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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Magical Thoughts

Last night I atteneded my Clown Alley's business meeting, I am secretary of Bigfoot Clown Alley.
During the meeting, I was asked what do I do when someone who has seen my show wants to hire me for another performance, do I have a different show for them.
I recenty responded via email to that question.
Here is my response:

Hello Joyce,
Thank you for the nice words about my show last week,
I wanted to take a moment to share with you my thoughts about something you mentioned last night.
You asked me what other effects I would be able to show in a performance since someone might have seen all I have in my repertoire at that show.
In magic is a saying or quote, The difference between an amateur and a professional is, the amateur does different tricks for the same audience and the professional does the same tricks for different audiences. (or something like that)
I know you know what all that means without me going into a long dissertation... but basically in magic it is a catch 22 of sorts...
I mean, as you get into magic, you are new at it and must of course develop new material as you go along, generally your audience is going to be family and friends and so you are always learning new effects. At some point hopefully, you grow to the point that that is not the case and you develop a "standing" whereby people are hiring you to come perform for them.
People come to my show or see it and want to hire me for another venue. If I as an entertainer went into that show with a completely different group of effects, they might not enjoy it. They hired me based upon what they saw at a previous event or word of mouth.
Having said all that, I find it a lot of fun to add new effects into my shows. It keeps it fresh and exciting for me and also for my audiences.
It is also important to keep "polishing" the effects you already use and make them sparkle.
It also depends on the venue as well, for example, if I am hired to perform for a childs birthday party... The linking rings doesn't do much for them, for some reason... I also like the dove pan birthday cake finish to the show (which you taught me!), Developing different material as you know is time consuming, and difficult.
But very fun!
So, I have come to realize that a nice nucleus of effects is important.
For me, Cups and balls, Vanishing Bandanna, Egg Bag, Cut & Restored Rope, Chinese Sticks, and yes, the Linking Rings are my main stays. I have recently decided to add the silk effect using teh "T T."
Using these "Classic" effects I can build and tweak my performances to suit just about any audience.
I have also found it fun, and necessary to develop a lot of walk around material.
Card effects, coin effects, rubber band effects, and of course my love of the paddle move effects.
Again, as in developing a "stage' show, I have found it necessary to have a nice nucleus of close up effects to build around so that I don't become stale, but also to be able to "wow" my audience.
You never know when that certain magical effect will be available for use.


Blogger John said...

I agree, Tim. I do the same thing. I have several "core" effects and will add something different. I also play off the crowd( busking ya know) bad crowd, bad show.

11:43 PM  

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