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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Entertainment Material for Kid and Family Shows Resource Thread (14 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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John Breeds
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I forgot to include the Contents in previous post:
http://www.johnbreeds.com/pdfs/lomfk_fm.pdf
John
John Breeds
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You have to be careful while going through this new book by John Breeds' LOTZ of MAGIC for KIDZ. I mean, there you'll be, happily reading another clever and hilarious bit of routining for another brilliant and easy-to-build kid show prop when John will sneak in some of the most practical advice on kid show performance I've ever read. Take the following gem tucked quietly away in "The Great Escape," John's fresh take on the Ropes through Body magic plot: "Actually, I do not call up [the third onstage helper] until near the end, as it's not good theatre to have someone up front during the period when they are not taking part in the action."

Similarly, in the "Mains Buzzer Opener" sequence, he hides this clever piece of advice: "This sequence of combined mime, prop gag and bits of business involving individuals watching adds up to a powerful attention-getter. It also shows you getting on with what you've been booked to do – entertain – rather than plaintively and increasingly desperately shouting at the top of your voice for quiet."

Both routines are great. Both methods are diabolical. Two statements I can make for every entry in these pages. But it's the little, seemingly insignificant thoughts that I encourage you, the reader, to pay close attention to as you peruse what follows. While mere sentences tucked meekly away in the prose, they hold in them a lifetime's worth of children's entertainment experience. John Breeds clearly knows his stuff, and he's packed this book full of ingenious pieces of advice, all there for you to discover in this inspirational scavenger hunt.

I can tell John knows his stuff when examining every ounce of entertainment he extracts from each prop in a given effect. I urge you to not let a single one of these routines pass by without careful consideration of how he mines each moment for maximum laughs and reactions from young audiences. Look at this instance in his "Hickory Dickory Dock" routine: "At this moment you are bent over the Cheese Cupboard, when you cause Hickory to bob up and down, and hit you on the nose."

The mouse cut-out could simply pop into view, receiving joyous Look, Don't See cries from the children, but John takes it further, adding an even bigger laugh with the hit-on-the-nose bit. Once again … the routine is great. The method is diabolical. I'll even add that the DIY aspect is meticulously described and actually achievable. But amidst all this inspiration, don't overlook the countless bits of business and verbal playfulness he adds to every prop; let those instances inspire your own routines and performances as well.

I know you'll be thrilled with the magic, comedy, and information in LOTZ of MAGIC for KIDZ. You're about to take a trip into one of the greatest minds in the kid show magic business!
© Chris Barnes
California, USA
John Breeds
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Children's magic can be a tricky business, in more than just the literal sense. For performers, finding new material that is tried, tested and practical can be a difficult and expensive task, often resulting in a whole heap of disappointment and a cupboard full of unused props. If you have ever experienced this frustration, this book is for you!

Like many in the industry, I became acquainted with John Breeds' work via his seminal first book: 'How to Create Kids' Magic and Triple Your Income'. It was a real game changer and nothing less than a blueprint for success in children's entertainment. Here was a working pro passing on the lessons learned from 35 years 'on the front lines' working for real audiences and dealing with the pitfalls and problems we all encounter on a daily basis.

In this eagerly awaited sequel, John shifts focus to original routines, gags and bits of business for your show. For professional children's entertainers, this is an absolute gold mine. No pipe dreams here, just practical, workable material from John's massive performing repertoire, with a liberal helping of advice and amusing anecdotes thrown in for good measure!

Those who love to make their own magic props will be thrilled at what's on offer. It's fair to say that in a few cases there is 'some assembly required', but fear not! With the help of John's step-by-step instructions and easy to follow illustrations, even those lacking in DIY skills should have no problem putting any of these routines together. You will also learn new skills and techniques along the way that will open up fresh possibilities and help you customise and create your own magic!

I suppose it is customary at this point in the foreword to single out one particular routine that is 'worth the price of the book', but on this occasion I am truly spoilt for choice. For younger audiences, 'Hickory Dickory Dock' is all the fun of Run Rabbit Run and Farmyard Frolics rolled into one logical and hilarious new routine. At the other end of the spectrum, Pro Epic is a clever re-think of a classic prop that will play equally well with both children and adults.

The fact is, any one of more than 30 different tricks, gags, stunts, gizmos and routines in these pages more than justifies its modest price tag. So sit back, put your feet up and dig in. Then get out there and knock 'em dead.

© John Kimmons, UK July 2018
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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I couldn't have said it any better than the two pros above.

I have both of John's books and they are absolutely fantastic. Do yourself a favour and get them. If you're a pro already you'll find a lot of new ways of looking at things and improving your show. If you're a beginner you could put your whole career in motion with the very solid and professional routines, ways of entertaining, how to really make kids laugh without asking them to scream and shout. Highly recommended.

Al Kazam
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
www.al-kazam.com
Also on Facebook
www.facebook.com/magicianAlKazam
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