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Rupert Bair
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I was doing a show today and one kid kept standing up and generally made a nuisance. After finding out his name I addressed him (*TOM* sit down please) nothing still messing about, I had to tell him lots of times and it was like talking to a wall. I eventually said you won’t be able to win the prize for the best behaved boy immediately, he shot down legs crossed, ok for 5 mins he was off again this time influencing more people. Desperate times call for desperate measures so I got out the....rope. The magic line didn’t work (I nearly plugged it in). It was an hour of battling with him to sit down or to shut up. After you’ve exhausted every trick in the book, broke out of character and got the adults to tell him to sit down with no success, what do you do? Then the cheek of it! At the end he asked for a prize!
Has anybody got any good techniques?

Matt
Andy Wonder
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When you get a persistent child like that who does not respond to the usually control measures what tends to work is embarrassing them a little. If you can you want them to suddenly feel embarrassed by their own behavior. You might say something that likens his behavior to much younger children. It really depends what you feel will push his button. Last week I had an 8 year old birthday boy helping with a routine & a girl kept standing up, interfering and grabbing things from the birthday boy’s hands etc. I said to her, ‘Look sit down, you can play with your boyfriend later.’ She went bright red and did not get up again. I gave her a smile shortly after to let her know all was forgiven, but she learnt her lesson.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
wol
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Nail Guns work well! Right through the thigh! I am lucky enough to have never had this happen ! yeah right every show , they say there is always one! I have had parties where all I've had are ones! If after telling them three times they still do not respond then I stop what I am doing , stop the music and say please stop doing that your are stopping everyone else from enjoying the show. As a last resort I will ask on the mic for either the parent that booked me or the childs parent if they haven't already run away in shame to come and take there child t one side and explain why he is being such a pain! They say children are like farts, you only like your own!
Keep passing the open windows!
MarkTripp
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If it is a large gathering, the group usually wants to put all the kids down front, and the parents in the back. This is a no-no.

If you make the kids sit with the parents this problem simply ends, as does ALL behavior issues.

Also, what are the ages? I do NOT take ANY childrens show where the kids are not in school and understand about sitting down and being quiet. I am not going to teach them that skill. Anyone in that pre-K area MUST sit with mom and dad.

Lacking that, you say up front that the ONLY kids who get to help are those that.... (insert directions here) and the ONLY kids who get to sit here and not with their parents, follow those rules too.

Problem comes up, remind them, second time, stop show, ask "which Parents own this child?" If there is delay you say "I wouldn't want to admit it either, but come on now, its better when we admit our errors!"

Then you give the problem back to those who created it.

You can not stand up there as they play kick the clown. Nor is it proper for one child to spoil the show for the rest.
Emazdad
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I've had them and after they don't respond to the normal gentler methods, I get a bit more forceful. Even to the point stopping the show and making them go and sit next to an adult at the back.

I've had a few who got to the point where they were told if you move one more time, you wont get a balloon model after the show. They move, they don't get a balloon, and I stick to my guns.

I've had them come over with mum before "He hasn't had a balloon", I tell them he's not getting one and why. Sometimes the mum just drags them off, sometimes they tell them serves you right. I had one who went "Well Tommy if the nasty man wont give you a balloon I'll buy you some sweets on the way home". AAAHHHH! I thought that explains why he's a little ****. What is a shame is that this kid will get a reputation among the mum's and wont get invited to parties, all because his Mum has poor parenting skills, spoilt him, and hasn't taught him how to behave.

The thing is if you don't stop the show and get them sorted out it's not fair on the rest of the kids who are being good.
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.
stu-di-doo
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This happened to me last Saturday. The boy in question would not stop talking and distracting the other boy next to him so after several warnings I moved one of them to separate them.

Next he starts kicking the girls next to him in his new seat!

Of course at the end he was saying "can I have my balloon animal now, my dad's here and he says I have to go now!"

Unfortunately I wasn't as tough as Clive although I wish I had been now.

Still, I noted his name down on my post show review, I guess I might be busy if his parents try to book me! Smile

Stu Di Doo
JamesinLA
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I haven't had any very bad problems along these lines--yet. But Silly Billy has a great booklet to deal with this issue. The first step is prevention before it starts. In my confirmation letter to parents, tell them any children under the age of 3 should be supervised by an adult, etc. Lots of great tips on how to deal with these issues in his booklet.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
taneous
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You could try to get the other kids to help you - ie. "This won't work until everyone is sitting down" - and then hopefully the other kids will put pressure on the kid standing up to sit down.
You could also stop what you're doing and play a game - get all the kids to stand up, put their hands in the air etc. - ie like Simon says. Then finally get them to all sit down as fast as they can. Hopefully the child standing will forget why he was standing in the first place.
What doesn't seem to work is to draw attention to the kid standing - that's essentially what they want when they stand up.
Emazdad
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I've got all the warnings about under 3's and supervision on my contracts and party tips brochure. (not an idea I got from Silly Billy, I came up with it on my own) However there is one key thing needed for it to be effective. The booker has to actually read it, or has to have the confidence to deal with any kids and parents who do get out of hand.

