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rickyhmltn
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I'm looking to eventually move into school programs. Currently I mostly do private birthday parties and do strolling work at a local restaurant on Tue-Thurs.

What from the very get go would I need to purchase? Nothing is off the table as far as WHAT is is, eg HOW TO DO SCHOOL ASSEMBLY DVD, Magic Props, Sound Systems, Lighting Back Drops, Music. So for someone who had to build a 45 minute show with $3000.00, what would you get? Again anything is on the table: Training dvds, Stage decorations, etc...
I'm not doing one soon and I realize I have a lot to learn doing school assemblies and such, but I'm thinking of this as a beginning.

Creative Magic's Bigger wands and some of their other stuff seems pretty reasonable.

So far here is what I am thinking of starting with: Happie Amp, Bigger Wands from Creative Magic, Dollar in Lemon, Losanders Floating Table, Comedy Egg Routine, possibly misers dream.
Mando
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Happie amp is great, and bigger wands from creative magic is also amazing.
you should look into getting a square circle production and produce gigantic silks from inside there and other colorful eye catching silks.



Armando
Mando
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In addition to what I just said purchase

Tommy James Read to Achieve magic show DVD.

It gives you great advice and great tips on having a successful show
Sam Sandler
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Happie amp is nice however NOT for school shows
you need a real sound system some thing like the Fender passport 250 and a mic

some schools you will have 400-600 kids in the audience and you wont be happy with the happie amp

as for doing school assemblies you need to find educational material to weave into the show.
No Bullying is a hot button topic right now and most likely will be for years to come
there are many subjects you can choose from but what ever you choose please make sure you don't use every trick to teach a lesson some times you just need to have some fun!

that's all the time I have right now to give got to run to magic rehearsals

later
sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
francisngkl
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I think you got most of them figured, the backdrop and a portable sound system with music set the appropriate atmosphere. A costume would be nice addition.
Sucker tricks like run rabbit run and puppets are star gadgets for preschoolers.
Francis
Carpe Diem, Seize The Day!
tparrett62
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You're putting the cart WAY before the horse. Before you start listing the tricks you're going to get or use, you need to figure out what type of show you're offering, is there a market for that type of show, what you are specifically going to talk about during the show (ie what messages are you trying to get across), and finally after a few other important points, what tricks/effects can you use to support/illustrate those messages. I'd suggest getting Julian Franklin's audio program on writing educational assemblies. There are a lot of "shows in a box" that will cost you money and never teach you what you need to know. I did school assemblies for nearly 20 years, and there's a lot that goes into doing it successfully. Picking out the tricks is the easy part.

Terry Parrett
themagiciansapprentice
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Try David Ginn - after 40 years he really knows how to run magic assemblies with a message. That's what you will need to do an assembly. If you try doing just magic thensadly ou will get no bookings in the USA.

I recommend David Ginn's "School Show Presentations vol 1, 2 and 3" which last year was on offer for $7 from his web-site. I'd also look at the dvds "Magic for the Under-5s" (lots of themes) and "The Big Woof". http://ginnmagic.com/

Also look at Jim Kleefeld's website - it's full of themes and complete shows that really impressed me. I look for ideas http://jimkleefeld.com/school.html and products.

If you want to do a Halloween show then the dvd by Tommy James is great. http://tommyjamesmagic.com/
Have wand will travel! Performing children's magic in the UK for Winter 2014 and Spring 2015.
Ken Northridge
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#1 I agree, It will be much easier to get into schools with a theme. So you need to decide on that at the beginner.

#2 The most important thing to purchase is a good reliable sound system and that’s where most of you budget is likely to go.

#3 As far as your ‘just for fun’ tricks, use your favorite birthday party tricks. Most of them will go over quite well for large audiences. Put your budget into your routines you will have to purchase for your theme and your sound system.

