Last week the fair I was at had a very long walk from the audience to the stage. This made bringing someone up from the audience a bit of a speed bump in the show. The general format in my magic show is every other trick has someone from the audience onstage. Figuring out how to deal with the time that it takes to bring someone onstage was a challenge.
The first thing to fill the time was simply writing jokes to address the issue and fill the dead space. I wrote lines like, “The walk to the stage is longer than the line at the DMV“.
One of the emergency props that I have in my case is a thumb tip with a silk. I can do a solid 5 minute routine with that that’s full of laughs. That routine uses two people from the audience.
Obviously, bringing two people onstage wasn’t he solution to the long walk to the stage, but the silk was. I started simply vanish the silk while the person walked to the stage. It filled the dead space, but needed more. Then during my morning writing I came up with the idea of doing silk in balloon. That gave some sort of a payout to the vanishing silk. However, the breakthrough was the next day during my morning writing I had the idea of silk in selected balloon.
I had a line of balloons tied to string from my case to the microphone stand. The silk vanishes while they are coming onto the stage. Then a balloon is selected and when popped the silk appears inside that balloon.
What I ended up with is a routine for when there is a long walk to the stage (or any show), but not a solution to fill that time for existing routines that I do.
I’m not disappointed that I didn’t come up with a solution for the long walk, as a routine that fills the stage and packs very small is still a win!