One thing about performing outdoors is that the weather can make pulling a crowd very difficult. Last week at a fair, on Sunday it rained hard all day and attendance was really low during the day. I had the last show of the night and my show started an hour before the fair closed, so there was literally no one on the fairgrounds!
The picture above was taken from the stage about 5 minutes before my show’s start time. The challenge is what do you do? I probably could have called off the show and the fair would have been OK with that. Personally I will stand on stage and talk for however long my show is supposed to last. I can usually make something happen, but I wasn’t optimistic about a show happening.
Right after show start time I was on the mic working on jokes, and two people walked by and I started talking to them and got them to sit down and did some informal magic for them from the stage.
At this point with less than an hour left in the fair and a break in the rain, some other people started to venture out of the buildings, and about 15 mins into my show I actually had a crowd!
It wasn’t the biggest crowd I’ve ever had, but I did end up getting about 90% of people who walked by my show to join the crowd, so that’s HUGE!
The moral of this story is always work hard on stage and don’t “phone it in”.