On this podcast we welcome in the troubadour himself Eric Haines. We discuss all the disciplines Eric implements into his show, how he came to be so good at all of them and how he found his calling with the One Man Band. We learn why someone would want to play so many instruments at once and all the great opportunities it has granted him. A really great conversation over Zoom with a one man Moisture Fest.
Sometimes where you perform outdoors you’ll have issues with the weather. One night it rained most of the day, and that killed attendance for the shows right after it stopped raining. There was literally no people on the fairgrounds to pull to make an audience, so we used the time as practice time.
The juggler at the fair and I used that down time to work on some lasso tricks:
And since we both had lassos, I was able to try doing two lassos at the same time!
We could have called the show and not performed, however we both got in some fun practice time! I always try to look for spots in my day when I can get in a little bit of practice and a rained out show was a great spot!
I got home late last night from spending a week in New Orleans at the Sideshow Hootenanny. It was four days of watching incredible acts doing some crazy things! For me the value of these festivals is to run into old friends and make new ones within the industry. These are people I’ll work with in the future or hang out with when I’m in their town, or their in mine.
A great way to do this is with shared housing (aka Air BnB). By putting you all in the same spot, there’s coffees in the morning, or whatever and you get a chance to really bond with a group.
These people you meet understand what it’s like to be a performer and are a great support system and great people!
I highly recommend making friends with people in your industry, and not looking at your peers as “competition”, it will make you a happier person and will open a lot more doors for you!
In this episode we hit the road to the Rose City (Portland) and interview the super positive Nate “Scramble” James from Circus Luminescence. Scramble is one half of the group and discusses how the group started from a chance encounter and also the successes and failures of the group throughout the years. He also talks to us about why they decided doing glow in the dark juggling was the way to go. A fun interview with one of the more unique juggling acts you will see at the Moisture Festival.
For the last few years I’ve been thinking about how to make my show play bigger. It’s a good thing to have in the back of your head when you’re working on your show. A good example was last week I saw my friend Matt Baker perform at a gig for about 80 people. Normally that’s not a huge show…however the gig was in a 15,000 seat venue!
It’s easy for a solo act to get lost on a stage like that. Matt did a great job at that show, and managed to make it work in the venue.
It comes down to how can you make what you do play bigger. This particular stage wasn’t any bigger than many stages I’ve performed on, but visually it made the performer look small. There were a couple reasons for that, the big one was that they wouldn’t turn off the venue’s lights and use the lights on the stage for the show. That meant he had the 5,000 empty chairs behind him which broadens what people are looking at, making him look tiny.
Honestly, I think most illusions shows would have looked small on that stage with the conditions he was working in. With that in mind, something like a normal card trick would be virtually invisible on the state. Little things like trying to make your card tricks work with a jumbo deck won’t hurt for smaller venues, but will really help when you find yourself in situations like this! -Louie
Yesterday I was chatting with a couple of jugglers and it’s interesting how different magicians and jugglers think. We were talking about a specific trick one the jugglers used to do. I came up with an idea that built upon their idea. My idea was that you put a bottle of soda on the floor, and you stand on a rola bola while holding a Mentos candy in your mouth. You drop the mentos into the coke bottle while standing on the rola bola and it fizzes everywhere.
The jugglers mentioned how hard it would be, and I told them how I would gimmick it. I don’t know if it would work but I have a method. First I’d widen the mouth of the bottle a little bit. Then I’d cut a hole in the bottle and run a thread through it. If the thread was on a thread reel, so it kept the line tight, it would hopefully pull it into the mouth of the bottle.
That’s a method that should work…I don’t know if I’m going to spend the time to try to make it work It’d be a good social media video, now sure how good it’d be in a live show it’s messy as hell. Feel free to give it a try and send me the video!
I’m excited to be a presenter at the 2022 KAX conference! KAX is for family performers and is geared towards all sorts of variety acts: magic, juggling, puppetry, storytelling, etc
This will be my second year as a speaker at KAX. Last year I did a talk about shadowgraphy. This year I’m going to be doing a talk that I’ve wanted to do for the fair industry, and that’s on how to improve your show.
The talk will cover how to watch your show, how to write notes for your show, and how to implement those notes. I honestly don’t think a lot of people know how to actively work on their show. It’s work, and it’s not fun work, but the payoff is huge and can yield results very quickly!
I was looking at the schedule and there’s a ton of great speakers! You can get more info and register at: https://www.kidabra.org
A couple of weeks ago I got to work with John Park who does the Funny Waiter Show. It’s a great theme for a juggling act. All of his props and tricks are waiter themed.
John is a very strong performer and keep the show going. He’s been a street performer for probably as long as I’ve been alive. He’s always working on his show, even thought right now it’s a great show, he’s always trying to make it better.
His show is a great example of adding a theme to your show to tie it together. A “funny waiter” is easy to theme, you don’t need pe0ple to get on board with a strange character or concept for the them. It also doesn’t feel like something that’s for kids. What I mean by that, is the character is an adult feeling character, it doesn’t feel like it’s geared for kids like a train conductor.
If you get a chance to see his show, you’ll learn a lot by watching it!