I realise that some of you make a living teaching classes. Teaching during a show is a different issue because a show is a show and a classroom is a classroom. If you are hired to do a workshop then the format, for kids, should be A. Do a trick. B. Teach them how it works. C Have them construct it and practice it. D repeat. If you are hired to perform then that’s what you do. When you are exposing tricks for no reason (the audience is NOT encouraged to practice, to make and to perform the effect) then all you are doing is a cheap exposure which lowers your status as an entertainer.
Cheap exposure = cheap magician. Teacher who involves mechanicle principles, history, presentation ect. = valued educator.
Here is the short answer;
Teaching magic really is different then performing magic – and – in you’re case (with the grandparents there, or, with this being a birthday party) I think a show, a real show will be a lot more fun and a lot more interesting for everyone, and no one will feel left-out. (You can just repeat the above paragraph… unless they aren’t getting it, then you may need to continue , as below.
So here is how an extended phone conversation usually developes:
Q. Will you teach everyone a magic trick during/after the show?
A. You know, most people come to a magic show to b|:e amazed or entertained. When magicians, and not just myself- any magician, teaches a trick, the mystery just disappears. The audience is neither fooled nor amazed. Teaching tricks takes all the mystery away from a performance. There is a real difference between a demonstrator and an entertainer. So it’s generally not something I do and I don’t know any professional magicians that give away their secrets either because it’s how we make our living. Now, I have been know to teach a magic class, in proper and when I teach a class they have signed-up for lessons, which shows that they are interested in learning magic. Each lesson can take an hour and a half to learn one trick because they learn the trick then they actually construct one, then they learn to perform it correctly. So teaching magic and performing magic are two different types of activities.
I do however, have the answer – I have a great magic set I usually present to the birthday boy during the show, as an extra bonus.
Performing magic is a great way to help kids gain confidence and learn problem solving skills. The kids who perform magic become good at planning and organizing because you learn to be one step ahead and think on your feet.
The magic kits are only $17.50. I have a picture on my web site if you want to look at it. It’s recommended for children over the age of 7 because of the motor skills involved. I like it. Also, if you wanted to buy them in quantity I can get a dozen or more for 15.00 dollars each. I can also gift wrap the one for your son, if you only want the one 🙂
Now, let me tell you about the rest of the show….
EXPLANATION. I use references to all magicians NOT teaching tricks so the caller understands that it’s common practice to perform without tipping the modus operandi. The important point here is, we really do lose our mystique and importance by telling how tricks work. I don’t know of any singers that come to an event, sing, then give singing lessons. They are hired for their talent as a singer, not a vocal coach. I support the magicians code of ethics Never Tell How A Trick Is Done. If you’re a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, you should know that keeping secrets is part of our by-laws..
” There is a big difference between a demonstrator and an entertainer.” and you can’t do a good job teaching magic just by showing the gimmick, you need to lead the students on a learning experience.