So You Want To Put On A Show?
Shows are far more complicated to produce than many in the audience will ever realise. Here’s a lighthearted ‘poetic’ guide for anyone who fancies chancing their hand as promoter or director of a musical or theatrical event. Hopefully, everything you need to think about is here…
So you want to put on a show?
Well, here are the things you must know:
What’s the date, when’s the time, where’s the money?
What’s the theme, is it straight, sad or funny?
Who can act, who can play, who can sing?
Who’ll direct, can they do the whole thing?
What’s the venue, location and cost?
If the tickets don’t sell, are you lost?
Who’ll do your box office, and how?
Do you need to start marketing now?
Who’ll design programmes, posters and flyers?
Will you cope if a team member tires?
Have you found all your quotes for the print-run
And settled dates for it to be done?
Who’ll design any costumes and sets?
Are you confident budgets are met?
Have you found all your scripts and / or scores?
Are there copies for all, and some more?
Have you sorted rehearsals and places
So performers can go through their paces?
Will you use a presenter, and who?
If you have to cut back, will that do?
Will your artists require expenses,
Are these likely to be quite extensive?
Have you registered with Performing Rights
(Or composers could give you sleepless nights)?
Do you know that your players need cuppas
And without these they’ll end on their uppers?
Are you certain your insurance’s updated
Just in case your poor venture is fated?
Have you checked your venue is licenced
To avoid legal questions or sentence?
Are your sponsors signed up and contented?
Have you made sure no egos are dented?
Can you say hand on heart
That you’ll still play the part
When frustrations or worries are vented?
Have you thought if your venue needs heating?
Have you sorted there’s adequate seating?
Have you sound-checked against any din?
Is your access well-lit coming in?
Are your backdrops and props fine and dandy?
Your producer not reaching for brandy?
Are the stage lights and spots in good order?
Can the musos all see their own folders?
Is the piano in tune?
Has the stage enough room?
Have you ordered the squash, wine and biccies?
Can you wash your hands clean if they’re sticky?
Do performers have costumes which fit them?
And a place where they change to get in them?
Come the day when the show’s set to go
Who will do all the tapes and photos?
Will there be a recording on the night?
(And what about the media rights?)
Have you vendors for tickets and nibbles?
And some stewards to sort out the quibbles?
Have you marked out seats on the front row
Where your V.I.P. guests will all go?
Will a few words be said when the show starts
By a ‘vip’ with sound wisdom to impart?
Are there flowers gift-wrapped with a bow
To present at the end of the show?
Are your thank-yous all done to be posted,
So your artists and hosts feel toasted?
Will the audience know
When it’s over, to go
With a smile and a song in their hearts?
Oh! You’ve had quite enough
And you think it’s too tough
And you wish that you never had started.
But the show must go on
And there’s no escape from
The idea which began so stout-hearted.
Then the audience arrives
And the tails and bow ties
Are put on by your doughty performers;
And they go on the stage
And the show is a rage
(So you hope in your dreams,
If the critic thus deems)
And the buzz when it ends is high order.
But there’s just one more task
As you sort out the costs –
Fingers crossed, not a loss? –
And the hall’s cleared at last
As the costumes and music are stowed.
Now the hassles are over,
And though you are sober
You feel as if you’re quite heady.
And somehow a notion
Sets itself into motion
For another performance or show……
Are you c e r t a i n you’re r e a d y ???