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magicmanci15
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110 Posts

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I've been perfroming professionally for about 4 year in restaraunts and strolling at parties. I recently wrote and performed my first full length 40 minute family show. It is full of amazing comprehensible magic for everyone from effects with M&Ms to comedic torn and restored money, with classic stand up effects.

Although it was my firs time I was proud at how comfortable I felt. I know that I need a lot of direction and consideration in any aspect of performing and charging for it, but I don't think that at my experience level in magic it would be difficult to add some larger "stage illusions" to a family show while staying consistent with venue, age of kids and the rest of the show.

I've never considered using larger illusions this soon, but Andrew Mayne makes the endeveur seem possible. I mean, why wouldnt a small or large group of people 7 years of age and up consisting mostly of birthday party kids react strongly to a sudden production of a bowling ball from a paper bag, or a startling dissapearance of ones upper half ?

Many magicians are telling me to stick with classic "Children Magic" effects that come complete with props and presentation. I think magic is magic, and as long as one knows who they are performing for, a miracle can be framed to do what is intended of it.

Wouldt you be plesed if, after connecting with you, your kids, and your parents for nearly an hour, a magician made a bicycle appear then rode away to applause, and cheers of the kids and parents.

people care about people. So as long as I don't perform Andrew Mayne's Bisection illusion as if it is soley about an upper body dissapearing and instead all about situations fellow humans are in, it will be entertaining to adults and children alike.

agree?

dissagree?

why?

Ivan
MagicSanta
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Northern Nevada
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I don't know bisection so my answer has nothing to do with that or Andrew Mayne.

First off who are these magicians telling you to stick with classic "Childrens Magic"? Ignore them, they are fools deserving to be flogged, which makes for a cool performance art piece. Back to magic. The only criteria you should have for your show is that the piece fit your character and that you have included components that the target audience will find entertaining. This means if you want to toss in a stage illusion then do so IF it meets those two criteria. If it doesn't meet them then leave it out. To be honest for younger kids many illusions, by the way illusions usually require little to no skill other than dancing and pointing, will not be appreciated. Older kids might like 'em.

Why, then, do so few do 'stage illusions' at childrens shows? The answers are simple, they are a pain to lug around and kids are not real easy to work with in most illusions where a spectator is called for and most kids shows magicians work alone so no assistant (of course some do). Listen, if you want to drag a stepvan full of crap to a kids show and spend two hours unpacking and setting up then another couple hours repacking then more power to you, that is your call to make.

There...a response....
Skip Way
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Quote:
Many magicians are telling me to stick with classic "Children Magic" effects that come complete with props and presentation.


As usual, Santa is spot on target. If you want to remain an average off-the-shelf magician continue to use the "classics complete with props and presentation." Thinking outside of the box is what makes a performer unique enough to stand out. Customizing effects to fit your character and message create a one-of-a-kind show that's hard to beat.

If illusions fit your character, budget and performance space restrictions - by all means, go for it! Just watch for little fingers and toes and Mom's new carpet when you drop that bowling ball! Smile

Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil - with evil being any magician who tells you that his way is the only way.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
MrFye
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I have to agree to a point with magicsanta. I do however use the magic carpet illusion (as pictured in my avatar). It is a bit of a chore to carry, but I charge enough extra to make it worth my while. Time wise: Set-up is probably 5 or 10 minutes. Transportation depends on how far my van is parked from the site. It is a great way to up sell my show and it sets me apart from my competition. Kids love it!
KC Cameron
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Raleigh, North Carolina
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I too agree with MS. Some classic kids magic is cool - - a lot, in my opinion, is not. Many adult illusions can be done for kids, you just may have to change the presentation so it is cartoony because the lil' ones can scare easily. What makes you happy? That is what I would do. If Run Rabbit Run toots your horn, by ALL MEANS, USE IT. If bi-section is your dream - go for it (just take care in presentation). I am putting together a new show and will be using Bi-Section in it.

One thing to be aware - kids don't have the social restraints adults have. They yell things out, are grabby, and often do not stay where they should, so beware.

