The in person show went well, and it’s good to have a full show under my belt! It was sold out at just over 200 people and it was a fundraiser for a venue that had been closed due to the pandemic.
I’m glad I spent the time working on my show and relearning it at home, versus on stage. There were a few moments where I hadn’t foreseen how things would play out socially distant and needed the brain power freed up by having some muscle memory of the show.
Everyone says “it’s like riding a bicycle” and it sort of is, but I was still remember bits each time I practiced!
Well, here’s the thing about doing live, in person shows that have to be outdoors in Seattle, you have to deal with the rain. The types of places I’m doing these “socially distant” magic shows at are typically indoors. I’m doing them outside because of COVID regulations. Guess what happened to yesterday’s shows, they got rained out.
In yesterday’s blog post I mentioned I’d be talking about doing your show wearing a face mask. I was going to play a bit more with mic placement, but here’s what I learned. Having a mic inside your mask works much better than outside. You don’t have to project your voice as hard to get it to pick up on the mic. The downside of having it inside your mask is that sometimes the audience can hear you breathing.
Now to performing, it’s hard to use your face to convey feelings. You really need to use your body and posture to do that. After our first “socially distant” shows a couple of days ago my daughter said, “it’s like being in a broadway show, you need to use your body to express yourself” and she’s 100% right!
It’s been over three months since the last show that I did for a live audience. Yesterday I did a “socially distant” magic show for a summer day camp for younger kids. It was a lot of fun, but it was also a lot of work. There are a lot of challenges with these shows, but I still prefer it to a virtual magic show.
I did three magic shows at one location yesterday, and each show had nine kids and one adult. Then they put space in between each chair. I’m not 100% sure if I understand why the kids need to space out as they’re together playing all day, but I’m just happy to perform, so not going to complain too much. As we all know, if you want to build any crowd energy, it’s much easier when they are sitting next to each other. With this set up it was much harder to “warm them up” than it would have if the chair were next to each other.
Another big challenge was that I can’t have anyone from the audience come up and help me on stage, or handle any props. This removes a lot of places to play with the audience. I’m lucky that my daughter performs in these shows with me, so she can help with things that I would normally use a kid from the audience for.
In a few hours I have three more “socially distant” magic shows, and I’m going to experiment with something and that’s mic placement. That brings me to probably the biggest challenge in these shows, and that is I have to wear a face mask, so the audience can’t see my face. I’ll write more about this tomorrow.
Overall I think “socially distant” magic shows are a workable solution to doing live shows.