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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Routining School Shows, Kids, Shows, and Illusion Shows (14 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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How good do you want to be?

To evaulate your presentation performance, video tape your show, and use the below criteria for improvement.

This ratin is on a 1-4 scale and purposely left out average (1-5 scale 3 bring adverage) because average is a point where one can't make up their mind, therefore, one needs to be above average or below average. These guidelines also are designed for a individual who has been around a lot of magic and can be reasonably objective based on a broard understanding of the magic entertaining business. The purpose of these guidelines is to eliminate subjectiveness, and improve on performance.

Scoring Criteria: will be based on a one to four scale in each dimension:


  • 4. Exceptional Performance
  • 3. Above Average, No Glaring Mistakes or Errors
  • 2. Below Average, Mistakes Obvious
  • 1. Needs Work

Scoring Dimensions: Performance should be judged on the basis of the following dimensions:


  • Presentation: The performer connected with the audience

    4. The performer "WOWed" the audience, connected with the audience, and the audience could see the performance over and over again.
    3. The performer demonstrated smooth transition between routines, and a positive connected with the audience, a repeat performance would also be enjoyable.
    2. The performer has some transitions between effects, connected with the audience but needs work on entertaining the audience.
    1. There was little transition between effects or routines, it appeared to be a series of unrelated effects, haphazardly presented with little or no audience connection.

  • Stage Presence: Confidence in one's abilities, attitude of assurance knowing the routine extremely well, well practiced, eye contact with audience, comfortable performing.

    4. The performer demonstrated confidence and was comfortable with the routine, well rehearsed, with an attitude of assurance in performance
    3. The performer demonstrated confidence and was comfortable with the routine, and made NO obvious mistakes or exposures.
    2. The performer demonstrated confidence and was comfortable with the routine, but made glaring mistakes or exposures.
    1. The performer needs a lot of practice, made glaring mistakes or exposured how the effect was done.

  • Audience Appreciation: The audience obviously is enjoying the performance, the audience is having fun and being entertained

    4. By the applause and/or visual actions of the audience, they really appreciated the performance, and could watch the performance again, and again.
    3. By the applause, the audience appreciated and enjoyed the performance and wouldn't mind seeing it again.
    2. The applause was "forced", the performance was enjoyable, but once was enough.
    1. Little applause and the audience seemed bored or demonstrated a lack of interest in the performance, the entertainer did not entertain.

  • Skills/Technique: The performer demonstrated the skills of a craftsman in the performance, clearly indicating a professional entertainer (magician).

    4. The performer clearly demonstrated manipulated skills with no mistakes, with cards, coins, canes, TTs, or any effect required skill to do well.
    3. The performer demonstrated manipulated skills with little or no glaring mistakes, with cards, coins, canes, TTs, or any effect required skill to do well.
    2. The performer demonstrated manipulated skills with glaring mistakes, with cards, coins, canes, TTs, or any effect required skill to do well.
    1. The performer demonstrated manipulated skills with several mistakes or exposure, with cards, coins, canes, TTs, or any effect required skill to do well.

  • Originality: The performer developed, enhanced a routine that is original material.

    4. The performer demonstrated a routine and effect, which is clearly his own.
    3. The performer demonstrated a routine, which is clearly his own, and used standard effects. (Professor's Nightmare, 20th century Silks, etc.)
    2. The performer demonstrated a "stock routine", which for the most part is a common method.
    1. The performer copied a routine from another, with insufficient original material added.

  • Humor (Kid Show): The performer entertained the audience with "appropriate" use of humor.

    4. There were numerous bits of business with continued laughter from the audience.
    3. The audience laughed over the added bits of business and the routine had several humorous elements to it.
    2. The audience smiled, chuckled and the routine has obvious humor elements.
    1. There was little or no laughter from the audience.

  • Children Entertainment Value (Kid Show): The performer clearly demonstrated an ability to entertain children, using humor, audience involvement and a child assistant.

