When The Stage is the Floor

A common thing when performing in ballrooms is that your performing area is the floor. For whatever reason there is no stage, or the stage is unusable. Working on the floor is like performing standing in a hole. Pretty much anything held below your armpits can’t been seen by the second row.

Here’s my “stage” from a recent gig:

corporate holiday party magic show

To add some height to my show I travel with a folding stool.

folding stool

I stand on the stool for a lot of parts of the show to elevate me to make my hand held props much more visible. It also makes ME much more visible to the audience and makes it easier to connect with them as I can look them in the eyes.

A folding stool is cheap and easy to travel with. Get one, put it in the trunk of your car and you’ll always have it ready to go!


Get the Event Flow Schedule!

Here’s a huge tip when performing a events, always try to see the event flow schedule and take a picture of it! Here’s event flow that I from the banquet staff at the hotel:

magic show event flow

I took the picture right after I arrived at 4pm and I was supposed to rove for an hour at 5pm and do an 30 min show after dinner at approx. 7pm. If you look at the schedule, that’s not what’s on the schedule.

For starters, I was scheduled to rove from 5pm to 6pm, but the event didn’t start till 5:30pm. Shifting the roving 30 mins isn’t a big deal as I there was going to be a gap between that and the show. However they had the show listed as 90 minutes and I don’t do a show that long for a holiday party. This was quick to clear up with the booker, and they confirmed they were only expecting me to do 30 mins.

The shift from a 7pm show to an 8:30pm show could be a challenge if I had a late night gig after that one. One thing I was doing this year was only one show on each Saturday in December, so they were buying out my night. This is great for the client, so they don’t have to worry about the show running late and me having to leave. I confirmed the 8:30pm start time and said “no problem“.

I did leave the client a business card with my cellphone number on it and told them that with a gap that long I’m not hanging out in the banquet room, but they can text me and the show can start in 15 minutes.

Lucky me, I got a text at about 7:15pm and the show started at 7:30pm! As a super bonus, they were a great audience!

The takeaway lesson from this year is having companies buyout my Saturdays nights is the way to go. It’s less stress free for me and the client. They can throw almost whatever at me and I can say, “no problem” and mean it! Everyone wins!