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taneous
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I recently did a show where most of the kids were dressed as batman. There were two kids who looked very similar - and one was the birthday child. I really struggled to remember who was who. At the end of the party I was making a balloon for the kid I thought was the birthday kid - when the hostess walked in and asked if anyone had seen her son. I nearly fell through the floor until she realised that her child was right there with me. It seemed she was struggling to make the identification as well.

Have any of you had that problem - where you forget who the birthday child is. If so - how do you get around it. I'm thinking of making some badges with "Happy Birthday" written on them - so when I get introduced to the star of the show I'll give him/her the badge. That way I can identify them during the show. It's also something else the kid can remember me by..
Emazdad
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I sent out name stickers so all the kids have their names on, plus I get the chance to meet and chat to the birthday kid when I arrive and set up before the party.

If you are unsure, when it comes to the birthday kids part, start off your helper selection as normal, "I need someone who's sitting with arms crossed, legs crossed" etc, but end it with "and who's birthday party it is today", the birthday kids hand goes up making it easy to spot them. This also leads to to a bit of business where you can pretend you don't see them.
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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He he, so true. I sometimes at the last Sunday afternoon party of a long and hard weekend even momentarily forget where I am!

I find the Spiderman costumes the hardest if the birthday boy keeps the head covering on. For more than one birthday child (we don't mind people sharing parties), I keep the names by my tape/CD deck and pretend to be looking down at CDs and cassettes when in actual fact I'm checking on names!

Tony.
magicgeorge
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The name tags don't always work. I did a show for twins once and every time I turned around they swapped their name stickers. It was pretty funny.
George
Emazdad
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True, sometimes they fall off, if it sticks to the floor and I remember who the owner is I point it out and say, "WOw look at that, the floors got the same name as you, everyone say hello to susan the floor".
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.
rossmacrae
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The problem has several parts.

When I go in, I ask the group "Is this Billy's birthday? Well where's Billy? Billy! [calling] Billy!" I make a point NOT to see Billy until he's right in my face yelling for my attention. "There you are, you were hiding from me!" Somehow it defuses a little of the shyness if he's actually TRYING to get me to pay attention to him ... pays off later.

When it's time to call on Billy to help with the big trick,"If I was going to bring the bunny back, I'd have to have my helper here, and he's not here! His name is Billy, he's 5 years old, and he's not here, right?" They yell and point ... I look at something somewhere past where they're pointing ... "That's a CHAIR!" They yell some more ... "Where have you been? Well come on up here, you were hiding again!" It works pretty well.

And the remembering part ... often the name's not Billy, it's Sahba or Jeshurun or Shriharit or Priyanka or Dawoud ... those are just from last month ... and, fortunately, it's written on my "job sheet" and that is always folded, kid's name outward, in my left pocket (we magicians know the value of always having things in the same place every time, don't we?) and, knowing it's almost time to use the name, I can get away with a quick peek at the sheet if I need it. Once, in one of those happy moments of unconscious creativity, I found that everyone laughs if they sing "Happy Birthday, dear Aifram..." and I sing loudly "Happy Birthday, dear Octopus ... er, Aifram..."

None of this directly addresses the "which one is the birthday kid?" problem, especially if the birthday kid has (as sometimes happens) snuck out to the bathroom while you were looking the other way. You'd better make a point to note SOMETHING different about the individual at the outset of the show, but these might be a few "work-arounds."
BIlly James
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Quote:
On 2004-11-15 23:39, rossmacrae wrote:

When I go in, I ask the group "Is this Billy's birthday? Well where's Billy? Billy! [calling] Billy!" I make a point NOT to see Billy until he's right in my face yelling for my attention.


Hi I'm Billy. I'm Billy!!!

It's not my birthday though, but thanks for thinking of me.
:)
taneous
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Rossmacrae - those are really great ideas. Thanks Smile
magic4u02
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I sometimes use humor to find the birthday child in the event that I forget or am not able to locate the child at a show or a large group of kids.

Basically, I just state that I wanted to do this really, great, sooper-dooper .. most awesomely cool trick ever in the history of the world.. BUT I can only do it at birthday parties and since NOOOOO one is having a party today.. I just guess I can't do it. Bummer.

This causes the kids to always scream and get involved in shouting out and pointing that it is timmy's birthday party and most often Timmy will be the first to state that it is his big day.

It is just a tip I have used to turn an awkward situation into a lot of humor for the kids. Kids love it when a magician apparently forgets or messes up.

Kyle
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Billy Whizz
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Quote:
On 2004-11-16 00:06, BIlly James wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-11-15 23:39, rossmacrae wrote:

When I go in, I ask the group "Is this Billy's birthday? Well where's Billy? Billy! [calling] Billy!" I make a point NOT to see Billy until he's right in my face yelling for my attention.


Hi I'm Billy. I'm Billy!!!

It's not my birthday though, but thanks for thinking of me.
:)


NO, I'M BILLY.