    4. The routine was clearly geared for children, used audience participation, lots of humor, and involved a child's assistance.
    3. The routine was clearly geared for children, involved the audience, was funny, and involved a child's assistance.
    2. The routine wasn't clearly geared for children, used little audience participation, some humor, and did not involved a child's assistance.
    1. The routine wasn't clearly geared for children, used little or no audience participation, little humor, and did not involved a child's assistance.
    ---
    The below rating makes up for some dimensions that are not listed above and is uses as an adjustment score. It seemed perfect but something was missing or it wasn't perfect, however, it really was a outstanding performance.
    ---
  • Overall Satisfaction of Performance: You were clearly entertained, you feel good about the performance, you had fun, and could watch the performance again because the performer has the right combination of skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.

    4. The performance has the right combination of skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.
    3. The performance has most of the right combination of skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.
    2. The performance lacks the right combination of skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.
    1. The performance needs much improvement related to combining skills, originality, stage presence, humor, music, effects, color, costume and connection with the audience.

Obviously, the Children's Dimension is for a performance which focuses on children entertainment. Not all the dimensions are required for every type of performance.

What is left out is Use of Music because music can take a bad act and push it into a good act. It can enhance a performance tremendously or it can hurt a performance equally by inappropriateness, timing is off and numerous other possible positive and negative behaviors. Music will push an act above a four and it can pull it below a one. The best acts use music and take that chance!


One final point, you get once chance with schools. If you do badly, the principals will let other principals know this, so refine before performance, research before development, evaluate before presenting, and market by direct mail and showcase it.
Dennis Michael
Decomposed
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Eternal Order
High Desert
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Great info Den!

FInal Point: Only one school I performed for did I receive anything negative. They used whistles during the sitting of the children. The children got really excited at my show and I did reach down a few times and the kids stood up (I was on the floor). The teachers hated this. When I used the school as a reference, all they told the other teachers was the kids got out of line.

I never had this happen again. I always go over "rules" at the beginning in a nice manner. I then re-enforce this throughout the show if I even see a child begin to stand.
RonCalhoun
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Independence, KY USA
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Fast - Do something magical quickly, within the first 30 seconds of the show opening

Fun - Get them laughing.

Audience - Bring up some audience members. This is a good bridge between fun and mystery.

Mystery - Prove that you really are a magician. Great place to do mind reading or an escape trick.

Finish - End with an applause getter.
keeblem
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Essex, UK
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I won't repeat everything that has already been said, but I will say that it was great to read Den's Post after a few grumblings recently about the "usefulness" of the Café. I know a couple of people no longer post (and presumably don't visit anymore?) all I can say is that there is still a lot to learn from this source as Den has expertly proven.
Mark
slangers
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Denmark
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What another great post from "the man" Smile
Daniel Faith
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Neenah, Wisconsin
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Some great info there Den
Daniel Faith
chris mcbrien
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Chicago
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Holy $@%& those were good posts!
Yup, Den, time to write that book you've been putting off, then give me your address so I can pay you for a copy!

You've just summed up what it took me a looooooong time to learn the hard way.
It's true, too, if you mess up for a principal they rarely ever forget it, and it take much toe kissing to get back into their school (been there, done that). I used an interactive game that people generally liked, except for one principal, he said his teachers didn’t like it because they had to "get up" and they just liked to sit...then I noticed the size of the sitting teachers and agreed with him. Then there are librarians; I wish all my clients were librarians.

One thing I thought could be added, and I want to add "could" because you did cover a lot of great material, was the theatrical part of our presentations. Acting ability is really important to our art form. Acting is really the other half of magic. And scripting is another education in itself...
Great posts, Den, thanks so much for sharing!!!
paulmagic
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Malaysia, now In New Zealand
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Den,

I am new to this and interested in children's magic and just reading your post I think that the first response is not an exaggeration.
-----
Thanks Den---That post was better than about 98% of the books on kids magic I have bought---thanks for taking the time!---Cheers!---Jimo
-----

Whoever said free stuff is of little value has never seen posts like yours! Thank you
Many Blessings!!

Paul
chris mcbrien
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Chicago
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Den,
I really got a lot out of your posts! I'ts made me re-evaluate my show....and especially after I had a stressful week, it's helped to organize my show into different catagories and rate where I could use some improvement...
Get this: I printed out the pages of your post, stapled them together and put them next to my copy of Ken Weber's "Maximum Entertainment", if that tells you how much I liked what you said.....
Cheers!
Chris
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Thanks for the comments. "Maximum Entertainment", puts that theater aspect back into your performance. It is well written and enjoyable reading.

