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October 2007

34 entries from September 2007

Private Eye - Performance #3

Just back from Sunday night's show. Anthony said the box office told him we had 48 in tonight... 7 short of a full house! I tried to drum up a little extra business in the foyer before the show, but everyone in the foyer was there to see 'Private Eye' already! (Even up until later in the evening The Festival Club was really quiet. I think we were the only ones in there... so I wonder how the other shows did crowd-wise?)

Tonight's show was easily the best so far. The characters are really starting to come out, especially Anthony's 'Tony Tobleroni'. He went a little more over the top and played to the audience a little more and got some good laughs.

The magic went very well with almost all of the effects working and a few getting audible gasps (including Anthony's thumb tie sequence).

The sequence with Sue-Anne and Lee is really developing well too, with Lee's quill to pencil effect starting to look like trick photography, and Sue-Anne's rope sequence getting spontaneous applause in parts.

Enzo did a much better rendition of his act tonight, still not quite on top of his normal game, but almost there, and his acting has really improved as well.

The crowd responded very well throughout the whole show and again we got the same comments.

  • People really enjoyed the blending of the magic with the story.
  • They all thought 40 minutes wasn't long enough and we should extend it to 60.
  • They'd like to see even more story.
  • They really love the surprise ending.

From my point of view, it's interesting to see the different responses to tricks that are totally blended into the story (like when Sue-Anne changes bills into notes) compared to tricks that are clearly part of an act (like Al Cappuccino's act).

Also, using the iPod in conjunction with a CD (which doubles as my back up should the iPod have issues) worked really well. I enjoyed the flexibility the computer gave me, but it was just too unreliable.

Three shows to go! Try to come along on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday if you can, and if you've already seen it, please help us spread the word by telling your friends and family to come along.

(If you can make it on Tuesday - all tickets are only $15!)

Private Eye - Performance #2

Just back from Saturday night at the Fringe Festival. As predicted, today's focus here in Melbourne was on football rather than the arts.

We began the day very early performing a show at the Adelaide Crows Grand Final Breakfast, then it was back home to prepare for tonight's performance of Private Eye.

We were disappointed we only had a small crowd of 15 (though a show we watched after ours, The Rap Canterbury Tales, which was very good, only had 6!) Once again, the crowd responded very well and seemed to really enjoy it. Many commenting that the combination of magic and storytelling really delighted them.

From the performers point of view, it was better than last night, but they still have a few things to fine tune yet. But for magicians, who are all used to working solo and making things up as they go along... I think they're doing a great job that will only get better.

From my point of view, as tech, the computer crashed during set up again, and we couldn't figure out why. (It was a Microsoft 'Stop Error'). We thought it may have been a power surge so we ran the computer on battery, but no luck. It crashed again during the show, and the iPod was there to save the day so even the performers didn't know there were sound problems. This is the same laptop I use every day, and the same setup we have used through all the rehearsals. If anyone has any idea as to why it might just crash like that please let me know (and don't just say 'Microsoft' because the iPod is having "issues" too!)

Tomorrow night, it will be iPod all the way, with CD as back up!

We have almost 40 booked in tomorrow night (5.30pm show) so if you're planning on coming BOOK NOW because we're hoping to put the SOLD OUT sign up.

Private Eye - Performance #1

Just back from opening night and there's a sense of relief and disappointment in the cast.

Personally, I think they did very well considering this was the first time they've performed the show in front of an audience and, if the applause was anything to go by, the audience seemed to really enjoy it too. There what a lot of very positive comments and one lady somehow got back into the theatre after the doors were closed and the frantic bump-out had begun, specifically to tell the cast how much she'd enjoyed it.

We had a tech run this morning, to set the lighting states, and we got some very nice ones set up, but on the night - as things are prone to do on opening night - gremlins got in and our tech accidentally gave us the states for a different show! (Given her frantic schedule of rehearsing four shows then going straight into our show at 6.30pm without even a break! I think she can be forgiven... she's still teching as I type this and won't finish until midnight!)

So the lighting at the start of the show wasn't as good as we'd planned for, but tomorrow night it will be (fingers crossed!)

