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Topic: "Can you perform outside?"
Message: Posted by: Mikael Eriksson (May 26, 2004 01:45PM)
Today I got a phone call from a daycare, and they asked me if I could perform outside. I told them it's better to do it inside, since there are several problems connected with performing outside, like other people disturbing the audience etc.

I hope I'm wrong, but it was like she lost interest in my performance. She said she would discuss it with her collegues and call me back some time.

I have lost jobs before because I don't want to perform outside.

what can I do to make people understand how bad it is to have a magic performance outside, and what little effort it would be for them to let me perform inside?

Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (May 26, 2004 01:49PM)
I love performing outside, and because of that, it helps land many jobs in which they are looking for outside performers.

I would suggest making a show in which you CAN perform outside.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (May 26, 2004 02:01PM)
I think it depends upon which market, and your personal preferences.

If you do children's birthday parties, you can be a little more insistent about performing inside the home.

If you are doing a family show (and for that, I would suggest that you should be doing different material) for a larger audience, then you should have an indoors and an outdoors version of your "A" show. Let the customer understand that some of the tricks with silks and balloons you will not perform outside because of wind, but that you will substitute in other routines.

There is a discussion of tricks suitable for outside performances in the book, "Creative KidTalk", by Sammy Smith, David Ginn and Steve Taylor. You approach outdoors shows as more of a festival-type show.

Here is how I handle this question on the FAQs page I mail to my birthday party customers:

[quote]Q: Do you do outdoor performances?

A: Speaking from experience, we don't really recommend outdoor birthday performances. We find that attention spans are shorter outside. With children (and adults too!), it's important to keep distractions to a minimum. Heat, cold, and hard ground can also affect the audience's comfort. And outdoors, no one can predict a fly-by bee, or a sudden breeze, which may blow away a prop or balloon. Distractions like this can really diminish the flow of the presentation. An indoor show will be a more memorable show for your group.[/quote]

Here is how I handle this question on the FAQs page I mail to my family events customers:

[quote]Q: Can you perform outdoors?

A: Yes, we can perform outdoors, given sufficient notice. We will change some tricks in the show, because of the wind, etc. Please provide a dry stage or cement pad to perform on. Grass is not really suitable. We like natural backdrops (trees, buildings), so the audience doesn’t surround us. We can’t set up our backdrop outdoors. Please provide some sort of cover in case of rain, and to prevent heat exhaustion (tent at least 12’ x 12’, and over 8’ high above the stage surface). Thank you.

We recommend that the audience be under some sort of cover, as well. Be sure that the sun is not in anyone’s eyes during the show time. Note - audiences have a shorter attention span outdoors, but will gather and watch a magic show in greater numbers than a musical act, because magic is a very visual entertainment. [/quote]

It may at first to appear as rigid, but really my suggestions are in the best interest of the customer, and are based on thousands of shows over the past 25 years.

- Donald.
Message: Posted by: Jeff Alan (May 26, 2004 02:02PM)
[quote]I have lost jobs before because I don't want to perform outside.[/quote]
I don't like it either, but I'll do it. Try to take out or *modify* routines that could be effected, (silks blowing away, etc)

But if you find that it still makes you miserable, just pass on it.
Message: Posted by: rsummer27 (May 26, 2004 02:32PM)
I love to perform outside. It's something I look forward to. There is much more room to move around and have fun. I have more of an area to work in. I can ride my unicycle. If it is an adult show, I can juggle torches also. I work in the Deep South in full clown wig and costume during summer. Some people think it's crazy, I think it's just whatever you get use to.
Message: Posted by: Danny Diamond (May 26, 2004 02:36PM)
I just recently dealt with this request, and I explained my reasons for preferring an indoor show, and everything went well and I got the gig.

One main reason for me, is that I do not want to chance losing my bunny. I produce my bunny on my podium, I hold her the entire time while letting the children pet her, we then say goodbye and I place her immediately into her travel case off to the side of the stage. She never leaves my hands, but with my luck, the one time she kicks her back feet and squirms away for some reason, will be the time I am performing outside. Then it is bye bye bunny, and she has a big new home and I lose my bunny.

