Ballrooms Are The Worst…

Performing in hotel ballrooms is one of the worst situations for a comedy magician. The main problem is that they aren’t designed for a show, but for a wedding, or meetings. Here’s a panoramic picture of the ballroom I performed in last night. There are a few problems with this room. The first is that … Continue reading “Ballrooms Are The Worst…”

Performing in hotel ballrooms is one of the worst situations for a comedy magician. The main problem is that they aren’t designed for a show, but for a wedding, or meetings. Here’s a panoramic picture of the ballroom I performed in last night.

There are a few problems with this room. The first is that the DJ is set up on the stage, which makes it unusable by me. With the giant dance floor in front of the stage, it’s not a huge loss as I could lessen the distance between me and the audience by working on the floor.


The next problem that the darkest places in the room where the stage is and directly in front of it on the dance floor, where I’d be performing. I asked if there were lights (anything) that we could turn on and after going up the chain of command at the hotel, I finally found someone who could as was willing to turn them on for my show. These lights were the general lights, so the room was lit up as if there was a meeting in there. This is better than performing in the dark, where the audience is better lit than the stage.


The moral of the story is either get there super early and try to convince them to move the stage to one end of the room, or be assertive of your needs with the space how it currently is when you get there.

Monitor the Situation…

One of the pieces of advice I always give to magicians is to get a microphone and use it. Most magicians don’t realize how quiet their talking voice is. Sure you can yell at the audience and many people do, but that’s only good for up to a couple dozen people if you aren’t in … Continue reading “Monitor the Situation…”

One of the pieces of advice I always give to magicians is to get a microphone and use it. Most magicians don’t realize how quiet their talking voice is. Sure you can yell at the audience and many people do, but that’s only good for up to a couple dozen people if you aren’t in a formal theater situation.


When I drive to gigs I always have a battery powered speaker in my car. It’s saved a ton of gigs. I use a Roland Street Cube EX:

This little speaker has enough power for a school assembly, and it’s nice a small!


Here’s the advantage to having a speaker like this: It’s versatile! What I mean by that is that I can use it as a speaker. However if I need to I can use it as a mixer, and more importantly I can use it as a stage monitor! Many smaller events will rent a sound system, but it’s just two speakers on a stand, which will work in a ballroom, but lacking the monitor, that’s where this speaker comes in!


If you don’t know what a monitor is, basically is a speaker on stage that allows you to hear your self. It keeps you from yelling and it will save you voice! When the sound guy asks always tell them you want some of your voice in the monitor!

Be Seen!

One of the hardest things when performing for a group in a banquet hall without a stage is being  seen.  Here’s a picture from a corporate gig I did recently. I sat down in a chair at the back to take this picture.  Can you see the person up front talking?  Look close, you can … Continue reading “Be Seen!”

One of the hardest things when performing for a group in a banquet hall without a stage is being  seen.  Here’s a picture from a corporate gig I did recently.

Magic Show
I sat down in a chair at the back to take this picture.  Can you see the person up front talking?  Look close, you can really only see them from about the shoulders up.  What can we learn from this picture?  If you magic is happening below shoulder level most of the audience cannot see it.

There are two ways to solve this visibility problem:

  1. Hold all of your props above your head:  The problem with this is it makes doing sleight of hand really difficult and looks strange.
  2. Bring a your own stage:  This is most obvious solution.  However not always practical, especially when flying.  So I travel with a folding stool.  This fits in my suitcase and when I stand on it makes the show much more visible.

Next time you are at a show, even one with a stage, sit in the back and watch the act or speaker before you and see what you can see. You’ll be amazed at how little can be seen even with a stage!

Louie

I Saved the Show!

Last night I did a corporate gig that I wrote a post about packing for a couple of days ago (Click here to read the post).  The gist of the post was that I had a feeling the venue for the gig that I was flying to wouldn’t have a PA, so I packed my … Continue reading “I Saved the Show!”

Last night I did a corporate gig that I wrote a post about packing for a couple of days ago (Click here to read the post).  The gist of the post was that I had a feeling the venue for the gig that I was flying to wouldn’t have a PA, so I packed my street show PA just in case.

 

Much to my surprise the venue had a PA and a sound board!   Then I plugged my audio into it and learned that the sound board didn’t work.  The venue’s PA only had one XLR input and I need 3 channels.  So I used my street show PA as a mixer and monitor:

Roland Street Cube EX

Please take note that the jumble of wires on the floor is mostly the venue’s cords, not mine.  I simply ran the audio out from my Roland Street Cube EX into the XLR input in the venue’s sound system and I was good to go!

 

One thing I’ve learned as a full time performer is your ability to be problem solver will make your very valuable to your clients.  The booker of the event was in the room when  I was trying to figure out why the sound board wasn’t working, and when had the audio up and running.  She complimented me on my ability to find a solution.

 

So the moral of the story is be a problem solver!

 

Louie

You Gotta be a Boy Scout

When you are a performer you have to live by the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared I’m flying out today for a corporate gig and I have  a strange feeling that they venue’s sound system won’t work.  What I mean by that is that it won’t work for my show’s needs.   In banquet halls … Continue reading “You Gotta be a Boy Scout”

When you are a performer you have to live by the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared

I’m flying out today for a corporate gig and I have  a strange feeling that they venue’s sound system won’t work.  What I mean by that is that it won’t work for my show’s needs.

 

In banquet halls there are tons of reasons why the system won’t work. Sometimes they have systems that you can’t plug into.  The speakers in the ceiling sound like a tin can or make it so you can’t move around without getting feedback.

 

Honestly I don’t know why I have this feeling about the sound system, but my “spidey sense” is tingling.

 

So what do I am I doing?

 

I’m packing my street show PA in my suitcase:

Magic show sound system

Since I’m only away a short period of time, I don’t have a lot to pack, so the speaker fits easily in the in my suitcase.

 

The PA I’m using is the Roland Street Cube EX.  The great thing about this is it’s small enough to put in the overhead bin on the plane but has enough power for a gym.   I’ve got the proper cords with me to use this as a mixer and/or monitor if they have a system I can plug into.

 

Hopefully I won’t need it, but in case I do, I’ve got it!

Louie