BTW, Overload looks like a great new illusion . . . smoke from yer ears . . .
engineer_star
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Magic Manci I'm with the rest of them....GO DIFFERENT. I'm about to do my first party in March and planning two others. I purchased the $2,000 Losander Table to use in my show along with purchasing a chair suspension. I'll write back and let you know of the reactions if you like. I'll be video recording also.
Yes I plan to do several "STAND-BYS" but with my own "TWISTS". I'm also working on some "fish productions" and will possibly use a couple of "crawdads" when Spring comes around. I have had the AWESOME blessing of being the Uncle of 2 Nieces & 2 Nephews. They think I'm the COOLEST PERSON in the world because I've taken them to creeks, rivers, exploring woods, ENDLESS EXOTIC PET SHOPS, etc... just to show them the AMAZING WILDLIFE AND ADVENTURES all around. I've learned what "AMAZED THEM" and plan to extend this into my Shows. I also bought a "Plasm Ball & Plasm Ray" to use with my Delites. I make it appear as though I plucked the red light right out of the props. It looks great!
KC Cameron
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Raleigh, North Carolina
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Engineer_star
That $2,000 Losander Table can work well for kids - but it is very fragile, and kids will try to handle it when you are not looking. Be careful it you use it at a birthday - I use a floating table, and love it, but I have to be careful! Bring glue!

Please tell us more about this "Plasm Ball & Plasm Ray"!

BTW, "Overload" is stage only.
jkvand
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Johnstown, PA
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I open every show with Andrew Mayne's bowling ball from paper bag, and it works equally well for kids or adults! A couple observations I would share - 1. bring a carpet square with you in case you're performing on a hardwood floor. I always bring one along to drop it on so I don't damage their floor. 2. Make sure you're not too close to smaller children (or the elderly!) when you drop the ball. It lands with a resounding THUD! and can scare the devil out of smaller children and older folks if they're right in front of you. Sadly, I've learned from experience on both of those! With those considerations in mind, however, that trick is outstanding and I highly encourage you to try it. Best of luck, Jeff
JohnEBlaze
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Jeff! I feel for you just reading the last part of your post!

Frightened old folks are not fun to deal with, specifically if they are cutting the check!
ku7uk3
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The chair suspension is a good illusion to use, but does require some lugging. I finish my show with an arm chopper (that packs flat in my box).
Because it is so small, it works great.

I have a magic carpet, but don't use it due to the many problems listed above. I also find the arm chopper gets better mileage in my shows, and is a lot easy to transport!

I use to do the sword box illusion with my assistant, but stopped when she was no-longer available when I needed her, and she grew too big for the box. Those shows went well. But I couldn't recommend having an assistant for your kids show; they take up half your paycheck!

The floating table is nice, but is prone to people leaning on it, and putting there drinks down in it, ruining the surface. When you ask them to take it of, they look at you angrily wondering, why should I move my drink for you? They don't understand that the table they are using is yours and costs $2000!
It is also fragile, and with children in close proximity, expect for it to get scratched and broken. No matter how good your crowd control is, with children, you cannot have all eyes on every one of them at the same time.

But since most children's shows take place in homes, on fragile floors, I would recommend sticking to tricks that fit in your box.
I know you can do illusions in scout huts etc. but as a working professional, you want an all-purpose show that can work in ALL environments without having to swap out tricks each times depending on the venue.
Especially if you have three shows in a day, then you have to set up different tricks at each show and how do you explain to one parent that you won't be performing such a trick because you don't want to damage a carpet, when they can see it in your car?
They might then say its okay, but they were thinking you are joking about the carpet.

Practically, I'd stick to tricks that are easy to transport, and easy to store at home. (You need to have a place to put it when not in use).

The illusions may be good, and impressive, but that is not the problem. If your only doing one show in a controlled environment, then do an illusion. But if your planning on doing this for a living, with lots of shows per day, in all environments, there simply impractical. Some venues are a mile away from their car-park, and some will be outside in the wet garden.