From my experience it's not until I ask them to do something that they get involved, and they will not ask another parent to keep their kid on their lap when it's running around, or to stop talking etc because they are afraid to appear rude.
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.
Cheshire Cat
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Note Stu's comments about being busy if the nuisance child's mother tries to book you!

I've not only done this with individuals but whole classes from schools I have to say. Don't know about you, but we find child behaviour can relate to particular schools and forms of education.
I'd better not get onto that subject again had I?

Take it you have tried getting all the other kids to shout at young mister nuisance? This can have a quite stunning effect in some situations.

Tony.
Emazdad
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I've got a couple of kids, and a couple of pre-schools on my to avoid list.
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.
taneous
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I've been thinking..
Why does a kid stand up during a show?
These are the reasons I can think of:
- They are looking for attention
- They think it's funny and are really playing a game with you
- They want to 'challenge' you (I guess looking for attention in doing that)
- They're uncomfortable
- They're bored
- They are curious as to what you have hidden in the props on the table
- They forgot that they're supposed to be sitting

The reason they're not sitting will determine the way they react to how you deal with it. If they're, for instance, challenging you or looking for attention, then asking them to sit isn't really going to help.
Rupert Bair
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Taneous, that's exactly what I was thinking, Why?. Let him help so I gave him a break away gun, stupid me, he ran off with it. Like I said I used everything I could. I'm going to be firmer at the start and set the guidelines. Some great advice here, thanks!

Matt
taneous
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Ouch - sounds like you had your hands full
Rupert Bair
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I've had worse, like doing a family show in a VERY rough area in Preston half the teenagers were drugged up. They were quite amazed when the wand broke away or when I blew up the balloon. I did jump the deep end in children's entertainment but it has made me a better entertainer, I hope.

Matt
Emazdad
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Rule No 1, never give the trouble maker the oppotunity to take part in the show. 1, they will do something stupid as you found out. 2, it gives the wrong message to the kids who are being told that only the best behaved kids get to help.

Taneous, A good list you missed one reason out:-

Mum has fed them chocolate and a can of coke on the way to the party, so they are so hyped up on sugar they can't sit still.
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.
Rupert Bair
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I thought maybe the only way he would behave is if he helped. It was a last resort and will not be done again!
Matt
flourish dude
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When they stand up the first time you say "Sit down buckle your seat belt and stay seated"
If they keep doing it then there is a good chance that other kids will start to do it too. If it happens again say it one more time then ask an adult to help the child keep thier seat.

I also send out a tips page that talks about how to help have a great show and 90% of the time the moms are on the look out for this and they will take care of it. I also ask them to "Sit down and raise your hands and show me a big smile because I need a helper." through out the show.

Most of the time you can tell at the start of the show what kind of group your going to have. If they start off like this you can be careful to talk about how to act before the show. Sometime you need to bend down and tell the child "Make sure you say in your seat if you want to help today, ok."
Nothing of the same will bring any change, take action today!
Just taking a step, is a step in the right direction because when you stop working, your dream dies.
www.magicalmemories.us
Scott O.
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I actually ran into this situation in a public show. A couple boys 9 or 10 years old sat in the front row. Through out the first show they talked at me. I know they were interested in the magic show. But they also wanted let everyone know what THEY knew. They even through something up on the stage at one point. They were disruptive and in effect were heckling.

The most amazing part is that whenever I needed a helper, their hands were the highest and they shouted "me ME" the loudest (Which I stopped by telling everyone I only select quiet children, sitting down with their hands raised). But each time, I would look at them and then choose another child. The boys were a bit distressed by being overlooked continually. But, I wasn't going to invite a rowdy kid up onto the stage.

Show 2 later that day -- there they were again-- Front Row Center. This time I noticed they were behaving themselves. I believe they took a que from their earlier behavior and realized it didn't create the desired result. I actually used one of those boys in a trick which he had seen earlier. He did just fine. I made a jugement call, took a calculated risk and it worked out OK.

Scott Smile.
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
AAAAA
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A little super glue on there pants seat and a few drops on their lips... Smile I tell the parent, when they first call, what to expect from me and what I expect from them, "Please remember I am not there to be the heavy. I am there to entertain and make Billy's birthday something special. I ask if a child is getting out of hand you take care of it so It does not ruin the show for the others..." I seems to work.
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