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Dear Leodini,

PhotobucketI read your article How Long Should a Trick Be? with moist eyes.  I was touched by the truth you told.  I’m so emotionally affected by the great knowledge contained in your post that I think I’m incapable of having sex with my wife tonight.

You are my idol!  I want to kiss your hands and follow your footsteps.

I have one question, though: is the five-minute rule applicable to children’s magic?  You see, I want to perform a telenovela magic for kids.  Is it advisable to do so?

Your fan,

Swooning Magic


Hi Swooning magic,


If you are my fan, I hope you are the electric, not the manual, type.

Please don’t kiss my hands. In this era of swine flu virus, that is a dangerous thing to do.

Also, don’t follow my footsteps.  My shadow is already doing that for you.

And for the love of heaven, don’t perform telenovela-long magic for kids.  It is not only NOT advisable, it is also criminal to do so.  That qualifies as children abuse, which is punishable under the revised Leodini code of Stupid Things Magicians Do, paragraph XII, article 70, a, b, and z.

The five-minute-rule is a good, all-around rule for both children and adult magic. The idea is not to prolong your routine to such extent that you bore the audience.  The magic effect should happen within five minutes.

However, really good children magicians can go up to 10 minutes per routine without boring the kids.  David Ginn, for example, is famous for his looong kids’ magic routines.  His Sun and Moon act stretches to over 10 minutes on his Live Kidbiz 1 video.  I’ve watched it several times and keep muttering to myself, “This doesn’t make sense.”  But hey, the kids are shrieking, shouting, laughing and enjoying every minute of the performance.

If the children love you and your trick, you can embellish your routine with gags, funny bits, humorous props and hilarious bits. Even if you breach the five-minute mark, you still can be entertaining.  But unless you are great performer, treading outside the five-minute bounds of kids’ attention span is performing dangerously.

It’s like jumping from an airplane using only an umbrella.

I’d do it only if the airplane were parked on the tarmac.  But then I’d choose a small plane to jump from.

Stay magical,