Friday, February 6, 2009

T.I.P.S. (vol. 1)

T.I.P.S. - Tested Ideas and Practical Suggestions
A friend recently asked for my advice on an upcoming strolling gig. He's fairly new to taking his skill into real world performing situations, but is by all means ready. Formulating a response meant looking into my own practices—a learning experience in itself. Here are some nuggets I shared:
  • Focus on cohesive sets of three.
  • Plan ahead. Instead of just listing the tricks, be clear about how you want your audience to react to you (see "The Napkin Approach").
  • Your opener should be quick, visual, and authentically you.
  • Know as much about the gig, environment and guests before the show. Standing only? Small groups? Round tables of 8-10 seated guests? Ambient noise? Number of guests? Plan accordingly.
  • Dress one level above your guests.
  • Be a people person. Make eye contact. It's about you and them, not just about the tricks.
  • Exude confidence.
  • I usually make my set list by listing primary and alternative effects. This gives me breathing room to change things up a bit. Here's an example from my own repertoire:
  1. Rubberbands routine (or Full Circle)
  2. Casino Chip and deck production (or Copper/Silver)
  3. Optical Opener (or Ballet Stunner)
  4. Card Transpo (or Triumph)
  5. Homage to Homing (or Palm Reader)
  6. Ambitious Card (or In a Flash)
  7. (Encore if appropriate: Invisible Deck or Constellation)
  • After the gig, be curious. What worked? What could have gone better? What surprised you? What did you learn?


Vince Corsaro said...

Getting curious... what did I learn... what could I have done better... sage advice.

John G said...

I learned from the best.