The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Controlling Kids when NOT doing a kids show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Paul Prater
View Profile
Elite user
North Little Rock, AR
483 Posts

Profile of Paul Prater
Sometimes I set up at a local flea market on Sundays and I perform for tips. I typically do smaller effects to draw a small crowd and then launch into a Medicine Show to really pull a crowd. While the show is family friendly since I am performing in public, it is not geared towards children specifically. My problem is not with the children being there. In fact, they are great. They are the most vocal and bring excitement to the crowd.

However, I need time in between shows to get reset, get a drink, go to the bathroom,answer questions, just rest for a minute, etc... My problem is parents will walk off and leave their kids there like I am a babysitter. Yesterday the weather was great and I was doing well, but eventually I go tired of the group of ten or so kids that just never left, so I packed it up. There was even a two or three year old that the parents left there. He kept pulling on my pants leg wanting to play with props while I was trying to perform.

Also, they stand in front of the tip jar. People can't see it and while I mention while performing a lot of people see the jar, drop tips and walk off without me saying anything. Tips definitely drop off when the kids are there.

I can't think of a good way to solve this. I could say, "Hey, when you leave, don't forget your kids" but I think I would sound like a jerk. I figure you guys in this forum have dealt with something similar. Any ideas?
Bill Nuvo
View Profile
Inner circle
3094 Posts or
2747 Posts

Profile of Bill Nuvo
Water guns....nuff said lol

Don't be afraid to set the parents straight. Seriously...if anything happens while "in your care" you could be liable. Protect yourself just from that point.
stijnhommes
View Profile
Special user
568 Posts

Profile of stijnhommes
Quote:
On 2009-11-09 11:12, Bill Nuvo wrote:
Water guns....nuff said lol

Don't be afraid to set the parents straight. Seriously...if anything happens while "in your care" you could be liable. Protect yourself just from that point.
Surely you can't be held liable if you didn't agree to care for the kids in the first place? Don't you need some contract for that?
Paul Prater
View Profile
Elite user
North Little Rock, AR
483 Posts

Profile of Paul Prater
Naw, I'm fine if anything happens to kids. They are not in my care. I'm not running a day care and I haven't been hired to look after them, much less entertain them. While that isn't legal advice, I just so happen to be a lawyer for my full time job.

BUT that does give me an idea. Something along the lines of "Please keep your children with you, I don't want to be responsible if anything happens and I can't watch them."

I think that the biggest frustration is that I don't even know who the parents were. Several of the kids wandered up and then left on their own. I never saw a parent. An older sibling (about 7 years old) came and got the little (2-3 year old)kid. I have a feeling some of the kids had parents selling stuff and the kids had nothing else to do, so they just hung around.
MrGreggy
View Profile
Loyal user
213 Posts

Profile of MrGreggy
Perhaps a sign stating the beginning and END times of the show? Not sure if that would work in the type of venue situation you have there. An announcement at the beginning of your show stating the end time?

It's a tough situation to be in. Perhaps you could arrange with a local day care to provide a kid's zone where, for a fee, parents could abandon their kids while they go shopping. That way somebody is responsible for the children after your show, keeping them occupied and away from you during your down-time.

There may be some ideas on this issue in the forum for street performers. I'm sure you're not the only one to experience this problem.
TonyB2009
View Profile
Inner circle
5006 Posts

Profile of TonyB2009
If you say When you leave don't forget to take your kids, you could make it sound like a gag. That way people will laugh - and get the message.
Also, announce regularly your end time, so that there is no excuse for "forgetting."
I find it helpful, in street situations, to announce: Ladies and genelemen we are coming to the end. I have one more amazing thing to show you before I do my greatest trick - make the audience disappear by passing around the hat.
This serves two purposes - it mentions tips in a jokey way, and lets them know that soon the baby-sitting will come to an end.
Don't worry too much about appearing rude; you can say fairly much what you like, if you say it in a jokey way. Tony.
Red Shadow
View Profile
Inner circle
1779 Posts

Profile of Red Shadow
Tell them you've hidden a $27 note somewhere in the room / market. The first person to find it can keep it. That will get them all running off.
Paul Prater
View Profile
Elite user
North Little Rock, AR
483 Posts

Profile of Paul Prater
I appreciate the comments. I probably should have been a little more detailed. This is an outdoor flea market out in the country. There are no indoor areas, no where for a day care to keep kids and heck not even day care around that I am aware of.

I did consider start and end times for myself as well to keep me on a schedule. I don't always squeeze in all of the shows that I want because I am just doing close up. I put up signs that say "Magic Show" and pretty much perform the whole time I am there with the more structured Medicine Show in between.

I think TonyB2009 is probably right. Making sure it is said in joking way, but still said is probably the best way to handle it and add in start and ending times. I will post up the pics of my set up tonight or tomorrow too if anyone is interested.
Skip Way
View Profile
Inner circle
3771 Posts

Profile of Skip Way
I find that kids like this simply want a "piece of you." It's a compliment if you stop and think about it for a sec. In my case I keep postcard photos of my character and a rolled up wand give-a-way with puzzles and magic tricks printed on it. After my show I'll sign the postcards and give them, with a wand-promo, to each child with the advice, "Run and show your mom." I've recognized them and given each one a keepsake. Every now and then, a few will wander back, but this generally clears the field after each busking show for me.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Bernie Balloons
View Profile
Elite user
N.Y.C.
480 Posts

Profile of Bernie Balloons
The best person to ask is Don Driver.He is on the Café.He is also one of the if not the best pitch men around.
Paul Prater
View Profile
Elite user
North Little Rock, AR
483 Posts

Profile of Paul Prater
Skip-

I agree with you. I don't blame the kids, just the parents, especially when they leave little ones. I like the idea about some kind of giveaway.

Bernie-

Does Don do magic aside from doing demos of Svengalis? From the posts I have seen from him he is pitching cards and the like and seems to get short when magic is mentioned in relation to pitching. I am not pitching any products (aside from myself), but I appreciate the advice.
Bill Nuvo
View Profile
Inner circle
3094 Posts or
2747 Posts

Profile of Bill Nuvo
Quote:
On 2009-11-09 12:43, MacGyverMagic wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-11-09 11:12, Bill Nuvo wrote:
Water guns....nuff said lol

Don't be afraid to set the parents straight. Seriously...if anything happens while "in your care" you could be liable. Protect yourself just from that point.
Surely you can't be held liable if you didn't agree to care for the kids in the first place? Don't you need some contract for that?


Well people could try to sue you. Smile hehe

Still stating it covers you. You are not responsible for the children.
Mr. Woolery
View Profile
Inner circle
Fairbanks, AK
2026 Posts

Profile of Mr. Woolery
There's a sign in my pediatrician's office that says "Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy." It is amusing, but the point is that kids end up being attended because there was a reminder for parents that it is important to watch them. You might incorporate something like that into your performance. Lighthearted threats to make the kids hyper and give them a puppy might well resonate with parents who would otherwise dump them there.

Also, for those bathroom breaks, lunch, reset (mental, not just of your props), and whatever else you need to have a little personal time for, maybe you could just put up a CLOSED sign with a time to return. Something like those signs you see in shop windows with a little clock showing when to return would be good. And the giveaways might be a great way to get the kids satisfied. Roll-up wands, activity sheets, stickers with your name and contact information, or even just a balloon animal. Always with the afore-mentioned suggestion to "go show mom" so the kids leave.

Sounds like a great way to get a lot of practice and exposure. I'll have to remember this idea.

-Patrick
Dynamike
View Profile
Eternal Order
FullTimer
24111 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
Bring another person with you. The other person should be able to face paint or make balloon animals. Stay separate about 30 feet. It might help keep the kids away from you. And that extra person can charge for each face painting or balloon animal.

The other idea I can think of is to get a portable stage. It will be easier to see the tip bucket because it will be higher. It will also make you higher. It will make it harder for the kids to come so close to you.
magicone
View Profile
Veteran user
Doylestown, PA
352 Posts

Profile of magicone
Any children left behind will be sold with the next bottle of elixir!

I really like the "Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy."

You might want to change it to "a lollipop and free puppy" sugar, caffeine same difference ....I just don't know if your average medicine show would have espresso Smile
Red Shadow
View Profile
Inner circle
1779 Posts

Profile of Red Shadow
I like the sign idea, and this is definitely a good opportunity to give away your marketing details. But I think the main problem is the way you are performing your show.

Your in an outdoor arena. This means you need to have a box that is just that, a box. Surrounded on all sides. Not a suitcase table as that is open at the back, and not the market stand itself as it is too exposed. You need a square 'dumping' box which you can simply take the tricks out perform and put then back inside at the end of the routine. When the show is finished you simply put the lid back on top and walk off, instantly.

Then you can think about your tricks. Pick the ones that have an instant reset e.g. Paint Book, Linking Rings, Professors Nightmare, Arm Chopper. These will all fit into a small square box and require little / no work between shows.

With a show like the above, you can now walk away from the children should you wish.

Steve
blva888
View Profile
New user
80 Posts

Profile of blva888
How about "Any children left behind will be sold to the highest bidder."
Mr. Oops

The Worlds Greatest(?)

Magician

www.mromagicshow.com
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Controlling Kids when NOT doing a kids show (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.16 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL