There are two things that are surprising me about performing for kids on this tour. The first is the lack of rules that I have to go over and the second is that I’m not needing to coach applause. I don’t know if it’s me as a performer getting better, or if it’s them being used to watching TV shows where people applaud for variety acts.
I figured out that the first real magic trick in the show I do is a production of a tennis ball. If I display it and just freeze, they will clap. This is done with no coaching or bits that tell them how to respond. It’s kinda blowing my mind that they are doing it on their own.
I’m closing the show with the vanishing birdcage and I’m getting kids to jump up to their feet and clap…also without any coaching. I’m essentially getting partial standing ovations from kids at a school assembly. I will say that my routine for the vanishing birdcage is structured fairly well, with how it’s paced and with the music cues. Also unlike most vanishing cage routines, my has a reappearance. It’s just the bird that reappears, but it’s a release of the audience’s tension and gives them a moment where they know they are supposed to applaud. I will say it’s the structure of the routine and not the routine that is what’s getting the reactions. The routine is just okay.
I’m working on the routine this tour and it’s getting better, but still has a lot of work that needs to happen. Most of the new bits I’ve been trying have been falling flat. This is just a case of continuing to write and hopefully it will eventually stick.
One thing I can’t stand are magicians who say they always “kill” at their shows. I’m sure there are people that do crush is from the audience’s perspective all the time, but did they honestly and artistically think they did their best every show?
I’ve done shows where at the end I get a standing ovation, and think to myself, “really, that show wasn’t that good”. I’m not saying the audience is wrong to show their appreciation, I’m saying the performer should honestly look at each show. Could you as a performer have done better?
Personally I learn more about doing bad shows that I do from crushing it. You learn or try to learn why things that normally work didn’t. Was it you, was it the audience, was it the situation or a combination of all of them? Then you need to figure out how to make it not happen again, or at least reduce the risk or amount of reasons why the show was bad.
I’m not saying you should go out and do bad show intentionally as a learning tool…but you can learn things by going to an open mic at taking drastic risks with your show. Sometimes something you think would turn off an audience connects…sometimes it doesn’t.
Take some risks…it’s art, not brain surgery. -Louie
My favorite part of the Southern Side Show Hootenanny was how different acts punctuated what they did. It’s the showmanship aspect of it that I find interesting, and one of the things that makes all of the acts unique. That’s also something (one of the many things) that separates the amateurs from the pros. One … Continue reading “Standing Ovations and You…”
My favorite part of the Southern Side Show Hootenanny was how different acts punctuated what they did. It’s the showmanship aspect of it that I find interesting, and one of the things that makes all of the acts unique. That’s also something (one of the many things) that separates the amateurs from the pros.
One great act was the Tinderbox Side Show. They had three performers and they did a high energy act that ended with a knife triumphantly stabbed into a table. The could have stopped there, and it would have been a great ending, however, Trashique, put one hell of a punctuation on it. She paused, picked up the table and smashed it on the ground! It made the audience jump to its feet and got them a standing ovation!
It’s the little things like smashing a table, or holding an applause pose for just a second longer that makes a huge difference. People love it when you triumph, that’s why escapes are such a popular ending. I’m a big fan of things like mic drops, balloons popping, confetti, etc. Go see a circus show whether a tent show or a more modern circus show and see how they end their shows. Then apply what you’ve just seen to your show.
Several years ago I went and saw Kreskin perform a the Pantages Theater in Tacoma, WA. He’s an amazing performer and I highly recommend checking out his show if you get a chance. At the end of the show he got a standing ovation from the audience! He deserved the standing ovation, and he worked … Continue reading “Last Night I Pulled a Kreskin…”
Several years ago I went and saw Kreskin perform a the Pantages Theater in Tacoma, WA. He’s an amazing performer and I highly recommend checking out his show if you get a chance. At the end of the show he got a standing ovation from the audience!
He deserved the standing ovation, and he worked for it. By worked for it, at the end of the show, he stood, arms outstretched and waited. People clapped, eventually some stood. Kreskin didn’t move. Eventually everyone was standing clapping!
That’s something very important I learned from watching Kreskin. You have to wait for them to stand up. They aren’t going to instantly leap to their feet like other performers bragging will make it sound like. Go see virtually any show that gets a standing ovation, it’s a slow burn. Some stand, then others, it’s a wave that takes a few moments. My advice is that if you feel a standing ovation coming, wait for it!