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Kidding Around (2 DVD Set) Review

Official Review

October 17th, 2008 11:20am
Reviewed by James Sanden
Chris Capeheart has been performing magic on the east coast for well over 30 years in every area of magic, from street performance to close up to kid’s shows. His specialty, however, is performing magic for children and families. “Kidding Around” is a 2 DVD set on performing magic for kids that includes footage of a live show for a room full of children ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old. On the DVD he performs 13 effects, explaining 11 of them. (His explanations of his famous Linking Ring routine and the Miser’s Dream can be found on DVD’s that must be purchased separately.)

The effects demonstrated are standard, but the value in this DVD is seeing Mr. Capeheart wring every ounce of entertainment he can from his tricks. This DVD is an opportunity to see a master at work. The audience clearly loves the performance and their response to his show leaves nothing to be desired. He effectively uses all the classic techniques to peak the interest of the audience and entertain them from start to finish.

I personally loved Mr. Capeheart’s routines for the Sponge Balls, the Coloring Book and the Lota Bowl. They demonstrate the importance of an involved routine that entertains the audience as well as fooling them. Regarding the Lota Bowl routine, I found it fascinating that Mr. Capeheart was able to include the always successful gross element in his show, without actually saying anything “gross.” His ability to get the children to draw their own conclusions, without beating them over the head with the idea, left him able to entertain the kids, without making the adults uncomfortable. This is a classic dilemma for the kid’s performer, and Mr. Capeheart is clearly an expert at addressing it.

We are also treated to an interview where Mr. Capeheart provides some very valuable information for the kid’s show performer. This interview, along with the footage of the show, are the highlights of these DVD’s. His ideas and thoughts are all practical, useful and based on real world experience. However, while he ties some of his answers back to the original performance (including using footage to demonstrate what he is talking about), this information would have been even more useful if included during the actual explanation portion of the DVD.

Unfortunately, the explanations are the weakest aspect of the production. Because he does mostly standard kid’s show routines, the average magician will already know the methods used in performance. Instead of simply discussing the method, it would have been far more valuable if he had discussed the insight and wisdom he gleaned from performing for children for over 30 years. While he touches on some ideas briefly throughout the DVD, sadly, like many DVD’s on the market today, his thoughts aren’t organized or focused on demonstrating/explaining any overriding principles. Sadly, it appears that the explanations were neither rehearsed nor particularly well prepared for. This is a lost opportunity.

Complaints aside, it’s interesting to note that Mr. Capeheart has quite an adversarial approach when performing for children. He admits this comes from beginning his career performing true street magic, where a quick wit and strong personality are required to succeed. In fact, he begins his show by telling the audience he will give them a prize if they figure out any of his tricks. While this takes a strong and confident personality, it virtually guarantees the audience will pay attention to the show. And while the viewer may not be comfortable with this approach, it is a fascinating and undeniably effective way of performing, and elements of that approach can certainly be applied to any kid’s show.

Despite my complaints about the explanations, I recommend that any kid’s show entertainer looking to improve his or her performance purchase this DVD set, if only to see another successful performer’s approach to entertaining children. I just wish Mr. Capeheart would have taken more time to organize and communicate his clearly vast knowledge of how to entertain kids. It’s our loss as magicians looking to improve our abilities to entertain.
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Product info for Kidding Around (2 DVD Set)

Author: Chris Capehart
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $50.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Windows Media Video File View Clip

Chris Capehart is one of the most successful Magic Performers in the World. On this 2 DVD set, Chris performed his hilariously funny kids show.

Chris will perform and explain:

  • Cards for Kids
  • Misers Dream*
  • Coloring Book
  • Matilda and the Lola Bowl
  • Sponge Balls
  • Hoppin Spots
  • Botanica
  • The Rings*
  • Change Bag
  • Fraidy Cat Rabbit and more...
*performance only

After the show Chris talks about all of the things that are important to make a kids show successful and what makes HIS so special.

Bonus Material - Tricks Performed & Explained:
  • The Silk Vanish
  • The Incredible Shrinking Head
Disk One - Running Time Approximately 108min
Disk Two - Running Time Approximately 60min

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