Don’t pick live event entertainment purely on the basis of a YouTube video. Because what you see is not always what you get. Whether you are booking entertainment for your wedding, or a corporate event you should either audition acts, or interview them, or deal with an entertainment agent who has done that for you. Here are our top reasons why we think this is essential!
Last week we ran an afternoon of auditions for circus and burlesque performers at one of our most prestigious venues. We run auditions quite often for various things and if we can’t set up auditions we try to go to see acts perform live where we can.
But why? I hear some of you cry. You can watch videos of their performances on YouTube, or Vimeo right?
Well yes you can and in reality it is often difficult, certainly with private wedding clients to confirm a booking without them having seen a video. But does a video give you the best representation of a live act?
Of course the simple answer is no. It does tell you something of course. If the video is well put together it demonstrates a level of investment in the artist’s craft. If it is a live performance at an event it can show you the kind of events they have performed at before.
But there are plenty of things it won’t tell you…… here’s just a few:
Band line up changes – the live band you see on the well produced video from 12 months ago may not be the same line up that is going to arrive for your wedding. The whole band could have changed apart from the band leader. This is not necessarily a bad thing as the new members or deps (stand ins) may be better and more professional than the original members. But if you are picking a band on the basis of liking the way the guitarist on the video plays make sure to ask about the stability of the line up and who will be there on the day.
Attitude – as an entertainment agency we obviously deal with a huge range and volume of performers on a daily basis. Happily the vast majority are totally professional and cannot do enough to ensure the event runs as smoothly as possible. However, occasionally when you meet people for an audition, or have a chat with them after their performance at a venue you go away with a distinct feeling of “I don’t really want to send you out to my customers”. There could be many reasons for this but there are some performers out there who you just know won’t perform if they don’t have the right sort of towels in the dressing room, will take 4 times as long as everyone else to sound check, will stick like glue to what it says on their contract and make no adaption on the night etc. Bottom line if you get a sense they could be like that, unless they are outstandingly talented and utterly unique why take the risk?
Talent & skill – Unless it is a genuine live performance most well produced videos are also of well rehearsed routines or songs. So they can give a false impression of the actual skill of the performer. Only in an audition or genuine live performance can you really see what they are capable of.
Show – Have they got show? Can they connect with a crowd and win them over? This is the rarest of all talents across the spread of live entertainment genres. There are lots of highly skilled, highly talented musicians, magicians, circus performers and more but only a much smaller percentage have the spark. The ability to engage an audience and ensure they have a great time. This final factor you can never gauge from a video.
So whilst it is old fashioned, time consuming and therefore expensive we will continue to audition acts where we can and where we can’t we’ll tell you we haven’t.
Thanks for reading. Keep saying Yes to live event entertainment and have a great day!