I am six feet three inches tall in my stocking feet.*
Probably a good sixteenth of an inch shorter in my bare feet.
In shoes? Well, Probably six feet four inches tall or more in dress shoes. If I ever get hold of a pair of the platform shoes that have live goldfish swimming in them, made famous by two time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steeler Frenchy Fuqua (the man who was NOT touched by the ball in the Immaculate Reception) well …
Yeah, where was I? Yes. I’m a tall, big guy.
When I’m in a show where I expect to bring up a kid to help with a routine, I frequently like to perform the routine with both of us are sitting down. This is especially true of the theater shows I do. The benefits of both of us sitting are particularly helpful in a theater setting.
It tightens the shot.
I could be as much two feet taller than the kid. With both of us seated it puts the focus of the shot, my face and the kid’s face, within the same frame.
It tells the audience this interaction is something special.
That big snarky guy that was just having fun with the loud guy in the front row just put on the kid gloves when the kid came up.
Kids fidget. Chairs don’t.
Having the kid sit in the chair limits the challenging fidgeting that can come with a child volunteer.
It gives me the opportunity to lean back in my chair when the kid says something funny.
I love these moments. The kid says something funny. Often unintentionally. Then I get to lean back in my chair and obviously enjoy the moment. This subtly encourages the audiences to more deeply enjoy the moment. Instantly we shift from them watching me to all of us caught up in the joy that is this child.
And adults, too.
Having talked about kids for the previous points in this post, let me conclude by saying that’s not the only situation for the chairs. A little conversation, a fun back and forth, can all be enhanced when both the magician and the spectator are seated. I confess, this isn’t something I could have carried off when I was younger. But as the years passed I found myself not being in such a stinkin’ hurry.
Is this a good idea for you? I’m not sure, but I am sure it’s a good idea for you to consider.
*That’s 190.5 centimeters to countries that have never been to the moon, pal. .