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Stevious
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Poland
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Hello folks
I would like to build a short show for primary schools or even nursery schools. I don’t know if I’m doing it correctly. I know a lot of interaction is required, humour, audience participation. At the same time I would like to do some classical illusions. I want the show to last around 25 minutes. So far I’ve decided to go with this:

Firstly I explain what magicians/illusionists do, they do magic, they bend or break the laws of physics, do weird things which are unique and worth observing.

- Misers dream as an opener, it is funny and should help me build rapport.
- Stage card magic – it is introduced by asking kids what do they think magicians use to do their magic? I discuss and follow by “I have to find my silk, it is here, it is invisible, we throw the silk in the air and… the silk changed into cards (fan is produced and I appear confused). Music is played for 3 min routine with fan travelling, finished with cards transforming into a silk.
- Colour changing silk
- Cutting the rope in half
- Silk fantasy – one child as an assistant is helping me do some silk magic
- Multiplying billiards balls – I would give them one ball for examination, play music and go on with the 3 min routine

Optional tricks
- Water disappears into newspaper
- Simple mentalism with colour cards for older groups
- A trick where one child is supposed to turn over a cup of water onto his head, obviously it disappears

I wonder if those effects are appropriate for this type of audience? I still want to do classics but in a less serious manner. I don’t have a magic word yet for them to shout, I have little experience working with children.
Mindpro
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So you have little experience working with children, no experience working schools or the education market, not sure what effects are appropriate for that market/audience, yet you've designed a show in your head based on what...just what you think? Sounds like a recipe for failure. Why a 25 minute show? Becuase that's what you think? How about learning the market, what length performance they want and is common, expected or appropriate? Just doing tricks and making kids shout a magic word is far from truly creating a school show.

Next, a school show is likely far different than a nursery school (two different markets, approaches, processes, etc.) as far as needs and interests. One size does not fit all.

Next, you are thinking about tricks. Based on what? What YOU want, or think? That should be the last element. What's your message, angle, theme or topic? This should be decided first and then seek the specific effects to illustrate or demonstrate the point or takeaway.

I'd say your entire approach is about you, not the customer. Why do magicians do this? First, they think its only about the tricks.. Second, they build a show, act or approach a market based on "what THEY think" rather than the reality of the market, what it wants, needs and has an interest in. What makes you think they want and are willing to pay for an assembly in how magic works?

Would you open a restaurant just based on the foods you like? No research to the area, town, neighborhood, what currently exists in the market, and many other important variables? That would be crazy.

Then to not even know what effects are appropriate for a school audience? I'd say you're putting your thoughts and efforts into the wrong things at this time.
Russo
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Hi - 60 years in Kids(School, Library, Birthday)Magic - now retired (tired) at 81.- Feel free to go to "search" - put in "russo"-- several effects, ideas - etc. (also a lot of personal comments -if you want to wade through them, L-O-L )- feel free to use, ask, etc. don't own a computor-Not always available - use Libraries where I work p/t (yes still work to keep up with the C-O-L-, SOOOOO save all the $$ you can -when retired , its not always enough) Be Gentle-Honest-Nice - Best of Magic. Ralph(russo)Rousseau
Stevious
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Poland
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I like the listed above effects and most of them I can already perform, they are simple visually beautiful magic. I wonder if I can adjust them to suit younger audiences. My friends who works in nursery/primary school advised me to do a shorter show.

I know that other magicians do material which is more suitable/tested, and they do tricks which are identical. Besides I don’t want to sell a product which I personally don’t like very much. Then it is difficult to convince others to like my show if I don’t fancy it myself. Thanks for advice, you are right, this approach is more about me, I've seen other magicians perform for children, and I know I have problems acting like a clown.
mcharisse
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I'd build in more audience interaction -- keep the manipulation short. Silks add flash and color and kids over 6 or so respect and admire card manipulation, but these need to be participatory. Misers dream is excellent -- every child wants a coin pulled out of their ear -- but why later produce balls when you can produce real silver?
I've been entertaining kids for years and am also a substitute teacher, and in my experience you don't have to be a clown, but it helps to poke a little fun at yourself, to not present yourself too seriously. Funny magi words, Magician in Trouble, They See It, You Don't, are ways to do this without acting the buffoon.
Read a couple of classics. David Ginn or Silly Billy for insight, magic words, directing audience participation, etc.
Marc
MichaelCGM
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Your initial thoughts on your proposed set are good, except for the "Stage card magic." That one is more for older kids, rather than primary grades because there are multiple concepts happening. Sadly, none of it (except, possibly a version of Miser's Dream and, maybe a silk color change with plenty of comedy bits) will work for nursery schools. Pre-K kids don't understand magic. They understand comedy, fun, silliness and bright colors with things they easily recognize... but don't grasp the concept of magic. I suggest routining your list for the primary grades (sans the Stage card magic) and scripting for the most laughs and quick... bang-bang-bang effects. If you then believe that you still want to do nursery schools, then work on an entirely different program for them. I do both. It took many months of trial and error to develop an entertaining and fun set for Pre-K. Remember... it's NEVER about the magic. It's ALWAYS about entertaininment and fun for the target audience.

