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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Handling kids that know you (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Sophocles
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I'm an amateur who has only done a few performances outside of friends and family. I did a birthday party that went really well. My own 5yr old and 3yr old were also invited at the party. Fortunately, my wife was around and helped manage them. I was wondering how you handle parties where 3-4 kids may know you beforehand and are not behaving. (Perhaps because they know you, or have seen the effects before). Kids that don't know you I feel are easier to handle.
Thank you in advance for your thoughts.
Russo
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Im sorry - in the 50's-70's - kids were pretty good- now with all the kid violence on TV, etc- it may be harder?? its been a while. At that time I use to say -I know it too-- or lets you and I keep it a secret so we can fool your friends - just being WILD is whats happening now, with NO-ONE teaching the kids -inclding Parents and teachers.
randyburtis
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Cut it off before it happens. Approach th4m before the show and tell them they are leaders and need to set a good example. Tell them they will see some stuff they have seen but a good leader and friend won't spoil it for their friends...
Randy Burtis
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Everybody performs for people they know at first. It's usually a pain in the butt.

as you get better kids will naturally respect you more and won't behave like that.
as you get better you'll learn lines and bits that shut that **** down.
as you get better kids won't think what they say will be as funny and entertaining as what you're doing so they won't care to compete with you.
as you get better you'll be so much more entertaining that there just isn't a lot of time or room in your act for moments like that.

The good news...
as you get better you will far less often be performing for kids you know.

bottom line... just keep performing and keep learning and keep doing more shows.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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Daniel Ulzen
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Maybe ask a teenager or an adult to have a look at those kids that know you during the show so the older person can handle the kids like your wife.

Maybe talk with the kids you know and explain to them that you always need audience members who sit on the floor and do not talk to their friends during the show. Then let them decide since they already know your tricks if they want to do something else in another room or if they want to see the show and "bevhave".

One time when it was really difficult I said to a child he can either sit down if he wants to see the show or he has to leave the rooom. Never forget that you are the boss and and you have the right to set your rules for your show with the aim to make the show a sucess for everybody.
Sophocles
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Thank you, everyone! My wife took care of our kids and at another party, an extremely lively little girl of 4 yrs was chased by her dad thankfully.
I expect to be doing 1 party this month where the birthday girl will be 5 and is very hyperactive. She is the only grandchild of the family and I know she has been a little spoiled...

I've thought of also rewarding the kids with stickers. Or perhaps giving them some wands I can make from PVC pipe. Or some balloon animals. Just to keep them in line.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Many suggest resorting to begging, bribes, deals, flattery, help from others to deal with kids that might cause a problem.
Total weak sauce.


New performers need to man up and learn how to do it with attitude, personality, act, lines, etc.
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Dick Oslund
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YUP!
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Dynamike
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I would simply add a few effects that are new to those certain children. I might replace a few.
Jack Skipton
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I have done a gazillion kid shows and I don’t know why it is but whenever I have done shows for friends/relatives/people I know, it NEVER works like t does for the general public. Therefore, many years ago, I stopped accepting gigs from people I know. In spite of many pleas I have opted to not perform for friends and family.

That’s my experience and personal choice and it has worked for me. Smile
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Jul 24, 2018, Dynamike wrote:
I would simply add a few effects that are new to those certain children. I might replace a few.



Mike...The EFFECT IS WHAT THE AUDIENCE P E R C E I V E S!!!!!!!!!!! (c.f. FITZKEE) He wrote a BOOK about EFFECTS. ("The Trick Brain") He defined 19 EFFECTS (e,g,: production, vanish, transposition, transposition, penetration, restoration, animation, levitation, etc.)

The OP's problem is, IMO, that he is trying to BRIBE children, with "gifts", so that they will watch him do tricks.

The (very) late S.H.Sharpe (of the UK) said it WELL, many years ago: "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."

Until the OP realizes THAT, he can never even HOPE, to become a magician.

Dariel Fitzkee also wrote, in his "The Trick Brain" (pp308-309): "I must insist that tricks are but tools, This eagerness to add new tools to the workshop, at the expense of learning how to use the tools we already possess, definitely results in overcrowded workshops, but unskilled artisans."

Read the Ambitious Card's postS, above.

Magic is 5% sleight of hand skills, 5% perceptual illusion, 5% esoteric principles of science, and 85% PSYCHOLOGY! (I'm not a good mathematician, but I am a fairly good magician!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Sophocles
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Mr. Oslund, I will never be half the magician you are or that a lot of fine people on here are. That's was never my target.
My goal is to add new effects (starting with the classics), become better at performing my current ones and enjoying myself. This is not my full-time job at which I believe I am very good at (as you are to magic).

TheAmbitiousCard makes a good point that the better you get the easier it becomes. I have seen this in myself despite the long road yet ahead of me.
Also as obvious as it sounds, I found that the right effect for the right crowd is very important. And also being selective with effects and performance/storytelling helps a lot. Finally, some silliness with kids goes a long way.

I think part of me worried a bit too much for nothing as I've not done many parties. Thank you all again for your comments.
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