Types of Shows
I offer many types of magic shows and each type of show can be presented by one of several “characters” (described below). Which type and character is best for your event will depend on the venue, the average age of the target audience, they nature of your event and a number of other factors. When we design your show, we will recommend the most appropriate types and characters for your event. Click on the icons below to learn more about each type of show we offer. Then scroll down to meet the characters Just click on any icon for a detailed description.
The perfect occasion for magical entertainment. We offer birthday shows for kids from 5 to 90 and each birthday show features the celebrant. We also have a party planning guide, party bag goodies and other resources to help you plan a party that will be long remembered.
Shows for Schools, Libraries, Museums, Day Care Centers, and Similar Venues
Shows that combine entertainment with education that is age-level appropriate and ties to the mission of the venue.
Adult audience shows often feature mentalism because there is nothing more amazing to adults than knowing what someone is thinking. Adults also enjoy tricks with cards, money, and other everyday items that don’t look fake. Theater audiences expect to see large stage illusions.
Planning an event for a large audience where you have a stage? Illusion Shows include a mixture of small and large illusions. Typically illusions are geared toward a more mature audience and many of our illusions can be scary to young children.
You will swear that we really read minds and cause objects to move with mental concentration Mentalism is suitable for adult audiences.
Looking for table entertainment for a wedding reception, community festival, grand opening, or corporate banquet? We will stroll from one group to the next entertaining with what we can carry over our shoulder.
A “feature” is a short bit of magic, usually 2 – 10 minutes inserted in a program or presentation. The feature may be used to promote a product, teach a skill, encourage a moral value, or simply offer diversion in a long program.
Lie Detector Lecture
For centuries people have tried to find a way to detect truthfulness; but so far nothing has worked very well. Burning witches did not result in honest confessions. Dunking people in water (medieval water-boarding) didn’t work either.
I offer two basic Renaissance Birthday Party Packages .
This package consists of a 45-minute COMEDY, AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Magic Show. The other is longer and provides two hour coverage. The show varies depending on your needs and our experience. In a typical show I produce a WHITE BUNNY. The BIRTHDAY CHILD stars in several tricks and is presented with a large inflatable magic wand as a souvenir. At some point during the program every child is invited to come up to help. We may play two games. One is the STAND FAST/GO FORTH GAME where I pose all the children around the BIRTHDAY CHILD as a funny statue. This gives you a chance to take pictures of all the children at the party. The other game is the GOOD EGG GAME where I make hard cooked eggs appear while the children name good qualities of the BIRTHDAY CHILD. This game is a positive reinforcement for your child. If you wish at the end of the show I parade the children to the refreshments area and lead them in singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
This package includes up to TWO HOUR coverage with everything described above plus an additional fifteen minutes of comedy magic. I arrive before the party to meet the BIRTHDAY CHILD. With the help of VERN, a large and colorful bird puppet, I greet the guests and entertain with some smaller tricks. After the show and your refreshments, the children touch and pet Merlin, a white rabbit until the party is over.
I have several items available that are suitable for “party bags” including inflatable wands and a Magic and Activity Book that includes coloring pages, puzzles, optical illusions, show photos and even teaches some tricks.
For ideas to help plan your party check out our Party Planning Guide. It is packed with suggestions from decorating to games to menu recipes.
Schools and libraries are primarily interested in shows that also educate. I have developed a number of exclusive edutainment effects that make learning fun. Which ones I use depends on the age of the target audience. Some are science experiments. Others teach that math and history are actually fun and these effects may awaken curiosity the lead to individual study. All of these tricks involve the kids both in the audience and as “on-stage” volunteers. Here are some Examples:
- Famous People born in Connecticut: Kids identify pictures and tell what they know about characters from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Ella Grasso, from PT Barnum to George W Bush. I teach additional facts about these people and there is a funny and magical conclusion.
- Numbers: A banner shows the numbers in “proper” order: 4, 2, 3, 5, 1, 6. The kids scream that this is not the proper sequence. With a magical pass the numbers all move to the proper sequence on the banner.
- Magic Math: Kids create 6 4-digit numbers and then are asked to add the numbers (usually with a calculator). I announce the totals in just a few seconds – much faster than the calculator.
- Money: Kids are asked to identify the pictures on various paper currency. What do they know about these great Americans? Then they choose one of the bills and muse about what they might buy. Older kids may talk about making change. My earlier prediction matches their choice.
- Renaissance: I use this when dressed as a Medieval magician. What was life like 500 years ago? What did we eat? How did we make a living? What about festivals and faires? What phrases do we use today that bloomed in the Renaissance (“Saved by the Bell”, “Graveyard shift”, etc.) and, of course, what magic was performed?
- Mona Lisa: A large framed jigsaw puzzle of the great masterpiece is shown with a single piece missing. Who was Da Vinci? What was life like? What were his other accomplishments? One kid randomly picks a puzzle piece from a duplicate puzzle and it matches!
- Great Lovers: (Christian school or church message) Four reproductions of great masterpieces are shown. Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Lancelot and Genevieve, and Pocahontas and John Smith. A kid randomly selects one picture and it shows the greatest love story of all – God’s love for us.
- Open Book Test: Spectators choose a book, then a page, then a word on the page. I can name the word and usually the context. If there is a picture I describe the picture. If there is a map I am able to give turn-by-turn directions from one location to another.
- Primary Colors: Kids call out a primary color and I magically produce a handkerchief of the named color from an empty tube (a paint can without bottom). Note that I can instantly produce any of a dozen such colors. Then from the empty paint can many handkerchiefs of various sizes 12 inches to 6 feet,.are produced
- Libro: a large book that is also a ventriloquist puppet performs several magic trick while we talk about a subject that is appropriate to the class or group.
Of course these teaching tricks are mixed with traditional, humorous,and spectacular magic. But even these may have an educational twist. I don’t just pull a rabbit out of a hat, I tell the fascinating story of how a quick-thinking 19th century magician developed this trick to stay out a jail. The cups and balls are considered the oldest trick in magic because they are pictured on the walls of the pyramids. They are perhaps also the oldest swindle. How do people recognize and avoid swindles? Library and school shows are generally about 45 minutes or even 30 minutes. They may be repeated several times for different classes. Sometimes I perform in an auditorium; but earlier in the day visit some of the classes to meet the kids and show one or two teaser tricks. Occasionally I get a call from a parent who wants to have a birthday party at the school with, of course, the teachers approval. This is not only a memorable gift to the child; but may also elevate the child to celebrity status on the natal day.
- Children (of all ages!)
- Family groups
- Schools (Assemblies and Classrooms)
- Summer Camps
- Church Groups
If magic is really is for kids, aren’t you glad we never grew up?
About half my shows are for adult audiences but all my shows are suitable for family audiences. These adult audience shows often feature mentalism because there is nothing more amazing to adults than knowing what someone is thinking. Adults also enjoy tricks with cards, money, and other everyday items that don’t look fake. Theater audiences expect to see large stage illusions.
Shows are not limited to magic tricks. Some include Story Telling and even Optical Illusions. The spinning disk makes the performer’s head expand or shrink depending on the direction of travel. It is hard to believe this is possible; but when you actually see this, you will be stunned.
It is nat rural for inquisitive adults to try to figure how it is all done. But after a short while they just give up and enjoy the bizarre impossibility of it all.
Jim: Do you believe in ghosts?
Spectator: Yes I do!
Jim: Well I didn’t used to believe in ghosts but after I saw this I’m not so sure anymore.
With this a ghostly presence appears under the handkerchief and floats skyward. It is drawn to the lovely spectator who quickly backs away from the too-friendly orb (to the amusement of the audience).
Here are some Examples of Adult Venues where I have performed:
- Conventions and Training Meetings: A full stage show provides evening entertainment with perhaps the surprise appearance of the CEO. Products are pitched at trade shows, magical introductions add interest to long meetings.
- Employee and Family Parties: These can be geared toward adults or kids of all ages.
- Grand Openings: Draw a crowd by adverting that those who attend the event will be entertained with magic. Typically I work on the sales floor.
- Fraternal or Service Organization – Meetings or Parties: Provide a memorable program that may feature magic and information about your parent organization.
- Restaurants: You can offer diners entertainment that positions you above the competition.
- Open House: Position me at a strategic location or let me amble about.
- Customer Appreciation Event: Often customers do not know one another, so conversation is stymied. Let me give them a common magical experience, then introduce the CEO for a few words of thanks. Perhaps have me hop from table to table or group to group.
When we take time to do some advance work together, the magic can feature your products or promotional themes.
Illusion Shows include a mixture of small and large illusions. Typically illusions are geared toward a more mature audience and many of our illusions can be scary to young children. The following paragraphs describe some of our illusions:
In one scene we demonstrate (with the assistance of a hapless spectator) medieval forms of punishment including a guillotine and “burning” a witch at the stake. In another feature, a beautiful harem girl hides in a basket. An evil sultan discovers the basket and, suspecting that the fugitive is inside, thrusts swords into it; but the girl has disappeared. There is a humorous and happy ending to this drama.
Explaining that ancient performers usually stayed in tents when they traveled from shire to hamlet, the wizard shows a modern nylon version. This tent is picked up and spun around then a work light is used to illuminate the interior. The light is then hung in the center of the tent and it is zipped up. Within seconds a shadow undulates within the tent which then forms into a human shape. The front of the tents bursts open to reveal a beautiful young girl or perhaps even YOU or another local celebrity.
In the grand finale a beautiful assistant is hypnotized and covered with a drape. Slowly she rises, then twists to a horizontal position. She floats about the stage with no visible means of support. Then, in a dramatic climax, the Wizard whisks away the cloth to reveal …nothing. She has vanished into thin air.
Illusion shows are also available with a modern theme including additional illusions such as producing a bowling ball from an attaché case, levitating a young lady selected from the audience, sawing another audience member in half and an amusing effect where a selected card is located by a bullet fired by yet another member of the audience.!
