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Mikael Eriksson
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Today I got a phone call from a daycare, and they asked me if I could perform outside. I told them it's better to do it inside, since there are several problems connected with performing outside, like other people disturbing the audience etc.

I hope I'm wrong, but it was like she lost interest in my performance. She said she would discuss it with her collegues and call me back some time.

I have lost jobs before because I don't want to perform outside.

what can I do to make people understand how bad it is to have a magic performance outside, and what little effort it would be for them to let me perform inside?



Mikael
Rob Johnston
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I love performing outside, and because of that, it helps land many jobs in which they are looking for outside performers.

I would suggest making a show in which you CAN perform outside.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Donald Dunphy
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I think it depends upon which market, and your personal preferences.

If you do children's birthday parties, you can be a little more insistent about performing inside the home.

If you are doing a family show (and for that, I would suggest that you should be doing different material) for a larger audience, then you should have an indoors and an outdoors version of your "A" show. Let the customer understand that some of the tricks with silks and balloons you will not perform outside because of wind, but that you will substitute in other routines.

There is a discussion of tricks suitable for outside performances in the book, "Creative KidTalk", by Sammy Smith, David Ginn and Steve Taylor. You approach outdoors shows as more of a festival-type show.

Here is how I handle this question on the FAQs page I mail to my birthday party customers:

Quote:
Q: Do you do outdoor performances?

A: Speaking from experience, we don't really recommend outdoor birthday performances. We find that attention spans are shorter outside. With children (and adults too!), it's important to keep distractions to a minimum. Heat, cold, and hard ground can also affect the audience's comfort. And outdoors, no one can predict a fly-by bee, or a sudden breeze, which may blow away a prop or balloon. Distractions like this can really diminish the flow of the presentation. An indoor show will be a more memorable show for your group.


Here is how I handle this question on the FAQs page I mail to my family events customers:

Quote:
Q: Can you perform outdoors?

A: Yes, we can perform outdoors, given sufficient notice. We will change some tricks in the show, because of the wind, etc. Please provide a dry stage or cement pad to perform on. Grass is not really suitable. We like natural backdrops (trees, buildings), so the audience doesn’t surround us. We can’t set up our backdrop outdoors. Please provide some sort of cover in case of rain, and to prevent heat exhaustion (tent at least 12’ x 12’, and over 8’ high above the stage surface). Thank you.

We recommend that the audience be under some sort of cover, as well. Be sure that the sun is not in anyone’s eyes during the show time. Note - audiences have a shorter attention span outdoors, but will gather and watch a magic show in greater numbers than a musical act, because magic is a very visual entertainment.


It may at first to appear as rigid, but really my suggestions are in the best interest of the customer, and are based on thousands of shows over the past 25 years.

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Jeff Alan
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Quote:
I have lost jobs before because I don't want to perform outside.

Smile
I don't like it either, but I'll do it. Try to take out or *modify* routines that could be effected, (silks blowing away, etc)

But if you find that it still makes you miserable, just pass on it.
Aim high and you won't get your shoes wet.
rsummer27
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I love to perform outside. It's something I look forward to. There is much more room to move around and have fun. I have more of an area to work in. I can ride my unicycle. If it is an adult show, I can juggle torches also. I work in the Deep South in full clown wig and costume during summer. Some people think it's crazy, I think it's just whatever you get use to.
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Danny Diamond
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I just recently dealt with this request, and I explained my reasons for preferring an indoor show, and everything went well and I got the gig.

One main reason for me, is that I do not want to chance losing my bunny. I produce my bunny on my podium, I hold her the entire time while letting the children pet her, we then say goodbye and I place her immediately into her travel case off to the side of the stage. She never leaves my hands, but with my luck, the one time she kicks her back feet and squirms away for some reason, will be the time I am performing outside. Then it is bye bye bunny, and she has a big new home and I lose my bunny.

The other reason is the heat. I don't like keeping my bunny in her load chamber for long, and since it is a black production box, it can heat up quick in the sun. Not good for my bunny!

Overall, I just prefer the controlled atmosphere of an indoor show. If I was a full-time pro, I might create an outdoor show so that I never had to turn down a gig, but I am only a part-time performer, and if someone insists on an outdoor show, I have no problems passing up the gig.
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.



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magiker
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I regularly perform outside if the weather permits.
Doing a show outdoors on the 28 for 250 kids.

I am sometimes asked when I arrive "can you work outside as it's such lovely weather.
After all they are paying and as we know the customer is always right. Smile
Magiker

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Rob Johnston
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Quote:
On 2004-05-26 16:02, magiker wrote:
I regularly perform outside if the weather permits.
Doing a show outdoors on the 28 for 250 kids.

I am sometimes asked when I arrive "can you work outside as it's such lovely weather.
After all they are paying and as we know the customer is always right. Smile


Well said. I figure if we are getting paid to do a show, we are in no place to make demands....they should be making the demands.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Emazdad
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I tell all bookers the show has to be indoors, or under cover of some sort e.g. inside a marquee.

I use balloons during the show and the direct sunlight makes them go horrible or even burst during the show, wind blows things about, inc. the balloons, and at birthday parties my remote doesn't like sunlight. Add to that the fact that some gardens are just so uneven and the changeable British weather (I started a show with clear blue skies twice last year, only to have a shower come across in the middle of the show.)

It's just not worth the hassle.

There are a couple of venues I will be performing outside this year, these were booked before I decided it was too much hassle doing them outdoors. But as they are all day events and I've charged them lots of money, I'm going to take along my own gazebo to act as my stage area.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
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magic4u02
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I have learned to adapt my show to performing outside or inside. Part of this came out of necessity as I wanted to work the festival market and I do a lot these days.

