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     Mentalism for Children

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    Freddie Valentine
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    Location : Ye Olde Berkshire
    Registration date : 2008-03-17

    PostSubject: Mentalism for Children   Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:07 am

    I certainly don't consider myself to be, or have no desire to enter it fully, as a kids entertainer.

    But sometimes you have those situations where a friend or someone's else's friend likes what you and asks you to perform at little Johnny's birthday party.

    "Don't you want a proper children's entertainer? That's not what I really do.
    There are no rabbits from hats or "it's behind you" type antics in what I do."


    "But I love what you have shown me - and my kids will love it too. I'll pay you well."

    "Let me have a look in my diary...."


    Now, I know how to handle a chop cup. I can make sponge balls appear and disappear till the cows come home and I can make loads of sweets appear in a flash in a dove pan. I also know that kids can't remember the value of cards but can recall something with their name written on. And they like to see the backs of them change colour.

    The last party I did was for a group of 11 year olds (and two younger ones) so I put in a couple of light mentalism style effects in there.

    Thanks to "Mum" giving me a bit of 'hot reading' advice about their son's favourite things, I added some simple mind-reading style fun:

    1) Nine cards with the names of football teams written on them turned face down. Using a simple PATEO force we ended up with one card in what seemed like a free choice. It was the team he supported. Plenty of laughs and comments when the elimated teams were shown. I hate football but this kind of thing was a winner with kids (and probably with some of the more intellectually stagnant adults around).


    2) A simple equivoque using four rolled up balls of paper with the names of tv shows written on them. The one the kid ended up holding turned out to have his favourite show on it.


    3) The brilliant Simon Shaw effect Director's Cut. Thinking the kids would choose obvious stuff like Monsters Inc or Bambi, I was astonished firstly how well down it went and secondly, that they were choosing odd things like Taxi Driver and The Godfather. With a mixture of 'thought reading' and drawing dupes this kept the kids entertained for quite some time.


    They obviously loved the 'child' oriented stuff, but this "kiddied down" mentalism was what was being talked about after.

    I know it's a cliche to think that this kind of entertainment isn't for kids, but it is possible to present it in a way that they understand.


    Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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    Christopher J Gould
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    PostSubject: Re: Mentalism for Children   Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:17 am

    Children are mental - should work!
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    Graham Yates
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    PostSubject: Re: Mentalism for Children   Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:54 am

    My kids, 7 & 8. love little effects with a nail writer, guess the number etc.

    Also a mini OOTW with Top Trumps, I have a boy and girl so get a few of each card and see if they can spilt them into their own pile.
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    aviso
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    Location : UK
    Registration date : 2008-04-08

    PostSubject: Re: Mentalism for Children   Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:55 am

    Graham Yates wrote:
    My kids, 7 & 8. love little effects with a nail writer, guess the number etc.

    Also a mini OOTW with Top Trumps, I have a boy and girl so get a few of each card and see if they can spilt them into their own pile.

    Mentalism has no effect for kids under 7. Graham's hit the nail on the head - writer routines are great as they are short and punchy.

    When they are 9 plus you can get away with al sorts.

    Any variation of a medallion routine (such as John Archer's brilliant 'collard') is a winner

    I also do a thought transferrence effect with a svengali deck (that I've made out of kids flash cards) and a switched deck - where you force the card on the receiver when fanned out. (Feel free to play around with this one ... it's one of many Twisted Evil)

    Also using Bill Abbotts 'The Thing' with a thought of revelation underneath ...

    Now Dan's 'From Hell 3' ....... affraid
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    ALEXANDRE
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    Registration date : 2008-03-14

    PostSubject: Re: Mentalism for Children   Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:58 am

    It happens every now and then that people will ask me to show their kids something. I usually joke that the children may not get any sleep for quite some time, and when they finally do they'll experience terrible nightmares. Curiously, I always get smiles and laughs from the parents.

    Here is a short list of what has worked for me when entertaining children:

    Long routine with the Invisible Deck. But because kids sometimes forget and are not often familiar with cards, I hand them a deck and have them spread the cards face up on a table (or floor). I turn around and tell them I will turn one card over in my deck and when I turn back around, I will try to make them choose the same card I have chosen. They can only select a card when I tell them to. I put my deck down and tell them my choice has already been made. I say things like: So I've already made a choice, now I will try to make you choose the same card I have chosen, but your goal is to NOT choose the same one, should be easy, right? So there are many cards here, you're 10 years old, right? So maybe you'll choose the ten, that makes sense right? Would you ever choose a ten? So have you considered any cards yet? Actually, now that I think about it, you are probably going to choose a picture card, so this doesn't count, but if you were to choose one of the picture cards, which one would it be? On and on, lots to play with.

    Not uncommon for me to expertly force a card then go into a series of silly questions and tell them that their reaction will reveal the card they have selected and hidden away. This can go on for a while with lots of laughter. I have also forced a card on the parent and had the parent tell the kid what the card was and asked the kid to try to hide this by keeping their face expressionless and to lie when I ask questions. This kind of thing also turns into a lot of fun.

    Drawing duplications have served me well, even with the little ones.

    Max Maven's Kurotsuke is very good with children.
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    The Curator
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    PostSubject: Re: Mentalism for Children   Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:08 am

    I perform for kids (min 8 year old) a show called "the Magic Box". http://www.surnateum.org/English/surnateum/collection/particulieres/magic_box.htm
    It's a 90 minutes show mixing storytelling magic and very high level close-up magic. The show is as good for kids, adults and expert magicians.
    For 10 year old kids and more, I've no problem performing bizarre magic (this includes mentalism, card tricks like "Paradise Lost", Zodiac, Oracle and more). The only rule is "being understandable", no reference to facts or things they can't know at their age.
    Kids loooooove bizarre magic and respond extremely well. After all, they're the audience for Harry Potter and consorts.
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    Dr Jae
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    PostSubject: Re: Mentalism for Children   Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:37 pm

    I use a similar line to Alexandre about not sleeping & nightmares or 'do you want me to bring broken glass, knives or just the swords and guillotine?'

    Only under 10s I perform for are family. Can't pay me enough to be a kids entertainer. Balloon sausages a specialty!
    I've done pretty much as above. Amazing what you can get away with via some simple forces, overplayed comedy and getting the little bast, err, boys & girls to call out and participate.
    Using sweets tends to aid attention and focus. A favourite of mine is predicting how many of which colour will be in a chosen bag of M&Ms.
    I regular use an adaptation of Patrick G. Redfords naughty bear producing a predicted (by them) oversized cuddly toy. Immediately followed up by collared. Goes down really well with adults too although most prefer the post watershed version.

    Older kids get whatever I'd do for adults so long as it isn't too long/complicated and I remember to SLIGHTLY tame some of the scary stuff and ensure language is simplified. That said, I have had more than a few adults where you begin to wonder whether they live under a rock. Think of a prominent Paris landmark... [Blank Look]

    I've done seance effects, readings and full gore routines for teenagers.

    In a school setting I have had a lot of success with simple forces, number based effects and memory 'games'.

    Just a case of determining what your audience (or those paying) are capable of understanding and how far you want to traumatise the dear little bast, err, boys & girls. Sometimes handy that I have a duel role in that respect. Twisted Evil
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    gagaltotal
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    PostSubject: Re: Mentalism for Children   Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:19 pm

    If I have to perform in front of kids, i prefer using magic rather than mentalism. Because kids like something visual and fun too. While mentalism is a little bit "serious" even for us. Kids love something that suddenly appear on our empty hands or rabbit into monkey transformation, etc etc, rather than "Wait I know what you are thinking of, kids." --- just my opinion. If a "must" situation I will choose kurotsuke to perform Smile
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