Audio-wise, we are running the show from my computer. At 5.45pm as we were bumping in, the computer crashed! It went "blue-screen" and I had to reboot it. Just in case it happened during the show I ran to the car and got the iPod. Sure enough, halfway through the show, the computer crashed again but luckily I was ready to patch the iPod in straight away and the sound really didn't suffer at all.

Magic-wise, sheer nerves (and that horrible curse of magicians in the audience *g*) meant that a few of the effects didn't work as well as they had in rehearsal, even Enzo didn't hit his groove in his 'Al Cappuccino act', but once again, tomorrow will be better.

It actually surprised the cast how well some of the lines and tricks were received by the audience. I don't think they realised how engaging the little show they've created is, even in it's roughest form.

So lines are being refined, tricks tightened up, and computers are being virus-checked! We had 40 people in tonight, and tomorrow night two of our audience members are Festival judges. Fingers crossed!

PRIVATE EYE opens tomorrow night!


PRIVATE EYE opens tomorrow night - 6.30pm - at the North Melbourne Town Hall.

Tickets are $18 & $15 - BUT TOMORROW NIGHT IS 2 FOR 1 TICKETS!

Tickets will be available at the door if there are any left, but we do advise you to book in advance because there are ONLY 30 seats remaining for Friday night, 40 for Saturday night and 20 for Sunday night (5.30pm show).

Don't leave it until the last minute and miss out, call 8412 8777 or book online at right now.

See you at PRIVATE EYE



We've all heard of kids entertainers who do this:

  1. Take as many bookings as you can on a weekend.
  2. Choose the highest paying ones for yourself.
  3. Farm the other gigs out to other performers and take a commission from each of those gigs

Now obviously some of the clients are going to be disappointed because they got an act other than the one they had decided on. (So make sure you tell your replacement acts to explain to the clients that they are filling in because you're sick, or your Auntie just died, or whatever...)

Of course, no-one would do that in the corporate world, where a 30 minute show goes for $3000-$5000, would they?

Yes. At least one act we know has been doing that for years. But two weeks ago he got busted big time.

He ended up getting a gig that we were supposed to be doing. The agent wasn't happy either because she represents him as well and she had him on hold, but he took the gig through another agent.

So he's annoyed us, and he's annoyed her.

But he's got the gig anyway.

The day of the show comes, and he says he can't do it because he has a bad back.

The other agent has to send a replacement act at the last minute.

The client hasn't got the act they wanted, but they feel sorry for him and hope he gets well.

Then a friend of the client sees him performing, that night, at another show in Sydney.

Now the client is annoyed, and so is the other agent.

I hope the difference in fee was high enough to justify all of the cheesed-off people he generated by his deceptiveness.

This has happened before, and I've spoken to him about it and he doesn't see anything wrong with his business practice... but he's still getting tons of gigs so good luck to him.

It's a small industry here in Australia, and as much as it's great to get lots of money, it can't buy you a good reputation. Hopefully one day he'll learn that lesson.

Rip offs

One of my least favourite columnists, Jill Singer, wrote a piece in this morning's Herald-Sun about the global impact of rip-off products in society. It really hits home the fact that we, as magicians, in our small corner of the world, should not and cannot sit back and accept rip-offs as a part of life.

Take a look at the article here.

Go Eat Worms...

Okay... still looking at innovative new releases in the magic world, Dan Sperry has a new trick he's selling as an instant download for $10.

Here's what his ad says about it:

Dan's latest stroke of brilliance is released now to all you beautiful people! For the past two years Dan has kept this routine his own and is now releasing it just in time for the upcoming Halloween vibe that will be floating in the air the next few months so without further delay I present to you...GO EAT WORMS...

The effect is simple and visual. You take out a bag of gummy worms and offer some to your audience. You tear it open and pull out one of the worms and eat it. As you offer some to a spectator everybody sees the worms slide out of the bag and pour out onto the awaiting hands of your victim where they instantly turn into real creepy crawling slimy worms...

Remember kids....always check your candy and NEVER take it from strangers...

And here's what it looks like: