The Tech for Bubble Magic is relatively simple but some bits
are a little odd
Essentially, it is this:
Dark backdrop, lapel mic, lots of light, no wind.
In detail, it looks more like this:
First you should know that I walk on stage with my teeny tripod
table and I walk off with it. In between I will stand down stage
center and I can not walk away from the table. So all focus is on
this one place down stage center. This is something that the person
setting the backdrop and the person setting lights would like to
The ideal is that all (or as many as is practical) of the audience views the
bubbles with a non-shiny, black curtain (rented pipe-and-drape?) or flat
black painted theater-flats or dark wall behind them.
A solid navy blue or maroon or other solid colored dark backdrop
is fine. A white or bright color or a distracting pattern would really
make it difficult to see what is happening.
I emphasize "non-shiny" because when I emphasized black,
people sometimes missed the central point and gave me a highly reflective
black plastic background. The idea is to provide minimal distraction
from seeing these ephemermal little liquid figures. The dark backdrop
ideally should be as wide as is necessary for the people sitting
in the left-most and the right-most front seats to also see darkness
behind a guy standing down stage center. It is best if it is as tall
as is necessary for everyone to see darkness when looking at head
height in the down stage center position.
In the end, know this:
I will wear black myself and I can help the people by putting myself behind
the bubble. It's best when this isn't necessary ...
The ideal is a wireless lapel mic. If this were a problem I could work with
a mic that has a wire ... or even one on a stand but not with a mic that
wraps around my face and hangs there near my mouth, it gets in the way of
blowing the bubbles.
I only speak, I don't sing, and if it is an English speaking audience
I probably won't use a music cd, tape, or other sound recordings.
(Although, if there is a musician available we might add some live
music to the show).
2 LIGHT SETTING
Call them General and Special
Bright and white. After that is covered we can add colors to make the Bubble
Guy look human and add colors to the reflections coming from the bubbles.
But first, let's make sure that it's bright on stage.
Where possible it would be wonderful to have a single bright light shining
down from directly above the performer. A shower or "douche" light
... white. This will be used on certain bubbles (all in the last quarter
of the performance) wherein we want the audience to see what is going on
inside of the bubbles and we don't want the distraction of the reflections
off of the outer bubble/bubbles.
It is often more important to add more lights (numerically) then adding brightness
by dialling up the intensity of a few lights. Each bubble reflects each light
bulb twice. One bright source would show up as only two little bright spots
on the bubble ... this doesn't cover enough area on the bubble to show the
people in the back that it is a sphere that they are looking at. Many lights
would reflect all over the surface and better show the shape of the thing.
Bubbles, as you can imagine, move in the wind. You may think that it isn't
windy in the stage area. You may be right. Usually the air conditioners/heater
vents, open doors/windows, etc. do not effect the stage area ... but we really
have no way of knowing just yet. It isn't the kind of thing that you would
have noted and held in memory unless it was REALLY windy.
This is not something that we can't solve (we can turn off the system,
close the doors, or cover the particular vents with duct tape if
need be) but it is the kind of thing that is difficult to deal with
at the last minute if we haven't found out about the problem until
The bubbles do not fly into the audience, they fall to my feet unless I blow
one out to the public. If you are concerned about the stage floor or have
another performer immediately following me on stage, a small, bathmat sized
rug will collect the drips. No need to cover the floor with large sheets
of plastic ... soap bubbles are thinner then wavelengths of light ... there
is not a lot of mess involved.
Access to paper towels and a small trash can for cleanup afterwards,
some bottled water to wet my whistle before and during the show
... that's about it.
©Tom Noddy and Bubble Magic
P.O. Box 1576 Santa Cruz, California 95061 USA (831) 426-2230
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