Prove memorization of essential, scripted pieces

I have found it helpful, when building a solid program for the nominated Ringleaders to go through a kind of oral exam. They need to do the homework and they need to prove they can recite their scripted pieces to their team. Whether that means having the group gather around with flash cards for "Intro," "Chain Murder Mystery," etc. or having a tenured Host "haze" a newbie Host one-on-one by having them blitz through their lines, it doesn't matter.

The most important thing is the accountability of it. We (the team) are relying on you (the Ringleader) so you better prove it, Buster. And believe it or not, that kind of pressure is helpful to the newbie Ringleader. If you think it's nerve-wracking trying to remember your lines in front of your team, it's not comparable to the first show the Ringleader has to do. Science hasn't made antiperspirant strong enough, my friends.

So don't coddle new Ringleaders. It won't do them any favors. (However, as their first show nears, lay off. At a certain point, it's more important to boost confidence than to get them tempered to the pressure.)

Normally with memorization we are talking about game descriptions, introductions, ask-fors, etc. This sounds like a blog mostly for Hosts, doesn't it? I see your point: At face value, yes, the players and other Ringleaders rely on Hosts to be most by-the-book and scripted. But please consider that Lights and Sound will both know their timing better if they know how long it will take to describe a game. Also, if Sound notices the Host has neglected something essential, why not chime in?

SOUND: Pardon me
HOST: Yes?
SOUND: Sir, don't forget, the audience has to clap.
HOST: Oh yes! Clap when the players are guessing correctly. That's how they know they are close!

From observation - and with a few exceptions - I have found the best Lights and Sound people have also Hosted shows. They just get it a little better. The biggest exception I can think of is the best Soundperson I ever had the pleasure of working with. A guy nicknamed Spooky never hosted a show and never performed, but I bet he could recite the game descriptions better than most Hosts could. Spooky was very attentive. Very focused, (turns out he was a programmer) he never let anything escape him. And he had seen numerous shows prior to running Sound. It worked.

Now what about Emcees? Like Hosts, there's got to be a structure. Whether that's just an outline of the night's shows or it's some scripted pieces about sponsors, somewhere in the night the Emcee is going to need to lean on more than their wits to get by.