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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » Been asked to do a kids show (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Scott F. Guinn
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Hi Alec!

Just do the stuff you do in your restaurant work that plays well for kids. Coins across, productions, vanishes, sponge balls / bunnies, rope or ring and string, etc. Stuff like Triumph, CTW, and ACR with cards works fine if you have the card signed. Anything with candy or chocolate will play big time.

You'll do fine.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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daffydoug
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Quote:
On 2010-01-20 09:53, mmreed wrote:
Spongeballs always win kids over.

Rope routines usually play well.

Cups and balls is usually well received and the benson bowl also.

The smaller linking rings are good for closer work with kids.

I use three coloring books and do a coloring book monte where they have to follow the one colored... that is always fun.

I find that kids get bored easy with card tricks and most mentalism style effects.


When doing close up for kids, sponge balls are great. I did them for years, but put them away when Rob Spade came out with his Ladybuged effect. Basically, it is soft red sponges that are cut in half and painted to look like lady bugs,.. I now do these exclusively and just use all my old sponge ball moves. (Same routine, just substitute the lady bugs) reason being that the lady bugs have tons more appeal than sponge balls. Believe me, the lady bugs produce an emotional appeal, or "hook" that you just can't elicit with standard sponge balls. I think it brings back childhood memories for a lot of people. I can not recommend these enough!

Problem is, they steal the show! Weeks, months later, they will forget the rest of your effects, but will say "Do that trick again where the lady bugs appear in my hand!"

Not only do kids love them, but here's a tip: Woman go crazy over them too! Take my word, if you know any sponge moves, this effect will be a winner in your show.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Phil Tawa
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7 to 10 Years?

1)Professors Nightmare
2)Hopping half
3)Cardtoon. They love it.
4)Chop Cup
5)Paddles. Not the Hot Rod!! There are so many to choose from.
6)Sponge stuff.
7)Rabbit in Hat Routine or Haunted House Silk Set
8)Comedy cut and restored in repeat zipper change bag.
9)Silk in Balloon and give it away.
10)Twentieth Century Silks
curtnelson
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I don't know if you have a puppet that whispers in your ear and can reveal a chosen card, but kids love that kind of stuff. Especially if the puppet keeps trying to cheat and peek at the card and you don't notice -- the kids will laugh and scream and you can milk that kind of thing. I was just doing a school visit (where I usually do a stage show) and I had a little extra time so they asked me to visit a 2nd grade class, and I showed them several tricks, but the one where I used one of their stuffed animals to whisper in my ear and reveal their card (after all the peeking) was the one they were talking about afterwards.
55Hudson
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Quote:
On 2010-03-29 17:33, curtnelson wrote:
I don't know if you have a puppet that whispers in your ear and can reveal a chosen card, but kids love that kind of stuff. Especially if the puppet keeps trying to cheat and peek at the card and you don't notice -- the kids will laugh and scream and you can milk that kind of thing. I was just doing a school visit (where I usually do a stage show) and I had a little extra time so they asked me to visit a 2nd grade class, and I showed them several tricks, but the one where I used one of their stuffed animals to whisper in my ear and reveal their card (after all the peeking) was the one they were talking about afterwards.


Curt -- love the puppet idea with cards for kids! I have used small stuffed animals to appear and could easily incorporate "cheating" by the stuffed animals.

Thanks!
george johnstone
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Kids are difficult; as you've got to vary the style depending on the ages.
You've plenty of ideas above but here's a couple of pointers...

You need a quick, attention grabbing start to make them pay attention. I often use Davenport's disappearing bottle. It's easy & visual & they really don't expect the ending!
Cut & restored ropes as noted above is a good one for the age range you're looking at. It's great to lead into this by doing a cut & restored neck-tie with one of the adults before hand. It's easy to arrange and kids of all ages love to see an "authority figure" in trouble.
I typically arrange it a day or so before & ask them to play along which they do; do; its's also nice to "abandon the trick" mid-way without doing the repair.
Ie - hand them the cut tie back, apologis & say "okay perhap I could have a different vounteer" this leaves them looking wonderfully helpless in the eyes of the kids.
As above, then restore it & lead on to cut & restored rope - without the volunteer.
Children love live animal magic ie rabbits etc however if you haven't done it before don't start now.
Also, try not to talk down to them. The age range you're looking at think they're older than they are. So for example they really won't want to see a magic colouring book.
I've more if you need, just let me know however this should start you off along with the above--though by now you've probably done the show!!!
alexoid
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There's some good advice in this thread- but I think it's not necessarily the tricks that are the vital focus - it's how you interact with the kids. Certainly kids of 7 years old plus will appreciate sleight of hand magic- when they have a good plot to follow- a story. If you make stories up where the magic illustrates key parts of the story- you're more than half way there.

Personally, when I do kid's magic shows I use a lot of asking the kids things- such as a magic word to use and I used volunteers quite a bit after making it very clear I will only choose well behaved kids- who also get a magician's assistant certificate (in other words the sub text is- well behaved children get rewarded).

If you're doing 45 minutes I'd suggest doing something other than magic for 5-10 minutes such as balloon models or a game because children will want a change. I have a games section in my longer shows- this is where you lay down the guidelines very clearly about the kid's listening and sitting well etc.

