Arts in the Family: A Family of Artists Just Trying to Make a Living in the Wilds of Texas


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Experimental Comedy

This morning the kids and I went down to the Cortez Library on the southside of town to catch a science show by a fellow going by the name of  Dr. Krashundbang . The purpose for the show, as he put it, was to get the kids "excited about science"which he accomplished quite well. He did so with a variety of science experiments and demonstrations employing several basic science principals. Some of those experiments are very familiar magic tricks like the needle through the balloon. Works for clowns and for Dr. Krashundbang. 

He started his show, as many of us do,  by setting down ground rules for the audience to follow during the course of the show. The rules are for the adults as much as for the kids and help by minimizing or eliminating interruptions from the audience that are common in such informal show settings. Reminding the audience of obvious common courtesies such as remaining seated and  not talking during the performance have become something of a pre-show warmup that segues into the presentation.

Once he got passed the pre-show he went straight into the show pleasing the crowd with a combination of humor and simple science experiments. If I'm not mistaken, most of his experiments had an audience member there to assist him.       

Neat prop trunk. It's got a great paint job and stickers too. Your eye is drawn to it right away. Looks good and doubles as a table. Pretty handy! Most of his props were pre-set on a table just behind him to his right but he did produce a couple of props from the trunk. He had plenty of fun props for each of his experiments never using the same prop for a different experiment. 

My only negative critique has nothing to do with his performance or the show itself but rather with his costume. His costume could have been better. I feel the same about Spikey Mikey's costume. Both are very good performer's presenting  very entertaining shows for the kids and adults using humor and a variety of visually appealing props in their routines to both educate and entertain. Obviously, a lot of work was put into the show to make it successful. So the same thought and effort should go into the costume. 

With a name like Dr. Krashundbang you expect a little more than a labcoat, a black t-shirt and slacks. The costume should help define a character not simply set him apart from the audience visually. The manner in which a character is dressed gives hints as to his personality. Some costumes can even be used to carry props or becomes a prop itself. The labcoat lends itself to both uses as it could have secret pockets to store any number of things ala Harpo Marx and alter the physical appearance of the performer, appearing tall to small from one minute to the next ala Bill Irwin.

Overall, though, the show was pretty good and left the audience wanting more. His experiments would play well to a small or big room. I'd like to see what else he has in his bag 'o' tricks for his next show. It was a fun.



Here's the great Al Jaffee, legendary illustrator for Mad Magazine talking about his approach to his work.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Texas Comicon Scouting Report

 Texas Comicon's Artist Alley.

Well, I took a little trip to the far westside of town to check out the Texas Comicon which was held at the San Antonio Event Center. My purpose for the excursion to geeky nirvana was to learn what it might take to set up a successful, money-making booth in artist alley for this type of convention. The artists at this con were mostly Texas-based artist with some locals and some out-of-towners. It was interesting to see how each of them set up their displays to entice the attendees into coming to their spot to make a purchase or request a commission.

 It goes without saying that you've got to have a good product. If your art work is not up to par chances are you'll be disappointed. Good art work is a must. All the art work there looked pretty good with varying levels of expertise and many styles to pick from.

There were some booths that felt very bare with little thought given to presentation while others had plenty of eye candy to draw you in. Like almost anything else in life, a little show biz, razzle-dazzle goes a long way. Showmanship and salesmanship go hand in hand.

 Schmoozing with a Sith and lackey.

During my visit I also took the time to have a little fun by taking photos with members of the local Star Wars fan clubs. Talk about showmanship! These guys go all out making their own costumes and weapons. They're a very talented and dedicated group of creative fans. I'm tempted to join one of the local clubs. Perhaps...
Fun stuff everywhere you looked!

And what would a convention be without a Dalek?

Showmanship!  That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!!

 A boy and his At-At Walker.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...