One of the key services The Full Pike offers is that of a Show Caller. “Show-calling” or the role Show Caller is also often referred to in audio visual production as the Technical Director or in theater as the Stage Manager.
Show calling is crucial to the success of all events. You could think of their role in musical terms as the conductor of the event, leading the orchestra. Instead, the show caller leads all of the audio visual technicians and engineers in directing:
- Slide shows
As seasoned event professionals, they are delivering the “experience” to the audience. As such, show callers are able to interpret the client or event planner’s brief and deliver.
The Show Caller writes the “cue sheet” or “run sheet.” It is the timeline for everything and it’s vital the Show Caller ensures that all techs follow it precisely. Even with a thorough and detailed run sheet, the show or event still needs someone to direct the many actors, performers or players involved.
A talented Show Caller can walk into an event without any information given beforehand, be briefed, and then produce the program. The Show Caller leads multiple technical staff on “coms.” All technical staff wears these “coms” or “headsets” in order to hear the Show Caller’s direction. The Show Caller has the final word on all show-related decisions. This creates seamless transitions and timely cues throughout the program or event.
To be clear, all elements of the event need to work together for a coherent successful event. The Show Caller is the leader making this happen, with all lighting, music, announcements, video cues, and talent responding simultaneously!
Just like in the movies when you hear “lights, camera, action”…then “rolling,” the Show Caller controls and commands the entire show delivery experience.
- Timing for scripts and speakers
- “Walk Ons’’ and direction/cues to leave stage
- Who does what and when
The Show Caller is usually Front Of House with the audience or guests but at the back of the room at a control desk or a booth facing the main stage. You can usually guess who the Show Caller is by their headphones, serious expressions, and their complete focus. It’s their job to make it all run on time as they are chief of all communications during the program.
Show Callers need to be able to speak clearly and concisely to all key players during the period of the show, from back of house, technical or event presenters, and performers.
With lengthy experience and a background in theater, Felix often also becomes the “Voice of God” or “Announcer” at most events. He broadcasts consistently with a flair for key announcements, or “triggers,” in the event flow. His dulcet baritone voice combined with his smooth international accent has made him highly sought after for the role. This has become a major asset for clients and adds that extra level of production value to take a good show to a great one.
When things don’t go to plan is when the quality and experience of the Show Caller becomes evident and he or she takes charge. If a Show Caller is good at his or her craft, no one notices the blunder, if not, well…the show must go on!
Some solutions are:
- Stage Lights will fade, with perimeter lighting only in classic theater style.
- Lively but ambient level background music will be promptly played back.
- Client logo or static content will go to screen if the projection is still available.
- Announcements will be made to inform the audience program will resume shortly.
The techs will respond quickly to the Show Caller’s direction so that any mishaps will not be noticeable to the audience or guests. There are many options a Show Caller will enact if anything should go awry.
From a small sales conference to a large concert, events have many moving parts which need to be managed and directed. With decreasing pre-production time and budgets, events have become increasingly complex with constantly evolving technology.
This may require a qualified Show Caller to assist the Event Producer. However, Felix often works both roles as both Event Producer AND Show Caller as an end-to-end and cost-effective management solution.