The other reason is the heat. I don't like keeping my bunny in her load chamber for long, and since it is a black production box, it can heat up quick in the sun. Not good for my bunny!

Overall, I just prefer the controlled atmosphere of an indoor show. If I was a full-time pro, I might create an outdoor show so that I never had to turn down a gig, but I am only a part-time performer, and if someone insists on an outdoor show, I have no problems passing up the gig.
Message: Posted by: magiker (May 26, 2004 03:02PM)
I regularly perform outside if the weather permits.
Doing a show outdoors on the 28 for 250 kids.

I am sometimes asked when I arrive "can you work outside as it's such lovely weather.
After all they are paying and as we know the customer is always right. :)
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (May 26, 2004 03:08PM)
On 2004-05-26 16:02, magiker wrote:
I regularly perform outside if the weather permits.
Doing a show outdoors on the 28 for 250 kids.

I am sometimes asked when I arrive "can you work outside as it's such lovely weather.
After all they are paying and as we know the customer is always right. :)

Well said. I figure if we are getting paid to do a show, we are in no place to make demands....they should be making the demands.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (May 26, 2004 03:09PM)
I tell all bookers the show has to be indoors, or under cover of some sort e.g. inside a marquee.

I use balloons during the show and the direct sunlight makes them go horrible or even burst during the show, wind blows things about, inc. the balloons, and at birthday parties my remote doesn't like sunlight. Add to that the fact that some gardens are just so uneven and the changeable British weather (I started a show with clear blue skies twice last year, only to have a shower come across in the middle of the show.)

It's just not worth the hassle.

There are a couple of venues I will be performing outside this year, these were booked before I decided it was too much hassle doing them outdoors. But as they are all day events and I've charged them lots of money, I'm going to take along my own gazebo to act as my stage area.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 26, 2004 03:28PM)
I have learned to adapt my show to performing outside or inside. Part of this came out of necessity as I wanted to work the festival market and I do a lot these days.

It just took me a little while to redo the show around to still give them a lot of entertainment without having to worry about my magic props etc. being effected by sunlight, wind etc.

For me, it allows me to be more flexible and adaptive. It also allows me to be a "solutions provider" for my customers.

Many of the houses I work at for birthday parties are small houses and the customer needs to have the party outdoors because of limited space problems. If I can offer a fun show that can be done outside, I am providing a solution to one of their problems.

Either way, I always make sure to discuss this upfront with them before I get there. This way it limits any suprises.

Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (May 26, 2004 04:12PM)
On 2004-05-26 16:08, Astinus wrote:
On 2004-05-26 16:02, magiker wrote:
I regularly perform outside if the weather permits.
Doing a show outdoors on the 28 for 250 kids.

I am sometimes asked when I arrive "can you work outside as it's such lovely weather.
After all they are paying and as we know the customer is always right. :)

Well said. I figure if we are getting paid to do a show, we are in no place to make demands....they should be making the demands.

If this is done correctly, they are suggestions to help your customer have a better event. Not demands.

As an expert who has participated in thousands of events (this is my customer's perception of me), it is my job to offer more than a magic show. They look to me for hints. They often state, "You've done this before. What do you suggest?"

It is my job to make their event more fun and memorable. It is my job to help make their event more successful.

By making suggestions, and offering reasons for those suggestions, the customer will often act on your advice and thank you for it.

If Mikael is uncomfortable performing outside, it is fine for him to place those conditions on his show. It is better that he explain why (which is what he did). I applaud him for having the courage and convictions not to do something that he felt would reflect poorly on his performance.

The customer is not always right, because they don't always know what is best for their event. I've had many prospects call me, sure that they wanted one thing, but when it came down to it, they decided on another thing. This was because they realized there were some things that would work better.

As a solutions provider, it is my job to make my customer look great. Sometimes they need help to pull it off. :)

- Donald.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 26, 2004 04:39PM)
I agree. Many times it is the customer or prospect that is really not sure on how to run an event. As "solution Providers" we can offer this expertise to them as we have done many shows and events. If handled right, they will be happy for the help and suggestions you are giving to them.

