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Old 02-22-10, 12:16 PM   #1
Kate Awesome
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Hey folks!

So, I just finished performing at a festival in Italy (Victor Rubilar was there, we're still deciding whether or not which one of us is going to make a 'review' of this fest or not...), performing my first show (we'll all just forget the "f-bomb" incident at the Windsor Buskerfest last year...). Those of you who know me, know that I'm a roving performer, and this year, I decided to take a risk and build a show over the winter (piano/variety/comedy--not exactly the best thing for street). As luck would have it, there was a festival opportunity and I took it, with barely a show. I was still writing gags on the plane over. No joke.

Man was it ever HARD.

I take my hat off to all of you who do full-length shows. It was totally a humbling experience to go from rockin' the roving act to being bottom of the barrel show. In the 3 days I knocked out shows at the fest I learned a CRAPLOAD about how to make a good street show. I'm still struggling with content and how to build bits and truthfully, starting out with a mime show is probably the stupidest thing to do, but here's hoping I can continue along to make something wonderful.......in probably 2 years.

But just one question: how do you manage to maintain the energy when things start to fall apart? How can I stop that from happening? It's especially hard when one is starting out because crowds leave so quickly anyway.
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Old 02-22-10, 02:14 PM   #2
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things will fall apart, many times. thats half the fun of learning a circle show. learn to accept failure. Just relax, believe in your material, and plug out some shows to build confidence.

it will work.
give it time.


good luck!
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Old 02-22-10, 04:11 PM   #3
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wow, piano? really? im a pianist and im very interested to know what kind of show you are doing with piano and comedy on the street. tough one for the gear lugging...

yeah, failure is the path to freedom unfortunately...wish there was another way, but i fear i still have plenty more of it to do...

good luck!
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Old 02-22-10, 04:53 PM   #4
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Get honest. build your core people, and if things fall apart, tell them you're bombing and you know it, and you're going to stop what you're doing and try something new. Often, the fun of watching you try your best is enough to keep them around.
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Old 02-23-10, 01:32 AM   #5
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I really, really sympathize... I feel that my roving is fabulous, but I don't work the street as often as I'd like and it's always a struggle. Two very, very different mediums.
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Old 02-23-10, 04:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for all your feedback, folks! Isabella, I'm totally going to try that one out. I think I'm just going to suck it up and have a talking show, at least for the first year or so.

Devin; I'm trying to go for a Victor Borge-style piano comedy show, but with more physicality and circus. I feel GOOD about the idea, I just don't feel good about the show yet... The current keyboard I have is not really conducive to lugging around on the street, but I do know of some better, lighter keyboards that I could get my hands on at some point. Luckily, my props are minimal, it's all in the piano. The weight is probably comparable to my statue gear, just more awkward. I'm trying to think if I can come up with a piano-less street show.
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Old 02-23-10, 04:36 AM   #7
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Hahahaha, learn to LOVE failure. Quirk gave you the best advice possible. And Devin's wrong, when he uses the word "unfortunately".

There's nothing unfortunate about it. Failure is a goldmine.

Energy dips, that's totally okay, revel in it, the energy comes when it comes, once you get to know your show, you can manipulate it more, but for now, just go where your show wants you to. If it slows down, don't panic, slow down with it. You'll bring in focus. As a matter of fact, next time it happens, try slowing WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY down, just to see what happens. It's a journey, not a destination. You'll be more locked down when it starts to succeed, so now is your time to experiment. Just love it.


Oh, and Quirk, it was GREAT to meet, and watch you in Christchurch.
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Old 02-23-10, 08:54 AM   #8
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eish, good words.
i'v been doing rent shows for awhile, time to start playing around...
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Old 02-25-10, 10:04 AM   #9
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Go into your show with a very clear plan. Know what you are going to do, in what order, where jokes go, the staging, patter, everything. Be organized and specific. Then, once the show starts, watch for the right moment to throw it all out and improvise.

Ten failures and one success is better than zero attempts. I don't know you, wasn't at the festival and have no idea what your act is like, but the fact that you've made an attempt to develop new material, and then presented it in front of a public means that you've done the right work. Congratulations are in order!

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Old 03-01-10, 05:44 PM   #10
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Thanks for the kind words, Steven!

Haha, Peter Shub was at the festival, I only hope he did not see the disaster of my show (okay, okay, it wasn't a disaster, but it was pretty rough)... I have a really strong, good feeling about the concept, I'm still wrestling with format.

By the way, I am a great admirer of your work!
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Old 03-02-10, 03:17 PM   #11
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Try being very specific about your failure and bringing it to everyone's attention.

"this guy here thought that joke was abominable."
"This lady can play the piano better than me. Look at her disapproving head shaking"
"This child can't even talk properly and he's paying me out."

presenting your supposed lack of success in a positive observational mode makes people feel ok about you 'failing.'
"oh, it doesn't really bother her. Ok, we won't be too bothered either."
It removes a lot of awkwardness and resentment from the situation

I went through a phase a while back (out of boredom i think) where I would try and turn the whole audience against me about halfway through my show, just for the joy of failure, the experimentation that has to come from that and the challenge of winning them back.

(also, what eric said)
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Old 03-03-10, 09:24 PM   #12
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As for the mobility of your piano, I know that at Disney, they used to have a piano that was fit on a bicycle frame. It was still a bit clumsy, but it did move and it did generate interest.

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