As we move forward and out of the COVID pandemic and venues start to reopen and live, in person entertainment begins to come back, we’re going to have to follow some rules. There are tons of magicians that are saying, “I’ll never do a show with a mask on” or whatever, and that’s fine…it’s their personal choice. The venue’s don’t get a choice, they are given guidelines to follow by the state/county/city and must follow those. So your personal choice will affect your ability to perform.
I think that the fear of performing with a mask, or a no contact show comes from a place of laziness. Why wouldn’t you want to figure out how to do your show no contact? The answer you hear is, “My comedy comes from interacting with people”. Great! you can still do that without someone physically onstage…or onstage 6 feet from you. It just takes some work.
I’ve had to recently reblock my show so that couple things I still do with someone onstage can have the person six feet from me…and we both can be masked. I’ve had to reexamine my show and figure out how to make it work…but that’s something you should be doing every now and then anyway.
It was only a matter of time before I got an inquiry for a gig that required me to be fully vaccinated.
Personally I have no objection to getting the COVID vaccine and knew that not having it may affect my ability to work. I got my vaccine the first chance I was eligible to get it. The big thing to consider is time…if you get the two shot version, you’ve got five weeks until you are fully vaccinated. The waiting period could cost you some work if you wait until the last minute to get it.
I’m not a doctor and don’t take this as medical advice, but for me getting the vaccine at the first chance I had was a good business decision!
The reality moving forward whether we like it or not will be shows that are socially distant. What that means is a gap between the performer and the audience and having to have people onstage stay somewhere between six and twenty five feet from you. What that means is people can still manipulate objects, they just need to do it from a distance.
That has me thinking of tricks that can be done with someone onstage, but on the opposite side of the stage and using props that I never touch. One of these tricks is Promystic’s Color Match. I did this trick for years, but it cycled out of the show a couple years ago. This fits the rules, it can be done at a distance and without any contact or sharing of the props.
I went out an bought a collapsible easel and 3D printed some cup holders for the easel.
One the right side (when facing the easel) is the cup full of pens and on the left is the empty cup. I have the cup on the left labeled “used”. The “used” pen bin is something that’s very common right now at stores and restaurants due COVID rules. It’s something 18 months ago would be strange, but something that people see often now. Even if they’ve never seen the two cup system at the store, it’s a very simple concept to grasp.
The cool thing is that this solves the problem with what to do with the pen after they use it during the Color Match trick in a logical manner.