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Stage Illusions for Children's Shows

Posted: February 8th, 2016, 1:57 am
by Spellbinder
Most children's entertainers are not looking to perform stage illusions at junior's birthday party and instead search for "packs small and plays big" at those events. However, once in a while, they might discover that their "plays big show" is not quite big enough for a gymnasium filled with kids, or a large school auditorium with the whole school turned out, and so on. That's when some children's stage illusions come in handy. Fortunately, Jim Gerrish has come up with two new illusions designed especially for children. They both use props ready made by toy makers and relatively inexpensive, compared to if they had been built by illusion builders for the trade.

#1 is "From HERE to THERE" and that Hobbity name tells the story. It is made from two children's Play Tents and is designed to transport a child from the audience from one tent to the other. Total cost about $100.

#2 is "Run, Princess, Run!" and while it can easily become "Run, Prince, Run!" it turns Harry Leat's "Run, Rabbit, Run" into an illusion for the stage, again using a child from the audience to play the role of the running character. Total cost, about $80

Both can be found in the latest Wizards' Journal #31 with all sources given. The funny thing is, they both "Pack Small and Play Huge."

Re: Stage Illusions for Children's Shows

Posted: February 8th, 2016, 3:37 am
by Q. Kumber
I admire your site for its plans and ideas for making one's own props, something many did in previous generations. And in this case it is illusions with entertainment value.

As regards illusions. many of the old-timers knew how to get entertainment value from them rather than the modern trend of doing each in less then 2.5 minutes and wheeling it off in readiness for the next to be wheeled on. With many illusionists it is the same effect over and over again. . . Girl gets in box, something happens and she gets out in one piece. Occasionally she switches place … and then the effect is repeated over and over, only with different shaped boxes.

Re: Stage Illusions for Children's Shows

Posted: February 8th, 2016, 6:49 am
by Spellbinder
When I was growing up in the age of "buy everything from a magic store," I used to think of illusionists as "rich boys" whose fathers bought them the latest and biggest stuff available. Not having a rich father, and being of poor means myself, my equally poor friends and I went about it differently - we made our own props and tried to outdo one another in breaking an illusion down into the simplest (and least expensive) possible solution, which meant eliminating the boxes whenever possible. I hope I am inspiring new generations of magicians to do the same. Even with the two illusions mentioned above, Jim and I have discussed ways to get the costs well below $25 by building everything from scratch.