We had a tremendous time performing at the Mint Museum of Toys as part of the actitivities of the Explore Singapore 2010 campaign.
As you probably realize if you are familiar with our work, we typically do not perform “kids magic” shows but Ning & I designed a show specifically for the kids and family audience just for the Mint Museum. It is a radical departure from our usual shows… can you imagine ‘Magic Babe’ doing a kiddy show?
The Mint Museum of Toys did a fabulous job getting the place ready for us. They had a custom printed posted at the door that we later autographed. I hope it will be framed and added as a display piece to the museum!
We presented a total of 4 shows for full-house audiences each time. The museum was packed! The surprising thing is that even though the shows were marketed as a kids/ family show, 85% – 90% of the shows were filled with all adults… or big kids! But, I guess it fit our style perfectly!
Since this is a show we designed, rehearsed and will likely not perform again in this form, I will share with you exactly what we did. Here is an example from one of the shows we performed:
The show opened with us coming through the audience and greeting them. Being in the Mint Museum of Toys, we created a show filled with toys and props that the kids could relate to in the museum environment. We started by performing a classic piece of kids magic called “The Die Box” (in fact, this routine was one of the very first that I performed back in 1993).
We used a custom-built giant die box – the die measures a whopping 6″ wide and is probably one of the biggest in the world. We drove the kids nuts as we attempted to make the giant die disappear. We eventually did do it successfully and that led into us plugging “The Aeria l Exit” – our mega illusion in the air where we will be vanishing 5 people.
Next up, we performed one of the strongest pieces of magic… turning a $10 note to a $50 note. It is something I do once a day but unfortunately Ning always pockets the $50… which is why I’m not rich. The kids went wild over this and turned to their parents in amazement who looked just as stunned. lol!
Ning went into the audience to borrow a finger ring from a female audience member. The ring was held by a kid from the audience but magically vanished from his hand… or maybe he dropped it. In any case, I did what I always do, blamed it on the kid. As a form of compensation, Ning gave the ring lender all the money she had on her… two 50-cent coins (about the value of her ring ). She originally also took out the $50 but I took back what rightfully belonged to me!
With the lender-of-the-ring somewhat unconvinced and slightly worried, we continued with the next act. Hey, the show must go on right!
We introduced various vintage toys that are on display in the museum then introduced our special furry friend – Rocky Raccoon! Rumour has it, there are 65,798 Rocky Raccoons in the world tormented by magicians across the world. but, our Rocky only gets treated with the upmost respect and tender loving care… yeah right.
Rocky was a hit with the audience as he showed off his impersonations, antics and even magic. A magic wand was stuck through his body and he was fine… after some CPR. Rocky closed his segment by performing an illusion where he made water vanish from a cup. A truly puzzling illusion for a raccoon… or any equivalent woods creature.
I was in the middle of ending the show when Ning reminded me that we still owed the ring-lender her missing ring. We did not have the ring with us so we offered her a mystery prize. We revealed a traditional gumball machine that was sitting at the side of the stage on a toy display counter from the start of the show. We invited the ring-lender on stage and made it clear that neither Ning or myself would touch the gumball machine.
We explained that the ring-lender had a choice of one mystery prize from the gumball machine. She took one of the 50-cent coins that Ning gave him earlier in the show and inserted it into the gumball machine. She turned the knob and a capsule dropped out. It contained a mystery prize in the form of a bright orange rubber ball.
Ning offered her one more chance to get a better prize with the second 50-cent coin. She repeated the actions and out dropped another capsule. But, this capsule contained a ring. Not any ring, but her very same finger ring – the one that vanished! Finally, she was given a choice of which mystery prize she wanted to keep, the orange ball or her ring. Not surprisingly, she made the wise choice and kept her ring!
The show ended with a tremendous ovation and we spent the next half an hour taking photos with audience members!
It was a really great experience doing these shows for the Mint Museum of Toys. It is really awesome that the projects we get now allow us to do so many different things! I started my career performing for kids parties and events (while simultaneously doing close-up) and did so for practically 3 – 4 years solid. These shows allowed me to bring out some old favourites like the “Die Box” and Rocky but it was different because I was performing it with Ning.
It was also distinct because we did not present the show in the typical “kiddy” fashion. Ning & I both share the philosophy that kids should not be talked down to and performers should always speak to them in proper English and not “kiddy talk”. We see so many kids magicians talk to the kids like they are 2 years old… even though they are 5 or 6. We also made sure that we did not present only “kiddy” magic. While entertainment is the most important, the quality of the magic cannot be underminded and sacrificed for the sake of pure entertainment.
Granted, we now can get away with doing a very different kind of kids magic show as our reputation and brand precedes us in a show like this. But, that is exactly what we wanted; to do a kids magic show that the kids (and adults) will find refreshing and different from what they see at birthday parties or malls.
After our shows, Ning & I were given a personal tour of the museum where we saw the fantastic range of vintage toys. It is really awesone! I’m sure Ning will have a great blog entry on our tour soon as she took a ton of pictures. So check her blog over the next few days!
As part of the Explore Singapore! 2010 campaign till 12 Dec 2010, if you go to the Mint Museum of Toys and say “I Love Museums” at the ticket counter, you will get 40% off ticket prices. So why wait!
Look out for a Facebook contest that will be announced very soon with sweet prizes provided by Mint Museum of Toys! Join our page for the full details here: www.facebook.com/jcsum.magicbabening