Hybrid Events…

Lately I’m getting more and more requests for hybrid events. These are live, in person shows, that also have a virtual component. I think we’re going to have more and more of these. Last week I did four school assemblies that were hybrid, with some of the kids in the room with me and some at home. I just hosted a charity auction that was a hybrid event:

Here’s what I’m noticing about these, you can’t easily stage it for both audiences. Most event planners think you can just plunk up a camera, and that’s not the case.

For example the event in the picture above, they had me set up for the camera, but didn’t think about the in person audience. First of all I’m sitting at a table on the opposite side of the room, so I’m losing connection with a huge chunk of the in person audience. The didn’t have a monitor, so I couldn’t see the gallery view of the virtual audience, so I didn’t have any connection with them.

The gig went well, it was a hosting gig, so it wasn’t a show and we ended up raising more money than the charity’s goal for the evening, so it was a success…but it could have been soo much better for both audiences!!!

Pedal to the Metal!

In an effort to streamline things for my virtual show, I picked up some foot pedals. Each pedal acts as a button that you can program to do a specific task.

The first thing I did was something that Richard Lake mentioned in the talk he did with Nick Lewin and made them up and down arrows. I then went through my show in OBS and made a scene for everything, so my show basically went straight down. It was a pain to do, but useful if I’m doing the show without a producer.

Normally I have a producer in the room running my OBS scenes, so I changed the foot pedals to activate a camera shot. So I have my general, tight, and close up that I can control with my feet. I’m really liking having the control of the cameras with my feet.

Being A Good Guest…

A while ago I was doing a video hangout with some friends and somehow the idea of having my daughter as a guest on one of their livestream shows. Well, we made it happen a bit ago and it was a lot of fun.

Here’s the thing, it wasn’t easy and that’s the problem, so many people think they are interesting and that’s enough. Here’s the truth, you aren’t interesting, you need to make yourself interesting.

How do you do that?

Simple, write out a few stories and have them ready to tell. Watch some of the previous shows and try to anticipate what the host will ask you and then write some jokes or stories as answers. You may never need them, but the act of preparing puts you a step ahead.

Then something unplanned happens, like on the show last week, there was no audio for the first 10 minutes. The first thing we did was look at what we had prepared that was visual that we could do. We had a few things, and we also played with it.

Having the mindset of having to work to be interesting and fun, instead of thinking we were interesting definitely gave us an advantage!

Here’s the whole interview (keep in mind there’s no audio for the first about 10 minutes): https://www.twitch.tv/videos/704662019

Pass The Prop…

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to do a “pass the prop” video to promote a virtual show that I’m in. I’d never really done one before and there were a couple of things I needed to consider. The big one was was that I was quarantining with another act, so we had to decide whether to embrace being in the same place or try to hide that.

We decided to embrace it and you can see what we put out here:

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Posted by Alex Doll on Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The show came out a while ago, I had just forgotten about this video until now. The show turned out well and the host really did a great job, hopefully there will be more!

Virtual Way To Force A Card…

One of the challenges we’re all having moving shows from physical shows to virtual shows are things like card forces. There are ways to do them, however you’ve got to get over things like “lag” in video and comments. There are plenty of people doing the visual riffle card force, but there’s some risk with that.

Here’s a force that I’ve been doing a long time that’s 100% sure fire:

How the force works is you fan a deck and run the joker along it, someone from the audience says stop and remembers the card next to the joker. That’s your force card. The advantage this force has is that it allows people to change their mind. That overcomes any lag issue. They can say stop, then have you move the joker if it’s not exactly where they wanted you to stop.

One of the things I like about this force is how direct it is. There’s really no procedure. They say stop, and that’s where you put the joker. Look into if you need a “virtual card force“.