Proud To Be A Kid Show Magician
Do kid show
magicians deserve better? You bet, and here's just three reasons why.
Is it easier to perform magic for children than for adults? Maybe. Close-up card workers must put in hours of practice to achieve technical perfection. And all we have to do with a Coloring Book is flip through the pages. But aren't there other forms of magic besides childrenís magic that are also simple to perform technically?
As far as technical skill is concerned, it is probably easier to perform standard children's effects than, say, the perfect pass. That is probably why so many people put down kid show magicians. But there are other forms of magic that are also simple to perform technically. How hard is it, technically, to push metal plates through two slits in a Zig-Zag illusion? When a beautiful girl changes into a tiger, the magician isnít even involved. Itís the assistant in the box who does the work. Siegfried and Roy earned $58 million last year by walking back and forth on a big stage raising their arms every now and then. The field of mentalism is also easy to perform technically. How much technical skill is required for a mentalist to read a chosen word off another page in a book test?
But it takes more than technical skill to be a magician. Though technically simple, a stage illusionist requires skills in many other areas. The stage magician must be graceful and elegant. He or she needs professional choreography, lighting and costumes. A mentalist who simply gets an imprint off a clipboard, must also be a great actor and showman, creating drama and mystery.
Likewise, though technically simple, performing childrenís magic requires more than ownership of the usual props. You must have an understanding of children, including their intellectual and verbal skills. You have to know what makes them laugh and how to keep their attention. You must be likable, funny, and non-threatening. And you must be able to improvise rather than follow a rigid script.
There may even be some aspects of performing magic for children that are harder than performing magic for adults. This may explain why so many adult performers hate performing for kids. Because they can't do it! Because it requires a whole different set of skills that performing for adults does not teach you.
The adult audience of a bad magician will probably sit through his or her show, out of courtesy. Children watching a lousy kid show magician will leave the room to play Nintendo the first chance they get! During the show, adults don't yell out their own explanations for how the tricks are done . After all, when was the last time you heard someone in the close-up room at The Magic Castle yell out "It's in his lap!"? Adults usually won't tell you that you did a lousy job. They might even be polite and compliment you. But we all know kids will tell you their opinions: "Boooo-ring!"
If a bad kid show magician loses control of his audience, he might have one or more children run up to 'examine' his props. Kids love to look behind your table and grab, grab, grab. Have you ever seen an adult run up on a stage during a Zig Zag illusion and pull the doors open?! And have you ever seen a member of the audience run up on stage during a sub-trunk performance and shout, to the delight of the rest of the crowd, "He's coming out of the top!"?
Be proud of your talent. Be proud of your show. Be proud to be a kid show magician. You may be under appreciated by fellow magicians. But you are appreciated by the people who matter the most - the kids.