I’ll share with all you kids entertainers just how I use pre schools to sharpen my performing skills …
I ventured into the realm of doing pre-schools, or daycare centers, a number of years ago. I wanted to sharpen my kid show skills with the very little ones and also add some extra shows to my schedule. I contacted the daycares through a mailing campaign and I picked up many customers in the process. This is the “Ventrilo-secret” for blocking out my shows.
First, you do not have lots of room necessarily when you do these shows. Often they put you in a large classroom and just move chairs and desks back to give you a performance area. Some of the bigger “chain daycares” will have a large meeting room that doubles for an indoor play area and you can set up there, usually around an indoor sliding board or other equipment. Either the classroom or the meeting room will work.
When doing daycares you must be able to arrive at the venue and be ready to go in just a few minutes notice, as sometimes the kids are taking naps or having a snack or involved in some other activity. You will not have the luxury all the time of having 45 minutes or more to set up. It has to be done efficiently, that’s why equipment must be kept to a minimum. I try to use just one trunk and my sound system. I have everything in the trunk that I need including my puppet, props and anything extra that I could use for the show. Soft puppet work well as they don’t take up the trunk space like a vent figure. I can easily put two characters in a trunk, cover then with a cloth an use the rest of the space to transport the other things necessary.
I put the mic stand in the middle, my trunk on my left, and the speaker stand with sound system on my right. The whole thing can be set up in five minutes. The same easy set up can also be done for magicians.. but you must carry only what you need!