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Cody Comet
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Hey everybody, whats up? In this topic, what I want is some suggestions on how to develop a warm-up routine for my act. I don't want a canned warm-up routine, just some suggestions on how to develop my own warm-up routine. Anything will be appreciated.
mcharisse
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Just be creative and remember what you want to accomplish -- getting their undivided attention and setting the ground rules for the show. This first is pretty easy, really, kids pay attention to magic, in my experience. The second is up to you -- I've tried a lot of things: Goofy props (foam rubber rock in shoe, toy pop-gun, electric deck) to segue into something magical. Lately, I've been doing a little thimble magic in the warmup as well - the kids really like a little bit of hand magic - establishes your cred as a magician and you can get them talking, pointing and saying magic words.
The other day I did a librarly show and started by asking kids how many knew they were supposed to be quiet in the library say SHHHH real loud. Then, how many knew they were supposed to be real noisy at a magic show, say abracadabra real loud. Then I showed a silk, called it a balloon, with all the kids disagreeing, then changed the silk into a balloon, did needle through balloon, along with a "do not try this at home" warning. When I popped the balloon, I said, "Now that I have everybody's attention, it's time to start the magic show."
I think you can afford to experiment with warm-ups, as they have only to accomplish a little, and really the show should build from there.
Hoep that gets you thinking...

marc
Cody Comet
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Thanks, and that most certinatly got me started on the right path.
ROBERT BLAKE
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Blendo is a great start. show the kids the silks and let them call what color it is. then let them do a magic spell and all silks join to one big silk.
Cody Comet
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That's a great idea Robert! Why haven't I thought of that before?
KC Cameron
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Warm up is a time where I let the kids know my personality. If I am waiting to start, I pace in front and stare at the kids with a slightly strange look. They start nervous giggling, and in an over-the-top style, I tell them "No Laughing". Of course, this starts them laughing more, and I get a lot of eye contact. I also say "NO SMILING" which always brings grins and laughter. I act frustrated with them, but in a way that they know I am just playing.

When the show starts, I spend a lot of time getting them good and loud using my magic words and motions. When they are about as loud as they will get, I start the magic.

This way my magic always starts with a bang. I get a lot of eye contact which helps control the kids, and lets them know they are going to have a good time. I do this in both school shows and BPs.
harris
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A class or series of workshops on improvisation is suggested. They have helped this nearly normal one.

Props from Whose Line is it anyway is a fun one. Practice with things in different rooms at your house and friends and families as well.

Caution don't pick up a heavy round table and pretend it is a steering wheel..
Great laugh at the time but PAIN for this un thinking comic the next couple of days..

My library shows sometimes start with a 20 minute warm up depending on when the first family shows up....not a steady 20 minutes but different bits..based on the season the people and my mood.

Something as simple as a SPS idea of rolling a ball to and from a small child.
Hint ..I usually roll it to an adult first.

Harris
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honus
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Quote:
On 2007-12-17 09:51, Harris wrote:
Something as simple as a SPS idea of rolling a ball to and from a small child.
Hint ..I usually roll it to an adult first.


I usually play catch with them with an invisible ball. ("Ever seen one of these before? No? That's because it's INVISIBLE!") At some point, the ball becomes visible (a sponge ball), leading into my first routine.
Jef Eaton
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Kandu here.The color changing ball to square is a nice opener. Play a guessing game with the kids. Tell them they have to watch the magician's hands because they are reaaly fast. Put the ball in your right hand and have them guess and,more importantly, point to where it is (hold your arms outstretched to the sides of your body). Of course it is in your left. Do it again. Th third time you sneak it out and put it into your pocket (they go crazy). Last time there is a square in one hand, another colored ball in the other and the original colored ball is back in your pocket where you started out. I use a yellow ball inside because I find the black one stains the square.
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Cody Comet
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Hey everyone, thanks for the great ideas and keep them good ideas coming!
NJJ
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Rather then suggesting routines I thought I might suggest some psychological techniques that can be applied to warm up routines.

1) Reward the children for correct behaviour. e.g. a game where you have a prize for the best clapper etc.

2) Have the children follow a set of simple instructions. This will remind them they are not watching TV and also condition them to do what is expected later on.

3) Set up a 'magic word' that, when spoken, will get the children sitting down and quiet. This is your emergency button for when the kids get TOO excited. Make following the magic word FUN.

4) Ensure the children are sitting in a specific spot from the start of the show. e.g. a magic carpet.
disneywld
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I do an interactive dye tube routine. It warms me and the kids up.
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Cody Comet
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Very good ideas from everyone so far, I'm starting to get an idea of what I want to do, but still keep the advice coming!
Michael238
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Blooming boquet works well also.
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Robert Blake usually has the best ideas in the business.
When he talks, you should listen....

Actually, I often use a quick blendo routine in my "busking" act as a warm-up.
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Cody Comet
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Thanks for noting that Frank and thanks for your suggestion mrlucky! And thanks to everyone for welcoming me in kindly to the Magic Café and giving me just the right advice that I needed which rivals advice given by local magic club members, one of which is past IBM president Robert(Bob) Escher. Happy Holidays to all on these forums!
johnpert
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I've had fun with three quick warm up tricks. The kids are conditioned to say the number that I show on my fingers. I say, "Warm-up trick number" They say "One."

I do the trick, move on to two and three.

The tricks are colourful, magical and comical. Examples: (ball vanish with a cloth, Darryl's jumping knot performed using a short routine, vanishing bottle, what's next, silk vanish combined with vanishing wand to relocate the silk,)

j
fuzzysponges
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I don't get it. How do you warm up with three tricks? I'm half way into my show by then.
Danny Hustle
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Cody,

Great question!

To answer it you just need to think of what the point of the warm up is. The reason for it is to condition your audience to respond when you want them to in a way you want them to. It is also to educate them about ways NOT to respond, get them laughing, and let them get to know you.

The first five minutes of my show is just interacting with the kids, talking to them, getting them to raise their hands, to respond verbally when I ask them a direct question, and to let them know the rules of the show (in a funny way!). The way in which I deliver it also lets them get to know my character so we start off on the right foot. I saw in another thread that you have some improv training so this is a great way to get them to play with you in a direction that you control, without taking control.

After a few shows, in just a couple of minutes you can start your show with the kids focused, happy, and responding just the way you want them to.

As I said, it was a GREAT question because you didn't ask for a canned warm up, but for thoughts on developing your own. That is very clever. If you know why a thing works you can apply those simple rules to anything you like. Keeping what you want to accomplish in mind with your warm up you should be able to develop something that works a treat just for you. I think you are going to do very, very, well, as a children's entertainer.

Best,

Dan-
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magic4u02
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This is a funny thing my wife and I do at our young shows from time to time. It gets a great reaction.

1) To condition the kids to want to respond and interact and to get them used to raising their hands we do this:

Ok boys and girls rasie your hand if you are here today. If you are hear today raise your hand nice and tall so we can count who is here. 1...2...3... perfect. Hands down.

Ok now riase your hand real high if you are NOT here today. If you are not here raise your hands real high (I always raise my hand here as the kids often will mimic me and then start giggling and laughing). Ok let's count who is not here today. 1....2.....3... Perfect hands down.

Ok now raise your hand if you are just tired of raising your hand? Nice and high for thosw who are tired or raising their hands. hehehe Perfect you guys are going to be just great.

Kyle
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