Interesting Gig Coming Up

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
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Louisville, OH
So...we've all had interesting gigs, but I just got a phone call for one that might prove to be a new one on my list. A company would like me to perform strolling magic while on a charter bus for two hours while their employees and families are seated. It is a two hour ride to the amusement park.

Once the bus arrives at the park, I would be free to ride the rides (my family could drive separate and enjoy time with me) and then I would perform a half hour show after the company lunch under the pavilion. After the half hour lunch show, I would be free to ride rides again with or without my family if they come too and that is it until riding quietly home and resting at the end of the night.

Thoughts? Comments?

Possible price I'm throwing at them is $400 and my ticket price into the park. If I have my wife and kids come...I'm thinking $300 and all of their tickets paid for as well.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,249
3
Back in Time
Sounds like an odd gig, because I don't think many people are going to want to continue to see magic TWICE if they are sitting on a bus for a two hour ride.. How exactly would one do "strolling" magic on a bus? Do you just go from seat to seat up and down the rows? Because if that is the case it seems like it would get old pretty fast. Due to things like Road conditions, travel time and the fact that the angles will probably be really bad for majority of the effects.
 
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Two hours strolling on a charter bus is going to be a pain in the rear. You can walk front to back of the bus in less than 2 minutes which means 2 hours of strolling will be a rough racket to work out. You're best bet is to block yourself so you're working either two rows at a time left and right, or one to two rows alternating left side right side. The average charter seats I -think- about 24 or 25 people. Two per side. Figuring you spend anywhere between 7 to 10 minutes per section that could take up as much as nearly three hours to get through them all. Also keep in mind that the entire ride is 2 hours to the theme park. You're performance time is probably going to be more like 1 and half hours or maybe hour fourty-five. I'd set up either two or three different sets of tricks so as to make sure one group doesn't get too much of a sneak peak at what your doing for the people ahead of them, and rotate sets. The pavilion show is simple. Just do a standing thirty to forty-five minute show. Run different material than what you did close up. Due to the sheer volume of magic you'll need to bring (and the 2 hours on a coach bus is the real hurdle here) I'd charge them 500$ for yourself + park entry. Or 400$ for yourself + park entry for yourself and family.

This sounds like you're going to have a real fun time Rick! Keep us posted please to how this turns out.

So...we've all had interesting gigs, but I just got a phone call for one that might prove to be a new one on my list. A company would like me to perform strolling magic while on a charter bus for two hours while their employees and families are seated. It is a two hour ride to the amusement park.

Once the bus arrives at the park, I would be free to ride the rides (my family could drive separate and enjoy time with me) and then I would perform a half hour show after the company lunch under the pavilion. After the half hour lunch show, I would be free to ride rides again with or without my family if they come too and that is it until riding quietly home and resting at the end of the night.

Thoughts? Comments?

Possible price I'm throwing at them is $400 and my ticket price into the park. If I have my wife and kids come...I'm thinking $300 and all of their tickets paid for as well.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,249
3
Back in Time
The other problem here is that most charter buses (Greyhound/Amtrak) have pretty much zero wiggle room. Therefore going from row to row is going to end up being a lot quicker than most gigs because of the space involved on the bus.

The thing about this gig that sounds bad is essentially the time (2 hours on a bus) and the angles. They'll be seeing the magic from the complete left or right sides (which are the worst angles in a lot of close up magic.)
 
Jan 20, 2009
342
2
California
Rick i had did one of these about a year ago, it was on a bus for about 50 people for an hour and a half
and in my opinion did not go over very well you are going to be limited to what you can do and like randy said
your angels are crap,also keep in mind you can not have a set performance because everyone is so close by the time
you get too them they will already have seen it. im sure it is something you can make work if you really want too
but it is not something i would recommend or do again. but good luck and let us know how it works out.
 

Justin.Morris

Elite Member
Aug 31, 2007
2,731
826
Canada
www.morrismagic.ca
Ha ha, that sounds awesome! I've done lots of charter bus magic when our youth group goes on trips. You need to face forward and work your way back, doing a row or two at a time. You will need more material than usual because like dravan mentioned, the bus isn't THAT long. Perhaps doing a couple of stand up pieces (rope or something that can be done with few words) from the front first, then start working your way back.
I would charge 400-500 for that part. I would charge them for your park admission (since you are expected to perform inside!). Then I would charge your normal rate for a 30 minute show as well. I personally I wouldn't ask for admission for my family. I see that as less professional. You would be better off including that into your rates if you wanted to include it. So for the entire time I would quote 7-800 then admission on top of that.

I say go for it and have fun with it. Just be prepared with lots of material, and remember there is no where to set your cards or props!
 
Sep 26, 2007
592
5
Tokyo, Japan
Imagine the possibilities.

I think you need to go into this type of gig with a brand new type of mindset. Do not think of how the bus portion of the gig will go with the same expectations, boundaries, limitations, etc... that a regular strolling gig has. Just the mere fact that the passengers will also be somewhat confined to their spaces changes the mood they will be in and also changes the way they will enjoy the two hours. For example, at a banquet, people can move around, head to the bar, speak with many different people, and their attention spans are a lot shorter. On the bus, you could engage in a group for a good 10 - 20 minutes discussing the fine points of presentation, and they could be completely into it (this would be of course after doing your regular sets for the entire bus).

How many times have we, as magicians, sat with friends or family, or other magicians, and have just jammed doing magic for hours on end. There should be an aspect of this in your gig. You are not confined to the regular "strolling gig" expectations of having three 3 trick sets... etc...

Also, STOOGES STOOGES STOOGES. Imagine the possibilities for things like, "Card to under the toilet seat" (provided the bus has a toilet), or "card to glove box," or, "card to under seat 5b", etc... Get the contact info for the charter bus before hand, contact them, let them know whats going on, get the driver in on it, etc... The sky is the limit.

CARD THROUGH WINDOW!!!

etc.. etc...

Explain to the person you are in contact with that this type of gig would work differently from regular strolling gigs, and explain to him both the challenges you will have, and how you will work the situation to make it extremely enjoyable.

Don't focus too much on what will be difficult and what will be different from regular strolling gigs. Focus more on how you can use these differences to pull of extremely powerful and new magic.

Heck, if you know a quick change routine, you could do one by stepping into the toilet, and back out in under a second. Or, just do dress code under your jacket.

I also just thought that you would be able to pull off an extremely well done PK touch routine in the confined space. Man, I want to do this gig now!
 
Jan 11, 2011
101
0
Lol, I've never heard of this before. A magic gig on a bus? Not sure how that's going to work, but you'll probably need a large arsenal of tricks, since you'll be performing for the same crowd for two hours. Another problem I foresee is keeping their interest for two hours- practically impossible, in my opinion, but you can probably work something out.
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
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Louisville, OH
Well, the way I am envisioning this going down is me performing for a few rows at a time, then moving back a few rows, changing sets, and alternating every few rows making my way back to the back of the bus. Then taking a 10 minute break or so, grabbing two new sets of effects and doing it again. There are 46 passengers on the charter bus from what I have found out thus far.

This is why I posted this scenario to all of you to gather input because I've never even attempted anything like this. These people came to me and pitched me the idea and I can pretty much name my price and if they don't like it....I don't do it.
 
Jul 21, 2012
5
0
Arcadia, CA
This sounds like a fantastic challenge! Being a choir director, I have spent far more hours on charter buses than I like to imagine, and I have done loads of mini impromptu performances for my friends. I have never considered doing a full two hours, however. I think you have the right idea: face the front of the bus, essentially blinding people behind you. If your back is in line with the seats then you can perform for 2 rows (max 8 people) at a time. The idea of having 3 or 4 sets is pretty great too so that as you move back and include more audience members, the people ahead of them will probably be paying attention. If you do three 15 minute sets twice that is an hour and a half (ish). It does take new thinking and great caution with angles and repeated presentations, but I think it is very possible. I am excited to hear the results if you do take the gig!
 
Aug 2, 2011
150
0
California
I'm sure you thought about this, but make sure you do not get even a little car/bus sick. Also, if the asiles are narrow make sure you don't stick your butt in anyones face. It will me bumpy too, so don't rely on putting cards on a table.
 

RickEverhart

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Sep 14, 2008
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Louisville, OH
I figure everything will have to be in my hands or the spectators hands (the person who is sitting on the end of the row of seats.
I don't know how large charter bus aisles are but perhaps I could take a small table and throw a small close up pad on it. I am not sure yet.
This is definitely one of the more interesting jobs / gigs that I have come across. Rope effects I could do holding up high so a lot of spectators could see at once but I don't want to use things that are supposed to be used in my half hour lunch show for them later that day.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,249
3
Back in Time
Generally speaking most Charter buses aren't that big and usually the seats have built in tables on the back of the other seats to set (laptops,books, etc) on. Though for performing on, they most likely wouldn't work for you because you wouldn't have any room at all to set up or do anything on them.

If you are doing things, I would suggest they end up being things there you can easily block certain angles, and also not have to worry about blocking the rows. Maybe a few coins across effects for the bus, and then your usual card stuff for the lunch in.
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
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Sep 14, 2008
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Louisville, OH
Thanks for all of the input fellas. I am very nervous about taking this on, but I think it will help me as a performer and make me grow professionally. I'm 90% sure I'm going to take the gig and I will make a review / reflection post. The gig is Sept. 9th so a bit down the road yet.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,249
3
Back in Time
Quick question, has the client cleared this with the charter company? Because if not the company won't like the idea of somebody (You) being a safety hazard by blocking the rows. Seeing has the many times I've road on the bus, they always tell you not to block the rows, and what you are going to be doing is exactly that.
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
3,655
465
43
Louisville, OH
Randy, I am not positive but apparently this company has had entertainers in the aisle way before on road trips with no hassles. I'm going to run it by my agent to make sure though. Thanks for the heads up. I'm assuming it is a big Grey Hound bus or something similar.

Right now I'm trying to make a list of angle proof effects that I can entertain with.
 
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