I do a lot of events, over 100 per year. Most events are great! Every year there are a few that are very special and stand out from the rest. Amazing audiences, great venue and the show is fantastic as a result. And then, there are a few that are, um, not great.
As an entertainer it is important to be able to perform for almost any group. However, some situations are just better suited for entertainment.
During the holiday season I performed every weekend at two or three corporate events. All but one went very well.
So what made that one show not go as well as it should? Was I unprepared? Did I show up late? Was there a technical difficulty? Was the meal late being served? Was the area the show was to be performed in not visible to everyone? Was there a break between the meal and the entertainment where the crowd lost focus?
No, although these are all fantastic ways to sabotage your entertainment.
I’m talking about an excessively drunk audience.
Obviously, at many events the attendees are enjoying a few drinks. This is obviously fine. However, once in a while I get a crowd that is just too drunk. The show I speak of from this past holiday season I actually saw two people fall out of their chairs because they were too drunk to remember to sit up. When I had my volunteers in the chairs to be hypnotized I had someone in the audience start throwing napkins at the volunteers. And, they simply would not be quiet, or dare I say “shut up”.
What I find horrible about this situation is that the drunk people are inconsiderate. They couldn’t care less if there was entertainment. That is fine for them. What really drives me crazy is the other half of the audience struggling to hear over the yelling, and not being able to see because of the constant drunk people running around the room.
I’m not sure what the solution is. In this case the party was for about 150 people. 30 of them had a pre-party and drank a lot. Those 30 people were enjoying themselves, and even enjoyed the show. But at the expense of the rest.
The show was still a success. The host thanked me for being so great in such a challenging situation. But if I didn’t have the experience I have it may have been a different case.
I’m not sure the solution…
All I can think of is that perhaps parties should tell people they will be removed if they are excessively drunk. But that puts the party organizer in a tough place if they actually have to enforce it.
Or perhaps, people should know when it is appropriate to have that many drinks. I realize this won’t happen, but I can dream!
It’s interesting to me that this was a high end corporate party where some people were too drunk to be considerate. Just a few weeks before I performed at a biker rally and had one of the most respectful audiences of my career…
BTW, here’s a pic of a room before the audience came in for one of my holiday shows. What a great looking setup!