It just took me a little while to redo the show around to still give them a lot of entertainment without having to worry about my magic props etc. being effected by sunlight, wind etc.

For me, it allows me to be more flexible and adaptive. It also allows me to be a "solutions provider" for my customers.

Many of the houses I work at for birthday parties are small houses and the customer needs to have the party outdoors because of limited space problems. If I can offer a fun show that can be done outside, I am providing a solution to one of their problems.

Either way, I always make sure to discuss this upfront with them before I get there. This way it limits any suprises.

Kyle
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Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2004-05-26 16:08, Astinus wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-05-26 16:02, magiker wrote:
I regularly perform outside if the weather permits.
Doing a show outdoors on the 28 for 250 kids.

I am sometimes asked when I arrive "can you work outside as it's such lovely weather.
After all they are paying and as we know the customer is always right. Smile


Well said. I figure if we are getting paid to do a show, we are in no place to make demands....they should be making the demands.


If this is done correctly, they are suggestions to help your customer have a better event. Not demands.

As an expert who has participated in thousands of events (this is my customer's perception of me), it is my job to offer more than a magic show. They look to me for hints. They often state, "You've done this before. What do you suggest?"

It is my job to make their event more fun and memorable. It is my job to help make their event more successful.

By making suggestions, and offering reasons for those suggestions, the customer will often act on your advice and thank you for it.

If Mikael is uncomfortable performing outside, it is fine for him to place those conditions on his show. It is better that he explain why (which is what he did). I applaud him for having the courage and convictions not to do something that he felt would reflect poorly on his performance.

The customer is not always right, because they don't always know what is best for their event. I've had many prospects call me, sure that they wanted one thing, but when it came down to it, they decided on another thing. This was because they realized there were some things that would work better.

As a solutions provider, it is my job to make my customer look great. Sometimes they need help to pull it off. Smile

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
magic4u02
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I agree. Many times it is the customer or prospect that is really not sure on how to run an event. As "solution Providers" we can offer this expertise to them as we have done many shows and events. If handled right, they will be happy for the help and suggestions you are giving to them.

Kyle
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rsummer27
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This is all really good advise if you book your own shows. Most of my shows come from agents. I work for several different agents and they frequently misrepresent my show and make promises I have to deliver on. I've told all of my agents to effectivly communicate to me anything that they promised the customer and they know basically what I do.

If it's a good job I don't mind being flexible, but within reason.
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Mikael Eriksson
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A lot of suggestions and a lot to think about. Thanks to everybody.



Mikael
Emazdad
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I'm lucky all my work comes direct, I don't use agents. 1, they are more concerned about the customer than me, 2, they don't always give you correct information, they tell you what you want to hear, when you turn up at the gig you get the odd surprize 3, I don't trust them.

If an agent was to phone for a job I'd treat them just the same as any client and explain the rules about how I work. (I get occassional calls from agents but they wont pay my fee) Bookers are told at the start that I don't do shows outdoors, if they insist on having it outdoors I wont take the booking. For birthday enquiry's I just say the magic and games has to be indoors, but the kids can eat the party food in the garden. They're happy with that as their main worry is the mess in the house.

If anyone wants to surprize me by deciding to have it outside on the day, my contract now has the words, 'The magic show has to be performed indoors' as one of the conditions. If I'm employed just to Balloon model that can be done outdoors, but my contract also states I will not work in adverse weather or ground conditions, but will work in a more suitable venue nearby. IE, if it's raining I work indoors or if the field is a mud bath, I'm not working walking across it.

It also states that if I can't work due to bad weather I still get paid. So if an event is cancelled due to bad weather I don't lose out.

<<<Well said. I figure if we are getting paid to do a show, we are in no place to make demands....they should be making the demands.>>>

All the details should be decided at the initial booking, They are in no position to demand anything different on the day.
As they want the best show for their money they will listen to your advice, after all as Donald and Kyle said, We are the experts.
The customer is definatly not always right, they don't understand the full working of our trade and will only work on what they think is right. Often this is wrong and it's our job to steer them politly onto the corect course.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
magic4u02
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Rsummer:

I can and have been in your situation before. This is why I have come up with a couple things I now do whenever I work for any agent or agency. This has helped me to alleviate any problems.

1) I always make it a point to send out a detailed promotional packet to every agent. In this not only has my standard bio page, client listings etc., but it also has a sheet that states the benefits and features of my shows.

2) I always make sure that every agency I work with, knows that I MUST talk with the contact person before I committ to any performance. This is a must for me if I want to continue being a "solutions provider" for the customer. I also want them to know who I am so I can ask questions ahead of time and so they can feel comfortable with me as well. I want to build my relationship with them.

3) I always send out a contract or at least a letter of confirmation to the client that staes everything that is agreed upon. This is done through my agent and agency and they usually have no problems with me doing so. This way all parties know what to expect in advance.

Sure these things take a little extra time for me, but it is so well worth the effort.

Kyle
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Emazdad
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Nice safeguards Kyle, It would be nice to get such co-operation from an agent over here. I'm lucky I don't need them, I don't even send out any promtional stuff to them. Some holiday camps insist on booking through an agent, and when someone from a camp has seen me and they've asked me for my agents details I tell them they have to book direct. If they don't like it they don't get me.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
magic4u02
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That is great Clive you get so much work. I use an agency from time to time and have a good respect and repoir with those I work with. They just understand my needs upfront and they will obide by these rules or I simply will not work for them. It has worked ok for me so far.

Kyle
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Emazdad
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That's the way to do it kyle, lay down your rules and stick to them.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
magic4u02
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I have heard too many horror stories of agencies or agents "using" performers and the performers ending up getting "screwed" on gigs.

I have a reputation I uphold at every show and I will not let an agent or agency ruin that reputation because they did not do their job the right way.

Kyle
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