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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Funniest reactions you get from magic? (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

countrymaven
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I recently have been enjoying kids magic much more. I have no problem now not focusing only on magic but also on getting them to laugh.
What are the funniest things you do? Gags included. We want them most of all to have a good time, and laugh too, right?
Dick Oslund
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Read my book! Watch my dvd!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
countrymaven
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I am not asking for someone to promote a book . I am posting this to ask for what the funniest thing you do for kids shows is.... ok?
Please do not be offended. I am trying to get many ideas . Also so we can all share. Kids magic should include participation and humor. Humor is certainly part of what makes magic truly MAGICAL for kids......
Dick Oslund
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OK, DON'T read my book! I have shared a gezillion ideas in the Café, GRATIS. Many others have written to tell me how useful those ideas have been.

Have you ever gotten a standing ovation (after half a dozen good laughs) in a SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, with a brakawa fan? I have on two occasions.
The routine is in my book.

I've likely played more PRIMARY SCHOOLS, over FIFTY years (and, left them laughing) than you could count. (I mean audiences of 1200 moppets!)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On Dec 3, 2018, countrymaven wrote:
I am not asking for someone to promote a book .


While I understand the point you raise, I disagree with your post. Getting reactions from an audience of any kind is dynamic in nature and has to be discussed in context to be most useful. Dick did not say to buy anything, he offered reference materials that provide what you were in search of. Dick has nearly 8,000 posts and the ones I have encountered have been insightful and offer true value. The fact that he was suggesting materials that he produced is incidental to the fact that he was offering real world examples that played to a wide range of audiences over a long career.
Mindpro
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I agree. Just asking for the goods to be given to you in a nice package for the asking is a bold expectation. Information, insight, and assistance come from quality resources, not taking others material and using it or taking it for your own. That is called a "hack" in the business.

You want to eat a fish or learn how to fish? Stock lines and others humor to get the reactions you are seeking is the surface answer, the real answer is how to create your own using tried and tested methods and approaches.

I'm offended that he did try to help you by offering two great resources and you found a problem with that when he was actually helping you in more ways than you realize.
Dick Oslund
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Thank you Mindpro and Charlie Checkers!!!

It's good to know that there are people like yourselves who understand what I was trying to do! I'm a great believer in the "teach them how to fish, rather than give them a fish".philosophy. In mentoring several dozen young magician "wannabees", over 50+ years, that has always been a major point. A number of them are working pro's. today. It was my privilege to counsel with youngsters like Doug Henning, Chuck Windley, Bob McAllister, et al.

I never suggested that any of them, copy what I did, I advised them to read Tarbell, Fitzkee, Maskelynne & Devant, et al. We discussed basics like tempo, timing, and time, and PRESENTATION!

Over the years, I developed a show that could play almost anywhere, for almost anyone. I was never at liberty. Managers would call me to ask when I would have open time.

After the first few years, I had a program that fit my personality. It's mainly classic material, with basically generic props. But, it's ME, not the props that entertains the folks in the seats!

Far too many of the members seem to think that, "helping other magicians", means that we, old timers should "teach them our act"!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Mindpro
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It's also about comedy, how its created, where it comes from, the style and how its executed. Hearing someone's funniest bits, lines, routines, etc. misses the point. Comedy and humor isn't plug and play, there are many aspects involved.

That's exactly why someone who creates something makes it play so well. They created it for them, their tone, sense of humor and their act in mind. It works for them in their context. This is why when magicians purchase an effect or DVD and try to perform it themselves that will rarely have the same results as the creator of it.

The best advice is to learn to write, create and execute comedy yourself, as it pertains to your act, your sense of humor, your audience, your markets, your personality.

I never understood why so many magicians don't mind being hacks. In other forms of live entertainment, like standup comedy for example, it can be the kiss of death. Other comics won't want to work with you, bookers, clubs, and promoters will not touch you and will likely blacklist you, and audiences know when you are taking other's material.
Dynamike
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I get the heaviest laughter with my Miser's Dream routine.
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Dec 5, 2018, Mindpro wrote:
It's also about comedy, how its created, where it comes from, the style and how its executed. Hearing someone's funniest bits, lines, routines, etc. misses the point. Comedy and humor isn't plug and play, there are many aspects involved.

That's exactly why someone who creates something makes it play so well. They created it for them, their tone, sense of humor and their act in mind. It works for them in their context. This is why when magicians purchase an effect or DVD and try to perform it themselves that will rarely have the same results as the creator of it.

The best advice is to learn to write, create and execute comedy yourself, as it pertains to your act, your sense of humor, your audience, your markets, your personality.



