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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Tips from a Librarian (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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charliecheckers
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On 2014-02-20 23:53, Bazinga wrote:
That's true Charlie. But not just for inexperienced newcomers. In my case, doing this for over 40 years, being known and drawing a crowd isn't an issue. But when my price is sometimes 3 to 5 times that of others, I need to help the librarian justify to the board that expense. "A well known draw" is not always going to be enough of an explination. I need to show them how much I care about them and what they are trying to do.

The more we make it about them, the more we'll make.
Bazinga - true enough, it is sound business not to rely solely on your past and current success. The reason I my post made a distinction is because I know of performers who do little or nothing to specifically accommodate the library market, yet they are very successful at booking high priced shows based upon their drawing power alone.
The Mighty Fool
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What an excellent thread!! Thanks for the frank, straight info PG!
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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As an avid reader I share my love of books and libraries during my programs.

For you school show performers many if you have moved from assemblies in the gym/commons to the library.

Things like:
literary night
FUNd raisers
Birthday and books
Career day
Historical presentations

are all possible connections to modern day school libraries.
Some school libraries, especially middle and high school ones, are known as Media Centers

Harris
Still too old to know it all
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Bazinga
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It's interesting that you bring that up, Harris. I've been thinking along those lines lately too.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Bazinga and others.

Working at a middle and high school helps and gives me "cred" and connections within and outside our district.

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Bazinga
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Harris, you got Cred around here too. No doubt about it.
danfreed
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OK, who does Librarian performer showcases and how well have they worked for you? How long do they tend to give you to perform? Do you also rent a booth space? I've done library shows, in fact my new demo video is from a library show, but I never went after that market too much, but I want to get into it more. I was going to do the upcoming showcase in Oregon, but I'm moving to Philly in 3-6 months. The Oregon showcase only gives you 5 minutes, and I was trying to figure out what I could do in such a short time.
Dynamike
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In my area the 5 minute showcase is $200. Renting a booth is an extra charge. I never did the showcase for a library before. I did it for a preforming arts program. I did not rent the booth. It went well for me.
pickin_grinnin
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Our area performer's showcase disappeared a while back after some state budget cuts. It has been revived by an area library, but I haven't been able to attend the new version.

In the original version, some performers bough booths, but many didn't. Most of them were there to do a fifteen minute mini-show/pitch to the librarians. Many of them ended up filling their whole summer performance schedules during that one day. When I was a children's librarian, I generally booked a dozen performers at the showcases.
danfreed
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Anyone else have tips on doing library showcases? My concern is that there will be few if any kids watching the 10 minute showcase, and my whole show is dependent on kids laughing, participating, volunteering, etc., so I don't know how it will go over for adults or what part of an act I can do in 10 minutes. I don't do shows just for adults, they laugh during my show, but I'm not very comfortable doing a show just for adults. Do you spend a few minutes on a pitch or just do your act?
Ed_Millis
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The library showcases I have seen involve various selected performers giving a 10-ish minute explanation/demo of what they do. No kids in the audience - just other performers waiting their turn and library people watching and passing judgement.

You either have to spend the time impressing them with your program explanation, run through something that does not require interaction, or pull some adults up and treat them like 7-year-olds.

At least, that's how they ran down here.
Ed
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I also have never done a library showcase.

Another option in our area is to
A. get listed on their website
B. send your written information to be available for librarians attending the show case.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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pickin_grinnin
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Quote:
On Aug 24, 2014, danfreed wrote:
Anyone else have tips on doing library showcases? My concern is that there will be few if any kids watching the 10 minute showcase, and my whole show is dependent on kids laughing, participating, volunteering, etc., so I don't know how it will go over for adults or what part of an act I can do in 10 minutes. I don't do shows just for adults, they laugh during my show, but I'm not very comfortable doing a show just for adults. Do you spend a few minutes on a pitch or just do your act?


Dan, take it from a librarian - don't worry about the fact that the audience is made up of adults. The adults will likely be children's librarians, and will most likely laugh, participate, volunteer, etc. just as the kids do. Remember, these are professionals who are interested in evaluating your program from a child's perspective. They want to see the show as you would do it for an audience of children, and will help you demonstrate it by pretending to be an enthusiastic audience of children. There really is no need to be self-conscious at those showcases.

I have been to a lot of these things, and always went out of my way to give the responses to the performer that (s)he needed to drive the show. The vast majority of children's librarians in attendance did the same thing. Keep in mind that many children's librarians are performers, too (at least in their own library), and tend to have a lot of empathy with other performers.

We often do the same thing when the performer comes to our library. Very young children don't always know when to clap, and sometimes you get an audience who is enjoying the show, but is very quiet. I have experienced that personally when I did storytelling in schools, where the kids are always told to sit still and be quiet. A good children's librarian will help to lead the clapping, laughing, volunteering, etc. in those cases so the kids see that it's okay to participate. I have found that there are usually a couple of parents in any given library audience who do the same thing.
danfreed
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That's good to know Pickin, though maybe they do things bigger in Texas! Thanks for the info, helps me figure out a game plan.
Mary Mowder
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I've done a couple of Showcases.

What struck me as odd is that ALMOST all of the acts had to be given the "hook" even though they knew the time limit weeks ahead of time.

Plan and script your tiny show and include aside material in your timing and practice. Aside material is stuff like what age group is best for your show, how many show choices you have, If you can perform outside, website, etc… Keep the aside material to a minimum.

Do direct and visual material. Do a trimmed down version of a good effect if it gives a good impression of the longer one.

I was blown away by the variation in acts.
Some were sweet grandparent types that were disorganized and had to struggle to get through a story and some were clearly Professional Circus Acts or had been on national TV. (Don't give up hope, there is a wide price variation as well so if you are fairly priced you can still book).

You are in for a fun day once your set is over. It is an entertaining and informative show.

Good luck!

-Mary Mowder
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