Virtual Show Production Gear

This week I sold off the last couple of pieces of virtual show equipment that I had. I’ve slowly been getting rid of stuff, like my foot pedals, and I finally sold my ATEM mini and my Stream Deck. Those two things were the two pieces of hardware that really made doing virtual shows easy (from a production standpoint). If I ever need them again, I can buy them, but I haven’t touched them in a year and I used them two times in the year before that.

I can still do live virtual shows, it’s just that the level of production won’t be what it was in 2021. Recently I gave a presentation to the Kids Entertainer Academy and the only piece of tech that I used was my projector to put my notes on the wall.

virtual magic show

Virtual shows can still be done with just OBS running on my laptop and have a level of production, so if anyone wanted one, I could still do it.


Virtual Shows Are Still Happening…

Last week I think I did my final virtual show…well at least the last one with all the technical bells and whistles. This was lower tech, I didn’t use my ATEM mini, or any production software, just Zoom and a stream deck.

This was a fun show because I did it with Roberto the Magnificent and Dennis Forel at an airBnB while we were performing at a different event.

It’s been a year since a did a virtual show and it’s not worth keeping up with how to run the technology if I’m only doing one virtual show a year. However it’s easy to use Zoom as a camera switcher, and simply play music in the room instead of playing it through a virtual cable on my computer. It’s not as slick as using production software, but doable.


Virtual Road Gig…

A couple days ago I got to do my first virtual gig while performing on the road from a hotel. I was in Lincoln City, OR performing at a festival. Here’s the set up I was using:

There’s not much to it, and I think I could eliminate using the ATEM mini to simplify it. I did over pack, I brought more stands than I needed.

Here’s what I’m using:

White: laptop running OBS

Green: Soft box light:

Yellow: Sony FDR-AX33 (could pretty much be any camera

Orange: Yeti Blue snowball:

Red: ATEM mini:

Blue: Stream Deck:

Purple: Old iphone running camera vision app, attached via HDMI with:

There’s probably a better/more efficient way to set this up. some of my gear and gear choices have been selected due to what I already had on hand a year ago

Behind the Virtual Curtain…

Performing a live, virtual show over Zoom it a lot more involved than most people think. Last night I gave a talk about and demonstration about Hand Shadow Puppets and taught a magic trick for the Washington State Parks Great Camp In over Zoom that was broadcasted on YouTube live.Here’s a side by side of what’s happening in the room and what is going out on YouTube.

The person I’m talking to is the host of the show, who is in another location.

The person in the room is my daughter who is running production for me.

For a bit of context, the speaker before me just gave a presentation about bats.

One of my goals when doing virtual shows is to do something that makes my daughter who is running production to laugh. I want to try to crack her up. During the bat presentation before mine, I quickly downloaded the flying bat graphic and added a button to my stream deck. Right before I was live, I told her she could hit the bat effect button anytime during the intro interview or the extro interview. She added the throwing of the physical stuffed bat without me knowing.

I got her to laugh, but also it puts energy and fun into the presentation! A lot of the virtual shows I’ve seen are missing energy and fun. I’m not saying you need to be bouncing off the walls, but so many are performed like they aren’t people watching at the other end of the camera. Figure out how to make the virtual show fun for you to do, and that goes a long way for the audience!