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Audience Appeal Workshop

"The secret is above your shoulders"

Some notes about entertaining the audience from Bill Gilbertson, the unicyclist who brought you the unicycling adventures of Forest Gump.

  • Use your arms, facial expression, eyes, mouth, and stature
  • More important than riding ability
  • Give them a chance for pictures
  • Feel good about yourself
    • If you don't, how can they
  • Smile, be happy
    • Your audience will be happy too
  • Have fun, relax, lose the tension
  • Show enthusiasm
  • Sit up straight, stand tall. Shoulders back, arms outstretched (above the shoulder) in a welcoming gesture
    • Involve the audience
    • Look at them - Acknowledge that they are there - You are there because of them
    • Greet them
    • Eye contact
    • Talk to them
    • Tease 'em
    • Give them time to wonder what you are going to do
    • Count the jump rope hops
  • Applause points
    • Pause, open up with your arms, they want to clap, you have to tell them when it's ok.
    • Don't overdo it
  • Invite audience to watch you
    • Pause - give them time to look at you
    • "Watch this!" Outstretch your arms or put them up in the air - Raise your finger
  • Demand that the audience watch you
    • Parade - Center of street is passive, work the sides
    • Parades are a wonderful means to test new ideas - analyze lack of response
    • Get right in their face (safely) with a hard skill
    • Example - Quick 180 uni spin
  • Take advantage of failure
    • Don't shrug off a failed skill, or be disgusted with yourself
    • Use to show how difficult a skill is
    • Build enthusiasm - invite audience to cheer you on
    • Biggest applause comes with success after failure
    • Have someone else do it or have them top you
    • When all else fails - Suicide mount
  • Use a shill
    • Ask the shill (water carrier in parade) - Is this a good audience?
    • Sit in the audience, cheer
  • Defer to another performer, help them or get them to help you
  • Make someone else a star - audience member
    • Sit on shoulders, twirl, sit on uni
  • Ask a friend for feedback - Thank them
  • Break the rules
    • Drop the clubs
    • Not standard skill
  • Be yourself
  • Tell a joke, do funny stuff
    • Well balanced diet, Half price bike store
    • One foot - miss the pedals

Pairs

  • Perform to the audience or to each other - depends on your theme and music
  • Mixed pairs - If the music is romantic, look at each other in a loving way
    • Make it look like you want to be with that person
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