Twelve year olds are a tough crowd. Especially twelve year old boys. They know magic is not real, they go on U-Tube and see how just about any trick is done and are not about to be entertained by a magician’s lame jokes. So when I got a call from a dad who wanted a birthday party magic show for his twelve year old son’s party I told him the best way to go was a magic show tied in to a workshop. Having taught After School Enrichment classes for over 15 years I have a collection of tricks and optical illusions that I know kids love and can learn to show off to their friends and families. The trouble with most magic kits is that the tricks they contain are not designed for beginners. The instructions read like gibberish. If you ever bought a magic kit you know what I’m talking about!
So for the hour I was with these twelve year olds, I performed some flashy magic tricks that caught their attention and some situational comedy with a couple of their peers. That they liked. Then I showed some optical illusions that surprised them, some tricks that they could do and would want to show off to the next kid they met.
Now the whole point of this story is to relate what happened at the end of the show. After I thanked them and took my last bow I asked what they liked best in both the show and what they learned to do. I like to get feedback from the kids as much as possible. As I finished talking with them and treating them like adults, they acted like adults. I am sure once one did this it encouraged others to follow suit but I would say three quarters of the boys came up, shook my hand and said “thank you.” I was surprised and impressed! I enjoy performing magic shows for kids but an unexpected sincere gesture like this says there is hope for the future.