from his, Sammy Smith's, and Steve Taylor's section that they used to have in M.U.M. and he said what he meant was that there should be only one sucker trick of that type in each show.(i.e.-only one turn it around type trick, only one letting you in one the secret type,etc.) You can have multiple sucker tricks in a show, just as long as they are all different types of sucker tricks.
AshleyW
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Steven, if you want the audience to remain on YOUR side, you should perform 0 sucker effects. That whole list you have can easily be performed in a fun, comedic manner without using a sucker. You can make yourself the sucker, but too much of that and they see you as inept at your own craft. Kids thinks literally. I think the important thing is to not mix up your "concepts" in one show. In other words, have 1 vanish, 1 color change, 1 appearance, 1 levitation, 1 torn & restored, 1 liquid, 1 animal, etc, etc. This keeps them never knowing what's coming next. The element of surprise is vital. Sucker tricks tend to be repetetive even with different props and different outcomes, they also seem as challenges where it is you vs. the audience. I do not think it is wise to go that route when you can have a funny, user-friendly show instead. Just an opinion though! Good luck.
Al Angello
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I never read David Ginn, I never read Steve Taylor, I never read Sammy Smith, and I never met the lovely Awhley W. but I do the mis-made-flag for every kid show. It is best to follow your gut feelings rather than following the crowd.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Stevethomas
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Don't get my friend Margarette started by mentioning the "m-m-flag", okay? Heh, heh, heh...

Steve
Al Angello
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Margarette is a friend of mine and a very sweet woman. Does she do the mis-made-stars and barrs?
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
magicians
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Al, I produced some economy mismade flags for a while. U.S. made. My instructions included some patter in Rhyme. If you'd like that patter, it a neat little poem.

If you ever need replacement pieces like blank star field, the mismade, or th reverse colored, I have a batch left over.

Sammy Smith lives locally to me, I had lunch the other day, he goes to the kids convention eachyear and has a magic magazine he puts out. Although lately he is too busy doing the Linking Ring magazine.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
magicians
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My opinion on how many sucker gag effects, is probably one.
A sucker gag requires that you play dumb at times and allow the kids to catch you, then you zing-em.
The good sucker gag gets em yelling and pointing and catching you, so by "teaching" them with more than one, they will not stop with just the sucker gag, as every effect could be the sucker gag.
Some kids would start to yell out if your tie was crooked or they spotted a silk in a pocket and not know that it wasn't the "time" to do that.
I do hippity, run cookie monster run, or mismade or dye box. Only one of the above.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Al Angello
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Ian
I actually do two versions of m-m-flag depending on the size of the venue. What size are your flags?
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
ku7uk3
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I do several. I don't think there's anything wrong with doing a whole show of sucker effects, but there has to be a reason, and the routine you do them with has to be solid otherwize, the PARENTS will think your messing up. (The children will enjoy it whatever the routine).

If your patter it tight and comedic, then you can do a great show with just sucker tricks, you just need to be well practiced in the art of kiddy hecklers, which can actually make for a really funny show if you know what your doing.

Steve
Mumblemore
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I had tended to do only one or two (Pizzadigitation die box and the incomparable Blow Yer Stack), and I usually take the "blame" or show my foolishness, but I think, after watching Capehart's Kidding Around (amazing video), I may try one or two more, especially on the older kids, and I may stake my "giveaway" wands as a wager when the kids get something right. Unlike Capehart, who promises X-Boxes and Webkinds and gives the kids nothing ("magicians are supposed to win"), I'll have them succeed at the end. But maybe, as Capehart says, if you string 'em along a bit they'll be more engaged as an audience . . . What do you think?
KC Cameron
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Steven,

Correct me if I am wrong, but none of the tricks you listed needs to be a sucker effect do they?

I generally don't do sucker effects with kids, but I have no problem with them, if done well. I think it is possible to have an entire act of sucker effects, and get rave reviews. You just don't want to be perceived as insulting them, that is all.

