Talent Shows


Many kids have talents that are not demonstrated every day. Many campers and staff with whom I’ve worked over the years have had fabulous talents in singing, guitar, piano, flute and even drums (which is pretty impressive since it’s really hard to play around the campfire). It’s always been an entertaining evening activity.

To act as a “filler” or to just bring a little comedy into the show, have some outrageous tricks or acts in between. A really bad magician is always a crowd-pleaser.

One of the many “tricks” I’ve used is the moving shoelace. A long shoelace is held in one hand while the index finger of the other pulls the middle of the shoe lace down slightly until you have three strands hanging. One will be short, the middle a little longer and the last to be the longest. While holding your arm out to the side, you tell your audience that you will make the short end move to where the long is, and the long will move to the short. You say a few magic words, wave your arm up and down three times then immediately bring it across your chest so that your hand has turned and in fact, the pieces have switched sides. A very big thank you should come out.

Another classic trick is to ask a member of the audience (who has previously been prepared) to come up to help you. As the magician, you have great magical powers that allow you to remove things from the audience member without them knowing it. The magician begins to ask questions to the person as he waves his hands around the audience member. The magician will then ask questions like “when you go to the store, don’t you need your wallet” while he immediately holds up a wallet. The audience member dutifully looks astonished. Other items continue including a paperback book, a rubber chicken and the grand finale, a pair of women’s underwear (if the audience member is a man) where the member will run out in horror. Follow with a very big thank you.

Other fillers can include someone who plays music with their armpit; someone who can balance a cookie on their nose and toss it into their mouth; or someone who can sing so loud that only dogs can hear.

Be careful that these fillers do not take away from any of the legitimate performers. Talent shows are not talent contests.


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