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Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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A thread like this appears every Summer in order to separate the men from the boys.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
dearwiseone
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Inner circle
Portland, OR
1143 Posts

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Al, that's right. Real men know a funny, solid act is in demand, and they can charge more for outdoor performances or request a change of venue. They're interested in their comfort AND making money, not one or the other. The boys just do as they're told and accept whatever comes their way...

All kidding aside, I recently chose to start charging extra for outdoor shows, and only when I've discussed the conditions with the client. There are some conditions I simply won't perform in, clients often find an indoor venue to accommodate me in. So far, I've been happy with charging more, it helps me accept the few outdoor shows that I do accept.

Conditions outdoors can be brutal and it boils down to a whole lot more than a little extra sweat. And it's not just the ants, the peeing dogs, the wind, the distractions, and the noise either. It can mean the difference between enjoying your work and presenting your best self, and not! Not enjoying what you do can lead to burnout real quick!

There's one venue every summer which is particularly difficult, it's on top of a fountain (turned off, of course!) with the crowd in an amphitheater-type setting. The sun always seems to be shining in eyes. I'll try to post a picture if I can, the one on my website doesn't really show it well.

To each his own. Think cool thoughts!

Kevin
MichaelCGM
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Inner circle
Oklahoma City
2285 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-07-30 18:40, dearwiseone wrote: It can mean the difference between enjoying your work and presenting your best self, and not! Not enjoying what you do can lead to burnout real quick!
You hit the nail squarly on the head, Kevin. Great post!
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

MagicalMichael.com Smile Laus Deo!
mcharisse
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Inner circle
York. PA
1217 Posts

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Like Scott, I emphasize the positive, that it will be a better show inside. Some of the very best tricks can only be done inside, I tell them if they hesitate, and I'd hate for little Johnny not to get to see them.

Marc
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

Profile of Al Angello
My music festival fees are more than double my birthday party fees. They give VIP parking, and an air conditioned break room with a buffet lunch.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
billappleton
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Inner circle
Los Gatos, California
1154 Posts

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I worry about all the flash cotton indoors, and also flash paper. No smoke machines, and no bubbles allowed in the house. Did I mention the confetti? Try producing a few hundred gum balls and dumping them out on a living room carpet. And liquid, that funnel tends to drip. Ever produce a dozen umbrellas in someone's living room? It's bad luck to open an umbrella indoors...
MichaelCGM
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Inner circle
Oklahoma City
2285 Posts

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I know what you're sayin'. My appearing helicopter got snagged on a coffee table and almost ruined the show. Smile
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

MagicalMichael.com Smile Laus Deo!
TheGreatNancini
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Veteran user
Ohio
373 Posts

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Al and Payne summed it up quite nicely! Indoor , Outdoor, makes no difference. We do them all, and because we know we do them all, we design our shows from the bottom up to work in most any condition!

We do have non - refundable deposits for birthday parties and explicitly write in our contract that the customer needs to have alternate arrangements in case of rain. No one has ever had a problem with this and if it even looks like there could be rain, they usually take it upon themselves to do it inside.

Al- I like your 100 times hungrier than fussy analogy! That is really it in a nutshell! Smile

~Nanci
-- Nancilee N. Jones --
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jackturk
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Elite user
463 Posts

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Having performed outdoors during the summer in San Antonio, TX and
outdoors in Seattle, WA... I have to acknowledge there's a weeeeeeeee
bit o' difference between the two.

I'm okay with doing birthday shows outdoors here in Seattle... with
the summer day temperature at 70 with zero humidity... there isn't
a whole lot of suffering going on. San Antonio at 95+... I was younger
and more willing to take the pain.

I ALWAYS recommend indoors when given the option - it's so much easier.
When I do an outdoor show, I head for the shade for everyone.
"59 Ways To Recession Proof Your Entertainment Business -- FREE!"
http://www.GetLeadsLikeCrazy.com

"How To Make $25,000 a Year Doing Birthday Parties Part-Time"
http://www.magicmarketingcenter.com/birthdayPT
Joseph_Then
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Allow me to chip in because I'm from a country where we are always having summer all year long! ie. Singapore!

Like most of you, I hate doing shows outdoors. On top of that, our country has high humidity which means we perspire the very first minute under the sun.

When I know from my client that it is an outdoor party, I would give professional advice to my clients with reasons not to do outdoors like:
1) More distraction doing outdoors
2) Possible wet weather
3) Uncomfortable for the kids
etc...

However, if there is really no choice (etc. pool party), I would ask for a pavillion or a shade for performance. That would help for the audience and me.

Lastly, I will always highlight to my clients that since it is a show done outdoors, the overall experience will not be as fantastic as it would be done indoor. I have to make my client understand that before I take the job.

And no mark up in price for me.
-----



Joseph Then

Singapore Ventriloquist
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

Profile of Al Angello
I just booked two community celebrations for September, and how a birthday party magician can turn down that kind of money is a mystery to me.

Nancy
All of my bills are due the first of the month, and it is my job to pay them.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Mr. Pitts
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Inner circle
David Pitts
1054 Posts

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I take outdoor shows, here in San Antonio. And like JackTurk says, it's not the same as other places. But, the rest of the country is getting a taste of it this year. That's probably why some folks are reconsidering the sanity of outdoor shows in the summer time. Develop a lighter summer costume, bring several shirts, stay hydrated, get cooled off when you can, take your breaks during long outdoor festivals and try to convince birthday mom's it's in their best interest to move the show indoor, if possible (because it is, actually, in her best interest.. happier guests). Other than that, I don't blame anyone for not taking them, especially if they're staying booked with indoor work. Given the choice, I sure prefer indoors.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
Cheshire Cat
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Special user
Wilmslow, UK
941 Posts

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This topic can never ever culminate either in agreement, nor will anyone be "right" or "wrong". Weather variations in different Countries produce entirely different scenarios, as do cultural differences.

If we lived in a US sunshine State, or in Perth, Australia then we would not hesitate to advertise and gladly accept outdoor work. But in Britain outdoor shows usually mean taking an awful risk. Cancellations and bad weather go hand in glove with each other.

Furthermore let's look at gardens at people's homes. If I sold my house in Britain I could buy another in the USA literally 4 times the size of mine for the same money. But here many homes tend to be in very close proximity to other people's - thus music and noise can be a serious concern too. That is why the "hired hall" party is so popular. People can invite a whole school class of children into a local Church, Scout, Village hall or Club. This is how our traditional 2 hour birthday party stays all started (well actually it used to be 3 hours many years ago).

No-one is going to book a Church Hall in Palm Beach, Florida, with the same purpose as one in Manchester, England. Actually I envy you outdoor workers. I'd buy a quick-erect folding gazebo with just a back canvas to perform in. I'd probably sew small fishing line weights into any silks used. I already have a 240 volt power pack that will power a small amp. etc. without need for domestic electricity supply.

Now where's that application for a Green Card . . . ?

Tony
wbzwolinski
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Loyal user
232 Posts

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Michael,

I too dislike outdoor shows and will do my very best to talk my client out of one. I do have a show which is 'outdoor proofed' in case my client cannot be persuaded otherwise. Unfortunately, with the local economy being what it is, I can't be too fussy.

@DynaMike - I remember that van as well as one of your performances that I was at. Your ferret got away and crawled under the van and would not come out. I know it was not intended but sure was entertaining! LOL.

Wolly
Keep it Simple...Play it BIG!!!
vincentmusician
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Regular user
Toronto
141 Posts

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I do not like performing outdoors. However, where I am located, during summer, everyone wants the shows outside. So I have designed several outdoor shows.
danfreed
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Inner circle
West Chester PA
1222 Posts

Profile of danfreed
Wow, I commented on this thread 9 years ago! The difference now is Covid, most people are doing outdoor stuff and will cancel or reschedule if the weather is rainy, etc. I just did 2 shows in a row today and I get concerned about passing out, for real. I hate the heat and don't handle it well, but there are some potential advantages to doing outdoor gigs, aside from making it very unlikely you get Covid. When I get to indoor gigs, they are often crowded and hard to get my stuff to the room, often down narrow staircases with kids running past me while I carry my stuff, it's often easier and quicker to set-up outside. Also, loud chatty parents (a big topic, let not get into that here!) are less of a problem outside cause they can spread out and their noise isn't as loud due to the way sound travels. Inside shows are sometimes hotter than outside. I do ask parents to turn off the moonbounce, etc to reduce distraction. I do have one idea to help with heat, I'm not sure if it's a good idea (ask your Dr) but you can buy electrolyte pills online that are used by runners. Staying hydrated is more than water, you need electrolytes through food or whatever.
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