Day of Show: Backstage Strategy
So now we get to what everybody is kind of more more used to seeing the actual show and um the were going to start off with the actual show time and then move on to the post show. Now the first stage of this is we think we've got you know we've got our team together we're better close there we've done all the hard work of creating the atmosphere and the venue and all the issues but we really need a strategy of how backstage is goingto work we spoke a little bit about staggering times you know, for people to show up like for instance, you know you'd want the makeup and hair teams there before the models because the models have no reason to wait around for the hair and makeup to set up so little things like that you want to build into your strategy so that your respecting people's time but it works kind of like a well oiled machine you have things coming in at different at different times so let's talk a little bit about these points right here starting with the first one these air sort ...
of the teams that you need to have in place or the the particular bodies you need to have in place the management you need someone to be overseeing the event itself and then you definitely want someone who is going to be at the big picture and you I really don't want it to be you because you have enough on your mind because at this point, your main concern should be like seeing making sure that what goes out on the stage is going out the way you wanted to go out on dh really just being that last set of eyes like, if you can have this luxury it's not always possible, sometimes we have to do, you know, double duty. But if the ultimate goal is for you to have the luxury of just scanning a model before she goes on the runway, that should ultimately be your job. Of course, reality demands that sometimes that's not possible, you have to do a little bit more on put out fires and things like that. But that's, why you want a really great management team who is thinking about the big picture? Because once your backstage, that is your world for the evening, so at least for the length of the show. So you need to immerse yourself in that world and focus on that world and not worry about what's happening anywhere else. For the creative team you want, you want to make sure that they are handled appropriately and that they have directives, these air things that happened in the pre production, you know, like when you're planning all this and collaborating with hair and makeup but make sure that they have everything they need to execute your vision that you agreed on and reinforce it to like, make sure you know it's like you had a quick model change in her hair is she has short hair and you have all these long haired girls with buns that's right? So you know, let the hair and makeup now what we're going to do with it are going to slick it back or we're going to have her be odd man out and spike it up you know, like what can we do as and always look at any kind of thing we initially might see as a problem as an opportunity to like, you know, throw something into the mix but always keep your creative team informed because if you were have a change or anything goes awry and then you see it come teo and then you're you want to go back to your makeup or hair team and change things come that is not going to make for happy campers you have a question models the garments designated for the specific model well ahead of the show yes ok, yes now this that's a great question because we didn't touch on the pre show but a part of the casting once you've selected your models, you're going to really it depends on the clothing you do to be honest with you if they're a basic size like if you're doing athletic wear and has little stretch and their size six and it's it's a size six, then then you don't really have to worry too much. You know, if you've got that right size, but if you're doing evening gowns and especially I find strapless strapless dresses for some reason, everyone's body is different, so you you want to schedule fittings so that you can figure out what from your collection looks good on that girl and remember that this may or may not result in an expense because remember, models are not always going to go to a fitting for free that's one more thing in their day they need to do, and agencies will often charge for fittings. It will be a lower rate than their normal rate for a show, but there's a range of rates for model, so you know what they're doing and there's extra. If, for instance, they're wearing lingerie or swimsuits, models will get paid more for that if their bodies are in ready for lingerie and for swimwear on every agency is different, but you want to look into that and there's also issues around transportation. Parking one of the things that you know if we get models to volunteer like if we go to an agency and say, would you volunteer for the show? You know we're doing it for charity or whatever it is. One of the main things is parking, especially if it's hard to park in the area. So you want to work out a deal with a garage or with the venue to make sure that at least your models are completely taken care of because it may cause you a little expense but nowhere near the expense of hiring that person full time and paying for all out parking so that's again something that's showtime but that you want to think about in advance and add to that menu of things we were talking about with prep um okay, so uh the important creatives and keeping not only them on track but not throwing any wrenches in into it try not to surprise your creative team it's it's just not good you just never know what's gonna happen on dh then the next stage is the liaison. Now this is someone who is living in both worlds. Ideally it would be the assistant to that over arching manager and this is the liaison between front of house and back of house because if you need anything front of house, you should not be running out there nor should anyone on your team you should have that one person this is the person I would probably designate a headset to you should not wear a headset if you're the designer that's one more that you don't need those extra voices in your head andi, you don't need to hear about the problems because then you will try to put them out and that will distract you from the job at hand so have someone designated who could be that liaison who's communicating from backstage to, for instance, the sound or the lighting or the music on dick who can who also has eyes up in front nowadays with technology you khun find ways to see what's happening up front. You know, a lot of designers will put a camera up front so that you