Regardless of what you finally decide, don't listen to anyone who doesn't offer constructive ideas. I've been told by some at the Café that what I do shouldn't be done. My client reviews say otherwise. Go with your heart and the goal of making people happy for the brief time they have with you.

PS: I learned over the years that we do "handkerchief" magic. Kids don't understand "silk" or why we describe them as "silks."
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

MagicalMichael.com Smile Laus Deo!
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2018, Mindpro wrote:
So you have little experience working with children, no experience working schools or the education market, not sure what effects are appropriate for that market/audience, yet you've designed a show in your head based on what...just what you think? Sounds like a recipe for failure. Why a 25 minute show? Becuase that's what you think? How about learning the market, what length performance they want and is common, expected or appropriate? Just doing tricks and making kids shout a magic word is far from truly creating a school show.

Next, a school show is likely far different than a nursery school (two different markets, approaches, processes, etc.) as far as needs and interests. One size does not fit all.

Next, you are thinking about tricks. Based on what? What YOU want, or think? That should be the last element. What's your message, angle, theme or topic? This should be decided first and then seek the specific effects to illustrate or demonstrate the point or takeaway.

I'd say your entire approach is about you, not the customer. Why do magicians do this? First, they think its only about the tricks.. Second, they build a show, act or approach a market based on "what THEY think" rather than the reality of the market, what it wants, needs and has an interest in. What makes you think they want and are willing to pay for an assembly in how magic works?

Would you open a restaurant just based on the foods you like? No research to the area, town, neighborhood, what currently exists in the market, and many other important variables? That would be crazy.

Then to not even know what effects are appropriate for a school audience? I'd say you're putting your thoughts and efforts into the wrong things at this time.


I have reprinted Mindpro's post, so you can read it AGAIN. I haven't responded until now, and, Mindpro has said WHAT I WOULD HAVE SAID.


I'll simply add a quote, and a brief paragraph or two.

I'm 86, retired. I started doing school shows in 1945. I was not quite 14. I became a part time professional THAT DAY. I had done a very simple program. I had made $26 in 45 minutes. Many grown men worked all week for $25 to $30! All through high school, my buddies were making 50 to 75 cents an hour, mowing lawns, or bagging groceries. I was making $10 to $20 for a 30 minute show for club dates. In the Navy, a few years later, My agent was getting me enough work, that, I could send home my Navy Paycheck for about 3 1/2 years. A few years later, after college, I turned full time professional specializing in school assemblies. I had had several great mentors, and, here is the basic guide that I followed:

The late S.H. Sharpe wrote this, eons 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." --I believed Mr. Sharpe!

After about 20 years as a part time pro., I spent about 50 years as a full timer, playing schools. I always had a full schedule. I WAS NEVER "AT LIBERTY". Managers called ME! I didn't need to call THEM.

Magic is NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING! I learned very early, that apart from the business aspect (see Mindpro's excellent post!) the performer's PERSONALITY & PRESENTATION, ARE ESSENTIAL FACTORS.

>>>>>"It aint WHAT you do, it's HOW you do it!"<<<<<

If the OP will go back and read Mindpro's post, again, and can learn from it, he will find it extremely informative.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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P.S. I wrote a 400 page book about school shows. Denny Haney, and,Joe Stevens stock it. It has been mailed to Europe, Asia, Australia, and, of course, North America. It isn't a book of tricks! I wrote an auto-biography, with anecdotes that tell the story of LYCEUM. I described the programs of many others who "did it for a living".

