Pick Me! Pick Me!

Steve Kissell

Techniques for Selecting Volunteers

Deciding on whom to have as an assistant or helper on stage is very important to the success of the performance. The right child can make or break the show. Here are a few ideas that I utilize to insure that the presentation goes well. Since I am always at the show site at least one hour in advance, I have time ask the person in charge for a few names of adults or children that would be good on stage. The boss really likes the opportunity to involve their friends or to reward a child by participating. They will also know which kids that should NOT be on stage due to behavior or physical abilities issues.

I love to introduce myself to the audience and inform the children that from time to time I will be inviting some of them to help me right from their chairs and some of them will have the chance to come up on stage with me. However, I only choose children that are sitting up nice and straight and that have very big brains! This is very important as I don't want to embarrass anyone. Raise your hand only when I ask you to and remember, must have a giant big brain!

Of course, my job there is to have fun with the children and give them an entertaining and educational experience. I am not there to embarrass them. If they do answer incorrectly, I will guide them to the correct answer.

Please have an escort ready if the students have to walk up some level of stairs. Always better to be prepared there. If the performance is at a theater, then an escort needs to take the children up on stage to you through the wings and back to the seating area again.A performer should be mindful of race when selecting volunteers. It would be obvious if there were only a few of one race in the audience and the performer selected only those children during the show. Mix it up when selecting volunteers with race, gender and even size. Be mindful to have a variety of children to assist you.

If the entertainer has a hand held microphone and asks a child their name, then bend down and let the child answer in the microphone or at least repeat the name of child several times during the routine. This technique will validate not only their name but them as a person. While the child is on stage, do NOT handle them roughly by forcing them to bow, smile or turn their head a certain way. It is always better to whisper a request into the child's ear. This is what a gentle entertainer does. You never know, the child you pick for the stage may someday hire you for their child's birthday party!

Steve Kissell www.FamilyComedian.com
From Family Entertainer's Newsletter, February 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment