Friday Tip

Dear Constant Reader,

Happy Friday! Here’s your tip!

There’s a difference between an introduction and a biography.

An introduction is what the host says on stage before you begin your number. It should be on the short side and include the most important thing about yourself. That thing can change from show to show and act to act. It’s your chance to set audience expectations and make them want to see you perform. Be entertaining, informative, and concise.

Scratch reminds me that it’s also good to include notes to the host, like how your name is pronounced and if there’s any thing you don’t want said, because it might give away a surprise in your act. Also, be prepared for the host to shorten your intro*, especially a festival or other long show.

A biography is something that’s going to be printed in a program or listed on a website. This is where you present your skills, qualifications, awards, &c., as appropriate to the occasion. That is, have a performance bio, a teaching bio, a producing bio, &c. and use the one that suits best. Again, be relatively concise and present the most important information.

Neither of these is a resume, which is a listing of your accomplishments, accolades, skills, publications, shows, classes, &c. If you’ve been doing this for a long time, you might restrict it to “notable appearances” and similar.

Sailor St. Claire teaches a lovely class called “The Art of the Performer Bio”. Take it if you get the chance.

M2Like this tip? There are lots more in Miss Mina Murray’s Little Book of Better Burlesque.
*I was once at a festival where the hosts were reading the intros verbatim off paper. The last act of that very long night, had provided as the introduction (no exaggeration) a two-page list of everything that performer had ever done. The hosts just kept reading, trading off paragraphs as I recall. Exhausting for everyone. Don’t be that person.

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Published in: on 16 September 2016 at 3:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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