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TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13396 Posts

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Can you admit to yourself that you don't play as well in certain venues?

The venues that I would have the most trouble would be a comedy club
or a kid's school show (k-6).

My act is not built for a comedy club in terms of an opener.
I would have to rewrite my opener for my act to work at a comedy club.
I've done comedy night at a university (me and 4 other comics) and it went well but a comedy club is still different.

Second, my act does not work extremely well for a k-6 school show.
I do them occasionally and they are ok but being on an actual stage with kids in the audience, I don't feel a good connection like I would want.

Where, dare I ask, do you feel your act is not a good fit?
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
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Jeff Haas
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Special user
907 Posts

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I hate working for drunks. And company parties. And drunks at company parties.
MagicSanta
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Inner circle
Northern Nevada
5845 Posts

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Pre teens and early teens. I tend not to like that age so I don't bother with them. Little children and adult shows I'm fine with.
Scott Burton
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Inner circle
1131 Posts

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The more I tailor my shows to the business crowd, the more I find that my act doesn't play as well in alternative situations. I actually don't mind this since its on purpose. It's an effect of specialization.

Specialization (great at one thing and no-so-good at many other things) can actually be very attractive to those whom you specifically target.

No shame in letting people know what you're great at and what you are not great at. In fact, I believe that letting a potential client know when it may not be best to hire you will earn you great respect, trust, and credibility.
Ken Northridge
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Atlantic City, NJ
2273 Posts

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One of my favorite sayings is, “part of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb at.” Yes, I can admit there are venues I do not do well. I don’t do adult shows and pre school well. I have a desire to concur these venues some day, but for now I focus on what brings me the most satisfaction (and money Smile). For me, I’m on top of my game with the K-6 crowd.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Tony Thomas
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Inner circle
North Carolina
1240 Posts

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I couldn't do any sort of strolling magic. I'm learning more close up routines and working on this, but I would not accept a payed gig for close up, strolling, or table hopping. I refer these type gigs to friends. I would only be good at this point on stage or doing a stage type show. Also, my act would need some serious work to be good for an all adult crowd. Currently the shows I do best are for families, or kids.
From the Encouraging Magic of...
Tony Thomas
www.magictonythomas.com
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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It's all good stuff. A pre school show full of three year old kids just sacres me to death, but other than that I like to go with the flow. I do pretty much the same show for all age groups (with some exceptions), but my presentation is different for every venu, or age group. My stand up comedy club show is about the same, but with a lot more jokes than tricks. Make no mistake about it at the comedy club your heart will start to poun just hearing them announce your name, because if you are not funny they will soon let you know.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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I developed my act with the hopes that somehow I could be everything to everybody, which, although I know now that isn't possible or even really desirable, has given me quite a bit of range. But there are some things for which I would still recommend another perforner. I'm working on my comedy club presentation of the act and my stage version generally, which will also help in big school shows. That's come a long way this year since I started forcing myself to use the traditional mic and sound system I bought. This has given the act a more 'stand-up comedy' feel, and almost all venues with sound have a traditional mic, rarely a headset. It's funny how this little thing, just getting used to a hand-held mic, has changed the act in a good way. The act had gotten to where it was geared too much to small settings, birthdays and such, just by virtue of doing so many of them. Still, I would tend to avoid the 12 to 22 crowd if there weren't a few kids and older people sprinkled in. It's interesting that the act will play great for people in that age group, they really enjoy it, if they think I'm doing it for the little kids.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
Andrew
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Loyal user
285 Posts

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I've found my best shows are those for families...parents and their children. This always seems to be just the right chemistry. Even when doing children’s birthday parties, that mix seems to work better than when the audience is only children.

I'm still analyzing the reasons for this…it’s not always the case, but does seem to be a dominate factor in my shows.

andrew
Andrew
Professional Provider of Wonderment!
www.andrewsfamilymagic.com
Mary Mowder
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Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
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Tiny kid parties. A real one, not a family party for a little kid.

I pass them on to a really talented Magician Gal Pal who is also GREAT with that age group.

I don't work with animals and I have two very talented friends I can pass those shows on to.

- Mary Mowder
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13396 Posts

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Quote:
On 2010-07-07 00:53, Andrew wrote:
I've found my best shows are those for families...parents and their children. This always seems to be just the right chemistry. Even when doing children’s birthday parties, that mix seems to work better than when the audience is only children.

I'm still analyzing the reasons for this…it’s not always the case, but does seem to be a dominate factor in my shows.

andrew


Wrong answer Andrew. This is about admitting which shows your act does NOT play as well. Of course we can figure out which are the ones you might not be best at but it will be therapeutic for you to let us know.

Please re-post Smile
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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I tried out for Great Adventure many years ago, thinking there are lots of kids there. Wrong... My kids show does not work when there were very few kids (K-6 grade). Great Adventure are young adults and they want a different type of magic.

FYI:Strolling Magic and Illusions work there and pay is not the best.
Dennis Michael
Magic Arty
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Elite user
metro Atlanta
443 Posts

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Venues where the audience is too far away. The banquet room where they set the room up with the "dance floor of death" between the stage and the audience. My show just dies in that situation.
atsmagic
Arthur Atsma

Feeling real happy now!
Ken Northridge
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Atlantic City, NJ
2273 Posts

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This seems like a good place to tell this story.

