Had a great show this evening for an adult Sunday School group.
Started off with where I predicted the sum of three randomly chosen, three-digit numbers followed by two tricks that I like to teach the elderly as they can perform them for their own grandchildren: a paper tear that turns a sheet of newspaper into a three-dimensional tree and a slick move where they predict the color of a crayon placed behind their back.
With only as few changes, it's the same show I've done since 1974 when I first started this adventure, but the patter and moves are so smooth with practice and time, the show flows freely.
It helps to have an appreciative audience and in my show I'm not afraid to be the fall guy for a few jokes. Audiences don't like an arrogant magician. They want one who is just as enchanted with the illusions as they are.
I finished the show by doing a rope penetration on a little five year old girl who was a real sweetheart about the whole thing, but I did take her aside with her mother before the show to tell her that "I'm only pretending to cut you in half. We're just playing a joke on the audience." The crowd went wild, to use an old cliche, but when you get good volunteers, you always win.
Rule #1: NEVER embarrass a volunteer. Laugh with them, let them laugh at you, and always I have the audience applaud for them as they take their seat.