Our Culture's Venue?

Discuss general aspects of Genii.

Postby Steve Vaught » 01/14/13 03:37 PM

It's easy to see, that if you like close-up magic, restaurant venue's are for you. And I believe in our culture or 'time', performing in restuarants are still a viable place to get paid as an entertainer and be taken seriously. I would say 85% of the material in magicdom right now for us is specifically geared towards the close-up entertainer.

But where do you go if you want to develop a stand-up routine? Where is it? Remember...I said develop. As writers have said in the past, I don't know that there is one.

So I'm interested to see who would reveal the whereabouts of their secret laboratory for stand-up material.

...I'll go first!

Excluding restaurants all together, one area that I can 'try-out' new stand-up material is in retirement homes. This gives you a (small) adult audience that's attentive to your performance. So, it would be interesting to see how many people use THIS venue.

What about you?

Steve V (the other one)
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Postby Mark Collier » 01/14/13 03:49 PM

I think birthday parties are an overlooked place to practice adult entertainment. Assuming you don't work 'blue' and the kids are 9 yrs old or more, you don't have to treat them as children for the whole show. Most of my stand-up material is appropriate for a family audience where the kids sit in front (oftentimes on the ground or floor) and I play to everyone, including the adults with some of the material literally going over the heads of the younger children.
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 01/14/13 04:07 PM

Open Mike nights at bars.

The problem with retirement homes is hearing, seeing and attention deficit problems.
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 01/14/13 04:59 PM

While there are location and skill-level requirements involved, the Magic Castle is where people who get good at magic get good at magic.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 01/14/13 05:26 PM

I know a few people are writing about this very subject at the moment (including me). Certainly, stand up presents a new challenge for working in routines and many see it as a Catch-22 situation.

There are three main places that I have worked in material in the past; the streets, comedy clubs and (to a certain extent) festivals. For most people, comedy clubs are the best option.

If I were the type to toot my own horn, following my methods Damian managed to get 45 minutes of stand up material worked in in the space of a year. Maybe he'll confirm that :)
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Postby mrgoat » 01/14/13 05:34 PM

Ian Kendall wrote:If I were the type to toot my own horn, following my methods Damian managed to get 45 minutes of stand up material worked in in the space of a year. Maybe he'll confirm that :)


Indeed, this is true. I did it all at comedy clubs. I also did a lot of festivals, but didn't try new material at the festies.

Any advice Ian offers on this subject is gold.
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 01/14/13 06:19 PM

Damian's audience was drunk and could not stand up to walk away.
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Postby Doug Conn » 01/15/13 05:44 PM

Jackson Square / Bourbon St...
Busk it!
When they stop and watch, you know you got it down!
Learn more bout me: http://www.connmagic.com
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Postby Terry » 01/15/13 08:16 PM

Larry Horowitz wrote:The problem with retirement homes is hearing, seeing and attention deficit problems.


Same could be said for magic club meetings
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Postby Steve Vaught » 01/17/13 09:46 AM

...sorry for the delayed response. Thanks for all the comments.

I think this is an important topic for stand up magicians. We need to have a testing ground.

I guess out of all the comments the comedy club venue (thanks Ian)hit the strongest.

I worked as an emcee one night at a comedy club, doing magic tricks in between the acts. My experience-and maybe it was just that particular night-seemed very 'lowbrow'. So it didn't register to keep working that venue for my material. My stand up show (adults) are a little more on the thought invoking side and not the bra-trick-laughs side.

I agree in part with Collier, you can work some adult material even at birthday parties.

A quick question...
If I start working my material in the comedy club, do you think most places are open to being flexible on the laughs if 'strong magic' is present? ...any stories?

When I left the comedy club that night, I felt that to work that venue I had to curse every other word and talk about something vulgar or it wouldn't be entertaining for that group.

What's your thoughts?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/17/13 10:48 AM

Terry wrote:
Larry Horowitz wrote:The problem with retirement homes is hearing, seeing and attention deficit problems.


Same could be said for magic club meetings


Perpetuating the notion of blaming audiences?
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Postby Ian Kendall » 01/17/13 12:33 PM

No time for a detailed response at the mo. I'll get some thoughts down later.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 01/17/13 01:49 PM

I broke in my stand up act at a place called Bit "O" Magic. It was a magic restaurant that I was booked to do close up magic one day a week - I think I was booked Fridays.

After I worked a month they wanted me to do a stand up show booked for 4 30 min shows two on the Friday and two on the Saturday - on a weekend.

In my opinion doing shows like this is very different than doing a birthday party or a banquet. Performing magic where there was a cover charge and people pay to get in - is very different than doing a birthday party show or a banquet.

If I were to start all over again here in the USA I would try the Open Mic nights at a comedy club. Find a place where I could work out the material in front of an audience. And edit the material.

Street magic would also be part of this.

Many magicians worked out an act with an opening using music - talk in the middle - then close with music.

Retirement homes are a market that I would not do free shows to work out an act. It is also a market that can have an audience with some age/health problems that can make doing routines using audience members problematic.

I hope this helps
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 01/18/13 11:50 AM

If I may add the show I worked out started off with the hydrostatic glass done with music... Then the linking rings, chinese sticks, my dads sympithinc silk routine, the chain escape, cups and balls (loads oranges) and the bill in the orange and I closed with the needle thread done to music.

And if I might add as I remember comedy clubs in the USA were a hard nut to crack. Because they were looking for comedy acts not magic acts. And each of the better comedy clubs were booked by an agent that often booked other comedy clubs and shows at other locations.

And sometimes the comedy club owned an agency that booked their own performers and had their own list of people that they booked.

These people (in my opinion and so I have been told) get performers and want to be performers that send them promo kits all the time - and in my own experience - I found cracking into this group very hard.

It can be done but if I were to do this in the USA today I would try the open mic nights first even if it was to just get a feel of the place and the kind of audience it draws.

I have found restaurants a very good venue both to make some money and to break in new ideas. I have often had some of my best ideas while performing at restaurants.

I have also performed "formal close up shows" at retirement homes performing in the center of the room and having two helpers ala in the Don Alan style of theater with success.

For amusement I wrote about loading the cups with live birds here...

http://glennbishopsmagicandrestaurantchat.blogspot.com/

I hope this helps... And good luck...

Cheers
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