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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Kids talent show (24 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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SharkTrager442
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Hi not sure where to post this but...my son is 9 and getting seriously into magic and mentalism. He spends time really learning a routine then doing it on as many people as he can. He just learned the one ahead principal (using a basic approach) and is leaning more to mentalism. He's not great on sleights yet (tiny hands) but he'll get there. He's got the charisma and charm and creativity.

So he told me yesterday that he wants to enter his school talent show and I told him I'd help him pick a trick or two for him to perform on stage. I really want to encourage him as he struggles to make friends and magic gets him noticed. (We've all been there) Can anyone advise on what he could perform? I'm happy to pay for an effect but just not sure what he could do that's got big impact.

Would love to hear some ideas.
Anton4
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This may be just what you're looking for.

https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/7240
jimgerrish
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In the 1980's my group of Wiz Kids (ages 9 and up to 18 at the time) always had one Wiz Kid who played the role of the Wiz Kid Mentalist. One of our favorite tricks for the Mentalist (whomever it was that year) was always PLOTTO.

The effect is basically this: Using a simple deck of 52 (or so) randomly mixed numbered cards for the choosing of six (or so) random numbers in an imitation Powerball Lottery we called PLOTTO, the spectator shocks himself and the audience by predicting every single number in order on the winning card. You can find the details at the WizJournal.

Your son will have to make a deck of number cards from 1 to 52 using a deck of blank face or double-blank cards (which can be jumbo size cards for stage). The e-Book comes with various blank PLOTTO card designs that you may have to help him print out, but then he can cut out the cards and write the random winning numbers on them. You may have to help him learn the simple moves that he will use to teach the spectator how to mix up the cards as part of the act. Then the two of you will have to discuss whether or not you want to add the prediction of a "Magic Word" as part of the act, as described in the e-Book.
Last Laugh
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I helped my son (who's 8) learn a few simple card effects that can be presented as mind reading.

The cross cut force, for instance, and then something like this:

"Think of what color your card is....okay I'm getting red?"
"In your mind, trace out the shape of the suit...is that a heart?"
"Now I'm going to count out the cards, ace to king, and when I name the card you're thinking of, in your mind think 'stop'. Make sure not to nod or blink though! Okay Ace....etc.......Wait... I think I just heard it.... is your card the seven of hearts?"

If your son can do a little bit of acting, he can make a simple card force into a nice piece of mental magic.
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jimgerrish
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Last Laugh is right - It's all about acting the part of a Mentalist.

I remembered another favorite Mentalist's trick from The Wiz Kids, based on a book written by Ali Bongo in 1980; Divination Discs. The original trick and symbols were complicated, so we made it simpler for Wiz Kid Use. My version is called "D.I.Y. Divination Discs" and can be found, complete with various templates and suggestions for additional designs. It's in The Wizards' Journal #31-01:
SharkTrager442
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Great ideas so far, thanks so much. Open to more.It'll be a full blown show in the not too distant..
Goldfield
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Invest in Tarbell.
That's full of practical working material and if you really want him to build a solid foundation, keep away from the one trick penguin pops.
The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. Nikola Tesla, Serbian Inventor
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Oct 7, 2019, SharkTrager442 wrote:
Hi not sure where to post this but...my son is 9 and getting seriously into magic and mentalism.


Bob Cassidy - "The trivialization of mentalism continues"
Last Laugh
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You know as well as everyone else does that in the magic world, the term 'mentalism' is used interchangeably with 'mental magic'.

Don't discourage young people that are interested in the mystery arts just because the greater magic world has appropriated the term.

Your post sounds very condescending and it's really not warranted here. We should be encouraging and educational.
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Mindpro
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We should educate our kids properly if they have an interest in something. Mentalism is different on many levels from magic (and you should know better). This could be a valuable lesson and has nothing to do with being condescending.

This is just more magicians believing mental tricks are mentalism. Then passing this misinformation onto a new generation. How is that right, proper or beneficial? Educate our kids properly to understand and respect an art form or science and the proper understanding behind it so they learn the why as well.

Btw, who are you to decide what is warranted here? If anything this is condescending.
Last Laugh
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I'm not opposed at all to sharing/educating (and I used the term mental magic myself in an earlier post).

But if I was a young performer and I saw your post, I'd feel very discouraged.

There are much more tactful ways to approach the subject.
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Mr. Woolery
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To address the OP, I suggest a copy of Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. The old-style drawings were a little off-putting to me at first. I wanted photos. Then I found out that the drawings actually do a better job of showing what's going on than photos, in many cases. That one book is a wealth of material. And it will cost about the same as two single trick downloads, so it is a great bargain.

I further suggest that you learn some tricks along with him. This will help you bond with your son and help him to pick out material that is actually practical. Look for fairly bulletproof tricks, too. Nothing that will be exposed by a classmate snatching at it, for example. Also, Brad Burt had a pretty good reply for "lemme see dat." He said "no, it is a trick." I mean, they know it is a trick. He isn't saying otherwise, is he? But a confident answer like that seems to work often enough for kids that the others will at least leave off.

