All Sizzle…No Steak…

Whenever I’m performing at a venue and there are other shows or performers I always try to watch them. You can learn soo much from watching other acts. One of the shows that I saw recently was the Jet Pack Circus.

This show used the water jets to propel performers in the air. Their set up looked great and the show has great curb appeal. What I mean by that is that it looks like something you would want to watch, or would want to book.

I personally wasn’t the the biggest fan of the content of the show. Yes, the jet packs are interesting for about 5 minutes. After you see the first person go up, it’s all a variation on them going into the air. For example the first performer goes with the jet pack shooting from a board they are standing on (see above pic), then the second performer went up in a seated position (see pic below).

Once they were in the air then went around in circles in pool. It was pretty repetitive. The show was short, at about 20 minutes and around the 18 min mark they finally gave us something new when a performer did a flip.

Their ending was a performing went up holding an American Flag. It wasn’t a big patriotic production like how Ringling used to end their circus. There was no patriotic music, just someone holding the flag and waving.

One thing I remember from an old magic book was they was to get a good round of applause at the end of the show is to end with the production of a flag. That’s essentially what they did. I think this is lazy, they didn’t have a finale, so they waved a flag. I dislike it when any performer leans on the flag to try to get applause.

Honestly, for my taste it was a lot of “Look at these jet packs we bought” and less of a “Jet Pack Circus“. This show would have been better as an act within a larger water show, not as a stand alone show.

I also understand that these water jet packs are fairly new technology and performers are trying to figure out how to use them. I hope they come up with something cool!

Worst Case Scenario

Oh man, tonight I saw an act that had a really rough time…and by really rough, I mean it was probably the worst case scenario of their show.  Seeing an what happened to this act, really made me think about what are the worst things that could happen to my show.  We’re talking possible career … Continue reading “Worst Case Scenario”

Oh man, tonight I saw an act that had a really rough time…and by really rough, I mean it was probably the worst case scenario of their show.  Seeing an what happened to this act, really made me think about what are the worst things that could happen to my show.  We’re talking possible career ending things that could happen to you as a result of your show.  It’s not a fun thought, but something we all should think of.  


The act that I watched was a circus act.  The act started with them having sound issues.  It began with someone’s mic pack off, however in diagnosing the problem, they adjusted their levels, so when the mic pack came on, their audio started feeding back.  Once they solved that, they were off their game. They kept missing juggling tricks, which further knocked them off their game.  They ending with one guy on stilts and someone standing on their shoulders…and that’s where the worst case scenario happened.  They fell over and they fell hard!


That was probably their worst case scenario. I’ve had people fall off the stage, trip on the way up, get stung by a bee, I even tore my rotator cuff during a show. It’s how you deal with them that makes you a pro.

What’s your worst case scenario, and how would you deal with it?

Always Stop to Chat…

When I’m out performing and I encounter someone that wants to chat, whenever possible I always try to hear their story. Last week I was performing at a fair and ran into a guy named Dean Lewis. We started to chat, and I was glad I made time for him! Dean used to get animals … Continue reading “Always Stop to Chat…”

When I’m out performing and I encounter someone that wants to chat, whenever possible I always try to hear their story. Last week I was performing at a fair and ran into a guy named Dean Lewis. We started to chat, and I was glad I made time for him!


Dean used to get animals from around the world for zoos and circuses. He also ran an oddity shop in a nearby town. The next day I went over and visited his shop, and got to go through his scrapbook. The guy had lived an amazing life! Here’s a little article about him from a local newspaper:

https://www.dailyastorian.com/archives/coastriverbusinessjournal/oddities-of-nature-open-in-south-bend/article_3cdfb684-d400-565e-868a-009b418568fe.html

At the fair he also showed me a little magic trick:

By talking to people after shows I’ve learned a ton of things. Not just life stories, but magic techniques. One time I had an old timer teach me how to table faro, and another time I learned a lasso trick. It’s always worth taking a minute and chatting to people.