Working in new material!

I have been performing Impossible Occurrences for almost 18 months at the Melbourne Marriott Hotel and have performed the current show over 140 times for around 8,000 people. I love it and feel that I have the best job in the world everytime I do it!

After performing it so many times one would think that I am used to it and it becomes second nature. I can honestly tell you that it doesn’t work that way. It’s a strange thing because every audience is different and therefore unpredictable in the way they act and behave. So I find you can never really become completely relaxed with what you are doing, but at the very least you do feel that you know your material well. So when trying to write a new show and introduce new material it is a big challenge to say the least.

Testing out your new material is like taking your new little puppy for a walk in the park with 60 aggressive lurking Rottweilers. If you make it through the park once … you are safe for now. If you make it through the park ten more times, your puppy is a very good boy and ready to walk without a leash. But you would still follow very closely behind giving words of encouragement and picking up his crap if needed.

After a number of performances you learn to find the comedy beats and moments that really work & connect with the audience and this can only come from performing it live. Which means your material is going to suck for a little while, but then eventually it gets better. Before you know it your little puppy learns to shake hands, roll over and not piss on the carpet.

Once the material is fit for a paying audience, the next step is to perform it surrounded by strong material so it won’t fall into a heap. Then eventually it then becomes part of the show.
Having someone oversee your material such as a director was a big lesson for me and is a huge help when writing something new. A magician can only imagine what the audience sees, but the director can tell you what the audience sees from every angle. They also correct dialogue and just about everything else along the way.

Having people come along and pay money so you can fool them is such an odd thing that I never initially understood. But I quickly learnt that is not why they are coming to the show at all. Within five minutes the audience learns it is not about fooling anyone, it’s about providing a fun and entertaining experience they won’t get anywhere else. For me its important to keep that fun experience there for the new show too… and this part just takes time.

So as I have been alluding to, a new show is well on its way and little puppies are going for lots of walks in the park. A few ran loose and will never came back, but none the less I am excited about those that remain.

The original Impossible Occurrences show is still running weekly, and we anticipate the new show to be ready in late 2016!

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