Show Calling For Conferences And Events
Show Calling For Conferences And Events
With Kate Salberg
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Show Calling For Conferences And Events
Tim Bennett: So stand-by and in 3… 2… 1…
Show calling for conferences and events, is without doubt, one of the most important parts of the show…
Don’t get me wrong, every single part of a show is equally important, from the guys that bring in the boxes, to the sounds, to the lights, to the performers, to the director…
Everyone is equally important, but the show caller, has something that’s quite unique to do, and that’s, he brings everything together, a little bit like a conductor for an orchestra.
So show calling, without a doubt, is one of the elements of the show, that’s very, very important, but quite often the audience never ever get to think about a show caller and it’s just something that’s very rarely discussed in the industry.
So it gives me great pleasure today, to welcome our resident show calling expert, Kate Salberg, all the way from UK…
Kate, it’s great to have you here.
How are you?
Kate Salberg: I’m very well thanks. Thanks for asking me Tim.
I’m good and it’s, gosh, it’s early morning here, it’s ten past nine and afternoon where you are.
Very gloomy here.
Probably lovely where you are.
Tim Bennett: Well yes…
I think England is mostly gloomy, which is why I moved to Asia, which is mostly hot.
We’re coming up to 5 pm here and it’s been a very beautiful day, as always, in Asia.
So before we get into the topic of show calling, I just thought it’d be great, if we can just get to meet Kate.
Maybe you can give us a little history of, you know, who you are, what you’ve been doing over the last few years in the industry, because you’ve been in the industry for 25 years correct?
Kate Salberg: I have, but I was in theater for 25 years before that.
So we’re looking at a 50-year career here, somebody getting into their ancient years, but I did start very young.
So my background is theater.
My parents were both in the theater, my dad was a theater manager of the old school, when there used to be repertory.
My mom was an actress.
My sister is a company manager.
My niece is a theater director, my brother-in-law’s an actor, so it kind of runs in… and my grandfather ran a theater, so that’s where it all started.
So I started work in repertory theatre, in the early 70s, when there really weren’t any training courses.
There just wasn’t any theater stage management courses then.
I learned as a student at ASM (Assistant Stage Manager), at a repertory in Scotland, for two years and I spent about five or six years working in Rep, which is really where you learn your job, and honestly the happiest, best times.
It’s not so much pressure as when you’re in the West End, you know, you’re doing it for a local community, you’re part of the community and although they’re always wanting national press, it’s not really the be-all and end-all, it’s what you’re providing as a function.
It’s very, very happy times and that’s where I learnt the the collaboration and the enjoyment of being part of a of a company, which I still really love.
And then I came to London and I fell into a job, at the National Theatre in my early twenties.
And was there, when it first opened for a couple of years and then, I moved eventually into musicals, which is where I stayed and latterly, I was a Cameron Mackintosh person.
My last job was Les Mis (Les Misérables) and I was there for… while my kids were growing up, so I have twins, who were then 4, and that’s why I stayed as long as I did.
I was a stage manager for 15 months and then I was company manager for 3 years, 3 and a half years and it was a a brilliant time, because that show is just, not like any other show you know, it’s not like, a leading man in the kick line, it’s such an ensemble piece and it was madly busy.
I got to do the 10th anniversary concert and then went back after I’d left, to do the 25th anniversary concert as show caller, actually, so it’s been a big part of my life and then I had… I did fall into show calling.
Literally fell into it, the way that people do, I didn’t look for it.
I knew about it and I got asked to go by the production manager I’d worked with, on this terrible production called Time, The Musical, with Cliff Richard, which was in the middle mid 80s and it was groundbreaking technology, but a terrible story, terrible show.
The production manager worked to Magination, which was the biggest of the and the kind of earliest of the production companies and that’s how I fell into it really, and didn’t quite dare go full-time freelance until, late 90s and that’s where I’ve been ever since.
Tim Bennett: WOW!
What a fantastic beginning and how much influence does… how much difference, does it make having a family that’s in that industry, that, I mean, you kind of were expected not to do anything else… is that is that correct?
Kate Salberg: No I don’t think that’s, I don’t think that’s really true.
I think my dad, would have loved me to go to university.
He went to Oxford, but that was in the days when you kind of almost bought your way into yourself into Oxford.
I think it wasn’t like it is now, but I was one of the generation, who just failed their 11+.
Now, if that means anything to anyone of my generation, it was a huge thing and I was really, really gutted, that I didn’t get into the Grammar school.
So I ended up going to a secondary, which are totally unappreciated at the time, that my parents had to pay for, but it was a Catholic Convent and I absolutely, totally loathed it… and it was such a… it could not have been more different, than my life at home in the theater life, which I loved.
So I was desperate to get out and my Mom said, “Oh you’ve got to do something that will… learn some skill, to fall back on…” because, I think, they all sort of thought it would, you know, you’re never going to make any money in the theater.
So, I did a secretarial course for a year and then I literally wrote to every repertory company in the country, until someone offered me a job and in the upshot I’ve still got the letter.
The woman said, “you can come to me for this season…”
I had to be thrown on, in non-speaking acting parts, they paid me five pounds a week and my parents gave me six pounds a week and I lived on that, but at the end of the letter she said, “if you are, who you think you are, please give my love to your father.”
So I still got the job because they knew who he was.
That was only a fiver, but that, you know, got to start somewhere and and it was, I have not regretted it.
In latter years, when I was in my 30s, I decided to do, what I’d never had the opportunity to do and do a degree, so I did Open University, it took me forever.
I had to have breaks for various reasons, but in the end I did get my degree and I thought, well, tick that one off and it was helpful actually, to give you a sense of holding your own really, with knowing that you can argue well.
There was a there was a great preponderance, when I first started in the theater of trainee theater directors, coming out of university through ATV training courses, so television courses, that paid for them to go and train to be directors and they were so arrogant.
You’ve got this sense that, if you went to university you must be incredibly clever and you must know better than anyone else and it’s taken me years to realize that’s just not true, but it can make you feel a little insecure, I guess, I was 17 when I started work, you know, I was a child.
Tim Bennett: Yeah and I love this concept that you you talked about, where you fall into it.
That was exactly what happened to me.
One day, I didn’t wake up and say “Aha! I’m going to do lasers!”
One day, I walked through a door, saw a laser and went “oh my God” and I kept going through that door.
I never went back.
Kate Salberg: So I think…
I still think it’s the fact that you can’t really do that anymore, because it becomes very difficult to work your way into the theater industry without going to a proper college now, but I still think, that if you get the opportunity to learn through doing, it’s brilliant.
The only thing I’d say I didn’t learn, was the stuff that students do learn, at Guildhall and LAMDA and stuff now, which is you know, how to build a set and how to run a lighting desk and how you program.
But I love lights, but honestly I’ve worked in the theater for so many years and I still don’t know one end of the lantern from another and I think, well, if I was really interested, I’d have found out.
So it’s not stopped me, it just meant that you know, you go whichever way suits you.
Some people want to be technical.
Some people want to go for company management and just show calling or company manager or just show calling.
Some people just love to do nothing but show call in theater and they stay there.
It’s much better recognized now than it was.
It was really thought of, when I started as “oh you must be doing this because you can’t act!
Why would anyone choose to do this job?”
Tim Bennett: Yes and I’ve had those comments where people say to me “what’s your job?”
And then I tell them and they say “And what’s your real job?” Or something…
Kate Salberg: Well why would you choose to do something that might be working from 10 in the morning till 10 at night?
Or you must be mad!
But it… I think, since I’ve been out, kind of more in the real world, of the real world, when I say the real world, the business world with corporate show calling, I’ve realized, that you really cannot buy doing something you love.
It’s not that common to be in the situation, where you are doing something you really love and if you… if the kind of cost of that, is that you’re not making piles of money, then that might be a choice.
I think in my case, I didn’t really realize that there’s nothing wrong with money.
You’re brought up in the theater, to feel… well I was… you’re doing it for this kind of… my dad had this… somebody wrote a book about the theater that he ran.
He ran it for 20 years in Salisbury, called “Putting on Panto, to pay for the Pinter“ which was exactly it.
