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Eric Leclerc
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Ottawa Ontario
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I would probably go up to him and congratulate him on a good show! I have class after all.. I am sure he would do the same.
magic4u02
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It is ok to agree to disagree. That is what makes the Café great. We can have our own opinions, but that does not mean we can not respect each other as performers.

Kyle
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Eric Leclerc
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Well said Kyle.. I think a little shaking things up up from time to time can be healthy.
RJE
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I disagree with Eric, but I hold no malice toward him. I believe he and I are talking about two very different type of show environments. I have been talking about the type of show where you are put into a large room (Banquet Hall, Factory Caféteria, etc...) and you are not the only focus in the room.



[quote]On 2005-02-10 09:54, RJE wrote:

"When you are doing a birthday party or small show, that is one situation where direct action might have a chance to be successful and extreme tact and professionalism is required.

If you are doing a larger show, in a banquet hall, company Caféteria, car dealership showroom etc... then the problem multiplies and becomes very difficult.

First of all, the adults congregated at the back, are now talking in multiple groups. There could be 10 or more groups of 2 to 6 all trying to out talk the noise in the room. You have been hired to fill 1/2 hour of entertainment for children during their 4 hour party.

Your show is not the focus of their party. Your show is decoration, like crepe paper decorations taped to the wall.

Many of the adults could care less that you are there and they are going to do "their own thing." At times like this, getting their attention and holding their attention is not always possible. It just doesn't matter how good your show is or how entertaining you are, THEY AREN'T THERE TO SEE YOUR SHOW. These people did not hire you and these people are not going to hire you. These people aren't cognizant of the show.

You don't have to be rude to them, they aren't being rude to you. They probably aren't aware that you are even working. You are background noise. In these situations, you entertain those that are trying to watch, the kids and those adults nearer the front. For that, you'd better have a good sound system."




I believe Eric has been talking about a more controllable environment, perhaps a show in someone's home, or in a venue where your show is supposed to be the focus of the party. In this instance, you of course attempt to draw in the adults and hold their attention as well as the children's.

So Eric, if I ever do see you perform, I would stop after and say hi. And Holmes, I guess I'll see you at the next meeting and I am looking forward to seeing your show on the island this summer.

Rob
holmes
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Rob. I will indeed see you on the island this summer. You will see the horn being used in great abundance.
You will also see chattering parents being reduced to quivering wrecks and being silenced instantly within seconds.
You will also see them not walking away from the performance until I give them permission to do so.
Decomposed
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When I first started the kids shows, I would try to do more adult effects. This left the little ones awestruck, no laughing, lost in the effect etc. No adults talked back then though. Of course, I have a different approach now and the children are my number one focus. Keeping them laughing and yelling is my primary goal provided the magic is there. When I am dealing with the real itty bitty ones, its really hard to keep the adults entertained unless its "their" little one Im using as a helper etc.

I did two shows Saturday and the first one had some talking and a simple tongue in cheek Shhhhhhh worked fine. The second show was in a gym full of many adults and they were the best behaved yet.
magic4u02
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But I still find , in at least my own performances, that if I engage the kids a lot and get then involved in the magic, the laughter and the excitement I am building, captures the adults attention span and it tends to draw them in a bit.

Does this always work, no not always, but it does help a great deal. I also always strive to make every show I do family-friendly. Even if it is a kid's show, I try to make the show have enough elements of fun so that everyone of any age can enjoy what they are seeing and watching.

Kyle
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mghia
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In reference to your comments on entertaining 1/2 hour at a 4 hour childrens party I have to disagree.

1. The show is the focus at that momment of the party. While you can argue the birthday child is the focus, in a general sense the show is the focus if all the kids are sitting and watching. It is an enhancement to the entire party but they are not paying me big bucks to be crepe paper. For most families, hiring entertainment is one of the larger expenses of the party.

2. While I agree that some audlts like to "do their own thing" by being chatty. They will try to talk over you if you do not do something as soon as it becomes an issue. But I really do not see how you could think these people will never hire you. If their child is there, you do not insult them, and you make their child happy, there is a good chance they WILL hire you.
3. "they are not being rude to you" That is wrong. If there are adults talking so loud right next to your show, they are being rude. First off they are not paying attention to you OR their own child. SO they should leave the room if they want to yak it up. It is very poor behavior to be a distraction. Don't kid yourself. THEY KNOW YOU ARE THERE. They come into the room to see what you are doing and to be near their child. BUT once they loose intrest they should leave and go eat thier finger sandwiches elsewhere or shut up and sit down.
The problem is more that they do not know how loud they are. They slowly increase their volume as you increase yours and then wonder why you call attention to them.

But you are right, no matter what lines you use, if they are going to be a chatty cathy they will go back to talking about nothing since they are stuck at the party.

I see two types of birthday parties. One is ALL for the child. The other is all for the mommies. That is, they run two parites. They assume the magician will be the babysitter and then they go have their own party with some wine and fancy food wraps. It is quite sad when I get the guest of honor up to help and you can see them scanning for mom. But mom in in the other room playing hostess to HER friends.
And many times they feel they should be close to the kids or the rooms connect and that is when they do cross the line and become RUDE!

The problem Rob is that it has nothing to do with ego but everything to do with respect. I agree, you have to perform to the group who wants to see you. AND when it comes to the point were the adults ARE being RUDE and causing a distraction to your show, something must be done to let them know.

So what do I do? I will sometimes stop and point to the group of talkers and say something like "Oh look, you don't want to miss this one. It is really cool." Or "Little Jimmy is a great helper don't you think? DO you have a camera to take a photo for his mom? "(No? Go get one then...)

