Lots of people ask me... 'How long does it take you to organise a show' or 'How did you learn how to organise a show?' And if I'm honest there is no real answer but I'd like to give you all a little insight into what goes on before the curtains open on show night and share with you the process which takes up so much of my year but that I genuinely love!
Firstly, show organisation comes in two parts- practical and creative. The practical stuff is all general organisation, liaising with people, making important bookings and designing a show that should run smoothly with (hopefully)no massive hiccups.
Around June-August last year I did lots of the practical jobs in preparation for March.
- Find a suitable date
- Check for no clashes
- Check for choreography preparation time
- Book venue
- Book staging
- Book professional lighting
- Secure film maker
- Secure caterer
- Research and secure charity
- Start to design venue layout
This is when the creative bit meets the practical. The layout of the venue could be varied in our venue for 2018 and so I brainstormed lots of ideas for different styles of show and different themes- which I'm not going to share with you as I'll keep them safe for 2019, 2020... ;-) I decided that this year since we were using a new venue I'd go a little safe in terms of theme and resurrect the shows from 2008-2013- Dance to Fight Poverty. This would give me more scope for using current music, simple costuming and a nice simple running order (or so I thought!) and I love the essence of getting the kids to simply 'Dance' in order to help others less fortunate.
So, creatively a show needs a theme/style and then choreography. I tend to write up the start of everyone's choreography before September terms kicks off then I add to it throughout the term. Same goes for their second dance which they'll be starting on now. Look out in the coming months for my blog on choreography and inspiration...
Pre-Christmas all my printing artwork got done. I designed the logo, got quotes on t-shirts, created posters, banners and facebook ads just ready to publish in the new year. The programme has also been started. It's all in order, dancers' names written up and ready for photos to be inserted early this term. Another job done!
The hardest, most time consuming job has to be the running order. Again in this instance I believe that creativity and practicality go hand in hand. I like to make sure that the songs go in an order that 'feels good'. I can't even describe what I mean by that, but I just 'know' when it's right ;-) However it's not always that simple, some dancers attend 4 classes, thus are in 8 dances... I need to remember not to give them any costume change clashes. SO once the running order is completed EVERY song has to be cut to 2:20 so that we aren't; still sitting watching dance at midnight- though I'm sure you'd all be having a blast, I like to give you a sensible length of show whilst still allowing each and every dancer to showcase what they've done.
So, that's a little insight into the workings of show organisation and where I'm up to with this year's show. Next jobs- social media publishing, dancers photos, DVD case design, costume lists, ticket sales (well they're already to go live on the 3rd Feb) and finish all the dances!
Happy Show Term folks! Let's have a fabulous production, hope you all enjoy it :-)