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Matthew W
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I was contacted to do a motivational school assembly next year, and am looking for ideas and books on doing this type of show.


The show is for middle school ages, so about 10-12. The principal said that they may want me for the elementary school, also. The show needs to be about staying in school and working towards something.

I have had one idea for working towards something. Needle through a balloon. "One of the first tricks I ever learned. When I was reading the instructions, I said, 'I can't do that.' (balloon pops) Never say you can't do something. If you say you can't, you won't. If you believe and tell yourself you can do it, then you can. Who has ever said 'I can't' or 'I am not able to do that' or 'That's not ever happening?' Get that thought out of your mind. I learned something great besides a magic trick, I learned that if you believe you can do it, (needle goes through) then anything is possible."

Any thoughts or ideas? Any help is greatly appreciated, books, routines, effects.

Thanks.



The entire show does not need to have the message, only about 1 third.

Here is what the effects I normally do for that age group (10-12) are.

Ring on Rope
Cut and Restored Rope
Linking Rings
Paper tear with a mouthcoil.
Comedy Split Deck (cards don't match, but match a prediction)
My standard opener (manipulative style act to music)
Vanishing Bandanna
Diminishing cards
Vanishing Bottle (sucker effect)
-Matt
Dynamike
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I do this a lot in schools. We have previous threads concerning this too.

For the linking rings I talk about helping and supporting each other. If you help others, they will help you. I explain how we can make more of a stronger and loving chain and be connected at the end. In between when I pull two apart, it represents us not helping each other.
KENNYRB
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I would suggest that you spend some time with an educator and find out what they recommend concerning motivating that age group. Once you understand the what motivates the children then you begin to build on that. If you don't really know how to motivate them you must learn that first. The tricks you know can all be reworked to teach those life skills. The upside to this is that you will be suggesting the same ideas that the teachers are already teaching. This makes you a part of their team and will give you a much better opportunity to perform again in the years ahead. Good Luck
Mindpro
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Are you trying to adapt your effects to a message, which I'm not sure is best, or first trying to figure out your message(s) and then try to fashion an effect to the point or message?
Matthew W
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I would like to routine them with a message.
-Matt
JamesinLA
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I agree with Mindpro. Also, I would emphasize, it's the "effect" that should relate to the concept to be taught, not the prop.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Matthew W
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What do you think of the needle through balloon?

Are there books on this topic?


The school would like me to do my Headchopper effect on one of the teachers (I am thinking principal). I am not sure what I can do with that. The way it was described to me is to have a little bit of talk on the subject in the show, so only a couple of routines will be 'motivational.'
-Matt
MikeHMagic
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I like the idea of using trust, making good decisions etc as you put the teacher in the head chopper
Mike "Gus" Harvatt
"Bullwinkle that trick never works."
Mindpro
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Theme: Your head - use it or lose it!
Matthew W
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"Trust yourselves, be confident that you can do something and you will succeed. The first time I did this, I was kind of nervous. It didn't work, I was not confident I could do it." (get the teacher nervous himself!)

Do you think I could use some of my regular gags? "The head came right off and bounced off the stage into the lap of the guy sitting right over there!" Moving the basket from the front to behind the person, "I'm starting to think I should put this back here"

Does anyone think that the straitjacket could work for getting past challenges and obstacles you think could hold you back?

I thought of closing the show with the phrase "I'm a magician and so are you!" Any thoughts?
-Matt
isaacfawlkes
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"I thought of closing the show with the phrase "I'm a magician and so are you!" Any thoughts?"

But they are not magicians, How about:

"I am a magician and I can do anything I put my mind too, and so can you!"

good luck
TomBoleware
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How about:

"In real life, you don't have to be a magician to do anything you want."

Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

The Daycare Magician Book
www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

Tom Boleware
www.tomboleware.com
Matthew W
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I was thinking of have the phrase so that it gives them something to think about after the show.

A magician can do anything. They are magicians because they can do anything if they put their minds to it.
-Matt
tparrett62
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Matt-

you're putting the cart before the horse. Don't start with the tricks, start with the message and then find tricks that fit what you're trying to say. You're in New York- have you checked into the NYS Arts In Ed standards? If you're serious about presenting a motivational show, you need to put a lot of work into it. I'd take a meeting with the principal who contacted you and find out what he/she is trying to accomplish. "Stay in school" and "Work towards something" is pretty vague. You need much more specific information to come up with a show that will do what it's supposed to do. What part of the curriculum is this supposed to tie into? What themes are being taught in the classroom? What from your background qualifies you to speak about this subject? It is going to be lots of work, but if you do it right, you'll have something worthwhile and something that can be marketed past just one booking.
tparrett62
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I'd also strongly re-consider using a head-chopper in a school setting. I will guarantee you're going to raise some hackles with that one.
Matthew W
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I can't find anything on "NYS Arts In Ed." If you can provide me with links or more information, that would be appreciated.

The principal used the term 'character building". Confidence, individuality, self esteem and who you are.

As far as the head chopper, I guess it is not the best thing. He asked me to do something with one of the teachers. His own words were "sawing in half or something.'

He also told me that the entire show does not have to involve the message.

The effects that I think I will go best with the message are:

Needle through balloon (not saying you cant do something, see first post)
Vanishing Bottle (working towards goals, not being afraid to ask questions. My usual routine is that I need the audiences opinion on this 'new' trick I am working on. It starts off being lame and turns out to be something amazing.)

I am thinking that the straitjacket escape would work well for the middle school age group for 'overcoming obstacles and challenges.

Do you know of any books on the subject of motivational shows?
-Matt
tparrett62
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Matt-

There are a lot of books on presenting educational/motivational shows, but in my opinion, the best one I've read is Julian Franklin's book. I've worked extensively with teens and tweens and have written quite a few columns on the subject. Make sure whatever you perform is strong; mentalism and mental magic usually works very well with that age. It's a tough age group if you're not prepared, especially in a school setting- 200-300 of them vs. one of you. Good luck.
Matthew W
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What is the title of the book I am looking for by him?

I have done magic for this age group several times before. It is not my usual audience (all that age) but I have worked for audiences of all that age group.

I think the comedy split deck will work well. Just because you were unable to do something (cards don't match) does not mean you failed. I could routine it that the first time I did this trick (regular split deck) it did not work, but I did not fail, since I came out stronger knowing how to handle the situation. (prediction matches the cards)

What are your thoughts on the stratijacket escape?
-Matt
Mindpro
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Sounds like the Principal is thinking larger illusions.
tparrett62
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The material from Julian is actually a 2 CD set along with a book- I believe the program is called "Creating Educationally Significant Programs".
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