Last year I performed a couple of festival magic and puppet shows and all were great fun, with loads of community spirit and energy put into organising and executing them with the magic and puppet show itself allowing magic to reach kids who may not normally have had a magician at a children’s birthday party.
This year I have already had a couple enquiries about performing for a couple of galas or fetes, so I thought I would write a few thoughts about them.
When I perform at a children’s birthday party – my most popular parties are a 2 hours fun-filled, stress free riot of laughter, and it is these, which take up most of my time. They are stress free, in that all you have to do is organise the food and cake and leave the rest to me. The only requirements I need, are a socket and room for the kids to dance. I am fully self-contained and really attempt to make mum’s lives as easy as possible.
That said, performing at a festival, fete or gala requires a lot more considerations. I love working outside, and often being booked for one of these events usually means working outside, however, I have a couple of pre-requisites before undertaking any booking of this kind. As mentioned before, I do need access to a socket or generator if I need to set up my microphone or music equipment. When I perform for kids, other than the audio equipment I use, I also work with silks, foam wands etc and other weather sensitive, lightweight props. So a consideration needs to be given to the weather on the day to ensure it does not compromise the magic show. That said, if I am booked to perform outside, it is imperative that there is also a marquee, gazebo or indoor area where the party or magic and puppet show can be moved to if it is drizzling or raining or windy. Not only does it not look professional, for a kids magician to be chasing down a couple of silks that have blown half the way down a cow patty littered farmer’s field, but the show can also lose the momentum if the props are blowing around and in turn lose the audience’s focus.
The stars of the show (and my number one concern) is the audience / kids and ensuring they have a great time. If the elements i.e., rain, wind or snow are blowing around, they will certainly not enjoy the show anywhere near as much – either wanting to walk elsewhere to keep warm or being distracted by leaves flying around or simply not enjoying the show because the wet is putting them in a negative mood.
The same is relevant with the sun. I don’t want people to be too hot in the show, with a sun beating down on the performers head for 45 minutes is not enjoyable for them either. Therefore if it’s likely to be hot or sunny, there needs to be some shade for the performer and kids’ just in case – and this option will allow the entertainer or kids’ the option of moving under shade so as not to compromise the show.
I also feel that when working outdoors, the comfort of the Mum’s and Dad’s is occasionally compromised too when not enough thought has gone into their comfort….. When watching a show – the best place for the kids to sit is on the floor. If there are blankets, or rugs or cardboard or a portable dance floor laid down – there will be less worried mums concerned about their kids getting covered in mud and the children themselves will be more comfortable too. This leads us on to the parents, specifically. Despite my show being a kids magic and puppet show – it really is a ‘family show’ and as a result I encourage parents to watch. If possible a few chairs should be laid out for the parents to watch the show. If not to watch the show, but certainly to be near their children as some of them still like to know that their parents are nearby.
Although performing at fetes, galas, outdoor events, festivals and family fun days is great fun, there are many considerations that need to be taken into account and if you can apply some of these suggestions – the party or show will be as enjoyable, fun and as fantastic as it can be!
To discuss more about booking me to perform at your gala, fete, outdoor event, or festival, please give me a shout on 07934 856 696 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or better yet, fill out the contact form on my home page www.williamthewizard.co.uk/contact