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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » The WORST place to try and do magic...this is it!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Curtis Kam
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same as you, plus 3 and enough to make
3498 Posts

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DO NOT, under any circumstances, work a stage gig at a polo field.

Before the horses came out (at least they got that right) they told me to set up in the only place everyone could see, which was right at the edge of the field, in the center. Of course, we were outside, in the wind, and backlight by the sun. Of course, no one could hear a word I said. Don't worry, they said, we'll have a PA system.

And they did. Like all stadium PA systems, it was set to garble everything uttered into it. Even worse, the speakers were all directed towards the field. Every unintelligible thing I said went straight over the heads of the crowd, and was blasted right at me. Of course, we were right on time with the music, since all we could hear was some fuzz-encrusted version of the bass line thumping. But the audience couldn't even hear that, and what applause (or any reaction for that matter) there might have been was lost to the wind as well.

But even that's not the worst I've heard of. I once got into this discussion--more of a bragging session--with some of the regulars from the Magic Castle. One of the guys (I will withold the name) said he had worked the valet line at a posh party. People would pull up, he'd have them pick a card through the car window, and they'd drive up a little further. He had to decide whether to chase them, or just let them go and start again. I don't think he ever finished a trick.

And even that wasn't the worst. There's the story told (of the same performer) working a roomful of people, not to absolute silence, but to bizarre grunting and gurgling noises. Turns out the audience was entirely people with mechanical voice boxes, and they could only speak or laugh intelligibly by holding a microphone up to their throats, which they naturally did not do, sitting in the audience.

Strangely, one gig I thought would be tough, but wasn't, was the Skeptics Society convention. They were a great crowd.
Is THAT a PALMS OF STEEL 5 Banner I see? YARRRRGH! Please visit The Magic Bakery
Cory Gallupe
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Inner circle
Nova Scotia, Canada
1272 Posts

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I would think the worst place is one a Iraq street, while there are bombings, people are playing soccer, a man is grabbing for your props, they are drunk, they are dieing as you are performing, you lost your legs. Hmmm. Ya, that would definatley suck...
joseph
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Eternal Order
Please ignore my
17290 Posts

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Quote:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yeah... what is it with plumbers??? I've only done one show for them and it definitely was in the toilet.
Quote

Wow, you could have gotten revenge, and charged them $200/hour for once.....
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
art the magic guy!
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back in the USA, FINALLY!!
159 Posts

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Ha ha!!! I performed a few magic tricks here in baghdad!!! its actually pretty well! no one here has heard, much less seen magic in decades. I performed an ACR, 3CM and 2CM to the Iraqi police, Iraqi army guys in some time off and plenty of locals out in the streets. they couldn't believe their eyes. and after they gave me their decks and did the acr, it was on from there!

everytime the people see me now they come and bring their decks of cards looking for the "saharr" (wizard in arabic).

believe me its not a bad place at all to do magic. just have to make sure you know when Smile
I AM AN AMERICAN SOLDIER
I will ALWAYS place the mission first
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I will NEVER quit
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Kozmo
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Do a street corner in new orleans when everyone thinks you are a theif!

tough venues ...come on..attack them if they don't want to watch...win evrytime
koz
shaunproof
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Parts Unknown
228 Posts

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I've done some corporate parties at bowling alleys. Many people don't bowl and entertaining those people is an option. I've noticed that when I perform, people will stop bowling and watch what I do. Maybe there's something wrong with your introduction?
StuBeck
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The bowling alley is funny though...you should have a custom oversize clown like bowling shirt made...if the venue would let you bowl youself down the lane...maybe do the bowling ball from case or bowl a rama for the people who are milling about...although they're not strolling effects by any means...short 'shows' could work if you structure it right...depending on how the alley is stuctured.

Sb
Tom Jorgenson
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LOOSE ANGLES, CALIFORNIA
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See, now in this thread you've got the marks of real pro's....sometimes you have to just kick the chickens off the stage and do the dam act!

Time passes, you get thru it, and with any luck, the check doesn't bounce.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Chad C.
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My worst experience was at a Relay for Life Event. I was about to perform in the middle of a football field with folks walking around the track. Right as I was about to start, the PA system announced that a severe storm was moving our way fast and the event was cancelled. About 2 minutes later, as I was finishing packing up, I heard a roaring sound, turned around, and to my complete surprise, saw several of the huge tents (with metal poles still attached) flying through the air. Then my table flew off along with half my props.

