Somedays you feel like a beginner. Today I’m heading out to do a no contact, outdoor, socially distant show for a kids birthday party. I haven’t really done birthdays for years, so this isn’t something I have solid “muscle memory” of doing.
This show has me super stressed out. I took it to help me knock off the cobwebs from having not performed in person much for the last 10 months. I’ve checked and recheck my case for all of my props, run the show dozens of times. Stuff I really haven’t done for my normal show in years. I know the props, I know they are in the case, and I know what to do if something breaks or is missing. More importantly, I know how long the show will run. With this birthday show, I have a guess how long the show will run, but not as good of an idea as I would with shows I normally do. I did pack some filler just in case…
If you’ve seen my magic lecture you’ve heard my favorite quote, which is essentially what my lecture is about. If you haven’t, here’s the quote:
Go past crowd pleasing and into real comedy…
He says it on Tom Papa’s podcast, it’s a great interview and you should listen to it. In my lecture I use the quote not just for comedy, but for magic. Sponge balls are crowd pleasing, how do you go past that and get into real magic?
Let’s get back to what I’m writing this post about. Someone in a magic forum had posted a picture of the nest of wands comedy prop that was broken.
If you’re not familiar with the Nesting Wands trick you have large diameter wand and smaller wands keep coming out of it. If you’re not familiar with the prop, here’s it in action:
The sets that are common in the USA have one end that’s sealed, and the person who wrote the Facebook post thought that they were broken and need to be fixed. For me whenever a prop breaks, I look at it as a chance to p lay with the prop and figure out things that may not have been possible before. I’ve had a bunch of cool things come out of props breaking and getting a new view of them.
When I was younger and did magic shows at kids birthday parties, I used this prop. However the set I had were made by Tops Magic in Europe. Most people in the USA didn’t like this set of Nesting Wands because they were open at both ends. I loved them because there was a lot more you could do with them. Here’s some ideas:
When the kid tries to “one up you” and restack them, they will fall out the other end.
You renest them and they all fall onto the floor.
You renest them and they slide out the other end and land in your case, but you don’t notice that. Then once they are all in your case, you look at the wand in your hand and see it’s empty. You then look around for where they went.
When the kid hands them back to you, you drop them all over the floor. You pick up the biggest wand and ask the kid to hand you another wand. They do, you put it into the wand in your hand and it just falls out the bottom ( you don’t notice that) and have the kid keep handing you wands and they keep falling through. Repeat till it’s not funny and at that point start holding the wands in with your finger at the bottom. Once they are all nested, let them drop out and onto the floor!
Look a prop breaking as an opportunity to do something creative and new with the prop. Sometimes you’ll just have a broken prop…other times you’ll have gold!
It’s an interesting time to be a magician, with virtually no venues to perform in. There are a few birthday party magicians still performing, but I think that’s about it, the whole industry has been forced to close. This has led performers to try to move their shows online. Several performers have put their whole … Continue reading “Taking Your Show Online…”
It’s an interesting time to be a magician, with virtually no venues to perform in. There are a few birthday party magicians still performing, but I think that’s about it, the whole industry has been forced to close. This has led performers to try to move their shows online.
Several performers have put their whole shows online and can be watched for free on things like YouTube or Facebook. I’m trying to figure out what the end game is when you put a whole show online. Sure it’s great for the viewer, but most are giving it away for free and asking for donations. How do you monetize it?
Also I think we’re a bit early in the “social isolation” game to start giving away your show for donations. We’re only on day 5ish of a potential 56 days, there’s still plenty of Netflix content to get through. I’d wait a little while for people to start getting bored…
Right now is a great time to be a magician. Magic is HOT right now, especially close up magic. That got me thinking about one area where magic is always huge, but I think it currently an under-served market and that’s children’s birthday parties. This is a market I don’t really work in anymore. … Continue reading “Low Inventory of Birthday Magicians”
Right now is a great time to be a magician. Magic is HOT right now, especially close up magic. That got me thinking about one area where magic is always huge, but I think it currently an under-served market and that’s children’s birthday parties.
This is a market I don’t really work in anymore. I only do these for friends, or special circumstances. It’s not that I don’t like doing them, they are fun, it’s just that my business has changed.
It got me thinking about how people who perform in this market is drying up. How many magicians that regularly perform at birthday parties are in my area that are under 30 years old? I can think of maybe 2 people. Bump that up to 40 years old and that number jumps to about 5 people. That’s not a lot for such a large pond of potential work.
My advice for someone young who is turning pro would be to put together a birthday show, it will help pay the bills while you are working on whatever market is your dream.