can see the show and it's not so much, you know, sitting back and enjoying the show but it's more a matter of I want to know, okay she's, you know what's going on out there making sure everything is running smoothly. Um, so you want that one person and it should be that single voice you know, if you need something upfront that's the go to person, just a sign that person and again we're always talking you know, on these lists, ideal situations, but keep in mind that this is all scaleable you know, you can always bring things down combined positions, you know, be very stealth about it and have fun with it. I did my first fashion show when I was fourteen years old old, and it was very cocky. I was just starting fashion school and at the high school of fashion industry's in new york city, it was like a really great place and, er I got together a bunch, our friends and we thought were designers now let's put on a show, and from that very first, very first show we've just learned so much, and yet it was totally scaled down, you know? We didn't have the luxury of all this. We were all playing every role, but if you know the roles, then you know, you have two rolls, so it's kind of important to separate them, so you don't just say, oh, that's, you're just my job that includes everything, because I think all of us who produce things stuff well, we'll learn everything and assume every position just because we can do it. But you want to know that you are doing more than one job at any given time. If that's, you know what you're taking on the feeder for me, one of the most vital roles in the fashion show now this is the person who controls the exits of the models they call them exits or entrances you know, when the model leaves backstage and goes out onto the runway and this is the prompt and the flow uh, this person could be combined with that liaison in terms of speaking to the front of house or watching it on a monitor whatever you know, logistics allow but also this person maybe just kind of askew right there at the entrance to the runway you want to make sure they're not visible from from the audience but that they can see they could basically see a girl coming or be able to time you know, because if they you want a cue that peter wants a queue of, like went to send out the nick girl next girl so whatever that is for you you want to have that person control the feed so there's not so they're not too many girls out at the same time but also so that they can um not have too few girls at the same time and also you can let them the model no, because this also happens within experienced models they tend to speed up and walk too fast, so whatever you agreed with the model in advanced like that that look is on the runway the walk it's this pace it's relax or if you want sort of really, really quick walk, whatever it is you're going to be able to that person to be able to talk directly to the model, we'll be able to say we went really fast last time, I just need to slow down a little bit and that little, you know, that little voice in that models here is enough rather than freaking out at the model s o you know, that person is kind of you definitely want a calm person for that role. Um, the runner you may have more more than this is like when you physically need things and just can't talk, you know, you need that person who can in front of houses, talking to back of house, who can actually make the physical connection, and this could be an intern, you know, this is some this is like catch all this is that person who is good at everything, you know, it's like we need this, we need thio find that person in the audience, we need to bring someone back, stage, whatever it is, so they know enough that they know everybody you're talking about, and they're like the the perfect assistant for running back and forth. And then we mentioned earlier the dressers and the whole assembly line that happens backstage. The dressers are a part of that you want to give them not only that collaborative moment where they're talking with a designer or the assistant designer to know what they're doing, but you also want to think about telling them things like sequence of how that model should get trust because, for instance, if a model puts on her jewelry and then tries to push her arm through a sleeve with a bracelet that could cause a big problem, it could ruin the garment it could get stuck. It could just any number of things. So you want to, you know, dressers aren't always super experienced, you know, they may be just starting out in fashion or just doing this on a lark. Ah, great resource for dressers is fashion schools because they already have a love of fashion, and this is their way to get a little experience backstage to get a feel for it, and they know what you're talking about. And I have to say, I'm really proud of our students school fashion design because they have such good training in terms of their sewing and all these kinds of skills that all of them show up, too, and we we spend a week. Never told them to do this, they show up with like their little sewing kit assistant like anything they might need thio designer might need in their purse just like or their knapsack and and we've had designers like famous designers come into boston and respond to that like, oh no, that button was loose and they didn't they took the initiative to not to do it because that I think would be an overreach, but to ask the designer or the person, can I sew this back on and like you don't you don't threaten no have it ready, you know, that's beautiful that's, that's incredible, you know point to be at, but you want to cultivate that. So for instance, if you are working with a local school, I know that and say, you know, we love we know you guys know how to sew, so you know anything had happened backstage, so have them bring a little kid and think about what you'd have in your kit and give them a sort of scaled down version of the basics that he should have, and it will make them feel also, even if they don't end up doing anything with it it's empowering it feels like I'm empowered to do that I'm not just a extra body, so okay, so this is for the backstage strategy and now, this's, just a shot of a backstage on a big fashion show. This is large scale. This is very luxurious by most standards. Sometimes we have a tiny little area for a backstage, but you want. Also, make sure your setup, where things like light. We take that for granted on, and even the kind of light that you want, because it could be fluorescent lighting. And you want to make sure that the lighting looks good under the light. I mean that the makeup looks good under the light on the runway.