Are Producers Really Needed?
I was on a booking for a large national industrial roofing corporation. The event was at a hotel I had performed at many times, the Westin La Paloma.
I've had great experiences there with some big production companies.
I was Austin Powers for the cocktail "hour" and Donald Trump for the awards show. I have done this set up many times but always with a production company behind me. This was not the case at this particular event. The client essentially produced the show themselves with limited outside assistance. The evening started off great for me. Austin was a huge hit in the cocktail "hour". I worked the room: met and was photographed with virtually everyone in attendance. This was possible because the "hour" turned into an hour and a half, then two hours. Why? Because this was the evening of the play off game between the Saints and the Vikings, monitors had been set up in the room and a large majority of the people were watching the game intently. An event being a full hour behind schedule is not a good thing but the game dictated the schedule. If you've ever been on any event that has fallen behind schedule they tend to fall further behind schedule as the night goes on.
This is where a producer would of come in handy. The entertainment that evening was a well known Pick Pocket artist. He was going on before me to do his 50 minute interactive show. I was going on after him to do a roast and hand out the awards for the evening. A good producer would of made the decision to switch and have me go on first as Donald Trump to do the awards and then the pick pocket to do his headline act.
Here is why, the pick pocket who was extremely entertaining and funny puts on a highly interactive and high energy show conversely due to the fact I had to give out 31 awards, every time I had to wait for the person to come to the stage it killed the energy in the room. I would roast the person get some laughs then wait for them to come on stage, take photos and leave the stage. An experienced producer would of figured out a better way to execute this element of the evening. The more important element was the fact I came after a high energy performance, I should of been first as an "opening act" to warm up, roast and give out the awards. I learn something at every performance on how to maximize entertainment value but what I learned in Tucson is simple...it is best to work with an experienced producer who is willing to make changes and decisions on the spot.
Just a side note I labored over writing the roast for weeks. I wrote a great deal of material but had to cut chunks on the fly since we were so far behind schedule. Over all the Trump awards segment went over fine but it could of been better with a simple change of order.
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