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Review of "The Art of Presenting Magic to Children" by Danny Orleans

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Review of

"The Art of Presenting Magic to Children" by Danny Orleans

Danny Orleans
Performing a fun, entertaining, and involving magic show for children is an art in itself and Danny Orleans, with his excellent “The Art of Presenting Magic to Children,” has created an in-depth and enlightening treatise on the topic. With three discs and some five hours of content, there is a wealth of information and seemingly no stone left unturned. While Orleans teaches his performance of well known tricks, the tricks are secondary to the insightful discussions on audience management and entertainment. Even if you already have a kids’ show, you’re bound to learn something new that can improve it and your performance.

The Show

The first disc begins by presenting Orleans’ complete 45 minute stand up family show that features magic classics that include: coloring book, “Strat-o-Sphere,” “zombie,” miser's dream and more (eight routines in all that incorporate 14 effects).

In the performance, you get to see Orlean’s 70 audience management strategies at work. Later, Orleans will explain his techniques, bits, interactions and reasoning in detail.

Most of the effects are prop-based/dealer items so I find that most of the value comes in learning how Orleans has structured his routines and what he accomplishes at different phases. Orleans also teaches two “bonus” tricks: a rope through a spectator’s body and a liquid production. The liquid production is a dealer item but the rope through body employs normal rope and is a great effect.

A major bonus and a nice surprise, in the instructional section, Orleans shows you how to build your own table that can hold your props and allow you to ditch items as you need to. You don’t need to possess accomplished wood-working skills to build this table. Those with basic hand tools can construct the low-cost but effective table with surprisingly little effort. The final table looks professional and customized in appearance. Also, it breaks down for easy storage and transport.

The Commentary and Insights

Once you’ve watched the entire show, you can watch it again with full movie-director-style commentary to hear Orleans’ thoughts on just about every aspect of his show. Orleans has also included vintage performances of himself and his wife, Jan Rose, performing a kid show that they toured with. The information is exhaustive and there’s more.

Orleans teams up with child communication expert and magician Michael Brandwein. The pair watch the show and provide additional commentary and discuss the 70 audience management strategies. Icing on the cake, Orleans is interviewed by Eugene Burger on the philosophy of children's magic.

With his “The Art of Presenting Magic to Children,” Danny Orleans vaults to among the top instructional titles for those who want to successfully entertain children with magic. If you’re serious about developing and performing an excellent kids’ show, this DVD will provide you with useful insights from a real pro.

A couple of other excellent titles that I highly recommend for those who are interested in performing for kids include “Seriously Silly Live” by David Kaye (click here to read my review) and “Kidding Around” by Chris Capehart (click here to read my review).

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