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Profile of BIGmagiclV
While doing a party today, there was a young boy with a walker. He looked to have something genetically wrong with one of his legs.
When I asked for a volunteer, his hand flew up. I chose him to help me for 2 reasons. One, I wanted him to feel like all the other kids and
not different. And 2, to show the other kids that people with disabilities can still participate. It was also a little bit of a challenge to
me as the trick I brought him up for required some on the spot rearranging of the routine to accommodate. But it worked out great!
Have you done this or on the flipside, not picked someone because of certain limitations?
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Profile of stempleton
Close...at many church performances I have most of the volunteers "preselected" by the children's director, particularly when I need a certain personality type. My final routine involves the child holding several things. It was midpoint that I noticed the boy was shying away from using both hands, and I started to make a "funny" remark... wouldn't have been so funny if I had. I adapted and everything went fine. He was terrific. The director later told me the boy needed a boost to his self confidence.

I would have liked to have known prior to the performance about the situation, but in the future I will. But as long as the volunteers are capable of the tasks involved I won't shy away.
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Profile of RJE2

We will do the same thing you did and for the same reasons. There are also times when we are hired to perform for entire audiences of challenged people. We will always try and adapt and be inclusive if they volunteer to help.
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Profile of TonyB2009
I will try to involve a kid like that for the same reasons as the original poster - I treat them as normal, and I let others see they should be treated as normal. It has never caused a problem.
Dennis Michael
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Dennis Michael
Sam Sandler
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I work a lot of special shows for kids from being disabled to Downsyndrom (or as I like to call it UPsyndrom) ad have found over the years they are sometimes the best volunteers I have ever had.

of course there are just some routines that require a certain persoanlity, gender, and age so some effects must be used with certain kids. but I have several routines that could go either way so it is those that I use for those "special" moments.

good job Dennis!

sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
Paul Rathbun
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Profile of Paul Rathbun
Once during a school assembly show I backed myself into a corner. I was on my last effect the chair suspension and when I asked for a volunteer I picked a boy that looked to be about the right size. Little did I know the boy had leg braces and crutches. It was my last effect so I couldn't sit him back down with the promise that I would use him later for another effect. I pressed forward using him as a volunteer and in the end everything turned out just fine. I think the school staff were pleased that I used him for the effect and hopefully gave him a sense of empowerment.
The Mighty Fool
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Profile of The Mighty Fool
If a handicapped child raised their hand to be a volunteer, I would pat them on the head & lovingly say: "I'm sorry, it's great you want to help, but you've been cursed by God!"

**************Sorry, I HAD to throw in something to offset all the warm&fuzzy mush in here.

Seriously, I do semi-regular shows at the Disney kids-village for wish-kids, and the people who work there usually work at other places for special needs kids, and I get other (usually FREE sad-to-say) contacts, so I've done a lot of magic with the handicapable. I usually have them get the best of me in some effect like the sponges, or coil-pull. I'm glad things worked out for Paul Rathburn on the chair-suspension, but that would be pushing one's luck. Unless you know exactly how the child's condition is & works, lifting them up & laying them down could be risky.
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
Magic of Dan
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St Charles, MO
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Profile of Magic of Dan
I would never hesitate using a handicapped volunteer if they raised their hand unless obvious reasons would not allow it. I am handicapped myself. I have an artificial leg, but you would never know it. I was thinking about starting a thread for handicapped performers, but have not taken the time yet.
The Magic of Dan
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Profile of esther_scheffer
Yes, why not?
Al Angello
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Profile of Al Angello
When I pick audience volunteers I always look for a minority of some kind to help me. When it comes to kids in wheelchairs I always ask the kid before the show.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
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Profile of Dynamike
Yep, same here.
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