A reassuring guide to turning a magical hobby into a profitable business.

The Teen Magician: That's You!

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO BOOKING AND PERFORMING PARTY SHOWS

The hard part of magic—getting paid for it—is ably demystified in this straightforward debut primer.

Kraus, a renowned magician who has been performing in paid shows since the age of 12, reveals the secrets behind a few nifty tricks and steers readers toward books, magazines, magic shops and clubs that will teach them the nuts and bolts of the magician’s craft, but his focus is on helping neophyte magicians turn their passion into moneymaking gigs at children’s birthday parties. He emphasizes showmanship as the key to a successful party business: flamboyant costumes (sequins will spruce up the classic top hat and tails); a commanding stage presence (Kraus recommends the performer listen to recordings of his or her voice and practice modulating it); and jokey patter (he includes an extended script for his own “mystery trick” bit that rivets the attention of restive youngsters). Thematic storytelling, running gags and catchphrases help, too, as a way of drawing kids into the unfolding magical effects. Kraus analyzes the niceties of tailoring a show to the audience’s age and attention span—very young kids may not get jokes or register the magician’s apparent defiance of physics and logic—and offers strategies on how to cope with the young volunteer who suddenly dissolves in tears, the disruptive brat who needs to be disciplined or the heedlessly talkative parents who need to be diplomatically shushed. Due attention is paid to the all-important topic of advertising and promotions (sending self-written public relations profiles to local news outlets desperate for filler is a surefire trick), and there’s a thorough discussion of contracting and record-keeping, complete with sample forms. Kraus writes in a clear, humorous style, sprinkling in his own entertaining anecdotes of stage fright, a prop that sliced open his thumb and a flash paper (highly flammable paper) incident that almost burned down the house. Magicians in the making will learn a lot from his vast experience and engaging presentation.

A reassuring guide to turning a magical hobby into a profitable business.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1623097745

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Other Than Now

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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