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Topic: how often do you change your show
Message: Posted by: graemesd (Feb 3, 2003 07:46PM)
there are certain tricks and gags that have been in my show since i started and i will never get rid of for varios reasons.
i do know someone that changes his show completly every year.
personally i feel hat its taken me long enough to perfect and work out the timings for the showw that i have. So i do tend to change things slowly - but then why change a winning formla - don't fix wha aint broke etc etc
Message: Posted by: cmwalden (Feb 3, 2003 08:33PM)
Change your show when it needs changing. If it's working, and you're happy, then you've answered whether it needs changing.

I went to the Blue Man Group show in Vegas twice, threee years apart. To the best of my recollection, the shows were beat-for-beat identical. I still loved it, and enjoyed sharing it with people who hadn't seen it yet. A matured magic show that has more going for it than the surprises should endure several viewings.
Message: Posted by: ChrisZampese (Feb 3, 2003 09:14PM)
I look on my show as a performance. If you went to see Cats or Les Miserable you don't expect them to have changed the show just because someone in the audience may have seen it before!

OK so that is an extreme example, but I hope you get my point.

Having said that a magic show is quite different to a regular show. You may not want to change your show to preserve the integrity of a particular trick, or you may learn something new that you really wnat in your. There are all sorts of reasons to change your show, but unless you get the same audience 6 times a year, I wouldnt worry about it too much,'

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Feb 3, 2003 09:47PM)
I have been doing the same show for years, but it is like Granddad's Axe that had 3 new blades and 5 new handles. There is always something about my performance I can improve & I work on trying to make it better all the time. When I take something out of my show it is usually because I have got something elce better and I don't usually want to go back and put in in again for sake of change.
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Feb 4, 2003 02:50AM)
Children are a constantly changing market, and let's face it that whatever you do to change, parents will always want to try something 'new'. Do you find many coming back to you after 24 months after they tried someone else and had a disaster? Kids also expect to see something again that they liked and identify you with don't they? This can be a headache only if you let it be so. Many 'travelling light' entertainers say: "I have four suitcases in my hall, with four different shows". All well and good if you just do one or two a week, but try keeping tags and making changes when you do around 6 or more a week!
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Feb 4, 2003 06:10AM)
I change my show every year, the previous show moves to show 2 etc. I have to change it as the kids see me so many times.
Message: Posted by: TroyRoark (Feb 4, 2003 08:54AM)
In twenty some-odd years, I've never completely changed my show. I have added or changed the routine of certain effects only when I felt that it was better than the effect I'm replacing.

Why do you think kids can sit and watch the same video over and over again? Why do they like to sing the same songs over and over again? I think it's because they prefer comfort, and regularity. Some (I might even argue "most") children want to see you do the same show again. Especially if they enjoyed it the first time.

Troy Roark
Message: Posted by: Billy Whizz (Feb 4, 2003 11:33AM)
I think it depends on how busy an entertainer you are. If you get kids seeing you just a few times over the space of a year then one show could be OK. I do up to 400 shows a year and sometimes I see the sames kids over and over again, you might do a show for Tommy's birthday, and before you know it, you're doing a show for a dozen different kids birthdays from his class in the space of a year. Kids will sit and watch your show over and over again if its a good one, just like they'll watch a video over and over again.
But, if they see it too often, they'll start to shout out whats going to happen next, and often being a pain in the ass. So I prefer to change my show at least once a year, and I also have a different christmas show each year.

