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Topic: Night club act
Message: Posted by: scaress (Jan 1, 2013 03:46PM)
Howdy everyone,
I was asked to do a magic act at a club with a dj. But the majority of my work involves important dialog, jokes, etc. and I can't use any of that for this gig.
what goes well at a night club?

Message: Posted by: Sealegs (Jan 1, 2013 07:05PM)
Dance music.

Lookalikes of famous singers lip-syncing to songs.

UV and moving colourful lights.

For a magic act though I'd suggest material that's an extension of, or has the feel of being a part of, the experience of going to a night club not something that's in contrast to it. That more or less wipes out any verbal dialogue

You'd basically be looking to create, design, choreograph and costume an entire act from scratch so unless that's something you've got the time, desire, inclination, money and talent for you'd probably be better off farming the gig out to someone who specialises in this kind of market, giving them the work and taking a booking fee... or their appreciation.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Jan 1, 2013 09:47PM)
I'm not sure I understand why you can't use the dialog and jokes you usually use just because there's going to be a DJ. Are you worried that the DJ might think you're stealing his thunder if you get a better reaction from the audience than the DJ does with his banter between the songs he plays?

I would pick very visible effects that can be appreciated whether the audience can hear you clearly or not. You might have some clever patter, say, for your linking ring routine--but even if they can't hear you clearly, they can appreciate the visual impact of a SHORT ring routine. A simple cut and restored rope is another routine that is easy to follow without dialog. Cane to silks is a strong visual opener. Both of those can be done pretty much surrounded, which is an important consideration in venues like a dance floor or a nite club. How about taking a napkin from the bar or a table or the tray of a passing waitress and doing a mouth coil routine.

I would be wary, too, of how long a set you should do. If it's in a club where most of the patrons mainly come to dance and socialize, they might not want their social activities interrupted by a long magic act--"long" being a very relative factor depending on the nature of the event and the venue. And sometimes even the person who books you for such a gig does not appreciate the circumstances you have to deal with.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 1, 2013 10:06PM)
This has been the case every time I've worked a nightclub... have the DJ announce you as a special feature... several times, leading up to your spot. Then, he stops ALL music so you can do your act. People will look, then it's up to you to grab them and hold them.
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (Jan 1, 2013 10:22PM)
Same here Michael. I used to work with a DJ as a value added feature for his parties. The DJ would announce me and build up to my part of the show. I would do some very visual effects with silks, canes, candles, cards, etc then do a set of magic with the audience; sponge ball routine, cardiographic, sucker silk to egg, etc, then do an emotional piece to connect and close with the audience.

A couple of times I was asked to do a slient routine which was the same opener, then would do a cut and restored rope, 50 ft. mouth coil, torn and restored newspaper etc.. This was right out of Jeff McBride's Commando Act in his stage magic DVD.
Message: Posted by: Stucky (Jan 2, 2013 08:57PM)
Very visual magic, fire, and sometimes colorful. Usually you will be using their music not yours so just go with it. The magic is not as important as how cool it looks. Neon reactive props like rope and balls are good too.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 2, 2013 09:18PM)
Since that deadly fire in a night club out east a few years ago, Fire marshalls are strict. It would be wise to check use of any fire props in advance.

Night club 'atmosphere' is a lot different NOW than it was in the '30s & '40s!!!

Amado and Michael Baker have given you some vital information.
Message: Posted by: Sealegs (Jan 6, 2013 05:58AM)
Night clubs must be very different in the States from those we have in Europe.

Over here the music is nearly always seamless and non stop. People go out to nightclubs to dance and get off their faces. If you stopped the music and turned up the lights so someone could do a spot you'd have an uproar of riotously vocal jeering and complaining before you even started.

Those clubs that do use acts, and there aren't many, blend the performance into the environment they are working in. An ideal act for a nightclub is one that doesn't create an interruption.

Even recording artists that do spots in nightclubs usually do so seamlessly without the music stopping. Often they'll do their bit and audience doesn't even know they were there.

The big clubs in Ibiza (and by big I mean up to a staggering 10 thousand people) often have acts that emerge seamlessly from and with the dance music without stopping the flow, allowing those that are not inclined to watch the act to simply carry on dancing and getting off their faces... and then as these acts end they seamlessly merge back into it the dance music.

If you devise an act along these lines you might have something that works even for the clubs smaller than those monsters in Ibiza.

Marc Oberon used to do a act that he worked in nightclubs. It was a short visual magic spot that used UV reflective props (so the lights didn't have to be turned up) had backing music that was environment appropriate and could be performed in a very small area.

But as I have indicated... this is a very specialist professional niche market that needs a lot of investment of all types to work well.
Message: Posted by: scaress (Jan 17, 2013 05:48PM)
Thanks everyone, the gig went great!

I did ten min with the mic with some tricks from my regular repertoire (with plenty of drunks shouting at me)

then I did intermittent visual tricks accompanied by the music.

thanks for all the good advice. the producer has already booked me for the next show.