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lpmorgens
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Hello,
My son is very interested in becoming a magician. His younger sister is a balloon twister, and booking jobs every weekend. He would like to give being a magician a try. He is has a lot of experience with theatre, so we think he'll get the performance part down relatively easy, but we are looking for some direction in terms of what tricks to begin investing in. We would love some suggestions for 4 or 5 really good and fun tricks if his audience will be children at a birthday party.

We would like suggestions for both really inexpensive tricks, as well as a few more expensive ones as he may be able to pay his investors (mom and dad) back as soon as he starts working. He'll need enough tricks for a short magic show for children.

Thank you,
Liana

p.s. if there are any references out there for a good "start-up" kit for Professional magicians, I'd love to be pointed in that direction. thanks again.
Doug Trouten
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Welcome, Liana!

You'll find plenty of helpful information in the discussion forum labeled "The Little Darlings." It's devoted to performing for children. There are a couple of sticky threads at the top of the forum that will point you to useful resources.

When my son did birthday parties, his routine included Professor's Nightmare (a basic rope effect) and Sponge balls (a good way to start learning sleights, and fun for kids). Both work well with kids.

He had a trick based on the "Sucker die box" effect. I believe his was a pizza oven, and the "pizza" would wind up on his back. You wouldn't want an actual die box, but there's almost always a kid-friendly version of this trick being marketed. Or you could go with "Hippity Hop Rabbits" -- both effects generate the same kind of response from the kids.

His finale was a "Balloon to rabbit" effect, and then he'd let the birthday kid play with the rabbit.

You might try to get your hands on a copy of the Danny Orleans book "Kids Show Master Plan." It's designed to be a comprehensive look at the things a performer needs to know going into this line of work.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
Ed_Millis
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lpmorgens
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Thanks, Doug and Ed.

That was very helpful!

Best,
Liana
BlackSpade
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If he wants to learn some sleight of hand with cards and coins the Black of Spades app is free and full of great information:

Apple Store:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/black-of......273?mt=8
Google Play Store:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.magicvideo
Joe Black
BlackofSpades.com
javlin5
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Anything made by Adams magic is very good.
Stevious
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Disappearing handkerchief is a simple, beautiful and visual effect, it requires two simple props which aren't expensive.

Another trick is to disappear any small object using false transfer, he only needs instructions for this, no props.

He can also do many simple card tricks as long as his audience is not too large, and everyone can see the cards. Ambitious card routine is a great classic trick, but requires some sleight of hand.
Doug Trouten
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Liana -- If you're still looking for good sources of information for your son, you might check out the new book "Super Sized Silly" by David Kaye (who performs as Silly Billy). I'm looking at an ad for the book, and it promises "150 lessons in magic for kid shows, including 152 routines from 104 magicians, 400 pages." Sounds like it might have a lot of material that would be helpful for your son.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
Dick Oslund
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Hello Liana!

TRICKS TRICKS TRICKS TRICKS TRICKS $ $ $ $

I've only been performing (for $) since 1945. I did my first "real show", when I was 13, almost 14 on October 24, 1945. I made $25.00 with a 40 minute show. Many grown men were working all week for that much money. I became a part time professional THAT DAY.

Throughout my high school days, my friends were making $.50 an hour, bagging groceries, I was making $10. to $15. with my 40 minute show, and sometimes as much as $25.

Throughout my four years in the Navy, I had an agent booking club dates for me. Except for the first few months, I didn't cash a Navy pay check. I sent the checks home to the bank. A few years after the Navy, and, college, I became a full time professional. I was a full timer for about 50 years. I retired a few years ago.

Here's a quote from the late S. H. Sharpe. He was eminently qualified to write: "Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."

One cannot buy "magic". One cannot buy "tricks". Magic only exists in the mind(s) of the spectator(s) whether the spectator(s) are children, or adults.

Tricks, like music, only exist while the music is being played. Stop dragging the taut rosined horsehair over the taut catgut, and the music stops.

One can buy props and/or secrets as "tools" with which to perform tricks. GO BACK AND READ SHARPE'S STATEMENT, AGAIN!

Now, this may surprise you, but, MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING!

The magician must make magic entertaining, with his/her PRESENTATION!

Over the years, I have mentored MANY young fellows. Some of them are now full time professional entertainers. Some preferred to be part time professionals, and some continue to be avid amateurs. One of the latter just retired from the Army with two stars on his collar. Another just retired with an eagle on his collar. A number of them are happily married, and making a good living performing. All of them, LISTENED, STUDIED, PRACTICED, and BECAME SUCCESSFUL. All of them had TALENT, and a DESIRE to be a magician.

You mention a younger sister who makes balloon animals. You did not mention her age. You did not mention your son's age. Is he too young to write, himself?

Now a comment regarding suggestions about tricks, above this post.

One person said, "Anything made by Adams magic is very good." If he is referring to the company founded by Sam Sorenson Adams, many, many years ago, I will simply say that Sam Adams (Asbury Park, New Jersey) made cheap novelties and joke items (whoopee cushions, joy buzzers, watch winders, etc.)

You say your son has a lot of experience with theater. How much is "a lot"? With whom has he STUDIED as an actor?

To learn to be a magician, one must READ! STUDY! PRACTICE! It definitely helps to have a good mentor.

Magic is about 5% perceptual illusion, 5% esoteric principles of science, 5% sleight of hand skills, and EIGHTY FIVE PERCENT APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY.

I'll admit that I exaggerate the mathematics, just a bit, BUT, Scroll up and read Mr. Sharpe's statement once more.

