Events for Magic Shows

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I keep very busy doing my magic show at children’s birthday parties but in this post I’d like to tell you about some other events I attend on a regular basis.

Day Cares and Pre-Schools hire me to do my kid friendly show especially during the summer months. The warm weather in Houston often keeps the little ones indoors and school directors like how my show keeps them occupied for a good hour during the hottest part of the day.

First Communions are a big event in the spring and after the ceremony many parents host a party in their homes or in a restaurant. My show is a nice way to entertain the children while the parents spend some time enjoying themselves.

Fundraisers for schools is a great way to use my magic show to entertain the students and raise some money for the PTO at the same time. I usually do a couple of shows and the students buy tickets.  I offer a discount for multiple performances to aid the school’s fundraising effort.

Book Fairs hire me to perform and during the show I talk about the books I have written and how reading influenced me to become a magician. Libraries also like this program and elementary schools often have reading rewards programs for students who read a certain number of books during the year.

End of School parties are getting more and more popular especially for elementary schools. The parents usually host these events and my magic show is a great way to tell the kids, “Well Done!” on completing their year.

If you know of anyone who is involved in planning any of these events I hope you’ll direct them to my website: http://www.houstonmagician.com or have them give me a call at (281) 433-8352.

Thanks for reading!

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Halloween Magic Show

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A magic show and Halloween go together perfectly and here are some ideas on how to host a show for the season. Halloween falls on a Monday this year which means it will be a great weekend to combine the holiday with a party. Harry Houdini passed away on Halloween and so it has always been a special event for magicians.

I offer a kid-friendly Halloween show where a picture of a house magically becomes filled with ghosts and the kids get to meet my invisible ghost, Chester, who drinks a glass of milk and writes a message on a chalk slate. My costume fits the theme and many of my past clients make my show the big event at the end of their party.

Set up your house for a night of spooky happenings and check out Party City’s Halloween page at http://www.partycity.com/content/halloween+party+ideas.do . For the girls you can mix the theme with Frozen or a princess party and, for the boys, Batman is a natural fit. Ideas for activities include a scavenger hunt, costume contest and a Jack-o-Lantern piñata. While the party’s happening you can have a movie playing on the big screen and I suggest: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Sesame Street’s A Magical Halloween Adventure and Disney’s Wicked.

If your child’s birthday falls close to October 31st you can combine the two for a truly epic event. My show combines elements of the birthday party and the Halloween theme. If you’re in the Houston area, and like this idea, please contact me for a Halloween Magic Show at http://www.houstonmagician.com or you can e-mail me at houstonmagician@gmail.com. You can also give me a call at 281-433-8352. Thanks for reading! Steve Burton Magician

Magic Birthday Party Checklist

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Have a plan for where you’re going to hold your party. See my suggestions in the post in December, 2014 on party places not in your home.

Ask your son or daughter who they would like to invite and get them to write down their names. Don’t forget cousins and other relatives along with their school chums.

Call me and see if I’m available on the day you have in mind. You might also check with important guests and see if they’re available on that date as well.

Make a list of party supplies including: invitations, thank you notes, decorations, tablecloths, napkins, cake, ice cream and a sign for the party. Beside each item on your list put a possible source either on the internet or at stores in the area. Your goal is to be able to get everything you need in one day if you have to go out shopping. Send out the invitations when they arrive and order things on the internet well in advance.

Think about the food you’re going to serve. Keep it simple with finger foods like celery with peanut butter filling, carrots, popcorn balls, little sandwiches and the like. Drinks can be purchased in advance and chilled the day of the event. When you decide what you’re going to serve; make a grocery list.

Order the cake so it will be ready ahead of time. If you have room in your fridge get the cake early so you don’t have as many errands the day of the party.

The day before your party decorate the house and do any last minute shopping. Prepare the finger foods and clean the house and back yard. You should be ready for a great party the next day when all you have to do is ice down the drinks, bring out the food, and put the sign in the front yard. You won’t have to worry about me as I will have confirmed my appearance a few days before. Get your son or daughter to lend a hand, after all it’s really their day and they should be happy to pitch in! Good luck!

Contact me at http://www.houstonmagician.com or call me

281-433-8352.

Steve Burton Professional Magician

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Contact Steve Burton at (281) 433-8352 or email me at houstonmagician@gmail.com!

Yes, I’m a full-time professional magician which means magic shows are how I make my living. I read a book on Houdini when I was young and aspired to become a magician when I grew up. Some say this constitutes a “calling” but I see it more as an expression of my personality and my desire to share this wonderful craft that so captured my imagination when I was a boy. But I’ve discovered that this isn’t the case with many of the people who also perform magic shows in our area.

