amongst books

amongst books

Sunday, June 19, 2011

READINGS: A Guide for Readers & Hosts

READERS

DO

Promote the reading ahead of time to friends, fans, family, stalkers.
Send organizers your bio and site info.
Rehearse your work.
Find out about how much time you have and stick to it. You should time yourself.
Bring a copy of your bio along in case the host forgets it.
Communicate to the host if you need help with the microphone.
Bring copies of your work to sell.
Let the organizers know about any of your promotional initiatives.
Arrive at least 15 minutes beforehand.
Look up and make contact with the audience members.
Stay for open mics, if they happen.
Be attentive to the other readers’ work.

DON’T

Be late.
Wait til you’re on stage to decide what to read and then fumble thru the pages.
Bring a thick manuscript to the stage. Bring only the work you want to read.
Edit on stage.
Read intros that are longer than the work itself.
Read from an IPhone or any other electronic device. (Your body will turn inward as you squint to read. Scrolling creates annoying delays.)
Tell long, rambling stories.
Heckle other readers.
Mumble.

HOSTS & ORGANIZERS

DO

Provide instructions ahead of time to the readers about time limits, microphone availability, publicity.
Read brief bios.
Ensure there’s a book table for sales.
Promote the reading far and wide.
Ask for help with publicity if you need it.
Introduce the readers & give the audience an opportunity to clap.
Be sure everyone in the room, bar, etc knows about the reading and is told to be quiet.
Make readers feel at ease.
Provide payment of some kind, even if it’s just a free beer.

DON’T

Add or make up anything to the bios to be funny or a wiseass.
Heckle.
Make the reading be about you. It isn’t.
Mumble.

What else?

3 comments:

Pearl said...

Great tips.

Fake calm rather than patter about your nervousness which will only make yourself and the audience more nervous and make that centre stage instead of what you have to present.

If you need glasses to read, bring them with you on your first and only trip to the mic.

Amanda said...

thanks, Pearl. although i'd never suggest faking anything. it's ok to be nervous, in my opinion.

& i have to remember to take off my glasses, since they are for distance and not for reading. :)

Ms Syren said...

Project your voice.
Microphones are great assets, if they work (which they frequently don't, particularly in small spaces), but don't rely on them. Remember that you are performing and the audience wants to hear what you have to say. :-)