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LBP MAGIC
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What types of shows work well at elementary assemblies? What effects do you usually perform? I know that many will say “don’t try and learn new material for your first assembly”, but I don’t have a lot of effects that will work. Could somebody please list some resources or good effects for elementary assemblies?
Donald Dunphy
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What do you perform now?

What size audiences do you want to perform for (assemblies can come in all sizes)?

Do you want to do message shows, or for-fun shows?

- Donald.

P.S. Besides the obvious resources like Sammy Smith, Steve Taylor and David Ginn, you might be interested in these two resources as well:

- Magic Success Seminars (run by Steve H...... Taylor)

- Chris Egelston's "How To Create, Mark......Profits"


(No, this is not an affiliate link for either).

I know Chris from The Dean's List. By the way, I just received Chris' course yesterday, and it is fantastic. If you PM me with your email address, I can send you a copy of a recent Eric Paul e-newsletter, where he quotes a small portion of Chris' book. That might help you out a bit.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Scott O.
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Quite honestly, the effect is not that important. Just about any effect will do the job. What makes the difference is the presentation.

For instance, most would say that Hippity Hop Rabbits is for young children. However, Bob Markwood claims his presentation entertained all ages. He received much praise from adults regarding this effect.

You need to understand the audience. You say elementary, so I assume this is grades 1-5. These kids want color, Large props -boxes, tubes, etc. They want to interact with you. They want to be a part of the magic. So find ways to get lots of children involved.

They love the magician-in-trouble scenario. Let one of them get you out of trouble by 'doing the magic'.

The look-don't-see is another great theme. Your wand breaks, but you don't see it. You drop a scarf, and you don't see it. The flower wilts when you look away. Children love to be 'in the know'. They will laugh and point and scream to get your attention. That's when you are entertaining this group.

I would advise getting a good video by someone like Samual Patrick Smith or Steve Taylor. See how they handle the children. Audience control is key here.

Have fun with it.

Scott Smile.
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Donald Dunphy
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You might also be interested in this product:

David Ginn's School Show Presentation (Audio and Book, $35.)

This product is also available on David's site, but I can't provide a direct link to that product on his site, only Sammy's site.

It's a few years old, but some of the information is still pretty good.

There is also good information on David Ginn, Sammy Smith's and Steve Taylor's Komedy Kid Show Kassettes (Audio, $35), as well as The Komedy Kid Show Klinic (Videos, $75).

- Donald.

P.S. All the links I've provided are to Sammy Smith's website.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
rsummer27
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Mark Danials also has a video tape out of his library show Book Talk. The same would apply to an elementary school. It's not the tricks that sell, but the theme of the show. My current show has a reading theme. It encourages students to read and teaches some good reading skills.
Ralph
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Super Low Prices on Videos and DVDs!
Donald Dunphy
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You'll find many good videos on Sammy Smith's website, including the Mark Daniels' one, Book Magic.

Here is another good resource site: Steve Taylor's Website, this link takes......ce page.

He has some good books about writing and promoting educational shows, too.

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
LBP MAGIC
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Wow that is a lot of infromation thanks for your input! Do any of you perform large prop effects, or do you keep it basic? I just worry about all of the children not being able to see what I am doing. I have done large shows, but always for adults. At birthday parties I can keep them entertained, because it is a small group, so everybody can see what is going on. I don't want the kids in the back to feel left out, because they can't see. You have to work with that short attention span!
Bill Scarlett
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All of the advice given so far is excellent and all of the folks mentioned are great resources.

I'm a little confused about what LBP means when he or she says that they don't have a lot of effects that work. Do you mean effects that won't work for elementary age kids or do you mean your effects just plain won't work? And if you mean you don't think they will work for kids, why not? Many tricks can be altered to appeal to a different age group. Perhaps some thought and creativity on your part will help you to tailor your tricks to fit your audiences needs. I would also recommend Barry Mitchell's DVD "The Magic of Thinking Creatively". It's a great peek into his creative process, as well as a demo of many of his marketed effects.

