I’m often asked if my shows are appropriate for children. I know that some people are confused, expecting magic shows to be designed for children. I know that there are sometimes economic realities mean that a ticket to a show and dinner for a small person can be less expensive than a babysitter. And I also know that some kids just enjoy more grownup activities.
It’s a tough question to answer. My secret mantra, given to me by a friend years ago is that “I perform magic for grownups.” Which somewhat ironically means that my shows tend to be entirely G-rated.
That’s not to say they’re for kids. There will be words they won’t understand, and I can’t promise they’ll understand everything, but there’s nothing in the show that will leave them traumatized — certainly nothing as bad as Bambi.
Where we settled running Magic Tonight was the rather vaguely worded “family friendly but not intended for children under twelve.” Basically a polite way of saying that the show was G rated but that young kids wouldn’t find us all that interesting—no fluffy bunnies to see here. That never stopped children from turning up. I would always make it a point to ask how old they were. What I discovered, more than once, was that the children had been instructed to lie and say they were twelve. (How were they supposed to know that we didn’t actually care?)
I was struck by Doug Walker’s recent vlog essay about the standard movie rating system we all knew growing up. When I was younger, I paid attention to the ratings of movies because I know that they influenced whether or not my parents would let me watch them. In fact, to this day, there are films I’ve never seen, like Terminator, which were rated R, because at the time I wasn’t allowed and by the time I was allowed, the need to see it was no longer pressing. It was also that awkward era where video rentals were becoming obsolete but pure on demand services like Netflix and iTunes hadn’t come about yet.
Now I’m a grownup and can watch whatever I want, so I really haven’t paid attention to a movie rating in probably a decade or more. So I was shocked to discover that both Frozen and The Hunger Games both had the same PG rating. So take a look at our ****ed up rating system:
Of course now, Magic and Martini is strictly nineteen plus because of the spaces we’re using so we can get the most interesting cocktails to go with the show. I can’t claimed to have added any mature or adult content anywhere in the show. So who knows, maybe some industrious twelve year old with a very good fake ID will make an appearance at one of our shows.