Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Doing a Magic Show for my Grandtwins

Things got off to a bad start. My daughter’s husband showed us their new refrigerator. He did not tell us the wonders of side-by-side fridge and freezer. He did not tell us how much he likes the ice dispenser. He told us that his favorite thing about the new fridge is that the door is not magnetic. Now he doesn’t have to look at fridge magnets.

My daughter, my grandtwins and I enjoy fridge magnets. The grandtwins like to leave messages with magnetic alphabet. My daughter and I like pretty fridge magnets that we collect when we travel. My son-in-law rhapsodized at length about how happy he is that he doesn’t have to look at fridge magnets any more. We ignored him, which is the most polite thing we could do.

Then it was time for my magic show. He announced, “Magic isn’t real.” This was clearly not the first time he’d said that. It sounded like another irritating rant, like the fridge magnets.

My grandtwins picked up the chant and throughout my show, they continually shouted, “Magic isn’t real!”. They kept grabbing the props, taking them apart. The twins are not gentle. They tried to take them out of my hands. They destroyed one of the tricks. They hurt my shoulder climbing on me trying to get my props. (Yes, I had talked to them about the accident and showed them the scar.)

And despite their rude, destructive, and noisy behavior, they were fascinated with the stories and the accompanying effects. They wanted me to “do it again” even though they kept shouting, “Magic isn’t real!”

The twins are eight-years-old. I’m not sure if they understand what they were saying. Since they were the only children in the room, I didn’t think it mattered if they said, “magic isn’t real.” But in retrospect, I’m not sure they understand what they were saying. I think they may have been quoting their grouchy father, and trying to get attention.

Entertainment is magic. I tell stories and illustrate them with magic. The whole spell of communication and the creation of a story-world is magic.

I’ll be doing another show with all 4 of my grandchildren in 3 weeks. I do not want the other two grandchildren to have their fun ruined by “Magic isn’t real!” Or by broken props. So, I’m looking into rope magic. I’ve got a great one where I tie a kid up and let the kid play Houdini and get free by saying magic words. The knots look and feel totally legitimate. The magic is legitimate, too. I think I can use sponge balls. If the kids choose to destroy them, they can’t hurt themselves with sharp pieces. And I may go with some lollipops, and a lecture about brushing their teeth. I did want to do a vanishing trick, but I don’t want my vanishing props destroyed.

I got a book called Kid Control. They don’t sell it at Amazon. Here’s one store that does carry it:

It suggests I use tape to create a stage area. I doubt my grandtwins would respect that. Their loss. I just won’t do magic for them that they can destroy. Magic isn’t real if you don’t want it to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment