Industry Loop: The realities of an MC 

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Many times MC hopefuls come to me asking for help in the form of guidance and mentorship.
Many times these hopefuls only see the result of my work on social media. Rarely do hopefuls, if at all see the planning phase, the chaos that ensues behind the scenes and the stressful aftermath.

Let’s explore these stages starting with the planning phase. Once you have secured a gig, the onus is on you to research the audience. You need to make sure you get the programme beforehand.

That’s ideal, but MCs rarely get the opportunity to scrutinise the programme because event organisers always leave it to the final minute.

It’s during the planning phase that you need to plan for and acquire everything you need to sum up your outfit. It’s during the planning phase that you initiate one solid meeting in which the client can explain to you exactly what they want on the day of the event

It is during your planning phase that you need to sort out your leave at work (if it affects your work schedule). The planning phase is extremely important. You can’t skip the planning phase.

Life is such that regardless of how well you plan something will always throw a spanner in the works. The chaos behind the scenes is a reality. Ideally, an MC would have a stage manager directing the flow of events behind the scenes.

Again…ideally, but it hardly happens because well, event’s organisers just don’t think it’s important to have a stage manager. A stage manager is someone that makes sure that performers are ready and on standby.
They sort out the music is with the DJ and sound engineers, water organisers provide for the MC. The stage manager keeps track of the time.

If any issue arises regarding an entertainer’s set, the stage manager will sort it out. In the absence of a stage manager, it leaves MCs to fill the void.

In the absence of a stage manager, MCs are expected to do all of that and still be all happy and energetic on stage. It’s tiring, stressful and time consuming.

The stressful aftermath is having to deal with the image garnered by the show. Because you were the face of the show the whole night…any negative or positive that transpires during the show, it will suck your brand into it.
The stressful aftermath is that you sometimes have to deal with an unethical event organiser, who without a single bone of courtesy, disappears on you without settling your remaining 50%. No communication, nada… just kapoef!
The stressful aftermath is dealing with industry politics of who could’ve done a better job. You need to be extremely thick skinned. Otherwise, you will fall through the cracks.

Oh, and one last thing…you are on that stage from the beginning to the end of that show while an artist comes, does that 45 minute set and disappears. Who gets paid more? The MC right? Wrong.
The artists always get paid more. It’s pure manure, but hey, these are realities of an MC. Still want to get into the trade?

Until the next loop, we say “GMTM”!
Song of the week: Royalties ft. Bertholdt, ‘My Heart Skips a Beat’
Flop of the week: Axel Zeppy, ‘Amutse-Peace’
NSK is a professional MC. For bookings, email naobebsekind@gmail.com or @naobebsekind (twitter)

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