A couple of days ago I wrote about seeing an amazing act perform under horrible conditions (you can read it here). Yesterday I was performing at a festival and I got to be a good act performing with not so idea conditions. I’m not one to complain, as I’m honestly grateful for any gig and do my best to make it work.
The gig yesterday had a raised stage, which is good. Unfortunately the stage was only about 6 inches high, so it didn’t offer the same visual advantage as a 12 or 18 inch stage would have.
The ground that the audience sat on sloped downward away from the stage, so any advantage from the short stage was quickly lost. The picture was taken with my camera held at eye level from about the 8th row. You’ll notice that you can only see one performer on the stage, in reality there were six people! They were a Taiko Drum act, a they have some very large props, however you’ll also notice you can’t see them in the picture.
The stage also had to metal poles that block sight lines and a barricade in front of the stage. The metal pole and barricade are more psychological barriers for the audience. However there were four giant pillars in the middle of the audience blocking the sight lines, which were actual barriers.
How do you make this work?
There are some things you can’t control, like the big pillars or the sloping ground. The first thing I did was move the barrier from in front of the stage. Now there’s one less thing between me and the audience. Then I did a lot of my standing on the stool that I keep in my car for situations like this. It makes the show much more visible. These two things made a huge difference in how the show was received.
You can complain about situations, or you can do you best to make them the best they can be!