Please understand these posts are not written in granite and there is room for improvement. In addition, the "rules" for entertaining kids are varied and have something to do with your personality, your morale beliefs, your sense of humor, your choosen character you protray, your family values, and the way you were raised.
Dennis Michael
markmagic
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KY
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Quote:
On 2005-02-22 16:21, RonCalhoun wrote:
Fast - Do something magical quickly, within the first 30 seconds of the show opening

Fun - Get them laughing.

Audience - Bring up some audience members. This is a good bridge between fun and mystery.

Mystery - Prove that you really are a magician. Great place to do mind reading or an escape trick.

Finish - End with an applause getter.


Have to agree with Ron, And I always make the birthday child "The Star" of the Show!
Police Magician
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Georgia
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Den, I also have to congratulate you on some fine points for these type shows. A friend of mine wrote a book on those doing magic for daycares. Tom Boleware of Pine Belt Forum put it out earlier this year.

Since he owns a daycare, and is a magician, he has put some info that is much needed to know the trials and tribulations of doing shows at daycare. You can email Tom at TomBoleware@aol.com for further info on the book.

Glenn Hester
Glenn Hester

P.O. Box 3095

Brunswick, Ga. 31521

912-571-8071

www.policemagic.com

https://www.facebook.com/PoliceMagic
michaelrice
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Ireland
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I know this is not a new post, but I must say it is filled with great advice and very helpful.

Does anyone recommend (how will I describe this kind of trick.......) The kind of trick where the magician doesn't see what the kids see!!! The kids say ''look its there'' then the magician looks and there's nothing there. I think this presentation is good and can be played out for awhile.

Do you recommend any particular effect as I have described above?

Mike ~
(sorry if this is the wrong topic)
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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It is called "Look No See!"

And This occurs with the "Run Rabbit Run" type of effects and many more.
Dennis Michael
michaelrice
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Ireland
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Do you recommend any good "Look No See!" effects? Something in the price range of $50.

Mike ~
kentastic
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There are many "Look-Don't See" tricks.
Some that I am/have used are:
Blooming Flower
Wilting Flower
Peanut, Butter & Jelley

KenTastic
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Included and similar are the "Turn it Around" effects like Hippy Hop Rabbits. Many of both these effects are in many of David Ginns books.

Multiplying wands are about $35 dollars and it too is in the "Look No See" catagory. Even the Break-away Wand or Breakaway Fan fits this same category.

Many tricks in the routine development can be designed to fit the "Look No See"

One of the most powerful is Sammy Smith "Puff the Rabbit" routine where the kids see the rabbit puppet doing things you don't. These are all less than the price range you suggested.

You can have more than one of these types and if you design it right you can have a wild show, where the audience is seeing things happen when you're "back is turned".

Mike, I see you're from Ireland, and a thought just occurred for a great routine. Imagine a Leprechaun puppet pulling tricks on you "you don't see" similar to Puff the Magic Rabbit. It could be a funny routine.
Dennis Michael
bluemagic
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Thank you for information and it's going help to my routine stronger.
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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BlueMagic,

Your name caught my eye and reminded me of a search engine fluke I had to deal with several years ago. On my commercial website I had a little blurb about family magic and "no blue magic". Immediately google picked up my site for the searches but made a major edit in the description. You guessed it: "Blue Magic".

It took nearly a year to get it corrected. Finally I just edited the site. Looking back I should have just changed that page to say "You are here through another google error". But apparently the wrong person got embarrassed and I have to ask people to go to Yahoo Search to find me on the Internet now. Google almost refuses to admit I'm out there. (Black and Blue search engines!)

Keep us posted. Show routing is a very important part of the world of magic. We all learn something.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com http://www.magicbysander.com/
abc
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This topic should go into a section where everyone on the Café gets to read it. I never read the little darlings sectyion because I am not currently involved in much childrens magic and I only stumbled upon it while doing a search for something totally different but WOW....what an excellent few posts.
Den in Taiwan we would call you Shi Fu or Master. This is one of the best threads I have read on the Café.
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