Magic in the summer usually involves lots of requests to perform outdoors. June and July are the months when villages, schools, churches and many other organizations hold their summer fetes. I have performed at several this year.
Performing close up magic for small groups of people, adults or children, works very well. This can be done either by strolling around performing for people as the magician meets them or working from a base with a table and entertaining people as they go past. I often attract attention with some plate spinning which is very visual and which children of ALL ages (I’ve had people in their eighties having a go) enjoy trying to do.
Performing a magic show for children, which is often requested, is another matter and I generally decline unless the show can be performed indoors which is seldom the case. I have found over the last 20 years that magic shows work best when performed indoors. The reasons are many, the weather being a major factor. The possibility of rain in our country is obvious but sunny days also bring problems in that the sun can be in the eyes of the performer or those of the audience. Gusts of wind can also wreak havoc with the magician’s props, often to the amusement of the audience but difficult for the magician. It is also difficult to hold the attention of the audience with constant chatter from parents and people walking past. If the organizers insist on an outdoor performance I normally recommend a Punch and Judy Show where the operator is in an enclosed booth oblivious to what else is going on around him.
Recently I was asked to perform a show at a school fete. I explained my views to the enquirer and declined the booking. However, she was very persuasive and on the promise of being given a marquee in which to perform, against my better judgment I agreed. When I arrived at the venue I asked where I should go and was pointed to a two sided gazebo about eight feet by eight. I expressed my doubts but said I would do my best. Despite my use of a PA system I could still hear some of the mums chattering close by which is off putting and sad to say all too common. It was also a windy evening and the sides of the gazebo kept blowing in and knocking over some of my props. I was on my last trick of the second of two 20 minute shows when the heavens opened and the audience made a dash for the shelter of my gazebo with obvious effects on my speakers which were knocked over but fortunately not damaged.
Only yesterday I was asked to perform a show in the open air. I declined.