If you can include a "sucker" trick near the beginning- this can also stop off the know it alls early on!
CarlEJones
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I'm sure someone has already said this in this thread but I don't have time to read all of the posts to see who said it...... with that said though.... kids like to be entertained more than they like to be fooled... That's simply my experience after more than my share of kids shows over the years. Two tricks which are inexpensive to get and ALWAYS get a lot of laughs and interaction with the kids in my show are Trixie Bond's "pop wand" (about $15) and the Axtell board that has moving eyes.... A TON of laughs and fun from both of them.

If you do ANY balloons, you'll have to do balloons for everyone. Be prepared....

Good luck!
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Bryan Smith
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Close-up for kids is pretty much what I exclusively do these days. I will tell what I have learned from countless of these types of shows. (I work at a week-long camp for kids and perform the same things for different groups every week, and I have it pretty honed at this point.

1. Keep it visual. Even mentalism can work if you work in a visual aspect. I do a number guessing effect and do the reveal by pretending to draw random funny things but then when I'm finished, they see I have written their number.

2. Watch the kids like a hawk when angles are important. Kids have no problem with moving to get a look from a different angle, kneeling to see the trick from below, or crawling under the table. Be prepared for this.

3. Unlike most adults, kids will often yell out their theories on how the trick is done. Most of the time they are wrong, and sometimes the theories are utterly ridiculous, but if you even acknowledge it, it gains credence with the others. I just ignore it and keep going whether they're right or wrong.

4. Kids LOVE to participate. I don't ever do a trick that doesn't have a volunteer any more. If the trick doesn't need a volunteer, invent a way to put one in. Just having a kid hold the cards for you and turn them over for the reveal can make their day. If you were going vanish something, borrow something from a kid and vanish that instead.

5. Kids often have no problems trying to grab your things from the table or right out of your hands. If it's important that this doesn't happen be prepared to make sure it doesn't.

6. Be sure you exaggerate showing them things much more than with adults. Children have short attention spans and some of them are probably thinking about something unrelated to your show at any given time. If they need to know that your hands are empty or that you were holding the king of spades or whatever say it, point to it, exaggerate it. If you just flash things that adults would pick up on, a lot times kids don't even notice or it doesn't register which makes your trick much less amazing to them.

7. Lastly, as has been said before in this thread, you will reach a point at which they are bored of magic, and that moment will come much sooner than 45 minutes. Figure out what you're going to do then. Kids misbehave when they're bored, so have an unboring strategy handy. A game could be good.

Just some things I picked up. I know the show referred to is probably passed by now, but in case anyone else stumbles by here wondering the same thing.
"I'm half drunk most the time
and I'm all drunk the rest"
--Tom Waits
gregkoren
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Thanks, Bryan!

I don't do kid shows, but your advice is appreciated nonetheless. If, and when, I do return to performing for kids, I will keep in mind what you've said.

Greg
brangwinj
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I have bought many tricks for older kid shows. For Example Babcock Dye box at the end of show favorite trick needle through baloon
insight
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I believe John Cesta does kids shows. He may have some good advice!

Regards,
Mike
LVMagicAL
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Quote:
On 2010-05-01 11:08, Bryan Smith wrote:

7. Lastly, as has been said before in this thread, you will reach a point at which they are bored of magic, and that moment will come much sooner than 45 minutes.



With all due respect Bryan, I disagree that kids become bored with magic sooner than 45 minutes. In the kid shows that I perform (and that's the vast majority of my work) most shows go on well past 45 minutes. I contract for a certain length of show, but I typically ask the daycare, parent or who-ever is in charge, if they mind if I go over a bit (time wise) if the kids are engaged and having a good time. Most all of my shows go 50 to 60 minutes....and that's daycare shows as well as kid birthday shows for the 5 to 12 year old age range. I think it's all in how you engage the kids and involve them in the show. I really have a tough time wrapping up a show inside of 40 minutes when there is a strict time deadline (such as a party place where they move em' in and move em' out in a timely fashion). Just my $.02 worth.
eywi
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What about making like an animal appear like a rabbit
vincentmusician
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Close up for Kids? Depends on the situation. Are they seated? Standing?At home? In a Restaurant? In a Park outside? I perform Strolling and Full Shows for All Ages. Sometimes when I am expected to do a Show, I get there and am given no space. So I do my Strolling Close Up Material. Just do the routines you already have success with. With experience, you can change the presentation to fit the audience. You should already have experience and have performed for 7 to 10 year olds before. So you should know what Magic works for this age. If not, I do not recommend accepting the job. Cheers!
BeachCat
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This is a really old post (originally) but since it's coming up now, I'll throw in my 2 cents. Miser's Dream for sure (kids love the idea of money multiplying!) Sponge balls as others mentioned and mouth coils go over well too. I'd stay away from tubes and boxes.
Dougini
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Quote:
On Jan 18, 2010, Sir Richard wrote:
If you haven't done kids shows before then, pardon me for saying this, you're not ready. Even my coach & mentor, who knows Lance Burton, Max Maven, as well as Max King very well refuses to do kids shows.


I also refuse. To do a successful show for kids, you must LOVE kids! I have a problem. I do NOT have a LOVE for children! That sounds terrible. I've never been married, never had kids. I am 66 and don't plan on starting a family! I am awkward around children. I will never be rude or unkind, just ABSENT! I can use rather spicy language, so parents...I don't recommend inviting me if kids are present. I don't like constantly editing myself and "being careful" not to offend. I do fine around most adults. I respect women and am more aware of language.

There are a lot of single guys who don't do well with children. Don't hate me, but I am one of them.

Doug
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