Cabaret Tip Tuesday At McElrath Cabaret: Tips For Outdoor Gigs–Join Us!


Welcome to McElrath Cabaret–We hope you enjoy our cabaret blog!



Since it’s the beginning of autumn, I thought a lovely, lush arrangement of Ralph Burns, Woody Herman and Johnny Mercer‘s song, “Early Autumn,” here sung by the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald, was in order.  Enjoy!


Welcome to Cabaret Tip Tuesday at McElrath Cabaret, where we offer cabaret performance tips to help you put together a great performance at your next show!


Today I want to share some tips for outdoor gigs.


Now admittedly trying to do cabaret in a large outdoor venue is rather difficult, in that you don’t have the ambiance of the small room to help you create an intimate mood, although some talented entertainers can make even a large audience think that they are singing only to the individual audience members.  But today cabaret singers often find that they will be singing for events other than cabaret shows.  You might sing with a big band, or a smaller jazz ensemble, and if so, then you may find yourself playing some outdoor venues, most especially in the summer months and during the height of the jazz festival season.  You may be called upon to come in and sing an arrangement with a group at the last minute, and thus may need to have the music on a stand in order to perform the arrangement as written.


We’ve played several outdoor gigs, and today I have a few tips that may help you the next time you take to the stage outside.


Tip 1:  Bring clothes pins.

No matter how nice the weather starts out, inevitably a wind will pick up, causing havoc if you are trying to read music charts.  A couple of inconspicuous clothes pins can help to clip the music to your stand and make all the difference.  You can even paint them to match your music stand so they blend in better!


Tip 2:  Consider a sheet of plexiglass.


This is another way to keep sheet music under control in windy outdoor conditions.  Simply put your music on the stand, and cover it with the plexiglass.  Make sure to get anti-glare plexiglass.  Obviously, this won’t work if you have page turns.


Tip 3:  Bring sunglasses.


This can make all the difference if you have to try to read music outdoors in sunny conditions.  Inevitably the sun will be shining directly on stage and in your eyes during your set, so sunglasses will make a huge impact on being able to see adequately.



Hope these Tuesday cabaret tips help–let us know what other topics you’d like to see us cover here, and we’ll do our best to work through them!


As a cabaret singer, what would you add to this conversation?  Leave us a note about it in the comments below—we always love to hear from our readers!


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Till next time,

ps–The Cabaret Soiree Link Party is still going strong–you can visit anytime to click on the links and see what others have posted, or you can share your own recent cabaret blog or cabaret website link from now through Thursday.  Link is below.


Weekly Post Lineup At McElrath Cabaret:

Mondays:  Cabaret Soiree Cabaret Blog Link Party

Tuesdays:  Cabaret Tip Tuesday

Wednesdays:  Ask A Cabaret Question

Thursdays: Featured Cabaret Blog, Website, Performer

Fridays:  Cabaret Through Time

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About Athena at McElrath Cabaret

Athena McElrath is an entertainer with a love for theatre and singing. She enjoys delving in the area of historical cabaret, researching the singers and clubs that were in business from before 1920 to the present, in New York and beyond.
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