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Hamilton
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Maine
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Coming up on the summer season and thinking on this topic some.

I am thinking of potential effects for the kids. Kyle, I like Professors Nitemare idea and was also thinking about sponge balls as so much variation can be had there, almost too much. Simple card tricks could work but might be too flat. I want to give them something more inspiring and inherently performance oriented. Something that encourages "flamboyance" for lack of a better word or helps them to find themselves in presentation. I am rambling a bit here but... any ideas?
magic4u02
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Hamilton,

I think you have the right idea. When I teach kids magic. I try to empower them but also teach them the importance that it is not about fooling anyone as much as it is about entertaining them.

With this in mind, I empower them by teaching them effects they can learn with relative ease and with objects they can easily find at home. It empowers them because they can get these items for the tricks I teach and because they build self-esteem because they can perform it with some practice.

The entertainment value is taught through the process of showing a trick and then showing several varioues ways the trick can be routined in regards to patter and presentation. In this way they realize how important routining really is to the entertainment value of what they are performing.

Kyle
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Hamilton
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Kyle,

Thanks, for picking up on this so quickly. I thought being such an old thread it might go unnoticed for awhile. How do you do that? Magic I guess.

Anyway I was also thinking that it would be good to try particularly in the beginning an effect in which the work of the magician is done up front and the rest is performance and revelation. Still trying to put my finger on the right effect though. But like I said just starting to think on this again.

Also I had a PM regarding an earlier post in this thread that I thought I would bring public.

"I noticed online that you have a copy of Punx's and Brodin's story-telling magic books. Which is you opinion is the best of the two?"

Well, that depends on a few things.
Your orientation in terms of what type of magic you like to do?
Borodin tends a little more toward the weird and dark.
Weather you like to buy by the pound?
Borodin's book is bigger.
If you are interested in starting with the masters work?
Punx was the master but Borodin is certainly now a master of his craft as well.

As I mentioned I have both. I got the Punx book first and then Borodin's. They are both great. No waisted time or money there. I don't really think either are "best". I would (did) start with Punx and go right on into Borodin. But I have a feeling if you get the Borodin book first you'll want to get the Punx after. So in the end it matters not. Is but a choice.

Hamilton
circuskevin
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Interesting thread this. For me anyhow. I've been teaching circus skills in schools for a few years now. I'd like to add magic workshops to that. Done quite a few magic workshops at juggling conventions which have always gone down well.
If 'macmagic' reads this I'd be curious to know what age group he does his magic workshops for?
I've bought the book 'Houdini in the classroom' by Michael Kett which nicely collects ideas together.

Kevin
chris mcbrien
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I also have these books, and re-read them often. It's true that first and foremost a magician is an actor playing the part of a magician....there's where good dramatic (and comedic) training comes in.
Especially when training young people to do magic in a way that will be entertaining and transend "hobby"(which I don't badmouth, but wish to differentiate from something that is extroverted versus a hobby, which is introverted by nature), it's important to get them out of their shells and give them some kind of background to understand the roots of magic, which for moder day magic lie in shamanism and street performance from ancient times...
Just a thought...
Chris
magic4u02
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Chris: Amen to that borther.=) You really want to let them know there is a difference between doing a trick and being entertaining. Anyone can do a trick but it takes a real magician to entertain with the magic that they have. This is what is the hardest to teach kids, but is also important step.

This is why I often take a simple trick and styart with that first and teach them the basics of how to perform it and perform it correctly. I keep an easy trick first so that it empowers the child and not discourages them. they need to feel good that yes they can do magic and magic is fun. A simple trick builds confidence. I then can spend some time teaching the art of just how do you take this trick and entertain with it.

Kyle
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jezza
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Quote:
On 2004-07-19 12:29, 20Robert04 wrote:
As always everyone here is a huge help. Just a little update for you guys, ive been to my libary and checked out EVERY book on magic they had. Im now weeding threw them looking for the easy entertaining effects.
Thanks again for the advice and the stories, this is truley a wonderful place.

Paul

whatever you do please don't teach them double lifts,and in valuable sleights working magicians use on a regular basis ,a simple key card location is fine
good luck
magic4u02
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You would never want to teach beginner magicians double lifts and slieght of hand first off any ways. The important thing for beginners to graps is the fact that we must empower the student. By empowering them, you give them a simple effect that you KNOW everyone there can do and will do by the time they leave that class.

The sheer fact of the kid being able to do magic empowers them and makes them feel special and gets them to like magic in a knew light. This is critical if you want them to continue on with magic.

The worst thing you can do is to try and teahc beginners card slieghts and effects that take more skill and time to master. This only will distract the child and make the child feel disgusted with magic because they can not do it.

The best advice is to start simple and start with things they have around the house. Start with impromptu magic effects so that it does not cost them any money, but they can do it with stuf they already have and create magic that is easy for them to learn.

By doing this you also have the power to be able to teach them the importance of 2 key things:

1) Magic is not about fooling people as it is entertaining people
2) In order to entertain people you must realize the difference between performing a trick and performing a magical routine of entertainment value

Both of these are critical to teach the young magicians at an early age. You inspire them and get them involved and work with them one on one . Do not lecture to them as this only frustrates. Work with them as a workshop where you show the routine and effect and then explain it and then pass out the stuff they need to do it with. Then work with each kid until they feel they can do it with ease.

I have been doing this and other ideas with our SYM club in Philadelphia for the past 11 years and it really does make a huge difference. Hope this helps.

Kyle
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James Munton
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Sorry for the self-promotion, but my How To Teach a Birthday Magic Class DVD is aimed at 8-12 year-olds. You get to see me perform the class at a live birthday party. It's also received some very nice reviews from Magic Café members!

I do the same tricks at several after-school programs.

I agree with Kyle. You'll quickly find out that at this age, most kids are not able to do double lifts and the more technical tricks. You need fun and engaging tricks which they want to learn and show their parents and friends.

I also think it is important to teach the kids about creating a presentation for their magic in order to be entertaining rather than just doing tricks. The kids are very creative and come up with some wonderful stories.

Best,
James
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