When I arrived at the Market Square Health Care Center in South Paris, Maine, the sun was shining and the activity staff and I agreed that an outdoor show in their courtyard would be much better than a show in their low-ceilinged, very hot activity room. I set up under an oak tree in front of their picnic shelter. This gave me some shade, the audience plenty of cover,and there was room outside the limbs of the oak when I needed more space for high throws. Everything was Perfect.
10 minutes into the show, we bagan to hear thunder rumbling in the distance. 20 minutes in, the sky was black, and an unexpected downpour flooded out of the sky. While the audience was dry, my props were mostly exposed tothe weather. I scrambled to bring my tables under the shelter, starting, obviously, with my i-pod and speaker.
After getting things as secured as possible, I pressed on with the show. By this point, though, the thunder stormwas literally on top of us,and the audience was more entranced by that than my routines. The thunder was so loud for a few minutes that my patter couldn't be heard. Then,as the rain got heavier still, a newlyformed river came running through the picnic shelter. I was upto my ankles in rain water. Between that and the wind, I simply could not juggle my cigar boxes at all.
Idetermined right then that I would notlet this keep me from presenting the Gospel. I prayed to stay focused on the message and deal with any water damage to my props later. I did the routines based on the Ressurection as well as the cut and restored rope in which I review the key points of the Gospel. By then the thunder had faded into the distance and Ihad the audience's attention once again. How much they got out of it, I'm not sure,but I know I handled the situation way better than I would have in the past.
After getting home and wiping down all my equipment, onlya few things were damaged: The coloring book trick (of which I have a couple back ups) and the picture of Jesus I used in the ressurection account. It was drawn in water soluble ink and the rain caused it to run. He now looked like a Picasso! Fortunately, my wife has a Cricut and was able to print a more permantent (and better) picture and apply it to a canvas in time for my next show.