Use birthday child ALL the time?

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Postby Guest » 05/31/05 06:33 AM

I am a very occasional performer, so while I do what I do fairly well, I am lacking in quite a bit of show experience. So I'm looking for some wisdom on structuring a birthday show.

I know the birthday child should be the star of the show. And I do that - they are the magical one, and do many things when it appears I'm dong nothing or have gotten myself into trouble.

But I have several routines that are good, but don't involve a helper. Is it ever a good idea to "take a break" from using the birthday child aas a helper and do something that doesn't involve them? If so, how do you smoothly make the transition from "You're the star" into "Go sit down for a few minutes while I do some amazing stuff" without seeming tactless and insensitive?

Prof OfWhat
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/31/05 07:37 AM

You need to buy my new book, David Kaye's Seriously Silly. All of your questions will be answered and you'll have fun reading it, besides.
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Postby Andy Hurst » 05/31/05 07:40 AM

I have the birthday child up for one trick. It just happens to be the most fun and uses all the fall apart wands, etc.

Also that trick isn't the first thing I do, its about middle of my kids show. That way you've had a few other kids up first and if the birthday child was shy, they not so worried by that point.

Also so they don't get anxious, I do mention early on that there's a special trick we going to do with the birthday boy/girl so they KNOW they will be up for something.

Finally I bring them back up at the climax of the show to wave the wand for the last time and get some extra applause, etc.

That's what works for me, still keeps the birthday child in the 'star of the show' role but doesn't mean they have to be up more than twice. Also means if you get a total headcase birthday kid or one whose so shy they gonna pee themselves if they up for more than 5 mins - you don't have a problem.

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Postby Guest » 05/31/05 09:30 AM

Richard:
The "Seriously Silly" book is on my Father's Day wish list! If that doesn't do it, then we may be walking for a week 'cuz the gas money is going to mysteriously disappear - and a new book WILL be on my shelf!! :rolleyes: ;)

Andy:
I can see where doing a show that way will allow me to set up a show that's more flexible, and allow for on-the-spot changes if needed. I find I lock myself into a format because that's all I know - I'm slowly getting more comfortable with experimenting and breaking out of the "safe zone". Thanks for giving me some new ideas.

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Postby Guest » 05/31/05 10:20 AM

The birthday child gets to take part in a major routine but other kids take part in the rest.
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Postby Bill Wells » 05/31/05 02:38 PM

Another approach is to use the birthday child in your first audience participation routine and then ask the birthday child to assist you by selecting any other helpers after that. This allows you to keep the birthday child in the spotlight but also spread the participation around.
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Postby Guest » 05/31/05 03:13 PM

Excellent suggestion, Bill!! Thank you!

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Postby Guest » 05/31/05 04:36 PM

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
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Postby Guest » 06/02/05 06:54 AM

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!

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