Friday, May 16, 2014

Guest Post: Your Family's Got Talent!

Disclosure: I am not the author of this article nor was I compensated for publishing this article on my blog. This is a guest post. 
Your Family’s Got Talent
Author: Whitney Hollingshead

Summer is just a few short months away and your family may already be in full swing with family reunion planning. If you are in charge of planning any part of the reunion this summer, you may want to consider planning a family talent show. If, however, your family already has the tradition of holding a talent show every year, you may get some fresh ideas for this year’s show.

Let’s take a look at the 5 W's (who, what, when, where, and why) of planning a successful family talent show:

Of course you won’t have time for every family member in attendance at the reunion to share a talent with the group, so how do you decide who gets to perform? Here are a couple of ways you could narrow down the talent pool:

Kids Only - Open the talent show up to all of the children under age 12.
Individual Families - Each family unit attending the reunion must contribute one talent, but they can only contribute one talent.
First to Sign Up - You can have people sign up through an online form, by email, or even by phone or regular mail. Once the slots are full, the signup period ends.
Auditions - Here’s an idea to really get some buzz going about the talent show. Have anyone who wants to perform post an audition video of their talent online and send you the link to their video. You can post all of the links on a family page online, or send them out in a family email newsletter. You can either have some unbiased people outside of the family judge the audition videos, or you can count the number of video views received for each video to select the performers.

A family talent show might be better labeled a ‘variety show’. The best family show will include a variety of acts. You may want to convey to your family members, that they don’t have to be talented in traditional ways to perform. Singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments is great. You could also suggest acts such magic tricks, poetry reading, jump roping, and comedy skits. Another avenue to pursue would be to include some family members who tell epic family stories. 

Set a time limit for each talent well in advance of the show. Keep in mind that it will take time to transition in between each talent and the attention of your family members will only last so long. Make sure you don’t ruin a good show by allowing the individual talents or the entire show to carry on too long. 

In preparation for the show, make sure that you have someone on hand to emcee the show. Also, plan the order in advance for who is performing, what they are performing, and when they will perform. In planning the order, try to alternate between similar acts to keep the show engaging. 

The best time for your family talent show is when the greatest number of family members will be at the reunion. As many of the activities for the reunion probably require daylight, a talent show is a great way to fill an evening. After dinner is a great time for a show.

If you are holding the reunion at a campground, lodge, park, or other facility, contact the facility to find out what options are available for your show. An amphitheater or stage would be an ideal place for the show, but an open space is another great option. You can encourage everyone to bring a camping chair or blanket to watch the show. 

You may want to consider renting some audio equipment if your location does not have any available. Maybe all you need is a portable microphone or some speakers to connect to a laptop to play music. Make sure you plan in advance for the audio needs of your entire family gathering. While you may be able to hear cousin Lily’s angelic solo, your great aunt Louise may need some help hearing the performance. 

This may be the most important category of all. The purpose of planning a family talent show is to learn more about your family. You may have a lot of opportunities to interact with various family members throughout the reunion, but a talent show provides a fun way to learn things you may not otherwise know. 

Your family might consist of musical prodigies, budding comedians, or acrobatic athletes. Or maybe your family is full of people who make origami swans and play the tambourine. At the end of the evening, it doesn’t matter what was performed. What matters is that your family members are willing to open up and share a little with each other.

1 comment:

  1. We had a family reunion 3 years ago and we had a great time fellowshipping with relatives we hadn't seen for a while and seeing all the nieces and nephews we had never met. It would have been fun to have had a variety show for the children.