Streamlining

October 26, 2010

Good directors cut.  That’s what I’ve always heard anyway.  However, until yesterday, I had never really had to deal with majorly editing my act.  If cutting was all it took to be a good director, I’d be the best.  Taking some advice for show preparedness I heard a long time ago, I made a list of all the props that my act required to prevent forgetting anything at home on the day of the show.  When I looked at the list, everything that I had to carry, I was stunned.  It was way more than I had thought.  It was over 20 items, including a table  and shoulder bag.  That’s a lot of lug around.  I also noticed that something seemed funny about my set list.  There were six items.  The more I really thought about the show as a whole, and actually ran through some things, the more awkward that number seemed.  It just seemed like too much.  So I decided to cut it down to 5 items.

I like five items mainly because it’s not too long, not too short and it has a middle.  Six just feels like too much.  So I decided to cut the egg and silk trick.  Not only is it one of the tricks I have the least amount of expience with, it keeps me from having to carry around one of the more volatile props on my list: raw eggs.  So that helps both problems.

Then I got to thinking more about the flow of the show as a whole.  My last two effects are the rings and the cup and ball.  Something just seemed off about that.  I consider both of those pieces “finale pieces.”  The rings end so triumphantly will all the rings linked into a long chain and the cups end so surprisingly with the sudden appearance of a lemon.  They weren’t flowing together.  So, I considered all the circumstances of the show, the setting, audience, and whatnot, and decided that the rings with their flashiness and sound factor were more of a fit for the show.  So I cut the cups and balls.  Now, I know what you’re saying.  You’re saying, “But, Eric, you just told us a while back that the cups were really cool and authentic and how excited you were about it and you even put up pictures and stuff, what’s wrong with you? Are you some kind of chicken? BWAK BWAK BWAK!!”  Yes.  All that is true.  And trust me when I tell you it was a really hard decision for me, but it’s for the best.  With that trick gone, I no longer needed to bring my table, and that helped that situation a lot as well.

“But wait!” you exclaim, “now you only have 4 tricks!  What are you going to do?”  I appreciate your concern.  I have found a solution for that as well, but it will have to wait till tomorrow.  On the edge of your seats? I thought so.

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