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The Art of Presenting Magic to Teenagers Review

Official Review

March 5th, 2015 12:26pm
Reviewed by James Sanden
Following on the heels of his terrific DVD set, The Art of Presenting Magic to Children, Danny Orleans has now released a DVD on performing magic for teens, a demographic that can be particularly challenging to entertain. Among other things, they demand amazing magic, don’t like to admit when they are fooled, and stop paying attention if they feel even remotely like they are being treated like children. I personally have avoided performing for teens and pre-teens for years, despite having solid shows for both adults and children, primarily because I just couldn’t get a handle on what teens appreciate and find entertaining.

Danny Orleans has come to the rescue.

Mr. Orleans doesn’t just know how to entertain teens and pre-teens with magic, he has developed an entire show just for this market, which forms the basis for the approach and principles he teaches in this DVD set. Anyone who has performed for a group of teenagers knows they don’t like the simple jokes and magic found in a typical children’s show, but they also generally don’t have the sophistication or confidence to be entertained by a show designed for adults. So what do they like? Taking his successful show as a template, Mr. Orleans has identified 51 performance techniques one can apply to one’s own show to create a performance tailored for a teenage audience.

The DVD set begins with complete footage of Mr. Orleans’ live show for teens. Not only does this demonstrate that his show is entertaining for teens, it provides a real world example of the principles he teaches in action. He then explains the effects he performs, using multiple camera angles as well as segments from the live show. He provides all the information one would need, including tips garnered from hundreds of live performances, to be able to perform the magic effectively. While this level of instruction would certainly be enough, the set also includes PDF’s that clearly explain how to build a magic table, servante, dove bag, spot card as well as his billet template.

The second DVD begins with the same footage of the show seen on the first DVD, but includes a voiceover commentary provided by Mr. Orleans and his guest, Michael Brandwein, an author, speaker and expert on communicating with children and teens (as well as a being a magician himself.) This is the core of the DVD set and is where the heart of the real information on entertaining teens can be found. The conversation begins with a discussion of teens in general, including what teens are dealing with at this time in their development, particularly as it relates to being entertained. Taking these ideas as their foundation, Mr. Orleans and Mr. Brandwein then go through the entire show, discussing each moment in the performance and how it specifically was designed for a teenage audience. This is also where the 51 performance tips are explained, expanded upon and connected to actual examples from the show. After the performance Danny is then interviewed by Mac King, during which they further explore the idea of performing magic for teens, touching on the principles found in the show commentary.

It’s interesting to note that while most of the effects Mr. Orleans’ performs can be found in the repertoire of a number of corporate entertainers (torn and restored napkin, paper balls over head, pseudo psychometry, a blindfold routine and a book test), the framing and presentation are dramatically different. And while one could certainly perform the same effects taught on the DVD set in one’s own show, the principles Mr. Orleans’ teaches are not tied to the material he performs. Not only does he explain the categories and types of effects particularly suited for teens, he also provides lists of effects from these categories to choose from if the routines he uses aren’t right for the viewer.

The last disc contains additional material, including the PDF’s on constructing the props for the show, but also articles on performing strolling magic for teens as well as performing in schools, a list of all the performance techniques explained in the DVD set, two lists of tricks suitable for teenagers, how to perform a blindfold act for teens and a transcript from the show as well as the interview with Mac King. There is also footage of the same show found on disc one performed earlier in Mr. Orleans’ career, as well as footage of a performance of a blindfold routine for teens (explained in an article included on this disc.) Mr. Orleans has provided every conceivable resource one might need to be able to apply his approach to entertaining teens to one’s own show.

As with his first DVD set on performing for children, the quality and production value in this set is top notch. The footage from the live show is professionally shot, the instruction is clear, well thought out and edited effectively. And of course the bonus content provides more than enough information to answer any question one might have about putting together an act suitable for teens.

There are many resources available to performers looking to entertain children as well as those looking to entertain adults. But for those who perform for teens, a particularly challenging audience, there is very little information to be found. The information contained in these DVD’s has been gleaned from decades of experience, making the viewer’s job a thousand times easier. If you are interested in entering this market, or are a family entertainer who avoids this age group like the plague, this DVD set will give you all the tools you need to provide an amazing, entertaining show designed just for teens. I give this my highest recommendation.

Product info for The Art of Presenting Magic to Teenagers

Author: Danny Orleans
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $129.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Danny Orleans is an expert in presenting magic to pre-teen and teenage audiences. Here is shares over 40 years of experience performing more than 2000 shows at junior highs, high schools and private parties nationwide. Over five hours of professionally edited shows, interviews, instructions and commentary, teach you the details of every routine and performance technique. In this all-new, 3-DVD set, you will…

-Watch his show for teenagers, "The Hand Is Quicker," including eight routines and two bonus tricks.
-Hear the commentary discussing Danny's performance techniques that have made his shows so successful.
-See Mac King interview Danny on his approach to performing magic to teenagers.
-Learn to make and perform his entire repertoire of tricks.
-Download Danny's essays, instructions and show script.
-Enjoy vintage footage of Danny performing in schools.

These DVDs unveil many of the secrets to performing magic for audiences that are inherently skeptical. If you perform magic for young children, Danny's expertise will give you a comfort level to work with older children. If you perform for adults, these DVDs will teach you techniques to modify your work for teen markets.

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