Backdrop, lighting, banners, bigger wands, floating table are great things to have in your arsenal, but far from necessary.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Leland
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I agree with the previous post, find out what type of program you are going to present then put the act together based on that theme. Schools don't have a lot of money and are always looking for a theme that goes with their school program. I was once called to do a school show, First question she asked was what type of show I could do. I told her that I didn't do school shows and passed the lead to another magician in my area that I knew did that sort of thing and was prepared to answer all her questions.
Life of Magic!
Mindpro
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This seems to be another example of a magician thinking an assembly magic show should be about the magic. You must stop thinking like a magician, but rather from the school's educational perspective. School programs are about the educational content and message, not the magic. The magic should only be used to enhance the content or message.
Sam Sandler
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I have a little more time to answer but seems many people have agreed with what I stated as to needing educational content first magic second.

Schools do have money and lots of it however they are very tight with how they spend it. ok they don't have the free money tree they used to back in the 90's but there are still lots of schools with money I know I am working them!

both public and private schools will spend money - the Key - educational content!

Ken Northridge who commented in this thread does an educational show and does lots of them for public schools and I know he makes good money on them so that is just more proof that schools will pay for a good educational show.

I just booked 2 differnt schools for $750 for a 45 minute show in the last 2 weeks. I hate to post what I get but I think you and everyone need to know the money is out there you just need to know how to get it. Hard work for one thing, a great show, a unique show, and quality education weaved thru the show.

schools have to justify the show. however that being said I still perform many "fun" magic shows with no or little educational content however they have used my show as a reward for the kids reading X number of books or something like that.

so to answer the question of getting into school shows you need to get into (as midpro put it) the schools educational perspective!

magic is the easy part the script is the hard part

have fun

sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
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Mindpro
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I agree. Yes, there still are a few "special occasion" entertainment assemblies for rewards or year-end events, but nowhere near what it used to be. Sam is correct as I to do many schools per week and also at the higher end of assembly dollars. Not to mislead you, it takes much more than just putting together a show, adding the magic and being set to go. To me it is a market just like corporate, trade shows, colleges, etc. and therefore requires many aspects other than just the presentation. That's another point - addressing it as a program rather than a show. You must know and understand the school structure and system and be able to contend with their budgetary concerns, problems and guidelines. Schools have to now be more accountable and justify their spending than ever before. There is much more to this, but the serious can do well if they commit to the market and don't fall into the common mentality of thinking of these as just kids shows.
rickyhmltn
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Thanks guys for all the responses. I do plan on offering few different educational messages like anti-bullying, Stay in school, Don't do drugs, do your best, Choosing your attitude. The good news is also, in my area they do general magic shows and the kids can pay $1 each to get in just a fun even with no message needed. The schools in this instance pay nothing, its purely entertainment vs having a message.

I appreciate the advice on needing messages and certainly I am developing that. I'm not actually ready to do one yet. I guess my bigger question is mechanically what would I need to perform for bigger audiences supposing the message and script was in place?
Mindpro
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Most of my audiences range in size from 600 - 1500 and are usually in an auditorium, gym, multi-purpose room, or Cafétorium. I always travel with my own handheld wireless microphone. I have a good one ($5000-$8000.00) as I know it will serve me anywhere with any system. Most can find a decent wireless system for between $500.00 and $1200.00. While many schools have their own audio system and mics, they differ so much I prefer to travel with my own. I use JBL 15-EONs, four - two as mains and two as monitors. I have my own mixer, cd/mp3s and ipod dock. If I get to a school and they have a decent system I can just patch my mic and/or board into theirs or choose to use theirs. Since several of my shows has music or audio, I prefer to travel with a soundperson or run it myself. I will not use a school's student tech crew (it's clearly stated in my rider).

Of course to each his own, but it only takes getting burned once or twice to make you decide to take control yourself. The audience and those hiring you don't understand things may not have been your fault and in fact may have been their crew, equipment, students or personnel.

Most of all you must be a good presenter. While many think it's the same as being an entertainer, there are great differences, some unique to the school market. This is why many entertainers fall short. Speaking or presenting is a skill. While performers just try to hold and audience and entertain, a presenter or program host must be able to also do those things, but must be able to be a good communicator, have something significant to say, and in a manner or delivery that works and is deemed worthy of your price (value) and worthy of disrupting their class schedule and environment. Many people do not realize that many teachers despise assemblies, as they feel it disrupts their class, planning and flow. In reality they don't like giving up control of their class to someone else with something other than what they are currently studying. They are quite known for their resistance. They have to alter their class plan for the day or week. This is just one of the nuances to working the school marketplace.
Sam Sandler
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Mindpro - Yes it is so true how teachers hate to give up that time. thus the reason to have a really really great show so that they can enjoy the time as well.

