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.
At the beginning of the show I take out the alarm clock and say “It’s time to start the show” and the alarm clock rings. Then throughout the show whenever I say the word “time” the alarm clock rings. I don’t call attention to the connection of the word time and the ringing of the alarm clock. I let the audience discover that, and the do fairly quickly.
This gag definitely has it’s roots in Pee Wee’s Playhouse with their use of a secret word and when it’s said everyone screams. I like the gag because it’s not exactly a look don’t see as it’s an action that’s triggered by something else happening, so it’s funny, but the kids don’t feel a need to explain anything to you after the connection of the word and action are established.
I have a feeling this is going to be a great lead into the vanishing alarm clock once I have finished making the couple of extra props that I need for it.
A couple of months ago I got a lot of vintage magic at a garage sale and one of the things was a vanishing alarm clock stand (no clocks). I also have a lot of remote control units here, so I made a remote control alarm clock:
When you push the button the alarm rings
I’m not sure how I’m going to do this in the show. Traditionally you cover the clock and hang it from the stand. When you hang it, it starts ringing and you pull away the cloth and the alarm clock is gone. Then the alarm clock reappears somewhere else. I think I’ll use the remote control alarm clock as the one that reappears and the ringing is how it will announce it’s reappearance.