I never understood why so many magicians don't mind being hacks. In other forms of live entertainment, like standup comedy for example, it can be the kiss of death. Other comics won't want to work with you, bookers, clubs, and promoters will not touch you and will likely blacklist you, and audiences know when you are taking other's material.


You have said it so well! Thank you!!! (I watched as Jay Marshall created The Saga of Juan Escadero!)

I agree, 110%!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Magic1
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Hey Countrymaven, great post, good question! I know that you asked us not to suggest books, but there’s a book by a guy name Christopher T. Magician, called “Beyond Look, Don’t See: Furthering the art of children’s magic.” The reason I’m recommending it is because it’s one of the better books about comedy I’ve read (and I’ve read quite a few) and he because teaches Principles to create comedy moments that are unique to you. Though it’s not what you were looking for, I think this book is going to be more valuable to you than having me tell you the gag I do with a balloon. Also, to describe to you the thing I do with a balloon would require photographs or video and a long description (though I probably wouldn’t mind showing you over video chat or in person sometime) in the meantime, do try to get a look at that book, it’s really valuable. Cheers!
countrymaven
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Thanks Mindpro and Magic1, I was looking for something like that, not trying to steal something unique to someone else. It is easy to do that, by the way, from videos. I was looking for someone to finesse the process of developing comedy. I have developed some fairly unique things, for comedy.

Dick, I appreciate what you said, but I misunderstood your saying, read my book watch my dvd as just self promotion. I didn't realize then that you were saying that is a great way to learn from all your experience, I appreciate that. Now I know what you meant and I appreciate it.

So Magic1 and others I am open to resources, but it helps me if you tell me why. I find some of the supposedly funny stock magic tricks not to be very funny for my style of magic. My goal is to get them rolling with laughter, in a good way. Along with the magic. I don't mind having a sponge rabbit that is supposed to turn into a real rabbit to turn into another funny animal because of a mistake ....

So I see more clearly, that humor is very personal and works with one's own style. It helps to be upbeat and looking for fun too. So I am not really trying to hack ideas, but rather to see resources and good examples to get ideas on how to develop personal comedy into my shows. I don't have a problem with developing comedy ideas, but I have a lot to learn. Thanks fellow comedians......
countrymaven
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Mindpro said:
"The best advice is to learn to write, create and execute comedy yourself, as it pertains to your act, your sense of humor, your audience, your markets, your personality.

I never understood why so many magicians don't mind being hacks."

I appreciate your advice. I have found some great theory and examples on David Kaye's Penguin Live. I am not a hack. ACtually, I find that magic is often old, trite and people expect kids to have a great time using fraidy rabbit, painted plywood bunnies or whatever. I am going for the gusto. Getting people fooled silly and rolling in laughter. I am finding I am having to invent new comedy props and material. It is one thing to get people to snicker, another to laugh with joy at the unexpected and outrageous.
noland
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I consider myself a children's comedy magician. I feel that my show is funny and engaging to children. It's taken me 15 years of performing to construct my performing character and act. I've reached the point I'm at by studying other magicians I thought were funny, trying different stuff and bombing repeatedly. And then trying again. Over time, I've figured out what my performing character is, and how to choose material that fits that character. But to get there, I have immersed myself in the work of other magicians. I have a library that includes most of the DVD's released by magicians who perform for children. Some of my favorites include Kimmo, Gary Dunn, Silly Billy, The Great Zucchini, Al Lampkin, Tommy James, Christopher T. Magician, Chris Capehart, Turley the Magician, and many others. Whenever I watch one of these performers and the performer does a trick or gag I like, I try to analyze what I've just seen, asking myself the following questions: Was that funny? If so, why? If not, why? Could that work for me with my character? What would I have to do to adapt it for my performing style? I don't see how a list of tricks will help you learn how to be funny. For example, some of my favorites are the thumb tip vanish of a silk, sponge balls, hat productions, miser's dream, snake cans and Rocky. I'm not sure how that list helps. What I can say is that for me, it's been a slow, painstaking process learning how to perform for children. However, studying the work of great children's entertainers, not necessarily for their specific tricks but their performing styles, has helped to educate me. One final note: I've read Dick Oslund's book and watched his performing DVD. Dick brings lots of experience and some great touches to his material and is well worth studying too.
countrymaven
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Thanks Noland, that is exactly what I was looking for. I apologize I did not ask the question in the right way, in what I posted on the title of this thread. But hopefully, something as new and complex as developing your own comedy style is not the easiest thing to do. It is hard to know how to ask the question if you don't have the answer. Especially for something you have never done in such a focused way.

So I thank you. You gave me the answer I was looking for.
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