Interrupting Your Regularly Scheduled Programming 

I want your opinions. I really do. You can email them to me through the blog. Or my personal email if you have it. You can leave a comment here so everyone can read it (the best option). Whatever. I want to know what you think. You’re answers will inform my actions. 

I work a lot of cruise ships which comes with it’s own unique problems and benifits. Lately I’ve been trying to capitalize on the unique aspects of cruising. One of the things that is unique is performing different shows for the same audience. Often I perform a full length evening show and then later in the week split the bill in a variety show or sometimes I’ll do a second completely different full length show. It took me a long time to realize that I could take advantage of this and make my shows episodic. Set up things in one show and pay them off in another. Some of it has worked and some of the ideas have been a complete failure. For example: The finale of my cruise ship show is the Balloon Pop! Mouthstick trick. I knew I’d be doing another show the next day so right as I popped the balloon I had the lighting guy do a blackout. When the lights came back up I was gone and the cruise director told the audience that I’d be having another show the next day. The next day I opened the show with a blackout, when the lights came back up I was on stage about the pop the balloon. I thought this was a great idea. People hated it. 

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of Andy over at the Jerx. A few months ago about he wrote about conducting focus groups for magic. I thought it was a great idea. I also couldn’t imagine a situation where you could realistically do that with juggling and then I realized that one of the worst things about cruising (being stuck with your audience for days or weeks after a show) might also be one the best things about cruising. 

After you do a show you are in a unique position to talk to people about your show. To ask them questions. On a cruise you are in the unique position of having them all around and looking for activities. You could, in theory, have a talk back the day after your show. Where you invite people to come and have a “peek backstage” and to start a dialoge. You could give them a little backstory about the routines you do, talk about some interesting experiences you’ve had, and then ask them to share their thoughts and feelings about the show. It’d be a planned, relatively formal thing. The idea of it is super interesting to me. You could do that. Some guest entertainers do talks post show about their travels or their expert sudoku tips. So, you can do it. But, should you?

 Why not? What are the reasons to not do this? What are the cons? 

If you did do it, what questions would you ask? What would you want to know? 

How would one structure it? 

Could one juggler doing this benefit other jugglers? What questions/answers would interest the comedy juggling community at large? 

4 thoughts on “Interrupting Your Regularly Scheduled Programming 

Add yours

  1. I love feedback from other performers. I love notes. I love having my peers pitch or sell jokes to me.

    But audience feedback sessions are different in that you should pay attention to their issues but not to their proposed solutions. Too many of their suggestions will be based only on what they’ve seen other performers do.

    Greg Dean teaches that the audience will tell you everything you need to know without asking them. They’ll tell you if a joke is funny by laughing. They’ll tell you if a bit is running too long by getting bored. (He may not have actually said any of that, but that’s how I remember it.)


  2. you’re asking so i’m answering– never engage with your audience outside your show other than to have a beer. never talk shop with them. an audience has come to -you- for the answers. you are above them. i don’t care if it is a cruise ship or not. you are the big tits blonde girl in your act (big pecs, muscles rippling version for gays and women). any feedback you need will be in their response. if something fails then it failed. no need to ask why, just don’t do it again. if something killed then do it again. and again. keep killing. you’re your own teacher at this point. anything else is self sabotage.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it was Plato who said “The worst way to get someone’s true opinion on something is to ask them for it”.

    What you’re suggesting might be better if you are trying to start a religion, or to get people to think jugglers are more like magicians.


  4. Great idea!
    First cons:
    – if you don’t tell the organisers before about it, they may be surprised.
    – you should advert the audience about it too.
    – it cannot not be a show

    – identify who came to the first show
    – you may take the same order and go through while commenting it.
    -,you can try new tricks new jokes
    – you can collect great jokes ideas from people
    – you can invite people to come on stage if they can do tricks in a unformal share your passion part
    -you may give a theme to this revised show, like in the renegades in conventions, like “do it with one more ball”, or use only one music again and again, or everything blindfold, have them play with the sounds and lights
    -you can make a reduced show, 5minutes long for all the people who didn’t come to the first one it is really funny especially because it works with both audiences the o E that came and the others

    I really do think it’s a good idea. If people are stuck on the boat and they come because there’s nothing else to do, that’s not a great audience, besides they already know your character there is now discovery. Doing this exchange show the bond you create is stronger and this is the kind of “home feeling” the cruise ships want their customers to experience.

    Olivier Palmer



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