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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » You arrive at the birthday party early to connect with the birthday child. OK - but how? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of simchamagic
Hi there!

You arrive at the birthday party early to connect with the birthday child so he'll feel a personnel connection with you and all of the other benefits that come out of this.

Well. how do you do this 'connecting' piece?

Do you just have a chat with the child? Do you start asking him questions getting into his life details (his family, school, friends, what he wishes to do etc.)? Do you explain to him what will be in the show and what will be his part?

What do you do to achieve the goal of connecting with the child?
Also – how does it differ by the various age groups?


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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
I start by asking the parent 9on the ohone or email) to tell me a little about the birthday child. That it helps me to tailor the show to his needs. This can be favorite color, his hobbies, TV shows he or she likes etc. It usually helps a lot.

When I get to the show I will always greet the child but do so carefully. Sometimes they are timid and not quite sure about you. I will say something like, "wow you must be Tommy. Happy Birthday! You like magic? Yeah me to." That type of thing just gets them smiling.

I can then go on later (as I am setting up or when I am done) and I can bring up things based upon what I was told by the parent. I can talk about hsi favorite sport or Tv show and just show a general interest.

I also am not just tuning into him, but I tune into his friends as well. Often times the friends will influence how the b-day kid reacts and vice-versa. If you can get them all to like you and to see you as a fun guy, it really does help.

Sometimes all that is needed is a simple smile and such. You often times do not have to go out of your way to do this. It is just simply showing interest is all. be careful now to over do it.

Kyle Peron

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Profile of todd75
When I arrive, I ask the parent and the birthday child to come into the room after I am setup and leave the other kids outside for a few minutes. I then get down on one knee and talk to the child. I ask them their name and how old they are. I always say 106 if they are 6 or 108 if they are get the idea. I then ask them if they like magic and then pull a palmed sponge ball from their ear. I then go into a game where I make the ball disappear using a simple "put and take" method. This always breaks the ice and gets theor attention. I now explain a few things that are going to happen in the show and make sure that they are ready for the show.

Good luck!
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New Jersey
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Profile of ERIC
Nothing beats a $.69 squeeker to help break the ice with kids. If not used on them because they are shy, than on myself. It has never failed me in building a repore with the kids.
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Profile of MoonRazor
Don't ask questions, do something with them, maybe ask them to help you with something before the show, this is maybe a game that is disguised as an important task that must be done before a show.
Bill Nuvo
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Profile of Bill Nuvo
I don't quite understand this...why not just do your show with which you should be connecting with the whole audience. Of course you use the birthday child ASAP in a trick.

When the kids sit down in front of you, you save the front and centre for the birthday child....

Why arrive early? (most of the time, I would say I am too booked to do so, but also, I don't see a point)

Maybe I'm missing something
Donald Dunphy
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Profile of Donald Dunphy
Bill -

I'm with you. I don't arrive early, to try and bond with the birthday child.

My show at a birthday is not at the start of the party, but part way in. The birthday child is busy playing with their friends / enjoying the party while I'm setting up to perform.

Sometimes I'm introduced to the birthday child when I first arrive, but not always. Sometimes I first meet the birthday child when I start the show.

However, that does not stop me from having an impact on the birthday child or his / her guests.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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Arlington, Virginia
2424 Posts

Profile of rossmacrae
I guess you could call what I did 'connecting' (when the kid wasn't so little they'd be frightened). Anyway, it accomplished exactly what I wanted.

At the door, I'd ask the parents (in a stage voice) if this was little Johnny's party. "Yes." "Well, can magicians come to this party?" "Sure, come on in."

That established that the parents thought I was OK, "took a bit of the edge off" of a big stranger barging in.

Then, to the assembled mob
"Hi, guys - is this Johnny's party?"
"Well, where's Johnny? - JOHNNY! JOHNNY!" (looking around everywhere for Johnny, and as soon as I figured out which one was Johnny I'm home free)
"I'm Johnny. Hello..."
(blowing him off:) "Excuse me, I'm looking for Johnny. JOHNNY!"
"Mister, I'M JOHNNY!"
"I'm Johnny."
"You're Johnny? Prove it."
"Wait a minute, say aaaah..." (examining his teeth) "Oh! You ARE Johnny! Well should we have a magic show?"

I know the last bit makes absolutely no sense, but it works - the impression created is that I'm big and loud and harmless (in fact, clueless) but I know a secret thing or two.
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Northern Ca
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Profile of ralphdean
Sponge balls! Especially for the shy kids in the 4-6 yo group. I do a quick sponge ball routine for the kids. If their are multiple small groups of kids then even better. I do it for each group. Suddenly they are all my best friend and ready to gather for the show.
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Profile of Futureal
Completely unnecessary, in my opinion.
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Profile of JimbosMagic
Most of my parties are in large halls or Church halls. I like to get there about 45mins early to set up my show and sound. (Plus you never know if you will get stuck in traffic or some other things that may make you late for the party.)
Whilst I do this I might talk to the Birthday child and say things like. Is it your Birthday today? are you excited? are all your friends coming to the party? get the idea. I also put a line of tape down on the floor about 5 feet from my working area so the children will sit behind it when we start.
I usually ask the Birthday child to help me stick the sticky down then once its in place we have to walk along it just to make sure its stuck.
I have never had a child yet that wont help me after the initial chat.
By the time we start the magic show we are usually buddies
JIMMY CARLO. KIDabra International Family Entertainer of the Year 2009.
IBM Triple Award Winner. Uk Champion of Comedy Magic.
Represented the UK in the United Slapstick Awards on German TV.
European Children's Entertainer of the year 2007/8
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Profile of BIGmagiclV
I have it in my contract that I am to live in the house of the birthday kid for 5-7 days prior to the show so he can get accustomed to my scent and presence. I make sure I'm at the dinner table every night but with strict instructions not to talk to me or make eye contact. Smile
Man,can you imagine the people who do 600-800 shows a year, how much money would be lost if they had to get to every party early to "bond"?
if you are any good, you should be able to bond instantly. I do a very similar thing to what Ross does with the "where's the birthday boy/girl?" when they are right in front of you. I point or introduce myself to almost every child as if they were the birthday child. After the BC is almost yelling that he is the one, my punch is "Wait, YOURE the birthday boy? Why didn't you tell me?!" On with the show. Takes 2 minutes.
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