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When Does The Show Start?

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I was talking to a friend recently about the concept of having a great show but simply feeling awkward on how to start. Now the main issue was this strange feeling of what to do when the kids start coming into the room for the show and what you should or should not do.

There is a fear that the kids are in control from the start and how do I gain that control back before the show starts. Many even say the client or adult should be handling getting the kids in and sitting down and acting appropriate.

This is a huge issue for folks so if  you have issues with it, you are not alone. My feeling is that since it is MY show, I am in control of my show at all times. That means I should be responsible for where the kids sit, how close they sit and everything from the moment they come in to the start of the show and beyond.

What I often will do is stand in front of my table area at the exact spot where I want the first row to begin. As kids come in I welcome them and smile and tell them the first row starts right where I am. I state that we need the b-day child to be front and center to get a great seat and I ask them to find a seat and sit criss cross applesauce. They all know what that means as it is a common term heard today in schools.

I continue to stand there until all kids are in and all seated. I have much better control that way and I am seen as a professional by the client because I am controlling the situation right from the start. This makes it not only easier for me during the show but my value goes up in the mind of the client.

Only when all children are seated and looking up at me, do I begin with the warm up. This is perfect because I am already out front with them and in a perfect situation to get the audience warmed up, liking me and feeling more at ease prior to the actual intro routine starting.

Establishing a character or who you are is very important. However, I do this through the course of my warm up, opener, verbal intro and then my first routine. By then I have well established who I am to the children.

I find that if I just open cold by going RIGHT into the musical intro, then it makes the children a bit taken off guard. This is more true for the younger groups then the older ones.

So make it a policy to always be in charge even if the client is doing a good job. They can always assist you. However, it is your show and you need to be the professional who takes control as opposed to the children being in this free-for-all state. You are setting ground rules and expectations right from the start.

The kids should NEVER rule. They may think so, but it is YOU that needs to make sure that you show them that you are in charge and you are going to have a great and fun time with them. This does not mean you disrespect. It simply means being a professional and taking control. Never wait for them to give you control. You will be waiting a long time. Kids to not give control over to you. They expect the adult figure to tell them what they need to do next and how to act.

As always, I encourage you the readers to let me know your thoughts. So if you have any thoughts on my articles or suggestions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me directly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . I would love to hear from you.  For more information, visit my website.





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When Does The Show Start?
Friday, 16 December 2011

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Our valuable member Kyle Peron has been with us since Tuesday, 14 October 2008.

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0 #2 Dakota Decker 2012-04-18 23:40
Very good point. You are very much correct that when one takes control in a professional, yet respectful way, he starts off on the right foot. I am a beginning magician so I don't have any show experience, but I am a teacher. I have found that if I start a new class without establishing who I am first, that it's hard to get the kids to listen to me. However, in all situations this should be done with grace. The best leader is a servant.
0 #1 jonty kennedy 2012-01-29 13:58
This goes well with the 'comebacks in kids shows' article.
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