Don Moses Comedy & Magic Blog - A light hearted look at life, comedy and magic.

Archive for November, 2007

Friday, November 16th, 2007

The perfect gig

Has anything ever gone wrong when you are on stage at a large corporate event?

That is a very good FAQ.  The answer of course should be never.  Why? Because I check everything, always more than twice, and then slightly less than the worst ever recorded case of OCD.  And also, because I try to arrange the conditions in the room, well before I get to the gig – so what could possibly go wrong?

Well, I will tell you.

1. Bad sound equipment with electrical feedback so bad it sounds like your gig is being hijacked by dolphins.
2. The radio lapel (or “over your cheek”) mike you ordered is not there, or if it is there, no one knows how to set it up in the system.
3. The sound engineer doesn’t turn up, and a good natured hotel staff member says, “I’ll have a go – how difficult can it be?”
4. Corporate dinners mean large circular tables; which also means 50% of the audience have their backs to the stage, which is fine and I can work with that, as at the end of the dinner, the chairs can be turned to face the stage.  However, then you are told everything is running late and the organiser says: “Could you perform during the meal?”? Yes, of course, shall I start the show with “Hi, my name is Don Moses – now if all of the 150 people with their backs to me, yes! you! could you pick up your Gordon Ramsey Plates, swivel around in your seat and place the plate on your knees. That’s right, TV dinner style that would be perfect?”  It is not going to happen.

Sarcasm aside, I pride myself on being a meticulous planner and a relaxed performer.  I really do want the whole show to look easy.  The expression in magic is, like “a swan on a lake”.  It should look easy going and effortless on the surface, but beneath, everything is going crazy.  Well some gigs, because of the obstacles presented, can make the swan a little bit flustered.

I have actually worked with big named TV comedians (I have been doing the close up magic at the tables earlier in the evening and then stopped to watch the end of dinner entertainment) who have died on their showbiz bottoms simply because of the layout of the room.  I have also seen true professionals (mainly excellent stand up comedians who are gigging 300 times a year) battle on against all these adverse conditions, as if racing against the clock in a Buckaroo game, and then just getting off the stage before the collapse.  You have got to admire that.

I can tell you that most entertainers are in the business because we love performing and we want the audience to have a great time.  Sure, we get paid a fortune for corporate gigs, but if we had the choice of a well paid bad gig or a fantastic gig for less money, would we choose the lesser paid fantastic gig?  Yes, you bet we would.


Don performs as a wedding magician, corporate entertainer, and after dinner speaker at events throughout the country. London Magician, Manchester Magician, Liverpool Magician, Birmingham Magician, Newcastle Upon Tyne Magician, Magician Surrey, Edinburgh Magician, Oxford Magician, Bristol Magician, Magician Milton Keynes, Leicester Magician, Leeds Magician, Magician Kent.