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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Heckler lines for parents (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jay leslie
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Do both of you have each other's phone number?

If you two keep talking, I'm going to have to separate you.

I spent 1,200 on this michrophone and it's no louder then a few people here.

You know you're doing really well when the children are behaved better then the adults.
TonyB2009
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Isn't it terrible when you come here for a quiet chat and someone builds a party around you?

Can you hear me at the back? Because I can hear you up here.
TommyJ
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Look at all the other adults watching your show and point in the direction of the talking parents: "You can always tell who's NOT paying for the entertainment."

Excuse me ladies (or guys), how RUDE of me to try to entertain while you're having a conversation.

Both of the above I use on a consistent basis and usually stops the talkers. Unless there are a room full of talkers then I have all the kids turn, hold their fingers up to their noses at all the talking parents and go SHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Starrpower
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Do we meet rudeness with rudeness?

In a comedy club I can see it; it's a different atmosphere. But might we be a little gentler in environments where we are guests of people who bring us to their event? Yes, it's our show, but it's their event.

One time I was at a public event; it was a sports show or something like that. There was a magician at the booth of a car dealer. I wandered over and was watching. He was actually pretty good, and I was really watching intently. For no apparent reason, he singled me out and said, "Sir, are you enjoying the show?" I said yes. He replied, "Then tell your face!" I thought, "What a jerk!" I could have shot back with something equally rude, or an even funnier heckler stopper, but what was the point? I walked away.

He went on and started saying things to the audience in general like "If you're not laughing, I'll single you out. I don't care if people like me, etc etc". I was just a person at the event and I stopped to see what was going on I had no particular "look", But I left thinking I would NEVER buy a vehicle from that place.

We may think we are being clever and making a point, but I think we let our egos get in the way sometime. It's not our event; maybe we are shutting up the owner's wife, a partner or major client.

But, boy oh boy, it's OUR show so we should shut people up with a heckler stopper.
Potty the Pirate
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At Birthday Parties, I will often start with a quick chat to the adults: "Now the show is going to start, it's a theatre show, so this room is now a theatre. I hope you wouldn't talk in the theatre, I'm afraid if you do, the kids won't be able to concentrate on the show and enjoy it. I hope you'll all sit and watch the show, which I know you'll enjoy....but if you really must talk, then please do so in another room, the kitchen, or outside."

If that doesn't work: "I want you to imagine you're sitting in on your children's class at school, and I'm the teacher. I don't allow ANY talking during when I'm talking, unless you're reacting to my show."

After that, some heckler lines are appropriate, in the very, very rare instances that anyone dares to carry on talking! Smile
TonyB2009
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Starrpower I get your point completely. I occasionally throw out lines like the one that was thrown at you. But if I am doing it as a gag (as opposed to trying to get you to shut up) I will say it in such a way that you will laugh with everyone else. I would not throw it out as just a bald put-down, as seems to have been done to you. It should be about bringing you into the show, rather than picking on you. I would actually be upset if I said something like that and the reaction was the person leaving feeling insulted. That is a total failure from an entertainers point of view.

Having said that, if you hire me to do a show for your kids I will do a show for your kids, and I will put their show ahead of your conversation. I make no apologies for that. Even people who have complained about me being rude have rebooked me, because they do understand where it is coming from.
Lou Hilario
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"it's ok to talk while I'm performing, I'm used to that" normally works for me.
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The Great Zucchini
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Potty, I'm a tad confused on your particular approach. You don't treat it like a theatre, in my opinion, because in the other thread, you said, 'no way', would you ask someone to not talk, etc, if they were talking during show. In any theatre in the world, if people are carrying on a conversation, throughout show, ushers come and tell those people not to talk, but you won't do that. You're just saying a couple different things in a couple different threads. It does entertain me, though.
Potty the Pirate
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You're confusing small Birthday Party shows with huge family events, festivals, shopping centre entertainment, and social club dos, Zuke.

For a small Birthday party, I expect the adults to keep quiet. For big events - unless I'm specifically booked to entertain the whole audience - I wouldn't expect folks to keep quiet. In fact, as I explained on the other thread, it's not actually possible.

For instance, if I'm performing at a school fete, there are hundreds of attractions, fairground rides, etc, going on. At social clubs, many of the adults will be unable to actually see the show, even though they're in the same room. At shopping centres, there are thousands of shoppers milling around......

At these kind of events, the background ambient noise does not affect the kids' attention, as it does in smaller birthday shows.
Sam Sandler
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Well I take a different approach. in the past there have been times I have had to use a line or two but most cases when I am doing a birthday party type show I simply have 2 effects that I generally don't use in the show as they are for my talkers.

meaning what I do is this. I would finish up what ever routine I am doing and then bring out the next trick which involves asking a parent a few questions. so I walk over and start talking to one of the "talkers" and they usually freak for a moment and realize that they were not paying attention and now on the spot. I perform the routine and then move on with the show. usually does the job of sending the message that you should not be rude and talk over the kids.

i also once had so many talking that it literally was unbearable. the family that hired me paid a small fortune and the 75 kids were seated and enjoying the show.

but about 15 minutes into the show it got so loud in room from the adults talking that I figured I had two options. stand still and quiet and wait till they noticed (but feared they never would notice) or perform my next routine but crank the music so loud that they could not talk.

i cranked the music and some one after the routine asked if I could turn it down. I politely said sure if you guys would step out of the room to talk.

problem solved.

i will say that in the past 6 years I cant recall having this problem. I believe it is due to several factors.

1-the structure of my show has changed
2-the perception of my show show has changed
3-my contract has changed
4-having custom birthday invitations for my show
5-i don't do many birthday parties these days.

sam
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A Show By Joe
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I often do the reverse, where at some points of the show, I will get to an almost whisper, and say "I need complete silence" very slowly. At this point, I will gesture with my head towards the parents, and there is always one kid vocal enough to yell to the parents to get quiet. Once one says something, everyone else joins in. It can get funny.
rossmacrae
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Sometimes you just have to say your lines, grab the check and go home.
Danny Orleans
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Instead of doing a "heckler line" on parents to ask them to stop talking, I have a non-verbal approach that eliminates a magician/adult interaction, doesn't embarrass the parents, and keeps the kids unaware that adults are actually being rude. Read the short essay on "WISHING CARDS" --- it's a free download on the website dedicated to children's magicians. HERE'S THE LINK: https://www.amazekids.com/magic-download......g-cards/
TommyJ
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Quote:
On Jun 1, 2015, Danny Orleans wrote:
Instead of doing a "heckler line" on parents to ask them to stop talking, I have a non-verbal approach that eliminates a magician/adult interaction, doesn't embarrass the parents, and keeps the kids unaware that adults are actually being rude. Read the short essay on "WISHING CARDS" --- it's a free download on the website dedicated to children's magicians. HERE'S THE LINK: https://www.amazekids.com/magic-download......g-cards/


See??? This is what makes us individuals!! If we all did things the same way, we would be like robots. Danny's approach works for him. I'm sure it would work for me too. I just prefer my way Smile

Me? It FITS my style to engage the rude adults that are talking and not caring that other people are trying to watch a show. "oh, he'e just here to babysit the kids while we do what we do all the time . . TALK TALK TALK

As for Starpower, the comment made to you, was made in the 2010 KIDabra competition from a competitor in front of a live group of summer camp kids. He looked at one of the camp councilors and made that exact comment. He was eliminated from advancing to the finals because of it. His argument was: Well why is Tommy James in the finals with some of the things HE said!!! The reason is the way things ARE said. I can say some things, and do some things that other people can't and vice versa because of my performing style. It is said in a comedic sense, tongue in cheek and all for the fun of it. It fits my style.

Take a look at one of my favorite kid show performers, Chris Capehart. I LOVE this guy! He comes off as very abrasive BUT the adults AND kids can tell, it's just an act. His STYLE allows him to but you can tell that underneath, he is a down to Earth guy.

So I like to confront situations in my shows because it's my style.
"Keep the Kids Laughing!"
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TonyB2009
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Very cute idea, Danny. I could see it working. Might not suit everyone's style, but it is wonderful thinking.
Gary Shelton
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I bought a CD from Tim Hannig that has a lot of comedy announcements read by a pro voice over artist. One announcement deal with this matter " Adult are welcomed to enjoy this show, if however you are visiting with other please do so in another room".
Powermagic
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First off, I have to caution HOW you say anything, especially to a room of woman. After 30 minutes of two moms allowing their toddlers to disrupt the show I casually said on mic, as I was putting props away. "Maybe it is time for some parents to take their kids for a walk." I did not single out anyone but I heard a "Hummfph" and nervous laugh . Those parents did NOT leave so not sure who made the verbal response. Later I was blasted with a bad review but no mention of the incident since in the end I entertained the kids and that was stated. But the scores did not match the verbal review so I followed up on it.
She said I was rude to her friends and paraphrased the comment I made.

Honestly, I did not intend it to be a rude comment. All other hints seemed to be missed by the moms. I was trying to say that the two toddlers did not want to be there so maybe better to go to the next room and let them stretch their legs and play rather than run in front of me. I was not even visible when I said the comment as I have a trunk I was dipping into.


After that, I did think of a card but was not sure how to bridge it as it is still singling them out.
Danny Orleans has a good idea to help make the card not stand out. However, in his story, it does read like it could have gone either way if she got offended by it.

Mr. Orleans, I have a few questions.
While you are not condoning bad behavior, why did you yourself chat up your friend? Why not leave the room? Maybe you can explain why parents toss etiquette and respect out the window? I don't care how long you have not seen your friend, why not step out of the room so it is a win win? If you are talking and not paying attention to your kid, you are not really being any help to the performer.

isn't the language you use on the card strong and confrontational (passive aggressive) ? Is that the only way they behave?

Does it really not single them out? I have had it were parents don't pay attention at all unless they hear their kid is helping. So if the magician all of a sudden came up to them, their friends would be looking at them , wondering why. The parent will read the card and have to then answer the question of what it was.
That is, if the adults don't know about "wishing cards" they still have full attention to what is going on since you are breaking up the conversation.

It takes two to tango. So do you hand both parties talking the card? What if one feels their friend talked more and "you hand me the card?"
Lets faces it, we never REALLY grow up. We don't like to be called out in public even when we are wrong. I just wonder if only one gets the card if they would take more offense that you only singled theme out. Or are you only giving the card to those who seem to be dominating and loud?
jay leslie
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Quote:
On Jul 4, 2015, Powermagic wrote:
Parents don't pay attention unless their kid is helping.


This thought leads to an idea..Some of us instill the need for kids to sit by saying "Remember, I only pick good boys and girls who are seated quietly... ex-cetera"

What IF... What if we added a clause onto the statement? "Remember, I only pick good boys and girls who are seated quietly - and their parents are also well behaved." Smile (he said with a smile)
Now, you can use that statement as a springboard to address the parents. "I'm looking for a boy with hair. YOU have hair. Maybe I can use you. Is your mom here? Is she also watching as quietly as you are? "... (Take it from there)
Gerry Walkowski
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Jay,

I love it!

Gerry
Powermagic
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OK Jay but what if she IS not watching quietly? Do you punish the child since mom did not follow the rules?

Look, if Mr, Orleans wanted to beak the rules and catch up with a friend, and that is someone who should have had sympthay for the performer, what hope do w really have to stop a parent from being disrespectful? I guess we can make the annoucement before the show, try to hit, and give the Wishing card.

But lets face it, parents don't like to be told to behave. They feel they are adults and this is their time too. Some will hold onto the preshow announcement but others will not even hear that, since they are clucking away.

I guess it is our fault since we are not going grand illusion, fire and Tesla car productions throughout the show. Heck, I am sure all of you have experienced the guest of honor's parents not even pay attention when their kid is up for the "special moment." I am sure many of you have seen the party is for the adults and the show is for the kids. It breaks my heart when I see the kid look around for their parents as most kids need to say "look what I am doing!"

I try to hint to get a photo but also suprised, with all the tech out there. all the dead cell phones or full memory cards.

Honeslty, parents, in general are the worst....
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