Variety shows are a blast to perform in, and whenever possible I try to be in them. Earlier this week I was in a show in Phoenix and got to work with a physical comedian, a hula hooper, a sideshow clown and a historian! What I love about these shows is how diverse the range of skills the performers have.
One thing that I’m hyper aware of is when you’re not performing on a raised stage. Anything that happens below the armpit disappears for people beyond the second row. I’m aware of this because years ago when I used to do cups and balls in my show I noticed everyone that wasn’t in front having trouble seeing.
In the variety show the majority of the hula hooper’s first set was done with her on the floor, or lower to the ground. Her act was good, but not visible to the whole audience. Sure, artistically doing stuff on the floor makes sense, however moving it up higher in general will make it play better and bigger! This is why juggler’s build larger crowds than a magician, and usually end on something high up like a unicycle.