- Recommended Audiences
- Teens to Adults
- School Assemblies
- Theater Night
- Fundraising Event
- First Night
- Community Festival
There is nothing more amazing to adults than when a magician seems to be able to probe into their minds and reveal what they are thinking. What sneaky gimmick or sleight of hand could be employed? None, of course!
Mentalism includes reading people’s thoughts, predicting future events, physically controlling objects through mere thought, projecting thoughts into a person’s mind.
Some mentalism can be funny such as when a spectator randomly selects and thinks of a famous celebrity and then the entire audience is able to read the volunteer’s mind and identify the celebrity.
It can also be spooky such as when a small brass bell rings in response to questions from the audience. This simulates a seance as the story line is that the bell is being rung by someone from the spirit world.
It can be scary such as when three Styrofoam cups are mixed-up by a volunteer. Under one of them is a sharp spike. One by one the mentalist smashes his hand down on each cup hoping to avoid the spike.
We sprinkle mentalism into most of our shows; but this show is a full hour of mind-bending entertainment.
Although it seems impossible, all our mentalism is achieved using magic. We don’t claim to have any supernatural powers.
- Recommended Audiences for Mentalism
- Adults or Teens
- Club Meetings
- Corporate Events
The Walk Around or Table Hopping Wizard will entertain at your next event that requires a strolling entertainer. He performs a variety of close-up miracles that he pulls from his p;ocket or a satchel slung over his arm.
All these tricks emphasize interaction with the spectators. Sometimes they actually perform the magic themselves. Here are a few examples:
An female onlooker shuffles a deck of cards then selects one card before loosing it in the deck. The wizard promises to find the card if the onlooker will just blow a kiss toward the deck. When the cards are spread it is noted that one card has a different colored back. It is in fact the selected card complete with the imprint of a kiss. The spectator keeps the card as a souvenir. (For corporate shows the card imprint might be the corporate or a product logo.)
A males spectator puts his finger in a miniature guillotine. The blade crashes down but the finger is unharmed. Then the wizard takes the guillotine apart so everyone can plainly see that the blade is solid and “really” penetrated the finger.
A cloth bag contains four black balls and one gold ball. A spectator reaches into the bag to remove a ball then passes the bag along to his neighbor who also removes a ball. The wizard divines who is holding the golden ball just by looking into the eyes of each spectator.
- Recommended Audiences for the Walk Around or Table Hopping Wizard
- Bar Mitzvahs
- Corporate Dinner Meetings
- Town Festivals
- Open Houses
- Store Opening
A “feature” is a short bit of magic, usually 2 – 10 minutes inserted in a program or presentation. The feature may be used to promote a product, teach a skill, encourage a moral value, or simply offer diversion in a long program. Use one or several at your next event to add interest and keep your audience focused. Or use Master Jim as your magical MC. A feature may also be used in advance of your major show as a publicity stunt, As with all our magic, features may be presented by various characters – maybe even a new one that we create just for your event. Talk to us about your specific needs as we may be able to develop, acquire or customize material that meets your unique situation.
A feature might be a magical object lesson presented to a church group or it could be making the CEO magically appear at a corporate sales meeting. It could be driving through town blindfolded or it could be playing BINGO with your company name, logo and sales message printed on the BINGO cards.
- All Ages
- Corporate Training or Sales Events
- Trade Shows
- School Assemblies
- Banquet Programs
- Children’s Sermons
- Variety Shows
- Community Events
- Walkathons and similar events
- Dinner Parties
- Wedding Receptions
- Moral Object Lessons
Lie Detector Lecture
Wouldn’t it be great if we could actually detect lies?
For centuries people have tried to find a way to detect truthfulness; but so far nothing has worked very well. Burning witches did not result in honest confessions. Dunking people in water (medieval water-boarding) didn’t work either. In the 1960’s the French tried to use handwriting analysis but soon abandoned that approach. In 1926 John Larson invented the Polygraph and while this is still used in the United States and Canada, it is banned from most major countries. Even Larson eventually conceded that the polygraph only worked about 56% of the time (remember that a coin flip works 50% of the time).
Since magicians are fascinated by deception it is no wonder that I have been interested in studying lie detection. Finally I developed a device that has been 100% effective in all my tests. Well, that statement is in itself deceptive; but my research and my comical spoof device form the basis for a funny, educational, and somewhat controversial presentation for clubs such as Rotary, Kiwanis, and church groups.
“Of course the machine does not work so well with me because I never tell lies,” claims humorist Jim Lang.
While the speech pokes fun at our obsession with lie detectors, it is controversial with law enforcement professionals, most of whom completely trust the polygraph. I contend that this confidence is due more to culture than actual research. The scientific community totally rejects the polygraph as a lie detector.
The speech humorously explores some of the history of lie detectors using my comical Acme 100% Accurate Lie Detector, a card trick, and a children’s novelty item. In combines numerous anecdotes with cold hard statistics.
My hope is that listeners will leave with skepticism about the polygraph and will think twice about ever agreeing to take one.
Every member of the audience is given a free novelty device that measures skin conductivity (moisture) which is one of the four measurements taken by polygraph machines..
At this time the speech is free for organizations that are within 20 miles of my home and beyond that carry my typical travel allowance.