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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » To sit or stand - which is professional? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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wonderbob
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I saw a clown/magician last weekend and he sat his during his hole show and I just thought it did not look professional.
TomBoleware
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Not only should you stand, you should keep the car running. Smile

I personally don't see a problem with sitting during some routines, but I say stand as much as possible.

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

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Flymo
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I think sitting/standing/laying down/standing on your head during a show is irrelevant as long as you are professional, engaging and entertaining.
wbzwolinski
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Quote:
On 2010-05-07 20:50, Al Angello wrote:
Do you guys get tips after doing a sit down kids party? More importantly do the kids stay awake during this low key show?

I guess I'm just an old fashion guy that jumps around on stage for the whole 45 minute show.


Actually, speaking for myself, I get tips all the time, as a matter of fact my last tip was $100. Now, I don't state this to be belligerent or boastful but in response to the question, not only do I get tips (sometimes pretty sizeable ones), I also get called back for repeat business. My show is pretty much 100% interactive and neither kids nor adults are asleep at the end of the show. Once again, I do not sit for the entire show. I sit for one or two effects during the offbeat of my show in which I perform an effect which I use 5-6 children. I sit down not to be lazy but rather to draw the children into the effect and its performance. Outside of those effects I am on my feet and quite active. This may not work for everyone but it has never been a problem for me.

Now, as an aside, I once saw a magician who did not have the choice of sitting or standing during his performance...he was in a wheelchair...and he killed! And not by way of sympathy either.

Wolly
Keep it Simple...Play it BIG!!!
Red Shadow
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Well it seems this is one of those topic that has mixed feelings. For the record, I have no problem with kneeling to lower yourself to the child's level. I consider that a completely different situation to sitting on a chair.

I also wouldn't put people who are in a wheelchair into this argument, I think that's a redundant argument. The same would go for those with medical issues. If I broke my leg for instance, I know I would probably sit down throughout my show as well. But in good health, I still believe it is better to be standing throughout the performance.

I will also say a little bit about tips... I don't think that really a factor in this argument. I've also noticed that tipping really depends on the client and how much you have charged them. Some parents had to struggle to pay your basis fee and cannot afford a tip. Most parents don't know how to tip (in the UK anyway). But ultimately it comes down to how much you charged them in the first place. If you fee was low, then I find you get big tips. If you fee was high, then you rarely get a tip. I find most often I get tipped £10 and a plate of food. Bit for me the best tip is to get booked again the following year.

Back to sitting. There is a form of elegance when using a high-stool rather than a chair. I know Shawn Farquer does his gypsy thread and card routines on a stool, and even though its for adults, he uses it to change the pace of his show. A stool does lend itself to being multi-purposeful as well, as you can perform the cups and balls on it, or place a puppet on it. I still wouldn't use it myself, but I understand those that would.

Steve
Al Angello
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Steve
In America it is the custom to tip when you feel that you have gotten good service, and it is not unusual to get from 5 to 50% tips when they are really pleased with my show. If I don't work up a sweat I feel that I did not give them their moneys worth.

Shawn Farquer does not do kid shows.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
wbzwolinski
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I'm sorry, I believe my aside on the magician in a wheelchair was not stated poorly which may have lead the intent of the statement to be misunderstood. I won't belabor this statement further as perhaps it is out of context for this topic, but I do wish to clarify the point I was attempting to make.

The point I was trying to make was not that he had a decision to make whether he be seated or standing during his performance, rather that he was able to successfully entertain his audience while seated and they did not "get bored and start running around the room instead".

He was also able to control the children in his show without the notion that being seated "ruins the illusion of control over the children, which also extends into crowd control issues as the children become more open to not paying attention"

My apologies once again, I was trying to demonstrate what he was able to accomplish during his performance while seated and I did so poorly.

Wolly
Keep it Simple...Play it BIG!!!
John C
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Quote:
On 2010-05-07 11:37, Brian Lehr wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-05-07 10:34, kimmo wrote:
There are no rules. Just whatever works for you.


Nah, that's too practical. There has to be a rule! Smile


Of course there's a rule: Sit or stand!

J
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
TomFoolery
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I am tall and nearly as wide (nice way os saying overweight). If I am doing a show for under fours, I like to start the show sitting as not to frighten the children after the warm up and the first trick I stand up. I might also sit during my puppet routine. To an under fours I must appear to be a giant, sitting at the start of the show reasures the younger children and lets them get to know me.

Tom
magicgeorge
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Quote:
On 2010-05-07 10:34, kimmo wrote:
There are no rules. Just whatever works for you.


If there are no rules what are we supposed to break?