Message: Posted by: rsummer27 (May 26, 2004 04:41PM)
This is all really good advise if you book your own shows. Most of my shows come from agents. I work for several different agents and they frequently misrepresent my show and make promises I have to deliver on. I've told all of my agents to effectivly communicate to me anything that they promised the customer and they know basically what I do.

If it's a good job I don't mind being flexible, but within reason.
Message: Posted by: Mikael Eriksson (May 26, 2004 05:02PM)
A lot of suggestions and a lot to think about. Thanks to everybody.

Message: Posted by: Emazdad (May 26, 2004 05:57PM)
I'm lucky all my work comes direct, I don't use agents. 1, they are more concerned about the customer than me, 2, they don't always give you correct information, they tell you what you want to hear, when you turn up at the gig you get the odd surprize 3, I don't trust them.

If an agent was to phone for a job I'd treat them just the same as any client and explain the rules about how I work. (I get occassional calls from agents but they wont pay my fee) Bookers are told at the start that I don't do shows outdoors, if they insist on having it outdoors I wont take the booking. For birthday enquiry's I just say the magic and games has to be indoors, but the kids can eat the party food in the garden. They're happy with that as their main worry is the mess in the house.

If anyone wants to surprize me by deciding to have it outside on the day, my contract now has the words, 'The magic show has to be performed indoors' as one of the conditions. If I'm employed just to Balloon model that can be done outdoors, but my contract also states I will not work in adverse weather or ground conditions, but will work in a more suitable venue nearby. IE, if it's raining I work indoors or if the field is a mud bath, I'm not working walking across it.

It also states that if I can't work due to bad weather I still get paid. So if an event is cancelled due to bad weather I don't lose out.

<<<Well said. I figure if we are getting paid to do a show, we are in no place to make demands....they should be making the demands.>>>

All the details should be decided at the initial booking, They are in no position to demand anything different on the day.
As they want the best show for their money they will listen to your advice, after all as Donald and Kyle said, We are the experts.
The customer is definatly not always right, they don't understand the full working of our trade and will only work on what they think is right. Often this is wrong and it's our job to steer them politly onto the corect course.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 26, 2004 05:58PM)

I can and have been in your situation before. This is why I have come up with a couple things I now do whenever I work for any agent or agency. This has helped me to alleviate any problems.

1) I always make it a point to send out a detailed promotional packet to every agent. In this not only has my standard bio page, client listings etc., but it also has a sheet that states the benefits and features of my shows.

2) I always make sure that every agency I work with, knows that I MUST talk with the contact person before I committ to any performance. This is a must for me if I want to continue being a "solutions provider" for the customer. I also want them to know who I am so I can ask questions ahead of time and so they can feel comfortable with me as well. I want to build my relationship with them.

3) I always send out a contract or at least a letter of confirmation to the client that staes everything that is agreed upon. This is done through my agent and agency and they usually have no problems with me doing so. This way all parties know what to expect in advance.

Sure these things take a little extra time for me, but it is so well worth the effort.

Message: Posted by: Emazdad (May 26, 2004 06:23PM)
Nice safeguards Kyle, It would be nice to get such co-operation from an agent over here. I'm lucky I don't need them, I don't even send out any promtional stuff to them. Some holiday camps insist on booking through an agent, and when someone from a camp has seen me and they've asked me for my agents details I tell them they have to book direct. If they don't like it they don't get me.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 26, 2004 06:26PM)
That is great Clive you get so much work. I use an agency from time to time and have a good respect and repoir with those I work with. They just understand my needs upfront and they will obide by these rules or I simply will not work for them. It has worked ok for me so far.

Message: Posted by: Emazdad (May 26, 2004 06:26PM)
That's the way to do it kyle, lay down your rules and stick to them.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 26, 2004 06:33PM)
I have heard too many horror stories of agencies or agents "using" performers and the performers ending up getting "screwed" on gigs.

I have a reputation I uphold at every show and I will not let an agent or agency ruin that reputation because they did not do their job the right way.

