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raymond
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I remember Quentin once doing a show and Mr Punch telling off the parents for handing out things to the kids during his show. Hilarious.

I have always thought that he is far better at being Mr Punch than he is at being himself.

I suggest to him that in future he stays at home and sends Mr Punch to do the lecture instead. I promise that all his critics will be satisfied and even Emazdad will be highly entertained.
Bob Sanders
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There are many things in this thread that have caught my interest.

The first was the question about the content of the ideal children's magic lecture. My vote there goes to David Ginn. I like the way David develops his lectures. I understand that David was a journalism major in college and that might have been great training for lecturing. I don't even know if David still does that any more. (I've only been in this stuff a little over forty years!)

The second item that I found here is KIDAbra, which I missed under protest this year because I had to attend to things that my attorney had had since January and done nothing. KIDAbra is without a doubt the best convention I have ever seen for someone in the magic business. I don't think of myself as a kids' magician, but I learn a lot at KIDAbra.

The third item is Trixie Bond. I met her for the first time at a KIDAbra convention a while back. I have never been to any of her lectures but I would attend if I could. The lady impresses me as one who knows her business. I can't believe that we have shared this planet this long and the opportunity has just never worked out. We'll just keep living and see what happens. I look forward to it.

I also liked Den's reference to "clones". Those are the fear of every professional performer. To me it explains why lecturers frequently are no longer professional entertainers. Teaching is a different industry. When I was a university professor, I also taught with others teaching MBA courses but they had never had a "real job" outside of academics. For those of us who had first been entrepreneurs before becoming professors it was very irritating to have to drop back and teach 15-25 year-old techniques as if they were current practice. But we did not produce "business clones" we produced "business educator clones". That was the part we had difficulty understanding. Professional education is not professional practice. Things acceptable in one venue are unacceptable in another. And they should be! The objectives are different. It is only reasonable to expect the outcomes to be different. Certainly the inputs are different. Communicating that is a challenge.

Bob
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Rupert Bair
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I can’t remember the entertainer’s name, but he had a similar way to deal with the older pests, much like Emazdad’s. The guy was a fairly know magician a while ago in England and this is what he did;

If a older child was misbehaving he would bring him to the front, then he would stand behind the magician and he would given something to hold, for example a silk. The magician fobbing this off, as help for the trick. After ten minutes the magician through the corner off his eye could see they annoying child making faces ect towards the magician. The magician pretending not to notice then walk backwards, the heel of his foot then goes 'crack!' onto the child’s toes! ‘Oh sorry forgot you were still there!’

I also saw a street busker doing as family show and he invited a small boy to assist him, while helping the busker would violently shake the child and generally mistreat them and make jokes about it. The audience were in stitches! The child however didn’t find it as funny.

Matt
Quentin
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Quote:
On 2004-10-04 15:19, magic_matt wrote:
The audience were in stitches! The child however didn’t find it as funny. Matt


It is very easy to get a strong laugh at the expense of an audience member, especially a child. A few weeks ago I caught the Paul Zerdin ventriloquism show at the Horseshoe in Blackpool (Monday nights). His support act is a typical example of this. He invites a boy aged about six or seven up to help. The first thing he does is spin the boy around about a dozen times, making him dizzy and disoriented. There was absolutley no reason for this. It might be understood as part of the structure of his act. No, just a cheap laugh. (Even as part of the act's structure it is inexcusbale but at least understandable). Much of the rest of his act was laughs at the expense of the boy.

Towards the end of his spot he sends the boy back to his place, once again making fun of him. A minute later he invites the boy back up for a present. The boy declined.

And here's the thing. The kid was brilliant. He was the kind of helper you'd love to have at every show. Any competent performer would have easily gotten many good laughs with the boy, not at his expense.

You can have a lot of fun with your helper, even pushing their comfort zone quite a bit -provided they end up being the hero of the effect and go back to their place as the hero (or heroine).

