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View Full Version : Magic for 8-year-old's talent show. Help!


Hedda Rosa
06-05-2011, 05:50 PM
My 8 year old daughter informed me today that she is signed up to perform magic at the talent show on the last day of school. Which is Tuesday.

Has she ever done magic before? Of course not.

We found one trick already, Water Into Ice:

Prep is
-sponge in opaque glass
-ice cube on top of sponge

Trick is
- pour a splash of water into cup
- patter & wave of magic wand
- pour out ice cubes
- audience is amazed

Any other ideas? We are looking online but I trust the Dope to have the best suggestions.

Chronos
06-05-2011, 07:26 PM
The variant of "pick a card, any card" I did when I was about that age (note: There are at least dozens, probably hundreds, of different "pick a card, any card" tricks):

Have an audience member pick a card out of the deck. If they want, they can show it to everyone else in the audience.

Cut the deck, and have them put the card back in the middle.

While the deck is cut, sneak a peek at the bottom of the top half (the card that'll be right above the picked card)

Do a "shuffle" that amounts to just cutting the deck again.

Look through the deck, and find the card that's right before the card you peeked at. Take it out and show it to everyone: That's the picked card.

Also, remember: The tricks themselves aren't what makes the magic show. The show is all about the presentation. Even if a trick fails to work, you can (if you've got the knack) still make a success out of it by turning it into a joke.

Lukeinva
06-05-2011, 07:57 PM
Sawing someone in half is always impressive.

Left Hand of Dorkness
06-06-2011, 07:08 AM
Going to work now, but I'm a second grade teacher who just completed a six-week after-school magic club and who directed students in tricks to do onstage. I'll post some ideas later.

randwill
06-06-2011, 10:29 AM
Check out YouTube's Magic Emmy. She seems to be about your daughter's age and has many videos of her performing magic tricks.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=uVIE3lXwOks&feature=relmfu

You can see all the other videos from there too. Some involve apparatus which you obviously don't have, but some can be done with stuff around the house. The one in the link uses just your hands and can be found in the book "Magic for Dummies", which is probably your best bet at this late date.

To learn the one in the linked video...



SPOILER SPACE






Notice that the first time she puts her hands together she does it one way, but then she takes them apart to demonstrate how she wants you to keep your thumbs pointing down. By this time, your audience should have their hands clasped the way you've told them. But notice that NOW, she puts her hands together in a different way so she can rotate her thumbs up, which the audience cannot do. To reverse engineer this, clasp your hands together, palms together, with your thumbs pointing up. Now, rotate your hands together so your thumbs are pointing down. This is the position YOU have to start in. Got it?

It's simple, but it fits to important criteria for a good magic trick; its a real fooler and it involves the audience. But don't take my word for it. David Copperfield used it as his opening effect for many years.

If any of Magic Emmy's other effects appeal to your daughter, post back and we'll talk about them.

randwill
06-06-2011, 11:08 AM
Here's another simple one you can make at home from Magic Emmy.

The Indestructable Newspaper:

http://youtube.com/user/magicemmy#p/u/16/0kD5AihrkMQ




SPOILER SPACE





Coat a few inches of the center section of the newspaper strip with a thin layer of rubber cement then cover with talcum powder. The talcum powder prevents the paper from sticking to itself when folded in half. But when you cut through BOTH layers (Important - DON'T put one blade of the scissors into the fold and cut) the cutting action sticks the two pieces together at the cut making it appear uncut.

Left Hand of Dorkness
06-06-2011, 04:01 PM
Randwill's suggestions are great. I've got two tricks I prepped for the show, but both require a fair amount of work, and there may not be enough time for them. I'll explain them anyway.