Message: Posted by: Emazdad (May 26, 2004 06:47PM)
Last year Billy turned up at a gig, he'd been booked through an agent for walkabout baloon modelling. When he turned up the booker said, we've got your show programmed in for 8:00, Billy explained he was there only to balloon model not to do a magic show and showed the guy the contract. He explained couldn't do a show as his stuff was at home. The booker said Oh we told the agent we wanted a magic show, and got on the stage and anounced that there would not be a magic show as the magician had forgotten his tricks. Billy was furious and will not work for that agent, or that venue again.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 26, 2004 07:22PM)
See, that is exactl;y the type of nitemares I hear about and try and avoid. There are so many agents and angencies out there that just do NOT know what they are doing. This is why I do what I stated above and it is also why I not only get intreviewed by the agency.. I interview them myself. Just as they need to know about me and my business, I need to know about them and how they work.

Message: Posted by: magiker (May 27, 2004 03:59AM)
I know that the customer isn't always right, that's why I put the smilie in.
If I feel that it is inapropriate to work outside I will give the client my reasons and they usually agree.
I also use balloons but so far haven't had any probs.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (May 27, 2004 05:49AM)
If your just making them and giving them out, it's no problem, if like me you use balloons during the show, then the ones you pre-make ready for the helpers, and the large bribery and corruption balloon that the best behaved loudest magic word shouter wins, can get blown about, and burst on plants /walls nearby.
Message: Posted by: macmagic (May 27, 2004 06:32AM)
I think if your new to magic still a bit inexperienced outdoor shows are just a bad idea! you really need the experience on how to handle situations as they arise.......I always tell the people booking me that the show is to be indoors, if they insist on it being outdoors I explain to them that if the show is out doors I can not offer the 100% money back gaurantee because I can not control environmental issues......I had a bunch of bee's decide to join the audience at a b-day party so I had to wrap it up ten minutes early....the first few outdoors programs were nightmares for me but now I am actually enjoying them and I will be starting outdoor festivals this fall but the difference is I will be able to control a lot of the outdoor situations!
that reminds me Kyle did you get my email?Im looking for that info we talked about, when you get a chance!
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 27, 2004 09:45AM)

I am not sure I ever received your e-mail. If you can resend the e-mail and remind me of the information your looking for, I would be happy to get that over to you.

Message: Posted by: magiker (May 27, 2004 11:29AM)
Over here there are out door events virtualy all year round, so the Swedish people come prepared for the weather. I regularly perforn shows outdoors in Nov. and Dec. when it could be -5 or more. I must say that even then I enjoy it. I have even done shows when it has been raining, of course I have been under cover but the public haven't.
Yes Clive I mainly make balloons to order so to speak.
Although sometimes have taken some ready made if there has been a great many kids. I keep them in large see thru bags and secure the bags to anything that is handy such as small trees. The hardest part is trying to blow them up in the winter.
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (May 28, 2004 08:48AM)
Just to answer Mikael's question here. No. But this is basically by virtue of the type of entertainment we do and props used.

If I wanted to I could put together an outside performance show and invite you all round for tea and cakes at the same time. I'm no magical genius - but it's just common sense really isn't it?

I'd just say to any outside performer though, whether you live in Sweden or California. It's always a good idea to advise the Customer to have emergency indoor facilities available should the weather really break. You really don't want to have lots of bad weather cancellations do you, and have to go through the process of obtaining the fees (because you were not to blame for the weather were you? and they knew it could happen!) There are also of course the various problems working outside of becoming surrounded and being unable to perform some (well, many) magic routines, of overheated livestock (you don't want to produce a dead bunny that's just expired through heat exhaustion do you? aaghhh . . . what a nightmare!!), and of course the slightest breeze can carry away silks etc. You know all this of course though, don't you . . .

Oh yes, (when I start my mind just carries on like a computer sifting back over 25 years of entertaining!). What about those gardens that some folks have that are full of play equipment. Even the best in the world is not going to keep those little bottoms on the grass for any length of time with all this stuff! and what about Peggy! You know Peggy don't you? She's that huge Labrador dog that the only time she is still is when she is either asleep or dead! Do you really want to work outside while Peggy is there . . .
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (May 31, 2004 09:54AM)
Silly Billy has a graet section in his lecture notes about this, performing outside brings out to many distractions, sun, too cold, bouncy castles, wind and sometimes you will need a pa system, tips od silly are say things like 'ill have to charge £10 extra, I have hayfever, charge extra for the pa system' basically make up excuses as ive never dome a good show out side exept in a tent, and I learned from my mistakes always ask for the bouncy castle to be let down as if the kids get borred they wil goo one the bouncy castle and this can be very frustrating
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (May 31, 2004 10:02AM)
If the kids are bored, then you have bigger problems than a bouncy castle! You should work very hard to make your act the quality that it can draw and maintain a crowd, even outdoors.

