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TonyB2009
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Just to make one thing clear; by shouting most of the pros do not mean mindless yelling. They mean racous howls of laughter, and kids shouting along with a purpose. It is not the only response I aim for, but it is the response I aim for two thirds of the time. When I stand in front of a group of kids I consider myself a comedian using magic as my props. If I am not getting laughter I am not doing my job.
It's the same with adults. If I am doing an adult gig and there is silence, I do not take this as a sign that they are hanging on my words. I take it as a sign they are bored. Noise is good, as long as they are not chanting Get Off The Stage.
Michael Taggert
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Wellthis is an interesting thread as I seen a lot of short clips of Ideas. I open my show with teaching the kids to shout! we wvwn warm up our voices to do so.Then In a cery carefully crafted rotuine they are taught when to applaud and just as importantly when not to applaude. any good show has to take the audience on a emotional journey. the use of response from the audience should be a Comulative thing bringing each rotuine to a larger response than the last.
During the journey getting the kids shouting with a rotuine that has a callout,mass audience participation, and yes even a sucker trick that gets the kids screaming can boost the overall energy level of a show. But these moments have to be balanced by a magical moment where the audience is allowed to react on their own. Further one of the strongest moments I'm my show is a point where I get very quiet and speakin a stage wisper and I inevitably here the audience whisper back "wow" or hear a gasp or two.shouting is ok so is a whisper.
Believe you then that I do strange things
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Quote:
On 2009-06-29 11:48, Wayne Schulatz wrote:
I recently came across an author who repeatedly states that, "shouting is not entertainment." He discourages getting the kids to shout during the show at all. A specific example he gives is holding up a red silk and calling it blue. Of course the kids will shout back the correct color, but this is not an entertaining transaction.

The author also states that, "When someone is entertained, his or her everyday emotions are diverted. This thought diversion could be to change their emotion to say..., sadness, joy... excitement, calmness etc." Could it be argued that when children shout at the performer they are entertained based on this definition?

Then there are some authors who stress interactions per minute. If you have many interactions in the show, this will raise its entertainment value. Going back to the silk example above, one could argue that this bit is STRONG entertainment because it empowers the children with knowledge. But is the shouting an appropriate interaction?

Maybe in the end it just comes down to your own character and style. Would it be entertaining for one magician to encourage shouting where it wouldn't be for another? If the performer is an aggressive or confrontational character, it almost seems mandatory for the kids to shout at least a little bit. So what's the deal?

Is shouting entertainment?



I have the book you are referring to above. You have chosen to take things out of context and have failed to say what the author is really trying to impress upon the readers. Mainly, that it's much better to go for natural laughing and interaction with the kids, rather than just saying things like "I can't hear you!!!,,,louder,,,,I can't hear you" type of interaction with the kids.

To strive to have the kids laugh naturally along with the performer during your show, and not just wound up for the sake of having them shouting is what this author was trying to get accross.

I have taken this advice and have been implementing it in my show and things have been much better and the reactions from the kids and parents have been getting better with every show. You say that it comes down to each performers style. While no one would begrudge you your thougths, I would contend that by doing a show where the kids are just very vocally laughing along with you and the funny situations you have in your show is a whole lot more entertaining than just getting them to yell at mainly just not funny situations just for the sake of yelling or shouting.

Having the book, if you take the time to get to the section on funny bits and gags, you will find so many bits there that will take your show to the stratosphere. I urge you to do that.

Best,

JoJo

For those who want to know which book it is,,,PM me.
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Obviously there's nothing wrong with shouting. It's a tool. But not a goal. If it's the only way you can get kids to react, it's simply an amateur performance. It's a great place to start if you've got nothing else going for you and there's no shame in being at that point in your development. but that is NOT where you want to end up.

Read Michael Taggert's post. And JoJo's above mine. Well said.

One way to check your act for entertainment value is to ask yourself how would adults react to your act. do they respond? If your act is actually funny adults will laugh. If it's magical, adults will react. Their faces will show it. If you have a lot of work to do on your act, the adults will just sit and give polite applause, and urge the kids to react appropriately.

Any professional show, even for kids, if it's actually entertaining will be entertaining for the adults and WILL naturally get them to react.

A shouting show will never get adults to react, except, perhaps, to hold their ears. Therefore the show needs more actual entertainment.
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Razamatazz Magic
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[/quote]


I have the book you are referring to above. You have chosen to take things out of context and have failed to say what the author is really trying to impress upon the readers. Mainly, that it's much better to go for natural laughing and interaction with the kids, rather than just saying things like "I can't hear you!!!,,,louder,,,,I can't hear you" type of interaction with the kids.

To strive to have the kids laugh naturally along with the performer during your show, and not just wound up for the sake of having them shouting is what this author was trying to get accross.

