Visual Obstacles

A couple of days I wrote about the podium struggle at a gig, but that’s not the only challenge at the gig. After I had set up, the event planner filled the front of the stage with prizes.

corporate holiday party

These were to be raffled off after my show. These create a huge visual distraction and barrier between the audience and me. Also, I was standing when I took the picture, so if you were sitting, you’d be looking up at them and they obscure more of performing area.

Not being able to see the whole performer does make a difference. Bob Fitch once told me “Acting is in the feet“, and while I’m not exactly acting, seeing as much of me helps. This is also why you want to try to avoid doing a low show. If you were sitting on stage left, anything I did that was below my belly button wouldn’t be seen.

You can read a post about removing stage monitors I wrote a while ago here.

During the opening of my show, I do something at events like this that no one thinks of. I ask the audience to turn their chairs so they are facing the stage. You’d think that would be instinct if your chair wasn’t facing the presenter, but hardly anyone does that until you mention it. While there’s that minute of shifting chairs, I looked at someone whose view was blocked and asked if they could see. I pretended to hear them say they couldn’t and I told them I’d fix it and started setting prizes on the floor.

Also I have verbal bits I do while people are moving chairs, so the show has started and was able to do them while moving the prizes.

Ultimately you need to know what you need for the show to work and for it to succeed and do your best to create those conditions. There’s nothing worse than a bad show that’s due to conditions that aren’t your fault.

PS the show went great!

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