The Magic of Jack Daniels - The Journey: An interactive experience, played at the Castle Hill RSL on the 28th of August 2015. It turned out to be a hit with the audience. A lot of wonderful feedback and the team delivered what they had been promising for the past 12 months. It was the biggest illusion show to play within the Sydney Hills District! Many thanks to our two main sponsors Rileys Gym and Big Vision Labs.
The show ran for just over 2 hrs with a 15-20min interval.
Overall it was a great show. A full house with people saying they cant wait for the next one and they didnt want the show to end.
The show bumped in the night before, the 27th of August at around 6pm. Thanks to the management who assisted us with this very important factor of the show. Had it not been for the management of Jack Daniels, the venue had only given us permission to bump in on the day of the show which would have been impossible to do for a show of this scale. This show needed atleast a bump in time of 3 days before show day. This wasn't a show designed to play at a RSL. Its too big of a show for a RSL club. It wasn't a tribute band show or a one man comedy show, it was an illusion show on a grand scale! We are pretty sure the club didn't even relies the nature and size of this show. Long story short we bought the show in the night before thankfully!
The venue backstage was a mess. In order to make room to house all the illusions we had to spend an hour cleaning up and making as much room back stage so as not to be a OH&S issue for our crew. Lots of big equipment, lots of dangerous illusions, lots of sharp corners and very little room backstage etc etc
We were at the club from 6pm Thursday to 2:30am Friday morning setting up the show and designing the lighting with our fantastic light tech crew from Cherry Entertainment. http://cherryentertainment.net.au/
We only had around 4 hrs sleep that morning as we had to wake up bright and early and be at the venue by 9am for a full tech run of the show. Thankfully the illusions that were bought in the night before saved us almost 5 hrs of set up and planning. This is why it was so important to bump in the night before!
The crew were fantastic to work with. Everyone knew what was expected of each other, they didn't ask questions, they just did what they needed to do. They acted and delivered! It was a full on day for everyone. There were no breaks. It was one after the other until the doors opened for show time. A very stressful moment as we were running behind schedule and to think the club wanted us to bump in during this day.
Unknown to the audience, we had a few things that went wrong backstage.
For starters one of our illusions that was meant to be in Act One which had our head illusion assistant Jessica Smithson seen being balanced on the tip of a sword had to be removed from the show as the danger factor was to high and we didnt feel it was ready for the audience to see it yet. So we had to fit in a replacement effect.
One part of our ghost effect "Marie Anne", short circuited itself during the tech run. We had to think of a way to fix it or replace it with something else. Our illusion tech Hugh, took off to the hardware store to see what he could do but unfortunately we were running out of time and we had to come up with another solution...Unknown to the audience. It didnt effect the illusion as much but it would have been an even better outcome had it not "blown up".
Other then that there was a few minor issues using the house video screens and a few light cues not going off at the right moment but nothing that cant be fixed for the next run.
Shows of this nature people only always see the end result and only see the main "star" on stage. They dont see how much money, time, dedication and number of people it has taken to deliver a show like this. Being the performer, yes we do spend every second of the day perfecting what we need to do, after all its our vision thats getting played on stage, its our idea, its our years of dedication and hardship, we try to oversee almost everything before it happens, we write the script, we test the effects, we find the music, we try to create and improve ourselves but in my own personal opinion the crew are the real stars of the show. Its due to them that the show is able to be played on stage. They make us look good!
Its the stage manager (Alison Marie) who is hiding behind the curtains with the headset on and the laptop open making sure every cue (100's of them), every action is getting hit on time, every person backstage is at there stations ready to act etc etc. Most cases trying to do a handful of things in one go. A very very stressful moment considering some cues have to be hit on the second. its not a job for someone who doesn't know how to work under pressure.
Its the dancers (Jessica Smithson & April Twigger) who have spent hrs perfecting/rehearsing what they need to do. Choreographing the illusions, injuring themselves during rehearsals, bruising there body until they figure out the best way to move there body while inside of an illusion, knowing how to work the illusions, knowing the illusionist next move even though they could be inside of the illusions with no eye contact. Its a split second timing and it all falls down to trust and practice. They are the ones who really help the illusionist "sell" the story line for each effect.
Its the stage hands Hugh Ager, Kieran Taylor, Brett Lee who assist in the transport of the illusions, set up, break down, bring each illusion on stage at the exact right moment when its needed. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes. All these things are never seen. In some cases during the show as the curtains close as I am talking to the audience, they have just seconds backstage to remove one illusion, bring on the next one and vanish into the darkness before the curtains re open again.
Its the sound and Light guys who have to think on there feet and make last minute changes if need be.
These are the real stars of the show who deserve all the credit.
Now that The Journey is played in the hills we are working on the next run from here. A tour, so keep your eyes open as we may be hitting your town in the new year with the possibly of making an appearance in L.A. early 2016
Follow the next Journey through www.facebook.com/magictobelieve
Believe in yourself and you will achieve what others said cant be achieved.
Australia's Premier Illusionist