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Benjamagic
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In your opinion, what is the best opening to a children's show? What trick/routine is it? Is it done with or without music?
Matthew W
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Whatever gets a good reaction, and fits your personality and performing style.
-Matt
TonyB2009
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Definitely without music. You are trying to establish your personality, not your technical ability. I open with banter and gags.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2012-09-08 20:47, Benjamagic wrote:
In your opinion, what is the best opening to a children's show? What trick/routine is it? Is it done with or without music?


Benjamagic ,
Currently, what is YOUR best opening for a children's show?

What trick/routine is is? Do you use music?
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Andy Young
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I will say that I currently open with a Bubble trick. I talk about imagination and a little about what to expect. I wouldn't have ever thought that the Bubble trick could have as much impact as it has. I usually get about 20-40% telling me that it was there favorite.
danfreed
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Get them laughing right away, that's my opinion. There are a lot of ideas posted in other threads.
KC Cameron
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The opening is the first impression, and if it is strong it will set-up the rest of the show. Generally, you want something with a lot of bang right away . No lomg lead-ins, but something that will establish you as someone worth watching. A strong opening will not only get the kids attention, but get the adult's attention so they won't be talking as much durring the show.

I do comedy magic, with more emphasis on comedy. I start out with my parrot (a greenwing macaw), and tell the kid's not to worry she is potty trained and then shake her over their heads and say "Go potty Jax, go potty" as the kids scatter. Then I tell her how gentle she is and have her bite my finger. I jump around yelling while she is hanging off my finger. This shocks them, but then they laugh - very hard, also do the adults. I then hang her from the back of my belt and do a "look but don't see", asking where she went . . . .

None of this is magic, but is sets the mood and captures everyone's attention. Then I do something that shows I am not just comedy. I just bought a Magellan Master Levitation System, and I will present it in a funny way. Before I did a Liquid Metal routine.

The next most important time is the last routine. This is the one they will remember the most. I do a Axtel Board routine that gets them screaming.
The Mighty Fool
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I open with the comedy chair, and a routine where I "look for" the audience. I want to get the kids laughing right away.
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
garydunn
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I do 12 minutes of gags and warm up without touching a prop.....
Benjamagic
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Quote:
On 2012-09-08 23:11, Frank Starsini wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-09-08 20:47, Benjamagic wrote:
In your opinion, what is the best opening to a children's show? What trick/routine is it? Is it done with or without music?


Benjamagic ,
Currently, what is YOUR best opening for a children's show?

What trick/routine is is? Do you use music?


Currently I open with a brief (20 sec) intro (w/ an appearing cane) then go into fiber optics. However, sometimes this will get a great reaction, and other times not so much.
magicgeorge
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Quote:
On 2012-09-09 05:04, garydunn wrote:
I do 12 minutes of gags and warm up without touching a prop.....


Impressive! Think I do about 5 mins of mucking about (although some of it involves my hat so it's not prop free) before I do my first magic trick.

I wouldn't open to music myself but I've seen it work for some folks.

My usual parameters for my opener are:

Non-volunteer
Visual
Interactive
Fast-paced
Impressive
Damian
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Quote:
On 2012-09-09 09:57, magicgeorge wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-09-09 05:04, garydunn wrote:
I do 12 minutes of gags and warm up without touching a prop.....


Impressive! Think I do about 5 mins of mucking about (although some of it involves my hat so it's not prop free) before I do my first magic trick.


I just watched Gary Dunn's show, recently (DVD)--he is NOT exaggerating. Talk about being born to perform.

KC, that intro joke is hilarious. Makes me want to get a bird.

Lately, along with a bit of mucking, I've been opening with a glass from shoe production followed by a bottle production. This is to catch the adults off-guard, but I play it to the kids in a "Look, Don't See" kind of way. Then I do my standard opening routine--Ping-pong Ball on Nose, which is always a hit. It's got lots of participation (clapping/booing), with a good laugh, at the end.
Mark Boody Illusionist
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I heard it's best to use one the three F's...Fast...Flashy...or Funny. Take your pick, they all work.

Mark
JamesinLA
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I open with balloon gags and other gags.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Paul Rathbun
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Quote:
On 2012-09-08 21:26, TonyB2009 wrote:
Definitely without music. You are trying to establish your personality, not your technical ability. I open with banter and gags.


I am not saying you are wrong. Obviously we all do what works for us, but I totally disagree with not using music. By doing visual magic to music it grabs their attention and get a lot of visual magic to happen in a little bit of time. I have the entire show for them to get to know me and my personality. I want to establish right from the start that I am a skilled magician. I find that doing strong, visual magic grabs the attention of everybody in the room no matter what age. Just my two cents.
Al Angello
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I always start every show for children, families, or adults with the vanishing Ketchup bottle. It is very simple to understand and very devastating to see.
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KC Cameron
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I had forgotten about the ping pong on nose! I think I may work that in somewhere . . . Thanks Damian!

Al, The ketchup bottle is an excellent opener, not only is it easy to understand and devastating, it is easy to do. It is always nice to start with something easy to get the ball rolling.
Kevinr
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Quote:
On 2012-09-09 17:02, Mark Boody Illusionist wrote:
I heard it's best to use one the three F's...Fast...Flashy...or Funny. Take your pick, they all work.

Mark


This is very wise advice.

You could do fast and flashy to get the parents looking and why they paid you but you better get into the funny really quickly after.
AndyLuka
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My opening act is to music, its about 6min long and its all silk magic, it flows very well from one effect to another, Its great to hear the kids go, oooo, ahhh, with the color changes and productions. Right after I go into a comedy routine with one of the kids.
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Damian
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Nice, Andy. I like how your approach bucks the conventions the rest of us are using. I can imagine that going over well in the right hands, although it would never occur to me to open that way.
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