I suggest that before you do a school assembly show that you take the time to do some research about your audience. Also, practice your act many, many times before doing it for the general public. And finally, practice many times in front of smaller groups of kids, perhaps birthdays, before you take it in front of an entire school. No need to rush into it, it's better to take your time and do it right. Best of luck to you.
Rob Johnston
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Kids love it when the Principle or teacher are on stage being embarrased or something of the sort. It gets some great laughs.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
LBP MAGIC
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Well I usually do close up magic for adults, so stage effects and really large groups is a whole new thing for me. I do have a few things that will transfer over, but I probably need to ditch most of the coin and card stuff I usually do.
Emazdad
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Whenever I do a school show, I do my normal stuff. I don't theme it or anything because when I'm booked for schools it'sa soley to entertain as a treat, not to teach.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Rob Johnston
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Quote:
On 2004-05-20 18:48, Emazdad wrote:
Whenever I do a school show, I do my normal stuff. I don't theme it or anything because when I'm booked for schools it'sa soley to entertain as a treat, not to teach.


Yes...give those kids a break!
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Shawn D
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LBPMAGIC,
I have also never really themed my show for schools.I am doing 3 shows this week for kids that read the most books and the magic show is a reward for them.My shows are in the school Caféreia and they pack the kids in. I use a sound system so they can all hear me and the kids seem to see all the magic that is going on.
I start them out with a thimble routine showing them what kind of magic I do.I introduce my dove that is a bolloon.He does a sword swallowing act and then turns into a real dove with bolloon to dove tray.I do the jumbo 3 card monty trick where the middle card turns into a library card and give a little speach about how it is good to read to keep encouraging them do it.
Then I do routines with the mis-made flag,spongeablls,cut and restore rope,cardiograph,and dove to rabiit.
These are basic magic tricks that give me a 50 min show.I keep the kids laughing, yelling, and amazed with these becasue the most important thing is I worked on the presentations of them. I can take the same 7 tricks and have a 20 min show and bore the kids. So get the tricks you want to do in your show and work them till you have lots of volenteers,lots of gags and jokes with them and good presentations with all of them and you will do fine.
Hope some of this helps.
Shawn D
Donald Dunphy
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I've done a few hundred school shows, and offer 7 different school shows for customers to choose from.

To the principals, I make a suggestion that the audience be no more than 350-400, as I find that just the right size. They can do 2 assemblies if the group is larger. Again, this is your choice.

Mid-size tricks and larger tricks are just fine. You don't need to be lugging in stage illusions, unless you really want to, but then that causes time problems with you setting up and tearing down. I don't really do any close-up in my shows, although I have gotten away with a coin tray routine.

Personally, I use a mix of magic to music, some standard tricks, and some audience participation. It is important that you present a show that displays control of the audience, as well as offering something that is fun and entertaining.

It is also important that you be good or even excellent at your magic. Even though the kids may think it is funny if things go wrong unintentionally, the staff will frown on lack of professional skill. (If it is on purpose, this is fine... "magician in trouble" syndrome plays well.)

I use a sound system and a backdrop, so the customer feels they get full value.

I recommend against fire tricks and danger magic (choppers, swords, etc). They are very concerned the children will imitate you.

If you want to be invited back, don't embarass the staff members, have fun with them instead. Be sure they understand that it is good natured.

Some schools may ask you for a criminal record check first. This is pretty typical. There is another thread on that topic (it may be in the tricky business section).

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Decomposed
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Excellent advice Donald.
Donald Dunphy
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Thanks, Wayne! Smile
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Decomposed
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I have added an opening dance act to my show now (yes, Candini can dance:). I come out with a top hat and formal wear. My entrance is on cue and the silk I have in my hand magically turns into a cane:)

From there I do a miser's dream, tap dance (music has the clicks), D lite's and the rest I haven't finished.
Either I pull out my human hand puppet, marionette dragon or I finish the 4.4 minute number with a dance partner (mop or one of the kids).

My next show is a theme show (anti-bullying). The puppets will come in real nice for that one.

Wayne
Rupert Bair
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Three cup monte using mater and g or slush powder. Use the head teacher to have the last cup poared over his head. Also danger tricks work well with members of staff.
Matt
isaacfawlkes
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Never use a Principal or a teacher as an assistant on stage. If you make fun of them many feel that it undermines them. If you embarass one of them, especially the Principal you will never work that or any other school in the school district or area again. These people talk and know one another. Word of mouth is you best advertising, but it can also be the worst form of advertising. You want these people on your side. Don't **** them off!
Rupert Bair
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I disagree always pick the one that will take it, the very confident teacher don't embarrass them but have fun and they wil and so will the kids.
matt
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