We all have “those times.”

No matter what it says on your contract. No matter what the agent, client or venue promises.

There will come a time when something isn’t right.

In Breaking Down The Brick Walls Of Show Business, Ken Groves tries to help you understand how to avoid problems. He outlines what you need to do, how you need to act and react. It is a great book …

But even Ken has “those times.”

While I was visiting Ken, he had a show and I tagged along. The set up wasn’t ideal. He was to be shoved in an awkward corner created by steps and a panel in the room. His audience was on two levels. The angles and sight lines were not great.

Ken advises walking when things aren’t right.

That night, he did the show.

Considering the circumstances, he pulled it out. But it was definitely one of “those times.”

I remember Jay Johnson telling me about one of “those times” when a clown sprayed him with water during his act. We laughed about it, but when it happened it was very serious. I included the story in his interview for Discussions On Showmanship.

During the holidays, a client contracted me before settling on a venue. It turned out to be a bar in Baltimore. The stage was also a seating area, with big couches along the wall. The dance floor in front of me was empty. In fact, there were few bar stools or places to sit. And there were no chairs.

I ended up having the staff bring in their deck furniture and some extra bar stools from a back room. Still, with an audience of 200, there were only seats for about 25 people. Not exactly the way to perform a comedy show. But I did my best and the client was happy.

What I’m saying is, that no matter how hard you prepare, no matter what precautions you take, there will still be “those times.”

My advice to you is to:

1. Ask for everything you need to present the best possible performance.

2. Remain flexible when you have to be.


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