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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Axtell Drawing Board and Vanishing Bandana (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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RevJohn
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Oregon City Oregon, Oregon
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Greetings!

Performing for 6 year olds. I don't want to use both the Drawing Board and the Vanishing Bandana, primarily because they both use the tape/cd trick of the month, art of the month, etc.

Wondering if you have thinking around which is best to use for 6 year old? Or is neither appopriate? Both recordings seem to go a little long for attention spans, so looking for the wisdom of the group.

Thanks!

RevJohn
Matthew W
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New York
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Drawing board. Kids that age won't understand the bandanna/banana wordplay.

I use the drawing board all the time for young groups. They go nuts for it. I use it regularly for preschools.
-Matt
danfreed
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The drawing board audio's made by Axtell are too long, in my opinion (at least for my style - I like to keep things moving). Also, some of the humor and stuff is outdated and may not be understood by kids. I've been trying to get around to making my own audio (or editing down the Axtell ones), but haven't gotten to that yet. A lot of people think the bandanna thing is lame or that the kids don't rally get the bandanna/banana pun, and that may be true - not sure. Also, the audio on the bandanna is also too long for kids(for my taste) and may have stuff not understood by kids. Of course, a lot of people use those 2 bits with the original recordings very successfully, so you may just have to try it and see how it works for you.
RevJohn
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Might edit the Axtell track... Thanks for your thoughts!

John
curtgunz
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You can get a lot of play from the Axtell drawing board without the audio track and without vent.

Do a lot (A LOT) of look don't see when the board's eyes are moving. This builds the anticipation and is where the magic happens. I find the talking at the end is just a kicker. It gets screams of surprise and delight but the longer it goes the less impressed people seem to be.

I start talking to the kids and get at least one kid to talk to me. I focus like a laser on the kid speaking and so does 90% of the audience. While they are speaking I move the eyes 1/8 of an inch. Just enough so someone gives it a second glance. They immediately start telling those sitting by them to watch the eyes.

I keep the eyes still while I ask another question and get a child to answer and then focus on the child. I let them talk 15-30 seconds before I do anything so that most of the attention is on them. Then, I again move the eyes about 1/8 of an inch (as slight a movement as I can).

At this point someone usually yells about the eyes moving.

I say, well yes, I'm moving the board around while I talk. The eyes and the whole board is moving. But if it is distracting you I will be very still. Then I ask another question. While the audience member is answering about 90% of the group is focused on the eyes. I move it as tiny as I can. Then EVERYONE is screaming that the eyes are moving.

Then it becomes "look don't see" it moves a lot when I am talking to the audience and then is still when I'm looking at it.

Like all tricks along these lines the kids get so animated.

I play that game nice and slow until I think anticipation is at a high.

Then I look at the board when the eyes are moving.

I ask the kids, "Why didn't you tell me the eyes were moving?"

They go crazy.

Then, and this is important, I speak directly to the picture on the board but I say this very quietly, "Hey, your eyes can move."

Of course most kids don't even hear it because they are going crazy. I say it again softly, "Hey, your eyes can move."

Keep saying it softly until the room gets quiet to hear you.

DON'T RUSH IT

Say this as many times as necessary to get the room quiet and to build a strong sense of anticipation.

Then do the following short vent routine. You can say the following without moving your lips (even if you are not a vent). Do it in a high nasally voice and they will think you are a pro.


========================

After you see the eyes move, you talk directly to the board.

You: Hey, your eyes can move!

Board: Uh course they can. (There are no "labials" which are just sounds that have to be formed with the lips. Be sure to say "Uh course" instead of "Of course" will sound the same and you can do it with still lips).

The audience will scream in shock, delight, and surprise. Wait until they get quiet again.

You: Well, we've go a lot of magic to do. Do you mind if I erase you?

Board: No, I don't care.

You: Boys and girls, say goodbye to our friend here.

(Audience response)

Board: See you later.

==========================

That's it! The real interaction comes with you moving the eyes. The mouth is just the big finish. I feel that a long routine after that is just anticlimactic and waters down the effect.
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bowers
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Axtell drawing board without the audeo tape.
this plays well for that age group.
RevJohn
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That is awesome! Thanks so much! When do you find the best time in your act to do this without the audio?
revmike
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The Vanishing Bandana will work on 6 year-olds - I do it all the time and get a great reaction - but let's face it, that crowd is more reacting to you and the predicament you are in, not necessarily the word play, but it is a fun routine for them.
The magic is not in our sleights and illusions, but instead in our ability to bring love and joy.
TonyB2009
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My advice is to throw away the dreadful bandana, and ditch the audio for the Drawing board. Great advice from Curtgunz. Once you ditch the audio you will never look back.
curtgunz
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Quote:
On 2012-11-06 16:38, RevJohn wrote:
That is awesome! Thanks so much! When do you find the best time in your act to do this without the audio?


Glad you liked it.

I have a brief warm up (David Ginn's magic shoestring) but I do the Drawing Board as the first "real" trick.

I use the old system of doing your strongest trick last and your second strongest first. I end with full ventriloquism with a long routine with a puppet that gets an even stronger reaction than the Drawing Board.

The drawing board establishes you as a funny and talented magician. I find it is a great way to get the audience's attention and respect early.
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mike storz
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Drawing board hands down with or without the tape
RevJohn
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Love this place!
billappleton
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Quote:
On 2012-11-06 16:22, curtgunz wrote:
You can get a lot of play from the Axtell drawing board without the audio track and without vent.


Thanks a lot. I have not been using my drawing board very much because I am worried about the vent issues. This is some practical advice!
danfreed
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West Chester PA
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That sounds like a good plan Curt.
Mike Brezler
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Deawing board and no mess to clean up!
The Baldini
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My vote goes to the drawing board and I use it without a recording,
Rolf Reiner
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The advice on the drawing board is priceless!

We do a pre-recorded version of DB in our stage shows and it works great. The same concept falls flat in a smaller show with the kids near the performer.
Looks like the DB is going into the kid show again Smile
Neznarf
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Curtgunz is right. I've seen the "Chalk Talk" routine by my clown buddy and he get a GREAT reaction from it.

I use the Art O Matic Axtrax with the Drawing Board. I have the large board and small one.

Hint to make plastic last a long time:

Don't use a lot of pressure when drawing on it. It will scratch. A light hand will make your
plactic last a long time.
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."
Potty the Pirate
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I really like Vanishing Bandanna - my routine is considerably extended (lasts about 10 minutes in total). It plays great for every age from 3 upwards, including adults.

The DB seems totally different to me, since your audience shouldn't be aware that it's a recording (I use vent for mine, but even if you use a recording, if you get it right, the kids should think it's the drawing talking). I've often used both in the same show, no problem.
themagiciansapprentice
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I use the drawing board (using ideas from Tarbell) for visual comedy - I rarely use vent with it. I do like the above script though.

The axtell scripts are great to get you started. Then adapt your own.

I did get an actor friend to record a version of the banadana for me, but it falls down because few British or international kids know what it is. So I stopped using it four years ago.
Have wand will travel! Performing children's magic in the UK for Winter 2014 and Spring 2015.
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