When you’ve been performing long enough, you will get requests for things outside of your normal show. These can be simple things like “can you use the CEO in a trick” to more complex things like can you write a whole show on a specific theme/topic.
I’m not going to really talk about the writing a whole show, as that’s really a specialized thing and either you do it or you don’t. I don’t.
I’m going to talk about smaller requests. Recently I had an request at a corporate gig where they asked me to make a small gift appear and give it to someone. I could do that, however I talked them out of it.
Simple, the gift will have more meaning from someone the recipient knows than from me. I could make the gift appear while doing a trick with the event organizer, then present it to the recipient, which would have a lot more meaning. However that ends up being the end of the show, I don’t want to follow that.
I want the show to end strong, not on something I really have no control over. If the person who is helping me with the trick where the gift appears is a clunker on stage, then it drags my ending down.
The way I see it, for a corporate gig I’m hired to do the show I’ve done a thousand times (and my pricing reflects that), not to do a something I’ve never done before. I just don’t get enough of these requests to make it worthwhile to having as a part of my show.
Probably the number one request I get has to do with costuming. The organizer will call and say, “our event is yellow themed, can you wear all yellow?” My response is to explain to them that, “I wear certain things because it makes things more visible, so if I use a yellow handkerchief in the show, you won’t be able to see it if I wear yellow.” However I ‘ll gladly wear it, if they provide the clothes (the must meet certain requirements like pocket space, etc), the tailoring, and I must have them a month before the gig so that I can practice in them. Also there additional practice time is billable, and if something doesn’t work with the provided clothes (like yellow on yellow) then we can either drop it from the show (shortening the show) or they can pay for a new prop in a different color.
I’ve never had anyone agree to the paragraph above, however if they did, I would gladly make it work. I think that people who aren’t performers don’t realize how much effort goes into something as simple as wearing a different pair of pants. If a pocket is too narrow, or the cut wrong, I can’t sneak something into or out of my pocket smoothly. Then I may stumble on it, drop it and people think I’m not a good magician, when the reality is that it’s not me, it’s the costume.
So the moral of this post is: Do your show the best you can!