[/quote]

Could'nt agree with you more Jojo. The comments in the book are being mis - understood. You are right they are being taken out of context.

The author must be really frustrated with so much negativety when all he was trying to do is help entertainers improve their performances.

Take the bits of information from the book that are most useful to you and leave the bits that are not for you - Simple !

If you read the whole book - you will see that there is so much useful information in it that it can help many performers improve their acts without a doubt.
stu-di-doo
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I believe I have the book in question (not 100% sure as the original poster hasnt stated this) and the author is trying to get across the idea that the kids should have natural laughter and reactions to your show as much as possible and not just winding them up to shout as loud and as much as possible.

Obviously certain situations and routines will show the "magician in trouble" and the children will react to this by trying to correct him by shouting things out. This is not the problem here.

I feel it is when this technique is overused or as JoJo puts it "I can't hear you.....louder....louder!" and so on.

Like any form of entertainment we should strive to take the audience on a journey of emotions, not just shouting for shoutings sake.

In my warm-up I do use methods to encourage the children to shout but this is not overused and is a way of unifying the audience. Once these barriers have been broken down the children are more likely to display other emotions out loud such as laughter, gasps, wows and so on.

In my early years as a kids entertainer I was guilty of just winding the children to shout most of the time but now I feel this is a lazy and easy way of getting reactions.

As a footnote, if this is the same author I think it is then I can confirm he has performed thousands of kids magic shows and full parties (with games, dances etc) over a long period of time and is a full-time professional with an incredibly creative mind. This guy knows what he is talking about!!
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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I have had a short discussion with the author about this discussion and here is a short response from him:

In my book, you entertain by changing a person's emotion.... consider any top movie or even a close-up performance. The Director and Actor causes a series of change of emotions for the audience. The audience are certainly NOT constantly shouting throughout. Anyone with a bit of theatrical sense know this mono reaction is wrong. Only the amatuerish and novice "entertainers" try to keep up the shouting.

Making kids shout non-stop is easy... anyone can do it. But have you ever noticed that only the top kids entertainers get the children to naturally laugh and feel good for 50 mins - it comes through experience and talent.

One guy used the holding up a red hankerchief example and saying, "Here I have a blue hanky." Of course kids will shout and argue at this... but that is NOT good entertainment because it's a reaction at one level.

If however, you ASKED what colour it was it would cause a different emotion. Better still. If you did have a Blue hanky and referred to it as Red (without looking) the kids would soon put you right. That's fine but you don't argue to incite more shouting. Just do a double take at the Blue hanky and say something like "How did you change that Red hanky into Blue one? You must be magic!" Give it some thought, make it funny.


JoJo: Well there it is. Couldn't have said it any better myself.

JoJo
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Ken Northridge
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So, why is this such a secret? Why has no one dared to mention this author’s name? If you read through this thread, for the most part it is an endorsement of his book. I, for one, would consider buying a book from a seasoned pro even if our opinions seemed to differ.
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Wayne Schulatz
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The only thing I am slightly offended by is that some of you assume I have not read the whole book, or even think that I disagree with this idea at all. I intentionally made this post non-objectional, just stating what I read. Please don't think that I don't like the book or think this is a bad conceot, because that is not true. All of my comments on personal style were questions...not statements. I was curious on what other other entertainers thought. I thought it would make for a good discussion. There's no need to judge me.

I also have not "chosen to take things out of context". There has not been much negativity towards the book. Personally, I like the book. The only reason I haven't mentioned it is because I don't want my comp-etition to get it! The author's thought on natural laughter I of course support. He gave a specific example which I quoted (the blue/red silk) and I found that interesting. If you hold a blue silk and call it red, the children become empowered because they know something you don't. So when you correct yourself and say, "Oh, I'm sorry. The silk is yellow" again they will, of course correct you but we all know what else the ywill do...laugh. Mis-call it one more time and its even funnier.

Repetition is funny. Repetition is funny.

I think if we want to grow as entertainers we should think about different ideas and concepts. I found the author's thoughts interesting because I thought shouting was very common in many American magician's acts. I knew here at the Café I would get a wide variety of thoughts, and I thank you all for participating.
JimbosMagic
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Hi all. I have been away for a while doing my new lecture notes and DVDs.
I know the Author very well in deed and we speak thru email quite often. Yet this thread has only just come to my attention.

No one will ever agree fully with what anyone says, does or put down on paper.
Probably my notes or DVDs may be critisised as I get the kids shouting Magic words, they see I don't situations. This works for me as you will see if you purchase the DVDs. that's not a plug by the way. lol.

Shouting to make an agruement with the kids can work if done correctly, but just getting them to shout and shout and shout for no reason or meaning is not entertainment, and I would have to agree with the author on that.

JoJo has it spot on.

There will be plenty of stuff you can take from this book that will make you a better performer or enhance what you already do.
If there is nothing in the book for you. then your salery must be in the millions and you don't need it anyway.

