Seance – The Daisey Mae Story
Monday 26th September – Preview of New Show.
It is common for Theatre shows do run preview events and performances before the formal run of dates begins….
It is common for comedians to try out material on a selected audience before going on tour…
I would assume therefore that Magicians would do the same…
For me this was the first time of running a dress rehearsal preview of a full two hour show in front of an invited audience and I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long to do it!
Ok the downside is having to cover the costs of hiring the venue BUT the pluses far outweigh these costs.
It’s almost impossible to rehearse a mentalism show without an audience, and despite the scripting, blocking, routining that needs to be done its not until there are real people watching what you do are you likely to get any sense of the ‘effectiveness’ of your show.
Seance : The Daisey Mae story is a two hour show ending in a seance. I spent ages on a back story linking the effects I wanted to use and hopefully creating a sense of realism to what, is in effect, a very surreal show.
On Monday a small audience of around 30 people, including a couple of professional mediums, came to see the ‘preview’. They were told it was a work in progress…
I can’t begin to describe the valuable feedback I got from what they said; what I observed and how they reacted.
Just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the second half of the show; but none of this was apparent from the audiences point of view as a quick re-think during the interval meant that I could cover for the things that were not going to do as they were told during the pre-round-2 set-up. A magician friend in the audience (Paul Silk aka Professor Tickles) knew what I was ‘going for’ in the second act but said that what was used to cover about 20 minutes was in keeping with the rest of the show. In essence it was that old thing of the audience not knowing what to expect so not missing what they did not know…
The audience were very positive in their comments on the entertainment value of the show and all said they would come back to see the paying show booked for November.
So from this experience I have not only learned the value of doing such a live preview but also have some valuable insights on how to streamline the show and make the ‘public performances’ so much better… I’ve also created a bit of a buzz which I might be able to ‘ride’ into the local shows in November.
So now to sell the show to a broader market.
I guess this idea will not be new to many, especially those who regularly present full evening shows. But I suspect that many magicians faced with the challenge of creating a two hour stage show would look to their cabaret repertoire and mix and match from tried and tested routines. They will of course rehearse, have dress rehearsals and technical run throughts – but I wonder how many put their raw, untested material ‘out there’ in such a preview show?
Love to hear from those who do …
And if you don’t then please do …. you learn so much about the tweaks your show needs before it goes ‘live’ and of course, develops with continued performance.