Some people who charge good money for shows are not really magicians in the strictest sense of the term. They are often puppeteers, jugglers, balloon artists, or clowns and they simply add in a little magic so they can book the shows under the “Magic Show” designation. There is nothing wrong with this unless they mislead their customers into thinking they’re going to perform as a magician. They are technically doing a Variety act that may or may not be what you’re looking for when you hire a magic show.

And you notice I said I’m a “full-time professional” magician and not a part-time performer. Why would this make a difference? Couldn’t someone do something in their spare time and do just as of a job as a professional? I think so, IF the person was conscientious and took the job seriously, they could do a competent show. But the problem comes when their full-time position interferes with their part-time ambitions. I don’t know how many times I’ve received a panicked telephone call on Friday night from a parent who just had their entertainer cancel at the last minute. It’s always sad and sometimes I can come to their rescue but often I’m booked and cannot help.

Here’s how it happens; the part-timer has the show on his or her calendar for a Saturday or Sunday. But it’s been a busy week and shows take preparation and they just haven’t had the time. They procrastinate, thinking they can get it all done the night before and be ready by the weekend. But rush hour traffic, last minute dinner preparations or family issues in general eat up their Friday time and they realize they will need to stay up late preparing and practicing in order to make it happen the next day. That’s when they give up, pick up the phone and call you citing “family issues” as their reason for the cancellation.

When you hire me you will not need to worry about this situation. I’ll call and confirm both by email and telephone the week prior and cancellation (especially the night before!) is not my way of doing business. Think about it, if you were to hire a plumber, a lawyer, or any other service person, would you want someone who does it as a hobby?

I hope you’ll give me a chance to show you my magic and make your event a real success. My website is http://www.houstonmagician.com or you can email me at houstonmagician@gmail.com. Thanks for reading!

Setting the Living Room Stage

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Setting up your living room for a magic show is easy but it may require a bit of planning to get the best use of your space. Look at the following illustration.

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This is how most living rooms are laid out; the television/entertainment center is the main focus of the room with couches, loveseats and chairs arranged in a U around the coffee table and entertainment center.

This is good for TV viewing but if our magic show was placed directly in front of the television, about half the audience would be at the sides. The show space would extend too far into the living area and the performer would have his back to much of the audience no matter which way he turned. Consider this arrangement instead:

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Notice how the coffee table has been removed and the sofas and chairs are moved slightly to focus the attention to the right corner of the room.  Now, more people are looking directly at the show from the front and there is more space for the children to sit on the floor. Since the only piece of furniture that is actually removed is the coffee table, it’s an easy matter to move things back into place once the show is over. Setting up a living area in this way you can have the sofas available for parents to sit comfortably and room for the boys and girls on the floor. Thanks for reading!

Steve Burton’s Magic for Parties

houstonmagician@gmail.com

How to hire a magician

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You’ll need to know what day you’re having your party so I can see if I’m available. Then you’ll need to know the approximate time you want the show to start. I think 30 minutes after the party begins is a good time to start the performance; this gives everyone time to get there and get acquainted before the festivities get underway.

I have a 45-50 minute show aimed at age groups 4 years up to about 11 years old. It features comedy, audience participation, music and live animals (a bunny rabbit and white dove). Even though it is 45 minutes long, it moves quickly and really holds their attention. After I make the bunny appear, I have a magic trick that I teach the children and then I hand out goody bags to everyone and finish by making a present appear for the birthday girl or boy. The cost depends on how far I need to travel and the size of the audience. Please note that due to the problem that wind creates with my props, the show has to be held indoors.

Get in touch with me via email at steve@houstonmagician.com or call me at 281-433-8352.

Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon!

Houston Magician Steve Burton

http://houstonmagician.com

 

 

 

DIY Magic Hat invitation

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Here is a thank you I received from Ms. Cardosa’s kindergarten class last month. I liked it because it “pops up” when it opens, adding some action to an otherwise static mailer. It occurred to me that this might be a good project for someone to send as a special magical invitation to a family member. If your child is old enough to handle scissors and glue they could help you do it or they might be able to make it themselves. Use a gluestick for the sticky parts,

Make the hat first with three strips of construction paper; two black and a strip of red.

Then make the “THANKS” part to say PARTY or YOU’RE INVITED.

Fold the hat and the THANKS part in half. Refold the hat so there is that triangle portion that folds inward. Use a ruler to make the folded edges sharp. Now get your base paper and fold it in half.

Glue the lower part of the hat to your paper and glue pieces of paper to the lower part of the THANKS or YOU’RE INVITED part. This is to attach it to the paper itself and makes it stand up when it’s opened. Now test it to see if folds right.

When you’re satisfied, tape the back of the YOU’RE INVITED part so it is more permanent and can be opened repeatedly. Add your message and your child’s signature and send one to Grandma!