Whether you are hosting a one-off corporate event or a regular comedy show, careful consideration of all the factors affecting the performers and the audience will make for an evening remembered by everyone for the right reasons.
Because there’s really nothing funny about a badly organised comedy event.
Here are some of those key considerations.
1. Laying out the Venue
Once you have selected and booked a venue for your event, you will need to work with the venue manager to ensure it is arranged appropriately for live comedy.
Whether you arrange the seating theatre style (in rows) or cabaret style (with tables) you will want to have as many people near the stage area as possible. What can make a venue difficult for a comedian to play is for the audience to be spread out and scattered around the room. The more people you have concentrated towards the stage, the greater your chances of engaging the audience and the performers.
If your event is unlikely to be sold out, arrange the room cabaret style instead of theatre style, which will make it look fuller. Remove any chairs that you definitely will not need, and if you’re unsure how many people will be attending the event, mark the rows furthest from the stage as ‘reserved’ so people will have to sit towards the front of the room. As the events gets busier, you can then remove the reserved signs and release the seats.
Also mark as ‘reserved’ any spaces where you don’t want people to sit, especially bench seating against walls.
Think about how people will enter the room and take their seats before the show and after any intervals. Very long rows make it difficult for people to get to get to their seats, so leaving a middle aisle will enable your attendees to move around more easily. Don’t make the aisle too wide, however, or it will look like the comedians are performing to a gap.
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2. The Stage Area
This will be the focal point of the performance, meaning it is crucial that your attendees can see and hear the comedians clearly.
The performers should be slightly raised, so if the venue does not have a stage as such, you should make an effort to acquire one. Even if the stage is only ten inches high, it will draw the audience’s attention to the comedians and give them some status above the audience.
Avoid a really high stage in a small or medium sized venue, as the people at the front of the room will have to strain to look up at the performers.
A dark backdrop behind the comedians is suggested, preferably a theatre-like curtain. This needs to be dark and non-reflective, as your stage lights will be pointed directly at it.
3. Stage Lighting
Lighting the performers well is crucial, and yet, I have been to many corporate events where this was simply overlooked. Why would the audience’s attention be drawn to the performers if the audience is just as brightly lit?
You will need at least two powerful spot lights pointed at the stage. Position the lights at symmetrical angles to the stage, for example 45 degrees and 135 degrees. Avoid putting lights directly in front of the stage as this will make it very difficult for the acts to see.
Check that your lights are positioned correctly by having someone stand on the stage to see if they are well lit. Ask them to move around to see if there are any ‘dead spots’, where the performer is dark, that you need to eliminate.
When the show is about to start, dim the venue or ‘house’ lights a little. This will signal to the audience that the show is about to start and that they should take their seats. Do not lower the house lights too much before the show and during the intervals, as this will make it difficult for people to find their seats.
Good sound is also crucial to the performance. Most venues will have an in-house sound system that you can connect a microphone to and use to play music before the show and during the intervals. They will usually require you to bring your own microphones, mic leads and mic stands however.
Comedians tend to prefer wired microphones to wireless ones, which can have a limited range and sometimes generate feedback. The standard microphone most comedy clubs use is the Shure SM58.
There are cheaper mics available, but don’t get one with an on/off switch – the comedians could accidentally flick this during the show and cut off the sound. The mic lead should be at least five metres long to allow the performers freedom of movement. Always have a second microphone as a spare, which you can also use for off stage announcements.
Comedians also prefer a straight microphone stand to ‘boom’ mic stands, which are the ones you see musicians using with all the adjustable bits. A stand with a flat round base is also sturdier and less cumbersome than one with a tripod base.
Blogger : Ugwuoko Angela Adaobi
Source : Eventbrite