The Magic of Change

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

Postby Guest » 07/09/07 08:41 AM

In my travels I come across many children's entertainers who never change their kid's show. Their argument is that they have found a formula that works, they have been doing this show for years, they have a full date book, so why change? In theory they are correct. If they are truly happy and content with this way of life, who am I to advise them? I am directing these remarks to those of you in our profession who have, like me, been in the business many years. I would encourage each and every one of you to try and broaden your horizons, and expand your show so that every show is greater than the one before. I am continually evolving. I am introducing new tricks, patter, costumes and bits of new business into almost every show I do. It is the most wonderful experience, and my journey is never complete. I am actually doing it more for me than for my audiences, and surely you as a living, moving , breathing human being are just as important as every child in your audience. Just try in your next show to introduce something new. You may well be surprised how good it will make you feel. It may also inspire you to move forward with confidence and enlightenment on the road to happiness and fulfillment as a children's entertainer. JR

Postby Guest » 07/09/07 01:03 PM

You need to change or be ready to change all the time. You get a referal from doing a kids show the same batch of kids likely will be at the referal party and you want it to be new to them. You do not want the kids telling their parents "he did the same show again...."

Postby Guest » 07/09/07 11:59 PM

My main venue for children's shows are libraries. Since the Summer Reading Program theme changes every year a new show has to be developed or an old show tweaked. Last years was animals so a reworking of my Harry Potter themed show was done to focus on mythical beasts. This year is mysteries so I was able to take portions of my Poe Show and tack on some Hammett and Holmes. Next year is Insects so I'm planning to revive my Cowboy Show (originally created for an exploration theme) and add a Wild West Flea Circus to it.
Granted some years shows are better than others but it's always an interesting time constructing props and writing routines for these performances.

Postby Guest » 07/10/07 08:31 AM

Hello Payne! Good of you to join us. I have a great deal of respect for you and your ideas on children's entertainment. I am also doing masses of library shows this summer. However, I find that in Arizona the libraries are not fussy about sticking to the national theme at their libraries. This year I am doing a Harry Potter theme at nearly all my shows. I am very much in demand, especially being an authentic British Wizard. There are not too many of those in the States! I have a crazy few days ahead of me with the movie being released on Friday, and the new book the following week. JR

Postby Guest » 07/10/07 08:37 AM

The movies being released today mate. Well tomorrow morning actually at 12:01.
I've gt a show for the opening and then get to see the film, yippee!!!
Got my book release party next week as well and then a couple of Libraries up north the next day.
After that I'm suspecting that the Potter thing will die down considerably and all that I'll have to look forward too is the next two movie releases.
It's been a good run though.
I use a quasi English accent in my shows. Good enough to fool the punters as I've been asked several times after a show if I was really English. To which I have to respond "Not with this accent, No"
My accent actually gets better if I've been over there for a few days as I seem to absorb it like a sponge.

Postby Guest » 07/10/07 11:01 AM

"I use a quasi English accent in my shows"

If you want elocution lessons from a real Englishman, I would be happy to oblige! However, my fees will cost you an arm and a leg!
I think it is the preview of "The Order of the Phoenix" tomorrow, with general release on Friday.....but I could be wrong. It has been out in England already for a couple of weeks. J.K. and all the cast attended the opening in Leicester Square, and I understand the whole square was draped in the HP colours! JR

Postby Andrew Martin Portala » 07/10/07 11:16 AM

I might put one or two things new my act. But it's the same show. If kids really like your show . They like to see it again.

I been doing the Linking rings for years and I'm still learn something new about them. For me I don't think it's wise to always change your show.
Andrew Martin Portala
Posts: 324
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Toledo,Ohio

Postby Guest » 07/10/07 11:42 AM

I also do the linking rings for children. I do the Vernon routine. I am better than I used to be, but I have much to learn: ... eos%2Ehtml


Postby Andrew Martin Portala » 07/10/07 11:54 AM

It good that you pass out the rings.
Slow down a bit.
But I 'm not that crazy about a non-talking rings
Andrew Martin Portala
Posts: 324
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Toledo,Ohio

Postby Andrew Martin Portala » 07/10/07 12:29 PM

For info.about the rings get the Roy Benson book.
Andrew Martin Portala
Posts: 324
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Toledo,Ohio

Postby Guest » 07/10/07 02:04 PM

One of the very best routines I ever saw was by "Skipper Frank" Herman, one of the pioneers of children's television in Los Angeles.

Frank did a great routine with two kids from the audience as part of his personal appearance show. A lot of what Frank did was absorbed into Gene Gloye's routine, detailed in his book "Theatrical Magic," easily one of the little-known bargains in magic if only for the Linking Ring Routine. It was published by Magic, Inc.

Postby Guest » 07/10/07 05:07 PM

I have several different rings routines, and until recently I always did them with patter and had two or three kids up to help me. I did a lot of comedy with the kids legs getting all caught up, and the old hacksaw bit! However, I have recently started using music, and I find it works nicely as a contrast to the rest of my show to have a serious, classical bit. The grown ups appreciate this as well! JR

Postby Guest » 07/11/07 11:53 AM

Most of the time the only change my show gets is if I add padding.

That is I have a show and if I need to make the show bigger I add to it depending on the clients needs.

My birthday party show and the show I did at fairs and festivals was some of the same magic. That is linking rings, die box, stix etc.

Then I add my sound system with music if needed and some larger magic like a rabbit production, take apart rabbit vanish - stuff like that. And an illusion or an assistant if needed.

Things added like sound equipment, larger tricks, illusions and assistants to make the show larger are what I call padding.

Two magic tricks that I added to my show over the last few years have been my Dads Phantom tube and the Jimmy Stoppard ball and glass routine.

I don't sell a show I sell me as an entertainer. It is not the tricks I do or a theme and I do not ware make up - false beards or costumes. It is me entertaining their group and their group having fun is what I sell them. Not a costumed actor a show with a theme other than magic performed by a magician that will entertain.

Others have their own opinion - I have found that this works for me.

Onward and upward!

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