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Intensely Magic

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I was roped into doing a magic show for the grandchildren and the obligatory adults for my granddaughter's birthday over Thanksgiving. No way out! I'm in no way a children's magician, but I didn't want to look like a bumbling, stumbling old man either. I did some digging through the drawers and managed to put on a tolerable show. I thought maybe some others might benefit from my experience. Here's some things I did:

I opened up with a "Magic Tester" to see if there was sufficient magic in the room to continue. This went over WAY better than I thought. Some years ago Bob Koch produced a very clever falling timber - the name escapes me. This is a version uses a Sharpie and a deck of cards or glass. I used a glass fresh from the Salvation Army - it still had the price sticker on it and I made some lame joke about it being, obviously, ungimmicked. After balancing the pen on the glass, it will fall in 30 seconds or so. It lasts long enough that people begin to think it won't work and then it does. It's called Fall.

I next did the jumping rubber band, where the band goes from the first and second finger to the third and forth. I did this twice. I think waving the other hand over during the move can make this very magical. I then "locked" the band in place and let it jump again. I gave the bands away. I think this actually looks better the the Crazy Man Routine for kids. (OK 2 down and nobody is throwing things).

Now a card trick. I found most of the kids knew the suits and colors, so I opted for B'Wave in Jumbo. Really played well for kids and adults. Max Maven's "remove" statement is brilliant.

Next was Dean Dill's Nana's Necklace. A punched up version of the old Three Beads and String Trick. I used an adult to hold the strung beads, bu she didn't hold tight enough. This would have played much better if I had managed it better.

One of my all time favorite tricks was Bob Ostin's Beam Shot, which morphed into Scotty York's Lamp Trick and was recently released by Tenyo as The Ghost Lamp. The bulb was put on a silk handkerchief and passed over six piles of cards, with the child saying "not my card" each time. Of course, the bulb lights on the correct pile. The biggest reaction comes when using the scissors to cut off the invisible cord. Tenyo did a great job with this.

I started the next trick by talking about a dowsing rod and put a light bulb in a plain white lunch sack. I told them this would find who had a birthday. I let the kids pass it around and when my granddaughter got the bag it lit up. When she passed it to a friend it went out. One of the adults wanted to hold it and it lit up. I had no idea he had a birthday, but my son, who was controlling the remote, did of course. I was thrilled with the way it played.

I closed with the only new thing I bought, which was Martin Lewis' Cardiographic Lite with the birthday bunny. I think the reason this plays so well is it looks like a terribly lame trick and people relax, right to the point you tear off the page and hand it out.

That's pretty much it. I managed to give a decent show and retain most of my hard earned dignity. Maybe some of these thoughts will help others.


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There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. Arthur Conan Doyle

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intensely Magic

I was roped into doing a magic show for the grandchildren and the obligatory adults for my granddaughter's birthday over Thanksgiving. No way out! I'm in no way a children's magician, but I didn't want to look like a bumbling, stumbling old man either. I did some digging through the drawers and managed to put on a tolerable show. I thought maybe some others might benefit from my experience. Here's some things I did:

I opened up with a "Magic Tester" to see if there was sufficient magic in the room to continue. This went over WAY better than I thought. Some years ago Bob Koch produced a very clever falling timber - the name escapes me. This is a version uses a Sharpie and a deck of cards or glass. I used a glass fresh from the Salvation Army - it still had the price sticker on it and I made some lame joke about it being, obviously, ungimmicked. After balancing the pen on the glass, it will fall in 30 seconds or so. It lasts long enough that people begin to think it won't work and then it does. It's called Fall.

I next did the jumping rubber band, where the band goes from the first and second finger to the third and forth. I did this twice. I think waving the other hand over during the move can make this very magical. I then "locked" the band in place and let it jump again. I gave the bands away. I think this actually looks better the the Crazy Man Routine for kids. (OK 2 down and nobody is throwing things).

Now a card trick. I found most of the kids knew the suits and colors, so I opted for B'Wave in Jumbo. Really played well for kids and adults. Max Maven's "remove" statement is brilliant.

Next was Dean Dill's Nana's Necklace. A punched up version of the old Three Beads and String Trick. I used an adult to hold the strung beads, bu she didn't hold tight enough. This would have played much better if I had managed it better.

One of my all time favorite tricks was Bob Ostin's Beam Shot, which morphed into Scotty York's Lamp Trick and was recently released by Tenyo as The Ghost Lamp. The bulb was put on a silk handkerchief and passed over six piles of cards, with the child saying "not my card" each time. Of course, the bulb lights on the correct pile. The biggest reaction comes when using the scissors to cut off the invisible cord. Tenyo did a great job with this.

I started the next trick by talking about a dowsing rod and put a light bulb in a plain white lunch sack. I told them this would find who had a birthday. I let the kids pass it around and when my granddaughter got the bag it lit up. When she passed it to a friend it went out. One of the adults wanted to hold it and it lit up. I had no idea he had a birthday, but my son, who was controlling the remote, did of course. I was thrilled with the way it played.

I closed with the only new thing I bought, which was Martin Lewis' Cardiographic Lite with the birthday bunny. I think the reason this plays so well is it looks like a terribly lame trick and people relax, right to the point you tear off the page and hand it out.

That's pretty much it. I managed to give a decent show and retain most of my hard earned dignity. Maybe some of these thoughts will help others.



You survived! And the best part is the grandkids will never forget it. That is worth the effort right there.
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi IM

Thanks for this excellent and thoughtful reflection on your planning, performance, and outcome.  There is a lot to be learned from what you are sharing here.

Robin
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #4 
Well Done!

I stopped doing Kid Shows when the phone stopped ringing. I've steadily dispensed with the main stuff, but could just about manage to conjure up something for a "special request" such as this.

One of the few items I still have is a switch envelope, which I use to produce a Birthday Card. The envelope's empty, everybody says the magic words and there's the card. Now everybody says Happy Birthday.

They're easy enough to make, or so I'm told, but I bought a couple from Mark Leveridge donkey's years ago. They work a treat.

All that said, your post and your adventures are food for thought. Once again Well Done.
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