I wrote a "gezillion" anecdotes about the things that happen in schools. I also wrote the presentations that I used for the mostly CLASSICAL tricks, that I used.

The props are mostly generic. All the props fit in a 13" x 20" x 8" "fat" attache case, weighing about 20 lbs. The program could be presented almost ANYWHERE, for almost ANYONE. It set up in about 2 minutes, even less, it I was in a hurry, and, when it was over, I could leave, and, be on the road, in about 2 minutes or less. I worked out of that case. It was never unpacked. Props were picked up, and replaced when the trick was over.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
MrKen
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2018, Stevious wrote:
I discuss and follow by “I have to find my silk, it is here, i...


Please don't call it a "silk" - For laymen and specially children it is a handkerchief (less known) or a scarf.
Stevious
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Poland
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Thank you for your in-depth replies. I think if I can find light-hearted way of presenting those routines it might suit primary schools, but in nursery school it could be not understood, overly complicated. Although a friend of mine says that one magician did the multiplying balls and it was fine.

As an afterthought, water into newspaper could be also funny and interactive if I take and turn it upside down over someone's head while the water is still inside, then make it appear into a glass.

You also have to understand that I'm still new to magic, I performed a few times for a large group of adults (around 50 people), so my experience is small.

I wonder if Teller could get away with his way of performing for children, not in nursery school, but in slightly older groups.

So far I've seen magicians trying to make kids laugh most of the time, which is fine, but I would like to make them laugh and also make their jaws drop.
Dick Oslund
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From your new post, I wonder if you even read Mindpro's post!!!!!!!!!!

You seem to be still thinking TRICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read my post AGAIN! (S.H. SHARPE'S statement.l)

Oh! Please read MrKen's post AGAIN, also. >>>>>NEVER<<<<< use the term: "SILK". Silk is a backstage term. I should have caught that when I posted, but, I was concerned with BUSINESS.

BTW:
>>>>>SHOW BUSINESS IS SPELLED::: $how bu$ine$$!!!!!<<<<<

Never mind TELLER! I know Teller, well. He knows what he is doing. He is not working for nursery schools, or older children!

Never mind "...making their jaws drop..." MAKE 'EM LAUGH!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
MichaelCGM
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Quote:
On Jul 22, 2018, Stevious wrote:
So far I've seen magicians trying to make kids laugh most of the time, which is fine, but I would like to make them laugh and also make their jaws drop.


For kids, laughter and fun is the primary focus. But I agree with you entirely about also wanting to make their jaws drop. I do it in every show. The combination of laughter AND astonishment is what being a children's magician is all about. There are all kinds of children's entertainers who do not perform magic. Without the astonishment factor, one need not be a magician. You have the right outlook, Stevious. You'll learn, over time and trial and error, what effects and style work best in your show. The audience will let you know what works and what doesn't. For Pre-K, I highly recommend some of the great ideas of "The Great Zucchinni." As for the rest, you're definitely on the right track.
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

MagicalMichael.com Smile Laus Deo!
Dynamike
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I do not see any balloon effects on your list. I just wanted to add stay.away from balloon swallowing. It is inappropriate for kid shows. Some so called magicians add it to their show because they have no heart for our little darlings.
Stevious
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Poland
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On Jul 24, 2018, Dynamike wrote:
I do not see any balloon effects on your list. I just wanted to add stay.away from balloon swallowing. It is inappropriate for kid shows. Some so called magicians add it to their show because they have no heart for our little darlings.


Why balloon swallowing is not appropriate for children? I've seen some magicians do it, and it was quite funny. They should somehow warn against trying this at home.
Stevious
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Poland
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Quote:
On Jul 22, 2018, Dick Oslund wrote:
From your new post, I wonder if you even read Mindpro's post!!!!!!!!!!

You seem to be still thinking TRICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read my post AGAIN! (S.H. SHARPE'S statement.l)

Oh! Please read MrKen's post AGAIN, also. >>>>>NEVER<<<<< use the term: "SILK". Silk is a backstage term. I should have caught that when I posted, but, I was concerned with BUSINESS.

BTW:
>>>>>SHOW BUSINESS IS SPELLED::: $how bu$ine$$!!!!!<<<<<

Never mind TELLER! I know Teller, well. He knows what he is doing. He is not working for nursery schools, or older children!

