Kids show mentalism

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.

Postby Umpa Duze » 06/07/09 02:03 AM

Hi All,
I am trying to find ideas for a very straight forward simple mind reading effect that my puppet can perform for grade school audiences. I would prefer something where he is blindfolded as I think we could have a lot of fun in that situation. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Umpa
Cheers,
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Postby Frank Yuen » 06/07/09 09:43 AM

The Baby gag or Supermarket prediction perhaps.
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Postby opie » 06/07/09 09:58 AM

Grey Elephant, using slate pic of a grey elephant for finale...

1089 effect, having the numbers on the bottom of chairs on which kids are seated.

Favorite/Less Favorite cartoon character, using pellets/one-ahead.....

Favorite toy in Pinata.....(for those outdoor parties)

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Postby Spellbinder » 06/07/09 10:21 AM

A good puppet blindfold gag is to have a thread attached to the bottom of the blindfold and going over the top of its head around to the back where you can pull it. When you "aren't looking" the puppet seems to make the blindfold rise up so it can "see." You'll have the kids screaming "He's peeking!"
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Postby opie » 06/07/09 08:47 PM

Thank you, Spell....I like that idea.....

Being a grand daddy and great-grand daddy, I like things like that...Today I gave my youngest (l8 months, named Damien) a nest of boxes which he managed to properly close and stick into the proper boxes....He did not even have to spin his head around...hahaha...

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Postby Umpa Duze » 06/08/09 12:07 AM

Hi All,
Thanks Spellbinder, that is a wonderful gag. Opie, I am not sure the younger students could successfully get through the math-based predictions. The baby gag is funny, do you think it would play well for K-3rd graders?

Thanks again for your help,
Eric
Cheers,
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Postby opie » 06/08/09 08:19 AM

The very very young will respond to colors, noise, and silly antics and really could care less about the magic; they don't understand it anyway.

To get my point, find somebody who has an 18 month old and simply sit or stand in front of him/her doing something that involves color, noise (not abrupt or very loud), and silly antics.

The purpose is to entertain. The older kids will get the trick. The young ones require work to keep their attention and to make them enjoy what you are doing....

I used to sub for k-3rd graders and found the best way to entertain them was to PLAY WITH THEM.....Toss in aside antics and unexpected surprises.....A SQUEAKER is the most valuable piece of equipment you can have for the smaller kids....Squeak their heads and shoulders occasionally.....They will line up after your show just to get you to do it...

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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/08/09 11:05 AM

Kids live in a world where santa knows if they've been good or bad, where teachers know everything about stuff and parents are always right.

One approach might be to have two puppets - an assistant who participates in the setups and a mind reader who is kept in the box and only comes out when it's time to do the reveals. At this point you have a format for the process and plenty of room for comedy. If you use decent methods for the procedures you won't "fool" the kids but you will stun and then enroll the adults - whose reactions can inform the children.

I like your idea of a puppet show with the mentalism format and theme. Best of luck with your project.

:)
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Spellbinder » 06/11/09 09:03 AM

An easy trick that kids can understand and that works with a blind-folded puppet: Spellbinder's "Color-Blind." You forced me to write it up with your post and Qua-Fiki twisted my arm because he wants to use it first.

Effect: Two sets of jumbo cards are displayed. Each set has six cards, each card has a large colored dot on it; Red, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue or Purple. You hand a kid one set of the six color dots, your puppet looks over the other set of six color dot cards. The puppet, blindfolded or not, chooses one of the cards and sets the others aside. Now the kid freely picks one of the colors and sets the other cards aside (after being given the usual chance to change his mind, etc.). The kid holds up his card so the audience can see what color he finally chose. The puppet turns his card around and the colors match.

It will be added to The Wizards' Journal #18 if the editor approves, but since I'm the editor, it's a simple matter of bribing myself to include it.
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Postby Q. Kumber » 06/11/09 11:57 AM

David Ginn has a routine in his book "Children Laugh Louder" where an invisible assistant makes a prediction. The routine has lots of audience participation and could easily be adapted to a puppet.

If you can do vent you might consider the comedy two-person mindreading act. A sample:

P. And now, I have here some money - what have I?
V. I THINK IT IS A COIN.
P. Good - can you tell me the value of this quarter?
V. TWENTY-FIVE CENTS.
P. Excellent - now, I have a number of coins - can you tell how many before I hand both of them back?
V. TWO .... I THINK.
P. Correct again - now, please concentrate very hard - can you give me the exact date?
G. YES - IT IS THE (names today's date).
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Postby Spellbinder » 06/11/09 03:04 PM

The main problem working with a puppet or a ventriloquist's figure is that you have to perform any magic tricks or mental magic with one hand tied up, so to speak, working the puppet/figure. If the puppet can hold things with its beak/mouth/snout, that gives you a bit of an advantage, but it has to look appropriate for the puppet to be using its mouth for that purpose.

You are also pretty much tied to one spot while performing with a puppet/figure and so can't be running around dragging out props in the middle of the act. Everything needed for the performance ought to be within reach.

I personally abhor watching performers who disappear down behind so-called "nightclub tables" in the middle of a performance so they can get something or ditch something. The sight of that makes me cringe every time. Perhaps that's just me and my opinion, but I try to never use a table like that. For me, the same rule applies to a table that has a huge suitcase on top for the figure, if it makes you disappear from sight of the audience even for a second while you get or put away your figure. These restrictions might make a performance with a puppet/figure more challenging, but there are simple solutions that allow you to stay in full sight and never stoop to manage your props.
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Postby Spellbinder » 06/16/09 06:04 AM

Just an update: The article is now called "Mind-Reading Puppets" in The Wizards' Journal #18 and is ready now. It contains four effects designed for one-handed operation with a puppet: "Color Blind," as described above, "Hard Choices", "Whiteboard Citation", and "The Swami Knows All." That should keep those of you with puppets and vent figures busy for a "spell."
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Postby Ray Noble » 08/23/09 10:17 PM

I myself wouldn't do mentalism for kids.

I was looking though my STUFF and came across this booklet titled. Mental magic with a ventriloquist figure. http://maherbookstore.blogspot.com/2008 ... crets.html Second book down on page.

I bought the booklet back in 1983-1985 time frame because I was hot and heavy into ventriloquism then. I started to laugh when I found it and sat down to re-read it. Really, this is pretty good!


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Postby PMS » 12/26/09 08:35 PM

How about dejazoo? The puppet could draw the animals.
The 1st time I performed it for kids, it did not go over well. The next time, I had the kids make animal noises which made it alot more fun for them and me :)
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