Monday, September 26, 2005

"Bernie's Show" Post Mortem. (Part 1)

I thought it might be a good time to go over my performance on Sunday the 25th during "Bernie's Day" at The Browsers Den of Magic.

The first thing I will note that, even though I did not see the first two acts, I heard the audience response. Going by the first two sets the performers were a hit. The audience laughed, they gasped and they applauded. It is a lot easier to come out and entertain a crowd when they've been warmed up for you.
Lesson one: Follow good acts. A lesson I learned in high school drama during monologue day.

Secondly, my introduction. This was done by the owner of The Browsers Den, Jeff Pinskey. He's a nice guy who isn't really much of a performer. Before I went on he asked how I would like to be introduced and I said "No big thing, really. Just say the magic of Gord. Nothing special."
God bless Jeff, but he introduced me as coming from the far off land of Africa and introduced me as "Dr. Gord Gardiner."
Lesson two: Always come with a prepared introduction written on 4x5 cards.

Now it was my turn to shine. I have to admit I wasn't as prepared as I should have been. I didn't learn my complete script, which could have been bad. Also, I have this habit of second guessing myself RIGHT before I go on stage. I was worried. Worried about the script, worried about having the right cards in the right place and worried about somehow giving the secrets away. These worries could easily have been handled by rehearsal, which I didn't do enough of.
Lesson three: Rehearse, study and rehearse.

For my first bit I had to borrow a bill. That was no problem, in a situation like this there is always someone willing to give up a bill. I told the audience that "Thanks to the good officers of the Peel Regional Police Force, I had to do a public service announcement." This garnered a laugh. I borrowed the bill, showed the full audience that this person (a kid actually) loaned me his five dollar bill, then pocketed it. It was an old joke, one I've always enjoyed but rarely get to do. There is a difference in doing that to an audience of fifty and doing it at someone's restaurant table.
Lesson four: Sometimes the old jokes work.

I asked the young man who loaned my the five if he knew how to tell if a bill is counterfeit. He said he didn't so I went through a few facts. Like watermarks (each bill has random blue/green dots called "watermarks." funnily enough this bill had none that I could see, so I pointed to a smudge on the bill and asked a kid in the front row if he saw it. He said he did. Magicians rule!) I then told them that the paper that the bill is made of contain small threads. I rolled the bill into a cone and slowly pulled out a "thread" and asked if anyone could see it. Then I pulled it a bit further and it turned out to be a multi-colored silk streamer.
the audience reacted with a gasp. No bull here, they gasped when I pulled that silk streamer out of that bill. That felt good and filled me with confidence.
I then unrolled the bill, casually showed it empty, then handed it back to the kid who loaned it to me telling him that "Your bill is now counterfeit."
Lesson five: Making the audience gasp is a very good thing and bodes well for the rest of the act. Hope you can keep it up!

End of part one.

Next post: Lesson seven, do not ask for help from "The woman who is obviously breast feeding!"


Blogger Billp said...

Good for you Gord. Glad to hear the show went well. (So far, at least... I'm waiting for a surprising turn of events in part II).

3:09 PM  

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