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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Want to do magic for birthday parties (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

blva888
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I would like to start to preform birthday parties or just parties for people. I would like some info on how to make this happen such as putting together a show. what kind of effects to have in the show. what kind of presentation should I have.

I'm to the point now I just want to go and do it. I have been sitting on the sidelines for months now.

Any help would be great.

Brent
Mr. Oops

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Irfaan Kahan
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Hello Brent

Would be children's birthday parties or adults?

For children, there are numerous effects listed in "The Little Darlings" section.

For adults, well, any strolling / stage routine would work. What do you enjoy performing with? Cards? Coins? Misc?? Do you prefer grand illusion?

For advertising children's shows, I used monthly school publications which went out to thousands of parents. Also an ad in a women's / gossip magazine helps.
I'm a Magician playing the part of an Actor
troppobob
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G'day Brent

This sounds exciting - I remember when I started doing birthday parties on a regular basis.

Let us know a bit more about your history and what type of parties you would like to perform and what effects you have mastered.

I started with children's parties and developed from there and now I do all ages including a regular gig most weeks for older audiences (retired people on a bus trip to a local resort). The effects and routines are different for different age groups and different settings. Some of the effects cross the age barriers (like cut and restored rope) but the routines change a bit.

I started by advertising in local papers in the classifieds and now rely on the yellow pages and mostly word of mouth.

Beginning was great with lots of learning (often from mistakes - and that still happens). It is time to hop of the fence and just do it.

Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
blva888
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I would like to do both children and adult parties. But mainly children for right now.

I'm sick of just being on that fence. maybe I should list some of the effects I have already? and see what you all think?

Brent
Mr. Oops

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www.mromagicshow.com
The Futurist
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Hi Brent. I did my very first kids' party this Halloween, as an amateur looking to get experience rather than getting paid for it, so the pressure was off in one sense. If you have any friends with young children you could just volunteer to entertain, see how it goes. I'd be interested in seeing your list of effects.

Well, I guess "there are children and then there are children". By which I mean they're developing at such a rate that a year or two's difference in age can make all the difference as to which effects work well for them and which don't. My inaugural experience was with some very young and noisy children...

Repertoire: I didn't perform most of the effects I came equipped for. The kids were too young for much of my stuff (4-7)*, somewhat less than orderly, and I was crowded. A nightmare for even the most slight of angle issues... I ended up simply mingling and doing TT tricks, making sure I included every child who wanted to take part.

Well, I did the same trick over and over, like some magic production line Smile Blatant reloading of the TT at times, although there was "natural misdirection" because the little darlings were so young, and the party so hectic. Even the adults were constantly harrassed by the throng of kids, and so it was easy to get a move by them. So I learned a bit about flexibility and to waive the "never repeat a trick" rule under certain circumstances. Oh yeah, I actually managed to do Bank Night too at the start with a couple of the 7-year olds: I even hammed it up a la Derren Brown!

I'll say it was chaos, and even gave me a pounding headache, but there were some very cute and heartwarming reactions to my trickery that made it all worthwhile.

*I never tried so hard in my magic not to glimpse a playing card that the participant had selected. So I soon dispensed with the playing card routine!
Ed_Millis
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If you are going to do children's magic, you ~must~ read "Seriously Silly" by David Kaye ("Silly Billy"). This is a treasure chest of wisdom from a man with over 20 years in the business who gets $500 for a children's party and is asked fro by name by big celebreties.

I did children's parties years ago, and got so frustrated I stopped! I had tricks - what I did _not_ have was an understanding of how to perform for children. Children are not like adults!! They respond differently, and just one or two years in age can make a huge difference between your trick flying or flopping.

Children are NOT into the cimactic "moment of magic" as much as they are the whole journey of the routine. Adults will forgive a mediocre show if you give them one blazing moment of "Wow!!" Children will walk up in the middle of a routine, say "You're boring!", and walk off.

When you contract to do a party, you make yourself the centerpiece of the day. I would suggest that before you put yourself in that position, you find a place where you can perform in bits and pieces with nothing at stake. "Everyone needs some place to be bad." Maybe the local library will let you come in every Saturday and do a few tricks for anyone who wants to watch.

Actually, a group of adults is easier to begin performing for than a room full of over-stimulated sugar-filled unsupervised kids in full party chaos mode!

Ed
The Futurist
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Great idea with the library, Ed (and the rest)! I'll get in touch with my two local libraries for sure. Cheers.
JamesTong
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Quote:
On 2009-11-10 06:24, blva888 wrote:
I would like to do both children and adult parties. But mainly children for right now.

I'm sick of just being on that fence. maybe I should list some of the effects I have already? and see what you all think?

Brent


It is through action that will get you started. And it does not matter what you perform. Focus on the entertainment you can provide with what you can do (not what you want to do) for the audience.

Your act would improve through experience. Get started and have fun.
pradell
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Do you like spending time with children? This is so important that I'll repeat it: Do you like spending time with children?
Because if you don't, they will know it. They will turn off to you. They will eat you alive.
Kids are like pets. They are intuitive. Emotional. They're looking for love. They can look deep into your eyes if you, consciously or unconsciously, project to them that you would prefer to be anywhere but in the moment with them. They know. And they react.
And that is really where the magic is: in that moment when you are making a child's dreams come true. Because if they let you in, and you bond with them during that short and energetic exchange, you can share one of the greatest joys that there is! For those who love the experience, it is amazing that someone is paying you to do what you love.
Also, for kids (and for adults, too) you really are not primarily a magician at all: you are an entertainer. Have fun with the children. Entertain them. Let yourself go a bit. Enjoy the moment. Magic is the tool you are using to entertain, the vehicle to get them from one place to another.
Tell stories. Involve them a lot. If you are having a great time, and it shows, chances are that they are too.

:magicrabbit:
scaevola
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I second the motion for "Seriously Silly" I have been doing kids shows for years and this book totally had me rethinking everything I do in a very good way. Don't copy Kaye's routines, apply his wisdom to the tricks you already do!
blva888
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I will get that book "Seriously Silly"

I will just grab a few tricks and practice a routine maybe in front of my sister who knows children well. and then after that email the organization that I made months ago to ask them if I may come and do magic for free for the children.

Pradell asked if I like spending time with children. The answer is I don't know. I would rather not spend time with children, but I would like to entertain people with magic. Only way I will know is if I try it.
Mr. Oops

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JamesTong
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You will never know until you try it.
55john55
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I agree that you will never know until you try. A friend once told me: If you only do the things you know how to do,then they will be the only things you know how to do. However, you may want to start out with a very small group and work up to larger groups.
As a side note. I thought of an new wand effect for kids and put it in the "Lil Darlings" section. The post is called, "New wand trick for kids?". Some people have made suggestions to improve it and said they will use it. I hope they will report if it works for them. It is VERY easy to make the wand and anyone is welcome to the idea.
blva888
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55john55 I will go and look at new wand trick for kids. thanks for that.
Mr. Oops

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www.mromagicshow.com
troppobob
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G'day again Brent

I have enjoyed reading through this tread again. All the people who suggested David Kaye's book "Seriously Silly" are spot on. I have been performing for children for many years and reading this book confirmed many of the things that I had learned over the years and gave me some new angles on things as well.

The book highlighted that you can take a basic effect that you may well carry in your pocket already and consider how you perform that trick taking into account consideration for different age groups and design a number of very different routines with what you already have.

I hope you enjoy the experience of developing you performance.

Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
scaevola
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Hey blva888,

If you try performing for kids and don't like it, don't let that turn you off to performing in general. Kids are a tough audience. I can think of many easier audiences than kids.
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