Every year I perform a magic show at the same country club for Easter. It is fun to see the children growing up. Some people ask me if the kids are spoiled or bratty since they are at a country club. They are not. They have manners and their actions are watched by their parents very close. If you are a Simpson's fan, you may remember an episode where Marge gets invited to the local country club and takes her family. The country club kids are portrayed as very snotty to the help. "I said an abalone sandwich, not a baloney sandwich" yells a kid throwing a plate at a server. So we might like to think these kids are pampered pets but I haven't seen it in Southern California. Maybe in other parts of the country, East Coast perhaps?
Anyway, since these members has seen me every year I come up with new routines to have fun with the kids that the adults will enjoy as well. Something interactive is what plays well. So this year I had a helper, a boy about eight, come up and play Three Frog Monte. I had three rubber frogs on a table top, one of which squeaked. As I played leap frog with them the boy was asked to guess where the squeaking frog was. He got it right so he was awarded with a bagel from a bucket filled with bagels. Now the fun starts. I pointed to children sitting in the audience and asked them to follow the frogs. They then guessed where the squeaking one was. They would get it wrong so I turned to my helper and asked where it was. He would always get it right and was rewarded with another bagel! Well, you can see where this is going. Each time the audience would get it wrong and the helper go it right he was loaded up with another bagel from the bucket. Eventually he started having trouble holding so many bagels! This got big laughs from the adults and the kids were going nuts since they could not find the squeaker. Finally a couple of bagels fell to the ground and the boy yells, "five second rule!" as he tries to pick them up and drops a couple more. This resulted in howls from the adults of course. Spontaneous comments like this are what audience participation is all about.
To finish up I said "we need to make something that everyone can enjoy." So I took all the bagels and placed them back into the bucket. Closed the lid and we all yelled the magic word. I opened the bucket and then poured out a rabbit. A nice surprise that got a great hand. Everyone was pleased except my helper who exclaimed, "you owe me seven bagels!" Even more howls of laughter from the adults. What surprised me was he knew how many bagels he had been holding!
(As I write this it occurred to me some of you might be thinking that was a bratty comment. I don't see it that way but you all are welcome to send me your thoughts.)
I received nice compliments after the show, especially from some of the older members who are the ones that have the club manager's ear and keeps bringing me back!