The first one is modified from the written instructions I gave the kids in my club, accompanied by instruction; I changed the trick (especially in the prep stage and the end reveal) to make it "play big", i.e., be good for an auditorium audience.
Eliminations
1. You need several props for this trick.
a. Take a large sheet of construction paper and fold it in half like a greeting card. Draw a giant question mark on the front. Print out a giant 7 of clubs and glue it t othe back. Take a deck of cards and tape all the cards (except 7 of hearts) to the inside, in order, so when the card is opened, all the cards can be seen.
b. Print out a giant 7 of spades and put it in a manila envelope. Before the performance, tape it beneath a certain seat, and remember which seat it is.
c. Print out a giant 7 of diamonds and put it in a manila envelope. Before the performance, quietly give it to the principal (or the MC for the show) and ask them to hold onto it for you because it may be necessary.
d. Remember that 7 of hearts you removed? Put it in your shirt pocket.

2. For the first part of this trick, you’re going to give people a series of choices, but whatever they choose, you’re going to interpret their choice to get them closer to choosing a seven. That’s the key to the trick.
3. Explain that this trick is called “Eliminations.” For a younger audience, tell them that “Eliminations” means “getting rid of something.” Show them that you've predicted in advance what card they'll select, and show them the big card with the question mark: your prediction is on the inside. Don't let them see the inside yet, and definitely don't let them see the back!
4. “For example, I’m going to start by eliminating the jack, queen, and king, all the face cards. That leaves us with Ace through 10. Now, which would you like?" Select a volunteer from the audience. "Choose Odd or Even.”
a. If they choose Even, say, “Eliminating the even cards leaves the odd cards…”
b. If they choose Odd say, “Okay, so the odd cards are…”
5. “…Ace, Three, Five, Seven, and Nine. I’ll eliminate the Ace, leaving three, five, seven, and nine." Select a new volunteer. "Which do you choose?”
a. If they choose Three, Five, or Nine, say, “Great, and eliminating the Three [for example] leaves the five, seven and nine. I’ll eliminate the five, leaving seven and nine. Big choice," you say, selecting another volunteer, "Which do you choose?” (If they choose 9, of course, you eliminate 9, leaving 3, 5, and 7, and then you eliminate 3, and they’ll choose between 5 and 7 instead of 7 and 9).
i. If they choose the card that isn’t 7, you say, “Great, and eliminating [3 or 5 or 9] leaves us with 7. Otherwise…
b. If they choose 7, say, “Great: there are four sevens.”
6. “There’s the seven of spades, seven of clubs, seven of diamonds, and seven of hearts. Which one do you choose?” For this part, remember the seat with the 7 of spades taped under it, and ask the person in that seat to make the final choice.
7. When they’ve settled on a card, emphasize that there’s no way you could know which card they would choose. Remind folks that you made your prediction ahead of time in the big card with the question mark, tell them that the card they chose is inside. Open it to show all the cards, to general laughter. Then there are four different ways to end the trick, depending on what they chose:
a. If they chose the seven of clubs, say, “But that's not really my prediction: THIS is." Turn the card over to show the Seven of Clubs you glued to the back.
b. If they chose the seven of spades, tell the person who made the final choice, "Just kidding. Could you look under your seat, please? I think you'll find something there." They'll find the envelope; ask them to open it and show everyone the contents, which is the seven of spades that they chose.
c. If they chose the seven of diamonds, say, "Just kidding. [M. Principal], before the show, I gave you an envelope. Would you please open it now and show everyone the contents?" Your principal will show everyone the seven of diamonds card.
d. If they chose the seven of hearts, point to the inside of your prepared prediction card and say, “But look--one card is missing! That would be the seven of hearts, because," and you put the prediction card down and reach into your shirt pocket," I knew I'd need it for the end of the trick." Show it to everyone.

Complicated stuff. The next post I'll tell about the phasic ropes and the apples.

Left Hand of Dorkness
06-06-2011, 04:11 PM
This trick is probably even more complicated, but it looks totally awesome. It's the phasic ropes and apples trick.

