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MC Do's and Don'ts

GUEST,Slickerbill 26 Apr 02 - 01:18 PM
JenEllen 26 Apr 02 - 01:49 PM
SharonA 26 Apr 02 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 26 Apr 02 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Sebastian Tjitombo 04 Mar 11 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,Sebastian From Okahandja,Namibia 04 Mar 11 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,MC Fat (at work) 04 Mar 11 - 06:54 AM
SteveMansfield 04 Mar 11 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Joe G 04 Mar 11 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Gail 04 Mar 11 - 08:24 AM
Chris in Portland 04 Mar 11 - 08:38 AM
Bounty Hound 04 Mar 11 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,PeterC 04 Mar 11 - 09:27 AM
SteveMansfield 04 Mar 11 - 09:37 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 04 Mar 11 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Mar 11 - 11:18 AM
MGM·Lion 04 Mar 11 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Desi C 04 Mar 11 - 04:34 PM
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Subject: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: GUEST,Slickerbill
Date: 26 Apr 02 - 01:18 PM

I'm emcee for a folk night coming up. Got me thinking; what would you consider the do's and don't of a good emcee? Any horror stories? What separates the goouns from the baduns?

My worst experience was some guy who asked to mc one of our showcase nights as a way of getting into the local mc 'BIZ'. I actually heard him say he refused to interview performers prior to their introduction. He then proceeded to tell the worst jokes and berated the audience when they didn't laugh. So he's become my benchmark of total suckage in the mc department.

Any ideas? SB


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: JenEllen
Date: 26 Apr 02 - 01:49 PM

I think the thing that most really bad MC's forget is that they are not the show (ie: The musical performances are NOT filler inbetween your bad jokes). Talk to the performers beforehand and see what they would like you to announce about them--check pronounciations of names too-- and above all "Less is More".

A truly great MC (and I've dealt with a couple) seem to have the ability to calmly state what the audience is already thinking. That bit of mind-reading will take you a lot farther than "on my way to the show tonight.." jokes.

Play up your performers fine points --honestly-- and show appreciation. Leave the flaming hoops and dancing poodles at home.

~J


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: SharonA
Date: 26 Apr 02 - 02:24 PM

Two different folk clubs in my area do basically the same thing: they ask the performers to e-mail or snail mail, in writing, exactly what they want said about them (verbatim!). One club uses the performer's blurb in a newsletter announcing the upcoming showcase; the other club uses the blurb in the verbal introduction by the emcee.

One "don't" that I saw the other day: Don't stand in the middle of the stage to introduce the act if there are stage hands attempting to set up mikes around you, and if you're hindering the performer in any way. If the stage is large enough, do stand to one side of the stage. If the stage is small, do stand at the front of the stage so that the stage hands and the musician are setting up behind you. In either case, a separate mike dedicated to the emcee is best, so that the sound folks don't have to readjust the levels on one mike every time the emcee uses it and then readjust again for each performer.


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 26 Apr 02 - 03:23 PM

All of the above and don't stay in the bar until the audience turn up. They will be in the bar waiting for you to start.


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: GUEST,Sebastian Tjitombo
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 06:17 AM

Don't Be Nervous Just Be At Their Service
Be Confident & Bold Let Them Have It Be Calm And Invite The Audience...


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: GUEST,Sebastian From Okahandja,Namibia
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 06:22 AM

Never Ever Be Nervous Because You Have To Calm Nerves
Invite The Audience Into The Show, Let The Performers Have Their Show.


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: GUEST,MC Fat (at work)
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 06:54 AM

I think the best advice is to keep it simple. When you analyse the role of an MC it is to introduce the act to the audience and in most cases keep the evening running to time. I always try not to sound contrived, yes you need to do some research but simply reading the biog out from the programme is not an introduction. Try and talk to the guest/performer before the concert, intoduce yourself to them and ask them if there's anything they would like the audience to hear then be natural and let it flow. If you are on a big stage get to know your stage crew and sound engineer be guided by them.