***Want a trick that will blow away the talent show?

Coin in Ball of Wool.

It is in Mark Wilson. There is one small sleight and it isn't hard. Some minor prep work. He will use two volunteers and fill the stage with that one trick.

Want to really mess up his confidence in his tricks? Try to get him into mental stuff when he isn't really ready for the other kids saying "oh yeah, read my mind, then!" That's a hard one when you are a kid and shy and being confronted by someone who wants to keep the spotlight on himself.

I think Mindpro phrased it rather unkindly, but I do think that a young kid being a mentalist is not a very believable proposition. Still, I'm happy to be proven wrong.

-Patrick
SharkTrager442
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Hey all, wasn't expecting my post to take that leftfield turn.

Thanks so much for the responses and ideas. I do have Mark Wilson's fantastic book and he is working through it slowly. I don't have Tarbell's course but probably should. Most of the books I have, he's not ready for based on his physical ability and comprehension but when he is ready, I've got all three Art of Astonishment books ready to wow him.

Clearly there is some strange offence taken by my post and I'm not sure if it's because I've misappropriated the term Mentalism when mental magic should better fit or because I've said a 9 year old is learning it. Heaven forefend, I trivialize mentalism! I'm not sure I really understand the difference and flicking through Annemann just now, he seems to refer to both fairly interchangeabley. Anyway, I'm happy to be schooled.

The point is that my 9 year old does love mental magic. I won't apologise for that. Like me, he enjoys the theatre and performance of reading someone propless and for a kid, he's bloody good. I've taught him quite a few things and he's a good student. I then see him go off and make it his own. I'm really proud. He's also learnt the art of discretion and keeps his secrets.

The main thrust of my post was to get ideas for a mental magic trick he could do on stage as I've never done stage (bar one trick once) so wonder what would be good for him to do. If you believe mentalism / mental magic should have an age restriction then that's your call. Really depends on the talent in my opinion and I'll continue to encourage him.
The_MetalMaster
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Quote:
On Oct 8, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 7, 2019, SharkTrager442 wrote:
Hi not sure where to post this but...my son is 9 and getting seriously into magic and mentalism.


Bob Cassidy - "The trivialization of mentalism continues"


Somebody had to say it! I agree 100%. I remember a few years ago on a Facebook mentalism forum someone was posting about how he was teaching his 9 year old son how to bend coins. I wanted to pull my hair out reading it knowing metal bending was one of my strongest effects in both my stand up and walk around acts.
Even Tarbell said that the approach to mentalism needs to be taken more seriously than magic. I highly recommend Tarbell for the young lad along with Harry Lorayne's Super Power Memory Course. Imagine having that super power at such a young age!
SharkTrager442
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MetalMaster, don't worry he won't be bending metal any time soon, so your livelihood is safe.


Appreciate your opinion but it won't discourage me. If I was teaching him Kung Fu I don't think the Sensei would put me off, he would say, be responsible and take it slow.
Michael Zarek
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People genuinely having problem with a 9 year old having fun?
The level of insecurity one needs to have in order to believe a 9 year could in any way negatively impact their career.

We’re entertainers, just relax a bit.
Reader discretion is advised.
jimgerrish
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Here. Get mad at this:

Wiz Kid Brian - Age 9, our Wiz Kid Mentalist for 1980 -
Image



Wiz Kid Brian - Age 10 - Photo from our local newspaper in 1981 -
Image


Kids can learn to be mentalists, just as they can learn to be magicians, or learn to be clowns, or anything they set their minds to learn.

FYI - Bob Cassidy was a Trustee on the Wiz Kid Board of Trustees in East Orange and worked with the kids often on both magic and mentalism. That quote on "trivialization" was not directed at kids, but at incompetent mentalists. We called them "cookie-cutter" magicians or mentalists.
SharkTrager442
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Jim Gerrish, thanks for sharing. I will show my son as inspiration.

But surely Wiz Kid Brian toppled the mentalism fraternity with his work?
jimgerrish
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After being our mentalist for two years, Brian became our Escape Artist for another two years and then was Master of Ceremonies (a bit of everything) for his final two years as a Wiz Kid. Many Wiz Kids have filled the role of "Mentalist" over the years since then. It's a role that can be learned, as are the roles of other performance artists: Escapists, Clowns, Close-Up Magicians, Stage Magicians, Illusionists, Dancers, Jugglers, Ventriloquists, Animal Trainers, .... etc.
Philemon Vanderbeck
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The idea of a child mentalist can be successfully pulled off, if the child works hard at being "different." They can exude creepiness, detachment, eccentric, etc.

I recommend watching movies in which a child (or children) possess psychic abilities and have your kid perhaps model his persona after one that strikes his fancy.

Typically a "gift" will be balanced out by some sort of "curse," but you will need to tread carefully as to not trivialize anyone who really has a similar condition.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
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