(You just opened up a can of worms with that comment about kids being bored. :))

The fact that most bouncy castles have noisy motors (so my audience can't hear the show) is why I don't want to perform beside them. But the castle can be at the other end of the field, no problem.

I've also had to work beside a noisy generator, and had the same problem of the audience not being able to hear the show. I don't really get why some customers think they need to position the generator right beside the stage. The audience wants to hear the act on the outdoors stage, not the generator. (Now I know why I have to give some customers advice. Common sense sometimes is lacking.)

- Donald.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (May 31, 2004 10:14AM)
Things like this you have to be profesional about explain to the person why you cant do that the y will take your advice and respect you for it

Even if the kids aren't bored the older ones want tio go on the castle and the others follow.

I think people don't realize what they are doing employing a magician to work by a genorator

Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (May 31, 2004 10:33AM)
Another thing I should point out, is that you can say to your customer that the kids will be distracted. Never tell them that the kids will be bored. Those are two different things, anyways.

If you tell the customer that kids will be bored watching your show (or worse, if it is true), then you are not winning a customer. Try to use the correct words to explain what you mean, so the customer has a better idea of what you mean.

By the way, I am not saying to be dishonest and lie. You should always be 100% honest with your customers.

- Donald.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (May 31, 2004 11:00AM)
I had one women hire lots of indoor play stuff so the toddlers who stayed with mum and were too young for the party could play on it at the back during the show. I had to explain that it would distract the kids from the show, and if one kid decides to go and play with little bro' others would follow.

I told her it's best for the toddlers to stay firmly on mum's lap and got her to put the play stuff out of bounds during the games and magic show. This will teach her to read the party tips page, as it was only a 2-hour long party, and I was booked for the 2-hours and that meant she'd hired this stuff for nothing. My tips page does say all toys, bouncy casles etc have to be put away before the party.

The problem is not the kids getting bored with the show, it's too many choices, by limiting the choices at a party IE when the shows on it's the only thing happening, you have no problems. They are used to watching tv and playing at the same time at home. Give them a choice and some will want to watch, go play, come back, go play etc as they try and do both.
Message: Posted by: itsmagic (May 31, 2004 11:09AM)
Outdoors is fine, but you do have to watch out for nieghbors catching a free show from behind you sitting on a balcony. Plus the extreme heat and strong winds don't help either. So it's a good idea to suggest that indoor performing space be available in case outdoors is not suitable.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (May 31, 2004 11:34AM)
Well actually its only happend once, with the bouncy castle and another place were I work they give the kids their food and drink while I'm bout to start in like a box, It doesn't bother me I'm fine I don't see the problem. Unless they get mukky hands on my prstine ironed silks!
Message: Posted by: NJJ (May 31, 2004 05:59PM)
I hate when they set up a table of food right near the show space and kids get up to get food in the middle of the show. They never take their eyes off me as the walk across the room and end up tripping!
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Jun 1, 2004 05:16AM)
I'm lucky at a hotel I work the food is so horrible they don't dare touch the stuff!
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Jun 16, 2004 12:10AM)
"I can certainly do thev show outside if the weather is good. But there has to be good solid shade for both me and the audience, and there has to be dry level ground."
Message: Posted by: triadsong (Jun 16, 2004 07:31AM)
I love to perform outdoors and my act is set to work both inside or out with some slight modification! Although I work with a Party store to book me I always make a call to the Host/ess of the party to confirm the time and discuss the performing space. It's easy enough to make changes if I know before hand that I'll be outside.

