Yesterday I posted about writing a line to try to solve a problem where I had a spot in the show where a kid would frequently shout something. I needed to add a line to tell the audience that the fruit I was using wasn’t real. The line I wrote was, “they’re not real, I got them from Ikea…So they’re made of particle board and Swedish meatballs”. That line didn’t get huge laughs, but seems to have solved the problem.
I tweaked the line a little bit to be, “they’re not real, I got them from Ikea…So they’re made of swedish meatballs and sawdust”. This new line is getting a laugh from the adults AND the kids. I think both particle board and swedish meatballs is too much for the kids here to understand. However they do know what sawdust is!
A little tweak like that upped my laughs per minute and solved the problem of how to address the fruit not being real.
In the new school assembly show I do a trick with apples and oranges. It’s based on Jim Steinmeyer’s Apples and Oranges trick from his book Conjuring. The concept is the same, the the routine is completely different.
I’ve notice that about every 2-3 shows I have kid in the audience when I introduce the apples and oranges that will yell out, “they’re fake” and the kid is correct, they’re plastic. What puzzles me is that kid will fixate on the fact that they aren’t real and keep yelling out “they’re fake“, even after I agree with the kid that they aren’t real fruit.
I’ve tried different ways to deal with this, and yesterday I wrote the line, “they’re not real, I got them from Ikea…So they’re made of particle board and Swedish meatballs”. The goal is to address the issue before the kids says anything. I’ve done it at 2 shows and so far I haven’t had anyone yell out anything.
One challenge with this line is that I’m in North Dakota and there isn’t a Ikea for about 700 miles! The line gets a small laugh from the adults, and not much from the kids. this is better than nothing, however I think I need to write a better line…
A few years ago I had a giant production fish in my show. Shortly after I got the fish, I was recording an episode of the Odd and Offbeat Podcast which I cohost with Matt Baker. We did a story about a fish market that put googly eyes on their fish to make them look fresher (you can listen to it here) and that gave me the idea to put googly eyes on the production fish. It made it look a thousand times better.
Right now I’m working on my show for a school assembly tour and I have a smaller production fish in the show. Here’s what the fish looks like when you order it from the magic shop:
And here’s what the fish looks like after adding the googly eyes:
The eye adds a lot to making the fish look real. It also adds a bit of dimension to the fish. Sometimes its small things that make a huge difference!
There was a time many years ago when I would do about 75 library shows in a summer. This year I think I’m doing 5, however I’m staying very busy performing in other markets. Yesterday I performed at one of the first libraries that I ever performed at!
The pic was taken as I was setting up and people were trickling in, we ended up packing the place!
One of the great things about library shows is that they normally have a theme each year and you get to create with that theme. It makes creating really easy because you have rules you need to follow. In the case of a library it’s the theme of “outer space” or whatever.
Since I was only doing a handful of them I didn’t offer a theme this year. I do kinda miss writing a 45 minute show every year and taking it from nothing to a a polished show! Those skills have really helped me with creating material for other venues!
I’ve been playing with adding remote controls to things recently. The company that I get the remote controls for my Remote Control Chattering Teeth had send me the wrong ones a while ago, and instead of sending them back, I decided to keep them in case I needed them for another project.
Here’s the most recent thing that I’ve made:
The idea is that the bell is rung by the corded button. However I can also secretly ring the bell via the remote control.
Some ideas for routines to use this to add comedy to are:
Having someone ring it when a trick happens. This would probably be better for a juggling style trick.
When doing a timed trick, like an escape.
When someone does something. For example, you need a kid to stay standing on a spot, and you if they move someone is supposed to ring the bell.
Those are all routines that you could very easily add the bell into. It’s the sort of thing that can turn a 2 minute trick into a 5 minute trick. For an example of this style of trick, look into my Order Up routine from Vanish Magazine #43. It’s the Cube Libre magic trick, but I added a bell and I used a sound effect on my PA to make the ring, but it played really well.