You put on the stuff that people want to come and see and now and again, you slip in a play that you think might change their lives, but they wouldn’t normally come and see, because they don’t want to come and see Harold Pinter.
They want to see Agatha Christie.
So you have this kind of feel, that you’re… well, it’s entertaining, educating, isn’t it?
Tim Bennett: Excellent!
Well that’s, you know… I guess you’ve had, you know, literally hundreds of stories that you could tell over the years and some experiences… just like me!
So what a great great introduction to you.
So we’re just going to take a very very short break right now.
I’m talking to Kate Salberg from UK about show calling for conferences and events.
Don’t go away, we’ll be right back!
If Your Customers Can’t See You…..
They Can’t Buy From You…..
Tim Bennett: So welcome back. I am joined by our expert Kate Salberg from UK and we are talking about show calling for conferences and events and let’s get down to it.
So Kate, exactly what is show calling?
Kate Salberg: So I describe the show caller as the person who has an overall understanding and concept of the whole event, which they glean from the producer and they are the person who translates that information to the crew, to turn, what has been a complete jumble of rehearsals, into a seamless whole.
So you’re looking, always looking, the job of the show caller, is to make it look as if this thing, has been completely rehearsed and everybody knows exactly what they’re doing, which absolutely isn’t the case, because you never get the opportunity to really rehearse something.
Very rarely, unless it’s something that absolutely requires to have a run through from beginning to end.
I think, that my passion, about the way that people think of show callers, is that, I think it’s incredibly unfair that they can be regarded as kind of, “oh well, it would be a nice to have, if we could have a show caller,” because they’re on the budget, you know, there’s something that perhaps, if we could do without…
But they’re not regarded in the same way that you would think of somebody who’s going to come in and operate a lighting desk or a sound desk or a video operation, because you’re not using kit.
So they think, that that means that “oh well you know, it’s only paper and pencil, so we can just ask anyone to do it” and it’s so not true, because it’s a massively skillful, stressful, complicated job and to ask someone who’s not had any training to do this, is bad all round.
It’s bad for the producer, who’s going to be anxious.
Bad for the client, who might not feel particularly convinced.
It’s bad for the crew, because all they really want to know is what’s coming next…
And show calling, is much more a case of narrative, than it is instruction really and it’s really bad for the person who’s being asked to do it, because if you do that and then you come away feeling deflated and that you haven’t done a very good job, it’s not a good place to be.
So that’s why, I started the training… to try and cover off this misconception that people have about what the show caller does.
Tim Bennett: Well yeah!
I mean I believe I was one of those people who thought it was very simple.
You just sit there… and in the opening, I did, you know 3… 2… 1…
I think that’s what most people think a show caller is, but what actually is their job?
What do they actually do during the show?
Kate Salberg: Okay… so let’s say, that, let’s just to make this simpler, let’s just use an example of a conference, that you get booked for.
So say this conference is going to be a two… a one day conference, it’s got three sessions… before coffee, after coffee, after lunch and it’s mixed up with a series of different presenters, all using slides, some of them are doing demos and a whole different set of complexity of their content.
The way the show caller works, is they turn up on site, probably the day day before or the day before the rehearsal day and they get briefed by the producer, given a running order, told what is in this show and then their job is to go off and make sure that the whole crew understand everything that’s in this running order.
That everything that’s required on the running order has been booked.
Like are there enough microphones?
Did you know that we need this that and the other?
To make sure that there hasn’t been anything lost and then in rehearsal, your job is to understand from each presenter, precisely what they want, what you need them to do for you, to make the show work…
To make sure that the producer, the client and the presenter are all happy and clear and then translate that into a set of cues for the crew, so that everything works seamlessly.
Now this is under pressure, always under pressure, always out of order, so some, in some ways, the most complicated part of the job, is not so much what you’re doing when that presenter is on stage, but how you make sure that going from A to B, from John to Burt, from so-and-so, to so-and-so looks right, looks good and looks seamless and isn’t just a terrible jumble of someone wandering off and someone else wandering on.
The reason why theatre is so incredibly useful as a background to this, is that’s precisely what you’re doing in theater.
