Originally posted by Steve V':
Only problem with that is the kid has to pick one kid over another and that could lead to hurt feelings etc.. One thing I do to differentiate the birthday child from other kids is I have a special Birthday Magician Assistant certificate for the lil' human. The cert is clearly recognizing a birthday so the other kids don't expect it.
Steve V <--second best kids performer in US
Would it work better, then, to use a gimmick in letting the bd child choose another helper? Like color spot cards - have them pick a card: "Okay, so now we need someone wearing green." Or names in a hat? THey've still chosen - and of course, it's going to be their special "birthday-day magic" that will let them coose someone else magical enough to get us through the next trick, because you know the magician is kind of a goof!
That certificate is a good idea. Someone posted an idea for an opener about a letter - you can't read it, it's on the floor, etc. Maybe these could be combined to have the letter be the certificate. Got to be careful about stepping on it, I guess - unless the footprint is your signature!