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Magic Show for 11-14 year olds

Aug 10, 2008
Hi guys! Anyone over here has any experience doing magic shows for 11-14 year olds? Do you know what tricks might be suited for them? Thanks!


forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
Louisville, OH
Thanks Luis...ha ha.

11-14 is a tough age group compared to a 5-9 because they are hitting the age where they "think" magic is not cool and the "think" they know how every effect is accomplished. It is the preteen age group. Sometimes some of the guys will show off and shout things out and throw challenges your way more so than young girls who will give you great reactions. This is because they want to show off and draw attention to themselves to impress their peers.

It is crucial to let them know that you are performing magic WITH them and NOT AT them.

As far as effects I would look at items like: Chicago Opener, Invisible Deck Routine, A torn and restored Routine, ACR, Anything with Loops (check your lighting), 20th century silks, Stratosphere, Scotch and Soda, Fiber Optics - Rope Routine (I don't do Professor's Nightmare - see notes below) Book Tests work well, Magic Square Routine, Anything with Fire is a Bonus for this age group, Needle through Arm, Pressure. I am just throwing ideas out there. You want the magic to be a step up from the "kiddie" stuff - if that makes sense.

Stay Away from the younger age group effects like: Stop Light Cards, Forgetful Freddie, Magic Coloring Book, Break Away Wand, D'Lites, Stuffed Animal or Puppets, etc. Some of these classics have been seen by that particular age group when they are younger and you'll get the "We've Already Seen This One!" from numerous kids. Don't get me wrong...they are great tricks but mainly for the typical birthday parties we perform for the 5-9 year olds.

If you have any particular / specific questions feel free to ask.

Be weary of effects that might make fun of someone. This is a double edged sword for that age group. You may lose your audience if you make someone look like a fool up in front of their peers. Or...I've seen it go completely the other way and everyone is laughing including the volunteer. Be careful.
May 19, 2010
Being in this age group(Please don't judge me), one thing I know from experience is that they will demand a trick to be done again and again if, as reverhart said, perform magic with them. And they will be very persistent. Keep things flowing yet allow enough time for the magic to sink in. It will help greatly And as reverhart said stay away from the tricks typically seen as something for the younger age groups. Kids in this age group want to be treated with respect and as adults. So they will want to see more involved tricks, especially those with cards. reverhart gave a great list. Hope this helps and good luck.


Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
New Jersey
You should ask Reverhart or Reality One for advice around here...they helped me in the past on a similar setting...

Thanks Luis.

As Rick said, this is a tough age to perform for. You have to establish yourself very quickly or they will challenge you. Start by dressing the part. Don't look like you are going to a kids birthday party, look like you are going out to a nicer restaurant with some friends.

Start with a strong effect like the invisible deck or Brainwave deck. Toss out the deck to the audience and have the first person pick a color and toss the deck to someone else, have the second person pick the suite and then toss the deck, have the third person pick number card or face card and then toss the deck and have the last person name the value of the card and toss the deck to you. Ask them if they believe in magic; if they believe in coincidence; if they believe in the power to control people's minds. Ask them if they would believe that there is once card turned over in the deck.... You've got their attention, you've got them involved, you've got them to voice their skepticism about magic and you've got them AMAZED. You've set the stage for the rest of your performance.

Just off the top of my head, here are some other effects that would work (Rick's recommendations are great and I won't repeat any of them): Mark Wilson's Tic Tac Toe, Miraskill (Bannon has a great version called View to A Skill), Vanishing Bandana, Sankey's In a Flash, Dan Haas' Flow (put bottle over spectator's head), Out of this World (a great effect for setting up for OOTW is in Card College Light), Daniel Garcia's Torn, Paul Harris and Wayne Houchin's Invisible Palm Aces / Shuffling Lesson from True Astonishment.

Notice that most of the card effects have the audience as the hero. The magic happens in their hands. Most of the other effects require a spectator to assist you. The only exception on Vanishing Bandana which I would use as the closer (so do you know how magicians learn tricks... mail order!)

Rick nailed the advice. Kick up the magic to another level, don't make your volunteers look bad and give the kid who volunteers the chance to look good. The only other advice I have is use good patter. Don't use the say-do-see presentation where you say what is going to happen, do it and then tell the audience to see what happened. Engage the audience. Make it interesting. Have fun!
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