How times have changed!
Posted on 4th January 2021 at 17:54
I was reflecting recently how much technology has changed over the past 15 years and how that has impacted on my shows. When I first started performing my after dinner shows, AV in many of the events I was performing at was pretty non existent. If you were lucky, there may have been a DJ with a system that you could plug into and that was about it. Because of what I wanted to achieve, I bought a load of equipment that would allow everyone to be able to see me and the show to its best effect. I had two large projection screens, professional video camera, projectors and more. I used to have my own AV technician that would come along to my larger shows, along with a camera operator so that I could have a video intro, and various display elements as well as a live camera feed.
As time progressed and the type of events I was performing in increased in prestige, more and more I found a professional AV team, screens etc already on site as standard. Subsequently, I only needed to bring along a laptop and radio mic with me and plug into the main system. I sold all my AV equipment and found that it was no longer necessary to bring my own team with me.
Now, with the advent of a virtual show, I have had to invest in lots more equipment to allow me to present my show in the best light in this new environment. New laptop, three lights, three cameras, switching unit, extra monitors, footswitch , green screen and more - my office has been converted into a home studio and my performing space looks like the cockpit of an aeroplane!
I am loving performing virtually, incorporating video, chat, mulitple cameras and music into my show. Interestingly, one of the initial fears of online shows was that the audience wouldn't feel involved, however with the use of the chat facility, in fact everyone can take part in the show by interacting and taking an active role within the show.
I think one of my favourite parts of the show is when I get everyone to follow along with me and everyone gets to experience a little bit of "weirdness" in their own homes. I love that moment when they get to experience something that seems impossibvle in their own hands - that feeling where the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. The sounds of gasps and shouts of "No way!" are very satisfying.
Like many of my colleagues, I am looking forward to performing in person again - especially performing walkabout mindreading and "weird stuff" but I will be sorry if the virtual shows disappear completely - regardless of what happens I am eagerly awaiting what challenges and opportunities this year will bring.
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