Started working at a school. Input/advice?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Infected, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. As the title says i've started working at a school with 8-9 year olds. I've never really performed for children so I dont really know much about it and could use some advice on what tricks to perform and really anything thats useful knowing about performing for children.
  2. Be Visual. Don't expect them to pay attention to long effects. Rope tricks, Sponge Balls, Fire Wallets, Flash Paper, Animals, Being Funny, Coin Tricks, Silk Magic.

    Notice I didn't say anything about playing cards :p

    Just have fun with them. Even a torn and restored napkin will entertain them.
  3. I dont really have alot of gimmicks and stuff I am mostly a card man but i have a TT and some silk and i guess a crazy mans handcuffs would be funny to do. Thanks for the advice man.
  4. None of the stuff I mentioned has to have gimmicks! (minus the flash paper, and fire wallet)

    One long piece of rope can serve you well. You don't have any sponge balls? If not I'd recommend getting some, they play well for everyone.. and loose change or a 50 cent piece? If you have different colored silks, you could do color changes, fake knots.

    The magic letters were TT in that post. You can do so much with that little piece of artwork.
  5. Infected,
    Great question and I think I can help you as well. Robert covered most of it. Forget doing card tricks unless it is just one or two REALLY cool things that involves some humor. Kids could care less at that age nor will they pay much attention. You want anything that is colorful, vanishing, reappearing, funny, flashy / fire, silks, money, rope, etc. You need to get them INVOLVED. Kids like to DO THINGS rather than just sit and watch. You need to be able to make fun of yourself as well. You ever watch Silly Billy perform? Hilarious comedy and kids eat that stuff up.

    Here are a list of some things I use in my kids show: Stratosphere, Change Bag Routine, Lota Vase, Fiber Optics with Rope, D'Lites, Shoot a card with cap pistol, Spongeballs, and a ton more.

    Do you need to go buy expensive props to carry around....if you are building a professional show...yes...eventually. If you are just entertaining kids for free then I suggest what Robert said, maybe get some cheap colorful silks, rope, coins, TT and go that route. Let me know if you have more specific questions on certain effects and I can tell you if they play well or not for 8-9 year olds.

    Reality One is a very knowledgeable guy as well on kids stuff. Craig Browning knows his material well too but I am not sure if he does or did at one time kids shows. I'll let these guys chime in if they choose.
  6. #6 RealityOne, Jun 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2011
    I'm assuming you want short pieces to perform from day to day but the type of material to use to develop a show.

    For that age, cards can work, but I'd recommend stuff that is more than "lose a card and find a card", or gambling or ace productions. Caleb Wiles has a bunch of great card effects that go beyond mere card effects in his lecture notes and in Card Magic USA (Paparatzi Card Trick and lots of great stuff by others including a color changing packet trick by Max Maven). Stuff with blank cards works great. Check out Craig Petty's Blank for effects like that (if you get it get a double blank and a blank back deck too). Color Monte works great too. Dan Harlen's Hovercard is really visual and with the right patter can reall astonish. You can have fun with Bannon's A View to a Kill (a version of Stewart James' Miraskill from The Jinx Issue 24 and Encyclopedia of Card Tricks) - you play a game that is a lot like war and you can correctly predict the winner and by how much twice in a row or Bannon's Four Fold Foresight. There needs to be something in addition to the cards to add interest.

    Scotch and Soda is great (make sure you get an extra ungimmicked English Penny to put pocket). Puncture also is great for a quick stunt.

    Check out an effect called Pips a Poppin. It has sponge card pips that you pull off the cards. Regular sponge balls are good too.

    If you don't have Mark Wilson's book, get it. There is a bunch of great material - including a sponge ball routine and rope routine.

    Rubber bands is a good idea. If you can use Silly Bandz, even better (although that is less of a trend than a year ago).
  7. Thanks everybody for all the great advices it's really helped me alot.

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