Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Stage Show: One bite at a time

I’ve always wanted to put together a stage show. I have always been fascinated by the idea and, though I didn’t really know where to start, I knew I needed to find a way to make my dream become reality.

This week I was able to get a step closer toward developing a stage show.

I have a habit of asking The Amazing Kenny (Insert Link) on a regular basis how I can improve myself as a performer. Not only do I ask him, but Jimmy Leo and Mike Clay. There are a number of others, but those are the ones I most often call for advice.

This week it was Kenny that helped me out. I asked him what I should do to improve my performance in the restaurant and he told me something quite amusing. He said “Act like Jimmy Leo.”

For those of you who know Jimmy Leo, you know exactly what he’s talking about. And for those of you that do not yet know who he is, I suggest you look him up and learn a little about him. Jimmy Leo is a GREAT entertainer and balloon artist. He is very creative and I can’t think of a better person to call when I need motivation on a new bit of performance I’m working on.

I went to work this week and I made sure to keep Kenny’s advice in the back of my head. And when the time came, I totally took on an aura of Jimmy Leo. Even better than that, I was able to use a storyline that I gathered from one of Guido Verhoff’s classes at Diamond Jam.

I went up to a table with 6 children and 4 adults and proceeded to tell a story of a prince and princess, dressing them in balloons and entertaining the entire section of the restaurant.

I’m not going to be going into detail about the specific story here, but I told a story as I made very simple balloons for each of the characters. Not only was it a LOT of fun, but I also noticed that it was VERY similar to a stage show.

That being said, I feel it has moved me a step closer to actually developing and presenting a full stage show of my own. From here on out, I am going to use my restaurant gigs to not only help with my individual gags and routines, but I will also be using them to help develop and refine entire stage shows.

With time, patience, sacrifice, and a little luck, I should be refining a stage show within a time frame of about 3-6 months. Once I have that refined, I will be able to attend Jeff McBride’s School of Mystery where I can get personalized coaching on my show, performance, and polish.

And for those of you who are restaurant entertainers out there… Have you developed a stage show yet? Have you tried it in the restaurant? If you don’t have a show, have you considered piecing one together in a restaurant setting?

And for those not in a restaurant… Have you ever considered piecing together a stage show from event bookings? What could you do at your next event to mimic a stage show and help yourself grow as a stage performer?

And my challenge for the week:
Attempt to tell a story with your balloons in a way you’ve never done before and at a place you’ve never considered. Let me know how it goes. I’m interested in hearing about it.

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