The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » The Ideal Children's Magic Lecture (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
Quentin
View Profile
Inner circle
1008 Posts

Profile of Quentin
A lot of discussion has taken place on different lecturers for children's entertainers.

As one of those lecturers I'd like to ask:

"What would be the content of your ideal children's lecture?"

Quentin Reynolds
NJJ
View Profile
Inner circle
6439 Posts

Profile of NJJ
I would like to see:

*Performance principles and techniques
*Show and routine structuring
*A few fun routines thrown in (maybe including things both adults and children will enjoy)
*NOT a big fat sales pitch. I HATE lectures where you can't do a thing without buying the notes, the book, the DVD, the CD ROM and the 50 other things on sale!
p.b.jones
View Profile
Inner circle
Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
2642 Posts

Profile of p.b.jones
HI,
Personaly the best Kids lecture I have seen was many years ago by Terry Herbert he did a 30mins show for some children who where shipped in followed by a lecture which explained some of the effects and theory/his opinions on kids entertaing finnishing with any questions.
Phillip
Rupert Bair
View Profile
Inner circle
?
2112 Posts

Profile of Rupert Bair
I like the same Philip does that way you know whether it really works or just in theory it works. I also hate lectures where you have buy the all the notes and dvds ect. Actually in the lecture I would like to see new ideas, Quentin I really liked some of the ideas in your lecture and I paid a lot of attention to minor things, but if you don't be careful you can really get into a lot of trouble. I would of liked to see more performance in yor lecture.

Matt
Emazdad
View Profile
Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

Profile of Emazdad
Start the lecture by showing a video of the lecturer performing at a tipical 5-6 year old after school birthday party, complete with hyped up kids that have been given coca cola and chololate on the way to the party, talking adults and loose tiny toddlers.
The video should be made from a video shot by the parents at the party, and not a specially edited one to show the kids when they give the best reactions. This is front line working expereince we encounter more han any other as children's entertainers.

By showing himself working in the front line with a bunch of todays kids instead of a rent a kid audience of strange children who all sit nice and still and politly, it helps prove his credentials as a real up to date entertainer, and not just a bloke who goes round lecturing, but doesn't really do many proper shows anymore..

Afterwards, or in between bits of video the lecturer should explain why he chose the routines/tricks he did, and why he used the various control methods for the kids, adults and toddlers.

Audience control is something newcomers always have a problem with, and the experienced guy's always find others approaches interesting and useful.

The lecture should also go into how to handle phone calls, and what you should send out in the way of paperwork. But not go into such in depth detail that it gets boring.

Above all the lecture should be conducted in a humourous informative way. If the lecture is humourous and entertaining it will keep people like me interested longer, and although we may find most of what's said is nothing we didn't already know, as we are being entertained we'll stay and maybe pick up a little idea or tip we can take away and play with.
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.
raymond
View Profile
New user
41 Posts

Profile of raymond
I get the impression that some of you are making subtle hints about Quentin's lecturing ability.

I do remember in a previous post some months ago that Clive and others did mention that they were not overly excited about Quentin's work.

I may be wrong but I think the video comment about an audience of polite children may perhaps be a dig at Quentin along with the hint about doing "proper shows anymore". I think Quentin did indeed do a video once full of polite kids hence the hint.

Of course I may be imagining the whole thing but even if I am not Clive and the others are perfectly entitled
to say what they think. I think the suggestions given by them are perfectly constructive and this is what Quentin asked for.

However in the interests of fairness I had better say one thing. I have not seen Quentin lecture but I have seen him perform for children on many occasions. I can assure you that he knows what he is doing. His shows are well presented and competent. His customers were happy with him and I can assure Clive that if Quentin were ever to move to Plymouth to do kid shows Emazdad would have strong competition on his hands.

I write the above paragraph with gritted teeth. I hold no brief for Quentin Reynolds but fair is fair and the facts are the facts.
Dennis Michael
View Profile
Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
Trixie Bond performed her Birthday Party Show LIVE with birthday cake, balloons, kids, Birthday girl, and her complete show included a well scored music, rabbit, birds, close-up, and powerful closing marketing strategy. All in costume at the MAES convention.

This was the one of the best performances ever. After the show, she lectured on everything she did and told all, including marketing, and pricing.