I'm glad it's not just me who forgets their name, I also fold the contract and have it placed on the side of my box with the name in view of an easy glance.
The Bonnie Kids
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Ï have aldo problems in remembering names and faces.
Aren't we magicians? make confusion all the time, so they never know if you are joking or not (they believe you are joking). Call for an assistant and ask her the name. She will say "maria". Imemdiately: Ok Jane (the most different name is the best), let's do liek that... and do this for all your show. Kids laugh, you also, and you can continue to pretend to pretend that you don't remember the name (pretending to pretend to pretend.. nice game. How many levels do you manage?)
/Andrea
Emazdad
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Sometimes if I accidently call the helper by the wrong name, I say, "Oh your not Bob are you, your Robert, I'd forget my own name if it wasn't written on my underpants. That's why I know my names Tescos" or what ever the big local supermarket is. The kids laugh because I said underpants, the adults and older kids laugh at tescos.
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.
rossmacrae
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Not worth starting a new topic, but...

they tell me that forgetting the kid's name (I actually don't tend to remember ANYONE's name) is because I'm really fairly shy.

My family would disagree (I'm the guy who dares to ask the waiter for sauce on the side, or something special, and who braves little ethnic markets hidden behind industrial parks, and who used to hang out in bars that most people would run screaming from) - but a psychologist once caught me by surprise, and had me admitting that I love performing, but I love even more the moment I'm in my car and the birthday kid's house is safely out of sight.

They also tell me that "shy" is a subset of "self-centered." Maybe.

Thoughts?
Emazdad
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Hi rossmacrae, I'm terriblle with names myself, I call it name dyslexia.

I went on leave once when I was on HMS Brilliant. came back and couldn't remember any of the names of the guys in my mess. I'd been on the ship for 18 months.

Unless I see someone regularly and use their name often it just goes. One thing I do with any helper is to use their name as often as possible while they're helping. It doesn't stop me getting it wrong but it helps. At least when you do get it wrong, they think it's deliberate and laugh.

<<<<often the name's not Billy, it's Sahba or Jeshurun or Shriharit or Priyanka or Dawoud ...>>>

When I first started useing the name badges some names were a right pain, until I learnt how to pronouce them. SIOBAN is a good example, I had to wait until someone else used her name before I found out it was pronounced SHA-VON. (For the benifit of our friends in the colonies, the A is pronounced as in Char, not as in Hay.)
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.
magicgeorge
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Hmm, interesting, Ross. I can't see the connection between remembering names and being shy/self-centered but then again I'm no psychologist.

I sometimes get confused and accidently call a volunteer by the previous volunteers name. Even worse, on a particularily busy day, call the Birthday child by the name of the birthday kid of the party before.

Some groups of people have harder names to remember too. In certain areas of Belfast all the kid's will have Irish names and they can be very hard to pronounce and are said nothing like they are spelt.I usually write the correct spelling and a phonetic spelling , in my diary, if this applies to the birthday child. Also some rich people seem to give their kids arty names that I'm not familiar with.

George
The Bonnie Kids
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Ross,
it's probably true. We all ended up in show business because we like to be the center of attention. I am definitely sure of it (I'm not talking only about magiciians of course).
I have to admit it is not good to forget the names. Every good teacher should first learn to remember names, but if it is so difficult, trick about it. Nobody will know that you have really forgotten. Sometimes then try to concentrate and tell your assistant "let's stop joking now, Thomas, please help me here".
You understand what I mean. Magic show in the magic show.
/Andrea
stu-di-doo
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Just had a thought about Emazdad's "underpants" line.

Obviously this ould only work if your name was Matt (cue Magic Matt) but you could tell the kids

"I always forget my name as well which is why it is written on my underpants - Matalan or Matt for short!"

Don't know if this works for you but it popped into my head and I had to share it with you!

Stu Di Doo
AragorntheMagician
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I have a Laminated Scroll with the B'Day kids name on it "Proclaiming Them" a Wizard for the Day!!. I place the scroll where everyone (including myself) can see it. And yes, lately the names have become very inventive....lol.
My $1.25 worth,
Aragorn the Magician
aka: I used to be BOB
aka: I used to be BOB (It's Cellini's fault)
"All Right, Who's Volunteering to be Turned into a Frog???"
www.aragornthemagician.com
Wolflock
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I normally make a balloon crown and the birthday kid has to wear it. So no matter how they are dressed, you will be able to tell who the birthday kid is.

Regards
Wolflock
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Rupert Bair
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Quote:
On 2004-12-07 16:51, stu-di-doo wrote:
Just had a thought about Emazdad's "underpants" line.

Obviously this ould only work if your name was Matt (cue Magic Matt) but you could tell the kids

"I always forget my name as well which is why it is written on my underpants - Matalan or Matt for short!"

Don't know if this works for you but it popped into my head and I had to share it with you!

Stu Di Doo


He, only just seen this as it must be years (lol) since I've been here!

Matt
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