Rant over. have a good day and I am off sunbathing now.
JIMMY CARLO. KIDabra International Family Entertainer of the Year 2009.
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magicgeorge
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Are we talking about John Breeds' new book?


Quote:
On 2009-07-02 10:43, Wayne Schulatz wrote:
The only thing I am slightly offended by is that some of you assume I have not read the whole book, or even think that I disagree with this idea at all.....

I also have not "chosen to take things out of context".


You may not have "chosen" to take things out of context but your original post quoted very sparsely from the book and was mainly your take on what the author meant. You then implied that this approach was the opposite to interacting with the children which suggested to me you'd misunderstood what the author was saying by a long shot.

It lead some (such as Tony) to assume the author didn't like noise at a kids show. Rather what he was saying is that pointless shouting, misnaming and "I can't hear yous" can be left to the daft old Dads where as professional entertainers elicit that noise from genuine emotional responses such as screams of laughter or gasps of disbelief.

I agree on the misnaming. Is a child empowered because he know's the difference between blue and red? They're probably too busy wondering who the colourblind eejit is wasting their time...
kimmo
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I believe the original quote is taken from what I consider to be one of the finest books ever written on children's entertainment: John Breeds' 'How to create Kid's magic and triple your income'. I bought this book at the Blackpool convention this year and was so impressed that I chose to plug it in my lecture. Every kids entertainer should own this book!

As Jojo and others have pointed out, the quote was taken totally of context. Anyone can encourage children to scream and shout . Whipping kids into a frenzy is the easiest thing in the world to do. There is such a difference between that and engaging your audience to produce NATURAL reactions. This what this business is all about and no one knows that better than John Breeds.
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Magic George. You could have waited till I had done my spelling mistakes before you posted. lol.
JIMMY CARLO. KIDabra International Family Entertainer of the Year 2009.
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Wayne Schulatz
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Regardless of what some may have thought I meant the bottom line is still "is shouting entertainment"? That's what I wanted to hear people's thoughts on.
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Quote:
On 2009-07-02 11:39, Wayne Schulatz wrote:
Regardless of what some may have thought I meant the bottom line is still "is shouting entertainment"? That's what I wanted to hear people's thoughts on.


Hi Wayne,

It's becoming pretty obvious that many here do not think that "Just Shouting" is entertainment. If you were to ask, "Is whipping the kids into a shouting match with the magician entertainment"? then I would definitely say "NO", it isn't!
John definitely goes over this point many different times in the book, which lead me to feel you didn't really "get" his points. Sorry if I came accross as attacking you personally. I just feel very strongly that the way John goes over this in the book and the routines and effects in the book very clearly show how to get wonderful reactions and natural laughter from the kids at our shows.

JoJo
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Red Shadow
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Wayne has never mentioned the title of the book, so lets not attack him. He read a book (which your all guessing the title off) and this was his interpretation - that's why we read books!!!
Regardless, he made a very valid question which most of us have offered our opinion on. I appreciate the question and discussion that followed.

I think we can all agree that shouting is vital for a lengthy kids show. Yes, you can do an all silent, all to music, story-time type show... but you will be restricted to the primary school market, and only be able to do 30 minute shows. In a birthday party environment, these type of entertainers don't last 10 minutes.
Only in a school, where the kids cannot run around and are disciplined by teachers, or where the kids are too young to know how to play can you do a quiet show.
If you want an example, I saw a video called 'Jack Delvin - Children are magic'. It lasted 25 minutes and he was sat down doing the quiet show the entire time. That video was shot 15-20 years ago. He could not work with today's children doing that act. I believe maybe back then, times were different. But even Jack would probably admit that today, structured shouting is vital for longevity in keeping the attention of the children.

I work with all ages; one year olds, teenagers and adults. I have done school shows for nursery, primary, secondary and colleges. I have done birthday parties for every age up-to 21. There were times when I strongly believed the client had made the wrong decision in hiring me and that a bouncy castle was more suited. But in every case, I kept my audiences attention for at least 60 minutes. Even those annoying teenagers who tried to expose and ruin my show, they stayed with me for the full 60 minutes to the complete astonishment of the parents. I achieved this through shouting routines. Sucker effects especially were vital in this role and even if I have to wear earplugs, giving them a reason to shout helped keep their attention firmly on me, and not on the other activities at the party.

My show also has quiet moments in it, a routine to music, numerous stand-up comedy segments and balloon modelling. So they are definitely not shouting all the time. But I give them a logical reason to 'let loose' every 5 minutes by routining my tricks to create moments that create these outbursts. I do this on purpose for the structure and longevity of the show. It is a formula that has worked for me for years and the kids love it. It empowers them and they feel fulfilled trying to get one over on the magician.

