Sunday, December 14, 2008

Best age groups for performing magic

When can children start appreciating magic shows? What is the best age group for enjoying a magician? Do teenagers like magic? These are all tough questions and I am sure there is no single correct answer for any of these. I would just like to offer my opinion based on my performances.

I perform a lot of magic shows at "first birthday" parties. Now everyone knows that a 1 year old is not going to enjoy magic but in these parties you find kids in every age group. I usually try to get the age group of the majority of the kids but sometimes it trul is a mixed audience. Today I performed at a nine year old's birthday party and that went really well. Based on my performances I would like to propose that kids under 3 will usually not understand or appreciate magic effects. I fell that kids who are between 7 and 10 love magic and get totally into the shows. For these kids, you can even perform a full hour magic show and they will not get bored. Kids above 15 are not that interested but they soon start displaying adult like curiosity. And of course adults do not really follow a pattern. Most adults love watching good magic shows but I am sure there are some that think it is childish.

I perform for "kids of all ages" and do my shows for kids > 3 years old. Most of my parties are for kids 14 and under. I will of course tailor my effects and the length of the show according to the age group and all my audiences seem to have fun :-) Don't forget to book your shows at least a month in advance.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fooling people vs. entertaining them

I just did a show yesterday for a mixed audience of children and adults. While I was performing the show, it suddenly struck me that the jokes I was telling, the gags, etc. generally drew a great response and really help build up the effects.

Here's an example. For years I watched magicians perform a sponge ball gag which I ignored because there was no magic in it. Now I do this every show and it draws a lot of laughs. Here's the way I do this: I give the two sponge balls names - I call them 'A' and 'B'. Then I place ball A in my hand and ball B in the spectator's hand. I then perform some magical gesture and then announce that I now have ball B and they have ball A. After a moment or so, when everyone is figuring this out, this draws a big laugh from the adults. Some of the kids will of course tell you that both balls look the same, etc. You can now continue with making your ball disappear and join the spectator's ball in their hand. If you are a magician and perform sponge balls, do try this and see how it works for you.

I also perform at least one effect like hippity hop rabbits, run rabbit run or die box and I think everyone knows the "turn it around" gags,or the "look don't see" gags, etc. These get tremendous response also. The whole idea is to keep people entertained while you are of course fooling them.

My pet theory is that people hate being fooled but they love to be entertained, so it is important to include a lot of fun gags, jokes, etc. Being a nice person helps also. So until next time, learn a few jokes and see if you can include them in your next magic show.

The holiday season is coming up and my calendar is filling up fast. So please call me if you need a birthday magic show:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

YMCA family night

I performed at a YMCA family night last week. I did a 35 min. magic show and balloons. Huge hit - the kids loved it and really got into it. It is amazing (no pun intended) that they love magic so much and really get into this. I have started polling people on the trick they like the most and once again everyone loved my feather flower growth i.e. BOTANIA.

I also tried a Benson bowl routine for the first time and people loved that effect also. In the end the long line for balloons moved a bit slowly but the kids were very patient and well behaved. I had a truly great time and hope they invite me back soon

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Diwali Magic shows at Cupertino Memorial Park - 9/27/2008

I just finished performing my magic shows at Cupertino memorial park once again this year. This was my fourth year in a row doing this and it is a lot of fun for me. If you happen to see the show next year, do come by and say hello. There were hundreds of people this year andeveryone had a great time. My magic shows seemed to be a big hit and I had good sized audiences for each show with the last show being the biggest one.

Isn't it great that a city in the USA is celebrating all major festivals - some of them ethnic and some traditional e.g. in Cupertino, they celebrate Chinese Lunar new year, Diwali - Indian festival of lights and Oktoberfest. I find this wonderful and feel that we should all show encouragement by attending many of these festivals. They have good food, lots of activities for children and also the usual vendor booths.

The shows I perform are for kids and adults alike and last for 35-40 minutes. I usually perform 3-4 shows and start around 12:00 noon. Do stop by and watch - I promise you will be entertained and will probably be fooled also :-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Birthday party show in a school classroom

I have performed in school class rooms but had not been invited to do this for a birthday before. I just performed my deluxe show for one hour at this seven year old's birthday party in his class room. There were two classes watching and a total of more than 50 kids. This was a great audience and they were totally into all the magic tricks which is exactly what I try to do i.e. involve them in the stuff I do.

They loved all the effects - from sponge balls, the miser's dream, coloring book, hippity hop rabbits, spoon bending and finally "the flower trick". I have started doing a poll these days on the kids' favorite trick and once again "the flower trick" won but there were several other tricks that the kids mentioned which was a welcome surprise to me. This must mean that I am doing something right - if amond all kids, 5 different tricks stood out as the "best" !!

Once again if you are in San Jose, Santa Clara, Fremont, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Cupertino or anywhere close by in the Bay Area, do check my website or do a Google search for Amazing Vijay.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Blue and Gold Banquet Magic Show

I just performed at a cub scout Blue and Gold banquet in West San Jose. My son Vineet was a cub scout for 5 years and is now in the Boy Scouts. I would strongly encourage young boys to join the Cub Scouts. Parents - do talk to your boys about this. It is such a wonderful program and the boys learn so much and it gets you out of the house :-)

The magic show was my short version (35 minutes) but it went very well. Several parents came after the show and said how I had related to the boys and really got them into the show. This is what I do best and I was glad to hear that people appreciate this. One guy even said that last year's magician was OK but the boys just did not seem to connect. So magicians, remember that this is very important - do not perform at them, you need to make them part of the show and get them to really participate. This is the difference between kid shows and short magic acts that are performed to music, etc. Read Silly Billy's book for a lot more info on this topic.

Have a magical valentine's day.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Purpose and target audience for this Blog

This will be a blog about my experiences as a magician. I perform a lot of magic shows in the Northern California Bay Area and wanted to share some of my insights into this ancient art of magic. I am also an avid enthusiast of magic and we may discuss ocassional magic performances on TV, some of the Las Vegas shows, etc.

This blog will hopefully be interesting to everyone interested in this ancient art of magic. I am not going to reveal any secrets here but we may talk about specific magic effects and presentation ideas related to these. I hope that both my magic audiences and my magician friends will read this blog.

This will not be updated on some regular schedule - initially it will be more sporadic.