The key component of both this and last years' fest was the performance element. And the mastermind of the concept is our own Joey Clark. When we were discussing how to feature what we do to audiences, and trying to find a new way to package it - Joey suggested the concept of "an endless roster of talent like we used to see from celebrities over the Labor Day telethons of old." Thus the concept of our Salonathon was born. Instead of trying to select a few of our artists to showcase - we ultimately decided to utilize everybody. This perfectly brandishes the range of our many talents as cabaret performers. We all bring 10 minutes of our best and come up with a Smorgasboard of stories.
Joey has also graciously taken on the task of coordinating the massive effort. One can only imagine the spreadsheet for this. First; is finding the accompanists that can collaborate with us. It certainly requires more rehearsal hours. And obviously a few more pages of sheet music than is usual. This year Harrison Wade has agreed to play not one of the two evenings, but both! Every performer is fortunate to get an individual session and then there are group sessions where members can perform for each other and give some positive feedback. This way our Fest audiences are getting mountains of talent.
But even more daunting, is the task of coordinating schedules. "Anyone who is a freelance vocalist or actor knows that there is no such thing as a weekly schedule." With us it plays out more hour to hour as we multitask and run from one small gig to another. So when you take a roster of 20+ and the pianist, finding a few choice hours where everyone can convene is monumental.
Lastly; come the live performance elements. Working with Bryant lake Bowl for the technical elements of sound and lighting. Deciding which order gives the evening the smoothest flow of moods and music. Coordinating dressing room space for all. Last year we crammed us all into one single marathon. This year we are spacing it out over the 2 days with split slates on both Saturday and Sunday. We also realized that our audiences wanted programs that note our names as well as some of song choices which can be varied and sometimes cleverly obscure. If have not seen us en masse, come check us out for both the Performances and the Educational Sessions.
TCCAN Cabarets fest - Bryant Lake Bowl