Creatvity in your kid show!

Discuss the art of Children's Entertainment with your fellow performers.

Postby Guest » 09/13/07 08:12 PM

I will be very honest with you. When I started doing kids shows, I used mainly dealers props, and I rigidly followed the instructions and patter that accompanied them. That was over 40 years ago. As I get older, and hopefully wiser, I use less and less dealers props. I create many of my own tricks and illusions, and like to build the routines from the ground upwards. I have a vision like "I want to make myself invisible" or "I want to create a magical playlet on stage, dress the kids up in costume, and do silly and amazing things during the course of this sketch." I still get some ideas from books and magazines, and sometimes DVD's, but I always like to think out of the box. On other(lesser) forums, I see people constantly discussing the latest and greatest children's effect put out by some dealer. I just don't get it! I work, for the most part, out of a suitcase, and I create wonderful things for the little ones with the simplest of props. What do you do? JR

PS: Just in case you thought I misspelt "Creativity" in the title of this post.........I did! Why? I was being creative, and trying to draw attention to this topic!

Postby Guest » 09/14/07 06:35 AM

I agree. I've seen people who can't do a trick, except to follow the instructions almost word for word. Another advantage of coming up with your own material, or adapting it so that it varys greatly from the prop the dealer sold you, is that if someone in the audience (I.E. clowns, magicians) tries to steal your trick, they will have little success.

Postby Guest » 10/08/07 09:43 AM

It is not, so much, that you use store bought or hand made props. It is the way you use them. Patter and presentation reign supreme (no pun or plug intended)when interacting with the audience. Personally, I prefer my props to not have a chinese dragon, rabbit or other 'magical' symbols on them. The more 'normal' a prop appears, the more the audience will pay attention to the entertainer and the story, or situation, that he is creating.

Postby Guest » 10/08/07 10:33 AM

I appreciate your thoughts, Jolly Roger, and agree that to create your own effects is really ideal. It must add a wonderful layer of creativity to your work as well as making your show more unique.

I have just begun doing kids' shows in the last 2 years, or so. It's been a wonderfully rewarding experience--and surprisingly so, since i never thought my interest in magic would lead me to performing for children...

But, invariably, i am asked to come to some event and "do some tricks for the kids." After some fussing and declining, i decided to research magic for children. This led me to David Kaye's wonderful book and to a number of marketed effects indicated there and in other resources.

After my first show i was hooked. The level of appreciation from the kids and the observing adults was almost overwhelming. Plus, i love kids.

I am the type of person who needs to read from knowledgeable sources before entering a new arena. The notion of creating my own magic is, at this point, entirely unappealing. Rather, i yearn to become familiar with "what's out there," to buy the effects, DVDs and books and gain experience performing as recommended by other performers.

I assume, as time passes, I will gain confidence in performing for children as well as a deeper understanding of how the process works, that i will feel ready to work on my own magic projects. However, i suspect it will still be some years before i feel ready to take that step. For now, I will continue to read the routines and advice from other performers, to try their recommendations and to iron out perceived problems by looking to the literature.

Postby Guest » 10/08/07 12:04 PM

Excellent, thoughtful reply, Daimodess.

Your humility (missing from one of the other posts) is appreciated, too.

Good job!

Return to Children's Entertainment