Thoughts on products, performance, and doublethink in the magic community.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Thoughts on The Camp Performance

Well, I did the show.

I have never performed for so many kids (45) before, and I didn't feel as 'in charge' as I usually do. Still, a majority of the kids enjoyed the magic and were enthusiastic. It makes me so happy when these kids shout down the hecklers.

Something interesting happened with the magic coloring book. I have considered eliminating it from my repertoire; it's a cliche prop that is included in many beginner magic sets. I was apprehensive about bringing it to the camp show, but I was pleasantly surprised. As soon as I took it out, one girl exclaimed "Oh, I love this trick!" Quite a few other kids expressed their agreement.

The tricks themselves went off without a hitch, but I had some difficulty managing the audience. A few kids would constantly interject about how "my grandpa does magic" or "once a magician did (fill in the blank.)" I don't think they weren't doing it out of rudeness, they just were over-eager to tell me their stories.

There were other problems, although minor. I was hampered by my lack of a proper prop case. I had to lay everything out on a chair next to me, and those got tossed in a cardboard box when I was finished them. It was awkward, difficult, and did not feel or look professional. I plan to buy a nice case ASAP.

I also had trouble calming down the kids who wanted to volunteer, but weren't chosen. I promised a young girl that she could help with the next trick. I didn't even realize what I did, I just said it to get her off my back. When it came time for the next trick, I specifically picked someone who I needed, but the girl just ran right up and joined him. What was I gonna do, tell her to go sit back down?

Having 2 volunteers made it harder for me to do the trick, and neither of them had much to do. It was a foolish mistake.

But I think the show went pretty well. I haven't done a paid kids show for months, and things could have gone a lot worse. Also, one of the kids wants me to do her birthday party, and I'm putting on another show for the camp this week. It's good experience.


Blogger Danny said...

Something I stumbled upon, just a spur of the moment ad lib that worked out so well I filed it mentally for future use:

Just as you were challenged by the girl who couldn't wait to volunteer (and aren't they the ones we usually wish to avoid?) anyway I was faced with a similar predicament. So I reached into my prop case for some stuff I really didn't expect to use, unless I needed to stretch the show for some reason, and handed the items to the hyper child and decreed that he was now the "keeper of the gadgetry". Never told him I was going to use it. Worked like a charm, he calmed right down and devoted his rapt attention, probably assuming he would be called upon at any moment. Finished up the show without ever needing the stuff, but he seemed not to mind and apparently left happy as a clam.

Sarc. Mag.

8:19 PM


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