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Salazar Magic
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I was wondering if any of you guys say anything to prep the kids on how to behave during the show... how to applaud, how to be quiet, "don't cross this line", etc.
NJJ
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No but I really need too.

It is important to set boundaries BEFORE they get out of hand.
JSMagic
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My opening speech (or most of it i may forget a few things - i put together a speech of things i;ve read and seen other magicians say). Hello ad welcome, my name is Josh and im the magician for the day. Has anyone seen a magician before, raise your hand? Ok.....now before we start the fun we have a few fun rles to go by. 1. This is not television so when you talk i have to come over here, say shhhhh and we miss out on the fun, so no talking. 2nd. If you see something you like during the show i want you to clap really loud and go YAY!!! - ok lets practice that....Now, if you don't see something you like...I want you to clap really loud and go YAY!!!!!! (SOmetimes this plays well and they get it that its a joke and when i say ok lets practice they odnt do anything, but sometimes they don't get it).....Lastly, does anybody know any magic words we can use.....(i get answers like usualy allakazam abracadabra, hocus pocus and i say) those are all lame boring magic words....SO todays magic words are going to be.......drum roll please....PEANUT BUTTER.....And now that we have the rules and our magic words we can start the show!!!!....................................Thats roughly what I use.
If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
Mark Martinez
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I normally tell the kids that I will need volunteers and will only pick kids that are behaving themselves. I then set out a rope and let them know that they are not to cross the line, anyone who crosses the line won't get picked!
Magically,
Mark

Success comes before work only in the dictionary. - Anonymous
Ron Reid
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Hi Salazar:

Yes, I do this, but I keep it quite short. The others have already given some good advice. I will just add that kids really want to know the parameters of acceptable behavior. They don't want to be confused about this.

The late Brian Flora has an excellent audio tape on this subject - he includes the ground rules at the beginning of his show in a funny way, but let's the kids know exactly what behavior he expects. You can still get the tape from http://www.floraco.com. I use a number of his lines - and they work!

Ron Reid
Peter Marucci
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I don't give a ground-rules speech at the beginning of my show, opting instead to include it in the first effect, which is designed to catch and hold their attention.

One of the worst things that can be done with a young audience is to stifle their natural exuberance.

I recall one show, some years back, where the organizer very "thoughfully" told the kids that the magician is coming on so "be very quiet and pay attention."

It took my half the show to break through that "be quiet" order and get them to react!
Smile
Salazar Magic
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How about "If I have to wait for everyone to get quiet, then I'd have to cut some of the magic. Everyone wants to see ALL the tricks, right?"
kenscott
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Totally agree with you Peter!

I too really don't have a talk before. I want to surprise them at the beginning with some cool magic. Once I do have people help me in the show they know that I am only getting people that are sitting and being nice.

It has worked for me.

Ken
p.b.jones
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HI,
I do give a few lines before, However I use the old comediens technique of having an unusual/interesting visual opening effect in my hand when I come on which I make a couple of feints to start while delivering the lines.
Phillip
Emazdad
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My opening includes the rules, Plus I show them a big balloon figure that the best behaved will get to take home.

The kids are also told one of several things depending on what I feel will get the best laugh, one is that if they break the rules, cross the line etc that if they are a boy, they'll be a girl the next morning and vice versa.

Another is I tell them that if they're not good then their Mum's will come to school at playtime and in front of all their friends give them a big sloppy kiss.

Sometimes I tell them that if they are not good the elephants will sneak into thier bedroom at night and if they are a boy they'll dress all their action men in barbie clothes, or if a girl all their barbies up in action man gear.

This tells them the rules and gets a good laugh.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
templemagic
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Jack Delvin from England released a video on childrens magic and he does a Torn and Restored Newspaper which ends in a production of some comics which he then says he will give to the people who come and help and only the boys and girls who sit very still and quietly and behave well will come up and help. This means that as most children want the "bribe" then they will behave.

This could easily be adapted to balloon models or anything really.

Any thoughts on this one???

TM

The other way I have come across is to tell them that every time someone does something naughty then you will put away a trick and they wont see it. This will make them behave because they will want to see the magic.

Im not really sure I am keen on telling them this one though unless the behaviour gets really bad then I might tell them this

Regards,
TM
ROBERT TEMPLE
"The Power to Amaze"

robert@roberttemple.co.uk
http://www.roberttemple.co.uk
drosenbe0813
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I use an opening that uses a great control device from Bob Markwood. If you can get a hold of his book "Poof, you're a Frog", it is highly recommended. Despite Bob's legal troubles, his books and ideas were great.
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2003-07-10 20:37, Mark Martinez wrote:
I normally tell the kids that I will need volunteers and will only pick kids that are behaving themselves. I then set out a rope and let them know that they are not to cross the line, anyone who crosses the line won't get picked!


