A time to share

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Still Learning!

I performed last night on Mercer Island for about 110 people. Ages ranging from 2 to 60... It was a gig handed off to me by a friend who couldn't perform as he was enjoying himself at the magic castle in L.A.
Mercer Island Beach Club. A beautiful setting on Lake Washington. Mt. Rainier standing tall and majestic in the distance, I hope someone sends me some pictures!

I am still learning my craft and need to start asking more questions before I arrive. I try to tailor each show to the intended audience. I was told that about 75 of them would be kids, about 45 would be 14 and 15 year olds( a tough age to entertain) and that would mean about 25 would be younger than that. The rest being adults.
My mistake was assuming (Yes I know, ASSUME means U make an ass out of U and me)that the "adults" would want to enjoy my performance too.
They lined all the children up sitting on the floor and then I was to start, The adults stood all around behind the younger children and continued to talk to each other as if I wasn't even there. This made for a constant "buzz" of conversation that I had to talk over. I did bring my microphone set up so it wasn't really hard to be loud enough, I just thought it was inconsiderate not only to me but to the people that were trying to enjoy the show. Weird in a way, they are paying me to entertain, and then don't respect there own money and get value for it.
I have found that adults really enjoy my magic too. There is this mind set out there that magic is just for kids. I hear this all the time from adults. "The kids really loved your magic." I have found that there is a "kid" in most adults if they give themselves half a chance to reunite themselves with it.
My best performances are when there is a nice mix of children and adults. The children's spontaneous laughter infects the adults and the adults response with clapping infects the children while at the same time teaching them how and when to clap.
I hope this post doesn't come off like sour grapes. The show was really good. The teenagers that eventually wandered over were astonished by many of the effects, Chinese sticks, acrobatic knot, cut and restored rope, and lassoing a card brought many an astonished look and a few gasps too. The adults that were watching enjoyed all this too.

What would I have done differently? I wouldn't have opened with Mathnasium,(Way over the kids heads) I would have not even done the torn and restored newspaper to end my set.
I might have done a few more "children's" effects, which I have found also fool most adults.
I also learned that I need to bring my dress shirt separate and maybe put it on just before my show. it was very hot out today and well.... you get the picture!:)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your latest blog, you will encounter this more times than not. A magician is basically a high priced babysitter. How to handle it??? You could be louder than the talkies or if they are near the performance and supposed to be watching, call one up and steal their watch. Have some fun with them. I did a gig in puyallup with a comedian friend last night for about 75 people. it was a one hour how, he would do 30 min of comedy and I would close. These folks were JERKS!!!!! The show was supposed to start at 8 and we we set up and ready to go. Everyone was mingling while I spoke to the host trying to get the ball rolling, wasn't happening. so I decided to throw in some walk a round, but not to be nice, as I was performing for small groups I nailed every watch I could get my hands on, about 9 of them, well my set started at 9:30 I did my 30 minutes, Did "What's Next","Card to Mouth","Cups and Balls" and "The Legend of the 5 Mystic Rings" (I have really been putting alot of effort in to that routine) At the end of my set I said "Wow,I didn't know we were gonna start so late. I almost lost track of the time, but luckily I have all these to keep me on time for my next show" I pulled out the watches I have been holding on to for the last hour and watched the crowd go nuts!!!I had to pack up and head to my job, my friend then did his set. he came by my work at 3 am telling me that they took over on his sound system and he didnt break down till midnite. I told him that he needs to bill the host at least 100.00 for the use of his equipment and to start using contracts. I really felt sorry for him, he really got hosed. So it things like that you got to watch out for.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Timmy Jimmy said...

Thanks John, good insight. It's just that if they don't take the magic seriously... It's hard for anyone else to.
You'll have to teach me the watch steal, and I'd be happy to work on the rings with you!

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I did a gig in puyallup with a comedian friend last night for about 75 people. it was a one hour how, he would do 30 min of comedy and I would close. These folks were JERKS!!!!!"

You never know who might read this post. Perhaps someone who was at the party?
Word of mouth gets gigs. It also works the opposite.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Timmy Jimmy said...

Thanks for the advice, maybe they'll read it and learn something?
Or like you say, I could lose a gig or two.

3:39 PM  

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