There are plenty of books that tell you what to perform for children. Now there’s a book that tells you everything the other books leave out: how to perform for children — and why.
In Performing Magic for Children, Michael Sondermeyer and Uwe Schenk, who are not only professional magicians but also educational specialists, discuss every aspect of this difficult branch of magic, including:
- what children need from a magic performance
- the role of the performer
- how to develop a suitable performing persona
- how to select appropriate tricks for children
- how to make standard tricks suit children
- the pros and cons of using live animals
- how to design a successful act
- pacing, restlessness and attention spans
- how to select a child to assist
- how to handle infants, teenagers & adults
- what to do when a child cries
- how to prevent children from storming the stage at the end of the show
and much more. In addition, two professional acts are described in which the authors explain exactly what they do, and why they do it that way.
Referred to by many professional children’s performers as “the book on kid shows” and “the Bible on working for children”, this book is a must-have for anybody interested in performing magic for young audiences.
Michael Close, Magic: “It’s a marvelous book, and one of the most thorough books on the subject that I have read. The book deals with theoretical concepts, but never gets bogged down in theory. I highly recommend Performing Magic for Children to anyone in the field of children’s entertainment. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned professional, you’ll find something of interest here. I would also recommend it to those who work strictly for adults. Adults learn something during magic shows as well, and it would behoove all of us to consider what message we are sending when we perform.”
Richard Lyn, Canada’s foremost children’s performer (who was consulted while preparing this book): “In the thirty-odd years I’ve been entertaining children, I have never read a book as thorough as this one. There is an enormous amount of invaluable information here on how to construct a show; the what-to-do and what-not-to-do are priceless. All the routines are well constructed, with enough humour and funny situations to keep your audience laughing. […] Between these two covers are years of experience available to you all in one place. I recommend this book highly to any professional, amateur, or beginner. Don’t pass it up, or you may live to regret it.”
Bryan Dean, MagicTalk Reviews: “This book… is a must for any magican entering the field of children’s magic. As a professional entertainer who has performed for kids, I must say that the material in this 177-page hardbound book is one of the best books on the subject. You’ll learn necessary things like show requirements (sound, outdoor shows, seating, etc.) that took me years to figure out myself. You’ll also learn how to design the perfect act for yourself! This alone is worth the small price of this book…. Highly recommended.
Jon A. Hand, MagiCurrents: “This slim volume may well be the best single book of its subject matter in existence… [M]ore quality information is found gathered in this one book than any other book of its type… [T]his book needs to be read by every magician who performs for children, or who aspires to do so… The Audiences and Accommodations section is densely packed with information that one would take half a professional lifetime to discover on [one’s] own… Valuable information on what works, what does not work, and the whys thereof, will help the careful reader avoid the most common pitfalls that await first-time performers for children… This would be a strong addition to any magic library; if one can only afford one book on the subject of children’s magic, this would be the one… [My] only complaint is that this book appeared thirty years later than [I] would have preferred. Highly recommended.