A couple of weeks ago I was at a booking conference and one of the acts did Bowl-A-Rama by Kevin James. If you aren’t familiar with the trick, it’s a bowling ball production from a sketch pad. Here’s what it looks like:
This is a great trick…usually. Here’s a picture of the guy I saw doing it:
Do you see the problem with doing it in this venue?
If you can’t spot the problem, here’s what it is: The stage is very low The production of the bowling ball happened below the guy’s waist, which means most of the audience couldn’t see it. This was his opening effect and totally wasted on the audience.
I don’t fault the performer. He was flying in to do a showcase set and probably only packed his showcase set. Replacing the bit probably wasn’t an option for this specific bit.
One thing I try to do is watch shows from the back of the audience. Another way to do this is put a video camera in the back, but at eye level as if you were sitting in a chair. If you pay attention you will see what’s visible and what isn’t. For me, I try to avoid anything where the action happens below my waist.
Something that I’ve never really liked is when magicians sell their magic products on their performer websites. To me it just feels like it’s taking away focus from what your performance website is all about. While you can make money from magic product, it’s usually far less than your show fee. Personally I’ve never and don’t plan on selling magic on my main website at www.LouieFoxx.com, which is just for my show.
A good example of why I don’t like this is the magician Kevin James website. If you’re a fan and go there, you can figure out a lot of “secrets” by visiting his online store. I also think that the majority of the people who visit his site aren’t people who would book him, it’s more of a “catch all” website. The purpose of the site isn’t to book gigs, but to offer all things Kevin James. For me that’s not the purpose of my main website.
**Note: I’m a huge fan of Kevin James as a performer and magic creator**
You may have noticed a couple of changes to this blog. First of all it’s got a new look, and it’s slightly easier to navigate. Apparently I was on an old server and was limited with some of the stuff I could do. With my newfound free time I moved the blog to a new server and added a magic products page to the blog. What’s nice about having it here is that it doesn’t really conflict with the intent of the blog intended readers.