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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » A question about repeating shows/clients (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Herr Brian Tabor
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I have a question, and a search didn't yield anything for me. Let's say you do a birthday show for little billy. Little billy's friend Jimmy is there, and likes you, so Jimmy's mom books you for his birthday, two weeks later. Now little billy and jimmy have both seen your show, and more than likely a lot of jimmy and billy's friends will be there again for Jimmy's show as well. Do you do the same act even though they've just seen it two weeks before? Do you do a whole new act? What if you are just starting in kid's shows, and don't have enough material yet to do another act? do you just turn it down? What if billy and jimmy's friend Cindy wants you for yet another show a week afterwords, and they all have the same friends? Do you do yet another different show? Does this even come up enough to worry about?

Sorry for the mad rant/question I'm just wondering and it's been bugging me and I couldn't find any answers Smile
MichaelCGM
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There are two points to consider. First, the other parent booked you for Jimmy's party because they liked what they saw at Billy's party. They aren't too worried about seeing the same stuff, because that stuff was great! If you did a different show, they might be disapointed because they didn't get to see the effects that really impressed them.

Second, I always swap out one or two effects when booked for audiences that have recently seen my show. Not my key effects, mind you, because those are the usual reasons that they hired me. Rather, I swap out some good stuff that was somewhere in the middle of the act. That way, they see the great stuff that caused them to book me in the first place, plus they get one or two surprises that they didn't expect.

If booked for a third show with the same general group, just swap out another effect or two. Bear in mind, though, they won't mind if thy get the same show, because they want to share what they thought was great with some of their friends who were not at the previous party. It's just human nature. I've had clients who were disappointed that I didn't bring such-n-such this time. They were looking forward to seeing it again.
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

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Herr Brian Tabor
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Michael, thanks for your input, that was part of my thinking as well. My question for that case is will the children still behave and react the same way to the gags and bits they've seen, will it still be funny to them? And if I were to use an effect like the pizza oven or the fraidy cat rabbit, would they still get as excited? Or would these be the effects that would be good to swap out?
MichaelCGM
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They'll still get excited because their friends who were not at the previous show(s) will lead the excitement. Pizza Oven and Fraidy Cat Rabbit (though I don't use them) are too much fun to swap out, unless you have some even stronger effects. Bring your best stuff and only swap out those routines that are not essential to your primary show. As for bits, again, some will be new ears and eyes and will respond to the bits. The kids will enjoy watching their friends react to what they, themselves have already seen. Of course, our bits and gags should evolve somewhat anyway, based on the interaction of the group dynamic. New personalities of the new group will give one cause to modify one's bits just enough to fit - which should be enough to keep it fresh.
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

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Michael Messing
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I have the advantage of having been a performer for a long time so, knowing that I'll have many of the same kis, I will do a mostly new show. Over the years, I would work in new material by replacing one or two tricks in my regular show. After a while, I had enough new material for a second show. Then, I started working library shows and I do a new show each year for the libraries so that gives me a lot of material. My closing routine remains the same in any show I do but I am able to give them a very different performance.

I've read a lot of arguments over the years of kids loving repetition and it's true. They will watch the same cartoon over and over, especially when they are 5 years old and under, but, at the same time, when they get a little older they are quick to point out when they've seen something before and are not shy about yelling out what the outcome will be. I prefer to avoid that by doing a show that has new surprises for them.

I think the age of the children and their specific personalities will dictate how well they will react to "sucker tricks" (have we ever come up with a better name for those?) Keep in mind that, while kids do enjoy repetition, they still will tell others what is going to happen next when they have watched a television show or movie repeatedly. They'll do the same with a magic show. That's the reason I have several alternatives: Pizza Oven Surprise, Hippity Hop Rabbit, Mikame Block Box, Library Card, Peanut Butter and Jelly etc. for sucker routines. Nothing ruins that type of routine more than kids shouting out how it will end.

Whether to change up a show or not is really up to the individual. There are many, many performers that never change up their shows and others that do.

Michael
Beowulf
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Thomas A. Lilly
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I agree with providing surprises. Dinnae mind the "I've seen that before", but I hate the "It's on your back" and "There's a bunny in there".

When I first started out, I was told to buy a copy of Ginn's Professional Magic for Children. From that I learned to script a show with a warm-up, an opening effect, a running gag, a sucker/turn-it-around routine, a transpo routine, a danger routine, and a finale routine.

Over the years I've accumulated a Clapometer, pom-pon pole, Deminifish, silver sceptre, and Measel-Teasel wand in the warm-up category.

In the running gag category: botaniette, goofus plant, snake rifle, book gags, lotta bowl.

And I can produce Beowulf T. Wonderbunny four differnt ways. He outgrew the sliding drawer box.

I keep the script of each show so that when Timmy's mom says Timmy loved the show at Bobby's birthday party, I can look up the script, change the routines, and pack a fresh show.
Joseph_Then
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I think it's up to your performance style and your stage presence.

I do repeated tricks and if you do it really well, the same child will just sit and watch and be amazed again. But even if he starts to say something like "It's there!", I'll look at him and put a finger on my lips. If done well, you can still get the child to sit up straight and keep his mouth shut. Smile
-----



Joseph Then

Singapore Ventriloquist
KC Cameron
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Children will watch a video they like over and over again. As long as you can handle a kid 'spilling the beans" it should go well. Parents, on the other hand, may want a different show. I would mention how kids like the same thing over and over to smooth over any issues.
Herr Brian Tabor
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Wow, thanks for all the great information. This has helped tremendously, and given me lots to think about!
Damian
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I have to second what KC said. David Kaye makes that point very well in his book, Seriously Silly. Kids LOVE repetition. In fact, Kaye makes the argument that when a child shouts out "I know that one!" it's often interpreted to mean "aww, I've already seen that one!" when in fact it means "Oh cool, I know that one!!"

The parents, on the other hand, are often clueless about this phenomenon. (Which is weird, when you think about it. I mean, they ARE their parents...) I have had many adults ask in a concerned way if I have other tricks I can show, at a follow-up party. I say, yes, I have lots of material, but to be honest, kids love seeing the same things over and over, like when they watch the same DVD again and again. Parents tend to get it, when I put it that way. (Again, this is David Kaye's observation, not mine.)

All that said, I would echo what others have mentioned-that I prefer to switch out a few routines for repeat audiences, because it's fun for me, and it's nice to catch the some of the punks off-guard. Smile
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