If they do not get the hint and either calm down or move away, you can always get one up to help! Yes nothing like making them part of the show to get the others to be quiet and watch. Just try to get them up with their child so it does not seem like you are trying to embarass them. And if you have to do it a second time they will shy further away and hopefully be less of bother to the ones you were hired to entertain.
[quote/](On 2005-02-10 09:54, RJE wrote:


Your show is not the focus of their party. Your show is decoration, like crepe paper decorations taped to the wall.

Many of the adults could care less that you are there and they are going to do "their own thing." At times like this, getting their attention and holding their attention is not always possible. It just doesn't matter how good your show is or how entertaining you are, THEY AREN'T THERE TO SEE YOUR SHOW. These people did not hire you and these people are not going to hire you. These people aren't cognizant of the show.

You don't have to be rude to them, they aren't being rude to you. You have to detach your ego but NEVER your professionalism. Do the show for those that want to see it.Rob
[/quote]
Eric Leclerc
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Word......... well said my man
RJE
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Mghia,

You have missed my point entirely. If you reread my previous comments, you will see that I am not talking about a birthday party here. I am talking about a large corporate or other function that can have up to 600 people or more present and is set up like a 3 ring circus. There are distractions galore and you as the performer are but one! Your show IS NOT THE FOCUS for the entire group and IT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE BY THE ORGANIZERS. Your show is the focus for those directly in front of you who are trying to watch it.

I have tried to make this very clear, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT DIFFERENT THINGS!!! You added the word "children's" party. I didn't say that. The "their" I refer to you is the group, children, parents and other adults. Many of these people show up for the company party without a clue as to the itinerary. I am NOT talking about the GB model of planning the entire party (perhaps 4 hours worth)of games shows etc.. for the host and hostess. If you are trying to say that there is a technique for gaining and holding the attention of all in attendance at the type of events that I am describing, I'd say I disagree.

If, however, you were to tell me that there are ways of gaining and holding the attention of those in attendance at a child's birthday party, I would say yes, it can usually, but not always be done. Period. That's it. That's what I've been saying. That's all. IMO, based on over 20 years experience and thousands of shows.

So you see, we don't even disagree on the birthday party aspect. We are on the same side, birthday parties may at times present difficulties with unwanted noise that can and should be dealt with in a non-offensive and professional manner which will usually, but not always, offer some degree of success in controlling the situation.

Rob
mghia
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RJE on Feb 10th you wrote "You have been hired to fill 1/2 hour of entertainment for children during their 4 hour party. " So I did reread your comments BEFORE I posted. Don't get so huffy at me buddy.
So it was only assumed your comnments that followed were based on that.

Sure large groups and fairs can be an issue with noise. You need to contract how your space is controled. If you can not contract it, than you need to be better prepared. I really take issue with you saying the entertainment is not the focus.
You can not argue that in your space, at that momement, you are the focus to all whos eyes look over your way. That is what you are paid for and why you are their. To be a foucus.

In your examples you speak of large areas. Well fine then, while I agree there is all too much fair traffic in the background noise, I go prepared with the proper sound so that MY audience, WHO IS FOCUSED ON ME, will enjoy the show.

It is not a hard thing to talk to the promoter before the show and say something that the better you are heard the better the audience will enjoy the show.
Maybe have them tape off a wider space or set the tables back further.
Honestly, my experience is that in the LARGE events the talking adults dump their children and go off thinking you will babysit. They are not usually the problem compared to the din in the air.

SO you might hve different experiences. But still, RUDE IS RUDE. If they are in your space, they know you are there and should provide the respect any person working deserves. PERIOD.


I could care less if it is a corporate party or a birthday party.
Rude is rude. If the parents are close enough to hear you than they are too close if they want to talk.
That is that.
And I think you have region specific experience on people knowing you will be there. Every large event I am part of, it is advertised to bring the kids for a magic show or to see the entertainment. Very few will go to the trouble to spend the money and not promote that there will be live activities for the family.
Eric Leclerc
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Where where you 10 posts ago bro, I needed you!?!?

that's exactly what I meant in my posts, you summed it all up nicely. Basically, its all in the negociating stage with your contact person that situations like these can be avoided. Preparation is key.....
RJE
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OK guys, forget it. It isn't getting through and its not worth the hassle for any of us.

But, if you find yourself in that frantic Christmas season of bouncing around from banquet hall to Caféteria being booked by three different agents to do 5 different shows in one day between 8 am and 3:30 p.m. with 150 kilometres of driving in terrible conditions and you walk into every venue blind and the clown is working one end of the room and the games are going on next to the buffet where the adults are laughing while enjoying their conversation and attention is scattered everywhere and you have exactly 15 minutes to set up your sound system and show and put on a first rate, knock em over performance to deliver to the 30 children who are sitting in front of you, while all of the rest continues, see if you remember me.

Otherwise, good luck and good performances. I suggest we agree to disagree.

Rob
magic4u02
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I would just say that if you ever foind yourself in that situation as Rob explained, then you really have done a poor job on your end at managing your show and the business side of it. You can not plan for everything, but you certainly can follow steps to insure that certain situations never happen and that you get the ample amount of time you need to set up.

You should also know exactly how long your running time is on any show you do and how long it takes you to pack and load out or load in. Working the festival market, I know these times down to the minute. This becomes important because now you know how much time you need if you book a second show in a particular day.

It requires work, but it is well worth it.

Kyle
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ericsharp
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We always used amplification at any venue except the drawing room, you then have the upper hand. Mind you we entertained in one drawing/lounge with one hundred in front of us and that was only half the lounge occupied. That was in America of course.

Keep the volumn down to a minimum during normal use, you will be respected for it.

Eric and Muriel
magic4u02
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I always bring amplification and my sound system to most every show I do. Even if I may not actually use it, it is always a good rule of thumb just knowing I have it just incase. Over the years I have just learned to be prepared for any situation and have an out for anything.

Kyle
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