Sometimes you need to stick to your guns and do your show how you want it to, then there are other times when you need change it. I’m a huge advocate of pushing back if someone unreasonably wants you to change your show. An example of this is a booker wanting you to incorporate something into your show at the last minute. I’m frequently asked to magically make a prize or award appear. I almost always decline this.
There are times that you want to alter your show for the event. When I performed in Virginia a couple days ago, I saw an illusion act perform. They weren’t on a raised stage, which is something I’m very conscious of. Being an act that uses smaller props I’m very aware of how they can disappear if they are held too low when you aren’t on a raised stage. The act I saw did a Wakeling Sawing in Half, which is a great illusion. It’s a big prop, but the action happens low.
I’m standing in the back taking this picture, you probably wouldn’t notice the large box for the illusion in the picture. There’s a girl in the third row standing on someone’s lap to see. While it’s a big and visual prop, you can’t see it if it’s too low to the ground. This is a situation where a small handheld prop would have played a lot larger than the sawing in half.
In my opinion the show would have flowed better if they had cut out the sawing in half and filled the spot with something smaller, that could be held higher, or just run the show five minutes short. Removing the trick would have made the show much more enjoyable for me, as there wasn’t really any jokes, or story engage me once the visual was lost.
Be aware of the sight lines of people seated from the third row and back.