This week I’m performing on a stage that has always given me trouble. I’ve performed on this stage on eight of the last eleven years and always struggled.
There are a couple of problems with the stage, it’s really dark and deep, so my show gets lost on the stage. Then you add in that you have about 25 feet between you and the first row of benches. Keep in mind the first three rows benches are in the sun most of the day, so unoccupied and basically a physical barrier between you and the audience. That puts the first row of people closer to 40 feet away from you!
The last time I was there was in 2019 and realized that if I moved the drum riser to the front of the concrete dance floor it would move me closer to the audience. That made a huge difference and this year I remembered to do that and my shows are doing well on that stage…well technically doing well on a drum riser on a dance floor.
If your show is struggling in a venue, look at the obstacles that are there and try to figure out solutions. Sometimes there are no solutions that are reasonably fixable, like a post in front of the stage. However many times there are solutions, if you think about the problem.