The next time you have a really awkward adult spectator I'll bet they once helped a schmucky children's entertainer.
Billy Whizz
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This is one of the reasons I don't rate 'Silly Billy'. When he lectured at Blackpool in 2003, he did the same with a helper he picked out of the audience. He died of deaf on stage and made the helper feel really uncomfortable.
Dennis Michael
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Billy,

When in New York, do as the New Yorker's do. I'm no Silly Billy, I respect his method, it isn't me, but it works for him in the hussle bussle of the New York area. His books make sense to me and I do understand his work. I can also understand your point of view and your culture is a lot more different than in New York. (Rudeness seems to be everywhere I go. I was told there are so many people, that customer relations is unnecessay, they are five or more waiting for you to move so they can buy!)

Even shaking a kid is funny if done right, (You hold the kid and you shake giving the impression you're shaking the kid.) John Cassidy who comes off as a wacky crazy man in his comedy balloon show. He can get away with what he does because he is in character.

Having fun with your helper is far more important than making fun of him. I just love having the kid do the magic, it is so much more rewarding than me doing it.

I had a kid the other day kept harping, there is no such thing as magic. (I was performing on the porch.) I asked her to look at that tree, and the flowers, and I said all that beauty is magical to me. She quickly responded, "Only GOD does real magic."

When it comes to entertaining KIDS, there are so many factors involved, and many methods of having fun, I don't think there is really one right way. You must love kids, have fun with kids, and enjoy what you are doing to be successful.
Dennis Michael
Billy Whizz
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Quote:
On 2004-10-04 21:09, DenDowhy wrote:
When it comes to entertaining KIDS, there are so many factors involved, and many methods of having fun, I don't think there is really one right way. You must love kids, have fun with kids, and enjoy what you are doing to be successful.


I agree 100% with you Den, we all have our own styles, and I have no doubt in my mind that Silly Billy is good at what he does in his normal show. But the day I saw him at Blackpool, he was terrible. The kid he chose was really humilliated on stage. Most of the audience felt for that kid up there, and lots were talking about it after the lecture, and also on this Café. I don't know of any other magician that uses that type of style with their helpers, and I wouldn't have thought it would be Silly Billys 'normal' style, but I've never seen him perform anywhere else so I wouldn't know.

Best wishes
Billy
Rupert Bair
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I will second that of Billy Wizz’s, he did die on stage but he is a great person and I like his books just with the kid was unneeded, how embarrassing a bib and wiper specs!
Matt
Dennis Michael
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Most likely, the act you saw was Silly Billy's Style. He pushes the "envelope" when clowning around with the kids.

I really can see certain cultures not like what he does. I'm sure a lot of Blackpool humor would go over my head.
Dennis Michael
kenscott
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[quote]On 2004-09-29 09:07, Emazdad wrote:
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.

I would have to disagree with Emazdad. The lectures that I have been apart of and been at have been children from a small class where they ALL know each other. I think weather they know each other or not is not a big deal as long as there is children there.

It is so HARD to lecture on children material when there is NO kids or the kids that are there are MAGICIANS kids.

As for the guys who lecture on something they don't do anymore I think they should not lecture. You are right the audiences change and the material will change as well. Some things that worked in the 70's does not work anymore. Notice I said somethings because I do think some routines or bits will be around for a life time.

Ken
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When I lectured at David Sandy's "Workshop", we DID have a normal everyday audience.

120 school kids, with their teachers and principal, came over directly from a school.

We wanted to create "the real deal". After my "assembly" was over, I discussed it for an hour.

This summer, I was scheduled to do the same type of thing at IBM in Cleveland. It was a little bit of a challenge, as school was not in session. I requested over 100 kids, and with the help of the IBM convention staff, they made it happen. (it wasn't easy, as the kids all came on buses to this downtown hotel)

Anyway, the attendees really appreciated seeing the real thing, rather than just someone talking about it.

A review of my show and lecture (or show and "discussion") is in this month's Linking Ring.
PRAISE FOR TIM'S BOOK, PERFORM:

"I loved this book!" Ken Weber

"4 out of 4 stars!" Nick Lewin

"My favorite book for performers!" Bill Cook

"This will be a classic of magic!" Mark Pocan


performbettershows.com
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