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The Magic Cafe Forum Index The little darlings Ronald McDonald, how good is he? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mikael Eriksson
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I walked by when Ronald McDonald performed magic in my town. It was about the worst performance I have ever seen. No contact with the audience, and the children sat there sighing and twisting in their chairs, looking like they wanted to leave. The adults looked the same way. I actually couldn't bare continue watching. I felt embarrassed - for him. His performance made me wonder about a few things:

1. Do the Ronald McDonald clowns get a specially made course in the magic that McDonald's want them to perform? Do they perform the same tricks and show in every town and country?

2. Who gets the jobs? Regular people or magicians?

3. What do you think about his performance?



Mikael
Emazdad
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I've never seen him, People that have seen him have never said he was good, the best I've heard was "Oh he was OK", which is a polite way of saying they weren't impressed.

There's so many of them I doubt they are magicians or even childrens entertainers for a start they wouldn't pay the fees that a real entertainer would charge for what he does. You'll probably find it's some blokes on not much more than minimum wage, (They're not know as big payers, ask any spotty teenager behind the counter), who they dress up, show how to do a couple of simple tricks and Balloons and hope the clown suit wil do the rest. I bet they even get a certificate to say they've done the course.

The sad thing is if he's the only one they've seen do magic for kids, an Adult watching a performance like that can be put off hiring a magician for their kids, that is until they see a proper magician/kids entertainer work.
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magic4u02
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I can shine some light on this subject a little as I know 2 Ronalds in my area and have traveled with them on many an occasion. Of course I am in the states and it may be different here then in other countries.

In the states, Ronalds all must be entertainers before being excepted to tour with McDonalds unit in their areas. Once approved, they must also attend classes on make-up, juggling, magic as well as how to be Ronald and the dos and don'ts as set up by McDonalds.

It really is an extensive course that really makes sure they know what they are doing long before they represent the company.

They then are sent out as a guide and apprentice to an already established performer to learn the ropes and then get tested by trying it themselves.

Each performer is evaluated frequently to make sure they are performing and meeting the high standards that are set up by McDonalds for this style of performance.

I also thought that this may be a minimum wage type of situation. I was wrong. in my area, McDonalds pays quite a good sum of money to it's Ronalds that perform on the tours. I was actually quite amazed at the fees my friend was making from it.

Now in the states, these Ronalds do complete shows at fairs and carnivals and functions. They tour in a special RV and do the spring and summer circuit with a full 45 min show. I am not sure if this is different in other countries.

I hope this sheds some light on the subject a little.
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Al Kazam the Magic Man
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I've only seen the Ronald here in Taiwan once. He's the only one for the whole country. I've seen him on the TV ads too. We were booked to do a show just after he had finished at a kids birthday party, and the booker told me I couldn't do my stratosphere, as Ronald had just done it.
He as far as I can see was mainly having fun with the kids. Giving them pencils and different candies etcetra. I'm not too sure though on his actual show, just as he was finishing up.
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Dynamike
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There are a few in my area. Each one I noticed is active with the kids. Each one does not have to be perfect with magic because they are still gonna get paid.
Mikael Eriksson
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Quote:
On 2003-11-21 06:53, Emazdad wrote:

The sad thing is if he's the only one they've seen do magic for kids, an Adult watching a performance like that can be put off hiring a magician for their kids

Exactly what I thought when I watched him.

Thanks to everyone for the info. I guess he could have had a bad day. Smile

Mikael
Jon Gallagher
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As with anything else, the show is only as good as the performer. Ronald McDonald is the same.

In our area, we're fortunate to have an excellent Ronald. He comes to our ring meetings (in fact, he's an officer), and he brainstorms with us. I've seen him sit with a group of magicians, trying to figure out the best way to do a routine. Few other magicians I've come in contact with take the amount of time that he does trying to work on the act. Our Ronald isn't content to do just self working effects; he works on his sleight of hand as well (and complains good naturedly, "Try THAT with gloves on!").

