Support Your Art!

This weekend I got to perform at a sideshow festival in New Orleans. I think that performing at or attending festivals is something that very important for performers today. You are supporting innovation in your art form. When you go to these festivals or conventions as an attendee, you get to see the top performers. … Continue reading “Support Your Art!”

This weekend I got to perform at a sideshow festival in New Orleans. I think that performing at or attending festivals is something that very important for performers today. You are supporting innovation in your art form.


When you go to these festivals or conventions as an attendee, you get to see the top performers.  This keeps you informed of what level you are at and who your peers are.  Knowing what level your show or act is act keeps your helps with pricing and what sort of venues you can be performing at.  The acts you see keep you updated with the trends in the industry.  What tricks or styles are
common, and once you know the trends you can embrace or avoid the trends. 

performing at festivals is a good place to “level up” your show.  When other people see what you do and how you do it, you can become the trendsetter.  I know the old argument is that people don’t want other people to steal their material.  It’s a lame excuse because as a performer you need to do your art where other people will see it.  You’ll never know who is seeing it no matter where you do it.  Do it for industry and establish it for yourself.

Making the best…

A couple of days ago I wrote about seeing an amazing act perform under horrible conditions (you can read it here). Yesterday I was performing at a festival and I got to be a good act performing with not so idea conditions. I’m not one to complain, as I’m honestly grateful for any gig and … Continue reading “Making the best…”

A couple of days ago I wrote about seeing an amazing act perform under horrible conditions (you can read it here). Yesterday I was performing at a festival and I got to be a good act performing with not so idea conditions. I’m not one to complain, as I’m honestly grateful for any gig and do my best to make it work.


The gig yesterday had a raised stage, which is good. Unfortunately the stage was only about 6 inches high, so it didn’t offer the same visual advantage as a 12 or 18 inch stage would have.


The ground that the audience sat on sloped downward away from the stage, so any advantage from the short stage was quickly lost. The picture was taken with my camera held at eye level from about the 8th row. You’ll notice that you can only see one performer on the stage, in reality there were six people! They were a Taiko Drum act, a they have some very large props, however you’ll also notice you can’t see them in the picture.


The stage also had to metal poles that block sight lines and a barricade in front of the stage. The metal pole and barricade are more psychological barriers for the audience. However there were four giant pillars in the middle of the audience blocking the sight lines, which were actual barriers.


How do you make this work?

There are some things you can’t control, like the big pillars or the sloping ground. The first thing I did was move the barrier from in front of the stage. Now there’s one less thing between me and the audience. Then I did a lot of my standing on the stool that I keep in my car for situations like this. It makes the show much more visible. These two things made a huge difference in how the show was received.


You can complain about situations, or you can do you best to make them the best they can be!

See Shows!

If you know me, you know I frequently go out to see performers. I think it’s important to support variety acts, and it’s always inspiring to see good acts. I performed at an arts festival earlier this week and I went out and watched a bunch of the shows and had a blast! I found … Continue reading “See Shows!”

If you know me, you know I frequently go out to see performers. I think it’s important to support variety acts, and it’s always inspiring to see good acts. I performed at an arts festival earlier this week and I went out and watched a bunch of the shows and had a blast!



I found it interesting that I didn’t see any other acts out seeing shows. This festival was an all day festivals, so there was plenty of time to catch shows. To me the value of these festivals isn’t the paycheck, but seeing, and networking with other performers.



Towards the end of the festival, I had one of the board members pull me aside and mention they the whole board noticed me at shows all day. They thought it was great that I wasn’t just there for my show, but to be part of the whole festival.


I think to grow as a performer you need to be exposed to other acts. Not just magic act, but all variety acts!

Not Everything Has To Make Money…

One thing that drives me nuts is when performers in online groups say things like, “I won’t get out of bed for less that $500…”.   That’s fine, you can have a price that you won’t work for less than, however you are missing out on a lot of opportunities.   What I mean by “opportunities” … Continue reading “Not Everything Has To Make Money…”

One thing that drives me nuts is when performers in online groups say things like, “I won’t get out of bed for less that $500…”.   That’s fine, you can have a price that you won’t work for less than, however you are missing out on a lot of opportunities.

 

What I mean by “opportunities” is chances to perform in cool shows that have a lot more value than a paycheck.  Here’s an example, last year and this year I’m performing at the Southern Sideshow Hootenanny in New Orleans.  This is a festival of sideshow performers and variety acts from around the world. Southern sideshow hootenanny

 

All of the acts are getting paid the same, and many of their rates are thousands of dollars for a single show…yet they are working for a fraction of their normal rate.

 

Why?

 

Easy, this is part of something bigger than a one off paycheck.  They are building their brand within their industry AND networking.  I’ve made a lot of great connections with people at festivals like this which have yielded more money than I would have made if I got my normal fee for that show.

 

Then for me the greatest value is to work with great acts!  There’s an old saying, “you are the sum of the 4 people you are around the most”.  What that means is if you hang out with people that aren’t good performers, you’re going to have a hard time getting good.  However if you hang out with people that are amazing performers, it will elevate you and push you to be better.

These festivals are great chances to meet and become friends with amazing artists!  Go out and apply to a festival and up your game as a performer!

Louie

evaporation Trick at a Festival

Here’s an unknown magician using my Evaporation trick at a street festival: If you have any pics of you using the trick feel free to send them to me! Louie

Here’s an unknown magician using my Evaporation trick at a street festival:

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If you have any pics of you using the trick feel free to send them to me!

Louie