You’re giving a whole set of cues to a crew.
So you know the process, but the massive difference, is that you never rehearse anything in a linear order and also, you’re not the person upon whom the crew is entirely relying to say go and they will wait for you.
If you were to fall under the table and not give the cues, the show would all still carry on, provided they all know what’s next.
It’s a very different skill set and one that I think requires massive amount of diplomacy, artistic understanding, knowing how to communicate between a client, the producer and the producer and the crew and it’s exhausting, but ultimately, incredibly collaborative, which is one of the things I love about it most.
Tim Bennett: All right!
So that that’s a fantastic example of of what they do, but and just to clarify the show caller is not the director of the show are they?
Kate Salberg: No…
So… if you look at the two things side by side and in the theater, you have a producer, who is the overall person who actually is putting on this show, like Cameron Macintosh or Andrew Lloyd Webber and then you have a director, who is the person whose concept, the artistic concept…
This whole thing is who directs the actors and into what they want them to do and obviously another creative team, lighting designer, et cetera et cetera, but in corporate, the producer is the person who will have worked with the production company and the client, with the overall concept of this thing and then transmits the information across to the show caller, as to how they want this show to be.
So it’s similar to being a director in the theater, but the big difference is that the person who’s really responsible for making these decisions in the theater, is the director and the producer of the show.
What the audience might think is neither here nor there, they’re going to give them what they think works, but in corporate, the big issue is that you have the client and the clients paying the bill and the client’s the one who you have to relate to and make sure that they are are happy.
It’s very difficult sometimes, to balance what the client is wanting, with what actually works and the producer having the… where with all, sometimes the courage, to say no!
That was actually going to be one of my next questions.
What is the difference, the major differences between working in theater and in corporate for show callers?
Kate Salberg: So the biggest difference is, what the… many folds, where if I start with the crew, in the in theater, the crew in theater are essentially attached to that show and they usually, you usually have a resident crew who are part of the theater itself…
Then you have crew that are brought in to actually run the show, who are probably booked by the production company, but everything about the show has been decided for the show caller by the director, by the lighter designer, by the artistic director.
They will say to them, “this is how I want it to be,” and then the show caller will call those cues according to what it is that director wants it to be like and no one on the end of the comms in theater will ever, ever take a cue, unless they hear the word “Go!”
They will always, just wait.
It’s… imagining that if you’re doing a west end show that is there for some time, you’re going to have two or three people who call that show, because it can’t just be one, they’d go completely mad.
So, it has to be a completely standardized show book, that everybody uses the same book and everybody calls the cues more or less the same way and the person on the end of the operation, like for instance, the lighting operator, all of that programming, that’s done to make the show work, happens during the production period and it’s then programmed into the desk and that operator, basically is pushing the buttons.
If there was a big problem with the lighting desk, it’s quite possible that that person couldn’t just sort it, they might have to say, “well we’ll have to muddle through and then we’ll get someone in to mend the desk tomorrow,”
Not like that in corporate at all.
You think of all of the people that you’re giving cues to, almost as their own individual little self-running worlds, that as long as they understand what’s required next, they will never wait for a go, if they know they should be doing it, they’ll just do it, because loads of shows don’t have show callers.
They’re not big enough.
You know, you’ve got to have a, generally speaking, the show callers are only ever booked for a show that warrants it, because it’s big and therefore, a bit more complicated and you’re working with the crew, in a way, where you’re you’re all working collaboratively to decide what works best, but very often the producer has no concept of how it works technically.
And so you’re having to kind of be the person who’s educating them at the same time, as giving the cues to the crew and that varies massively according to the experience of the producer.
Tim Bennett: Yeah… so this is interesting and and I… I’m going to refer back to something you said earlier, which was, “we don’t do rehearsals in a linear way,” which is very true of our… of the events that we’ve been doing over the last 15 or 20 years.
Different people come into the… because I work mainly with corporate events and you know they all come in at different times and we have to do the the last thing first, the first thing last, the show caller is then the one responsible for kind of pulling that all in, all together, putting it all into an order, making sure it all goes out at the right time.
