Tips for Microphones, Part 2

Tips for Working with Microphones for Christmas Performers – Part Two

If you are a Christmas Performer, especially someone who entertains, at some point you are going to end up performing on microphone. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind.

All Mics are Different

All microphones are different. Even handheld microphones. Some will have foam wind covers, some will be wireless, RF (radio), and some will have a cable. Imagine a basketball, a big grapefruit, and tennis ball—this is similar to microphone differences. Some mics will be super-sensitive and pick up anything within a sphere the size of a basketball (usually the really cheap ones). Others will have a sensitivity range about the size of a grapefruit. Others have ranges that are even smaller, closer to the size of tennis ball. Here are some things to look out for.

  1. Distance: T for Texas. Place your fingers against your mouth, with the index finger to your lips. The distance to your pinky (four fingers away) is the best mic distance, sometimes closer (three or only two fingers away). If you need to have to put the mic at your lips, you need to raise the amplification instead.
  2. Angle: Suck your Thumb. Go ahead. Bite your nail a bit. See that natural 45 degree angle? That’s the angle your microphone should be tilted from your mouth.
  3. Grip: Hold the middle of the microphone. If you are working with gloves on, practice with them on. Or make them slightly tacky or look for gloves worn by musicians. It is important to be able to turn the mic off when you are done.
  4. Relaxed, Consistent: You want your arm to be firm but not stiff, so that it looks natural. Consistency is key. You want your audio to avoid constant adjustment.

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More Audio tips to come, feel free to share this link!

Tips for Working with Microphones

Tips for Working with Microphones for Christmas Performers

If you are a Christmas Performer, especially someone who entertains, at some point you are going to end up performing on microphone. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind.

Don’t Be Surprised: Prepare Yourself

Don’t be surprised. If you even suspect you might be put on microphone, do what you can to check out the scenario first. Hopefully they will have a sound person monitoring levels. But sometimes it may just have been set up and handed to you. Here are some things you need to do to prepare.

  1. Practice your vocals beforehand. Sound equipment is not magic. You want to be good without a mic before you start working with one.
  2. Find some friends with sound systems. Practice working with a microphone and different types of mics. Practice at full volume, softer, and singing. Videotape yourself working with the mic and again walking with it.
  3. There are different types of microphones. Most hand mics are cardioid, with different types of sensitivity. You might also work with headset mics or lavaliers. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Try to practice with as many as you can.
  4. Always ask for a sound check and someone to run the board while you are performing if possible. If not possible, have your friends with sound equipment help you learn the basics and how you should sound.
  5. Any number of things can go wrong with audio. In practice, cut the mic out and practice what you will do when things go wrong. Because Santa is just that cool.
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Working effectively with microphones requires practice

More Audio tips to come, feel free to share this link!

Time to Shine – May 7, 2016

Time To Shine: Workshop for the Ladies

Saturday, May 7, 2016 – 11 AM

Carrow’s Family Restaurant, 11669 Foothill Blvd., Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

workshops_laurel-leavesRSVP on Facebook

“Time to Shine” is a special a workshop for Mrs. Claus’s, Elves, Santa Support Staff, and more. This is a class to help you with the tools of the trade: Projecting your voice, singing, storytelling, how to make a great entrance with or without Santa, develop your personae, working with duo performance, solo performance, coaching, and much more. Join us for a supportive and fun class. Gents who are driving their ladies will have an area where they can relax and network, and True will be bringing a big chunk of his Christmas Library for them to peruse.

This is happen at the same place as the workshop on April 30: Carrow’s Family Restaurant 11669 Foothill Blvd. Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730, starting at 11:00 AM. There is a $22.00 suggested donation and a meal purchased from the restaurant. If you are thinking about coming to these workshops, please let me know, so I can have the right number of hand outs. Thanks again!

*This workshop is part of the Christmas Performer Series and is in development, hence the low price! Santa True will be teaching four classes at Discover Santa in Branson. You can like Christmas Performer Workshops on Facebook for more info.

Tips for April 18

Well, Hey there, hi there, Ho-Ho-Ho there! I am going to be tossing out tips and bits of lore and subjects for conversation on this site and doing it weekly. Feel free to repost. And please post in the Comments if you’d like to help keep the conversation going.

Today’s Tip: Performing Confidence

Santa needs to project an air of confidence. There are many ways we can do this via our physicality and meta-language. After you stride into the room, take a moment to survey it. Keep your torso still and survey it slowly with your head. Keep your head upright and take a deep breath. Keep gestures calm and centered around your navel. Lean forward slightly when you speak, with feet shoulder width apart, knees unlocked. Stay fluid, with an expressive face and hands but a still core.

Today’s Lore: Three Wise Men

The Three wise men brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold for the King, Frankincense for the Priest, and Myrrh for the Physician. In some traditions, there were more than three wise men or kings. Here’s something to consider: They would have had to start years ahead to arrive at the time. Following a star that shown at night and in daylight that no one else ever recorded.

Today’s Topic of Conversation: Christmas Performers are also Re-en-actors

If you met a person portraying Benjamin Franklin or Abe Lincoln, you would want them to be very knowledgeable about who they are and the world they live in. Do we have the same standards and should we?

Let us know what you think!

Building Your North Pole Workshop – April 30, 2016

Building Your North Pole

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Carrow’s Family Restaurant, 11669 Foothill Blvd., Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

RSVP on Facebook

This is a great workshop on creating your unique back story as Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elves, etc. This class will help in many ways: You will develop a great stepping off point for your personae stories. And it will help you get folks on the same page as you (very useful for duos and teams). Plus, there will be some great performing tips and Christmas lore, to be the most convincing Santa, ever.

Starts at 11:00 am. We are asking a $20 dollar donation per person, and that participants purchase a meal at the restaurant.

Why Should I Attend?

I know some folks may think, “Hey, I throw on my suit, ho-ho-ho, and away I go!” Nobody has ever doubted them as a Santa (aside from snarky teens). But this workshop is about getting that last 10%, that bit that carries the confidence, that being a well-thought out character brings.

Why this class, what does True bring to it? First, bringing characters to life is something I’ve been doing for a while now. Second, I am a writer and a folklore geek. From my conversations with various Christmas Performers, everyone does it differently. My hope is that I can help folks polish it up and nail it down. The workshops I offer are focused on you, the pPrformer. And helping you put the Heart in our Christmas Art!

I hope you can join us! Thanks again!

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*This workshop is part of the Christmas Performer Series and is in development, hence the low price! Santa True will be teaching four classes at Discover Santa in Branson. You can like Christmas Performer Workshops on Facebook for more info.

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