Steve
Lou Hilario
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I do illusions in my kid shows. The choice of illusions depends on the venues. I enjoy performing illusions and I have 3 male assistants and 2 females to do everything for me. I do 3 illusions on the average per show, but sometimes, I use 5 in a kid show. It really depends on the venue. Do what you want to do.
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
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calamari
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Hey Lou, I wish costs were the same here as in the Philipines, 3 male assistants and 2 female for a kids show, that would be great. From my Philipino friends here in the Bay Area who tell me I could live like a king, with what I make here, in the Philipines what with maids, butlers and all that, it is tempting to think of retiring there.
Rich
ps the fact that I love the food would'nt hurt either
"I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
MagicSanta
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I'm heading to SF tomorrow....get the lumpia ready baby!
Lou Hilario
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If you ask me, frankly speaking, kids don't really enjoy the illusions as compared to the smaller tricks and my parrots. It is the moms and dads whom I am pleasing. Most of the kid parties I do are in big venues, audience ranging from 100 to 300.

calamari, you are right, labor is cheap but not that cheap. I also have 2 maids, a cook and a driver, hehehe.

MagicSanta, the "lumpia" will be ready anytime you come. I'll tell my cook.
Magic, Illusions, Juggling, Puppet & Parrot Show ^0^
http://www.louhilario.net
MagicSanta
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I am a legend in Cavite and a minor god in Paranaque....
Magic Enhancer
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Robert Haas
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For my birthday show, everything fits in my Lefler table (thanks Ken Scott!) I use a VSM with LOTS of music and interaction. Almost every trick uses the audience in some way or another (whether they're sitting wiggling their fingers or are on stage with me). There's lots of comedy only parents will understand. I tryto cater to the parents as well as to not be "one of those cheesey birthday magicians). I do a chair suspension, and that is my only illusion and extra thing to carry.

I find by doing that illusion (or flying carpet) you are making the birthday child the star of th show. My calendar fills up rapidly because other children want to float in the air like their friend did. I'm not sure if other magicians advertise this, but I am known as the "magician with a live rabbit, mini-portable illusion, who uses music and is a riot to both parents and children alike." I also charge around $250-$275 for my standard package (with no add-ons).

I think mini illusions such as the chair suspension and/or flying carpet really do make a difference in getting repeat bookings. The chair suspension isn't that much to carry, and it really will separate your show from the others.

Just my two cents....

Robert Haas
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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
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I use a chair suspension for a lot of my kid shows. It goes over so well and is a value add for the parent. many reasons were already stated by Robert above as to why it works so well. It certainly does not take up too much room, it sets up really fast, can be done almost surrounded, not much angle problems and makes the child the star of the show. If you take a picture of the child (or have someone else do it) it is a great give away item to give to the child at the end of the show.

Kyle
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MoonRazor
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How can you guys possibly set up a flying carpet for a birthday party, I find it hard enough to come in with a trunk open it, and try to close it and leave before the kids jump inside. tj
ERIC
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As added values (at added prices) I offer one of three during my shows. Carpet, chair or saber sawing. Carpet for larger venues or LARGE family rooms, sawing for older children or adults only, and the chair suspension at other times. I have made different screens for the carpet to fit different seasonal or themed events,ie gift wrapped with candy canes for Christmas, A History of Hogwarts book with brooms for wizard or Harry Potter book release shows, etc. The sawing goes well for Halloween shows and can get a lot of comedy by play if done well.

"How can you guys possibly set up a flying carpet for a birthday party"

1.Tell the client you must have room alone before and after show for set up and take down.
2.Use a back drop to set up and take down behind.
3.Build an outer case that just lifts off of the carpet thereby having it set all the time. (Only good if you have the vehicle to move it in.)
4.Have use of adjoining room to set up and take down.

Hope this will get you thinking, because they all are great at adding value to your shows. Besides making for great photo ops for the guest of honor, it gives a perfect set up to present that guest of honor with some sort of give away (promotional of course)when the illusion is done. Kind of like Jeff does with the handing down of the magic wand after he does his miser's dream.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Nothing against the flying carpet cause I love the illusion and have used one a lot in he past. However, for birthday shows and the like, I find the chair suspension to just work so much better for me. I do not have or face as many challenges with the chairs as I run into with the flying carpet. The chairs are lighter and easy to travel with, Easier to set up and have a much greater angle of performance. In some cases, I have even been able to perform it surrounded without any problems at all.

Kyle
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