SaFire Halloween Show at Fright Nights 2009





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Published on Nov 8, 2009

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This year for Halloween I did a half hour prop comedy show at Fright Nights for two weeks in Vancouver. It was an awesome experience! Other entertainers that were booked were Keith Leaf of http://www.firejuggler.org/ and Orbax and Sweet Pepper of http://www.monstersofschlock.com/

Keith Leaf is a comedy juggler and the Monsters of Schlock perform sideshow. From watching Keith's show I learned just how many fire props can exist and that fire and comedy really can be an amazing mix. He made me excited to work more on my fire comedy show, maybe adding new unique props, using shorter performance times and more jokes. From the Monsters I learned that BS can take you a long way in showbiz. Orbax is the king of bullshitting. It's incredible! This guy can improv and work a crowd, be hilarious the whole time, do one trick and make a show of the whole thing. Throughout the week in my show I got better and better at responding to and working with the crowd. There's a four chair balance bit I do that typically only lasts five minutes. There was one night that it went TEN minutes long and it was hilarious. One of the fellows that came up had had a few drinks and rather than just continuing on with my routine I really tried to focus on the audience, my participants and the one of the kind material that we could create together.

In the show I did hooping, dangerous ball and chain style poi spinning, blockhead, and a brief contortion stunt. The first night i did the poi set I went about it the same way I normally would but it didn't seem to fit right. By the third night I had it down, I did a shorter dancing set and lengthened the build up. Putting more emphasis and attention on the danger of spinning pointy objects and then only spinning for a short set of two minutes. The shorter routine keeps the audience in tension then a four minute one where after two minutes they just assume I'll be fine and not hit myself. That simple switch made a big change in the show.

After the poi set I would do blockhead seeing how it was a Halloween gig and people expect to see something messed up. It felt weird succeeding through the poi set and not satisfying the audience with something dangerous. I did blockhead briefly in college at parties after a coworker showed me how to do it but stopped doing it once I got thick black eyewear and I could no longer do it on a whim with the ends of my glasses. Doing blockhead gets a very different reaction from an audience then fire spinning or hooping. They look away, they disbelieve and they're disgusted. It was really satisfying to create such a different emotion in my audience than what I'm used to. After a few days in Vancouver I went down to Granville Island to a magic shop and picked up a few things. The thing that's really incredible about magic from a performance perspective is you might spend hours working on a trick and then you have a five minute bit for your show. With hooping, I work on a trick for hours and it gets me three seconds on stage. Of course as a kid I always thought magic was cool and my brother and I would learn dorky little tricks to show friends and family but now I'm actually really excited to learn a few magic tricks. I'm mostly interested in tricks that aren't perceived as magic but instead would be considered a unique skill of ability. I like that blockhead is real and so now I'm on a hunt for magic tricks that are typically believed to be true.

I also did some LED hooping around the park and entertained people while they waited in line. The first few days of roving was kind of strange and it didn't feel like I was right for the gig. A change of costume, some broken doll face paint and some creepy light blue contacts did the trick. Developing a character that is appropriate for a particular event is very important and I could feel the difference in the quality of performance and audience response to seeing me hooping around. Roving shows are my favourite kind of show because you get to play the most, hoop the longest amount of time and really increase your flow practice. After performing for 15 days in a row I can now kick my leg straight out and back in without turning at all!

Overall it was a great gig, I learned a lot about myself, my abilities and where I want to take my performance career. It was great to do more than just hooping in a show and I feel much more confident now in saying "I am an entertainer."

  • Category

  • License

    • Standard YouTube License
  • Song

  • Artist

    • Dr. Draw
  • Album

    • Train 64
  • Licensed by

    • INgrooves (on behalf of Fontana North)


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