Today’s show is going to be a stressful show. It’s a virtual show that’s for a group that wants and interactive show…but I won’t be able to see or hear the audience and chat won’t be enabled on Zoom. When I was talking to the booker, I clarified that they want an interactive show, but I can’t interact with the people in the audience and they confirmed that was the situation.
There are essentially two options at this point:
- Decline the gig
- Take the money and do it
I decided to take the show as a challenge to see what I could come up with. I’m treating this show like a live prerecorded virtual show. What I mean by that is it’s the content I would put into a prerecorded virtual show, however I’m doing it live. This opens up some possibilities, like I could roll dice for a random number or spin a wheel to get a random item. While those methods of selection aren’t as strong as having someone from the audience select the item, it gives me options that aren’t there with a prerecorded virtual show.
I have one trick that’s a “touch the screen” style of trick which is a custom version of Interactive that I made that uses Bigfoot sightings. I do have some tricks where the audience has a job at home, but what they do doesn’t really affect me or the outcome of the trick. One of these is the shellgame, which is good because they can play along at home by picking the shells. I’m using my Russian Shell Game for the show as it’s got a fun ending.
We’ll see how it goes…
A friend of mine was doing a virtual magic show last night and I bought a ticket and watched it. He’s a great performer and magician, so I was excited. However when the zoom show started it was plagued by technical problems the whole time. His audio kept cutting out and his video was choppy or completely freezing. This is my greatest fear in virtual shows.
When you are doing a live show you know when there’s a problem. If your mic goes out, you can yell. If the lights go out, you could move the audience to the lobby. No matter what the technical problem is, generally you are aware of it.
In a virtual show, you are doing your thing to a screen and it looks OK on your screen as it’s the outgoing screen, however what people are seeing could be totally different.
Unfortunately with zoom the performer is the last one to know that there’s an audio or video problem. So what do you do when there’s a problem, do you end the show, do you plow through hoping it’ll get better? Honestly, I don’t think there’s a “best practice” as to what to do while it’s happening.
I think that right now people are aware of the medium and its quirks, but as we move forward, people are going to get more and more savvy and less tolerant of tech problems in zoom shows.
A few days ago I posted about a gimmicked envelope that was designed for use during a virtual show. At it’s core it’s an named card to envelope. Here’s the basic routine:
In the video above I do the routine with a gag card in the envelope. Personally I think the gag card makes the trick a little bit dirtier. This helps it avoid the Too Perfect Theory. My thinking was that the 52 on 1 card puts more time between the load and the reveal.
This will be published in Vanish Magazine soon.