Kate Salberg: Exactly that. It’s not just, it’s not just making sure everything’s in the right order, it’s working out with the the crew who are involved, what works best, what does it look like, how you know what, what are you going to put on the screen?
Are you going to go to camera?
Are you not going to go to camera?
Are you going to have moving lights when they walk on?
Are you going to have music?
Are you going to have anything that makes this show look seamless?
But in the theater, you would never as the show caller be making those choices.
Someone else will be making them for you.
In corporate you’re almost invariably making those choices, so it’s a far more complex job.
So yet again, I say, why on earth, would you expect someone who has no knowledge of this or training to be able to do it.
It’s absolutely bonkers and so wrong!
And that leads to the question, how does someone get into the art of being a show caller?
Well this is why people who come out of theater, make the best show callers in my opinion, because they have the grounding, the basic grounding.
What’s entirely different about the two worlds, is that it’s not very common in theater, perhaps a bit more common now, but not that common, to have screens or projection or stuff that you’re calling to go to a screen and even if there is stuff like that, it’s more than likely programmed into the lighting desk, as part of the cue, during the production period.
So it then just becomes a lighting cue that makes this projection come on.
Something complicated, like “Network” at the National (National Theatre), for instance, you know, there’s full of just camera work, I would suspect that… I don’t know, but I would suspect that in a show like that, the vision mixer and the camera people are completely their own department doing their own thing and they’re rehearsed just like another member of the artistic team.
So for instance, if I use an example of the the one kind of theater thing I did over the last few years, was a arena tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar” with Tim Minchin and there was a lot of live camera in that and that became… they were doing their own thing, they were rehearsed just as another member of the show.
So you wouldn’t be calling those cameras…
You’re just calling whether cameras on screen or not on screen and it’s kind of similar in corporate, you know, the vision mixer, who calls the cameras, is his own artistic director of the cameras…
The lighting operator, is often the designer or certainly works with the designer and is making these choices themselves about what looks good and what doesn’t look good and the sound person is making these choices and the show caller is simply the person who’s letting them know, this is what’s next and they do it kind of when they know it’s the right moment to do it…
Unless there’s something so specific that has to be called precisely as I call it, because it’s a big theatrical moment and you have to wait for my “Go,” but generally, you’d use a generic term like “Presenter State,” which means, sound put up the microphone when they know it’s the right moment, lighting put lights up when they know it’s the right moment, and you’re just saying “Presenter State Go” and everybody just does it when it’s the right thing.
So much more generic.
Tim Bennett: And is this something that anyone can do?
And you know, what makes a great show caller?
Kate Salberg: So sorry you asked me how did you get in the first place…
So I think this is the biggest problem about the corporate world, is it’s really, really hard to get people who want to do it, to have the opportunity to come in and listen and follow, because it’s always massively pressurized.
There is so little time and if you ask a member of the production team, could we have another set of comms?
Could we have another table?
Could we have another…?
…it’s not always going to be the most welcome thing.
It’s also, I would say, a bit hopeless for the person who’s following it, unless they’re really aware of how this thing has been arrived at or what it is you’re calling.
It’s a bit like… I’d use the example of me going into to do the “Phantom 25th Concert,” which I called, well you know, 25 years before for a few months and I had to go in and refresh and they said “come and watch it in the prompt corner, you can bring the show book.”
But it made no sense to me, because I couldn’t have the opportunity to really, really focus on what cue he was calling and what he was saying and why, because I hadn’t had time to do the study and there wasn’t room in that prompt monitor and I wanted to look at it properly and there were people rushing on and off stage and you have to know what it is that you’re trying to learn.
So this is part of the reason for me to do that, be doing the training and make little videos, that give an example of how it sounds when you show call.
But I’d honestly say, the best possible way to learn, is to try to start as a room manager or a stage manager, so that you have the opportunity to be on site to see everything working, to ask people questions, to listen in and then find out how you build on that.
The training I do, helps people understand completely, the concept and the differences between theater and corporate and how you’re calling… everything is to do with the screen, everything that you’re calling in corporate is to do with the screen or was before virtual, which isn’t to do with the screen at all at the moment, but that would come back I’m sure.
