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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » The Future of Children's entertainment..... (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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danfreed
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I have no idea what the future of kids entertainment is, but maybe more people doing a combo of things such as magic, games and disco, or whatever. Axtell has an interactive video background thing that is pretty cool, I saw an elaborate human/puppet show done that way at KAX a few years ago. I don't think that's something that birthday entertainers will use much, but good for bigger higher budget shows. As long as we do a very entertaining show, there should be room for all of us to do our thing.
Are there other kids entertainer forums on FB or whatever that discuss our craft (and get used a lot) without getting into politics and religion, etc? Maybe I should start one?
Jolly Roger
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Quote:
On Jan 20, 2020, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
So Roger, what are your thoughts on the future of Children's Entertainment?

Gerry


Please forgive me for not having responded yet, but I have not forgotten. I still have much to say on this, but I am non-stop with my busy life right now, so it may have to wait a few days. Thanks for your understanding!!
Smile
Gerry Walkowski
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Thanks Roger

If we take magic completely out of the picture, generally speaking most people are totally wrong when making predictions about the future of anything.

Still, I think it's a fun topic.

Gerry
danfreed
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That's true Gerry, though I predict I win the Super Lotto next week, that is definitely going to happen. My best guess is just that more magicians will mix in other stuff to their offerings, such as ventriloquism, games, disco, balloon twisting, etc. I know a guy that does origami in addition to magic on request. Plus with the easy access to so many instructional videos and books and online forums, maybe the average magician will be a little better in some ways. When I started in 94' I either didn't know about videos for kidshow magicians, maybe there wasn't much at that point, and those VHS tapes seemed like a fortune to me at the time. I never had to patience for magic books very much.
Mindpro
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I find this discussion quite interesting. It always amazes me how magicians think. As Dan eluded to and others have essentially said similar things, is magic not enough these days?

I understand that multiple offerings can have a greater appeal (agencies have been doing this for decades with in-house acts) if presented properly, but what about just a magic performance? No balloons, no face painting, do disco (I can't believe we are calling it that here), no games, what about just magic? Is it not enough value on its own? Is it not appealing enough on its own?

As you guys are getting older (sorry) isn't the idea to work smarter, not harder? Especially for the same dollar and a smaller prospect pool?

