SIZE DOESN’T MATTER – Bo in the trenches / by Bo Gerard

Well, it doesn’t!!!  I am speaking of audience size, of course.

"Bigger isn't Better" - from "Barnum"

"Bigger isn't Better" - from "Barnum"

I have been very blessed in my career to have performed for audiences of all sizes.  The largest audience I ever performed for was when I was part of an industrial show for State Farm Insurance.  We did two performances, with 7000 people each show, at the old Reunion Arena.  And while I was on tour with the Tony Award Winning Musical “Barnum”, we played houses like the Kennedy Center Opera House, and the Pantages Theater in Hollywood.  It was a big show, with amazing songs, brilliant costumes and sets, and a truly extraordinary cast, including Jim Dale and Glen Close.  Some of the theaters held 3000 people.

The largest audience I have ever performed my SOLO Comedy Magic show for is about 1000.  It is quite a different thing performing a solo stand-up show, with zero light or sound cues, compared to performing in a national tour, with award-winning lights, sound, sets, costumes, and 18 other actors.  With my show, it’s just me!  Lights and sound up at the beginning and down at the end.  I have to make them like me immediately, and keep them liking me for the next 45 minutes.  Sounds crazy, huh?

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However, I have also performed in hospital rooms, for an audience of one.  All of you performers out there know that this type of show is just as meaningful and rewarding as any big theatrical show.  The challenge here is to scale the frenetic energy and vocal volume down to the situation, while still being that “Crazy, Amazing Bo”.

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Every audience demands something unique from the solo performer – the number of people in the audience, stage placement in the venue, quality of sound and lighting, other presenters in the program - all these things effect how you launch your show, and keep it afloat for 45 minutes.

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So, in a sense, size DOES matter.  Just not in the way you think.  Bigger isn’t better.  It’s just… different!