Yesterday, I posted about making some changes to my act. A friend of mine asked me on Facebook if I was going to be doing my Street Act.
Like most things worth discussing, it’s a complex subject.
My Street Act was developed with specific criteria in mind.
1. It has to play fast, under 15 minutes (to allow for more ”hats”)
2. I wanted it to consist, for simplicity, of three routines.
3. It has to pack light (the whole show has to be portable enough to carry, set up and break down quickly by myself)
4. Everything needs to reset automatically and immediately, in the open.
5. It has to use no consumable materials, i.e. liquids, paper or the like, that have to be replenished.
6. The show still needs to be a complete act with a proper flow and dramatic build, with an interest-catching opener, audience-holding body and a strong close.
The goal of the show is to entertain the audience, and induce them to be generous when I pass the hat after the show. I then need to be able to immediately start the process again.
The requirements of the Stand-up show I am working on now are somewhat different, as are the goals.
1. I want the basic show, the core, to be 20 minutes long, with additional routines and bits that can be added and substituted to allow the show to be adjusted easily to fit any time slot up to an hour. I also want to be able to substitute or even delete material to shorten the act to 15 or even 10 minutes.
2. At present my core show consists of four routines. I have other material available to use, up to an hour, but some of these routines are not yet performance-ready.
3. Portability requirements are less stringent. As long as I can carry the show by car and set up by myself in 30 minutes I can work with it.
4. Immediate reset is not important.
5. Consumable materials, such as liquids, paper, foods etc. are not an issue.
6. The modules I add or remove need to be designed to flow together, and provide a proper “build” of interest, so that the show maintains that interest from start to finish.. Like the street show, the opener has to capture interest, and the close must be strong. The body of the show must build dramatic interest, and make sense.
7. Every transition between routines must be logical and interesting. “And now for my next trick…” is not an option.
The goal of the stand-up show differs slightly from the Street show. While it still must be solidly entertaining, I am hoping to generate repeat bookings and referrals, rather than tips.
I’d like to hear from other performers, not limited to magicians, about their experience along these lines, and any hints or tips they may have to help with the process.
Dr Don S.