Dino-Trick Breakdown…

Last night I performed again appeared on The CW’s Masters of Illusion TV show. I was the opening act, which really surprised me as I’m not really a “flash act”, however the way they edited my act, I think it worked in that spot.

If you didn’t catch the performance, check it out here:

After watching the clip, the first thing I noticed is how much I give the stage to the guy on stage. He’s working it solo for a big chunk of the act. This is very high risk, high reward scenario for me. If the person the audience does something, like in this case where he had some sweet dance moves, it creates a sense of the audience watching a unique show that will never happen again. I really like this.

Here’s another example of taking a risk, where the kid delivered:

If the person does nothing, I have a plan for that. Honestly, the majority of the time they do something. Also in my show I don’t do these bits early in the show, I do them later when I can watch the audience, so I have a feel for who is more outgoing.

The trick is just an OK magic trick from a magical viewpoint. What the trick does have is spectacle and a huge sense of fun. I don’t think there’s really a way the magic trick can be better than me dancing with the guy in the dinosaur costume. It’s a trick that’s 99% energy. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but if you do something like this, you need to recognize it for what it is.

Taking Out a routine

Not too long ago I picked up a copy of The Truth in Comedy which is about doing improv. It’s an interesting book, and I’m about a third of the way through the book. One of the main concepts if trying to find the real moments and not shoehorning jokes into a real moment.

A real moment is always more interesting than a prepared joke. I very much agree with this. In the past I’ve been more about getting to the joke and forgotten to play. I try to be good about playing, but it doesn’t always happen.

The hard part is when you have a routine that was built on audience interaction, however the real moments have become so predictable, you are just jumping joke to joke.

For me a good example is my card catch routine. This was built on playing with the audience and for the first about 50 shows it was a lot of playing. Then I noticed the routine became very scripted, people pretty much reacted the same way the whole routine. Once I realized what the routine was becoming, I started working to phase it out of the show for a bit.

It’s been a while since I’ve had the routine regularly in the show. Occasionally I’ll do the routine and it’s playing much better as I’m able to get back into the moment during the trick. It was hard taking the routine out of the show, but it’s made the routine better!