This performance was in a "Mary Poppin's Nanny" character and it is "one of a kind show" It gave a new insight to how one could theme all around a character. (ie. Merlin, Mother Goose, Mad Hatter, etc.) I will be looking forward to seeing it again at the KIDabra Conference in 2005.

Silly Billy (David Kaye) did the same thing, in that he demonstrated how far one can go acting silly, and really goofing-off with the kids. (This is not my character, however, one can learn from watching others perform and understand the style, character, presentation, bits of business, and limitations.)

Steve Taylor give excellent lectures on theme educational based routines.

Without an audience of KIDS, the best performance falls flat (Many professionals can immediately relate to what the expected kid responses should be.) The antics of the kids during a performance is what makes a kids show successful.

An Hour and a half lecture contains a 45 minute show with a 45 minute lecture.
Dennis Michael
Emazdad
View Profile
Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

Profile of Emazdad
Hi Den, the problem with Trixie Bonds audience (I'm not knocking her lecture, I've never seen it) and any other audience of kids at a convention is, it is not your normal everyday audience. We all know that performing for a large number of kids who don't all know each other is easier than 25-30 kids who are friends. When surrounded by strangers kids are much better behaved, that's why I say using video shot at a normal party of hyped up 5-6 year olds would prove even more that the material works.

What happens with some lecturers on the circuit, especially the old guy's is that they don't actually perform anymore, and therefore lose contact with the kids. At first this isn't a problem, but after a while the kids are so different to the ones they used to entertain that their lectures end up outdated.

Hi Raymond, yes it was a mild dig at Quentin's lecture, which was so in depth and boring I only lasted ten minutes or so. The same information, trimmed down and put over in a different way would have been much better.

However who do you aim your lecture at? The experienced professionals, the newcomers or the clones. It's important to find the right balance.
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.
raymond
View Profile
New user
41 Posts

Profile of raymond
I once knew Quentin well. He has a capacity to be objective about his work and ask for constructive criticism. He probably knows that his lecture needs improving and this is why he has come on here asking how he can fill those expectations. Clever and businesslike of him.

This ability to be introspective and objective about your faults is a very commendable thing.It takes a certain strength of character. I wonder if Quentin is able to do that with other aspects of his life and other situations.It is a very difficult thing to admit that you have not always done the right thing.

I certainly couldn't handle it. My ego wouldn't allow it.
Dennis Michael
View Profile
Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
Emazad,

Agreed, the audience was a mix of friends, hotel guests, magician's kids. There was a much more "reserved" audience of kids. I sat on the front row and when it came to make those helpful comments (turn it around type) I started the ball rolling.

Trixie is also a skilled performer so she knows the alternative lines when the responses did not come on que. (So important to my show!)

I considered using a voice over with my show-tech to produce the normal results. It would give the adult lecture audience a bit of humor and it would be a true demo of what does occur.

What I find most is new entertainers do not know how to add thoses bits of business which make the routine entertaining, humorous, and still unifiy the routine.

Quote:
Who do you aim your lecture at? The experienced professionals, the newcomers or the clones.


KIDabra has done this well. Professionals want to make more money so the Marketing and Promotional lectures are well received. Mini-Breakout sessions deal with animals, converting effects, theater skills, new effects. The use of music in your show (Arthur Stead's Lecture) Using educational routines in your school shows, and much more. Mark and Tami Daniel appear to have hit on the right forumula for making KIDabra such a success.

To answer the question, one need to review KIDabra's success to get a good idea what the pros, clones, and new entertainers want.

A DVD (VHS Video), a booklet, and routines that are your own are key to getting into the lecture circuit.
Dennis Michael
John Breeds
View Profile
Veteran user
England
336 Posts

Profile of John Breeds
"What would be the content of your ideal children's lecture?"

Wow! I think Quentin Reynolds posed a loaded question, and is not so easy to answer. According to my dictionary the word ‘Lecture’ means; a formal talk on a particular subject given or read to an audience. A lecturer will usually guide you to certain books/places where you can learn more about the subject. So I guess this is NOT what we are after here. On the other hand a ‘teacher’ or ‘instructor’ has particular objectives in mind, and will show/tell his students until they learn skills/knowledge, and come away with something that is usable in their act.

