Steve Woyce Takes Audiences On A Magical Train Ride
For our first customer spotlight, we wanted to feature a unique entertainer who we have had the pleasure of collaborating with on two different custom projects. Steve Woyce is the owner of Full Effect Productions and performs several train themed shows that delight family audiences across the Northeastern United States.
For both custom projects, our designers started with Steve’s detailed notes, reference photos, and rough layout, and then created a one-of-a-kind stage set illustration. Check out the images below to see the process from concept to finished product, and then read our interview with Steve to learn more about this creative entertainer.
When audiences come to come to a show by Steve The Magic Conductor, they immediately know that they are in for something special, as they are greeted by a 10ft train car that sets the stage for a unique and magical program. Steve incorporated important storytelling details into his backdrop design and wanted to create the feeling of the performances taking place on a train car. Observant audience members will notice that some of Steve’s props and physical stage set pieces can also be found on train car background, helping to create the illusion of a three-dimensional train car stage set.
Steve was kind enough to take time from his busy performing calendar to tell us a little more about his unique stage character and the inspiration for his train shows.
Please tell us a little bit about “The Magic Conductor” shows.
“The Magic Conductor Reading Adventure” was designed to get children excited about reading. I currently focus on performing for children and family events at schools, libraries, museums, and private events.
Audience volunteers join Steve the Magic Conductor to search for clues to help solve a mystery. The show combines storytelling, magic, theatre, comedy, and lots of audience participation and interaction. Currently, I have two different shows with two custom backdrops, “The Dining Car Mystery” and “The Caboose Mystery.”
How long have you been doing these shows?
I started performing as Steve the Magic Conductor in 2015 when I opened, “The Caboose Mystery.” “The Dining Car Mystery” will premiere in November 2018.
How / When did you get interested in being an entertainer?
I have been fascinated by magic since I was five years old. My father is a Full-Time Magician and Children’s Entertainer, and from a young age, I always wanted to be a performer. I started working at 15 years old performing at birthday parties, and I opened my company Full Effect Productions in 2001.
What made you choose the train theme for your performances?
My Oldest Son Dylan, who is now almost 8, was fascinated by trains from 1.5 years old to about 5. We would play for hours with his train toys and books and watch “Thomas the Tank Engine” and visit train museums and ride trains.
One day while sitting and playing with him it came to me that trains are magical to kids, they take children on imaginary adventures as they sit and roll them around the tracks. I wanted to take the fun that I had laying on the floor playing with my son and put it in front of an audience. That is where the idea of “Steve the Magic Conductor” and “The Magic Conductor’s Reading Adventure” began.
In the show, I say, “Books are a lot like trains, they can take you on all kinds of exciting adventures.” Some of Dylan’s favorite train books features Cabooses, like “The Little Red Caboose” and “The Caboose That Got Loose” so that is why I decided on the first show taking place on the caboose at night after Steve the Magic Conductor has been out working all day. As soon as I put together the first show I knew that I wanted to do more, so the dining car naturally seemed like a great place to have the next mystery take place.
Where are some of the places you have performed?
Steamtown Historic Site (Train Museum), Greenberg’s Train and Toy Show at the NJ Expo Center, The Delaware Children’s Museum, The Morris Museum, The Monmouth Museum, The Colonial Theatre, and over 100 schools and libraries.
You have a clear artistic vision when you come to us with your backdrop design project. Please tell us a little about your process for brainstorming and deciding on the details that you wanted to be sure where included in your backdrop design.
I wanted the Caboose Backdrop to look like the pictures my son, and I saw in children’s books. They were warm and inviting, and I wanted it to look like a page out of a book. I included things like the bookshelf full of train books, reading chair, and the night sky to transport the audience to a magical place.
As soon as the audience walks into the room, they know where they are thanks to the backdrop. Performing as a “Magic Train Conductor” without the backdrop would not be the same. For the Dining Car, I wanted the same feel and look as the caboose but during the daytime.
The tablecloth and lamps are exact copies of actual props that I will be using in the show. I will have two tables set up in front of the backdrop that matches the scene, so it truly looks like you are on a real dining car right off the pages of a children’s book. Both of the backdrops really help make the show a magical experience before they even begin.
Had you used any other style backdrop before purchasing a portable system from Shows To Go Backdrops? Do you feel having the custom backdrop has enhanced your show?
I have two “curtain style” backdrops that I use in some of my regular magic shows. While they set up easy and get the job done, nothing compares to the professional image of the Shows To Go Backdrops. The custom artwork sets my shows apart from any other performer and families always want to get their pictures in front of it after my shows.
Anything else you would like readers to know about your show or your experience with Shows To Go Backdrops?
Shows to Go Backdrops made the entire process easy and stress-free, and they work extremely fast to complete the project. I have never commissioned artwork like this before and honestly thought they would laugh at me when I told them my ideas. Instead, they took my crude designs along with the reference art I sent them and created something that surpassed the images in my head.
The communication along the way and input they suggested, as well as taking my suggestions was amazing. I look forward to working with them for future projects and highly recommend them to any performer that wants to set themselves apart from the crowd.
For more information about Steve’s shows, be sure to visit his websites and social media pages:
Website: TheMagicConductor.com and MagicTrainParties.com
Facebook Page: @TheMagicConductor