Posted: Aug 25, 2011 10:59am
I posted this in another forum and then I realized...hey, this is pretty good stuff. How long SHOULD your show be? If you are just beginning this is a big deal. It was to me. Some pro friends gave me advice and below is a distillation of what I have learned for myself anyway, over the years. have any questions don't hesitate to PM me.
There are so many possible variables, but.... I had a 30 min. children's show. I never did a stand up show for adults more than 30 minutes long. My close-up cocktail party work was sold in 1 hours increments with a 10 minute per hour rest period in the contract. I never used it, but it was there just in case. Depending in the size of the party I worked from 1-3 hours, never more than 3. Even in my 20's and 30's I just burned up too much energy to make it past the 3 hour mark.
A tight 30 minute act with say two encore routines of no more than 5 minutes each is a lot of time. Anyone who can hold an audience for 50-60 minutes and they ARE out there get my highest respect. I mean that. You can't believe how loooooooong 30 minutes is until you are on the floor and working. A lot depends on HOW you work by the way. A more relaxed performer who does longer routines with lots of by play, etc. can generally work a longer show. Most of my friends 30 minute acts consisted of may 5-6 routines. My act consisted of 9-12. I work in a kind of hyped up mode that works for me.
Again, experimentation is KEY to all this. You gotta get out doing as much performing as you can. You have to find out what works for YOU. Not the other guy. You will only find that out by doing shows. You will find routines that YOU love will not seem to work in the real world! It's a killer. Fix it or drop it. Add something else. Don't overlook something that you don't like. Try it and see what happens. I got one of my all time favorite routines tossing in a trick that I thought was the dumbest thing of all time. First time I did it and it KILLED. Never did a show without it. Ya gotta test and try and problem solve and work, work, work, work.
All very, very best,
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