What are some big hitting effects for Kid shows?

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby zamiel » 03/12/10 08:49 PM

I am doing a lot of shows for children and am very successful with them. I find I perform effects like the shrinking glove, and bigger magic wands. I was wondering what other magicians have found to be hard hitting crowd pleasers as far as children go. I know they enjoy big props so they can all see what's going on. I've got some really good effects but would like to know what other quality effects for shows of 100 to 500 would work really well.
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Postby amp » 03/13/10 09:43 AM

Well here are some things I do in my act.Dove to rabbit , Miser's Dream,Die Box,Color changing silk,Mutilated Parasol ,zombie,and Linking rings.
Kid Stuff 5 has a list in the back of book of school performers what they did in their shows. That can give you some ideas.
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Postby Umpa Duze » 04/10/10 03:46 AM

Hi,
As Silly Billy says, it is not the destination, its the ride. You can take most effects and turn them into a wonderful interactive routine that will delight the little ones. If you can, read Seriously Silly it has a lot of very practical advice (the book is far more helpful than the DVD which references the book a lot). If you can find a copy of Open Sesame read it (be aware that it was published at a time when writings were not politically correct). Sammy Smith also has some great material and recommendations; his performance is very different from Silly Billy's. If this interests you at all, send me a PM and I can recommend some others that will help you get a high impact response for your magic. At the moment I am in the middle of installing bookcases so all of my reading material is stacked and impossible to get to.

Umpa
Cheers,
Umpa Duze
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Postby Dynamike » 01/06/11 02:47 PM

Animal tricks, Miser's Dream (Chris Capehart Version), Chair Suspension.
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Postby Dynamike » 01/06/11 02:48 PM

Oh yea, Sucker Tricks too. It brings in a lot of reactions.
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Postby jgottlob » 01/07/11 02:39 PM

I'm not a big fan of most sucker tricks. The one that I enjoy the most is silk to egg.
If your looking for audience participation and controlled mayhem, you need look no further than Capehart's Miser's Dream which has not only become a classic, but is one that the kids ask for. You might also want to check out Knot Funny in which the magician becomes the brunt of the joke.
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Postby Mark Collier » 01/07/11 03:42 PM

Two words...Razor Blades :)
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/07/11 04:04 PM

Mark Collier wrote:Two words...Razor Blades :)


Is that for performers who want to get hit by the adults?
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Postby Q. Kumber » 01/07/11 04:08 PM

The biggest fault ... in my opinion ... with most children's entertainers is that they throw away the magic, as if it were an also ran.

In 1975 my mentor, Eric Sharp taught me to have all the comedy and gags early in the routine so they did not get obscure the magical moment(s). To my surprise Juan Tamariz taught exactly the same idea in his lecture on comedy in magic which I attended at the Isle Of Man magic convention in 1994.

Children do appreciate strong magic if presented well.

Here is a tip if you use the Silver Sceptre Rising Wand, the best vesrion currently available is from www.Practical-Magic.com

Tell the children you have been presented with a very special magic wand which is in the cloth bag. While you do the following say nothing: Rest the bottom of the bag on your left hand. With your right hand slowly slide the bag down the wand, scrunching it onto your left hand, thereby revealing the wand. PAUSE. - 75% of the time this will get an audible ooh or ahhh from the children.

So you are sliding the bag off the wand as opposed to removing the wand from the bag.
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Postby Ryan Matney » 01/08/11 05:17 AM

Ok, I'll ask:

Why exactly is this tip important? Wouldn't you get a similar reaction removing it slowly either way?

I do what Terry Herbert does. I just tell them to go "ooooooo"
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Postby Q. Kumber » 01/08/11 03:09 PM

Ryan, you pose an excellent question and many famous magicians have suggested various answers, though in a different context.

I think it was Vernon who wrote about "The Turn Of A Card" - how you reveal a chosen card can have an enormous impact on the audience's perception and reaction.

A jeweller can simply put a valuable necklace on the counter top or he can present it on a plinth that shows it to its best advantage.

Brain Flora spoke about the difference between giving a child a balloon animal and presenting them with a balloon animal.

Most children's entertainers I have seen force reactions from their young audience. Personally I prefer to create a scenario where the reactions are genuine and come from within rather than without.

By displaying the Silver Sceptre wand as I described, you are showing them something unusual, magical and of value. I do not know exactly why you get an ooh or ahhh by removing the bag from the wand as opposed to taking the wand out of it. But 75% of the time it gets that reaction.

So then why is this reaction a good thing? If performed at the start of your show, it lets the children realise (subconsciously) that this is something worth watching and that there will be magical experiences ahead. It triggers emotions of curiousity and anticipation on a much deeper level than simply asking them to go "ooooo".

Again, this is only my personal opinion and based on what I want my audience to experience but I do think it is a goal worth aiming for. Children do appreciate it.
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Postby IrishMagicNews » 01/09/11 08:09 PM

Quentin Reynolds wrote:Tell the children you have been presented with a very special magic wand which is in the cloth bag. While you do the following say nothing: Rest the bottom of the bag on your left hand. With your right hand slowly slide the bag down the wand, scrunching it onto your left hand, thereby revealing the wand. PAUSE. - 75% of the time this will get an audible ooh or ahhh from the children.


All these years your apprentice and you never pointed that out to me lol.
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Postby Q. Kumber » 01/09/11 08:58 PM

I only discovered it myself a few months ago.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/10/11 01:37 PM

I used to do "Stat-o-Spheres" at my kid shows and it's just a great effect for kids.

Instead of the normal Sucker Die Box, I did the Supreme Magic version where you have a "sun" and the box has clouds for doors.
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Postby Ryan Matney » 01/10/11 05:38 PM

Richard,

Never knew you did kid shows! How long did you do them?
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Postby GregMcMahan » 01/10/11 05:45 PM

David Kaye is correct, it's all about the journey. I also agree that it gets a better reaction if the magic moment is isolated from the gags. As for sucker tricks, I avoid them at all costs. In my book "Kids Think It's Funny" I have a chapter on my version of the Monkey Bar trick. It's set up as a storytelling routine with no "gotcha" type ending.

I would advise incorporating your favorite tricks (within reason) and update the routine to add as much fun, excitement and participation as possible. Watch some kids TV shows and get an idea of what they enjoy.

One of the strongest tips I can think of is: Don't work hard getting the audience to pay attention to you. Instead, merely pay attention to the audience, and they will eagerly return the favor.
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Postby Wacko » 10/23/11 12:53 PM

Wack-o-Magic has a new version of Silkola that has great custom props.. and a big, audience involvement routine that can be stretched from 3 min to probably (realistically) 7 min with extra costumes or hats.. and lots of yelling!!

Check it out..

http://wackomagic.com/wackomagic/Silkola.html
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Postby mountebanc » 04/14/12 11:07 PM

Hey! I'm the guy who put that list of school show magicians in KID STUFF FIVE! FRAN MARSHALL asked me to help with KS5. I did. She autographed my copy: "THERE WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN A KS5 IF IT HADN'T HAVE BEEN FOR YOU!" Curiously, when the advertising for the book came out, she forgot (yes) to mention my name!!!
Now, Jon Racherbaumer has me writing up MY school show which I did over 40+ years on the road.
My show props weigh about 20 lbs (+3lbs for the "cross legs" table) The show sets up in about 4 minutes, tears down in 2 min. It plays for Kindergarten through Senior High Schools--and gets booked back! I've played a lot of colleges with it (with a few minor changes) The prop case is 13" x 20" s 8". It is all small props (mostly generic). The biggest prop is a coin pail. I've met Chris Capehart. He's a fine performer and does an exceptionally funny presentation with the coin pail.
But, with all respect to Chris, I'm not "afraid" to put my pail up against his!!! --I've been doing the Misers Dream since 1946, and have actually WORN OUT pails. Dick Oslund
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Postby mrgoat » 04/15/12 04:02 AM

Ding Dong always - ahem - goes down well.
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Postby magicrobharv » 04/15/12 04:01 PM

Greg McMahan (aka Mister Greggy) is right. His book "Kids Think It's Funny" is a must have. In my opinion, the warm-up he teaches is my absolute favorite. Best of all, you can use in on all ranges of kids, even adults. I've also been thinking about how this warm up would go well in a Gospel magic routine. By the way, I don't know Greg, never seen him except on YouTube videos. I'm just a kid's performer who bought his book.

Richard, brother man, what is the deal !!! Please, please tell us some of your birthday show performances. :)
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Postby Allen Tipton » 08/24/12 01:50 PM

Simply put; ANY effect you routine so well, that it involves ALL the audience. Lots of hand gestures, magic words, a magic blow(with the mouth) funny phrases, props which seem to go awry etc.
And SURPRISE & LAUGHTER
BUT MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL. YOU--Charisma--Personality--Communicating to the kids that You Love Magic & that You love kids!

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