Helpful information for hosting a show
Introduction, Seating Tips, Audio Checklist, Misc info after booking Darren.
Before the show:
Please have in mind for someone to use a separate microphone to introduce Darren. The introduction can be serious or funny, long or short. Say whatever you like, just make sure the last words are “please give a warm welcome to… Darren Collins.” Or “Put your hands together for, Darren Collins.” Instructing the audience to applaud is a great way to start. A sample introduction can be found by clicking here.
First, Darren is flexible. He will work with any set-up he is given. Having said that, here are a few suggestions:
Pack the audience as tight and close together as possible. This may mean roping off back and side areas. No one really knows what it is that causes it… but an audience that can smell one another tends to laugh louder and listen quieter. Get them close together. Comedy clubs know this, music venues know this, church fellowship halls, sanctuaries, and outdoor parking lot shows are generally not good at this. People should be seated close together whenever possible. Darren may even encourage youth to sit close on the floor and in the aisles at some events.
Let the audience sit as close to the stage as possible. Think basketball game, not football game. Courtside seats are the best. If Darren is on a raised stage, there need not be any space between the audience and the stage. If Darren is expected to perform on floor level, 10 feet of space is all that is needed.
If an audience is comprised of ALL AGES: Children should sit WITH parents. Please take time before the presentation to encourage families to sit TOGETHER. Please do not allow children to gather up in front, ESPECIALLY un-attended.
If an audience is comprised of mostly students or children: Encourage the leaders, parents, or teachers to sit WITH and amongst the students.
-Seating for Darren’s presentations are best viewed with narrow, deep seating as opposed to wide, shallow seating.
-A center aisle is not preferable, the best seats are in the center!
Things to avoid in fellowship halls or banquet areas:
-Seats at round tables that face away from the stage. (This is always slightly awkward for the audience to turn the chairs. Audience members are usually spread far apart in this situation too.)
-Seating on the direct SIDE of the stage area. Magic and illusions often require good lines of sight. It is helpful to not have seating directly to the side of the performer.
Tips for dinner events:
-Please allow the audience time to finish eating before the presentation begins. It is really hard to get someone to laugh when they still have a fork in their mouth.
-Tell the audience that there is going to be a special performance, and give regular 15, 10, 5 minute warnings. This helps the audience prepare to enjoy a show, rather than take them by surprise mid-conversation or just before a needed bathroom break.
Darren requires a wireless head set mic. (especially the Countryman series). On some occasions it is nice to have the option to switch from a regular hand-held mic and back to a head set. (In the case where mainly speaking or stand-up comedy is being employed.) Otherwise, Darren will be juggling or doing something mischievous with his hands that require them to be free. (Darren can provide his own sound system and microphones, but this must be arranged well ahead of time.)
Gymnasiums are very echo-ey and are very difficult to hear amplified audio in. Specifically, elderly people have a hard time hearing well in gymnasium settings. Please keep this in mind.
Performance Area Dimensions:
Darren can use a pretty small space, but if you have control over the venue floorspace, please allow 15 feet width and 10 foot of depth for Darren’s performance area. Contrary to popular belief 8 foot clearance from stage to ceiling is all that is needed for a juggling show.
After the presentation:
Please make sure a staff person can help keep students and children away from the stage area. After 2 or 3 minutes of clean-up Darren will be free to shake hands and greet the audience. However, sharp, hot, and secret things will be on and around the stage area that is best not touched by the young (or older) ones.
If at all possible, allow the MC or person who introduces Darren tell the audience (before and after the show) that Darren has some things for sale after the show.