Have been very fortunate lately, don't want to jinx it but the last 3 performances have been great, a lot of fun, wonderful audiences and went really, really well.
In part because of speaking with Denny Hanney of Denny & Lee's Magic Studios about occasional challenges I run into performing. It felt like my performances while good weren't always consistent, some felt like they went great and others were ok. Denny asked me to look for a common thread in the shows that I felt were ok. Turns out there was a common thread, I didn't have total control over everything going on at the venue and the entire situation. Denny told me I have to take control if that is what I think is wrong ... and he as usual is right
Sometimes as a performer due to last minute changes or other factors we are thrust into challenging situations (if you think you can always control everything in every venue, well I wish it were so), for example a few months back at a fairly high profile benefit I was schedule to perform close up for 40 minutes and do a 20 minute stage turn. I was to perform stage after speeches. Well, the speeches ran long and the "DJ" (who offered to run my sound through his system, I'll never do that again) had mic problems during the speeches and when I hit the stage .... no music. I had to start quickly so as not to lose the guests and didn't have time for him to figure it out. After a very frustrating two minutes I ended up doing my set without music. After I finished the DJ (who had the stench of alcohol on his breath) said to me "They didn't even notice you didn't have music" AGGRRR. Never again!
Soooo the last few shows have been great, I took total control over the situation and had great audiences. Two of the shows wrote wonderful testimonials and thank you letters.
Will I be thrust again into challenging situations? Yes without a doubt. Am I better equipped to deal with challenges thrown my way and respond to ensure the best show every time? YES!
I watched a (talented magician) performer yesterday thrown into a tough situation, 30 minute set in an outdoor bar setting (humidity is never a magician's friend). His set had to be pushed back 30 minutes due to unforeseen challenges (nothing to do with him or his show). He had about half the crowd interested (those closest to his stage set up), about half just kept on talking or whatever. It came to me, what would I do to take control....... I think I might try walking to the back of the seating area and do something very visual, quick and amazing. Maybe a fire piece or a sword swallow, something to get their attention and grab them into the show. Will it work? While I hope I never have to find out my best guess is I'll be in a situation like that someday again.