Here’s a little tip for when you’re working a fair or any multi-day gig with a lot of other acts. First of all, don’t touch the sound company’s equipment without asking. What I do is ask if I can have 3 dedicated channels for the week. Usually they say yes, but not always. I do my initial sound check and once that’s done I take a pic of the sound board and note what’s mine.
Now it’s really easy to recreate the same sound by using the picture if things get changed.
I know the sound guy is there for that…well usually they are. The fair where I took this picture had one person running four stages. Since my audio was never supposed to change, he didn’t visit my stage near my show times very often. I’m OK with that, I had his cell number and could text him if I needed him.
Well, one of the community acts later in the day as I was packing up used two channels, a handheld mic and a phone with music on it. At one point there was feedback and the person running music slid down all the levels on the all the channels of the board to make it stop. I should note that the reason there was feedback was the person with the mic stood in front of a speaker.
That person turning down everyone’s channels ruined the preset for the next day. Luckily I have what I need to easily recreate what I had before it got changed! Take a pic of the soundboard, it only takes a couple of seconds and can save you a pain later!
Earlier today I was thinking about performing at corporate holiday events. Mainly I was thinking about how every magician that wants work will get some in December. It’s a time where the gig isn’t really based on merit, but on someone’s boss telling them to get a magician, so they get the first magician that’s … Continue reading “Holiday Parties and Newer Acts…”
Earlier today I was thinking about performing at corporate holiday events. Mainly I was thinking about how every magician that wants work will get some in December. It’s a time where the gig isn’t really based on merit, but on someone’s boss telling them to get a magician, so they get the first magician that’s available.
It’s good that everyone is working, however a lot of the conditions for the shows aren’t “entry level” magic shows. First of all you typically have poor audience layout, were some of the audience may be behind you. Lighting is horrible and sound often in through the DJ’s mix which typically is insanely bass heavy.
All of the above adds up to a show that’s going to be hard for someone starting out. This year I feel like I’ve finally hit my stride with these shows and was very comfortable doing them. Personally I hope that newer performers look at how their shows went (honestly) and how they can improve them.
The last two nights I worked as an act in bar comedy shows. The two rooms couldn’t have been more different. One room was poorly laid out, had no light on the stage and a bad sound system. The other room had great sound, all of the audience was directly in front of me and … Continue reading “A Tale of Two Rooms”
The last two nights I worked as an act in bar comedy shows. The two rooms couldn’t have been more different. One room was poorly laid out, had no light on the stage and a bad sound system. The other room had great sound, all of the audience was directly in front of me and the performing area was lit. One show went better than the other…can you guess with it was?
I was the second it one, that had good light, sound and layout.
It’s all the little things that go into making the show easier for audience to watch. When a show is easy to watch, it’s soo much easier for the audience to enjoy. They don’t have to work to hear or see you. It can be tiring watching a show that you have to concentrate to enjoy.
So how to you fix a bad set up?
The first thing you’ll hear magicians on the internet say is “make your contract say ____”. Sure you can write that, but the reality of what you consider good sound and what the venue does can be two different things. One thing is you can try to get to the venue early and do your best to adjust what you can. That plus having a solid show and moving forward definately does help.
Is it the venue’s fault?
Lots of times they don’t know better. They may be used to an acoustic guitar player in the corner doing ambient entertainment and not a show. You can educate them after, like mentioning they need speaker stands, or whatever to make it easier for the next show that comes in.