There is a market for the quiet show. I have seen them perform in schools and usually go my the name 'Storytellers' rather than magicians. Their audience market age range is extremely limited but they do exist.

As someone who pays a mortgage and wants to eat, I have to turn every phone enquiry into a booking. This can be for any age party. My 60 minute show therefore has to play for ALL ages and so a quiet show is not an option for me. I have to be able to entertain even teenagers and to do that, shouting is key.

Steve
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KU7UK3 wrote: I think we can all agree that shouting is vital for a lengthy kids show. Yes, you can do an all silent, all to music, story-time type show... but you will be restricted to the primary school market, and only be able to do 30 minute shows. In a birthday party environment, these type of entertainers don't last 10 minutes.

JoJo: Sorry to disagree with you Stephen. I can hardly contain myself. I do a 50 minute show without a single shouting routine. Who has been talking about doing silent acts? Nobody!! It's all about "shouting verses natural laughing reactions" from the kids through the various techniques we all employ to that end.

KU7UK3 wrote: Even those annoying teenagers who tried to expose and ruin my show, they stayed with me for the full 60 minutes to the complete astonishment of the parents. I achieved this through shouting routines. Sucker effects especially were vital in this role and even if I have to wear earplugs, giving them a reason to shout helped keep their attention firmly on me, and not on the other activities at the party.

JoJo: MMMMMM....if this is the type of reactions you get from teenagers can I humbly suggest that they are obviously not your market?? I can only imagine what they were saying to you Stephen. Perhaps they saw you as sport and only stayed to have fun at your expense? I know $$ is $$, but the TRUE PRO'S don't ruin their reputations by taking on shows they are not qualified for, lest their reputation ends up in the toilet.

KU7UK3 wrote: But even Jack would probably admit that today, structured shouting is vital for longevity in keeping the attention of the children.

JoJo: Structured shouting. Now there's an interesting two words. Are you perhaps saying "points in my routines where the kids will get excited and call out and react to what's happening in the routine", or are you saying "I've structured my show to have the kids wound up and YELLING just for the sake of YELLING every 5 minutes, to give my act longevity"? I personally go for the first one.

The author in question by the way was a fulltime professional kids performer for decades and everything in his book is from personal experience. He's not rehashing old stuff from other sources. There are about 7 or 8 people who have posted in this thread who own the book and speak very highly of it. Can't say the same for others in this thread who produce products. Can't say much more than that.

JoJo
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Wizzy
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I have John's book, and I have to say that it is the best thing that has been available to children's entertainers in years.
As a book the presentation is superb, and the contents are superb-er (if that's a word).
If you haven't got it - get it. You won't regret it.

And you don't need the kids to shout! Just make them laugh - that's entertainment.
Red Shadow
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John's book is great. I own it and enjoy reading it from time to time. But from the book and his own website, I don't believe he performs for children over the age of 8. I might be wrong, but that's the idea I get from his publicity material. There is nothing wrong with that, but it also plays into this argument if he specializes to children in controlled environments.
Having said that, all the pictures suggest he encourages the children to shout out AND laugh throughout the show. Which is what we are all after.

I work with all ages of children. I use shouting and laughter to great success. JoJo, if you don't understand that, I can't explain it to you. You haven't got a website so I don't know how regular you perform, but I've done 9 paid shows in the last week. Four of which were repeat bookings.
I encouraged 'structured shouting' throughout my act. I do this by taking a picture of a Teletubby and calling it Spongebob. This gets the kids to shout back at me the correct answer. It empowers them. I employ this tactic throughout the show through numerous routining, running gags and sucker effects.
Using this formula, I have been a successful children's entertainer for 13 years performing 1, 2, and upto 6 hour shows (with no breaks). I ran for British Children's entertainer of the year in Jan 09, and am currently the Manchester Cabaret Magician of the year for the last two years in a row.

Teenagers are not the perfect target audience. Many magicians refuse to work for any age over 9 (just look up some members websites). They are a loud, disruptive group who prefer to wrestle and fight on a bouncy castle. However I still entertain them thoroughly and do a full hour show for them... but even I will admit that my show for 5 year olds looks better on camera.
I don't have the option to be picky on who I do a show for however, since I have a mortgage to pay. But the teenager's still enjoyed the show. But in regards to your post, to you it might just be a hobby and so you can pick and choose your shows. But for me, this is a business and I cannot turn any job away. But I am still proud professional entertainer who gives every audience 100%.

Steve
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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I stumbled accross this youtube clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fa9x9DMKDOE

For some reason it didn't move me too much. Not really a whole lot of natural laughter from the kids. Then the old, "I can't hear you" gag, which for me would be the last thing I'd be doing at my show. Unless you got a real dead audience.

I wonder what others feel about this? Take a look and let us know if this is the type of shouting you're all aiming for?

JoJo
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