One of my heroes is children's entertainer Nutty Noah. Every day, his task is to engage one of the most easily distracted audiences there is – young children. And he does it brilliantly. But what exactly makes his shows so engaging? And why is his logo a giant pair of pants?
When you see what a great job Nutty Noah does of grabbing and keeping his audience's attention, it's hard not to get excited.
It made me start to wonder – how does he make his performances so engaging? Is it the humour? Delivering the unexpected? Or just plain magic tricks?
So we asked him – 'how did you learn to engage your audience?'
1. Do your research
Nutty Noah: It was my wife Toni who first noticed I had a natural affinity with kids and suggested I perform a show aimed at entertaining youngsters.
I didn't want to go down the route of buying pre-made props that lots of entertainers use in their shows. I wanted to connect directly with the children's sense of humour, giving them what I thought they needed and wanted from an entertainment show.
After months of painstaking research, it became clear that kids have a fantastic sense of fun, and love jokes about pants – Jon too!
2. Work out what makes you unique
NN: The next part was delivering what they found funny in an entertaining and magical way. This was particularly hard as I was essentially creating tricks that had never been performed before, so had to start from scratch.
3. Disrupt expectations
NN: It took three years until I was truly happy with what I had created and had enough material to keep kids engaged and hooked on the show.
In my performances, I like there to be lots of 'suddenly this' and 'suddenly that' – moving from one thing to the next quickly, and never patronising them in any way. I found that the kids love this and it stops them getting bored.
4. Share your excitement for what you do
NN: Some of the jokes in the show have a broad age appeal, but never at the expense of alienating any of the audience. This is really important to me as I want everyone to have a good time.
It's so great to be able to have a job that makes people happy, I consider myself very lucky.
A big thank you to Nutty Noah for sharing his story with us.
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