Last week I went on a Carnival Cruise with my family. I decided to enter the talent show thinking that maybe the cruise director might take a liking to me (you never know). In the line up there were mainly karaoke singers. Carnival provided a live band to accompany them. They weren’t too bad.

When it was my turn to audition, I simply asked for a wireless microphone and was surprised to learn they could not provide me with one. So, in the very large show room my act died. My routine is dependant on me walking out the audience to get hands on and close up reactions. I bounce around the stage with a lot of energy. Every time I walked away from the microphone I felt like I disappeared or something. I was also told there is a strict ‘no comedy’ rule. What?

Anyway, I decided not to even do the show. Instead, I had a cocktail with my family at the comedy show.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Skip Way
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My Fright Group is the early teens - 10 thru 14. I pass all of my Mitzvahs on to other entertainers in the area. I will never do another one. Individually, I connect extremely well with this age group in my restaurant and festival appearances, but when you get them together into a group - The Lord of the Flies seems to kick in.

Young kids and adult gigs - no sweat.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Quote:
On 2010-07-07 07:44, Magic Arty wrote:
Venues where the audience is too far away. The banquet room where they set the room up with the "dance floor of death" between the stage and the audience. My show just dies in that situation.


I HATE when the set-up is like this. People who organize these events have no idea (naturally, how would they?) how much different the dynamic for a band is from a comedy, magic or variety act. Same here, no audience access, no energy, no good.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
Potty the Pirate
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I also prefer to avoid the 11-15 year age group. Though these kids are fine with close-up magic, and there are entertainers who enjoy working with them, I prefer kids up to ten years old, and family shows.
My most hated environment for performing magic is table hopping in a restaurant. I take my hat off to those who do this, but for me, it's the practical side of things which becomes a drag. Firstly, you have to respect that this is a working environment for the waiters, and their needs come first. Then, you can't approach a table when thye've just been served with their main course. The need to constantly scan the room, and decide on the next several tables you'll approach, depending on how far they've progressed with their meal, makes it a big chore. Events where the meal is served to all parties aimultaneously makes this even more difficult, as you have to try to cover as much ground as you can, in between order-taking, and soup-slurping. Then there will probably be a period when nearly all tables are on their main course, so you have to stop until they're finished. This is the time when lots of folks go to the restroom, so again, you have to negotiate your way around the tables in a very considered manner.
Overall, it's just not my idea of fun, though I do enjoy table hopping in bars and Cafés, where the atmosphere is much more relaxed.
I wouldn't consider my act for a comedy club, but I've never designed my shows to be performed in these venues.
:)
TonyB2009
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There are two types of gigs I positively hate. I don't like close-up, because it bores me and I will only do it if I am paid well. And I don't like black-tie affairs, because the type of twits who go to black-tie events are the sort of people who offend my deeply socialist roots.
In comedy clubs I can always win over the audience, but rarely the promoters. I suspect it's my awkward and prickly personality.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13396 Posts

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Quote:
On 2010-07-07 07:44, Magic Arty wrote:
Venues where the audience is too far away. The banquet room where they set the room up with the "dance floor of death" between the stage and the audience. My show just dies in that situation.


When I get a gig where I think there even might be a dance floor I let them know there should not be a dance floor between me and the audience. I did a show a month or 2 ago where there was a dance floor and I just set up right out on the dance floor to reduce the distance. That almost made it a circle show. A bit weird on the angles but do-able and better than having a huge GAP between me and them.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
1054 Posts

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Quote:
On 2010-07-07 09:04, Ken Northridge wrote:
This seems like a good place to tell this story.

When it was my turn to audition, I simply asked for a wireless microphone and was surprised to learn they could not provide me with one. So, in the very large show room my act died. My routine is dependant on me walking out the audience to get hands on and close up reactions. I bounce around the stage with a lot of energy. Every time I walked away from the microphone I felt like I disappeared or something. I was also told there is a strict ‘no comedy’ rule. What?

Anyway, I decided not to even do the show. Instead, I had a cocktail with my family at the comedy show.


A strict 'no comedy' rule would rule me out, that's about all I have is comedy.

But this sort of situation is why I started making myself use the traditional, wired, hand-held (or on a stand) mic. I'd find myself in a big room where my little sound system wouldn't be adequate, my wireless headset mic could never be successfully used with their system, and inevitably the DJ would have a beautiful, great sounding, professional system but only a hand-held mic. Sometimes it would be wireless, but more often than not it would be wired. Since I wasn't used to working that way, it ruined the timing of the show. Like you said, when I'd walk away from the mic I would practically disappear (from the audience's attention anyway). I was so used to being able to walk around freely and work that way, I knew that the only way to get used to the other was to make myself always work that way, mic in hand or on a stand. It's actually been kind of liberating because I feel much more confident in venues where I didn't before. Being confident with a microphone in your hand is very useful. It has also helped me reshape the act, out of necessity, but it's been a good thing. The act plays bigger now than it used to. Plus, if for any reason someone would ever like to try out comedy clubs, it's appropriate to use their stuff, not to set up your own system. You get points right off for looking like you know what you're doing with a traditional microphone.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
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