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GlenD
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LosAngeles, Ca
1296 Posts

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Hello, I have been doing kids shows for free so far. I am still very much an amateur magician and just gaining experience in performing. I did a few kids shows last year and a couple so far this year. One of them being for the neighbor of a party supply store owner that I met recently and have gotten to know. It went over very well and one of the parents videod my entire performance! I am hoping to get a copy of this soon. I have another one coming up in a couple of weeks. It's a referral from the party store owner fellow and am now the featured magician on his flier. That's just a little background about where I am at. I find the information and experiences of others here at the Cafe extremely helpful (thanks Steve and all staff for this place).
My post here concerns location of parties. I always ask a few questions, one being is it indoors or outside. I much prefer indoors but most seem to be outdoors and that's fine. My next show is to be at a park and I would appreciate comments regarding drawbacks or potential problems that might come up and how to deal with those potential situations.
Thanks in advance and forgive my rambling on! Smile

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
Peter Marucci
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5389 Posts

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Glen,
Weather, of course, is always a problem with outdoor shows.
To partially get around that, you could ask if they have thought of that problem (often they haven't) and made indoor arrangements, in the event of rain or high winds.
You could also have a partial-fee cancellation clause in your show contract, that guarantees you a portion (usually 50 per cent) of your fee if the show has to be cancelled because of the weather.
In the "gray area", between good and inclement weather, about the only thing to do is "soldier on" and present the show as best you can.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
RiffClown
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Inner circle
Yorktown, Virginia (Previously Germany)
1579 Posts

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If the day is bright and sunny and you have control of the venue, do your act facing the sun. This is especially true for morning or late afternoon. If the sun is behind you, your audience will be squinting the entire time and may miss much of your show. Facing the sun will also provide a natural floodlight that will not put your face in the shadows.

Smile
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>http://www.riffclown.com
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
Peter Marucci
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5389 Posts

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Rob makes a very good point about the sun, for an outdoor show, which I had forgotten about.
If someone has to suffer from the sun blazing down on them, it should be you and not your audience.
Plus all the other points Rob made.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
2642 Posts

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HI,
I always tell them the truth. I could do a show outside if that's what they want and the weather is good. I then go on to explain that the show is far better inside as the sun makes the children figity,Balloons tend to burst ect. Normaly this puts them off having it outdoors. I always tell them that they must have some prevision for bad weather. if they haven't I don't take the booking.
Phillip
Jim Reynolds
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The last outdoor show I did, it was a lovely day. Sunshine. Perfect temp. Just as I was into my zombie routine, a nice gust of wind blew my foulard up. Luckily, the ball was sitting on top of my silk and didn't expose the gimmick.

What was I thinking? Lesson learned. I avoid outdoor shows if at all possible. If you do outdoor shows, you might want to practice in front of a powerful fan
Adam V
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603 Posts

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Another problem with outdoors gigs too. During my first one some girls ran off and returned throwing bark and stones.

Probably wouldn't have happened indoors.

Or if I'd had a little more experience.

Or they weren't spoiled little punks.
Adam V - 9 out of 10 dentists recommend him.
GlenD
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LosAngeles, Ca
1296 Posts

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Wow, thanks Peter, Rob and everyone for the info. Thats exactly the type of stuff I was hoping for, being so inexperienced. I know doing outdoors shows eliminates a few of the things I might want to consider doing but I can still go for 20-30 mins otherwise. I am also nervous about other kids showing up at angles I might not be comfortable with or maybe even creeping up behind me when performing... uggg, anyways, I will let you all know how it goes if interested.
(I got to get some of those twoonies from ya' Peter).

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
professorpopcorn
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Taunton Somerset U.K.
79 Posts

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I always think it's a shame when party organisers won't take the advice of an experienced performer about the siting of a show.

Even after years of media coverage about the dangers of exposure to the sun I've been to many an event where red faced toddlers are running round the venue with no sun protection.I've lost count of the shows I've done with the audience squinting at the sun behind me and fidgiting in the heat.

Perhaps when the grown ups get round to watching the inevitable video or look at the photos of the clown with the birthday boy they might realise just how thoughtless they were on the day.

Smile
When you're smilin'
When you're smilin'
The Whole World Smiles With You !!!
Tra-la-la
www.profpopcorn.co.uk
TrickyPaul
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Jackson, AL
5 Posts

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Quote:
The last outdoor show I did, it was a lovely day. Sunshine. Perfect temp. Just as I was into my zombie routine, a nice gust of wind blew my foulard up. Luckily, the ball was sitting on top of my silk and didn't expose the gimmick.


I had a similar experience on a nice day doing torn and restored newspaper. The gust that came along blew the newspaper out of my hands and into the audience!!

big lesson learned!!
Now that I have it all together...I forgot what I was going to do with it...
professorpopcorn
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Taunton Somerset U.K.
79 Posts

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And another thing,don't try the 3 Way Colouring Book on a windy day !!!!
Smile
When you're smilin'
When you're smilin'
The Whole World Smiles With You !!!
Tra-la-la
www.profpopcorn.co.uk
harris
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Harris Deutsch
8663 Posts

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As I get older, I try if possible to avoid
outside shows especially in the summer.

I am still learning about this biz even with a "few 24 hours" of performing.

On Friday I had a gig a youth group.
It was scheduled in an airconditioned Gym.(COOL so far)

The gig was scheduled for 1 then changed to 2 pm so the kids could go to another event.

The bus was late bringing them back so the program started at 2:30. Luck would have it I did not have to rush off to another program.

When the 100 or so kids came in they were extremely thirsty and tired. I found this out during the show they were ushered right to the gym without breaks including water.

They had just came from an outdoor event where the weather was close to 100 degrees heat index.

They were bushed. The show turned out to be one of my C + shows as far as audience participation. The show had some great moments, but lacked a continuing connection that is usually there.

Actually it is those kind of shows that I learn from the most.

harris, still able to be humble and humbled after more than a few years of Nearly Normal Programs
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5700 Posts

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Quote:
On 2002-07-16 17:57, professorpopcorn wrote:
And another thing,don't try the 3 Way Colouring Book on a windy day !!!!
Smile

It can be done. I just used more tension and flipped through the book a little faster. The wind direction also has to be taken into account. I perform it outdoors, a lot, and I've had to change how the book is handled, considerably.
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5700 Posts

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The wind is tough to deal with and the show has to be designed accordingly. I've seen prop tables blown over, props and doves lost to the wind, etc.

Rain simply stops the show. Luckily, I can sense an approaching downpour -- came in handy prior to a recent performance! The show had to be moved, indoors.
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