This is a continuation of the series on how a beginner can be a good "Ringleader" which I have defined as anyone who does Host, Emcee, Lights, or Sound roles.

"Go through a series of training rehearsals"

Two things to get out of this immediately: 1) Series 2) Training.

1.) Series of rehearsals - You cannot learn what you need to do overnight. You cannot learn it by watching. You cannot learn it by reading about it. You can only learn how to be a Ringleader by doing, and the safest way is with rehearsals. And a proper rehearsal is when you have the opportunity to walk through many major points of the show. (More on that later.) How many rehearsals is enough? No less than three, in my opinion. Might be more. C'mon, did you think it was going to be easy?

Let's take a step back for a moment and consider how a well-polished Ringleader can benefit a show. They add energy, they give the audience clarity about what is going on, they inspire the performers, just to name a few. The opposite is true of an under-polished Ringleader: they, (uh, um, uh) sap energy, they (kinda, sorta, gee, I dunno) confuse the audience, they (....guys?) make performers feel anxiety. Let's make it more specific and look at a typical Sound position.

  • Energy: Needs to know exactly what track to play for intros. What if it's Beethoven when it should have been techno?
  • Clarity: Needs to know how quickly to bring music down for intro of a scene. What if the players start the scene and the audience cannot hear them?
  •  Inspiration: Needs to know when to chime in with sound effects. What if the mic is too far from your mouth and the sound of a helicopter overhead sounds instead like the crumbling of leaves?
So this Ringleader role is a job for someone who can sink some time into getting ready, rather than someone who expects to be great instantly. We can see that someone who expects to appear on performance night and be perfect is DANGEROUS.

2) Training rehearsals - You need to be able to hit all the major technical points of the show in every rehearsal. Here's a list of things to consider.
  1. Preshow preparation and music
  2. Moments before the show (music might heat up)
  3. Show start
  4. Introduction to the performance
  5. Introduction/entry of players
  6. Games
    1. Descriptions (for the beginner, I suggest making a list of your top 10 to start with, and hitting at least 5 each rehearsal)
    2. Start-up
    3. Ask-fors
    4. Technical knowledge (For example, knowing the ins and outs of the game Forward/Reverse)
    5. Ends of games
  7. Scoring (if a competition)
  8. Half-Time / Intermission
  9. Housekeeping - announcements, plugs, sponsors, advertisements, etc.
  10. Joke Round
  11. Finale
  12. Exit