I was signed up for three sets in the Arts Quest Commons area at 10 am, 12 noon and 2 pm. I was sandwiched between Eddy Ray, a good interactive magician. I had done the same thing last year with him so I was comfortable with the arrangement. I was also comfortable with getting paid well.
The Commons is basically a mall in the Arts Quest building and it was Peeps Fest so there was lots of activities, mascots, families, kids, 5 K race outside. General mayhem, but I had use of the sound system and sound guy. Unfortunately, the set up is weird, with speakers in the ceiling of this large metal and glass, none behind me so there’s no sense of the music coming from the performance area.
The first two sets were active though no sense of critical mass of kids to work with. The last set was quite full, with folks sitting down in front, offering requests so it was a good situation. I was also glad to have my friend John Christie show up with his guitar. He often sits in with me kids material and its great to have him play some fine leads. It stretches the material and adds a nice layer to the songs. Having done some of the material four hours earlier made it possible to repeat some song, too.
The magician, though clever, created a fairly cacophonous overall sound. Yelling, encouraging the kids to yell back, all for 45 minutes in a noisy room. But, magicians tend to grab and keep family audiences so the sets were packed. It’s really hard to sustain that energy with my music, but then that’s okay. I figured I provided some relief.
I left at 3 pm with the check and a few hours to recover for the Godfrey’s evening ahead.