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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The words we use » » Pre-show speech (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magic4u02
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You bring up a good point. No matter what you say to the kids inorder to set your ground rules, make sure you have an easy going nature about you and you are relaxed. If you are relaxed and having fun, then the kids will feed off of this and tend to react better to you.
Kyle Peron

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Cheshire Cat
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"Now sit down here you absolute shower of little horrors. See this large leather belt with dried blood and bits of skin on it . . ." (well perhaps not).

No speeches at the start - too busy building an atmosphere and putting people at ease. But as the party progresses kids soon learn that bad behaviour carries no "rewards" or "feelings of one-to-one attention" from the entertainer! Being good is the golden key to happiness and fulfilment!
Dynamike
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The only time I give a pre speech is when I use my camcorders to record myself for a promo tape.

When I'm not recordering anything and kids get noisy, I tell them during the show, "I will need some more volunteers soon. I will pick from the quietist side."

I make it look like a game also. If I hear chatter on one side I say, "So far this side is winning the game. You just made two points because someone was talking on that side."
magic4u02
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Mike:

I do not like that idea as i still think your spending way too much time disciplining the kids and ot entertaining them.

A teacher figure would handle a situation like that, but an entertainer should not have to talk down to a child or group by saying minus points. That may make children on that side turn against you and create a bad feeling in the air that is not needed.

Also, a game of that sorts could get out of hand as the kids would be more intersted in winning and carrying on, then to actually watch the performance.

If your show is good and you set ground rules through the use of a magical intro., then that is often all you really need.
Kyle Peron

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Emazdad
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<<<<<If your show is good and you set ground rules through the use of a magical intro., then that is often all you really need.>>>>.

In the perfect world where all the kids are like those in the magic videos I'd agree Kyle, but in the real world where you have a combination of really nice kids, kids that have been fed 2lb of chocolate and a pint of Coca-cola on the way to the party, spoilt kids, down right horrible brats & little hooligans and parents that don't teach their kids manners and how to behave correctly in public then the speech approach at the start is often neccessary.

It's important that it should be done in an entertaining manner, using lots of humour so the message is not boring, a warning lecture would be wrong.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
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Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2003-07-17 18:02, magic4u02 wrote:

A teacher figure would handle a situation like that, but an entertainer should not have to talk down to a child or group by saying minus points. That may make children on that side turn against you and create a bad feeling in the air that is not needed.


Kyle, you must of misread my post. I never put "minus" points. I always tell the kids the winning team made points. I tell them in an entertaining manner as Emazdad desribes.

An Optimist would say, "The glass is half full."
magic4u02
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Sorry if I misunderstood each of you. My apologees. I have just seen way too many performers come out on stage and the first thing they do is literally threaton and yell at the kids before doing any magic.

To me that is so wrong and defeats the purpose of why you are really there in the first place. You are booked to entertain not discipline the kids.

I agree with you all. If you come out and set your ground rules in a pleasant and magical manner, then the kids will enjoy you as well as get the point across to them as to how your show are conducted and how you pick your asisstants.

Thanks for correcting me as I must have misundertood your intentions. My mistake. =)
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Chrystal
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I never say anything to start my shows with the exception of Hi my name is .....
If I'm appearing on stage someone else usually makes the intro.

As for using a teacher voice..lol and I am one..perhaps I don't use "it" even when I teach. I work part time with so called tough Inner city kids and never find I have a problem with bad behavior. Rather, I develope a relationship with kids before I ever have to speak firmly with any of them.The seem to listen better if they sincerely like you and can tell if the feeling is mutual.After one or two effects I do mention it off handedly that approaching too close for some reason makes the magic stop working. I appear not to understand why...the kids seem to accept this and in unison always slide back a bit..Ha ha!

I do the same in my shows...I come across as friendly and likeable and have not had a problem with so called "bad behavior." It's my belief if you start out with the expectations of them...kids will have expectations of you. Instead I just start the show and if you keep them interested they stay focused on the show.If I see they are a bit restless then I switch to a high energy audience participation bit... when finished, switch again to something very quiet so that they can even hear me if I whisper. (A teacher's trick)

I also like the underdogs..the kind of kids that most wouldn't normally choose I think it keeps me on my toes. I feels it sharpens my skills to prepare for anything. Some of these little guys never get chosen for anything and if you make their day I guarantee they will sit and watch the rest of the show. Perhaps working with Inner city kids has increased my level of tolerance..I dunno but the reaction I get most often from people is the kids were amazing well behaved during the entire show. This seems to be a strong selling point for me. I think everyone eventually finds what works best for them.
magic4u02
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Chrystal metioned a few things that I really liked and do myself in my own performances. She mentioned that you should come across to the children as a friend and in a freindly manner.

This manner is so important. If you respect the children, they in turn will start to respect you. If you are a likeable figure on stage and if you present yourself as a genuine and nice person, kids can feel that also and will start to react accordingly.

I also like the fact that she mentioned how she handles a situation of what we call "Kreepers". She could have easily said something like, " children you must back up because I have to have my room to perform. Back up please" Instead, she used words and a phrase that said the exact same thing but in a much better tone that the kids will react favorably to. I think how you say something to kids is just as important as what you say.

Thanks again Chrystal for the great comments and post.
Kyle Peron

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TrickyRicky
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As a new poster I'm a bit late with this reply.
I've been doing kid shows for over 45 years.I know a little about controling children at parties.
Kyle is right about not giving out too much direct orders, after all, they are not in school, a party is to have fun.
I tell them that "no talking when I'm talking, no eating during the show ect.
Now here is the line I use that really control them even the little ones "cross your arms, cross your legs, cross your nose" if the kids get a bit restless during the show I'd use that line, sometimes I'd change the ending and say instead of cross your nose I would say "cross your eyes or cross your toes". They always laugh at it, but this controls them at all times.
I received a lot of compliments from teachers whenever they are present.
Richard Lyn "Tricky Ricky"
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2003-09-03 07:21, Richard Lyn wrote:

*I've been doing kid shows for over 45 years.I know a little about controling children at parties.

**Kyle is right about not giving out too much direct orders, after all, they are not in school, a party is to have fun.

***I tell them that "no talking when I'm talking, no eating during the show ect.



*Kids shows are not as easy to control these days. The kids can get more rowdy.

**Yes a party is to have fun, but we are talking about the magic show.

***You are really giving "direct orders" when you say that. What matters is "how" you say it.
magic4u02
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Mike:
I am not sure I understand your comment regarding "Yes a party is to have fun, but we are talking about the show." Maybe I am misreading you. If I am, please let me know.

But, in my book, there is no difference between the show and the party. They are all part of one and the same. The show is supposed to be fun and just as enjoyable as any other part of the party as a whole.

You are right in that kids can get more rowdy these days. You do need to keep control over the kids. I think it is indeed more in how you speak to the kids and what tone of voice you are using to them.

You can state your ground rules clearly but watch "how" you state them. Make it fun and make it a part of the show. Keep in mind that the kids are there to have fun with your show. You do not want to come across as another scary adult figure. You want them to connect with you and have as much fun as you are along the magical journey.
Kyle Peron

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Chance Wolf
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I tend to simply go ballistic with entertainment and delivery, right from the get go. Kind of like David Williamson on 20 cups of coffee! I tend to administer the rules as i go, IF the problem pops up rather than possibly intimidate them into submission. My number one goal is to get them as hyped up and having fun as possible while keeping them somewhat in place. I have a very strong voice and can pretty much stop a kid in his tracks if he crosses the line. I also have a few comical JUMBO props used to keep kids in order.
I just have a hard time "laying down the rules" when they are there to have fun.
I am sure there are plenty who would disagree with me but it works for me.
Take care,
Chance
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

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Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2003-09-03 13:28, magic4u02 wrote:
*But, in my book, there is no difference between the show and the party.

**I think it is indeed more in how you speak to the kids and what tone of voice you are using to them.


*Well in my dictionary there is a difference between a show and a party. Kids are suppose to have fun at arcades, at the beach and skating rinks also. But each one is different. If you re-read the post topic it reads "Pre-show Speech."

**Always use all of the 3 V's especially when trying to control a tough audience: Visual, Verbal, and Vocal.

If you still don't understand me let me know so I can make it more clear. If you perfer a PM, I don't mind.
magic4u02
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Mike:
Thanks for your response. I think we may have misunderstood each other. My only comment was in regards to the party and the show should be the same in that they both should be "fun" for the children in attendance.

With this said, you must be able to have this "fun" without having the kids going ballistic on you. Any show can be a lot of fun for the children watching, without having to always come across as a disciplinarian.

I think we are both trying to say the same thing here but perhaps we are just misunderstanding each others intentions. Sorry if I was not reading you correctly. I do appreciate your remarks and thoughts on this.
Kyle Peron

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