Little Monsters Blog

So what's in a routine

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 12:00 AM

So what's in a routine

Any kind of show is made up of routines, to a singer, his or her songs are their routines, to a stand up comedian, the stories they tell and the one liners form the routine. So it is for a family entertainer like me. Using a combination of magic, comedy and music I make up a routine. It’s very easy for an act like mine to draw inspiration from many areas in the entertainment industry, the stand up comedian, the singer, even viral videos. (pen pineapple apple pen) Current and indeed past TV shows can even play a part in my act.

So I talk about “the act.” The act is the final collection of routines all strung together in an order that works for me and the audience, but what’s in a routine? How important is it to get it right? Well it’s crucial, if Edd Sheeran produced a song that was quite frankly rubbish it wouldn’t be very successful. Yes it my go into the charts quite high at first just because it’s Edd Sheeran, but the general public are smart and it wouldn’t be long before you saw it for what it was, rubbish. Fortunately Edd doesn’t often write bad songs and I’d like to think that Little Monsters don’t use bad routines. Just like Edd who writes 100 songs in order to find 12 good songs to go on his album. I have many variations of a routine before I settle on one that I want to show you. Even then it needs road testing, it has to be put into the act in order to see if it works well with an audience, how do both children and adults react to it.                                                                                                                                                                                                 I have routines in my act now that have been there almost a year and are still developing. My garage is full of boxes with bits and pieces in that made up routines that didn’t make the grade. I’ll keep them because you never know when or where inspiration will come and I find a use for a certain prop, It’s quite a bizarre collection of things.

How is a routine chosen or created?

Many entertainers / Magicians see an effect or routine on an online magic shop and buy it directly from the shop and perform it exactly as the original routine suggests, their act is made up of purchased material and performed just as it says on the tin. That’s not my style and not what I would recommend to anyone starting out. You can never be an original act if you only perform other people’s routines with no variations. In the nine years that I have been involved in this crazy game I have learned so much. A few years ago I would have been amazed by a particular piece of magic shown on the internet or at a convention, and gone “Wow, I have to have that,” paid £70 for it got it home and realised that there’s no way I can use it in my act, it’s just not me. You have to be true to yourself and create an act which suits your personality, If you’ve ever seen the Little Monsters magic and balloon show you’ll know that one thing I don’t do is take myself seriously, and that reflects in the routines I do. I do still use the odd routine for older kids and young adults which is a bit more serious but I’m looking to phase them out because I’m just not that comfortable performing them.              

I have a truly amazing routine which blew me away when I first saw it and even after two years I still understand why it does the same to an audience, I pass a playing card through the wall of a clear balloon in plain sight of everyone in the room, It’s a great effect but I’m not that comfortable with it….yet, I need to make it sillier.

With experience I have learned to seek inspiration for a routine first, perhaps something I’ve seen another performer do, or maybe something completely non related to magic or entertainment. I then plan out the routine, how I want to introduce it, how it will end, what will be the kick, then fill in the blanks in the middle. Only when it gets to that point will I look to purchase what I need to perform it. Most of the items for my most recent routines have come from Pound Stretcher not an online Magic shop. If I draw inspiration from another entertainer, perhaps through a lecture of theirs, my first thought is how can I make this my own, put my own stamp on it and Make it a typical Little Monsters routine. Only if I can do that can I call myself a unique act. If a routine stands the test of time and it seems that audiences aren’t tiring of it, it might stay in the act for several years, after all if it aint broke don’t fix it. I have been fortunate enough to discover a couple of routines such as this but even then I feel it’s worth while to rest them from time to time. Skittle the Chicken is one of those routines. I brought him back last Easter after a year off and the super flying mind reading chicken is cooking up a storm and is still developing. Another is the Laser Phaser Dazer routine, an original idea of a Mr John Breeds. This is another routine that has developed over time until it became a version that I’m completely happy with and I’m confident that no one does it quite like me. I have recently rested this routine from my children’s show but it can still be seen in the Family show where it’s taken a new turn. It’s so important to me that things don’t get stale. I’d hate to be one of those entertainers that people talk about as “still pulling that rabbit out of his hat, it’s been the same show since I was a kid.” No, my aim is to stay on top of things, keep it fresh and current, introduce new ideas to shock and amaze the audience, be diverse and perhaps a little bit edgy but most of all keep it fun.

This year I have been developing the Little Monsters family show, it’s a show with something for everyone. I’ve tried to keep the same humour and entertainment value that you’ve come to expect from any Little Monsters show but it’s for the whole family, not just the kids. The Family show is perfect for holiday parks and family functions and guarantees to entertain. If you would like more information about the Family show just get in touch via the contact form.

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