Children's material

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 09/29/01 10:15 PM

I've been working as a volunteer magician at the library for the past couple of months, and somebody politely asked me if I was planning on changing my routine any time soon. Can anyone recommend any good books or the likes of good children's tricks. Thanks in advance.


PEACE
Pete
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Postby Jeff Haas » 09/30/01 03:41 AM

Pete,

Here's a couple of web sites to help you out:

Sammy Smith - Sammy's got his own books and tapes on kidshow magic, and sells material from others, such as Silly Billy. A very good source. www.spsmagic.com

David Ginn - Another good source for kids magic, he wrote one of the first modern books on the subject, "Professional Magic For Children." There's several books on the subject on his site.

Also, check out Silly Billy's column in Magic Magazine each month. He publishes a routine from a different contributor.

Jeff
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Postby Guest » 10/01/01 10:04 PM

Pete,

I'm curious as to who it was that asked you about changing your show.

If it was a librarian, or somebody working there who sees your show repeatedly, then you can kindly tell her to stick it in her ear and go on doing your regular show. (That you are probably getting pretty good at)

As long as it is new to your audience every show, then you are doing things right.

-Ryan Pilling

P.S. Can anyone confirm the rumour that a ticket-taker at the Lance Burton theatre mentioned to Lance he should shake things up a bit?
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Postby Guest » 10/20/01 10:23 PM

Right on Ryan!
As a full-time restaurant worker, I could care less that the staff hasn't seen anything new in a while. I'm wowing people with seasoned material, and giving them a chance to see a professionalism that can only come with countless performances.
Chris

[ October 20, 2001: Message edited by: ChrisDavid ]
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Postby Guest » 10/25/01 09:23 PM

Sorry for the delay. The librarians are the one's that are telling me to change it up. I agree that practice indeed get's me one step closer to perfection. However, a lot of the kids are repeat visitors. Does the rule still apply?


Thanks in advance,

Pete
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Postby Jeff Haas » 10/26/01 12:32 AM

I think you may want to add some new stuff. Two reasons: The librarians probably have some say in whether you get to come back, and you have repeat kids.

I think the thing to do is work up one new routine at a time, then when you're ready to go, tell the librarians that you've got a new piece in the show for that day. Then use it and get good at it.

After awhile, add another new effect. This way you can build the show gradually. Also, look into ways you can take something you already do and give it a new twist or context, so that you're not learning a completely new piece. For example, this week on www.allmagicguide.com, Richard Robinson has a torn & restored effect that's themed for Halloween. It uses a method that could be reused for other themes.

Jeff
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Postby David Acer » 11/01/01 12:06 PM

Youd be hard-pressed to find a better work on the subject of performing magic for children than Performing Magic For Children (hey, now I get it!). Ariel Frailich translated it from the original German text by Michael Sondermeyer and Uwe Shenk, and whats interesting about the book is that it doesnt just repeat or reiterate what's written in Kidbiz and the Frances Marshall books and other benchmarks of the genre, but in fact, it expands upon it. Moreover, this material seems to be theory based on practice, rather than practice based on theory, and I find the former ultimately to be so much richer. Despite the fact that I havent done childrens shows in over 15 years, I read it and thoroughly enjoyed every page (even the blank one at the end!). End transmission.
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Postby Guest » 11/30/01 05:38 AM

For a real gem of a book on Children entertainment, consider David Ficus book on Birthday Magician Handbook. The title is deceiving because it focuses on Birthday Parties, however, the information is transferable to other types of children shows.

Also, Check out the material and books by David Ginn at: David Ginn's Web Site I have a lot of his work and it is great stuff. Also his videos will help you speed your way to your goal.

Check out Samuel Patrick Smith at: Samuel Patrick Smith's Website

Both have good material. The real key to multiple shows is the comedy bits of business you can add to a routine. A show need not be made up of 12 or so tricks, it can be four tricks, with 50% comedy added t it. Ginn shows you a lot in this area (Kidbiz). Remember we are working with kids, not adults, and you must perform at their level with them, not above or below them.

Performing Magic for Children by Schenk and Sondermeyer is the only know research text on the subject of entertaining children. Good Children Magicians have know this for years and Schenk confirms it.

Dont ignore Safety Magic for Children by Karl Wagner, where you can put a fresh routine to your existing tricks wwwith a safety message attached to it.
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Postby IrishMagicNews » 12/12/01 05:02 PM

The best kids routine ever in my opinion is Questin Reynolds' 5 Minutes with a pocket hankerchief.

I use it all the time in all sorts of shows. Mike Close when he reviewed it said it was going straight into his repertoire.

Its available from Meir Yedid in the states on video. Truly a gem of a routine and worth far more to a working pro then the cost of the tape.

Hope this helps

brendan
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Postby Guest » 12/12/01 10:58 PM

An excellent source of information and material is available from Flora and Company out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their website is www.floraco.com. Highly recommended.
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/19/01 07:54 PM

I have a different philosophy.

Don't look for kid magic. Just do good solid magic and don't talk down to them.

Give them a growth spurt for their brains.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/19/01 07:56 PM

Talking to myself... I am reminded...

Some time back I was "stuck" in England and stayed with...ahem... Terry Seabrooke.

He was doing about three shows a day (it was just before Christmas) and he would be doing a show for kids in the afternoon, ladies group in the early evening and an all out, no holds barred, STAG Show for a bunch of wild and crazy drinking working men.

What did he do?

Same stuff for all audiences.

Just said different words.

Different jokes to fit the venue.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Guest » 12/19/01 09:04 PM

I agree with Pete. I do a number of shows and find that, with a handful of exceptions the same material plays well for both groups. For both groups I use Bongo Hat, the Rabbit Wand--you have to know how I use them I guess, but they get laughs from any age in the context. The exception would be a rule of not doing dangerous magic for young kids. And I do not do hippy hop rabbits for an audience that is 100percent adults. I will do it however if there are kids and adults.

quack
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Postby Guest » 12/30/01 05:27 PM

I'll side with Pete.

A lot of kids that are Harry Potter fans might start to think the standard kids magician is not like a magician at all.....

Which might be a good thing for "kids" magic in general. Heck, the last time I did a kids show for a Potter book launch (I needed the money)some of it would have been considered bizarre, candles in skull holders, burnt card routines, but stuff like blank notes to bank notes, 7 keys (in which a child was freed from invisible chains no less) Spelling Bee to form the name Rawling -(Potter book author) book test etc. The kids thought this, quote;"Cool!" Mostly stuff I do for adults anyway, but less bizarre for adults lol.

Classic card stuff like The Homing Card can play well for kids, and Six Card Repeat. You can class the latter as educational :) :)
Paul.
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