So it’s really hard and I think, it would be extremely good if production companies could invest a bit in giving people the opportunity to do nothing, but sit with a show caller for those 2 or 3 days, if they want someone to learn about it, because you know, you could all say to a prod co, “I’d really love to learn about it,” but they’re so busy running around doing stuff, that they can’t really focus on what’s happening, so you need to focus on nothing, but that if you want to learn, really.
Tim Bennett: So let’s talk a little bit about your training courses that you have.
What is the objective and the format?
How do people get hold of these courses?
Kate Salberg: So the courses I built I… the reason I built the courses is, because I’ve been running face-to-face training for ages and mostly really aimed at theater stage management, who might be interested in moving into corporate and want to understand the differences.
And so after a day’s training they’ll know “God this isn’t for me, is just too stressful or I think I could have a go at that,” but it’s also aimed at producers and junior producers to understand what it is that show callers do and how they can help us by giving us materials in a really useful way and to understand that it’s not ever intended to say “oh look why don’t you become a show caller?”
It’s intended to make producers understand why it’s so important to use show callers and also to invest in, you know, they have to call shows themselves sometimes, producers absolutely have to.
So it’s to give them the sense of “oh I am doing it the right way and there is a better… so I understand what happens with these presets and what you’re talking about, when you’re talking about screen switches and what’s the normal terminology, so that everybody… so I know, I understand when I hear these things, what you’re talking about.”
So that’s the purpose and the face-to-face ones obviously came to an end with Covid, so I had already actually built them online and they’re on teachable.com and I’ve also built some training courses on Udemy, which are for students, stage management students and event management students.
So the the purpose for the one for the event management students is very much to understand the situation of what it’s like actually in working on the production, in the room, during rehearsals and making it live, because I understand from those students they don’t get a lot of that training in their courses.
It’s a lot more to do with marketing, client management, making margins, those sort of things.
So… and it’s alarming for a junior producer, to be faced with, you know, a seriously grown-up presenter, who wants to do something that they don’t think is going to work, to have the balls to say, “we can’t do that!”
So that’s the purpose and I and as a show caller…
I mean, I’m long in the tooth and I’m used to talking to people, so I don’t mind at all, bowling in and being the kind of pit bull terrier for the show caller and saying… explaining to the presenter and the client, why we can’t do it like this, but let me show you a way we can.
You know, this is the basic theater training, you never ever say “No,” you just say, “let’s find another way that will work for everybody,” because you’re sometimes in a situation where you’re on comms and the whole crew is screaming down your headset, “you can’t do that,” “they want to do what?” “that’s going to look absolute rubbish,” and you’re out the front thinking, “yes I know, but I’ve got to find a different way of saying it than just telling them what you’re shouting at me down the comms.”
That’s never going to work.
So diplomacy is really useful.
Tim Bennett: Yeah excellent and I will put links beneath this video, to your courses on Udemy and Teachable, so that people can get hold of them.
In fact, that’s how we met.
I was actually looking through Udemy and I came across your courses and here we are.
Kate Salberg: It’s been interesting actually, because it’s been… it’s gone much more to America and Australia, than I would ever have even thought was… had any interest over there and I have had some quite interesting conversations with people in the States and I actually ran a free webinar about the differences about stage management in the UK and in the US which is fascinating.
Just terminology… we all call things different things.
We call it a clicker, they call it a pickle, we call them comfort monitors they call them DSM’s and downstage monitor and DSM and the UK, means deputy stage manager which is the person who calls the show, so it’s just funny, it’s just fun.
Tim Bennett: Brilliant… I must admit when I came over to the Philippines I had my fun with translations as well.
Kate Salberg: I’m sure!
Tim Bennett: Excellent!
Well, we’re going to take another quick break, I’ve been here with Kate Salberg talking about show calling for for conferences and events… don’t go away, because we’re gonna be back with some other aspects to Kate’s life.
So stay right here!
If Your Customers Can’t See You…..
They Can’t Buy From You…..
Tim Bennett: So welcome back to ArgonTV.
I am here with our expert show caller.
