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AshleyW
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Quote:
On 2008-01-05 06:22, Tony James wrote:
Children can be many things but in entertainment terms being impressed by something amazing is rather lower down a child's list of priorities than having fun.


totally disagree with that for ages 6+

For me, just before a school assembly show, when the crowd is all a buzz, young ones are trying to hush their excitement and kids eyes are wide with the colorful "wonders" they see on stage, this is what I hear from their whispers, "Is he gonna make something disappear?", "is he gonna make something float"? Sometimes they get up the courage to ask me outright with a huge grin, "Are you gonna make a rabbit appear?".

If we are listening to the desires of our audience, they WANT and crave amazement. They are expecting surprise. Although it is great to make them laugh on the way to that destination, and it great to have some non-magic additions to the show, I truly believe you have let down an audience when you fail to amaze them.
Tony James
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Perhaps we are allowing the words to get in the way Ashley. What you are describing is anticipation. What we are talking about is what is needed in order to entertain and to hold an audience with entertaining routines. Of course you are right about hearing the anticipative chatter but taking that into account will only work if it whatever it is forms a part of a fun-filled, colourful entertainment.

What we're there to do is entertain, not surprise, astound or shock for it's own sake. You may consider those aspects as elements within my list of 10 but the objective is entertainment.

The great danger of doing straight magic for children - however awe inspiring - is that it becomes an audience challenge to how it's done. That can lead to a mental distraction which with a young inquiring mind is only to be expected. This can make it less easy for the performance to smoothly move on.

Developing a show structure has to take these considerations into account and whilst something showstopping might appeal to the performer and might momentarily stop the audience the show's momentum has to be maintained and the audience picked up again. This is more easily achievable with an adult audience who are prepared to be fooled. It's a lot less easy with children whose instinct is to stop, dig in and root for an answer with the result that your momentum is in danger of flagging after a showstopper.

Personally I would avoid shock tactics with children.

Ashley.

When I mentioned Education in my list of 10 I was thinking rather beyond the scholastic situations you suggested. The occasional provision of interesting facts and information can be gleaned quite naturally as a progressive part of a routine. An incidental to the routine, if you prefer, rather than an objective of it.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
AshleyW
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Quote:
On 2008-01-05 06:22, Tony James wrote:
Children can be many things but in entertainment terms being impressed by something amazing is rather lower down a child's list of priorities than having fun.


I contend, at a MAGIC SHOW, that I disagree with your statement.
But I will not try to convince you otherwise.

I am glad there are disagreements.
However, I never said to do straight magic and nothing else, you are only reading parts you want if that is what you read.
MagicSanta
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Why do you have choose fun over amazing? Because if the topic is performing for little kids fun is more important than amazing. The components that make a kids routine funny, magician error, saying the wrong thing and being caught, hurting yourself, do not lean themselves toward 'amazing'. It is what is lacking that the kids find funny, the final success, while the kids usually are happy for you, is anti climatic because the fun has ended for that routine.

Why can't a magician be both? You can be both, I am both, but the priority for little kids is to be funny. Funny can be had w/out amazement, for example in MarkLewis' The Letter, which has no magical component at all, it is still very funny. Amazing can not be funny and as such something that is amazing yet lacks appeal to the children is useless.

What type of magician ISN'T amazing? Are you trying to get me kicked off this board? If I answer that a lot of people will be insulted, just go look at some of their videos.

For older children there paradigm shifts, which it does by definition. The problem lies with those who think "I'm going to be a kids show magician because at least I can be paid!". These wonderful geniuses them come on line and post things like "I'm going to do a kids show next week, the tricks I plan on doing are a multiple cut, three fly, ambitious card, and Kennedy's card box, do you think I could get an hour out of this?". Great, he is going to amaze the punkies with his mad skills and the other geniuses have endorsed his doing so by posting how great it should be. Those kids are going to not have fun, those parents will never hire another magician, and all will not be good in the world.
AshleyW
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Quote:
What type of magician ISN'T amazing? Are you trying to get me kicked off this board? If I answer that a lot of people will be insulted, just go look at some of their videos.


Exactly. Then we agree there are plenty of magicians who are not amazing.
Amazing = (surprise, shock, wonder, jawdropping, being a great magician, etc.) You can have both fun and amazement, and if you re-read you will see I suggest doing just that. The question was put, shouldn't amazing make the list of what makes a magician, and some said no, I contend the answer is yes. If you are good and care about what an audience wants. Yes they want to be entertained, but they can do that at home with a tv. If they have come to see a magic show, and most notably, paid you to perform a magic show, then you should wow them, and entertain them.
MagicSanta
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Speaking of lists of magic....one fellow actually posted here that one of his effects for his planned kids show was, I'm serious, get ready....Black Tiger Deck!
Al Angello
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Santa
The guys that don't have a clue are the ones with a largest collection of kids magic DVD's, and books, because everybody knows that there's money in kids magic weather you like kids or not. Like you I do pretty much the same classic magic tricks for adult, family, or kid shows and the only differance is my presentation.
Al
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
MagicSanta
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Al, do you do more of a juggle show or a magic show?
Al Angello
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Santa
That is a fair question. I used to work the comedy clubs as a stand up comedian juggler, but now my show is 1/3 comedy juggling, 2/3 comedy magic, and there are no comedy clubs left. The older I get the more I need to be a good magician, and thank God I can still make people laugh. I used to be the president of the Philadelphia jugglers club, but now there are only a few members of the jugglers club that remember me. The best jugglers in the world are under 30 years of age, and I'm more than double that age. My friend Kyle calls me a Vaudvillian variety entertainer, and I kinda like that label.
Al
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
kimmo
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When I read threads like this I realise how much I operate on instinct. I barely give a single thought to 'what makes a good kid's trick' - I just do whatever I enjoy and presume that the audience will go along with me.
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John C
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Quote:
On 2008-01-05 17:10, kimmo wrote:
When I read threads like this I realise how much I operate on instinct. I barely give a single thought to 'what makes a good kid's trick' - I just do whatever I enjoy and presume that the audience will go along with me.


Me too! I like kids, and that's all there is too entertaining them. (Wow, I could get some flack for this statement!!)

JC
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
magicgeorge
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There's only one rule in this business.
Don't be boring.

(And some can't even follow that one rule!)

To tell the truth, most of the routines I do weren't meticulously created, I go back to them and apply the guidelines given now and by either instinct or sheer fluke they seem to fit.

The guidelines or established techniques/parameters given can be helpful and it doesn't hurt to think about what and why you do what you do once in a while.

While we're wearing our hearts on our sleeves I have to admit , despite the protests of some members that a routine has to be written out, memorised, fine tuned and practised for a year, what often works best is (after you get the handling down) to throw your crap in your box and just see what happens! Ideas and things happen on stage that would never occur to you sitting at home.

George
NJJ
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Following your instincts is fine IF you have the natural talent that Kimmo and George have. For the rest of us, following your gut is how you end up with a crappy show that YOU think is great but no one else does!

I prefer to use both. I'll always follow my gut but back it up by analysing the routines I have created. As I've mentioned before, 99% of magicians are either mediocre or bad and I am terrified that I am one of them!

As for the pointless debate about what is more important, FUN or AMAZEMENT, the entire question seems to be moot. It's like asking, what is more important, air, food or water?
Tony James
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You're right George about applying the checklist. Especially when you think about some effect - we all have the odd one - which is OK but perhaps has never fulfilled its potential.

Then the checklist will reveal something interesting. Sometimes you realise there is a weak area revealed by the list. So you improve things. And sometimes there's nothing on the list to improve at all. So what's wrong?

Nothing. I bet someone else will be romping home with that self same effect. And you're not. Not everything suits everybody. Good job when you think about it. Otherwise we'd all be little clones of one another.

Finding what suits is half the battle. No amount of asking here is going to do that job for you. In the end it's down to you and to your abilities, your showmanship and a little matter of something rarely mentioned here.

It's called talent.

Sometimes it seems that is in quite short supply.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
magicvincent
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Just have fun. Experience will tell you what is working. Let your audience teach you. I take what I enjoy doing and learn to do it better. Every time you perform, think of one thing you can improve.
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