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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Smaller than expected crowd (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

harris
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Harris Deutsch
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The other side of the thread on the bigger than birthday party, would be a thread where you are ready for a larger (not gym sized) crowd and only a few show up.

Libraries usually range 40-200. One time during very bad weather I had 5 people. Just 2 families.

This gig, actually generated more shows than my typical ones. The librarian was impressed the way my show was adjusted for the two families.

Have any of you experienced this at a public (non birthday party) event.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Skip Way
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The truly great Cesareo Pelaez of Le Grand David once said in an interview that an audience of one deserved his absolute best show no less than an audience of a thousand. You are in very good company indeed, Brother Harris.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Thanks for sharing that quote.

It reminds me of another quote by an unknown author. Never phone in your performance.

Harris
still 2 old to know everything
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Dick Oslund
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I've worked high schools in Metropolitan areas, with 2,000 (+/-) kids. I've worked schools in the rural west with...

48 kids (K-12) in Antler, North Dakota. (2 in the senior class!)

28 kids (7-8)in Boise City, Oklahoma (extreme end of the panhandle)

18 kids (K-6) in Lodgepole, Nebraska, I had arrived an hour early. I went out to the motor home and put on my tuzedo!

7 kids (K-3) in Galata, Montana. They had planned to walk across the "street" to the village hall (it had a "stage"!). It was February. The hall had not been heated all winter. I said, "Let's do it in the classroom!" Two mothers showed up, and a school board member dropped in to visit (and stayed!).

The "topper" was an elementary school in a Lakota Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When I arrived, the school was closed. (NOT FOR THE DAY!) IT WAS CLOSED!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Dick

That's quite a topper.

One of the toughest I did was not the smaller crowd, it was a gym full of K-12 (about 150)
It was earlier in my career, and the age and wide maturity levels through me more than it would today.

Harris
closer to the assisted living center ages than the high school students I work with during the day.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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arthur stead
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Birthday party ... only three people ... the young birthday girl, her older brother, and their divorced dad. Did the best I could to make it special, but the circumstances were kind of sad.
Arthur Stead
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jay leslie
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Ive worked two parties with only one attendee. One was a bonified prince the other was a 5 year old girl whose family just emigrated.
Because of heavy rain, only 3 kids attended a party that 25 RSVPd to.
Then there was the lady that moved here from Japan who wanted a "welcome party" for herself and insisted I perform a children show, for her and her three new friends - because she wanted to remember what it was like to be young. Then she didn't want to pay because she said the show didn't have any fire or things that you see in adult shows;)
OH... Then there was the school in LA with 1200 elementary age kids... 1200, that's a lot. And IO was supposed to perform for the kids that read a million minutes (expecting 800 kids).
So, I'm all set up and after 35 kids were in their seats I noticed how they were all different ages so I asked where the other kids were - and they answered "This is it. These are the 38 kids that actually read a few books" -Do the math 38 divided by 1200 is less then .04 percent.... not even one percent of the kids read anything. That's good to know when I need someone to wash my car or paint my house,I know where to go get my help.

On a school show, We were kept in the dark about ticket sales and when our truck pulled up, all the kids said they couldn't get tickets because it was sold out.
Sounds good so far.
As we were setting up, the custodian set-out 6 chairs. I asked where the rest of the chairs were and he said the Jr High had another program so they took them. I asked (deep breath) Sooooo where are all the other people going to sit? and the custodian sad....... "We have a rule here that you can only allow as many people, as there are chairs, and we had 6 chairs so the PTA sold 6 tickets.
So much for the I'll split it 50/50 and there's no risk to you - no matter how many show up, plan.

We had a wildfire out here a few years back (What am I saying, we have one every couple of years) and no one called to tell me the show was canceled so I got to the school and saw a wall of smoke, no people,so I turned around and apparently my GPS took me there on a few roads that were not barricaded because I ran into several police and ambulances who were all yelling at me that the evacuation order was 4 hours earlier !
Gerry Walkowski
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Jay,

Those are some of the greatest stories I ever heard.

You made my day.

Thanks,

Gerry
jay leslie
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I think if Dick and myself started telling stories one night might last a week.
TonyB2009
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Great stories. I promoted an adult show last year, only one person showed. I haven't dared promote my own show since!

I did a charity fundraiser, which got national television and newspaper coverage. Thirteen people showed.

The best was a college who hired me not for Fresher's Week (start of the college week), but for orientation week (the week before the start). They paid BIG money, and I was in a big theatre with full sound and light rig. Four showed up. I hypnotised two, and two watched! Great show though.

Private parties where no one shows up are sad though. I did one where there was two siblings and a cousin. But I had the feeling that was all that was invited, and everyone did seem happy.

My own son's first party, when he was four, began at three. At four thirty there were still no guests! I was devastated. He couldn't tell time, so he was just waiting, sure that people would show up. He was right: there was a storm, and the road to our house had been blocked. At four thirty everyone arrived together, and we had a great evening.
Michael Baker
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When working festivals and such, timing is everything. Early days in the run and earlier in the day showtimes often have poor attendance. These are good times to ask your friends to show up. Smile
~michael baker
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Jef Eaton
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I have one. Early this year we were doing a 10 day fair here in Florida. Our last show was scheduled for 8:45 PM. It was really cold here and the temp was 40 degress. (That's cold anywhere, but in Florida for an outside show, it's ridiculous.) We were close to the exit gate and one kid and her dad showed up.
We did the show for her, and before we finished 4 more people stopped to see it. The dad came up after the show (his daughter was our "official" helper) and said it made here day because she was sad because she wasn't tall enough to ride some of the rides she wanted to ride.
The vendors around us were surprised we did the show at all, but as we all know, that's the name of the game.
Cesareo's quote says it all!
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harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Jef,

That reminds me of my younger days working Ren Fest. On cold & rainy days, hay bails were wet, and crowds were down.

Thanks to all sharing their real world experience.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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TonyB2009
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Jef, that's a great memory to have. Isn't it great that we can change a child's day to wonderful?
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Today was the first partly sunny , non rainy day we've had in these parts for quite awhile.

My first 2 library shows for this summer, The Hero in You had sparse attendance.
From my telling about my first heroes( mom, dad and kindergarten teacher) to the closing song one my uke
the kids and there parents were great.

I themed as usual with patter and songs.
The only new purchase was a Marvel throw rug and table cloth.
Volunteers became Wonder Girl or Super Guy.

Puppets were introduced framed against my puppet mentor Emiline a Dobbins.
The crowd was small enough when most kids either checked out a puppet or helped out in other ways.
Of course there were a few times when the crowd acted as one.

Harris
Still too old to know it all
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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