HomeBlogsDekeSharon's blog20 Questions To Ask For A Professional Show

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Your group is preparing for your next performance, and I'll bet you're spending most if not all of your time learning and perfecting the notes on the page.

That's good... but that doesn't prepare you for a show. That prepares you for a recital.

Expectations for a modern a cappella concert are higher now, and it's important that you are putting together a well conceived, thoroughly crafted performance. You don't have to be a professional singer to have a professional show.

Here are 20 questions, big and small, in no particular order, for you to consider before your next big gig:

* How are you walking on and off stage, and how are you bowing?

* Are you opening and closing the show with your 2 best songs?

* Do you have at least one song that will grab people's hearts and show emotional depth?

* Is everyone in the group clear on the meaning, message and mood of each song you will be performing?

* Are you altering arrangements to maximize the talents of your group and the impact of each song?

* Does everyone know where they are to stand on stage, when and how they are to move, and is there enough variety in your visual presentation?

* Is the audience getting to know the members of your group during the course of the show?

* At the end of a song, are you all holding the moment for an equal amount of time before moving on to the next song?

* Are you adequately acknowledging the audience's applause?

* Who is speaking between songs, and are those spots prepared (or are you good at extemporaneous speaking)?

* Do you have any songs that start quickly back to back?

* Do you have any songs that start while they're being introduced (vocal underscoring)?

* Are you showing the range and depth of your group's various vocal and performing abilities over the course of the show?

* Do you have points during your performance where you invite the audience to clap, snap and/or sing along?

* Does your stage wardrobe reinforce your group's sound and style, and look good in contrast to the stage (curtains, backdrop, etc)?

* Have you considered and rehearsed the technical side of your show (amplification and/or lighting)?

* If you sing on mics, do you have a song (ideally at the end of the show) where you put down the microphones?

* Are you having fun while you're on stage?

* Do you have a clever or compelling way to announce how fans can stay in touch with you (social media), upcoming concerts, and anything you have for sale?

and last of all

* Are you video and/or audiotaping the performance so you can consider your successes and areas for improvement before the next show?

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Deke Sharon founded CASA (and other stuff), makes TV shows ("The Sing-Off"), movies ("Pitch Perfect"), sings (The House Jacks), produces albums (Straight No Chaser, Street Corner Symphony, Committed, Nota, Bubs), wrote a book (A Cappella Arranging), publishes sheet music (Hal Leonard), and custom arranges music (over 2,000 songs). You can find him at www.dekesharon.com

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