Silly Billy's idea of comedy is placing a diaper on a little boy's head! Possibly, he has matured a bit in the last 20 years. I think that you would find Mark Wilson's "Complete Course in Magic" much more useful. My friend, Walter Gibson, who wrote more books on magic than anyone else! ghosted Mark's book. It is not really a "complete course", like Harlan Tarbell's course IS, but, it is well written and produced. It's relatively inexpensive. A better book for a young lad, would be George Anderson's "Magic Digest", but, it's out of print. George was also a friend, and he wrote up suggested PRESENTATIONS for the tricks that he explained. It may be found on the secondary market. George wrote the TV series, "Don Alan's Magic Ranch", an extremely successful show.

I published my book, "Dick Oslund -- Road Scholar" last year. A young lad whom I am currently mentoring (15, with an IQ of 120) will be reading it, as he develops an act. He is an EXCEPTIONALLY well motivated youth. He is studying the Tarbell Course, all eight volumes, FIRST!

Remember! When looking for a mentor, for your son, consider how successful, and, how qualified he is. NEMO DAT QUOD NON HABET! That's Latin for: "No one can give what he does not have!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Doug Trouten
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Dick -- You make a lot of good points, as usual. At the same time, I think most magicians get their start with TRICKS TRICKS TRICKS before they discover what makes magic real. It would be an unusual performer indeed who read "Maximum Entertainment" before buying their first packet trick. In fact, I seem to remember hearing about a magician who got his start buying six-card repeat and clippo, and I believe he went on to have a legendary career!
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
Dick Oslund
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Doug!
Remember! One cannot BUY a TRICK! ("packet", tube, box,pan, or red velvet bag on a stick! --THOSE are PROPS!

One can LEARN a trick, and, BUY a PROP with which to PERFORM a TRICK. I am trying, not to teach, but, in this case, to help a MOTHER of a BOY (of unknown age) realize this.

I was fortunate to meet, early, several well qualified successful professional performers, who became mentors. Fitzkee had just written his trilogy, the ink was still wet on the pages of "Our Magic". There was no internet! We corresponded via U.S. Mail @ 3 cents per letter, and two or three weeks between sending a question, and, receiving a reply. I don't think that Ken Weber was born yet!

Before I spent those few dollars for Clippo and the 6 Card Repeat, I was ALREADY A PART TIME PROFESSIONAL, at age 14! My school show magician mentors were getting about twenty five dollars per show, on the road! (Remember, I had made $25. in October of '45, and was getting $10 to $20 for a 30 to 40 minute performance, locally, with no "road expense"!!! I had seen Harry Blackstone Senior, the day before. (The dealers always knew where "Mr. B" had just played, by the orders for Clippo and 6 Card Repeat!!! When I spent those few bucks, I was buying secrets, and, props, with which to perform a couple of tricks.

I already had a show! The props were mostly home made! I had bought a brakawa fan, and a mir**r glass, and a "Chinese Wonder Fan from Percy, and, a carnie side show owner had GIVEN me a Percy Abbott "Unbelievable Production Box". --Those were props, with which to perform tricks! They certainly were not tricks'!

Whether my "career" was legendary or not, is debatable, questionable, or ??? But, I did make a good living, for most of my life, doing what I wanted to do!

I never DREAMED, at 15, that someday I would write a book about a "branch" of show business that had never been written about, before, even telling the routines that I had successfully produced to meet a criteria, and have it sold on four continents!!!

I have been extremely fortunate to meet, and call friends, some fine magicians. I mention them in the book, too, because they helped me be successful. I could just sit home and do nothing! But, instead, I'm trying to help the next generation. I'm "paying it forward"!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Doug Trouten
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Sound advice as always, Dick. Thank you for being so generous with your experience.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
Terrible Wizard
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I suggest posting in the little darlings section the same request.
Dick Oslund
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Hey Doug!

It's interesting (to me, at least) that the OP has not responded to my "sermon" of September 30! It makes me wonder if I wasted another half hour. I'll soon be 85. I need to be devoting more time to the disposal of props, books, and assorted "sams" (flot & jet) that have accumulated over a lifetime.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Andy Young
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Quote:
On Oct 2, 2016, Dick Oslund wrote:
Hey Doug!

It's interesting (to me, at least) that the OP has not responded to my "sermon" of September 30! It makes me wonder if I wasted another half hour. I'll soon be 85. I need to be devoting more time to the disposal of props, books, and assorted "sams" (flot & jet) that have accumulated over a lifetime.

I always wonder what happen to the people that never respond, but oh well you can't win them all.
davidpaul$
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That's why we need to be a little careful who we freely give information to that we have gained over any years.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Doug Trouten
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It's not a waste, Dick. Your words are preserved here for others who may have the same question.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
lpmorgens
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Thank you to all of you for the wonderful advice. Please don't think I just didn't respond. My life is very busy between FT work, teaching my special needs daughter at home, supporting her in her balloon business, which has done wonders for her, and oh yeah, homework with both kids, plus the many, many activities they enjoy... life gets busy, and I only have pockets of time to get back to each child's projects. Today is a day when I can sit and work with my son on his hope to be a magician. We'll work on it today and then look for the next free moment. I am currently looking at all three books listed...all great suggestions. I am sure my son wants to do more than just "tricks," but at the last few birthday parties I attended with my daughter as the balloon twister, we did observe some magicians with wonderful illusions that appeared store-bought... bright, colorful, and definitely made the children laugh. and of course, so much more that came from what the magician brought to the act. We hope to incorporate both... the tricks, and the performance. Thanks again!
lpmorgens
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P.s. if this forum has a way to reply to an individual, as opposed to the end of the string, I cannot figure out how to do that.
Aus
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Lpmorgens please don't make the mistake that store bought tricks are the only way to go, when it comes to kids good entertainment comes from how good the presentation is and that can come from the simplest of tricks. If you need help and ideas on this Im only a message away.

Magically

Aus
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