If you ask most magis about how good ANY lecture is (whether it is about kids, close-up, stage, etc,) their answer is usually based upon the number of tricks shown. For example, Jay Sankey always gets a very high score from close-uppers because Jay includes at least 30 effects and explanations in his 90-minute presentation. Yet in terms of Jay’s rostrum skill, elegance and diction within the true meaning of the word ‘lecturer,’ he might well be scored way down! Conversely, Fred Bloggs could present the perfect lecture; who gives an in-depth talk on sales, marketing, microphone technique, speech projection, audience management, etc…… but ZERO TRICKS. Fred Bloggs would nearly always get a very low score, to a point that he would be accused of as boring, boring, and more boring!

The worst (and most embarrassing) kids’ lectures I’ve seen is where there are no children present. So the adults have to make out they are an audience of kids, and behave accordingly. It’s just not the same, nor will the laughs come at the place in the routine where children find it naturally funny. Generally speaking, only children laugh at funny noises, funny faces and sight gags.

It’s just not practical for a touring ‘lecturer’ to arrange for real kids to be present in the first half of the lecture. Emazdad has hit upon a good idea. By first showing a video of the performer at work in ‘real’ conditions the lecturer could then stop the video, and teach various parts of each effect. By doing it this way the lecturer could include a dozen or so effects since you overcome the time constraints. Moreover, the performers could see the reactions of the kiddies, which would then enable the lecturer into analysing the dynamics of the performance. Both lecturer and audience would be getting the best of both worlds. (The video would have to edited Clive – I can’t stand screaming kids!!). Many kids’ lecturers here in the UK are no more than dealer-dems. They rely on the fact that magicians tend to buy clever secrets to a trick.

I rate Quentin as one of the finest children’s entertainers around, and believe me, I have seen hundreds! I have seen Quentin Reynolds work to real kids, i.e. not studio staged, and he is simply brilliant. He is a real pro who has thought about his presentation of the effect, and how to get the funniest reaction from the kids.

I have also been present at a couple of Quentin’s lectures when he was analyzing a couple of performance aspects, and how to get the best laughs (NOT shouts) out of a situation. Unfortunately, many of Quentin’s audience could not appreciate what or why he was trying to teach them, for instance, a ‘double take’ or how to make a special part memorable (the real magic moment). Regretfully, few children’s entertainers comprehend these factors as important. And I can understand why some performers would make disparaging remarks about Quentin’s lecture, as they want TRICKS, TRICKS and more TRICKS. An even bigger turn off to a lecture is when it is nearly all ‘talk-talk,’ followed by a hard sell of a £600 marketing package.

Perhaps the ideal kids’ lecture could be either Stage 1 or Stage 2 level. The Stage 1 lecture could be aimed at complete beginners who wish to break into children’s entertaining. The Stage 2 lecture would be aimed at those who already have an established show but are looking to improve or polish their performance. But either lecture must include TRICKS with a ‘show by example’ DVD.

Good thread!

John Breeds
Dennis Michael
View Profile
Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
John above hit some home runs here. There is a larger group of "Magis" who are interested in close-up effects and "tricks".

At the MAES convention, there were about half of the attenddes that went to Trixies' lecture because, my quess, they are not really interested in entertaining kids or doing birthday parties. Had this been at KIDabra, Trixie would have gotten rave reviews.

Quote:
The worst (and most embarrassing) kids’ lectures I’ve seen is where there are no children present.

I don't fully agree with this because, true KIDs entertainers generally will know what kids will do and say. This does come from experience. What makes a good kids show is their laughter is infectious and wounderful to hear from a paernt's point of view as well as the entertainer. When a kid show falls flat is when it lacks humor, comedy, fun, and something magical doesn't happen.

I have enough tricks for kids to keep me busy for a year. Show me some new assistant interview techniques, some comedy bits of business, tell me how you book 100 shows a year in detailed form, and what you do to keep customers as clients.
Dennis Michael
John Breeds
View Profile
Veteran user
England
336 Posts

Profile of John Breeds
Hi Den

Yes, I fully agree with your point that true kids entertainers generally will know what kids will do and say.

Most magic clubs comprise of all sorts of guys, ie close up, illusions, MCs, children’s and all those non-performers who are just happy to belong to a magic club. Nearly everyone joins in and watches lectures of all types.