Never mind "...making their jaws drop..." MAKE 'EM LAUGH!!!



Don't worry about silks, in my language I know what term should I use. Yes, I'm thinking "tricks" first, then about the presentation of those tricks. Before tricks I only think about my personality as a performer and how the show should look like as a whole or what reactions should it have. In time I will see what works for me and adapt myself. I'm almost curious if stage card magic would suit 5-6 year old children.
Dick Oslund
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>>>>>>>Little children playing with balloons are a NO NO. Kids can suffocate with scraps of broken balloons stuck in their throats!<<<<<

You had better buy good INSURANCE before you do balloon swallowing for kids!

You don't seem to understand, if you really READ, Mindpro's post, WHAT, he was saying. --or my posts either.

I have 50 years of performing for schools, all levels,all over the United States. I also have years of booking schools.

Mindpro and I have tried to help you learn. I give up.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
TomBoleware
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2018, Stevious wrote:
Hello folks
I would like to build a short show for primary schools or even nursery schools. I don’t know if I’m doing it correctly. I know a lot of interaction is required, humour, audience participation. At the same time I would like to do some classical illusions. I want the show to last around 25 minutes. So far I’ve decided to go with this:

Firstly I explain what magicians/illusionists do, they do magic, they bend or break the laws of physics, do weird things which are unique and worth observing.

- Misers dream as an opener, it is funny and should help me build rapport.
- Stage card magic – it is introduced by asking kids what do they think magicians use to do their magic? I discuss and follow by “I have to find my silk, it is here, it is invisible, we throw the silk in the air and… the silk changed into cards (fan is produced and I appear confused). Music is played for 3 min routine with fan travelling, finished with cards transforming into a silk.
- Colour changing silk
- Cutting the rope in half
- Silk fantasy – one child as an assistant is helping me do some silk magic
- Multiplying billiards balls – I would give them one ball for examination, play music and go on with the 3 min routine

Optional tricks
- Water disappears into newspaper
- Simple mentalism with colour cards for older groups
- A trick where one child is supposed to turn over a cup of water onto his head, obviously it disappears

I wonder if those effects are appropriate for this type of audience? I still want to do classics but in a less serious manner. I don’t have a magic word yet for them to shout, I have little experience working with children.


Yes those tricks should work if you present them right. But whatever you do don't talk down to the kids.

I too highly recommend watching some of the "The Great Zucchini routines, but don’t try copying his style if it doesn’t fit YOU.
Nothing worse than a serious person trying to be silly. Smile Still you can learn a lot from watching him.

Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

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www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

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Dynamike
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Quote:
On Jul 31, 2018, Stevious wrote:
Quote:
On Jul 24, 2018, Dynamike wrote:
I do not see any balloon effects on your list. I just wanted to add stay.away from balloon swallowing. It is inappropriate for kid shows. Some so called magicians add it to their show because they have no heart for our little darlings.


Why balloon swallowing is not appropriate for children? I've seen some magicians do it, and it was quite funny. They should somehow warn against trying this at home.


Because balloons are the #1 toy kids die from of choking hazards. I believe you when you mentioned it can be funny, but a kid's life is way more important. Taking the chance to getting a laugh vs. inspiring a kid to swallow a balloon is no where equal in value. An entertainer can be funny with fire and knife tricks. That does not mean it is fit for kids to watch. Kids grow up with a lot of warnings: "Don't drink poison because it is dangerous." "Look both ways before crossing the street," etc. I seen many times the children not following the warning that was given to them. I use to perform the Flaming Head Chest in the past. I no longer do it because there are thousands of other tricks to perform that are funny and not dangerous. Save the balloon swallowing for older crowds.

Did I answer you question?
Russo
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Some do balloons for give aways - "POP" oh! oh! crying- so I started doing "cartoon" drawing for each child, any animal they requested- Advt. printed at bottom gave me several gigs - as kids took them home and put on the 'fridg' - many how to draw/cartoon book in Library- No one ever stumped me- a child once requested a'to'mic'ium(sp?)" so I drew two mice looking at each other "two meece, see em?" L-O-L-, found out "it" was an 'one celled animal' smart Kid !! -- Fun Fun Fun.
John Long
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To what was said above, I would recommend the book "Seriously Sill". The author, David Kaye tells how to perform a trick base on the audience's age (same "trick", just different presentation). I found it excellent.

John
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