Oh Look Kids, Here’s The Magician For You

Most of the entertaining that I do as a strolling magician is for adult events such as wedding anniversaries, corporate events, dinner parties etc. However, there are also regular occasions where I am performing at an adult function but there are some children present, such as in a family restaurant, at weddings or at family parties. What I find is that when I approach a family group and they realise I am a magician, the adults will often immediately turn to the children and say, “Oh look kids, here’s the magician for you.”

Now I find the idea that magic is primarily aimed at children as both interesting and a bit puzzling! It’s almost as if some adults immediately assume that I couldn’t possibly be there to entertain them and that I must be looking for some youngsters to perform for.

It’s certainly true that for the last 50 years or more magicians have been in steady demand at children’s parties. Although not quite as popular in more recent years, it is still fairly common for a child’s birthday party to have a magician entertain at some point, and it seems that this has led some adults to assume that magic is just for children.

For someone like me who works predominantly for adult events, this can be slightly awkward, because if I am engaged to work for the ‘grown ups’ as it were, to be labelled as someone who is there only for the children does not make my job any easier because it is the adults that I need to work for and to be taken seriously by.

Entertaining young children is a skill and a technique that is very different from that required when performing for adults. A children’s magic show has a structure and a dynamic all of its own, with a presentation, humour and style that is specifically crafted to appeal to young minds. Magic for adults needs to tap into a completely different set of expectations and requires an approach that has little to do with what is needed to be successful as a children’s entertainer.

More adults see magic on television than anywhere else. They watch performers such as Dynamo, Troy, Derren Brown, David Blaine and the like, none of whom ever perform anything that could even remotely be seen as magic for children. Yet the image that magic must be for the children still persists with many people! Well, I always thought that being a magician was just child’s play!

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One Response to Oh Look Kids, Here’s The Magician For You

  1. Tracie Serpa says:

    You make me remember my childhood days. Thanks for the wonderful article. Magician Portland

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