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Andy Young
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Jersey Shore, PA
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Profile of Andy Young
Just looking for any ideas of some good magic tricks to do as I walk around a retirement home. Looking for more for visual effects. I have a nice rope routine and working on rubber bands. So any advise would be good. Thanks in advance.
Magic Rik
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Eastern Canada
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I am new at this as well - been three times to eh Nursing Home so far. This is what seemed to work for me.

TT - vanish and re-appear for a bright silk - I used a large diamond cut - see my picture
Change bag with big colourful changes
Chop cup seemed to be OK
Elusive Polly -

Nothing small nor too long
I have not used any small card tricks at all

Have fun with them - they are neat people.

Posted: Apr 1, 2012 7:53pm
Andy - I also have a "rabbit in the hat" puppet that they seemed to like.
Magic Rik

Life itself is magic - I just want to help a bit!
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Profile of milesart
They also like very much magic effects with safety pins, silks, sponge balls, enjoy!
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Profile of dman11
I hope more folks can chime in here with more ideas as I will be doing this shortly
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How long is the fence?
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Profile of dattyw
I second sponge balls or sponge rabbits or sponge anything. Just make sure that the elderly person's hands are able to hold them and that you don't squeeze their hands too tight. My grandma loves this trick but I have to be gentle with my touch. Also, any kind of floating card trick usually plays well.

Good show,
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Profile of Majake314
Levitations are always good
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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They make a great and grateful audience. Keep it visual! Hearing is not a strong suit. Avoid predictions and most mental tricks. Hearing is just one of the problems here. Given a prediction to hold for later, most likely it will be opened and passed around before you are ready.

They love color, productions, livestock, and taking part. I try to produce something they can pass around and inspect. (Line of Silks is great for this.) They also enjoy music. So we use it!

Even something as simple as a Double 4-Color change plays well. Mis-Made flag plays well too.

Torn and restored newspapers are also a hit. (Keep visuals LARGE!)
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz
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Inner circle
Oakboro N.C.
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Profile of bowers
Don't forget some rope tricks too.
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Inner circle
Spokane, WA
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Profile of Atom3339

Occupy Your Dream
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Diamond Bar L.A
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Profile of Billybonkers
I found that my grandparents loved my "out of this world". Red or black in this pile or that pile. Quick and simple. They don't have to remember a card and it's not too drawn out.
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Profile of leolaurindo
I would suggest something that don't require too much thinking and very direct. Nothing mathematical, "puzzle-like", neither swindles...
Also, if there's audience participation, make sure it's nothing too tedious and speak clearly so that they can understand (also, don't make them stand up!).
Sponge balls, some card and coin tricks...
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Profile of robsn
Coin tricks are fine, right. I performed for a friends grandmother and her party. The coin tricks were good for the gents, but the ladies seemed not too exited.

But then:
What I recommend especially are Tricks with charme! Producing flowers for example. The ladies loved it! They gave me some wallowing (is that the right word?) "Aaaah" and "Ooohh" - the gents were loughing and liked it, too. For me this seemed to be the most suitable for this audience.
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Profile of Nikki78
My grandma loved all effects with silks & spongeballs and also her wedding band.
I think, like most of the users already mentioned, you should use something bright & colorful and nothing to complicated...

When it comes to cards Oil & Water, Invisible Deck or the ambitious card were always very popular...

Just my 2 cents


I'm no native speaker - please ignore the mistakes Smile
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Profile of Countage
Cant go wrong with sponge rabbits and mental photo deck.
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Profile of JonesingForTruth
I've never had a nursing home resident try to grab and shuffle through my invisible deck... well the visible version. Smile hehe... but yeah. Old school is best for the old crowd. Smile
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Crescent Head Australia
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Profile of troppobob

There are some great insights in the dicussions above.

Here are some rambling reflections from my experience on the topic of performing comedy magic in nursing homes.

I have been performing at nursing homes for some time and I find that the colourful productions - silks, flowers, Tora Magic dice, Sik fountain, appearing broom work well. These effects are central to my shows.

I keep away from anything that requires complex memory skills as the venues that I pefrom at have a percentage of people with some level of dementia.

In regard to cards I have introduced the blank deck/photograhic deck and this is going over well.

The production of a cute fluffy animal or 2 that after the show can be taken around for a meet and greet has been a popular component.

I have an effect where $20.00 bank note (Australian plastic money) is borrowed and eventualy dissapears and re-appears with the aid of flash paper - this one goes over very well.

My Axtel puupet (the Cockatoo with the arm illusion) is now in the show and the feedback indicates that this is greatly appreciated - I was surprised because I saw this as very much a children's routine - but the staff are insisting that it be in every show.

At the completion of the show (45 minutes) I make some balloon models - flowers with perfume, poodle dog with magicaly appearing ball on the end of it's tail as well as things that are requested. This part of the show is incporated into the part that involves general discussion with the audience as they are movong out - it often takes an extended time in the settings that I have been involved with as there are people in wheel chairs and sometimes in beds with breathing tubes etc - So interacting after the show is very important and can be a highlight of the week for people who have few visitors.

I enjoy these performances and get re-booked on a regular basis.

Here is an interesting insight:
At one of them we arrange 4 shows every year and the feed back the staff gives me indicates that this form of entertainment is very much enjoyed by the residents. I asked them how they could tell it was going over well - because even though I had some nice feed back from some audience members after the show - my observation was that there was ony mimal clapping and other audience responses and some people appeared to be drifting in and out of sleep - they (the staff) explained to me that my shows were always packed and that every one stayed for the whole time - they also explained that in the other entertainment that came to the nursing home (music,singing craft etc) that people just got up and wandered in and out and that the performances were not packed like the magic show.

So it appears that our magical entertainment can work well in this setting and make a positive impact.

Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
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Profile of montygoodrum
Music is a great thing to add for to your Retirement home shows. Old School music they love.
Songs that they are familiar with and haven't heard in a long time, sure does make them smile!
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Profile of Gord
I know I am late with this, as it was posted in May but just wanted to add: When I did retirement homes I found most liked colorful tricks with silks spongeballs and also the topsy turvy bottles went over well.
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Profile of jcrabtree2007
Stay away from card tricks. Many cant see the cards well. Sponge balls, rabbits. Linking rings. They go nuts over the dlite.
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Profile of joey
Definetly more of visual magic, they love the doves, no fire, no popping ballon effects as this could scare or freak out some of the people. preferably to music swing is always a hit with most of the nursing homes I perform in. At the end I usually go out and do balloon sculptures for most of the people, while most of the others are brought back up to their rooms
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