All the Best, Billy
Message: Posted by: Zorak (Feb 5, 2003 06:26PM)
For me personally, I don't think it is wise to keep changing your show. Like it has been said, "Why fix it if it ain't broke." If you have a winning formula that is successful (measuring success by much recall and a growing customer base) don't mess with it. Been doing the same act for over 20 years. Am I a busy performer? Yes!
Does it grow old? Not with beautiful new little faces to bring the wonder and laughter to.
I do however look for embellishments, always. Maybe it is a more effective way to perform a sleight or emphasis the drama, excitement, or laughter. Even as a senior adult I do my homework and try to be hip to the things kids are into. Changing fads, games, movies, all play a part in customizing my show.
Do I change my show. No!
Do I have a half dozen routines I'm always polishing in the wings (to insert for certain occassions)? Yes!
Am I ever vigilant to polishing what I do?
You better believe it.
My close-up magic does change. I do this for restaurants and private clubs. This magic, though I take it seriously by much practice, is my fun stuff. It helps keep my mind sharp and I enjoy the one on one. :cups:
Message: Posted by: Snidini (Feb 5, 2003 08:35PM)
I personally don't change my show. I do however add or remove an item from time to time just to see how it plays to my audience. Once perfected, the show is like a symphony that I just don't feel I should mess with. Look at Mac King's little daytime show and I think you see the same formula being applied. Mac has honed that show for years and at times he may add or take out something, it's still the basic show he has done forever. It's magic that has been honed to precision.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Feb 5, 2003 10:22PM)
Like most of the posters here, I don't change my entire kids show. Ever.
I may change one item a year in it; but that's about as extreme as I get.
Because I work in a fairly small market with a lot of repeat jobs, I have three completely different kids' shows. The first show is done the first time I'm performing for a particular group; the second, for the second time, and so on.
A quick check of my records after booking the show will tell me which of the three shows to use.
It works for me.
Whether that would work for anyone else is another story.
Message: Posted by: Billy Whizz (Feb 6, 2003 02:30AM)
Zorak wrote:
Been doing the same act for over 20 years. [/quote]

Hi Zorak, I'm just curious, how many kids shows do you do a year? I do approx 400 shows, if I kept the same show and never changed it, some kids would see me so much, they would know the show word for word. I estimate that the average child see's me about 6 times a year. This means between the age of 4 up to 9, they would see the same show about 36 times. I know children like familiararty, but don't you think that's a bit too much.
Maybe you don't do as many childrens show's, in that case not changeing your act would be OK, but I'll feel I have to change every year.

All the best, Billy
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Feb 6, 2003 02:53AM)
I very rarely go to a show where no-one has seen me before, some of the kids see me numerous times over the course of the year, a lot of the time I don't know they are going to be there, last week I did a show 12-1pm and another 2-4pm, when I was setting up for the second show 5 of the kids from the previous show walked in. They enjoyed the show the second time just as much as the first. However by the end of the year when I get the kids turning up who've seen me 10-11 times they often start to pre-empt the show, not out of spite. or naughtiness but out of excitment. "That wands going to break!" when it breaks they laugh just as loud as the first time they saw it. Kids love to watch the same videos over and over, but they also love to tell there friends whats going to happen. I do a hell of lot of kids shows it's all I do, I don't do any adult work at all, and it gets to be a right pain once they start to pre-empt the show, that's why I change the show anually, and then if I know I'm going to see a lot of the same kids at a show I can take along show 2-3 or 4.

The one thing that's never changed in my show is the puppet routine, but I'm looking for a new routine because I'm getting bored with it. Which brings me to another good reason to change your show every now and again, If you do the same thing year in year out you start to run on automatic, the spontinaity goes and your in danger of performing like a robot.
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Feb 6, 2003 03:02AM)
I think I mentioned somewhere way back in my nearly 200 postings about losing confidence in your show. However wonderful it is to the children you could have been doing it for so long that you lose enthusiasm yourself in certain items. The Chinese Washing Machine being one. I did it for so long that every time I picked it up I thought "another 15 tedious minutes of turning these ridiculous socks into one, then baby socks, then full of holes etc." But yet the kids still adored it! I think this almost links up with another thread which takes in self analysis.

