What works for you all when you have to work off a flat room? Where all the seating is on the same level, and the little kids gather in front of you on the floor. You want the kids to see with out straining their little necks, but yet you want the people in the back roll to see. The people in the back roll are already craning to see up front.
For lack of knowing what else would work. I stage myself standing, up front, and center, and hope everyone can see and hear me.
Got any ideas for staging that works well for you that you can share?
we have a 1 foot riser at the theater... not too tall...just tall enough...
but i realize thats not something you can take with you...id say you are on the right track just standing front and center!!
February 28 2012, 6:19 PM
This is actually a pet peeve of mine. I see clowns and magicians who want to be close to the audience and yet there is a stage available. (I know that isn't always the case.) So the first half of the audience can see while the second half can see only the top half of the show. My rule of thumb is to use a stage when it is readily available. (It must have working lights so I'm not high but in the dark, and it must be clean or clear enough to use. Some schools turn the stage into storage or a band practise room, and I understand their need for that.)
Another reason that I like the stage is that I can tell people that I brought my show to a higher level!
If a stage is not available, you have a couple of things to consider. Can you raise your vent stand, or hold the puppet so it's head is as high as yours?
Can you raise your sound system so it shoots over the heads of the kids on the floor? Otherwise you may blast their eardrums trying to reach the kids in the back.
Are you far enough from the audience so that kids on the side sections of the front can still see?
February 28 2012, 8:26 PM
Totally agree with Tony and I'll add this: Use the entire performance area. You may have a puppet that sits on a stand - center stage, but other characters can be more mobile.
The Bird Arm Illusion and the Magic Drawing Board are not merely great performance tools but can be "mobility enhancers". Plot out your use of the entire stage. People seated front and center need not be the ones always closest to the action. Creative use of the width and depth of the stage area give your performance a theatrical depth and intensity, keeps the audience visually involved with a sense of anticipation. Funny buts can be funnier, dramatic elements can be more dramatic.
I also like to fill the stage with my performance tools - trunks, boxes, stands, signs. It gives the audience something to look at before the show and whets their imaginations as to what might happen at that part of the stage.
How I have staged
March 2 2012, 6:04 AM
I am still new at vent, but I have years experience doing magic shows. One of the neatest ways to set up when you have no stage is use tape. Most shows the kids do not need chairs, seating on the floor, esp. carpet gives you multi levels. As a Magician you do not want to be in a circle, that is the hardest way any one can entertain or speak. Adults in chairs behind the kids with tape on the floor for space if you need to walk around so you don't step on a kid. Kids get excited but you need some control of the space to present a good safe show. I know sometimes you get really little ones that just are starting to walk,They can be cute esp at the tactal stage, let the parents help control this.
The more shows you do you will work on the stage sometimes., the first time it will feel like what am I going to do with all this space:-) Then you buy more stuff:-)
Break a leg.
March 2 2012, 6:21 AM
Tape is also handy to have in case someone says, "I know how that trick is done!"