Magic and Comedy Show

On Saturday I performed my show for a sold out audience at the Spokane Comedy Club! When I’m performing at on the road at a public show, I always try to reach out to the local magic club. The Spokane Magic Club turned out in force for the show! It was great having them in the audience.

These daytime shows are a lot of fun to do. Years ago when I was in my early 20’s I opened for Brad Upton at a lot of comedy gigs. At the time I was doing a lot of school assemblies during the day. Brad mentioned that being able to get paid to do entertainment during normal people’s workday was like finding gold. At the time, I didn’t realize how correct he was. As I’ve gotten older and when I’m home, I got to bed at 9pm, the later gigs are more work. I still love doing them, however these 4pm shows I’ve been doing at comedy clubs are great, I’m done by dinner time!

Here’s my 55+ minute show from Saturday in 44 seconds:


55 minutes of comedy magic in 44 seconds! #magicshow #magician #comedymagic #spokanecomedyclub #spokanemagician

♬ original sound – Louie Foxx

Another thing that’s fun is that these shows put kids into an environment that is normally just for adults. That gives these shows a special energy that you don’t get at a community center gig and leads to amazing shows!


Performing in a Comedy Club

One of the challenges of performing in comedy clubs is space on stage. Since most stand up comics don’t require a lot of space, you’ll get some really tiny stages (and sometimes giant ones). The last few years I’ve been working to make my show physically larger, so that it plays better in larger venues. That doesn’t necessarily mean using a larger prop, but sometimes it does.

Here’s my show set up on the stage before the show at the Tacoma Comedy Club a couple of days ago:

Comedy club magic show

There’s not a lot of free real estate on that stage. Right after the pic was taken, I pushed my case back to that it was against the wall to leave more room for the opener to perform. That stage being probably 8 x 8 feet with my gear set didn’t leave a lot of room to perform. Luckily when I started out, I performed on a lot of stages like this so I know how to tighten up my show physically to make it play.

Another thing to consider with set ups like this is that the first row is literally at the edge of the stage, so the audience is on top of you. With the stage being low, anything that happens below my belly button can’t really be seen from about the 3rd row or further back. That mean everything need to be handheld and held at shoulder height.

If you’re interested, here’s my set list for the show:

magic show set list

On the right side, I wrote down the names of the servers at the club so that I could thank them by name. If you don’t already know, always be super nice to the servers and staff at the venue!


Feature Act Set List

The comedy bar gig I did the other night had a pretty simple set list. It was some stand up comedy, then four tricks and it ran 22 mins. The set list was

  • Tape Measure Prediction
  • Choices Routine
  • Whip Act
  • Hoop and Cup Balancing

This set list only uses one person from the audience onstage, and that’s for the whip act. This makes for a show that’s much punchier and doesn’t have the dead time of bringing people on and off stage.

The Tape Measure Prediction and the Choices Routine both use people from the audience, but they stay seated. If a persons only job onstage is to pick a card or something very basic like naming a number, I’ve been leaving them in their seats. This saves time if you only need someone to perform a basic task, and breakup up the constant flow of people coming and going from the stage.

Look at your show, are there routines where you don’t need the person physically onstage? Try using them from their seats!


Comedy Bar Gigs

A couple of nights ago I performed in comedy show at a bar. I used to do a ton of these, but don’t do very many anymore. It’s also fun to work with the younger comics.

One of the things about these shows is that usually sound is limited, so I do the show with just a handheld mic, not a lapel or headset mic. I do use one of Nick Lewin’s Microphone Holders for tricks where I can’t use a mic stand and need both hands.

This particular bar had a lot of sound options, but I still used the handheld. I really do prefer a handheld mic as you can use it to gesture and emote. I also try to not use music in my show if I’m not doing a 45+ min headline set. The other night I was just doing a feature (middle) spot, so it was very low tech for me.

It’s fun to go out and flex my bar show muscle to make sure I can still do them!