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Skip Way
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Uh-huh! That's a B-52 behind me. Kid's party crowd control, doncha know.

:) Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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James Alan
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I tend to avoid sucker tricks. If you finish an effect and there's someone in the audience who's feeling self-conscious or embarrassed, to my mind, that's not good magic.

I came across a wonderful principle in David Ben's Tricks. Dunbury Delusion (Charlie Miller) is usually played as a sucker trick. In David's version, Dunbury Drop, the sucker moment is replaced with a magic moment that I like very much.

Of course, that's not to say they CAN'T be done. I thought Lance Burton had a fabulous Paper Balls Over the Head in one of his TV specials. As the kid walks off stage, "By the way, ignore all those bits of paper on the ground."
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Profile of abbascup
There are some that speak out against using sucker tricks, and to each their own.

I have a Fraidy Cat Rabbit by Mak Magic. A simple prop with a good story, this prop continues to bring priceless reactions from the kids. Big eyes and big circles for mouths, and all kinds of fun sounds. With this prop, everyone has fun, and we all are fooled, even me.

I don't ever find anyone embarrassed or made fun of with this prop. It's all about the story and having fun!!!
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Profile of royaltmagic
Abbascup has a good point. Most of it is how you present it. You don't want to do too many that make the spectators seem like the fool, though. Mix it up a bit, and maybe do one or two that make you look like the fool...or the sucker.

"Beeble beeble beeble. Blah blah blah."

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After reading all of the above posts, I guess I'm a little confused on what constitutes a "sucker trick." And maybe not everyone has the same definition?? Does any "magician-in-trouble" effect become a "sucker trick" if he gets out of trouble in the end? I'm thinking along the lines of the McCombical Prediction ... sucker trick? Or magician-in-trouble, magician-out-of-trouble trick??
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." - Carl Sagan
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Profile of Doodad
I only use a couple of "Sucker" tricks at the most, but one time one came in very handy. I was doing a party at an indoor playground where I am the house magician. Because of this, many of the parties tend to have kids of vastly different ages at the same time. It is not uncommon to have the birthday child be 5 or 6, but have a couple of 11 year olds there, too. So, I was doing magic that leaned more towards the age group of most of the kids, including the birthday boy, who was 5. Well, this one older kid was trying to ruin everything by shouting out how things were being done, or interrupting the show with rude comments. I decided to bring out "ABC, Stung" and proceeded to go through the routine.
For anyone that doesn't know this trick, there are 3 large cards with A, B, and C. They go into the magic envelope and come out missing the B. All the kids yell that it's still in the envelope. Then, you pull out a card with a picture of a Bee on it. Usually, at least one kid yells out to turn that card around. This time it was the troublemaker, who actually ran up to yell at me that the B was on the other side. He happened to be wearing a hat with a popular band name on the front. I said, "You think the B is on the other side?" He was positive, he exclaimed. I said, "Are you willing to bet that hat of yours?" He never hesitated and said, "Yep!" I turned the card around, and there was the word "Stung" on the back. His jaw dropped! I said, "The hat, please." and kept it until the end of the show, when I gave it back to him. It did quiet him down for the remainder of the show, at least!
Bob Sanders
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To me the real answer has to deal with the outcome of "sucker tricks". Does it make a fool of the volunteer or does it have a "fun for all" surprise ending? ie Silk to Egg

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Michael Taggert
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When a magician in trouble routine is used it is the audience who bails the magician out. A sucker trick is in fact a gambling routine where the mark can never win. The magician is always right. In order to use this for kids the routines should be re-tailored so that the magician is never right and the kids are always right. Or that the magician uses the kids to get it right and then the kid becomes an accomplice instead of a victim.
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Bradley Roberts
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I just do 2 in my show. One is the good old Die Box. The kids have a lot of fun with me doing it. Another is a vanishing coke bottle. I know it is not a sucker trick but one can make it seem to be. I get a great response with the routine I do. I have even had the pleasure of Lupe Neilson seeing me perform it for a large group of children. She gave me a great comment on what I did and I will always remember that.

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Profile of Mumblemore
I say several "magician in trouble" sucker tricks. (Kids love it when adults mess up, and as several posters have suggested. If you are the fool, their egos are in tact and in fact they love it.) I agree that no "sucker tricks" should be used in the usual sense (the volunteer is the dupe). No kids should ever be the victims of pranks. All pranks should be aimed against the magician, or at least leave the magician surprised too ("the fates are fooling with all of us").
Joseph DR
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Would you say that the Wizard Assistant's Hat is a sucker trick?


I'm hesitant to include it in my act because I don't want to make the volunteer feel a fool and/or have the adults in the audience think I'm humiliating the kid.

Maybe I can put it on a teacher, the principal, or myself...

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Profile of japanmagic
You can transform a sucker trick and try to make them educational and meaningful. A child should never be fooled by a sucker trick but entertained to learning a new concept. Here is a video that promotes individual colors of the traffic lights and build to a finale:

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Profile of Rock_Slatestone
On 2003-03-20 17:12, Mike the Amazing wrote:
From here I can also do a routine with my change bag, something to the effect of , "Well, which one of you would be willing to put your piece of candy into this magical bag?" (lol that sounds like patter that came on a set of instructions) and then "change" their single piece of candy into enough candy for the entire group, then allow the child to pass it out

What a great idea. This might even work as time filler if your need a few moments to set up or bring out your next trick.
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Profile of MattMagician
A sucker trick requires that someone is made into a fool (which should always be the magician). But if overdone, the audience may begin to believe you are a fool which means they most likely won't hire you in the future. So I always limit it to once or twice in a show.

Matt Simonsen
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Profile of TonyB2009
I often do tricks where I appear to be floundering at the hands of forces I don't understand. But I never do a sucker trick, in the sense of a trick where it appears that I am going wrong, and then I smugly reveal that I am in control. That doesn't suit my personality, and I don't like that approach. So the answer to how many is too many is any. At least for me.
But it is quite possible that they suit the personality and character of some performers, and if they do, then fair enough.
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Profile of stijnhommes
Others have said it before, and I have to agree. It all depends on the presentation. Silk to egg is often presented as a sucker trick, but for example Lance Burton doesn't even attempt to go that route in his routine.
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Profile of vincentmusician
I think people are missing the point about sucker tricks. I play it light hearted with a comical touch. It is all about having fun with the audience. If kids are reacting and participating, this is a good thing. If the ending surprises them, this is also good. For example, a classic, Fraidy Cat rabbit is the ultimate Sucker Trick. However, at the end I usually always hear laughter from the parents and surprised looks from the kids. I do a number of Sucker tricks in my shows. I just make sure they are not too similar. For example, I would not do Run Rabbit Run and then do the sucker die box in the same show.
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