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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Looking to get into childrens magic. Where to start (16 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Sel
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I do mostly close up magic at the moment. I would like to get into childrens magic as I see a lot of interest in it.
Does anyone have any tips on getting started and any recommended products to purchase?

Thank you
Russo
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So.California / Centl.Florida / retired Florida
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Get a good Magic for children book - can check the Library first - befor you buy. Example "MAGIC AND MONSTERS-For Kids I Love" by David Ginn and "MAGIC SHOWS you can give" by Bill Severn - both even show how to make some of the effects - can't find - try 'google'
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Another point of view here.
Do you like kids and performing for them or is it just that there's a lot of interest for kids party magicians? I ask this for a couple of reasons. Kids shows are nothing like just being a close up magician. There's a very talented close up magician where I live that started doing kids shows, and after a year or so gave it away. He found it not to be what the thought it would be. Crowd control, being funny as well as magical are all very important in this field of magic.
Just a couple of thoughts.
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Andy Young
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Jersey Shore, PA
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Quote:
On Sep 15, 2022, Sel wrote:
I do mostly close up magic at the moment. I would like to get into childrens magic as I see a lot of interest in it.
Does anyone have any tips on getting started and any recommended products to purchase?

Thank you

If you want a book that goes through the kid show ringer, I would suggest Beyond Look Don't See by Christopher Barnes.

It explains why effects work for kids and how to take props and turn them into routines.

But I agree with the post above, if you don't like kids then don't do it.
danfreed
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West Chester PA
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I agree about making sure this is right for you, but you may not know till you do a lot of gigs. You need to be really funny, be very patient, be very interactive, etc. I haven't seen his books or videos, but Christopher barnes stuff should be very good, he has a bunch of youtube videos also. Silly Billy's book is very good, and all of Tommy James's dvd's and props are excellent. You can do shows as well as strolling magic for kids, and do balloon twisting, games, etc as an add-on.
lotcaster
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When I was a children's librarian I hired a lot of children's entertainers (including magicians). If you don't already have a lot of experience with this, I would suggest going to some children's events (with any type of performer) at your local library to get a feel for how it differs from doing performances for adults. Crowd control is important, and has to be handled delicately. Outside of school performances, you won't usually get the quiet, polite attention from a group of kids that you would from adults. Birthday parties are even more chaotic.
Russo
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I worked P/T, 16 years at a Library (shelf'er)- and had lot of fun doing Shows. Did many effects using "Stories", displaying the Story Book . "Alice in Wonder Land, - The 3 pigs - Pirates - Pets". Example, "I have a pet named 'Spot' - want to see a picture of my pet Spot?" <> Show 'Spot Card' and his . Family 2-3-4-5-6-8. Often used at least 6-8 audience asst. Never had an Audience problem - of course I am a Tall Older Gentleman (?) demanding respect ?? ha ha ha . Best to ALL Magi Ralph ROUSSEAU (Russo)
61magic
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Sel, you couldn't any better than study the best current books from David Ginn, Tommy James and Jim Kleefeld.
All three have books on children's magic and entertaining.
Professor J. P. Fawkes
noland
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I agree with all of the foregoing advice. I would also suggest you take a look at a few live performance videos, for example those of Tommy James, Christopher Barnes or Silly Billy, among others. Any one of these (or all of them) will give you a good idea of what performing for kids is like and whether it's something you would enjoy getting into. Performing for children is very different from performing for adults and requires mastery of a completely different style of performance.
jlibby
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To start you off, anything by David Ginn and Silly Billy is worth reading and studying.

And even though he is primarily a ventriloquist, Mark Wade is an expert on entertaining children.

Check them out!
Grab your FREE preview of my ebook
Panel Board Coin Magic: Easy Magic with the Best Coin Trick You've NEVER Seen!

Visit this page for all the details, to sign up, and get instant access:
https://joelibbyseminars.com/panelboardebookpreview/
Sel
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Hi thank you for your replies.
I was more thinking of going into kids magic because it seems like there is a bigger need for that rather than close up magic.
Im actually thinking it may not be for me to be honest.
I think its much harder work.
Andy Young
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Quote:
On Oct 3, 2022, Sel wrote:
Hi thank you for your replies.
I was more thinking of going into kids magic because it seems like there is a bigger need for that rather than close up magic.
Im actually thinking it may not be for me to be honest.
I think its much harder work.

I have found that kids magic seems to be low on the magic totem pole. It looks easy from the outside, but it takes a lot of work to become good at it.

Do what makes you happy otherwise you'll grow to hate magic.
RNK
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Quote:
On Oct 3, 2022, Andy Young wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 3, 2022, Sel wrote:
Hi thank you for your replies.
I was more thinking of going into kids magic because it seems like there is a bigger need for that rather than close up magic.
Im actually thinking it may not be for me to be honest.
I think its much harder work.

