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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » To sit or stand - which is professional? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Potty the Pirate
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I sit down loads. Actually, if fitness is an indicator, you need to be pretty darn fit to keep standing up and sitting down again, trust me! Sitting makes you instantly more accessible, and less intimidating, as Steve realises. What you don't apparently realise Steve, is that sometimes that's exactly what you want.
I think kid-show performers who NEVER sit down probably have a few things to learn about connecting with kids. Standing throughout your show might be appropriate for a whole school; but if you're performing an intimate show in someone's front room, then sitting for parts of your show is de rigeur, no?
I take the opportunity to sit down at various times: when playing games with the kids, during vent routines, during certain magic routines, when performing close-up for kids, sometimes when chatting to the kids, nd very often whilst balloon twisting.
If you stand and twist a balloon, the kids can't see what you're doing. Get down to their level, and they can watch closely - just as they can see close-up magic.
Tony James makes some very good points about movement on stage, swaying, pacing, etc. His post is the most informative on this thread.
To sit down when it's appropriate, is far the most professional thing to do. But in all honesty, it's something you tend to do more by instinct than by design. Sure, I HAVE to sit for most of my puppet routines, as that's how they've been blocked. But otherwise I'll sit as and when it's going to fit the group I'm working with.
This reminds me of the concept of sitting (or lying down) whilst singing. The best position for the performer is standing (it allows the diaphragm to work unimpeded, and makes the "job" very simple). Sitting down whilst singing is considerably more difficult, as the diaphragm now cannot move as freely, and the performer must work a lot harder to produce a good sound. Lying on the ground whilst singing is harder still. Of course, opera singers routinely require this skill. There are many long and drawn-out death scenes in opera! The body is now in one of the least appropriate positions for singing (bar standing on one's head). A good singer can still produce a fine and beautiful tone in this position. Likewise, a fine entertainer can still be entertaining, regardless of the position he adopts.
So there you have it - if you can still be funny and perform magic whilst standing on your head - then I say "go for it!"
:)
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Potty, do you bring a folding chair or something with you? I myself don't have any strict rules regarding sitting or standing. I adopt the position that seems appropriate to the situation. I have a lot movement in my act, and it's become well routined. I do adapt to different venues, the living room definitely requires a different approach than a stage, a large audience is different from a small intimate one. I think as we become more experienced, we become more intuitive about how to best fill the stage. I am however, interested in sitting more with my puppets, especially for my day care shows. As far as being intimidating, I'm a really little guy, only 5'4", so I don't tend to intimidate much of anyone. But I remember when I was three how I thought my mom (5'0") was a giant. It's all about perspective.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
Chris Capstone
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Tulsa, OK
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One thing to consider when doing either is how does it affect the audience's ability see what your doing from the best angle. If small children are sitting on the floor, and very close to you because the room is small, sitting may work better for some routines.

I saw a situation where the kids had to look up at an extreme angle because the performer was standing too close and the kids were sitting on the floor. The kids looked uncomfortable at times. As the show progressed some kids began to recline back so they could see without straining their necks. Other kids simply started looking down to give their necks a rest. I could tell the performer was becoming frustrated as he started loosing the attention of the group. The kids and parents could tell he was frustrated as well. It wasn't pretty.

All that performer needed to do was back away a few feet from the first row and everything would have been much easier for him. In this instance he had the room to do so. If he hadn't had the room, he could have sat for as many routines as practical.

Some props and puppets don't play well when performing seated, but some do. Props like the egg bag or the Chinese sticks can be worked entirely in the hands so they would work well while sitting. Props with multiple components that require a table top are probably best performed standing.

I like the idea of bringing the atmosphere down after a wild and crazy routine by sitting down and doing a quiet story telling trick. I think it shows your client that you are in complete control of the kids. It's very impressive to a client to watch you bring the kids to edge of insanity and then instantly and effortlessly calm them down.

In fact, your ability to control the kids will probably be as impressive to some clients as the routines you do. Especially if they have experience working with children.
Chris Capstone
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