The first paid gig I ever did when I was a teenager was an event where I did close up magic lane to lane at a bowling alley. It was a rough gig, and even and a kid after doing it, I knew it sucked. It was a bad show because the event planner was trying to put an activity into an an activity. No one wanted to watch the tricks, I did, they were busy bowling and I as interrupting them.
Over the years I’ve gotten requests to do gigs at bowling alleys and I’ve turned them down. However over 20 years later I finally accepted a roving magic gig at a bowling alley.
Why did I take this gig? I wanted to try it again, and see if I could conquer it. I’m happy to report that last night the show went wonderfully!
What did I do differently 20 years later?
A lot of things have changed. First of all there’s the “David Blaine Factor”, which is that his TV shows have made people aware of what close up magic is. When I was a kid, people didn’t know what close up magic was, and they thought it’d be lame tricks that your uncle Jimmy Does.
This time around I also had over twenty years of performing experience. My close up set was short tricks, nothing too long and drawn out. It gave me a chance to leave if I noticed they were more interested in bowling. Add that to being a much stronger performer than I was as a teenager.
My advice is if you’ve had a rough performing situation in the past that you swore you’d never do again…maybe try it again. I’m glad I did!