I have seen other Ronalds who did not impress me, but the guy we have here in Central Illinois (and most of downstate) is a true professional.
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magic4u02
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The Ronald I know in the Philadelphia area is the same way. A true professional in every word.
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Neale Bacon
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I must say the same. I have known 3 Ronalds in my area (including a man who was the first Ronald in Canada) and they are excellent performers.
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Chrystal
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Hi Neil! Smile

I agree with you as well. I've known two Ronalds One in Canada and one in the U.S) and both were serious and dedicated to the art of magic. True pro's.

The one in Canada was the former president of our ring and at one time owned a well known magic shop and entertainment agency.

(My biggest kick was having him hire me to perform at HIS child's birthday!!!) How cool is that?? I performed for Ronald McDonald's chid on their birthday!!! Sorry kinda went off topic..even years later I still find it funny.
Smile
magic4u02
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I didn't even know Ronald was married? What is his wife's name and why is she not in the commercials? Huh Huh?

Smile
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Chrystal
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Hi Magic4U,

Well the PR people like to keep this a secret, like in the days of Old Hollywood(so hush everyone and don't pass this secret around!) Smile
magic4u02
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Chrystal:

Ok Shhhhhh our little secret. Could you by chance tell her to have Ronald wash his hair? I mean it is orange ewwwww. hehe
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Emazdad
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There you go then, I was only guessing as I've never seen him, it appears in the states at least they book proper entertainers. Curiosity will now mean I'll have to try and find out whether it's the same here or do they go the cheap option. I'll try and find out in the new year after the busy season ends.
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Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
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Andy Wonder
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I saw a Ronald magic show here recently. It was obviously high budget & included cameo appearances of Hamburgler, Grimace & Birdy. It used a large expensive looking set. Unfortunately the show I felt was very disappointing & included only one magic trick, & a very basic one at that.

Mago Mai was the Ronald in Venezuela & Panama for a long time.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
magic4u02
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That is interesting Andy. Here in the states, only Ronald performs by himself. He is helped by two assistants. One is his driver and the other is his magic assistant. They all have to go through schooling and become a show team. Each team also has a ronald show vehicle that they travel to the events in and around the area.

I have not yet seen a full production as you said you have seen where you are at. I wonder if they handle things differently in other countries?
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NJJ
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I might be getting a little off the topic but I can't stand RM shows for the following reasons:

1) Children can't tell the difference between advertising and entertainment. RM's shows are a giant ad for Mcdonalds.

2) McDonalds often donate token sums of money to chairty events so they can send along RM to hijack the event and get the kids screaming, "I love Mcdonalds".

3) Because Mcdonalds subsidize their shows, they can offer cheap entertainment to shopping centres at prices real entertainers can't compete.

4) I once arrived at a venue after a week performer to find me, and five other performers, had been kicked out of our dressing room because RM wanted a room to himself. We ended up getting changed in a loading bay.

5) McDonalds is really, really bad.

I know that the company hires a lot of great performers to work as RM but once you give up your services to the Golden Arches you lose your own individual style and become a corporate clone designed to sell these -->
Smile

I hope I don't get called liberal puke again.
magic4u02
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Nicholas:
I can understand your frustrations, but McDonalds has every much a right to run their busienss as we do, regardless of how they do it. The competition sucks, but instead of being frustrated by it, take what you learn and use it in your own marketing.
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Vibono Magic
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Ronald did some large shows in Sweden too.
Vibono Mirage
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NJJ
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Quote:
On 2003-11-23 08:15, magic4u02 wrote:
Nicholas:
I can understand your frustrations, but McDonalds has every much a right to run their busienss as we do, regardless of how they do it. The competition sucks, but instead of being frustrated by it, take what you learn and use it in your own marketing.


I get frustrated by it because, in order for me to copy a lot of their marketing style, I would have to sacrifice many of the ethics and ideals I hold dear.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index The little darlings Ronald McDonald, how good is he? (1 Likes)
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