Help! My wife booked a party for me where the only child will be the birthday boy who is turning two. That means he has a vocabulary of maybe 40 words! (He's just turning two. By age 3 he'll be up to 200 words.) It pays well, but...
Here is what I picture. I will have to put the suitcase with smaller puppets up high so he can't keep going back to it while I'm trying to have a puppet focus on him. (That age loves to walk around.) Sometimes you get in the middle of a song and they just want to see what else is in that box!
I plan to use little kids' song tunes.
Magic Drawing Board.
Vanishing silk in the hand.
I may let him "feed" one of the older puppets (not my Axtells).
We'll train a dog how to sit, sleep, etc.
Mic mouth on dad? (It may freak him out so I'm not sure about that one yet.)
Frosty the Snowman puppet and song.
Bullfrog from dove pan. (My wife loves that puppet.)
Birthday cake from chick pan.
Bird that makes animal sounds.
Bongo Hat trick for a birthday hat.
Coloring Book trick, animal version.
The situation is unique. The baby was born at a casino two years ago when the parents were visiting. So the casino foots the bill for a return trip each year, including an entertainer. So I'll plan on some magic for the parents as well in case the baby wanders. I don't make balloon animals for kids that young so that is out.
Tony it's going to turn into less of a show and more of an interacting peekaboo thing for him, so proactively work into the event. Watch me and then you try it. Bring some puppets that he can use to emulate you.
It would be very cool if the kid was so turned onto puppets by you, that he kept requesting you every year to be his entertainer. To reinforce this, bring your DVD as a gift so he watches you all year.
Side benefit, you can now say you've played casinos....
November 21 2011, 12:12 PM
Yes. I have already performed in Las Vegas. At a church and a school in town. I just hope I don't become known for "bringing the audience to tears".
A 2 year old
November 21 2011, 1:23 PM
I sure hope he is in a good mood at showtime. It seems that you have the right idea about what you plan to do.
The only thing I would do differently is to have a parent and the child come up to end the show, and make a small real Birthday cake appear from the DOVE pan. The cake would have 2 candles on it when it is produced, and you and one of your puppets lead everyone into singing Happy Birthday.
Hobby Lobby has the perfect pan for this trick. The cake is easy to make. You just cut the ingredients by 1/3rd. and use only 1 egg. Have the parent put in a (small) amount of cake mix from the real box, and a small amount of icing MIX from the icing cup. There is no such thing as icing mix, but I use flour for supposed white icing. Have the parent add some sprinkles and you add a hollowed out egg. It's funny for you to say; "Lets see what else we need?" "Oh yes, an egg." "Hey you know what's interesting?" "The box says nothing about cracking the egg." You then set the hollowed out egg in the pan. (LESS MESSY) You also add 2 candles. Then of course some flash paper and you light the paper and put the lid on. Then everyone says the magic words; HAPPY BIRTHDAY XXXXXX! Everyone will be amazed when you pick up the lid and there is a real cake there.
The cake will be 4 and half inches in diameter. I even bring a plastic spoon and small paper plate. Oh I forgot to mention that I line both pans with sheets of wax paper that I cut out in a circle. It should come up half way up on the sides of the pan. This is so you can lift the cake out of the pan.
I do this at every Birthday show.
November 21 2011, 5:45 PM
Nice directions, Chris. Thanks! I will stick with the foam birthday cake, however. I don't like tricks that require too much prep or clean up time. I used to do the vanishing egg in a foo can, but that takes too much clean up. (I still do it for camps.) Likewise with the iodine trick. And the colored sands trick looks way too time consuming.
I'll probably sit on the floor with the child and reach into one or two bags for a puppet and a case for a magic trick.
I still think it is a ridiculous idea, but it's probably too late to back out of it. Still haven't heard from the casino, so maybe they will be the ones to drop the ball!
November 21 2011, 5:50 PM
WWBAD - What Would Bob Abdou do? Sit on the floor with the kid... really! Some puppets, sponge balls, dueling drooling?
November 21 2011, 7:36 PM
I'll just think "soft and cuddly". I watched my brother's grandchild last week who is about 20 months old. He just wanted to climb stairs, touch everything, and play the piano. No sitting and watching for that kid!
November 21 2011, 8:04 PM
Exactly - think "playdate" lots of silly interaction with your most colorful, least breakable stuff. Even a simple silk routine could be engaging and fun. There was a guy in the Wash DC area that became a "must have" for todler birthday parties. He'd come in with a meager array of magic props - set up where there were the least distractions and playfully interact with the kids on the floor.
A whole new act for you Tony... Lady GooGoo.
November 21 2011, 11:09 PM
Already working on a song. I'll call it Baby, Baby.
November 21 2011, 11:59 PM
Egg in a Foo can? Yea, I used to do that, until I wanted to stop cleaning foo can, then I wanted to stop using live egg, "Bombs" as they are, able to break anywhere.
Now I use a shell egg, drained through a quarter-sized hole in the back (kids close by look for end holes, telltale signs of a "blown out" egg). Just use a little angle-sense so you don't flash the hole. It's pretty easy
Use any deep plastic cup with candy or a prize in it, and Voila! Instant "Candy Factory".
Doing Magic Shows every week, the rule is "Simplify!", and "Don't mess with anything you don't have to".