I find they always play with the rope and move it!!!

I always ask on the phone that the client provide a rug or mat for the children to sit on (which they usually do).
RoyHolidayMagic
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I find that the two best ways to get the kids to sit far enough from my table are (1) masking tape which is easily removable from a floor or (2) starting out with my table where I want the audience to sit. They almost always sit right up to the table. When I am ready to begin, I back up my table and voila: The children are sitting with a nice comfortable space to perform.

My pre-show speech occurs after my first trick and consists of explaining the rules which are not to pass the "magic line" unless they are called to assist, to clap hard if they see something they like, etc.
Frank Tougas
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My rules are simple:

"I pick people to come up and help me and to be picked you have to be doing three things. First you have to be sitting down (everyone sits)Since this is not a video and you can't stop and rewind me you have to be watching me and not talking, because I am pretty sneaky and you may miss something, (all eyes are one me) and finally you need to have a big smile." (amazing how many smile) I pick the biggest smile for my first trick and the show is off and running.

If it is a particularly active crowd I will add that there are bags of goodies for every person who follows my three rules (then proceed as above).

Do it in a fun and not heavy handed way and you will get a very well behaved, appreciative, interactive and attentive audience.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Peter Marucci
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To keep the youngsters "at bay", Jeff Brown of Alaska uses and markets a yellow, police-scene-type tape that says: "Danger -- Magic Zone -- Do Not Cross".
While I haven't used it, I hear from those who have that it is very effective.
It is advertised in major magic periodicals and should be available from major dealers.
Wolfgang
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TEXAS
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I don't do many kids shows. But when I do, I tell them the only rule is to have fun.

After telling them my name, I ask all of them to yell out their names at the same time. I have them do it again, only louder. As they do this, I focus on a couple of them and remember their names. Then when I need assistants later, I call them by their names and it freaks them out. (I stole this idea from someone years ago; can't remember who).
"Sure, I do Scotch and Soda in every show. What? You mean there's a trick by that name?"
Emazdad
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Even though I tell them the rules about the magic line etc, I tell the the 3 main rules, 1, You must have fun,
2, You must have more fun,
3, You must have even more fun than in rules 1 & 2.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
magic4u02
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A great post and thanks for all the great information.

I always like to remind myself that I am there to entertain the children and not to discipline them. That is the parents job. I am there to entertain them and not be another scary adult figure.

With this in mind, I do need to establish some ground rules for the show. But, I need to do this in an entertaining way that is both magical and entertianing and does not come off as being a lecture.

I do this by telling my 3 simple rules in a magical style. I create a simple magic routine that the kids can watch and become a part of. This way they are seeing magic and being entertained while also setting the ground rules in a non-threatoning manner.

I produce 3 colored silks from a crystal box that my wife holds. I say and show that each of these magic hankercheifs represents 1 way in which we will all have a lot of fun during the show.

The first rule of having fun at the show is that you must be sitting down. I then place this into a crystal silk cylinder which has been shown empty.

The next rule of having great fun is to have your hand raised. This way we can know who wants to help us have fun in working our magic. This silks also gets placed into the tube.

The third and most important rule of having fun is that you must have a great big smile on your face. This last silk gets placed into the tube.

When all three rules come together (produce big welcome silk)then that means we will all have the best fun possible at the show.

Are you all ready to have some fun with me? Yes? well let the show begin.

It really is a simple way to set ground rules up. But, if you notice I did it very simply on a level they can understand. I did not use big words or come across as yelling at them. You may also notice that I said "Big smile" When kids are smiling, they can not be talking. This is a great way to get the kids quiet without ever saying shhhh or quiet down.

This has really worked well for me in the past and I hope it may give you some ideas of your own.

Thanks Nicholas. I can't say this will work for everyone, but it has really worked for me. So much so that educators and teachers have commented on this after my shows on how the kids were well behaved without being talked down to.

They liked the fact that I remembered I was there to entertain them. Nothing worse then starting off a show by scolding the kids and basically scaring them.

You want them to have fun. Keep your rules to a minimum, choose your words carefully and show the rules in a fun-hearted magical way. Give it a try and see if it works better for you.
Kyle Peron

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wassabi_87
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the trick that catches their attn is really a good idea, but remember that no group of kids is going to be perfect, if they laugh and joke alot, then don't sweat it, i think it takes a pretty relaxed easy going magician to do kids parties, so have fun with them.
bike during the day,
do magic at night,
and very early the next morning,
homework.
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