Fortunately I haven't had problems with bounce castles or other attractions but then again, the summer is just about to begin.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 3, 2004 11:45AM)
Great, my first outdoor show at 4 PM today and heat index is suppose to be 103. It's under a pavilion however. I'll know what to say at least (suggest) the next time.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Jul 3, 2004 03:55PM)
Twice last year, (when I was still doing outside jobs) I started the show in brilliant sunshine and got showered on half way through. It's only takes the first spit of rain and that's it show over, My stuff does not get wet, period!. That's why I've clamped down on it this year and stopped it.
Message: Posted by: MagicalPirate (Jul 3, 2004 06:10PM)
The Ez Up makes a great solution to this problem. They easy to up (hence the name EZ Up) and they provide shelter for your props and you while you are performing. If you set up 2 you have cover for you and the kids.

Martin :pirate:
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Jul 3, 2004 06:30PM)
I gather you mean the pop-up gazebos, B&Q do them about 70 quid a piece, sides are extra, 3m x 3m 2 man easy assemble things, the cover stays attached and you just pull the corners apart and extend the legs, Add the sides and you can have it up in less than 10 minutes. However they're only usefull if you have the time to put it up and take it down between shows and someone to help you do it.

I've got a couple of outdoor events this year, (I booked them before I put on a total ban on outdoor shows), and I'm buying one to use to perform out of, they will give me shelter from wind and rain and I can add a backdrop 1 third of the way from the back to give me a hideaway at the back between shows.

If it works I will then do outdoor fetes, but charge them a lot more to allow for the extra time & effort required to bring and set up the gazebo, (My own sheltered stage). I'd also do birthday parties in the gardens as long as they paid extra for me to bring along and set up my own sheltered stage.
Message: Posted by: EricHenning (Jul 8, 2004 06:04AM)
I can perform outdoors and have done everything from Renaissance Festivals to street magic in Paris. But unless it's an outdoor event to begin with (such as a picnic with shelter), I generally shy away from performing outdoors. I have a different, bulletproof show for outdoor events.

The request usually comes from parents booking a birthday party. I explain my reasons with a smile in my voice - after all, my job is to help them make their party the best it can be. Here are the reasons I give:

- Too many distractions
- Outdoors means "running around" to kids, so they are less likely to understand that they must sit still for a show
- Humidity and wind mean I can't do my best material
- Sudden storms in summer can ruin the show for the kids
- Uninvited strangers can wander in
- If it is too hot and/or humid, some kids may get sick
- Bug bites

And this year, here in Maryland, I had the best reason of all: CICADAS. These locusts appear every 17 years, wreak havoc and, at their peak, make a loud hum that sounds like a UFO landing - and is as loud as a jet engine. Since people move in and out of the Washington, DC area often, I had to explain to many parents just what the cicadas were. In every case, they thanked me at the event for steering them in the right direction.

Back to the point (and I do have one): There is no need to volunteer for a bad venue. As Renee Lavand says, create the best possible performing situation, because the client wants the best from you, and you want to be able to do your best.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 21, 2004 06:03AM)
Kyle wrote: "Many of the houses I work at for birthday parties are small houses and the customer needs to have the party outdoors because of limited space problems. If I can offer a fun show that can be done outside, I am providing a solution to one of their problems. "

Absolutely, seems all of the birthday parties here are either at a pavilion/park, or in the backyard. My only request is shade. I place a frozen bottle of ice in my rabbit travel carrier and ensure he is in the shade.

I love daycares and am doing my best to book/hook these.

Message: Posted by: Ricardo_magician (Aug 9, 2004 08:18AM)
Hi with workin outside I have to change my routine just incase its a bit windy as a bit of wind can ruin a whole effect,

Ricardo The Magician
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Aug 19, 2004 11:05AM)
On 2004-05-26 16:02, Astinus wrote:
I figure if we are getting paid to do a show, we are in no place to make demands....they should be making the demands.
I agree. The performer should have solutions, not contribute to the clients problems. A "no-can-do" performer is negative, which equals "not very entertaining" in the mind of the prospect.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Aug 19, 2004 11:21AM)
I think if you tell them what you need then they respect you for it rather then go along with it and you do a bad show. you are the proffesional at the end of the day.
Message: Posted by: Jim Tighe (Aug 23, 2004 06:52AM)
For birthday parties I have an indoor and an outdoor price. This usually brings the show indoors. For fairs, festivals, etc. the higher fee being paid makes up for the inconvenience.