As everyone ran from the storm, I took my briefcase back to my car, and instead of getting in, I ran back to the field and found my table up against the fence around the stadium. That was a pretty stupid thing to do as several people had to be taken to the hospital due to injuries from flying tents, poles, magic tables, etc.

Pretty bad experience.

Chad
steve j
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Long Island, New York
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I can understand why you think that the bowling alley is a bad place, but I have done magic there and have never had a problem with that, I understood that the tricks needed to be kept short so I came up with tricks that were seconds long and ones that had a great impact leaving them wanting to see magic more than bowl and further into doing magic I was able to do longer tricks. Mind you I couldn't do tricks like my ACR because it took to long but tricks that we slightly longer, mostly tricks with the aces. I believe that you can successfully perform great magic anywhere, you just need to understand the environment that you find yourself in and adapt.
chichi711
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Quote:
On 2004-10-08 09:35, Michael Baker wrote:
The funeral home cracks me up! Anyone remember the funeral magic skit on SNL? Hilarious!

I've worked in a bowling alley locker room. That sucked really bad. The benches were screwed to the floor and spaced about 3 feet apart. I had to set up my tables, etc., and work in between them.

I was also hired to do a show years ago when I was doing a full-blown dove act that finished with the production of a big white duck. When I got to the "location" where this group was having their banquet, I found out it was at the far end of a train car that had been converted to a restaurant. Nothing could be wheeled on casters down the aisle... too crowded. Every case had to be picked up and carried over the heads of the people eating at the tables.

Other nightmares include:

1) a Christmas party where my backdrop was a giant (20' wide) projection screen showing the SEC championship game. I'm still not sure if anyone knows I was there.

2) standing on the sidelines in a high school football stadium at the 50 yard line

3) on the trampoline-like floor at a gymnastics competition

4) standing with my heels against the edge of a swimming pool

5) in the 250-seat auditorium of a psych hospital where the 8 people in attendance sat in the back row, except for one guy who sat front row, dead center with folded arms and a very angry look on his face.

My best? I worked the Christmas party for the employees at a local strip club. I got to share the dressing room with the dancers.


You have at least had some fun over the years. I cant believe half of those. Too funny
chichi711
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Quote:
On 2005-12-30 14:48, Chad C. wrote:
My worst experience was at a Relay for Life Event. I was about to perform in the middle of a football field with folks walking around the track. Right as I was about to start, the PA system announced that a severe storm was moving our way fast and the event was cancelled. About 2 minutes later, as I was finishing packing up, I heard a roaring sound, turned around, and to my complete surprise, saw several of the huge tents (with metal poles still attached) flying through the air. Then my table flew off along with half my props.

As everyone ran from the storm, I took my briefcase back to my car, and instead of getting in, I ran back to the field and found my table up against the fence around the stadium. That was a pretty stupid thing to do as several people had to be taken to the hospital due to injuries from flying tents, poles, magic tables, etc.

Pretty bad experience.

Chad


Did you at least take credit for levitating tents and tables?
Nash
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Hong Kong ~ USA
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I once heard Mac King did a show after a funeral.. he tried hard to turn it down but the host insisted that the kids need it... you know how the story goes..

is Mac on this site too??? I'd love to hear the entire story from the man himself lol..
Don't give up, don't EVER give up.

Corporate event magician
Lee Darrow
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Chicago, IL USA
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Honest to goodness, when one of the local event planner/agents passed away here in Chicago this year, HER request was that all of the performers in her cadre come and perform at her funeral - she did NOT want the event to be a sad, teary mess, but a celebration of her life!

Now THAT'S an idea I can get behind and one reason why, when my loving wife suggested it, that I led the assemblage at Jay Marshall's funeral in his Last Standing Ovation.

But for someone who is not a performer, it's probably not such a good idea to perform unless the family asks, of course. But on those few occasions where I have ben asked to "do a few tricks in the coffee room" at the funeral home, they have been received very well, indeed.

As for the worst, well, the hypno show I did at the Hancock Building a couple of weeks ago comes to mind... as does the one where we were run off of a graduation party at a high school football field by a tornado... or was it the one with the swarm of hornets that attacked the audience (I didn't do it, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)...

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
ed rhodes
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Rhode Island
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Quote:
On 2005-12-31 01:07, Nash wrote:
I once heard Mac King did a show after a funeral.. he tried hard to turn it down but the host insisted that the kids need it... you know how the story goes..

is Mac on this site too??? I'd love to hear the entire story from the man himself lol..



