Posted on 29th September 2020 at 14:07
As you can imagine - my life is very different today to how I thought it would be. 2020 began with a sense of expectation of a good year ahead - bookings were up and I had 5 or 6 cruise ships in the diary. Both my Stress Boffin workshops and mindreading shows were going really well. What can go wrong, I thought…
When the Covid crisis hit I, along with all of my fellow entertainers, saw a diary that was swiftly emptied with little prospect of anything happening anytime soon. I naively thought that everything would be back to normal by September/October and if I could just hold out until then, the work would come flooding back in as everyone would be desperate for some live entertainment.
About two months into the lockdown I realised that I couldn’t just sit around waiting for things to change - I had to adapt to the new situation, even if it was only for a short while until things got back to normal.
So, I decided to go “virtual”!
(not my feet!)
Initially I thought I would just present my standard show, with some modifications on zoom and that would be fine. However, I quickly realised that this was a completely new medium and needed to be treated as such. Although there were challenges to overcome, there were some amazing possibilities too!
I adapted my office into a home studio, invested in some new cameras, lights, computer, monitors and other bits of kit until I had the set up I wanted. It seemed that every time I solved one particular problem, it would create another. However, before long I had sorted multiple cameras, professional backdrops, video intros, music and everything else needed to put on a great virtual show.
I designed the show from the ground up with all new material, specifically made for the new environment. One of the biggest challenges was creating material that involved the audience so that they didn’t feel that they were just watching a youtube video. I included several pieces where the audience could follow along and experience some moments of “weirdness” in their own homes. Very satisfying to hear the gasps of amazement at those points! I also devised some other techniques for making everyone feel a part of the show and not just spectators.
Then the challenge was to get the message out to people. A lot of event companies initially were very resistant to online entertainment, but as time has gone on, most now seem to be embracing it as the “new normal” at least for the forseeable future. I ran a day of showcases to give event organisers and bookers the chance to see the show for themselves so that they could see the impact an online show can have. The showcases were so successful that I organised another two days (the final one being this Tuesday, the 6th October).
Over the past month or so, I have seen a steady increase in enquiries as the corporate world has reluctantly acknowledged that virtual events are realistically going to be the only thing happening for the next six months or so.
So, big changes and new opportunities - I have even been booked for a show at 11pm next month as it is a team social for the American part of a company! No travel, no work visas and I can still fit in another 5 or so gigs on that date!
I could get used to this…
Please get in touch now to check availability
Tagged as: #embracingchange, #onlineentertainment, #virtualentertainment, #virtualevents, #virtualxmas
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