Guest Author - Joann Stewart
One of the most difficult things for many magicians is creating a message-based program. They are used to doing tricks with a patter but not tying all the tricks into one message.
My approach is to first determine the theme. I find out what the theme is for the libraries in my area for the upcoming summer reading programs. These will be pretty standard throughout the state. Then I decide what I want to emphasize in my program. Whenever possible, discuss this with your local librarian. Find out what her plans are. Make a friend of your local librarian and she will help you to succeed.
Unlike school assemblies, a library program doesn't have to be as educationally intense. I opened with a short history of the Medicine Shows and that was the major lesson.
In fitting in tricks, I explained how Coca-Cola started as a patent medicine, and using my Silk Cylinder, I turned a red and a white scarf into a can of Coke. I included a gag sword swallowing, a story about a beltmaker that made belts for the carnival workers, illustrated by Mobius loops. A few other effects, a few volunteers and I had a show. It played well and was well received.
Libraries Are Magical / Readers are Leaders is a presentation that builds young peoplesí love of reading. This show reminds children and teens of the wonders of imagination and suspense that we can find in books. They experience the ways in which books help us fantasize, play with language, get to know fictional characters, and learn to do things. This information is delivered in an unforgettable way through original magic presentations and audience involvement. Specially designed innovative magic effects let young people SEE and remember the messages being presented.
As part of this program, I designed some special books. My book about Bar-B-Ques was a fire book. My book about snakes had spring snakes. My book on music had a music box hidden in it. Just interesting sight gags, but really gets the kids laughing.
If you can keep the kids laughing, the librarians will be pleased.
If your library had a theme about the ocean, you might produce a lobster in your dove pan, make a goldfish bowl disappear, goldfish and all, and similar tricks. Use your imagination. Have fun.