1. To prep, you'll need some decent-quality clotheline. Cut two 6' lengths, and using white thread, gently sew the ropes together at their middle, using just two or three stitches. You'll need to break these stitches at the end of the trick. When you're done, if you hold the two ropes side by side, the stitches should be invisible--it should just look like two lengths of rope.
2. Show the ropes to the audience and get two volunteers to hold them and tug them, testing them to show that they're strong and not tricky.
3. Take them back from the volunteers. HERE'S THE TRICKY PART: when you take them back, you need to grab them in the middle and then unobtrusively switch them around in your hands so that the ropes are bent in the middle, both ends of one rope hanging from the same side of your hand, joined only by the stitches. Think instead of =, ><. The audience shouldn't see this move, and should think the ropes are still = in your hand.
4. Drape the ropes over your neck so they're hanging down in front of you, with the stitched connection totaly behind you and invisible to the audience. Pick up an apple and core it (or if you're not comfortable letting her core it, have her pick up a cored apple). If you want, give it to a volunteer to write their name on it and investigate it for tricks.
5. Hold the apple in one hand. With the other, reach behind you and grab the ropes by the stitched bit. Thread the ropes through the apple. HERE'S THE OTHER TRICKY PART: use your hand to hide the stitched bit until it's entirely within the apple. The audience must never see that bit.
6. Get the volunteers to hold the ends of the ropes again; use one hand at all times to steady the apple.
7. Explain that, as securely as the apple is on the ropes, you want to make it even more secure so that there's no suspicion of tricks. Take one end of the rope from each volunteer and loosely tie them together in a knot, like the thing you do when you begin tying your shoe. Half a square knot. This will result in you handing one of volunteer A's ropes to volunteer B, and vice versa.
8. Hand the ropes back to the volunteers.
9. Still holding the apple, take a cloth and drape it over the apple. Instruct the volunteers, on the count of three, to pull the ropes really tight. Grab the apple under the cloth.
10. On the count of three, shout, "Abracadabra!" and yank on the apple. If the volunteers pulled tightly enough, the stitches will break and the apple will pop free!
11. If it doesn't work at first, don't worry--you can play it off, and this time get everyone to shoud Abracadabra with you. Remind the volunteers to pull the ropes tight.

Show the audience the apple with the initials on it, and take your bow.

Left Hand of Dorkness
06-06-2011, 04:13 PM
Both tricks I posted really require some practice. The first trick involves some very tricky patter: in order to do it, you have to be totally confident and unhesitating, taking each audience choice and instantly molding it toward your end without thinking about it or getting confused. Practice the patter here!

The second trick works with minimal patter (although you need some to make the trick worth watching, natch), but the rope manipulation is hard. I had my girl who was manipulating the ropes practice that first tricky bit for about fifteen minutes straight until she could do it without looking at her hands at all. The more you practice, the smoother it'll be.

Chronos
06-06-2011, 05:18 PM
Quoth LHoD:1. You need several props for this trick.
a. Take a large sheet of construction paper and fold it in half like a greeting card. Draw a giant question mark on the front. Print out a giant 7 of clubs and glue it t othe back. Take a deck of cards and tape all the cards (except 7 of hearts) to the inside, in order, so when the card is opened, all the cards can be seen.
b. Print out a giant 7 of spades and put it in a manila envelope. Before the performance, tape it beneath a certain seat, and remember which seat it is.
c. Print out a giant 7 of diamonds and put it in a manila envelope. Before the performance, quietly give it to the principal (or the MC for the show) and ask them to hold onto it for you because it may be necessary.
d. Remember that 7 of hearts you removed? Put it in your shirt pocket.I've heard of magicians doing something like this, with a separate out prepared for every card in the deck. I've also done similar tricks that went all the way to the end via eliminations, without needing outs at all.

