By Alan Smith, FFCC Board of Directors
Welcome to 2017!! Our competitive season begins in a few short weeks. Here are some helpful hints that will hopefully make your first show a little less stressful.
- Rehearse entering and exiting the floor. Many groups come into the Premiere shows not knowing what to do or how to set up their floors or equipment. This will cause a ton of stress and take away from your team’s performance. Check the website and the show host map for directions on how to fold your floor to enter and how to exit once the show is completed. Remember, you have 1:30 from the time you cross the time line until the announcement is made for you to begin your show. World class units have 2:00 for this process. Is the time line horizontal or vertical? What door do we use to exit? The more you practice this in a rehearsal setting, the better your performance day will be.
- Bring more than one medium to play your music. Most people have CDs and MP3 players ready. You never know what could happen. Be extra prepared. Have your music on more than one device.
- If you use a phone to play your music, make sure it is on airplane mode. You do not want someone to call or text during your show. We will hear any message that comes over the phone.
- Remember, if you are using your own device to play music, you must have a staff member at the sound table to push play. Every device is different. We want the people who are familiar with the device to control it.
- Have a designated sound person to stand at the sound table whether you are using your own device or not. Staff members near the table can ask for volume changes during the show. These directions will not be accepted from people in the audience. I watched every show my guards ever did from the sound table just to be there if something was to happen.
- Remember, the chief judge has the final say on the volume of a track. If they ask for the sound to be turned down, it will be turned down. If your track is soft, you may want to record it at a higher level. Also, equalizing your sound track for volume will prevent sudden shifts in the loudness of the track.
- If you are using a CD, you will want to do a sound check to make sure our system can read the CD. There is time to check sound before the show and during breaks. You also want to make sure you label your CD with the guard name and show name. Don’t give the sound person a non-labeled CD. They will not be able to keep up with it. Also, make sure your CD is in a case. There is a chance that your CD could be scratched during the course of a show if it does not have a case or cover. Don’t take that chance!
- Check the website and make sure you fill out your spiel sheet. You control how you are announced and what the name of the show is. You can change this at any time.
- Breathe! The first show is always stressful. The more you are prepared, the easier your day will be. The contest staff is there to help you. Prepare, smile, and breathe…your kids will be great. See you at the sound table.