It all boils down to your personality and presentation. I believe it is a lot easier for a "Controlled Chaos" magician to do sucker effects effectively than a "Sunday School" magician.

We all are different, and as much as some like to make "rules" in reality there are none. Just traditions that work well for a lot of magicians.
disneywld
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I usually incorporate 2-3 sucker tricks into a show. In all cases I am the sucker - I only offend myself! I sucker the kids with:

Die Box
Hippity Hop Rabbits
Run Rabbit Run
Topsy-Turvy Crayons/Soda
Wands...lots of wands
The Magic of Christopher Manos
www.safetymagicshows.com
jakeg
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In general, I don't care for most commercial sucker tricks of the 'sting' variety. Mainly because of their endings. Too many of then, imo, have 'oh' endings instead of 'wow' endings. Silk to egg has a WOW ending ....
Rupert Bair
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The audience won't hate you for doing a sucker trick...even if every trick was a sucker trick. In fact every trick really IS a sucker trick if they can't work it out. But they will hate you if think your better than them because you can fool them.

M:C
magicgeorge
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I agree with jakeg that there are quite a few sucker tricks with disappointing endings,some good ones too, die box is pretty befuddling.
I don't do any tricks where the main focus is the sucker part but I do think it is a powerful tool. I use little bits of suckery here and there not only can it be used to create interaction it's probably the most powerful type of misdirection for an audience of children.

It's not hard to switch the ending so there is absolutely no sting in the tail for most sucker effects and sequences although I have to admit I have resorted to the "ha ha" ending to shut up a know-it-all 9 year old or two. Works well.

George
richards
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Brian Richards
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I think that there are several reasons why many established magicians recommend minimizing sucker effects. The first problem with them is that they can sting the kids and create a separation between you and the young audience. (Adults love them, but the reaction from the kids is often a let down). If you deliver them with, "OK...I admit it...they are black and white on opposite sides" and then let them discover that the rabbits are red and green surprising even you, then you stay at their level. That works.

The other problem with sucker effects is that they are a "chaos creator." I try to have peeks and valleys in my show, making it like a roller coaster ride. There are times when the kids get crazy (hopefully staying under my control) and times when the magic kinda settles them down a bit. Try to have balance in your show!! Try not to put "sucker effects" and "Look, But Don't See" effects back-to-back. Part of being a real professional in the eyes of our clients is our ability to captivate our audience and keel them under OUR CONTROL! As a school assembly performing, I can assure you that audience control is probably the most important quality that teachers and administrators are looking for in a great presenter.

For what it's worth....

Brian Richards
Dennis Michael
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We should be very specific on what is a "Sucker" effect. I don't believe Hippy Hop Rabbits is a "Sucker Effect" as well as "Fraidy Cat Rabbit". However, Stung and Stung again is if presented the way it was written in the instructions. This trick can be revised to become a none "sucker" effect.

When one gets an audience to react as a whole such as the hippy hop rabbits, this is "Controlled Chaos Interaction" with a comical colorful unexpected ending. If played as a serious routine and not fun interaction, then yes, it may be considered a sucker effect when the magician appears "superior" to his audience.

I categorize "Hippy Hop Rabbits" as a "turn-around" effect and limit only one in a show. For instance I wouldn't use it with "Fraidy Cat Rabbit" effect.

Also since these routines have such a high audience interaction, the following routine should be a "quiet" routine. By that I mean a routine such as one which uses an audience member or a production routine, or something like 20th Century silk routine, etc. Back-to-back Chaos routines can appear that you have lost control of your audience. That is something you want to avoid.

By the way, if you ever see Chris Chapart's show, he can "break the rules" and get away with it and the audience loves him for it. So for every rule, concept, belief, there are exceptions. Many of those exceptions relate to performance style, character, age, experience and many other factors.
Dennis Michael
Regan
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I agree with Dennis on this. Personally, I never do more that one per show/set.

Regan
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