I’m liking the thumb tie routine that I’ve been working on the last two weeks. There’s a lot of big laughs in the routine!
One of the challenges in writing for this routine is that a lot of the “comedy” comes from me and the guy onstage being stuck together. I want to make jokes, but the reason for the joke funny can’t be because it’s “gay”. What I mean by that is if the only reason the joke gets a laugh is because it implies one or both of use is gay, I don’t want it. I personally don’t think anyone’s sexual orientation should be the punchline of a joke. That and I don’t have any sexual content or inuendo in the show.
The jokes have to be about the situation that the guy and myself are in. Writing with rules can be harder, but ultimately I think it will make a better routine.
The last ten days I was sharing the stage with another act that used a lot of magic tricks. One of the tricks that they used was my Snake Wand Surprise!
I always love seeing my props out there in other peoples shows! This is the first time I’ve shared the stage with one of my props used by someone else. It’s a good feeling knowing that people are out there using my stuff and making a living with them!
I don’t do a lot of bar gigs anymore, I’m not opposed to them, but they don’t normally make sense with my schedule. Last week I headlined a comedy show at a speakeasy. It was a fun gig!
One of the skills you need for these gigs is to be able to follow any act. The act before me was a comic that was fairly blue, and I do a “TV clean” show, so there’s contrast and the audience has to shift mental gears from his style to mine. There’s nothing wrong with what he was doing, that’s his art. When there’s contrast like that, you need to come onstage with confidence, you’re bringing the audience into your world.
Before the show I always try to do some close up magic, that will have people in the audience already on your side!
The “green room” was in a back corner of the bar and the cool thing was I could watch the show on the TV!
They sold well after the show, so that was a bonus!!
Bar gigs have a lot of challenges, like sight lines, rowdy crowds, challenging stages, however I find them very rewarding as a performer. Because they are typically smaller venues you can connect with people a lot more than in a larger venue.
Last weekend I drove up to Canada with my buddy Chris Beason to see Harrison Greenbaum‘s show. I had heard a lot about him, but never really have seen him perform. I had seen a version of his lecture at an online magic convention.
In the show he did six tricks in 90+ minutes. That’s about one trick every 15 minutes. He doesn’t get 15 minutes out of the trick in a traditional sense. Before tricks he has stand up comedy that segues from the previous trick to the next trick. This is the way to do it, none of the routines feel like they’re dragging out.
Harrison’s show is also very much in the moment, and he does a lot crowd work (talking to the crowd, ad libbing with them, then using that info in the show). This makes the show feel like you are definitely seeing a unique show that will never happen again.
Watching Harrison’s show is a good lesson in how much you can do with a huge personality and very minimal props. He doesn’t just stand in one spot, he moves all over the stage and really fills the space. It doesn’t feel like a bar show that happens to be on a stage, it feels like a stage show that happens to use smaller props.
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:
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!
Yesterday I started work on the current batch of Applause Please 2. This is the prop used for my “object in lightbulb” routines. The base and outer shell of the applause sign are made by Brian overat Magic Crafter and look amazing!
Yesterday I added the switch and lightbulb holder to the bases.
I also made all of the electronic parts and added the remote controls.
Today I’ll be adding the electronics to the boxes and packing everything up. Hopefully I can get all of my preorders out in the mail tomorrow!
I only have one left if you want to order the Applause Please 2 from me, however four of these are going to Hocus-Pocus.com, so they’ll have them in a few days.
When I was 21 years old, I started performing in comedy clubs. I really came up through the open mic system. As a young comic you’re taught that stage time is more precious than gold. The more you go up, the quicker you get better.
The other day I was at a booking conference for the fair industry and the bar at the host hotel had a comedy night the day I was there!
I sent a text to a friend to find out who books the room, then a text to the booker and I ended up doing a guest set in the show!
The needing to have stage time is still in my blood! This also had a positive effect at the booking conference. When you checked into the hotel, the front desk really pitched you the show that night as it’s “free to hotel guests”, so everyone attending knew it was happening. As word got around later that night that I ducked out of dinner to do some comedy, I had people coming up to me asking me if I really did that. It lead to me meeting some people I probably wouldn’t have! It also cemented in bookers minds who haven’t seen me showcase in the past as what I do and that I’m actually funny.
When I was stage hosting a couple of weeks ago, one of the things that I was asked to do was a contest for the sponsor on the mainstage at the event. One day’s entertainment was geared towards a Spanish speaking audience, and I don’t really speak Spanish, but wanted to try.
I had one of the people on the catering staff who was from Mexico help me translate the beginning of my script.
That’s the opening of the script, but then I needed to figure out how to transition into English. So we wrote a little joke:
That was a great little transition joke, and the first joke I’ve written in another language.
The lady helping write it also helped me with my pronunciation. I think people really appreciate when you make at attempt to communicate with them in their native language.