Sometimes I don’t take my own advice and I regret it. I tell people always use a mic when doing a show for a group. Yesterday I did a summer day camp show for a smallish group and it was indoors. I intentionally didn’t pack my sound system as I didn’t think it was necessary. When I got there, they were a group that was all masked, so I did the show masked.
When you’re masked you lose a lot of the power of your voice when speaking to a group. Also you spend a lot of energy pushing your voice through the mask to project it out to the audience.
Today I have another summer day camp and I’m packing my sound system in case they are also a facility that still requires masking. I should have packed the sound system yesterday anyway and left it in the car if not needed. I was being lazy and it ended up being a bad idea.
Today I’ve got a show for a day camp, but it’s slightly unusual. Right now all of my props are in Montana, but I’m a home in Seattle. This isn’t a lost luggage situation, it’s intentional. The show is for about 20 kids, so I don’t need sound and I left my PA and mics with my show.
It’s always strange doing the show without music. Over the years, I have developed a lot of bits that use music in my show and figured out that many of my bits play much better with music. I do have a PA here, but really don’t need to lug it out for this gig. Also it’s a fun little challenge to perform with less production elements. It makes you work a little bit harder to connect with the audience.
I’m a big fan of getting out of your comfort zone as a performer every now and then.
In a facebook magic group someone asked about sound systems for bday parties. I was kinda amazed by the response of the people. I think one of the interesting responses was , “you don’t need one for a dozen kids…”, i find this interesting because while a dozen kids in average, having 30 is not … Continue reading “Some Sound Advice…”
In a facebook magic group someone asked about sound systems for bday parties. I was kinda amazed by the response of the people. I think one of the interesting responses was , “you don’t need one for a dozen kids…”, i find this interesting because while a dozen kids in average, having 30 is not uncommon.
Another factor is production value. Having music in your show adds a lot to it. It kills dead time and opens up other things to do, like musical gags and bits. Whenever I do shows without music, I feel the show isn’t living up to its full potential.
Then there’s the core issue, having your voice heard. I’ve seen too many shows where you can’t hear the performer and it’s a small group. It could be because the show is outside and there’s a lot of background noise, or it could be the performer not projecting.
Finally there’s the whole, 3 or 4 shows a day thing. You can blow out your voice in a weekend. A $300 bday party isn’t worth it if it wrecks your voice for the $1K gig you have saturday night.
When you are a performer you have to live by the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared I’m flying out today for a corporate gig and I have a strange feeling that they venue’s sound system won’t work. What I mean by that is that it won’t work for my show’s needs. In banquet halls … Continue reading “You Gotta be a Boy Scout”
When you are a performer you have to live by the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared
I’m flying out today for a corporate gig and I have a strange feeling that they venue’s sound system won’t work. What I mean by that is that it won’t work for my show’s needs.
In banquet halls there are tons of reasons why the system won’t work. Sometimes they have systems that you can’t plug into. The speakers in the ceiling sound like a tin can or make it so you can’t move around without getting feedback.
Honestly I don’t know why I have this feeling about the sound system, but my “spidey sense” is tingling.
So what do I am I doing?
I’m packing my street show PA in my suitcase:
Since I’m only away a short period of time, I don’t have a lot to pack, so the speaker fits easily in the in my suitcase.
The PA I’m using is the Roland Street Cube EX. The great thing about this is it’s small enough to put in the overhead bin on the plane but has enough power for a gym. I’ve got the proper cords with me to use this as a mixer and/or monitor if they have a system I can plug into.
Hopefully I won’t need it, but in case I do, I’ve got it!