One of the types of shows I really like performing in are variety shows. Where I’m an act working with a lot of other acts of all different skills. I’m very fortunate that in Seattle we have the Moisture Festival. This is a variety arts festival that runs for about a month and brings in acts from around the world.
Here’s last night’s line up:
Frequently I’m asked by performers to “get them into the festival” as an act. I tell them they have to get themselves into the festival, I can’t do it for them. What I mean by that is that they need to go out and put the work in on their act.
Any producer of a variety show doesn’t want to deal with duplicate material. If you do standard stuff in the standard way, it’s hard for a producer to put you in an show with another act of the same skill.
Once you start having something unique, or at least unusual now it’s much easier to get into better variety shows. A couple times a year I write out my set list and next to each routine I put a “C”, a “U”, or an “O”. Here’s what they mean:
C: Common – so the trick is a common trick. An example of this would be Linking Rings
U: Unusual – The trick is less common. An example of this would be a trick you found buried in a book no one remembers. Unusual tricks can become common, so this designation may change.
O: Original – The trick is an original routine. A good example of this would be my marshmallow card trick.
The long term goal with this is to have a show that is all U’s and O’s. How you get there is by knowing where the C’s are and trying to eliminate them.