Opener for a children's show

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Postby Guest » 09/08/03 12:31 PM

I'd be interested in anyone's suggestion for an effective, snappy opener for a children's show. Your experience would be appreciated!
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Postby Andrew Martin Portala » 09/08/03 01:03 PM

Dove Production. That's how I open my show also a little warm-up.
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 09/09/03 09:29 AM

Here's what I've been doing:

Snap open a top hat and place it on the table. Draw a small red silk out of the hat, wave it around, vanish it (thumb-tip). Magical gesture toward the hat. Slowly retrieve what at first appears to be the small red silk, but as it's pulled out proves to be a very long (33 foot) multi-colored silk which takes a good while to extract from the hat, and which fills the hat in a colorful, cheery, overflowing way when it's completely out. (Thumb-tip is ditched in the hat somewhere during the retrieval.)

I like this because something magical happens within fifteen seconds (the silk vanish), it gets them laughing, and the whole picture tells them that they are with a magician. Other than that, it "means" nothing - it's just magic. With an audience of children, it's almost a sure thing that some among them are seeing their very first magic show, and I think it's important to include classic images that signal "magic" - such as the top hat and colorful silks - in the interest of cultural literacy and fun.
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Postby Guest » 09/09/03 07:41 PM

There used to be a wonderful little book on kid shows called Open Sesame by Wilfrid Tyler and Eric Lewis.
It was even written before I was born. And I was born a good while ago!

In it there is a great little stunt that I have always used as an opener. It is not magic but it is great for getting the kids going.

You pull out a handkerchief from your breast pocket and put it away. However another one pops out in the same place. You don't see it but the kids shout "theres another one" You remove this but another one pops out, again the kids shout out "there's another one" and again you remove the hanky, and so on and so forth.

In all you remove about a dozen or more silks. No magic but who cares? The kids get warmed up very quickly.

I almost forgot the secret. You simply wrap the corners of the hanks around each other.Then they will pop out. The presentation you will have to figure out yourself.

I am a great believer in the Shakespearean school of magic. A noted children's entertainer saw me work once and disapprovingly said it was "much ado about nothing" He neglected to note the strong reaction of the kids. Or he did notice it and it made him envious. I noticed he didn't speak to me for an hour afterwards.

"Much ado about nothing" I like that. I call it the Shakespearean school of magic. Or as a friend of mine said "a no magic magic show"

I never could do magic anyway.

I recommend that book "Open Sesame" though. It will be hard to find but worth the effort.

The opening chapter on presentation is pure gold.
I decided to take up kids magic knowing nothing whatever about it. I went into a Chinese restaurant and read the opening chapter while I was eating. By the time I came out of that restuarant I was a kid's entertainer.
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Postby Guest » 09/13/03 07:16 PM

My usual opener for a new venue kid show is classic, easy, and effective.

I produce a 14" magic wand from a 3" change purse.

Remember, ALL effects were created before your audience kids were even born, so novelty of idea is not essential.

Jon
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Postby Guest » 09/14/03 10:36 AM

Peter, you are correct! How much better would we ALL be received if we stopped doing magic and started entertaining? That was the hardest thing for my little mind to comprehend - that I had to stop doing magic for myself and start doing what the audience likes! --Asrah
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Postby Guest » 09/16/03 12:33 AM

I agree with several of you. Entertainment is the most important, but you want the kids to know they are being entertained by a MAGICIAN ! Pay attention to all the suggestions but stay true to yourself and your style. You will find that the kids, and you, will have a great time.
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Postby Guest » 09/16/03 07:00 AM

Showtime, I agree with you, too. You don't have to put the magic away to be entertaining. What I am saying is that just performing magic is not the goal - entertaining is the goal, with magic as the framework/venue for doing it! Does that make sense? Sinatra was an entertainer, using singing as the mode - George Carlin is an entertainer using stand-up comedy as the mode, etc... --Asrah
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Postby Guest » 09/20/03 01:53 PM

A real popular opener is the blooming boquet.
I have seen a few shows opened this way. If played right, it rea :whack: lly pulls the kids into the show.
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Postby Guest » 11/07/03 08:57 PM

I open my kids shows with the same effect I use to open my regular stage shows.

