Alex Stone has taken some heat for his recent book “Fooling Houdini.” While Rick Lax thought the book’s deconstruction of magicians wasn’t that bad, Ricky Jay was much more damning. (The book is on our to-read list; we’ll let you know how it is.)
But most all magicians can agree on something he wrote in that book: Performing for kids is harder than performing for adults.
Stone thinks it has to do with the way kids concentrate, according to a report in the India Times. Adults are very good at focusing on one thing and ignoring distractions. That way, magicians can exploit avenues for misdirection much easier.
“Kids, on the other hand, tend to focus on more than one thing at a time — their attention is more diffuse — which may make them harder to fool. Moreover, kids are relatively free of assumptions and expectations about how the world works, and magic is all about turning your assumptions and expectations against you.”
This is why kids’ magicians rank pretty high in our book. Not every magician can handle the extra work and performance skill it requires. And that means if you get asked to do a kids’ party, and you’re not ready, DON’T DO IT.