I too carry everything from sound system to backdrops and I never rely on the school sound system. I much rather walk in knowing what I am using then wondering if it will fizzle half way thru the show! LOL

once I was doing a show for a catholic school and I kid you not (this was also a big church at the school) right in the middle of my show we started hearing someone else talk! it was the funeral going on in the church and the sound system was picking up the priest talking about the dead guy and other stuff I had to kill the mic and go on with out one for the next 20 minutes.

carry your own sound!!!
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
TommyJ
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Quote:
On 2011-03-31 22:51, Sam Sandler wrote:
Mindpro - Yes it is so true how teachers hate to give up that time. thus the reason to have a really really great show so that they can enjoy the time as well.

I too carry everything from sound system to backdrops and I never rely on the school sound system. I much rather walk in knowing what I am using then wondering if it will fizzle half way thru the show! LOL

once I was doing a show for a catholic school and I kid you not (this was also a big church at the school) right in the middle of my show we started hearing someone else talk! it was the funeral going on in the church and the sound system was picking up the priest talking about the dead guy and other stuff I had to kill the mic and go on with out one for the next 20 minutes.

carry your own sound!!!


I agree. I have always carried my own sound system into schools. One reason is that I do not want to take the time to find their system. Find the necessary plugs for my MP3 tech to plug into . . volume controls. If you work schools a lot you will already know that the custodian or person that is knowledgeable about the system is not always available and half the time they do not know what they are doing. I find a great piece of mind to bring my own Passport System and stands, set it up. I KNOW where all my controls are etc. For the few extra minutes of set up time and the extra components to bring in, for me, it is worth it.

I also agree that most schools want an educational theme. But you CAN book many shows with no educational theme as stated in a previous post. Some schools want just a regular magic show to present to the students as some kind of reward or the end of the school year or a family fun night etc. But having an educational theme will definitely keep you working more.

Tommy James
"Keep the Kids Laughing!"
https://www.tommyjamesmagic.com/store
Mando
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Would the happie amp pick up another signal example the priest?
themagiciansapprentice
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Quote:
On 2011-04-01 21:48, Mando wrote:
Would the happie amp pick up another signal example the priest?


If it's close enough and on the same frequency it can be overpowered by the Church's much bigger sound system.

But too be honest the Happie Amp is fine for small birthday parties but lacks the power for school shows. We currently have a big rig of 1400W that we can use for the larger halls (similar to the size I've worked in US schools.) It's already in the van for use at weddings/discos etc so we tend to use it and can be powered down. You can't really add extra amplification to a Happie amp.
Have wand will travel! Performing children's magic in the UK for Winter 2014 and Spring 2015.
Ken Northridge
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Quote:
On 2011-03-31 22:51, Sam Sandler wrote:
once I was doing a show for a catholic school and I kid you not (this was also a big church at the school) right in the middle of my show we started hearing someone else talk! it was the funeral going on in the church and the sound system was picking up the priest talking about the dead guy and other stuff I had to kill the mic and go on with out one for the next 20 minutes.

Sam, that is hilarious! This seems like a good place to tell this funny story again:

I was hired by a very large church to entertain the children on Sunday morning while the adults had their service in the adjoining room. After I was introduced I open the show in my normal manner saying,

"Thank you, I'm thrilled to be here. You will not believe the wonders you are about to see today. Live animals will appear and objects will vanish into thin air. I will also be doing mind reading today, so be careful what you think about. And finally, someone in this room will actually float!”

It was just about then that a man from the church service rushed into the room and interrupted me. It seems my wireless microphone was the same frequency as the Pastor’s and my voice was being heard loud and clear in the middle of their church service!

I’m not sure if the congregation thought it was the Pastor speaking or God himself, but I would have loved to have seen their faces.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Starrpower
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Budgets are being cut everywhere, this year more than ever. Governments dug themselves into a financial hole, and schools are taking hard hits. If I were getting back into it, I 'd look for a sponsor. There are far easier shows to book than schools these days.
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