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 07:31 AM

Don't unintentionally (or maybe maliciously) shoot the performers with your intro. All genuine examples I've heard (only number two was introducing me, thankfully) include:

'I've never heard Bob Furtanwangle myself but he tells me he's really good ... '

'And now Bob Furtanwangle will play us a couple of little tunes ... '

'Usually I think banjo players should be hung drawn and quartered, but I'm sure Bob Furtanwangle is about to prove me wrong ... '

'Bob Furtanwangle made a complete and utter mess of his last spot here a few weeks ago, so let's hope he's been practising eh? Give a big hand to ... '

'Don't worry, the main act will be on in just a few minutes, but first ... Bob Furtanwangle!'


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 08:06 AM

Don't hog the stage!


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: GUEST,Gail
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 08:24 AM

What sfmans said.

Above all, don't insult the performers and don't embarrass the audience.

I once heard an MC at a large respected festival introduce a performer 'whose CD can be found in the £1 bin at the back of the hall'. Far from being funny, it just made everyone uncomfortable.

As an audience member I don't want the MC to make me an unwilling accomplice in his/her unkindness.


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: Chris in Portland
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 08:38 AM

I think the best thing is to NEVER say "I."
"We are very fortunate..." "We will be hearing some of the finest ..."
What I have to remember, don't say "so, without further ado..."
Of course, "the bathrooms/toilets/loos are located ...."
For small shows, "tonight's fabulous volunteers are ...." "On sound, hard-working ..........."
And for touring musicians, give some of their next gigs, so folks can tell their friends.
I saw the wonderful Gordon Bok last night and the great MC did almost every one of these things!! Congrats to the Portand FMS!
Chris in rainy Portland


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 08:47 AM

Most important thing is to do your homework, introduce yourself to the acts and get to know something about the acts you are introducing. Where they are from, where else they are/have performed, etc etc.

We were introduced by the MC at a major folk festival last year with 'I don't know anything about this band, but I am sure they are going to be great' It got worse, the act following us was introduced with 'The next band are supposed to be ....... Are they here?'

John


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 09:27 AM

Many years ago I recall not bothering to go and see a very good act whose name I didn't recognise. I had seen them do several floor spots and had been very impressed but had only ever heard them called "are you two going to do something?"

You floor singers have names - tell people who they are.


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 09:37 AM

Whilst on the subject of unintentionally undermining the act:

The story goes that many years ago Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham were on tour in the Scottish Highlands, doing a tour of small village halls and the like. The whisky had been flowing, it was a rowdy night, and at the appointed hour the MC for the night got up and started

'We are very privileged to have here tonight two of the finest Scottish musicians alive today, Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham'.

At which point a drunken voice from the back: 'But Aly and Phil are cr*p!'

The MC continued

'Never the less' ....


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 09:44 AM

I have been introduced as" Dick Miles he has been on the scene for years",not very positive but at least he had my name right, that could have been worse., that is about 5/10 intro.
Rule number one, sound enthusiatic about every performer whether you like them or not.
2, make sure everyone sticks to their time, Jim Cousa [good performer though he was], used to be a primary offender for pinching other performers time, be fair but be firm with every performer.
3. if it is a Folk club make sure the guest performer does not go on too late.


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 11:18 AM

Where I live, the first words to the audience are usually "Thank you for comimg." Seems like a good idea to me.


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 12:09 PM

A point made above seems to me vital ~~ always start on time. When I ran the Sawston, Cambs, Folk Club, long years ago now, I was both resident singer & my own MC. I always started singing sharp at 8.00, even if there was nobody in the room but me and the girl waiting to take the money on the door. I reckoned that, if anyone came along, they could hear that something was happening and they would come in. If anyone had come at 8, or 10 past, and been met by a wall of silence, then more than likely they would just have gone away again, rather than taken on trust that something might happen eventually.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: MC Do's and Don'ts
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 04 Mar 11 - 04:34 PM

I host our club every second week. Best tip I can give you is, don't try to be the Star, if the MC is too noticeable he's probably getting it wrong. It's more about what you do off stage too, meeting and greeting, massaging egos, encouraging everyone, tell them all how much you enjoyed their set, and don't let the intro's drag out too long, but do say a little about who's up next. Don't try funny lines and jokes unless they're tried, tested and quick. Oh and try to enjoy it ;)


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