Music starts....I come on stage, blow up one of 'em super long animal balloons, then swallow it (explained on Steve Bedwell's tape).

After showing my mouth empty (and stealing a packet of cards from a clip just under the edge of my jacket), I produce a stream of cards from my mouth. This is where I ditch "the leftovers" from the balloon swallowing bit. A mouth coil could also be used, but I've always been partial to the cards from mouth effect.

After the cards have been produced, the music fades, and I introduce myself to the thunderous applause I deserve.....

Fraser
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Postby Guest » 11/08/03 11:26 AM

Silk to Egg or Three Silks routine (vanishing and appearing them in sequence).
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Postby David Nethery » 11/08/03 05:47 PM

Lisa wrote:

Snap open a top hat and place it on the table. Draw a small red silk out of the hat, wave it around, vanish it (thumb-tip). Magical gesture toward the hat. Slowly retrieve what at first appears to be the small red silk, but as it's pulled out proves to be a very long (33 foot) multi-colored silk which takes a good while to extract from the hat, and which fills the hat in a colorful, cheery, overflowing way when it's completely out. (Thumb-tip is ditched in the hat somewhere during the retrieval.)
Nice sequence , Lisa. How about topping it by stealing and producing a live rabbit from the 33 foot multi-colored silk on the off-beat ?
(Just a simple load bag on back of a chair would do the trick. Steal it off the chair as the large silk is draped over the chair back .......or something like that )
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Postby Guest » 11/08/03 06:40 PM

Try this.
Start the show by saying that you have a letter from someone or other telling you about the birthday child.
Remove an envelope with a letter inside. This can be any old letter typwritten or handwritten. In a pinch I have just used an instruction leaflet from some trick or other.
Tuck the letter under your right arm momentarily and say "boys and girls, someone sent me a letter.Shall I see what the letter says?" The kids yell "yes" Of course you cannot find the letter. "what did I do with the letter?" you plead.
Look around wondering what you did with it. The brats will yell "under your arm" say "under your arm? What is it doing under your arm?" They will yell "no under YOUR arm" You say "that's what I said "Under YOUR arm"
After a bit of this byplay you catch on to what they mean.
Look under your left arm. No letter. Say "there nothing under my arm" They will yell "No! the other arm!" You can now draw this out by saying "which other arm? YOUR other arm" and go through that nonsense again.

Finally, you look under the lower part of your right arm. The kids will yell "no! Higher up" You say "higher up? what ? On the ceiling?" Look up at the ceiling.

The urchins will now shout "no. Higher up under your arm!" Lift up the arm letting the letter drop to the floor. Now check under your arm. You will hear yells of "it's on the floor" You mishear and say "on the door? what's it doing on the door?"

Then take a step back and stand on the letter covering it. Time it so that you do it as the kids are shouting "it's on the floor!" When they see you stand on the letter this will change to "you're standing on it" You then counter by saying "of course I'm standing on the floor. Where am I supposed to stand?"
As you look down you will see no letter since your feet are covering it.
You will hear shouts of "you're standing on the letter."
Step forward in front of the letter and say looking down "I'm not standing on the letter."

They will shout "behind you!" Eventually you find the blooody thing. Pick it up saying "it's a long way down" and on the way up say "it's a long way up" It will be if you get to my age.Going down to the floor and up again is hard work.

You now say "someone sent me a letter. I wonder what it says" You now draw all this nonsense out further by removing the letter from the envelope and look at the blank side that has nothing written. You say "there's nothing here" The kids will say "on the other side" You look at your side peering at your ribs. You will hear "the side of the paper" You look at the SIDE of the paper looking puzzled. Or you can look at the envelope since that is
"paper" too.
Eventually you read the letter and complain that it is written in Chinese. Then realise the letter is upside down.
Now you just come out with some waffle about what the letter allegedly says.

This is one hell of an opening sequence. You will get the kids warmed up straight away. It may be advisable to follow with something a bit quieter since the kids will now be a bit hyper.

5 minutes of nonsense and you haven't even done a trick yet.

There we are. A sample from my no-magic magic show.

[censored]
www.marklewisentertainment.com
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