I too have been waiting to hear Roger's take on this.
danfreed
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I do a variety of things, sometimes just 1 thing, it depends on what the client wants, how much time they have, how many kids, etc. For me, in general, I make more money per year than if I just offered 1 thing. Also, adding balloons, caricatures or strolling magic is easy, very little extra stuff to bring, very little extra prep. So instead of doing 3 or 4 shows a day, driving all over the place, and resetting my show, I do 2 or 3 gigs a day, so it's less work, and tends to be the same or less total time in my day when including driving. Plus I like the variety, keeps it interesting. I actually used add on face painting and game leading, but cut those out cause I don't like doing it. Working smarter is good, but there are a bunch of factors to consider. One of the reasons people hire me is cause they can get more stuff, more things to keep kids busy, if they want.
Mindpro
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So do they see you as a magician or something else/more?
danfreed
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Depends what I'm doing and what the clients tell their guests in advance. If I'm hired just for caricatures, then I'm a caricaturist. If I do a show plus balloons, then I'm a magician who also does balloons, etc. Half my show for the past 10 years or so is ventriloquism! If I do a show strictly for kids 9 or 10 then I usually skip the puppets. But the clients tend to call me a magician (rather than a magician AND ventriloquist) anyway cause it's easier to explain I guess. It's not really a problem for me. I have a separate website for caricatures for SEO reasons and cause people will take me more seriously as a caricaturist that way, I do caricatures for a lot of adult events. I'm cutting back on balloons because it causes ongoing hand pain, so I'm pushing caricatures more, which I prefer doing anyway.
Jolly Roger
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Still here......patience ladies and gentlemen! Great input so far on this thread. JR Smile
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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I had a gig today that I got booked for just 2 days ago. A quite large internet gaming company was having a kids in the office day with ages ranging from 2 to 12. They only expected me to entertain the 4 and up kids, and had a 2 hour time slot. It was in the middle of the city, so I pitched that I could do my magic show with a mix of younger kids and older kids tricks, balloon twisting, and maybe some games if there is time left at the end.
They were more than happy to have me do everything and paid me quite well for it.
I often get booked for 2 hour stints of magic at a very large companies special events nights through out the years, so I've been able to put together a very solid 90 minutes of effects I can do, and mix the other 30 minutes with interactive music based games and or balloon twisting.
I size up each audience when I get to any event or party and select the ones I feel will best fit that audience. I could have said that I'm strictly a magician and don't do anything else, and I would have probably lost the gig. The girl from the office that called me didn't really want to be ringing all over the place trying to find a bunch of different people to do all the things that they wanted to for the kids. I've been doing 2 hour parties (British style) for over 15 years now and I find it pretty easy to do. At the end I got the very elderly mother of the owner of the company to be the dance judge of the game I played, and she loved it, and the boss loved it and hopefully I'll get re-booked for their future events.
On the question of the future of kids entertaining I see a few things coming up in recent times. One is some kids are more interested in phones/tablets etc, and some of the older kids in the crowd seem to spend quite a bit of time on youtube, and are more than keen to try and tell those around them what they "think" is going on. It sometimes is an issue that I've addressed with them during the show. In saying all of that I've been inspired to work even harder to be a better "entertainer" with magic and to work hard at the craft. My main market is the 4 to 8 year olds, but in recent times I've put a different show that plays well to the 9 and ups and even adults with a change of patter.
Another local magician here who has been at it for a long time recently invested a lot of time and money in a touring dinosaur show that he's been travelling around the country with for a couple of years now and is quite successful with it.
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
axtell
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Good stuff. As you know I am an inventor and our company is deeply involved in research and development. Others do a great job of holding to the traditions. Here are some of our recent experiments and contributions that are pushing us forward to developing new props and concepts for you entertainers:

As Dan mentioned our LIVE VIRTUAL SETS (projected backgrounds for performers) http://www.axtell.com/lvs.html

Our animatronics are continuing to develop and improve, and expand around the globe http://www.axtell.com/remote.html

We have recently developed a form of AI (Axtell Intelligence)to allow the animatronics to be able to autonomously communicate with your audience. great for before / after a show. Or installations are great.
http://www.axtell.ai

Recently we are designing & sculpting some puppets for big projects digitally. Then we are 3D printing components for mechs, skulls & skins. Here's a video of a new character we call QUIMBY that is a fantasy character...
if the display doesn't work its here... https://youtu.be/60inY5a4faI
Axtell Expressions, Inc.
Pro Puppets, Magic & Animatronics
Mindpro
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Well all that is fine and I know you are known for quality products and a great reputation, but the future and success of any kind of performing or performance art should be about much more than the tricks, effects, props, and accessories.

That is actually the problem with much kids magic, is many aren't entertainers, they aren't performers, they are simply just executors of a string of magic tricks performed as learned right out of the package, yet they believe they are magicians or entertainers.
Goldfield
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I agree that there are many who just perform "right out of the package". There are also many artists creating.

I'm curious to know how long you've been performing magic for kids Mindpro?
What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? Vincent V.G
Mindpro
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No, I am not a magician, I am an entertainer and have done between 160 and 250 school shows per year for over 40 years. However, more importantly, I own two entertainment agencies and am a national talent broker and have booked over 6,500 kids shows and performers and know kids performers and magicians quite well. Also as an entertainment and entertainment business coach, trainer, and consultant I educate, train, and mentor many kids performers and magicians and have for over 30 years now.

Why do you ask?
Goldfield
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That’s quite a resume and one worthy of respect.
I think what can be an obstacle to connecting a message over the internet with people is tone. You are clearly passionate about preserving the art form(s) on here and are disappointed by the trivialisation (by some). I truly believe that we will all have more success at communicating with one another if we employ compassion and kindness in the way we structure our sentences. It makes for healthier performers and, in the grander scheme, a better world.

Goldfield
What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything? Vincent V.G
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