Simon South's Cat Flap Of Opportunity

Simon South's Cat Flap Of Opportunity

Postby SimonSouth1 » 24 Oct 2012, 10:05

The Bacaro is a small club below the Hudson Bar. There unfortunately wasn't a huge capacity for seating directly in front of the performance area, which as my show was quite visual being Magic I had to accommodate for audiences standing at the side or on the seats to the side of the stage. This was quite tricky to do at times as there was also a rather large pillar that I had to work around, and if I turned completely to show my audience that weren't in front of me part of a trick, I'd lose the vibe from the audience in front of me and vice versa. There was also a rather large mirror at the back, which caused a minor issue for one of my tricks, but I think the way I managed to get around it made the effect better, and has stayed in the show.

A minor quibble with the venue is that it technically isn't part of the bar, and all my leaflets had the bar written on them. Also when I first turned up I walked into the bar thinking it was my venue. I think more clear sign posts would work wonders!

The Staff were amazing, and allowed me to leave my heavy props in their cage where they keep all the expensive alcohol. The were always happy to supply you with water, and when I went in for lunch one day even gave me a discount. They also allowed me to flyer in the Hudson bar just before my show to get more people in which was brilliant.

With the club being turned into a night club straight after my show, one of my Saturday shows was pulled which was annoying as I had agreed a full run without stops. If I go back to the Bacaro next year I would like a lot more prior knowledge next time than getting a call of my venue captain on the day when I'd just packed all my stuff telling me they'd prefer some close up magic instead of the full show. I still put my hat out, but I think that if I had been able to do my show that I would have pulled in more money.

When it came to flyering, I did most of mine on the Royal Mile. This year was my first ever Fringe Festival, and I couldn't help thinking that if everyone else does it and it works for them, it might work for me too. It had varying results if I'm completely honest, as one day I gave out around 200-300 flyers to get a return of about 10 people. I do however think that the way you flyer is very important, as at the start of my run I was just handing them out, but nearer the end I was being a little bit cheeky in giving them out, placing them in peoples open shopping bags and offering them a 'free flyer'. This method got me on Australian TV so I'd definitely suggest it! By the time I got to my venue as it is off a little side road the streets were never really that busy, and if people were going somewhere they knew were they were going and so didn't want to stop for a leaflet. The venue did allow us to literally litter the venue with our leaflets, but I was informed that on the nights it was a nightclub the staff had been told to chuck them all, without telling any of the performers. I only know because I was about to put more out for the next day and was told it might not be a good idea.

My audiences started low and worked up, which considering I am a no name in Edinburgh to have an audience on my first night when I'd done literally no flyering I was over the moon! And by the end of my run there was standing room only. The slow start never occurred to me that it might have been because of the Olympics, just that no one knows who I am! My bucket was fair during the week (I think my lowest taking was £20) but Fridays and Saturdays where brilliant, pulling in between £70 and £100.

I think if my time slot had been in the afternoon or early evening, I wouldn't have pulled in the numbers I did, but I am looking at doing more than one show next year (A family show, a version of the Cat Flap again, and a show with my assistant) so finding the correct times for the other two will be quite tricky I think, and I'll have to co-ordinate my venues.

I am really looking forward to doing the Fringe again next year, and I can't wait for it :-)

Simon South
Posts: 9
Joined: October 2012

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