I feel you have to be compensated in some way for the outdoor factors: wind, rain, muddy grounds, extreme heat, terrble angles, uneven terrain, distraction factors, etc.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Aug 23, 2004 08:35AM)
Just yesterday I did a family show outdoors and it went beautifully.
At the direction of the hostess, the audience was seated on the grass (facing the sun; not something I would have done myself) and there was plenty of shade for all of us.
Best of all, the show was done on a deck, facing the audience that was raised about one foot.
Plus the weather was perfect -- sunny and not too hot.

But, as everyone who has done this knows, that is the exception to the rule!
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Aug 23, 2004 02:06PM)
That's right peter, if you could garuntee perfect conditions everytime it would be OK. But once you've had a show spoilt by a sudden unexpected downpour on what was a beutiful bright sunny day, you soon learn not to take many chances.

Alan yes your right we should have solutions to the problems. mine is to tell them that we have to do the magic/games indoors and they can feed them outdoors so the mess stays out there. If they don't want to do that and insist on having the party in the garden I turn the job away.
Message: Posted by: Ultimate Magic (Aug 23, 2004 02:23PM)
Hi Mikael

It really does depend on what the ocassion is, birthday, fun day, BBQ for adults? I perform card and coin magic, D'Lites, Pen Through, the list goes on as long as the prop wont BLOW AWAY!! I perform Walkabout using 6 Axtell Puppets. great fun for young and old alike outside, try them! Oh! and balloons! Just think of the fresh air!!! Relax and enjoy the show! Variety is the spice of life.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Aug 23, 2004 02:51PM)
Since the mainstay for my magic performances for years and years was Renaissance Faires and other outdoor arenas I built a show accordingly. I did five shows yesterday, all out of doors and all with the threat of rain imminent. I think that if one is frequently asked to perform outside it would be advantageous to construct an act which would allow one to do so. It really isn't all that difficult and the guerrilla aspects of outdoor perform serve well to sharpen ones presentational skills. I have an outdoor act that can be performed completely surrounded and in a variety of terrains and weather conditions mmainly because the venues I performed in required me to do so.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Aug 24, 2004 03:54AM)
This summer in the uk we have had days filled with a spell of bright sunshine, interrupted by sudden heavy showers. If you live in a part of the world where the weather is more predictable it wouldn't be such a problem. But if your in someones garden and it suddenly rains, everyone has to rush indoors, you have to throw your stuff back in the box and move it all indoors, by the time you sort yourself and the kids out you've just about run out of show time. So the booker gets a short show, and if you do have time to continue you have to get the kids attention back. I'd rather not take the chance of the show being ruined.
Message: Posted by: Loual4 (Aug 25, 2004 03:36PM)
Well, for the past couple of months I have had the chance to do quite a few birthday parties outside. I have no problems with that. What I am carefull with, howerver, is to make sure that my illusions are not the type that will casually blow away during the performance. A second thing wich I believe is very important, is to make sure that the children have plenty of shade over them. There is nothing worse than having kids get sunburned because they watched the magician for a full hour under a scorching sun!

Have a good day!
Message: Posted by: magicbern (Aug 25, 2004 04:49PM)
I also get a lot of calls for outdoor shows and basically I do my regular show with a few adjustments:
1) limit the show to 20-25 mins
2) steer away from silks or cardboard-type effects that need to be put on a staand 9and susceptible to winds!)
3) try to ensure that at least the kids are not facing the sun (But I am, unfortunately! )
4) ask the host to provide some kind of mat or large towels to sit on so the kids don't get 'antsy' (literally!)

You may want to look into Brian Flora's audio and video called 'Playing the Outdoor Show) it has a lot of 'workers' tips on this kind of venue!

Although we may find these shows uncomfortable, I think as professionals we should be able to adapt our act to suit the venue (and not the other way around)>
Anyway, this is my personal feeling based on my exeprience in HK; I hope I haven't offended those who feel otherwise on this topic!
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Sep 8, 2004 04:59AM)
And yet another outdoor show this Saturday on 9/11.
We have cooler weather this week and I thought it would last through the weekend.