With “American Idol,” “The X-Factor,” and “Dancing with the Stars,” schools are presenting “Talent Shows.” The organization of setting one up is key to it’s success for the students. Remember you are a school, not a TV show, so aspects should be changed to increase the success for all involved. If you have a winner, you have more losers than winners.
1. No judges
Just getting up on stage in enough. The purpose of the show is to create an OPPORTUNITY for ALL students to perform, not to judge who is “best.” There will be all kinds of talent, such as piano playing, dancing, singing, skits, and possibly juggling.
2. Tryouts are for “show.” Every student is allowed to participate. The only reason for the tryout is to make sure the:
- act is organized
- costumes are appropriate
- music is school appropriate
- contact information (if you don’t already have)
- you now have contact information for the password-protected website you created
3. Only give a month’s notice before tryout dates, if longer, students get in fights
4. Hold tight to the final date of tryouts, DON’T waiver
Many parents and students will want to tryout AFTER the date. There will lots of exsuses. This becomes problematic, it you allow students to show their act after the date. First, acts that are the most disorganized, if they show you after the date. Second, it is hard to make a program when you don’t know who is exactly performing.
5. After tryouts, send out a confirmation letter (either paper or email) with information about the show. Post the information on your website, here’s mine.
6. If you have too many students, have two shows. I have done one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The show should only be one hour in length.
7. Only one act per student, instruments don’t count
If you don’t have this rule, some students will be in three or four acts. I do allow those musicians that take private music lessons to be in a dance AND play the piano. When doing the schedule, make sure the student performs individually first.
8. Singers need more practice
You will need to rehearse the singers a lot, to insure they know their song. Unlike the instrumentalist, who are taking private lessons, you may be the only person working with the singer.
9. Collect ALL music and have it in order for the show on a iPod.
10. Have a stage crew meeting to discuss the order of the program
11. Organization of show
- Number the acts, print out schedule for students and parents
- Rotate acts between singing, playing, dancing and age levels
- Don’t have dances back to back
12. Day of show
- Have students involved arrive 45 minutes to get dressed, set up and line up
- Have students line up according to their number
- Let the performers watch the show
- Each act should be backstage TWO acts before they perform. Great PR
13. Pictures after the show. Make sure everyone stays AFTER the show for pictures.
14. Have a BIG number (like your choir) first, not last. That will set the tone of the entire show.