They say you never get another chance to make a first impression. Nowhere is this more true than when you step onto a stage in front of an audience. And if that audience is full of kids, you’d better get it right because their precious attention span is too valuable to lose because you botched an entrance.
For staff or volunteers on stage in a CM environment entrances are a big deal. They can either set the tone or break the flow of the Large Group program. The entrance should always match the energy level of the program. If you’re trying to create a big, fun moment, explode onto the stage with a bundle of energy. If you’re transitioning out of a video clip, you may want to quietly slip onto stage as the clip is winding down so that you don’t distract the kids from the video. Here are a few tips to help make a perfect entrance on a CM stage.
1. Almost never enter from the audience. It looks sloppy, like you just don’t care. The only exception to this rule is a preplanned entrance by actors planted in the audience or several dancers rushing the stage to create excitement. Unless you have a great reason for it, avoid entering from the audience at all costs. That’s why people invented backstage doors.
2. Whether it’s just one person or multiple peeps, everyone needs to know exactly where they’re going, how they’re going to get there & what else will be happening on the stage. Like planes approaching an airport everyone needs a clear flight plan to avoid crashing.
3. Not only do you need to know where you’re going, you need to know when to go. Don’t blow a powerful moment by coming out too early or create dead space by entering too late.
4. If multiple people are entering, they should enter in a consistent way. There’s nothing that looks worse than one bubbly leader running onto stage while her partner wanders out casually like she just woke up.
5. Think about what is right before you in the service and what you’ll be doing once you get on stage. What energy level would be the most appropriate here?
6. Whatever you do, just be intentional & make sure you’re entering to create an effect on the kids.
As with every aspect of the Large Group program, be prepared and think it through before you do it.
Remember that the best entrances won’t be memorable because they will blend seamlessly with the rest of the program. Good luck!
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