12/22/14 – Know Your Show

Know your Show

 

As a solo performer, you get used to thinking about your performance as if it were an island all to itself. However, once you start working as one act in a larger show, it is important to extend your awareness. You see, I am currently in a show (writing this backstage) and a good friend came to see and gave me an awesome note. I had not been receiving the applause I wanted and wasn’t exactly sure why. My friend explained that my personal style was very different that the rest of the show. Now variety is nice but the very presentational nature of the other acts got the audience used to a certain rhythm and by not doing that myself, I left the audience confused. I was not playing by the same rules and the majority of the cast, so I ended up confusing the audience.

 

As all you out there training know, rhythm and German wheel is supremely important. The timing of all of your actions makes the difference between getting the wheel over or not. Similarly, an act must have a rhythm and timing. There needs to be places where you leave room or applause, and places where keep your elements connected.

 

When I first started the run, I was moving too quickly. Many of the other acts would step forward and style, waiting for the audience applause. German wheel likes to keep on rolling so often I will do more of a continuous act, aiming to hold the applause until the end. However, because the audience had been trained by all the other acts in the show to applaud more regularly, they would try and clap only to be cut off by me continuing to do other tricks. So I slowed things down and added a bunch of applause breaks. But, like you do, I went from one extreme to the other. Now my piece was cut up into too many pieces and I was asking for applause when I had not yet earned it. So finally I found a balance of keeping things moving but having one or two movements when I would stop and let the audience clap. And it felt great. So remember not every wheel is an island, and always find your rhythm; you will know it when you feel it.

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