Up to My Old TricksDecember 21 | Posted by Chezaday | Featured Columns
Another month has flown by and as I write we should all be out doing holiday gigs and making some money. Although things seem to be picking up somewhat…. they are far from seasons past. I can remember around years back that we were running around sometimes doing up to five shows, with illusions in one day.
Of course not every one can pull that off, but we did. Of course, I did have some help and when we were rolling…. we were like a well-oiled machine. Back about 15 years ago there were four of us that would travel together. Most of the time it was my brother Jeff working sound and lights, my onstage sidekick Flounder and my girlfriend Tina as the box jumper. For those not in the know, box-jumper is an old school term for the girl getting in and out of boxes. In my show they are better known as the Chezababes … and yes, there have been many over the years. Believe me, this was no easy task… especially out here when the winter weather can really wreak havoc on the driving conditions. As soon as we would arrive to a gig I would check things out. In a matter of minutes I would decide what equipment we would pull out of the van and the set-up would begin. Once the cases were in my brother and flounder would set-up the sound, lighting and backdrops. Tina would set most of the show and the costumes. I was in charge of setting the illusions and solving any problems that arose. The show was always the easiest part of the day … it’s the load-in and load-out that was the most work.
The show ran like clock work. Once and effect or illusion was done, it would go backstage and get packed. By the end of the show just about everything was ready to go. The sound and lights would come down as Tina and I were signing autographs. We were back in my 1982 Chevy van and on our way to the next gig. This of course was long before MapQuest and any type of GPS. We did this hundreds of times … it was pretty crazy and I look back in amazement. You wouldn’t believe some of the stories I could tell … many are hard to believe.
These days I’ve had to keep things much simpler. Most gigs are just one of the girls and myself. They have to pull double duty and run the sound during the show. This of course helps keep the cost down as most budgets have been slashed. We’re still happy to work with a smaller show; it’s just a matter of adapting to our market.
Let me just take a second and wish you and your family the best of times this holiday season. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa … whatever you’re into. As long as it’s peaceful, I’m cool with that…