She’s Kate Salburg from UK and we’ve been talking about show calling and we’re going to switch over now a little bit, into something else that Kate has been working with and it’s about storytelling.
And there’s a wonderful wonderful quote I heard recently, something it goes along the lines of “there’s nothing quite so sad as an untold story,”
So Kate, what is this part of your life that’s separate from the show calling?
What are you doing here?
Kate Salberg: So I trained 4 years ago, with a company called “Animas” in transformational coaching for change and I did it entirely pragmatically, because I wanted something that I could go on doing forever when I stopped show calling.
When I just get too exhausted… well the traveling’s not happening now, but the traveling was driving me demented.
So I’ve used lockdown to really take this forward to the sort of coaching, that I really want to do, because perversely, I don’t really want to work with corporate clients.
I really want to work with people who may be slightly… individuals, who may well be in the corporate world themselves and just want to make a change, but it’s to do with having the courage to see that you can do whatever you want with your life.
The reason that the storytelling’s come into it is, because I’ve found there’s a huge relationship between theater and coaching in respect of, everybody’s living a story that they’re telling themselves, “this is a story that they need to live and this is where I am and this is why I’m doing it” and not seeing that it is possible to change and that the familiar, even though it may be not very, not very comfortable, not very happy, it’s familiar and it’s easier staying there, than it is wondering about whether to take that step over the threshold into something new.
And so I’ve been coached myself which I’ve found immensely useful and come up with this “Tell The Story Coaching,” which is essentially, you know, what’s the story?
What’s your story and then how do you want to tell it?
Do you want to put it out on the internet?
Do you want to do a Facebook live?
Do you want to do something, where you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of presenting?
So I’m kind of mixing together all my theater, working with presenters work, with this new coaching.
It’s all just like a lovely sort of, come together in a place where I just feel everything works with me being completely authentically me, but using the skills that I’ve learned over the years about telling a story not just putting out piles of slides, but tell me your story and it’s just really, really enjoyable and particularly, because you see people, you know, the scales from fall from their eyes and they realize “God! I can do this if I choose to do it” and it’s partly also, the other thing about the theater is, it’s really useful to sort of get into character when you’re trying to deal with something it’s difficult.
A little bit like making a phone call for someone else, rather than yourself.
Just is easier, because you’re removing that emotional immediacy from it and so getting into the sort of character that you want to be in, which is part of you, but just the part that’s useful.
I found just so enjoyable.
So that’s what I’m trying to kind of mix in, with what I’m doing with show calling. I don’t want to leave show calling, because I love it and I love the collaboration, but I also love this new world.
Tim Bennett: Yeah and I think that’s brilliant, this idea that you have with the storytelling.
I’ve always thought like, how fantastic it would be to run my life like a movie.
Like I have a director and we have, I have a show caller who tells me okay… “Go to the gym… Go on the diet…” and then I’m the leading character in my movie and who would be my leading lady?
Who would be my supporting cast?
What would I do?
Where would I go?
How would my movie finish?
Kate Salberg: It is literally… that it is literally looking at where you are today and thinking, “Okay, so well if this was a story I was telling and I’m kind of halfway through it, actually how do I want it to end and if I want it to end the way I want it to end, what do I need to put into this story?
Who do I need in the story and what do I need to do” and just look on it as a story, because it’s just incredibly enabling to then look look on it dispassionately, instead of this kind of clenched stomach fear thing that you might get when you think about making a change and it’s the fact, that when you see people change, it’s so empowering.
I hate that word really, because it’s used so much, like inspirational, but you know what I mean, it’s like you can do this stuff and the world isn’t going to crash around your ears.
Tim Bennett: And everyone has a… sorry, I was going to say, everyone has a story and you were telling me earlier, how wonderful some of the people are that you’re meeting.
Kate Salberg: Amazing people and their story, you know, what what’s so extraordinary about it, is that then none of them see themselves as having an extraordinary story, because they’re just in the moment of worrying about what to do next.
When you say, when you say to them, but listen, you know you came from here, you learned another language, you did this, you did that, you dealt with all that, do you not think you should actually just say to yourself, “well yeah, actually I have done quite a lot,” because you, one tends to just think, “well I did that.
