When I was making the sizzle reel for the Incredible Idiom show, I was was realizing that this is a show that I would like to do for a long time. I’m a fan of this show, it was something that I created to create and when I was writing it, I never thought I was going to do it. For me this was “art” and not creating something to make money.
Years ago I did an anti bully school assembly and it was created to make money that’s it. I hated doing the show. My heart wasn’t in it, but it did make a lot of money! I stopped doing it when I realized that I got no joy of performing the show.
The Incredible Idioms is different and I really enjoy the concept of the show. I decided I should protect my idea, so the first step I did was file the federal trademark for the show’s title.
I honestly don’t know why more magicians don’t trademark the titles of their shows when they have a cool one. It cost $250 to file and I did the paper work in about 10 minutes. Now I have to wait about a year for it to get processed, but it’s worth it to me to protect my idea!
Somethings surprise me, like the success of my Incredible Idioms show. This is a school assembly / library show that I’ve done about 125 times since January of this year and I’ve done all those shows with zero promo! All I had one a one paragraph description that I’ve sent out.
I finally sat down and made a sizzle reel for it.
It’s cool that I was able to do the show that many times based only on my reputation!
Last week I did a run of school assemblies that were sponsored by a library system to promote their summer reading programs. The show I was doing my my Incredible Idioms school assembly show, which I wrote for a 6 week school assembly tour in January/February of this year.
The challenge remembering the show as the last time I did the show was mid February, so about 3 months ago. What works for me to relearn a show is to listen to audio recordings of the show. This is also why it’s important to record your shows. It’s not hard to do, simply use the voice recorder on your phone.
The week before I had these shows I listened to the audio of the show while I drove in the car or on headphones as I worked around the house. For me passively listening really helps my brain bring back the “mental muscle memory” of the show. This is something that also helps for learning a new show or routine. I record myself doing the script and listen to it over and over while doing other things.
Hope you remember this tip when you need to relearn a show!
Today I’m starting day four of the doing the new school assembly show. The show is called Incredible Idioms and is at, language and literacy themed shows. This is very different from themed shows that I’ve done in the past. This one has a flow all the way through it. The way it’s written, I can’t easily swap out routines in the show. I really like the way it flows.
In the past with school assemblies, I’ve always had a section where I explain the rules for the audience. This show doesn’t have that, and so far the kids are behaving really well. I think I owe this to the scripting of the show and that there aren’t really any dead spots. There are slow spots, but not really any dead spots.
The warm up to the show is an alarm clock that I put a remote control into and it rings whenever I want it to. This prop is used as the warm up, a running gag and a trick in the show. The trick is that it vanished in a devil’s hank. In my test shows, that clock vanish really fell flat, and I felt that the audience knew the clock was in the hank. The first couple of days in the tour I really focused on making the vanish work for me. It turns out I wasn’t show the back of the hank after the vanish. Once I added showing the other side of the hank, the trick started to hit much harder.
That’s the fun of tours like the one I’m going, it gives you a lot of time to work out problems in the show.
Today is the first day of the school assembly tour and the first full performances of my new show called Incredible Idioms. This show is themed about the language we use and it’s been a lot of fun to work on.
The whole show fits inside one case and here’s what it looks like:
Unfortunately it doesn’t really travel set up. It’d be nice to just open the case and go, but there’s a lot of crushable things in there AND that picture doesn’t show things like my mics and audio cables which need to travel in the case.
The show is going to probably go through a lot of changes over the month of performing it on this tour. This is where the work comes in. I need to record, at least audio record and hopefully video record as many shows as possible and review them as often as possible. This is how a show gets good in a short amount of time.
In less than a month I’ll be debuting a new school/library show. I’ll be on a school assembly tour for five weeks. The show is called “Incredible Idioms” and is themed on idioms.
The great thing about breaking in shows by doing three a day for over a month is that the show gets really good, really quick…Or you realize by the end of the 5 weeks you don’t like the show and never do it again.
The key to these is actually putting in the work. I’ll be doing a lot of reviewing video and writing every night and the first week or two the show will be rough, but then it’ll be super tight for the rest of the tour. Oh, by rough, I mean just good, and not great. I’ve done school shows for a long time, and have a good general sense of what kids like (but the do surprise me sometimes).
Right now I have a ton of half built props and half written routines. It feels like the show won’t be ready in less than a month, but once one routine gets completed, they’ll all domino into being built.