I have found that kids magic seems to be low on the magic totem pole. It looks easy from the outside, but it takes a lot of work to become good at it.

Do what makes you happy otherwise you'll grow to hate magic.


Agree Andy...IMO, kids shows are more work than a strolling close-up gig. Just packing, setting up, breaking down, packing, and unloading props are way more work than packing a little briefcase full of close-up magic. I also feel there way more effort that goes into entertaining kids. Though, I LOVE entertaining kids!
TomBoleware
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Hattiesburg, Ms
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Quote:
On Sep 15, 2022, Sel wrote:
I do mostly close up magic at the moment. I would like to get into childrens magic as I see a lot of interest in it.
Does anyone have any tips on getting started and any recommended products to purchase?

Thank you


I would suggest you stop seeing them as kids, but as Little People that like to have a good time. Lol

But seriously you will be surprised how smart kids are nowadays. I am not saying that card tricks are a good choice for the show, but there is a lot of normal magic out there that will play well to the little ones. Sure you do need laughs in the show but you don't have to act silly all the time to get laughs, especially if being silly doesn't fit you.

Much like a teacher you need to talk 'with' the kids and not 'at' or down to them. Then you can shift from being serious to being funny/silly without losing control. And unless you can control a group of kids they will eat you alive. A good kidshow entertainer is one that has complete control over the kids.

I agree with the others, it can be a lot of work. But when part of the pay is a lot of smiles it's worth it.

Good luck with whatever you decide,
Tom
The Daycare Magician Book
https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/amazekids/the-daycare-magician/

When you come to the point where you have no need to impress anybody, your freedom will begin.
Russo
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So.California / Centl.Florida / retired Florida
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Mentioned befor - don't do the Effects as "Ha ha ha ,I fooled you" - be bewildered yourself at times. Tell Stories with the effect - Example, the "3 pigs" with the 20th century silks, > "Alice in Wonderland " with the Die Box, > "My Pet Spot and Family" using the Spot Card, > "Pirates capture a Princess", rope tie ,girl in half with 2 boys and a girl. ETC. Best to you, Ralph
Tukaram
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Iloilo, Philippines
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Quote:
On Oct 4, 2022, Sel wrote:
Im actually thinking it may not be for me to be honest.
I think its much harder work.

I am not sure if it is harder work, but it is certainly different. And you have to really like kids to make it work. (well perhaps not... but to be happy with your work, it would help)

I prefer kid's magic because kids can be so much fun... so many adults are just too serious. As a gloriously retired dude, I got no time for serious. ????
Levi Bennett
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I will just throw in that close up magic can be done for, and with, children. I realized early on in my magic journey that I really liked the interaction with people doing close up and gave it a try with children, kids on one side of a table and myself on the other.
It worked really well. The table was enough of a buffer to keep hands at bay, yet it was close enough to easily get volunteers and interact with and involve all the kids.
I did things like ACR, coin tricks, color prediction with a pencil and an envelope, silk to egg, color changing silk, vanishing pencil pulled back out my nose, e.t.c.
I used my breakaway wand and some other gags, joked around with them, gave them giveaway wands for being magician's assistants, and just mainly did like Tom suggested, treated them like little people that like to have a good time.
It was great fun and I highly recommend it if you want to try a different type of children's show. YMMV of course, but to each their own. The kids loved it and really enjoyed the up close aspect of the show.
So, I'm just saying you don't HAVE to do the standard parlor or stage type show with children if you want to do kids shows, you can do something different and it's a lot of fun!
Another thing I like about this type of show is that it's a MAGIC show about magic. You don't jump around and work the kids into a loud frenzy and call it entertainment. You show then magic up close and personal, several tricks one right after the other, not just 3 or 4 tricks in between yelling and running in place or some other rigmarole. Which is fine if that's what you want to do. Many people make a living doing that and that's great, but it wasn't for me, I wanted to show the children magic so that's what I focused on.
I realize if you're doing a large room full of people you may need to do a parlor show, but I sold my show as a close up show and had no problems showing it to 20 odd people with the kids gathered around and parents behind them, kind of like an L&L video lol.
Anyway, hope that gives you something else to consider.
Performing magic unprofessionally since 2008!
danfreed
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Yes, Levi, that can be a really good way to go if the crowd is small enough. I do a mix of close-up and parlor for shows sometimes, mainly for older kids, just cause I happen to have some really good close-up stuff that older kids really dig. You can do some close-up stuff for big crows sometimes (spongeballs, silks etc). And of course you can offer close-up strolling magic just for kids at events such as school carnivals, open houses, etc.
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