Now I’ve got to move on with the next problem and it helps to look at things in a, you know, just it’s almost like just daydream, just daydream into what you want to do and allow your subconscious to do the work for you, “Oh that’s a good idea, I haven’t thought of that!”
Just have fun.
It’s just having fun.
It removes this pressure and I think the show calling work, which I do love, is immensely tiring, you know, one thing I was going to bring up, so that is, so different about the virtual show calling, which really struck me, when I was doing a job at Creative Technology, that were using their studios, is that when you’re show calling in virtual, you’re basically sitting next to the vision mixer, in the same sort of location, that usually the show crew are enjoying the show, behind a screen.
So when you’re behind that screen and you’re in this big row of crew, you’re kind of remote from what’s happening the other side of the screen, where the client, the producer, the show caller are wrangling like hell, all day, to try and get everything done.
You know, we’re running late and the rehearsals and how we’re going to fit all this in and you’re just completely exhausted, but at the back of that screen, if you’re doing autocue, you could be sitting reading a book for four hours, until suddenly you hear your name called and you think “oh I better concentrate for a bit,”
So what tends to happen with the show caller at the end of the day, when the final rehearsal finally finishes at half past seven at night or eight o’clock, suddenly all this crew come out to you and say “what time’s breakfast?
What time am I getting this?
What time…” and you just want to put a big thing on your head saying, “I don’t know,” because you literally just stopped and this sense when you’re virtual show calling, that you’re out of remove from the intensity of doing all this stuff live and I mean, I don’t like it, because I think, we’re really missing that personal interpersonal connection and presenter live, but it is less stressful.
I think, but I can’t wait for the stress to come back really.
Tim Bennett: Oh yes I miss those events, but I had to laugh earlier, when you said you wanted to move away from corporate.
My whole profession, in the industry, in the laser industry and show production, has been with corporate and I absolutely 100% agree with you.
I really pulled my hair out…
Kate Salberg: I think… the reason… I think the reason I feel it personally and it’s entirely a personal thing, you know, if you’ve got a business background, if you, as a coach, if you’ve got a business background or you’re somebody who deals with strategy, I completely get it that you can work with corporate people and feel on top of it.
For me, it’s much more to do with the personal driver, of the person and the personal change they want to make, that I just wouldn’t feel that I really was well equipped to to make any of those… I just… judgements or advice or you don’t advise when you’re a coach, you just kind of reflect, but I sort of feel, that in the corporate world, there’s a sense of doing corporate social responsibility, because it’s good for business, not so much because you really truly are driven and believe it and that’s what I’m after.
I’m after the people, who want to help other people, enable the enablers, to enable another enabler, to enable another enabler, etc, so it’s just, it’s all good.
Tim Bennett: Well, I absolutely know that we could talk for about another three or four hours about this subject, especially the storytelling and obviously we can’t do that, but if someone wanted to get in touch with you to just ask questions or talk to or book a…
I see you have a strategy call on your website as well, if they want to get in touch with you, about show calling or about your storytelling, what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you?
Kate Salberg: Well anyway… if you find… email@example.com is my email, but you’ll find me on any of those websites, Tell The Story Coaching, I’ve got a Facebook business page for show caller training if you, if you just type me into google you’ll find me somewhere quite easily I’m sure.
Tim Bennett: I’ll hunt those links down and I’ll put them beneath this video, so if you want to get in touch with Kate, now you can.
Kate Salberg: Brilliant!
Really nice to talk to you, thanks Tim.
Tim Bennett: Yeah I want to thank you for being here Kate and spending the time and just sharing your expert knowledge with us. I’m sure the audience will really, really appreciate you.
I hope you come again and talk to us about your virtual show calling and maybe talk again about the storytelling sometime.
Great thanks a lot have a good day or evening!
Yes, thank you very much for being here everybody.
It’s been an awesome journey. We’ve been talking about show calling for conferences and events with Kate Salberg and I look forward to seeing you all again very soon, in another episode of ArgonTV.
Until then have an awesome day!
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This post “Show Calling For Conferences And Events” Was written exclusively for Argon Animation Inc by Tim Bennett © 2020