Left Hand of Dorkness
06-06-2011, 05:30 PM
Quoth LHoD:I've heard of magicians doing something like this, with a separate out prepared for every card in the deck. I've also done similar tricks that went all the way to the end via eliminations, without needing outs at all.
Both paths are definitely workable. I like this trick for two reasons:
1) It's the way I learned it, so I'm comfortable with it (I'm about two levels below "amateur" in the magician realm); and
2) It's a nice balance between forcing a single card and having far too many preps: four preps is manageable, and the final, completely open choice of suit gives the audience a final confirmation that they got to choose the card.

randwill
06-06-2011, 05:56 PM
Let's bear in mind that this thread is for an 8 year-old who wants to perform tomorrow.

enalzi
06-06-2011, 05:58 PM
Sawing someone in half is always impressive.

And takes very little prep time!*

Unless you want to put them back together.

Shark Sandwich
06-06-2011, 07:01 PM
The "needle in the balloon" is a good trick for kids.

Get a light colored balloon and turn it inside out. Stick a piece of Scotch tape (about 1/2" long) to the balloon and turn it right side out again. She can pass this balloon around and when she gets it back, she can blow it up and twist and pinch the end to avoid it deflating (as opposed to tying it if she can't manage that by herself). Now she just nonchalantly looks for the piece of tape (that is adhered to the INSIDE of the balloon wall) and takes a needle and pokes it through the balloon where the tape is. The tape will prevent the balloon from popping, and as long as the needle is in the balloon, it shouldn't deflate very fast either. If she has pretty good aim, she can take a pretty good poke at the balloon with the needle, but if she doesn't, she can increase the drama by going...very...very...sloooooowly.

Hope that helps....and good luck.

Hedda Rosa
06-06-2011, 07:10 PM
Thank you for these suggestions and ideas. Even the complicated ones are fun to think about.

Hedda Rosa
06-06-2011, 07:23 PM
Ok ok sorry to post again but I didn't say enough above.

Magic Emmy is perfect. the newspaper one, the hands one both are just what we are looking for.

Left Hand of Dorkness I bet your stuff kills but is more than we can do in an evening. But thank you.

We also found one online that involves cutting a rope in a straw and the rope comes out uncut and with those 4 I think we'll manage.

I freaking love this place.

Left Hand of Dorkness
06-06-2011, 08:07 PM
Let's bear in mind that this thread is for an 8 year-old who wants to perform tomorrow.
Totally! I taught both these tricks to 8-year-olds, but the "wants to perform tomorrow" coupled with never having done magic before is kind of key. I just figured I'd offer my best tricks for kids up :).

Quasimodem
06-06-2011, 09:12 PM
Magic Coloring Book is one I used to use with my pediatric respiratory therapist patients.

Doesn't need a thing except itself. http://youtu.be/DgHNHI-hsVA

Have fun!

Quasi

randwill
06-08-2011, 12:51 PM
How'd her show go?

TriPolar
06-08-2011, 12:56 PM
She's started mastering the trick of turning her mother's hair gray.

minlokwat
06-10-2011, 07:06 AM
A little late to the party but...

If you want to inject some humor into the show, I understand when Steve Martin during the heyday of his stand up routine when he was doing packed stadiums, that one of his “magic” tricks was to change the date on a dime.

Though I never saw it I can imagine it went something like:

Takes dime out of pocket, patter with “I will now astound and amaze you by changing the date on this dime.”

Flash dime to audience: “You can clearly see that the year on this coin is 1998.” Rub dime for a second, flash to audience “and now the year has been changed to 1997!”

“Thank you, thank you” quickly puts dime back in pocket.

Probably over the heads of an 8-year old audience but worth a mention at least.

Hedda Rosa
06-20-2011, 10:59 AM
Update!

First thanks again for all the help. The show reportedly went great. Firstly of note however is that the stakes were much much lower than the munchkin told me (note to self - 8 year olds are not relialbe reporters). It wasn't a big talent show for the whole school but instead just her class.

Still, the teacher told me that the newspaper trick shocked and amazed. That and the ice one was all there was time for, but the munchkin came home just delighted with herself.

randwill
06-20-2011, 12:39 PM
Thanks for the update.

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