My uncle told dirty jokes outside the actual viewing room during my grandmonther's funeral. Sometimes that's how people cope.
"All the world's a stage, but the play is badly cast!" - Oscar Wilde
Josh Chaikin
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Kansas City
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I was booked to perform at the "Fringe Festival" in Kansas City last month. I was told that I wouldn't get paid, because it was a not for profit event, but the Kansas City Star would be there. I figured free publicity would be good, and I could break in new material. The festival ran for three days, and I told the girl who contacted me which day I preferred to work. She said that would be fine, as she didn't have a band for that day.

Basically, I was to perform at the intermission of a fashion show, around 9:30 PM. I show up around 7:00, and my contact says, "Oh, you were going to perform tonight?" Bells should've gone off, but they didn't. By the time 10:00 came along, the show hadn't even started yet, and I couldn't find the girl who contacted me initially, and all the other volunteers didn't know what was going on. There was no mention of me in the program to even indicate it was thought through.

I ended up leaving, I decided it wasn't worth the hassle. So I guess this was the worst place I've never performed at.
mattsharpe
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Paradise, Newfoundland
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Quote:
On 2005-12-10 07:35, Curtis Kam wrote:
DO NOT, under any circumstances, work a stage gig at a polo field.

This reminded me very much of a show I did at a local Speedway. Basically I had a very very long line of bleechers, and only a 15 foot distance between the bleechers and the fence.

I opted to bring my own PA, because I had considered how poorly the PA in this kind of area would be(which turned out to be a good idea). I had to try and play my show to everyone in the crowd, yet only 1/4 of them could see it at any given time. This was one of my more difficult situations, but it could have been worse.

I've got a decent pic to give an idea on the setup, but the photo couldn't even fit all of the bleechers in one shot.
http://www.newfoundlandmagic.com/images/IMGP4172.JPG

There are about another 75-100 people behind the camera.
Matt
Ethan
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UK
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I've had a few really bad gigs but the two worst ever would be:

1. At a gypsy camp where as we performed the kids were trying to steal our props and even as we drove off at the end they were trying to mis-direct us while another opened our back car door to try and grab something.

2. A sponsored walk where we had to perform while they walked, as it turned out it rained very hard all day so we were quite glad expecting no one to turn up, unfortunately they did, so we had to walk in the pouring rain while entertaining them. Very tricky. I discovered even balloon modeling is difficult in the rain as the balloons become very slippy and undo continually.
derrick
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I dug holes for
1044 Posts

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The place I had the hardest time keeping the kids attention at was at a Chucky Cheese. Even though they have birthday party rooms that are semi-private, too much stuff is going on outside and the anticipation of getting out in the middle of it all is just too much for most kids to handle. It is not always possible but I really try to avoid birthday parties at places like Chucky Cheese, the bowling ally, roller rink, etc. where it can be tough to establish the fact you are the main entertainment - at least for that period of time.

Worst time trying to perform a show - Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores Alabama about 6-years ago - my stage was right on the on the beach and there were 25 to 35 mile an hour winds. The wind was blowing too hard to set up any of my tables, sand was everywhere, but there was no rain so the show had to go on.

I quickly changed out tricks that wouldn't blow away and put together as much show as I could. Performed a rope routine, egg bag, puppet routine, some balloon twisting gags and a watch steal. Later that day a storm blew in and blew away the stage. They had to cancel the rest of the festival.

Derrick
ed rhodes
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Rhode Island
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Quote:
On 2005-12-30 14:48, Chad C. wrote:
My worst experience was at a Relay for Life Event. I was about to perform in the middle of a football field with folks walking around the track. Right as I was about to start, the PA system announced that a severe storm was moving our way fast and the event was cancelled. About 2 minutes later, as I was finishing packing up, I heard a roaring sound, turned around, and to my complete surprise, saw several of the huge tents (with metal poles still attached) flying through the air. Then my table flew off along with half my props.

As everyone ran from the storm, I took my briefcase back to my car, and instead of getting in, I ran back to the field and found my table up against the fence around the stadium. That was a pretty stupid thing to do as several people had to be taken to the hospital due to injuries from flying tents, poles, magic tables, etc.

Pretty bad experience.

Chad


It's only stupid if you get caught (ie, smacked in the head with flying debris.)

No, you're right. It was stupid.

...but you got your table back, didn't 'cha?
"All the world's a stage, but the play is badly cast!" - Oscar Wilde
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