Other Magicians Input

Yo, In my last post I showed an example of classic magic.  A buddy of mine has a series of videos where he reacts to bad magic (think of the videos of teens reacting to stuff from the 90's).  That said, here is another magician's take on "Classic magic"

Classic Magic Examples

 Hey There... Last month I shared my stance on magic, and the two camps most magic shows fall into...classic (silks, canes, corny jokes), and the Cool Kids club.  I'll be sharing a few more clips over the next few weeks (including other magician's stances on the two camps).  Yes the age of the children is a factor in who you choose to invite to share in your VIP's big day, but that doesn't mean children need to be pandered to.

Case in point...




See ya next week.

Classic Magic...Age Group

How's your week going?  Last week I briefly introduced an idea of 2 camps as it relates to magic shows, classic magic vs cool kid magic.  And yes entertainment is subjective, but I hope that sharing with you thoughts from this side of the stage, I arm you with critical information for any entertainer you hire.  This week I want to focus on the age of the audience.  

I typed "magician" into Google Image search, and got this...

Even the two non stock photos in there aren't doing themselves a favor. Look, magic isn't as cool as juggling, but we're WAY better than mimes.  Take THAT into your invisible box. 

If you think of kid shows (I know you don't), you'd think of the rabbit from the hat, etc. It's a weekend afternoon, you don't care if "the blocks changed colors". But if you haven't seen your friend in a few weeks, you want to catch up.  I get it. 

Check it, all I'm saying is..before you watch any entertainment (or book an entertainer), watch some of their videos.  See if you find them entertaining and engaging (with the skill..juggling, magic should be top notch as well). If not move on, and if so..find out more.



Classic Magic Series

Over the next month and some change I'll be sharing my take on magic as an art form, but more importantly how it relates to any show you experience. For the sake of clarification we're going to pare it down to classic magic (think a magician with a top hat and cane, linking rings, etc), and a more contemporary approach (think Penn and Teller, etc). This won't be theory, but actually a guide to help you appreciate, and discern magic. I'm a huge advocate of contemporary "cool kids magic".

As no one should ever have to endure a show, at the end of this series I hope to arm you with ways to avoid doing so. But first...


Complete with terrible quality video. "Classic"




12 Days of Christmas


Additonal Last Minute Party Planning Ideas



Expect the Unexpected

The hardest thing to plan for at any birthday party is the unexpected. Here's what you can do to keep chaos at bay:

  • Be prepared for meltdowns. An adult helper can take a distraught child aside while the rest of the group continues celebrating.
  • Stock band-aids, ice and tissue.
  • If parents are dropping off children, be sure you know about any food allergies or relevant medical conditions.
  • If you have pets, it's best to keep them separate from the guests. Include them in your family celebration — but know that some children are allergic to or afraid of even the gentlest animals. Similarly, many pets are afraid of small children who may not know that it's a bad idea to pull tails or step on paws.


Finally, remember that following guidelines is all well and good, but as every parent knows, sometimes the rules simply have to go out the window. Just as long as they don't all go out at once.


As an added thank you for trusting me to help you plan your party, please download some additional free gifts here.  But if you are like me, and would like something to hold in your hand instead, shoot me an email here and I'll send you a copy of my birthday party planning guide in the mail. 




Party Planning Tips...The Guest List




Guest List

I just spoke with a mom planning her first party, and she asked how many kids she should invite.

 The general rule, often ignored: age plus one. That means four friends for a 3-year-old's birthday. For toddlers, it's best to invite at least one friend he or she sees a lot and feels comfortable around. (If your child goes to daycare or preschool and is used to being with a large group of kids, she can probably handle a few additional guests.)

On the other hand, grade-schoolers have definite ideas of who they want to invite, so you can use the opportunity to teach them to be considerate of others' feelings. Explain why inviting 10 out of 12 kids in the class is bad form. Better to invite everyone and hope for some no-shows. Inviting 4 out of 12 kids, however, is more a matter of discretion and will work better if the bash isn't held immediately after school. In that case, the invitations should then go out by USPS or email.

Teach your child not to talk about their upcoming party around those she didn't invite (and then cross your fingers), says Parenting.com

Also, be sure and write your first name on the invitation so guests who RSVP won't have to ask for "Billy's mom".



Ask for RSVPs, but Don’t Worry About Stragglers.  It’s always handy to know how many people are going to show up at your party, especially when guests arrive with siblings. But a few RSVPs are bound to get lost in the parenting chaos. Plan on a few extra portions of food and don’t worry about it.

Next week I'll share some activities to get the creative juices flowing for your party (even if there isn't a theme).


Party Planning Tips...Location



Welcome Back.  So you chose a date, the best friend is available and you've checked for allergy restrictions.  Now we'll cover how much you want to spend for a clean house.  Huh?  Let me explain...



 If you decide your home or apartment isn't suitable for a children's party, there are several off-site options that come with obvious advantages (including being able to come back to a clean home after the children have been picked up). For a small fee, you can often reserve space in a community recreation center or local park. Kid-friendly restaurants, gymnastic centers, fire departments, and hands-on museums are also popular. Parties away from home usually work better for children over five since younger children may be overwhelmed by unfamiliar surroundings.

There are also the self-contained venues such as Chuck E Cheese, Golfland, Etc.These are a great idea for older children, but they usually cost a bit more than you’d think. You know your child better than these venues do. But, they are classics for a reason.  However, for younger children, and for a smaller group it's nice to have the party on their home turf.

For groups of seven or less children, a few games, a dance party, cake, and presents (more ideas on this in a few weeks) can be a fun day and not too overwhelming.

This completes the foundation for having a stress free party. Over the next few weeks we'll cover RSVP's, goody bag do's and dont's, activities, entertainment, and a special offer ONLY for those that have requested the cheat sheet.

Next week we'll get into the fun part of the planning.


Party Planning Tips...Food


Last week we explored some timing elements to keep in mind when planning a birthday party.  Today, let's look at feeding the group.

Food at the Party. 

For brief parties, cake and ice cream is really the only refreshment you need.

Many young children look at the cake as the focal point of the whole birthday ritual, so be sure to let them help make it (or select it from the bakery).

One family I visited hosted a “Floor Pizza Party” by putting personal-sized pans of dough on the kitchen floor (one for each guest) and letting the kids put on sauce, cheese and other toppings. (Pepperoni, mushrooms and other vegetables make great eyes and noses for pizza people.) As with all aspects of party planning, try to give familiar favorites a personal twist, turning chicken wings into “Dinosaur Wings” for a prehistoric feast or serving chicken drumsticks for an orchestra party.


Depending on the age of your child, you might want to forgo baking a cake, and order something simple from a favorite little grocery store the day before. Gaining popularity at a lot of parties is to order a small decorative cake and then cupcakes. For some reason, a lot of kids choose cupcakes over cake every time.

Tradition dictates that the birthday boy or girl gets the first piece of cake (and that they will probably choose the piece with the most frosting and decorations on it). Consider having more than one flavor of ice cream on hand, however, since young children can be picky eaters and prefer ice cream over cake. Older guests may actually enjoy preparing the food as much as eating it, so consider substituting cooking for a craft.


What about Snacks…..?


Snack on finger foods. The less complicated the party dish, the less you have to clean up later. One really cool idea gaining popularity is “Tacos in a Bag”.

Essentially you brown your protein of choice the night before or morning of the party.Prep the fixins' buffet style. Hand every child a bag of tortilla chips (Doritos, Fritos, etc) have them add their fixings and protein and the bag acts as a shell. No spill, fun to make and eat, and EASY clean up.

You’ll also want to offer a variety of foods. Ordering a few pizzas takes care of the main course, but think about including fruit, nuts, cheese, crackers, or popcorn for snacking.

Avoid food allergy mishaps. You don't want to find out after an allergic reaction that one of your party guests can't eat nuts or gluten. Ask for any dietary restrictions when people RSVP, and plan your party menu accordingly. Additional birthday food ideas can be found here.

When it comes to beverages, Greg Jenkins of Mainstreet.com advises, it’s not necessary to load up on expensive bottles of water and cans of soda. "Use pitchers of water (with cucumbers or fresh fruit inside) and make a creative lemonade punch that can be served in glass dispensers," he says.


Next week we'll focus on the location of the party and include pros and cons for having at you home vs an offsite location.


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