Frequently I have to perform for news or morning shows to promote my shows at public gigs. They can be challenging. The last fair I was at they had me do two morning news shows at the same time! I didn’t know about the second one until I got on site at 6am!
One of the things that makes these challenging is that you don’t know how much material you’re doing until you’re there. I ended up doing 3 three minute bits and 4 one minute bits. While that doesn’t sound like a lot of material, it all had to be different and something that I could wrap up at any point due to time.
The thing with doing media that’s not is a studio is that you don’t know how you’re doing timewise. A bit could run long…or a producer could cut your bit short and you don’t know until you’re cut short in the middle of the routine!
When I do media, I like to do the routine for the host off camera so they know what’s going to happen. That way they know whether they need to cue me to wrap up, or if I’m already close to the end. That little bit of pre-planning makes a huge difference!
This week I’m sharing a stage with a show that has a large structure for puppets.
This structure can’t move between shows, so I have to perform in front of it. I don’t like having other acts stuff behind me while I perform and normally I will make the other act move their stuff to the side during my show. However that’s not an option this week. Luckily I had my pop up banner with me that I use at library shows.
This was a decent solution to covering up their puppet structure. The bonus is that it also has my name onstage behind me while I’m performing.
Last week I did a run of school assemblies that were sponsored by a library system to promote their summer reading programs. The show I was doing my my Incredible Idioms school assembly show, which I wrote for a 6 week school assembly tour in January/February of this year.
The challenge remembering the show as the last time I did the show was mid February, so about 3 months ago. What works for me to relearn a show is to listen to audio recordings of the show. This is also why it’s important to record your shows. It’s not hard to do, simply use the voice recorder on your phone.
The week before I had these shows I listened to the audio of the show while I drove in the car or on headphones as I worked around the house. For me passively listening really helps my brain bring back the “mental muscle memory” of the show. This is something that also helps for learning a new show or routine. I record myself doing the script and listen to it over and over while doing other things.
Hope you remember this tip when you need to relearn a show!
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!
A couple of weeks ago Duane Duvall passed. Duane was a huge part of the Portland, OR magic scene. I didn’t know Duane super well, but had plenty of conversations with him over the years. His magic business card collection was amazing!
Here’s bit of Duane:
Thanks Duane for all you’ve done for Northwest magicians! -Louie
Most of the time when I hear about a how great a certain magicians is, over and over for years, when I finally see them I’m let down. Sometimes it’s because what I’ve heard has them build up soo much in my head, and other times they’re just above average.
I’ve heard about John Cassidy for years and finally saw his show and he’s AMAZING!
If you’re somewhere that he’s performing, go out and see the show! It’s a great show and you’ll learn a lot by watching it! He has a great way of tying together unrelated gags to make them cohesive, and his magic is good!
Oh man, so yesterday I posted a routine for a card split routine. Part of the routine you expose a double envelope and it got me thinking about what is exposure. To me 99% of the magic that’s exposed doesn’t matter…well doesn’t matter in the context it’s exposed. I think magic that’s exposed in the moment it’s being done is the 1% that matters.
Ok, now for some of my general thoughts on exposure. I think magicians are the worst at exposure. They routinely give away “secrets” during their shows without realizing it. How they do it is when they cancel methods. For example, simply saying “no stooges” or “we haven’t prearranged anything” in a mentalism routine exposes a viable method.
Other ways things are exposed unintentionally through cancelling methods are things like, “check out the box, there’s no trap doors, mirrors, hidden assistants…” That tips three methods right there. Or at the end of a prediction when the magician/mentalist tears apart the envelope and says, “there’s nothing else in here” also exposes a method.
In the card split routine that I posted, I’m exposing a double envelope. I’d argue this method is exposed by soo many performers in the context of cancelling methods, it’s really not a secret. Also, it’s a logical method for any audience member to think of, to have an envelope with more than one prediction in it. That’s why it’s a common thing that magicians or mentalists expose to eliminate a method.
If your trick relies simply on an A/B prediction where the mystery hinges upon you simply opening one side or another of an envelope, your trick probably isn’t very magically sound. You need to add a lot more layers to your trick to make it a decent trick.
In less than two weeks I’m showcasing at a booking event and my retractable banner is missing. I needed to order another one ASAP, but of course, I’m on the road and can’t find the original files.
Working off a picture of the old banner, I had it recreated with a couple of more recent pictures and some new credits.
Having to remake the banner was sort of a blessing in disguise as it needed to be redone anyway. That and the retractable base was getting pretty banged up, it didn’t work very smoothly.
If I was at home I had pictures on a hard drive that I would have rather used, but sometimes you just need something that’s “good enough”. This will get me through the event and with banners at about a hundred bucks, if I only use it once before I redesign it, it’s totally worth it!