What I was trying to get over, albeit in a clumsy way, was the non-reaction of those non-kids performers to the ‘childish’ bits of business. These members will NOT know or appreciate the bits that will be funny in a real kids show. This is where it all falls a bit flat and becomes embarrassing to both the lecturer and his/her adult audience. This is especially so when those hard-boiled magicians are encouraged (forced) to recite the magic smell, wiggle your fingers, wiggle your toes and so on. The lecturer is doing his best but behaving as he would in a real show for kids.

As I said previously, adults and children naturally laugh at different aspects of comedy; and, generally, only those true kids’ entertainers will see the full potential of a funny action, funny face or unexpected noise…….

Cheers

John Breeds
Tate
View Profile
Loyal user
NC
211 Posts

Profile of Tate
Quote:
"What would be the content of your ideal children's lecture?"


I would be interested in a lecture on the use of magic props as improvised self defense equipment: breakaway wand as nunchucks, appearing pole as a quarterstaff, or palming coins as throwing stars.

Please notice I said "defense" not offense. If they don't come after me, I just let them sleep through the show.

Tate
Dennis Michael
View Profile
Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
John I agree,

When Great Adventure opened up he in the early 1970's I tried out using my kid show. It fell flat because the youngest kid was a teenager.

I know the show was good but the audience had no clue on the reactions I was expecting and they never came!

So There are three audiences, Kids, Family and Adult Audiences. Each require special handling.
Dennis Michael
Ron Reid
View Profile
Inner circle
Phoenix, Arizona
2733 Posts

Profile of Ron Reid
Once again, Tate makes me laugh!

Ron
Emazdad
View Profile
Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

Profile of Emazdad
<<<<<<I would be interested in a lecture on the use of magic props as improvised self defense equipment: breakaway wand as nunchucks, appearing pole as a quarterstaff, or palming coins as throwing stars. >>>>>>

There is a guy I heard about who used a long woollen stuffed wand, in one end he had a metal nut. When a kid played up he'd tap him with the wand, when he ran off crying to mum and she came over to complain, he'd demonstrate on her hand how soft it was, and how her kid must be a wimp. Not a reccomended control method in my book, but the story made me laugh.

Ref the kids party video, you wouldn't show the whole video, just parts of it, A trick showing how the kids really behave, and then a chat about the trick etc, A bit showing how a disruption was dealt with without stopping the flow of the show, then an explanation.
A bit showing the toddler apearing under the magicians feet, and how it was successfully converted (limey/yank translation:- Rugby term for kicked), over the other kids head onto mums lap. followed by an explanation of the best type of shoe, to get max distance.

Not only would this be informative not only to the newcomer who's struggling to deal with these things, but also too the experienced guy.

It would also give lots oppotunity for amusing observations, etc. The combination of video and chat would help stop the bordom setting in of listening to someone drone on and on.
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.
Dennis Michael
View Profile
Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
Short vignettes of a routine with all the trimmings would work. It gives realism and an explanation following on the justifications for the actions.

Next Lecturer... How to be a DVD designer, Studio Editor, Marketer, Lecturer, and Oh Ya, a Magician.
Dennis Michael
raymond
View Profile
New user
41 Posts

Profile of raymond
I must say that I find Clive's remark about kicking the toddler to be very cruel indeed. I think it would be far more merciful and better showmanship to simply pick up the brat and throw it towards the mother's lap.

The advantages of this method is more accuracy in the aim and no need to purchase special shoes.

I also think that throwing toddlers to the back of the room is an excellent method of gaining the attention of chattering parents who insist on disrupting the show.
Emazdad
View Profile
Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

Profile of Emazdad
True, it would help even more if the toddlers were left tied up outside with the dog.

Seriously though, it's OK to have a lecture where the entertainer /lecturer does tricks, tricks, tricks but there is more to entertaining kids than hitting yourself with the wand and saying, aren't I a silly girl ooops boy in a silly voice. Dealing with the disruptions is a topic that seems to always be a the forefront of working magicians conversations. Usually starting with the line "I had a little B*&*^%d at the show the other day who...". The different senerios are infinite and just when you feel you've got it sussed another comes along you've never had before. A lecture / group discussion with different senerios being acted out and discussed with input from not only the lecturer but the audience as well would also be very useful. This could be part of a general lecture so it doesn't go on too long and get too repetitive.
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.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » The Ideal Children's Magic Lecture (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.18 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL