Performing for an International Audience

Kyle and I have been blessed to spend the majority of 2009 touring the Mediterranean, visiting amazing places such as London, Rome, Florence, Nice, Monaco, Barcelona, and Capri just to name a few. Traveling to some of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe is an obvious perk of the job, but it also presented us with a interesting yet difficult situation as well, international audiences.

When audience is comprised of people from all over the world, several things affect their response to our show. Comedy is relative to one’s culture and surroundings, so it isn’t universal and many jokes that had fit so perfectly into our show before, had to be taken out. We also found out rather quickly that Europeans are a bit more shy about coming onstage and getting involved, which affected us because audience participation makes up a great deal of our show. And of course, a language barrier can be quite a challenge for any verbal performer. One might assume that magic is mostly visual, but that isn’t always the case. Over the years we have tried to become more creative and original, which in turn has lead us to have less grand illusion and more personality driven routines. Some of our best effects involve a significant amount of speaking, things such as predictions and “mind reading”, but when performing for an audience that doesn’t speak English, this type of magic is not an option and some of our favorite effects had to be cut.

While performing for international audiences can be challenging, it is also a blessing in disguise because it forces us to be more creative and allows us to experiment with new material. During our 2009 European run we were able to add multiple new effects into the show, including one which showcases a duet of magic and music, with me accompanying Kyle’s magic with my own piano performance. I was also able to learn a great deal of Spanish, and since our home port is Barcelona I have been translating the show in order to connect with the Spanish audience members which has proven to be beneficial on and off the stage. Overall, it’s been a great learning experience for us but we’re looking forward to getting back home to The States. I think Dorothy said it best when she said, “There’s no place like home!”