Welcome to the Variety Artist, providing aspiring artists and entertainers with in-depth discussions from top performers from all over the world. So, get ready to book some gigs, make some money, and have some fun with your show. Now here’s your host, John Abrams.
Our guest this week is an amazing performer, educator, and magician and one of the top school assembly entertainers in the country. He has 12 very different educational assembly shows and numerous magic shows. About.com calls him The Best of The Best. The Magic Castle newsletter in Hollywood says, “One of the best children’s magicians.” And the Jerusalem Post calls him America’s Best School Performer. Variety Artists, I give you Doug Scheer.
Glad to have you on my podcast, Doug. Tell us your background. How’d it all start.
Hey John, Thanks for having me. Where did it start? I got out of college ages ago and started doing school shows. My fiancée said, “Hey, I want to be in a show.” So, I wrote a show for her. It turned out to be a big illusion show. It wasn’t a one-man show like I was used to doing. It was a full production for assembly audiences. It was a show with a big van load of stuff and we started doing big illusions and traveling around doing our school shows. Then one day, she decides after we got married, to go and get pregnant. You know, the nerve –
Oh, yeah. (laughs)–
I know. Right. So, suddenly, she wasn’t fitting in the little appearing girl trick anymore. I’ve had about four or five different assistants through the ages working my school shows. But, I finally hired a legitimate, real actress. My current performing partner is on film, improv comedy at Second City, she’s done commercials, she’s done voiceover work. And what she brings to my shows now is unbelievable. Instead of going through the motions and just deliver the lines, she’s been able to develop some incredibly in-depth characters, and she basically steals the show now when she’s on stage with me. I love her for it because she takes the show to a whole different level.
Do a lot of your shows have two people in them?
I’ve 12 in all, 5 of them are a bigger program, a bigger theatrical show, and we bring in a trailer. Even though the show is bigger, it takes me just the same amount of time to set up. I can set up a show in 30 minutes, regardless if it’s a full production show with a 30 foot wide backdrop and sound system and enormous props or if it’s just me working out of a suitcase. Because with two people working, it becomes a choreographed dance when you set up a show when you’re doing it so often.