Entries Tagged as 'live announcing'

live announcing in a theatre makes it a performance

Peter K. O'Connell Live Announcer

Getting up on a stage was never something I strove towards.

I really much prefer being in the back of the house in a closed off space or room with a microphone, which is pretty much the set-up for most of the live announcing I have ever done.

But this past Veteran’s week, in my live announcing duties for the area American Legion Band, there I was, coming through the curtain of a tightly packed stage (full of talented musicians, mind you) in a very handsome theatre to guide the hundreds in the audience through a night of memorable, emotive songs.

Of course, I’ve done more of my share of MCing (emceeing, being an MC or emcee – grammar rules and spelling always fail me on this word) and that’s basically what this gig is for this enormously talented band. But of the majority of those many other emceeing events I’ve done over 30+ years, the events have historically been held at a hotel banquet room or similarly bland location.

When you’re on a stage, in a fully functioning theatre with a marquee outside and inside you see a proscenium arch, giant stage curtains, lighting grids, dressing rooms, spot lights – the whole shooting match – it’s a bit more real. For me it feels less like “emcee” or “live announcer” and more like “stage performer” – something I NEVER wanted to be.

Except I was. The spotlight squarely on me. Oy! I should have polished my shoes or something.

Thank goodness there’s a script for me to read on stage because memorization, in my finest hour, was never a strong suit and today at my age, it just ain’t happening.

I made it through, my part went fine and everyone said they were very happy with my ‘performance’.

That’s kind, but I would have been just as happy if I’d simply been called a fine “live announcer”, left in a backstage room with a reading light and a live mic. The stage is not the place for me.

But hey, it’s all good. I must remember that it’s just nice to be invited. And above all, I AM appreciative.

this is all dan lenard’s fault

The American Legion Band of the Tonawandas, Post 264 with Master of Ceremonies Peter K. O'Connell at Basset Park, Amherst, NY on July 29, 2015

The American Legion Band of the Tonawandas, Post 264 with Master of Ceremonies Peter K. O’Connell at Basset Park, Amherst, NY on July 29, 2015. Photo courtesy of Michael Wesolowski

So another Buffalonian has left our city to find his fortune in Hollywood, CA.

My friend and fellow voice talent Dan Lenard has moved his family out to California which is a loss for our area but also a loss for The American Legion Band of the Tonawandas, Post 264, where Dan has served as Master of Ceremonies for a while now.

The band is very successful. They’ve won state, national and international band championships. Heck, they’ve even played Carnegie Hall in New York City.

But now with Dan going off to pan for gold in Cali, the band needed a new MC.

So the band asked if I would do the live announcing for their shows (Dan told them about me). Last night was my first show and everyone said it went well.

All I remember was that it was hot. Like 90+ degrees hot and the sun was blasting the stage. At least I got to go backstage between my on-stage parts, the poor band members were out there the whole time but they didn’t miss a note.

It was nice to do some live announcing again and it’s nice doing it with a talented group of people.