So maybe the conclusion is not to effect changes for the kids - but occasionally for your own wellbeing.
Message: Posted by: braddevant (Feb 6, 2003 05:43PM)
I have a core of three routines that form the basis of three different shows. I track which show the client saw last time and give them a different one. This way they get to see the most popular routines from the last show, plus some new surprises and in three years no one will remember the first show when they see it again. I also listen carefully to the people as I pack up for hints of what they liked best and note that in their file. Tracking it takes a little work but I feel it's worth it.
Message: Posted by: Zorak (Feb 6, 2003 06:40PM)
The beauty of doing kidshows is the audience keeps changing. Every year there are new 5-6-7-8 year olds. They may have seen you when you did their brother's show two years ago. They were maybe 4-5- or 6 years old. It really is a new audience every couple of years.
Before I got so darn old (I'm 61), I use to do 200 or 300 shows a year. Now I do about 100 shows. I don't want to quit,I still really enjoy it. In the old days I did as many shows as I could. Now I turn down more shows than I do. Actually, I refer the caller to friends I know are competent and do a first class show.
I make no apologies for not changing my show. I'm not in the same class as Thurston or Slydini or Don Alan ---but they performed the same show forever. I might add that they had some success at it.
It has been my experience that if you have an original act and are able to focus on strong presentation, it will have longitivity.
It reminds me of the story about Howard Thurston. A novice bragged to Mr. Thurston he knew and could do over 100 tricks. He than inquired as to how many tricks he (Mr. Thurston) knew. He was surprised when Thurston replied, "I know 8 tricks."
"Only eight tricks",he blurted disappointment in his voice. "Yes, but I know them well. I've made them my own."
It bears repeating.
With that said, do whatever works for you.
You, your personality in front of an audience is far more important than the tricks and routines you perform. It is this they remember. Best Magical Wishes. :bigsmile:
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Feb 7, 2003 12:25AM)
<<<<<I also listen carefully to the people as I pack up for hints of what they liked best>>>>>>

It's a great way of fine tuning your act, I always talk to the kids after the show as I'm handing them their balloon models I ask them what they liked best about the show, and if I've done something new I ask whether they enjoyed that bit.

It's good to read everyones different ideas on this subject, personally I'm going to keep changing my act every year, This will also ensure that I continue to enjoy myself and not get bored doing the same stuff over and over again, help to keep it fresh, and hopefully avoid the annoying pre-empters, mind you I'm only in month 2 and there some kids who've seen it 2-3 times, I only wish I knew they were going to be there before I arrived. I do keep a couple of extra tricks in the box that I can substitute if I see a lot of familiar faces.
Message: Posted by: Zorak (Feb 7, 2003 09:32PM)
There is certainly some really good thinking in this magic Café. What a great place to kick back and learn and share with strangers that become like friends from mutual interest.
Nobody has all the answers for anything.A magic act is a thing that evolves over time and experience. What works great for one personality type falls flat for another.
How many times have we seen a trick demo'd or in someone's act, loved it, tried it and "zero". Than there is something that others shirk and you make a presention that audiences love.
I love magic because of the creative people in it. I see earnest effort, exploring minds, hour,weeks,years of research and practice. We are all seeking that Nirvana of Magic. There are a multitude of motivations, but the one I see most often is the desire to bring pleasure to others. It's great to see such respect and dedication to the ART of MAGIC, for it is truly that.
I salute all of you, you have my admiration and gratitude. Whether you agree with the conclusions I've drawn (am still open) about my particular brand of performing, or not. My best friends interest me because we are different.
Keep on doing what you are doing.
Your friend in magic, Zorak
Please feel free to check out my website at: http://www.kiddiekazam.com
Message: Posted by: Richard Landry (Feb 8, 2003 01:28AM)
For the most part I have a couple of shows that I can choose from if I have been called back to perform on a regular basis. I really do not change them much.I always send a performance evaluation out to the client after the show asking them what they liked the best and the least to see if a pattern developes. If I find something that is not working like I think it should then I will change it.