Preparing For A Performance

You have hired a children's musician for your venue. What next? It is time to prepare the venue and audience for the performance. Here are some items to consider:

Weeks prior to the performance:

1) Inform the staff and child audience that the musician is coming (date, time, purpose of visit, etc.).
2) Publicize the event with flyers and photographs. Many musicians have Media Kits for publicity purposes. This kit may include a press release, publicity flyer, photograph and sample songs or video clips.
3) Invite the local media to cover the event. The media is often looking for "good news" photos and articles to put in the paper, on the radio or on TV. The media is your friend!
4) Ask for artist study guides if available. Copy and distribute the guides to staff and audience. Study guides offer pertinent information about the artist, their work and how the scheduled performance relates to curriculum.
5) Ask for order forms for the musician's products (DVDs, CDs, videos, books and merchandise). Many venues pre-order musician's products and use them prior to the performance in order that the child audience may become familiar with the musician's work.
6) Contact the musician a week prior to the performance to re-confirm and go over final details.
7) Discuss audience etiquette and behavior expectations with venue staff and child audience.

Day of the performance:

1) Make sure the performance space is clean and clear of debris and furniture.
2) Make sure the musician has total access to the space 30-60 minutes prior to the performance to set up equipment and sound check.
3) Reserve a parking space nearest the performance location for easy loading of equipment. Ramp access is preferred.
4) Make sure the musician has access to an electrical outlet.
5) Be available or assign someone to direct the musician to the performance space.
6) Discuss the best seating arrangement with the musician for optimum audience viewing and enjoyment. Be flexible. The musician knows their show best and often has a preferred seating arrangement in mind.
7) Provide a sales table for musician's products and assign a person to staff the table during the performance if possible.
8) Allow ample time prior to the performance to assemble the children in the performance space.
9) Begin the performance on time.
10) Introduce the musician to the audience.
11) Remind staff and audience about audience etiquette and behavioral expectations.
12) Assist with audience management and audience etiquette during the show if necessary.
13) Enjoy the show.
14) Assist with audience dismissal.
15) Confer with the musician after the performance to brainstorm ways to make the next event even better.
16) Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

-Johnette Downing
Copyright 2003 Johnette Downing

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