can lead a magician to Tannens,
There are many ways for an adult to teach a child. One way is through repetition having the child memorize information by rote. A more elegant way to teach is through proverbs. Proverbs can be shortcuts to learning. They are easy to understand and easy to remember. Proverbs such as A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, Beauty is only skin deep, and Two wrongs dont make a right go a long way to helping children understand how to live their lives.
Fables and stories are other shortcuts to teaching children. Telling a child the story of The Tortoise and The Hare teaches him a life-long lesson about perseverance and not giving up. And when adults lose their way they can turn to the Bible, which is full of stories to learn from.
sometimes when magicians teach children by performing educational magic
shows, whether the topic is Anti-Drugs, Self Esteem, or Reading, they just
perform their regular show and substitute different magic words Just
Say No, Im Special, or I Love To Read.
I said it before and I am saying it again. Thats wrong!
This month I have a great example of teaching through illustration from John Tudor, of South Carolina. This is a routine right out of his school show using the Chen Lee Water Suspension. The theme if his show is that you have "Goals, Choices, and Dreams." This relates to creating goals, and making positive choices to get there. According to John, the first positive choice is a good education.
The Chen Lee Water Suspension is an old dealer item by U.F. Grant. A short tube is shown empty, and a glass is passed through it to prove so. Liquid is poured in from the top of the tube but does not come out the bottom. A pencil and a silk are passed through the tube proving it is still empty. The glass is passed up through the tube from the bottom and it is seen to be full of the liquid. In addition to the props for the trick - the tube, glass, and gimmick - you will also need a second glass filled with cola soda, a pencil and a 36 silk.
Your props are accessible to you as you start with, The most important choice you can make right now is to choose to get a good education. And you get that by staying in ... where? Children respond with School. Now I'm going to say something that always gets me in trouble. Teachers get mad when I say this. Principals really get mad when I say this. Should I say it anyway? Children respond, Oh, yeah!
Let's be honest about the way the world really is. Sometimes getting up in the morning to go to school isn't really what you feel like doing, is it? (No!!) Sometimes it's really a drag, isn't it? (Yeah!) Well, guess what? When you grow up, graduate, and get out of school, it doesn't get much better. Am I right, teachers? Teachers usually laugh and applaud here.
You're always going to have to get up in the morning. Youre going to have to work a job, take care of a family, and go to college. Thats why its so important you find out what you want to do now.
Pick up tube, toss it around, and show it empty. First of all, I have this - it's a little tube. It's like a can with no top and no bottom. Now this tube, this represents you. Pause and push your arm through the tube. This represents your life. As you will see, there are a lot of things that go through your life. Just about everything you know passes through your life. It comes and it goes.
teachers, for instance. Pick up pencil You don't always have
the same teachers every year, right? Not usually. Your teachers will pass
through your life.
Just about everything that you know Slowly pull silk through tube. Your teachers, your family, your health, your job, and I'm sorry to tell you, but even your happiness, all of those things will just pass through your life. Those things will come and they will go. Place silk down and pick up glass of cola. But there is just one thing that once you've got it inside of you will never, ever pass away. And that is your education. What you learned while you were in school, represented by this little glass of cola, your education is the one thing Pour cup of cola into tube, it doesnt pour out. that once you've got it inside of you will never, ever be gone. Quickly place glass back under tube as if to catch liquid draining out. It doesnt come out.
If you have built this up properly, you will get a stunned silence at this moment. Look at the audience, smile, and say jokingly, "You all can clap now."
Put glass back down and pick up silk. Like I said, just about everything that you know in your life, your teachers, your friends, your happiness Cover tube with silk and pick up pencil. All of those things will just pass through your life. Use pencil to tuck silk down into tube. They'll come and they'll go. But it is only your education Slowly pull silk through tube. What you learn while you are in school, that is the one thing that once you've got it inside of you will never, ever pass away. Pull silk free, wink at audience, and stand in applause position for reaction.
So you all want to stay in ... where? (School!) That's right! Put down silk and pick up first glass. And you want to help each other stay in school, too, because it's very hard to do by yourself. Push the glass up through tube and it comes out the top full of cola. And if you all do that, then one day, you will all graduate, and you will all have something to celebrate! Show tube empty by spinning it in the air, toast the audience for applause cue, and drink a well-deserved cup of cola. Here's to all of you!
John performs this routine sitting on stool. The props are on another stool. He says the presentation here is meant for grades 3-8. But that with different patter the effect works for little kids, college students and corporate presentations. John suggests a few tips. You can use cola or milk or any other liquid that is visible from stage. If you use cola darken the liquid with a dash of food coloring. Dont use water. Also, line the inside of the tube with felt so the insert doesnt clink. I like the use of the 36 silk. This large silk takes longer to pull through the tube, for a nice effect as you speak.
John explains why the patter seems repetitious, If you are trying to sink an idea in, you can achieve this through gentle repetition without boring the audience. Repeating the phrase, Other things come and go, but education always stays inside you is an example of this.
Lee Water Suspension was one of the first 20 tricks I bought as a kid. Funny
how I perceive it as a trick from my early years in magic and had relegated
it to the back of my closet. Johns routine has made me re-think this
effect. I hope it has done the same for you.