Next you'll be telling us there's no box to think outside of.
Al Angello
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Once I saw Ron Goeffreys get a plastic milk box out of his car to stand on so he could be seen in the back of the room.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Red Shadow
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I actually like the Milk-crate idea. I think creating a mini-stage is important to the overall look of professionalism in the show.

I use standing spots for the children to know where to stand when they are helping me. It not only helps with control, but also expands my visual stage presence across the floor, making it look like a bigger show, and more impressive as an overall visual image.

I like the idea of standing on a stage as it makes you more prominent, more important and easier to see. As for children being scared of someone due to height... ALL adults are bigger than them. I don't think saving a few inches by sitting or standing is really going to make a difference. I never sit down and look like a clown (which to some ADULTS is scary), but the kids love me because of my goofy character. I don't need to sit down and come to their level to make them trust me, they trust me because they like me and I can make them laugh.

As of yet, I've still not heard an argument for why it's more professional to be sitting in a show. It sounds like (and I mean this in the nicest way possible), you sit down either due to age, fitness or laziness. I know I'm speaking my mind and putting my foot in it (again), but this is what I've read so far.

I personally would never book an entertainer if I thought they would be sitting during the show. If its due to fitness, I would say they shouldn't be in the profession. You have to be able to keep up with the children and if they can run circles around you, then I wouldn't trust you with them.
If its because of age, I would say your too old and outdated with modern audiences and maybe need to retire. If its due to laziness then I wouldn't want you simply because your not earning your paycheck like you should be doing.
This is my own opinion, and I know its not going to be liked, but I feel its important for the overall image of 'children's entertainers' that we all do our part to look professional.

I'm hoping I'm wrong, because I would love to sit down and relax in my shows, but it would never, ever work for me.

Can someone who sits down during their show, give me an example of how it makes them look professional, or more professional than standing up. Because ultimately, that is the question I asked. Which looks more professional in the eyes of the client?
magicgeorge
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Quote:
On 2010-05-10 18:37, ku7uk3 wrote:
I personally would never book an entertainer if I thought they would be sitting during the show. If its due to fitness, I would say they shouldn't be in the profession. You have to be able to keep up with the children and if they can run circles around you, then I wouldn't trust you with them.
If its because of age, I would say your too old and outdated with modern audiences and maybe need to retire. If its due to laziness then I wouldn't want you simply because your not earning your paycheck like you should be doing.


I think a good argument for sitting down would be so you don't book me.
Al Angello
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George
I think it's time to cut back on your medication.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
magicgeorge
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Hey, I spent months growing that medication
TomFoolery
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As a full time professional children's entertainer and a father of two under fours, sometimes it is required to get down to their level.
If for example you have a very timid birthday child who is helping, having a magician who is nearly six foot can be a scary experience, getting down to ones knees can help relieve the child's stress (also having older sibling or parent can help too).

In this business most of us are self employed no sick pay or benefits so one has to work through serious illness if one can. So sitting down might be the only way to perform if recovering from surgery.
I was working within two week after having my burst appendix removed with a lot of pain I did some really good show sitting down. If I did not work I do not eat.
JimbosMagic
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Hi Larry.
You are quite right. I do sit down on a stool for most of my show. The reason is that because I am a big chap I can come over like a giant to small kids. Most of my tricks have a story line and there for I can keep the attention of the children and make them feel more comfortable whilst sitting. I think when you sit next to a child and are the same level as them you become more friendly.

I have never had a problem sitting down and it is no more less professional than standing up.

I am a very confident performer being in this business over 3o years have done most things, and can honestly say standing or sitting will work. I hate people who kneel down, looks very untidy from front of stage.

But as was said before there are no rules, what ever suits you way of performing will be the right way for you.

By the way Larry if you watch my games DVD I stand up for the whole duration so its not medical. lol. Smile
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
magicguyri
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When working, standing registers with people that I am in control. It's subtle, but it works.
chill
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For shows with under 30 children, I lay out a large cloth "stage" and spend the first half of the show crawling around in front of them doing my thing. no one has ever touched anything they shouldn't, or violated my "stage" area. by the time I stand up I know all their names, and the hugs after the show are worth more than the money.
bob
I spent most of my money on magic and women, the rest i just wasted
Julie Carpenter
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When I perform my under 4's show I start with a dance, which is of course standing.
I then put the singing music on and sit on the floor with the children. If they are sitting on a mat or carpet, I go and join them.
Now that I am at their height, I am very non threatening to them ( not that I'm scarey at the worst of times). If there were any children too shy to join in with the dancing, the singing routine will get them off mum lap and on to the floor with me.
Our Jimbo is larger than life - I think sitting down is fine.
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