Bluffing audiences?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by hellraiser, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    It irritates me when conductors or comperes bluff audiences! Don't they deserve to be treated with more respect?
  2. strongbow

    strongbow Member

    Is this a general rant or have you personally treated with disrespect?
  3. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    A general rant really. I've sat in many audiences where conductor and compere were bluffing unsuspecting audiences. I just don't like it, was wondering what your opinions were?
  4. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    People cannot know everything about everything. However, I think that there should be an element of trust.

    Being a compere is essentially 'public speaking' and, unless you do it regularly, it 'aint easy. You can get into a bad habit of saying the first thing that comes into your mind.

    Reading off a sheet looks and usually sounds terrible. Ideally, there would be lots of time to prepare but modern life doesn't really allow that. If a member of the audience is offended or knows that something said is blatantly wrong then they should speak to the MD afterwards.

    I rarely listen to what most MD's say at concerts. I have known some to make up the information about every piece - the band usually knows and find it funny. The funniest thing is where you go to an entertainment contest and you have to provide a crib sheet for the compere. The amount of times I have seen some comments go down just in an attempt to catch out the compere!

    If you want to be certain, read a book. My opinion is so long as there is nothing said which could harm somebody's reputation or offend them, then say what you will to keep the audience happy. Bluffers are generally easy to spot and usually get caught out!

  5. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    How about the reputation of the composer and the music?
  6. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Depends on what was said really....
  7. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Sometimes you just have to endure it. The National Capital Band is often obligated to have our Executive Officer serve as compere. Unfortunately, he won't use a script and gets facts wrong - like the name of the band, the year we were founded (which is on our stand banners), soloist's names, etc.
  8. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    Come on and shame 'em.... :D
    I do agree with you tho...Don't treat the audience with contempt or as if they have a lack of knowlage.
  9. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    I'd find that irritating.
  10. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    I would say that 'somebody' includes 'anybody'.

    However, there is a certain amount you have to put up with. If we didn't comedians would struggle for material.

    It would have to be something quite serious for me to concern myself with it. Banter is part of life. We already live in a nanny state and PC can go too far in my opinion.

    If somebody doesn't like it, they can always decide to not come next time!

  11. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    I don't mind the banter part - it's simply a part of showmanship. I do mind when incorrect information is being supplied from the podium, particularly when all the speaker has to do is check with anyone else on the stage before speaking.
  12. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    My BM talks alot an tells really crap jokes an just bes realy stupid an never shuts up its quite funny realy.But when im in the audience of something i never actualy listen to the conductor.
  13. euphfanhan

    euphfanhan Member

    Rob doesn't talk crap- he just knows a hell of a lot about too many things. I think it can be patronising to bluff audiences, I generally have no respect for conductors who do that. The main problem with doing that is that the MD has the power to make the audience like or dislike a band instantly. The more the audience dilike the conductor the more they dislike the band.
  14. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    i said crap jokes an it sounds like crap but i normaly stop listening after a bit.
  15. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    I agree with you there. I agree with brasscrest: I'm not saying there should be no humour but I do have an issue with incorrect information about the music and composer as I think that's quite disrespectful to the audience and the composer.

    I find that humour is very difficult to do pull off these days. Humour has developed so much over the years that many of the old jokes MDs use sound seriously naff and I'm not sure it does the image of brass bands any favours.
  16. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Excuse me for my ignorance...but based on what I've read so far, "bluffing" is giving incorrect information about a song at a concert. Does it have to be intentional, or can it be unintentional. Does it count if it is a joke and not true and the entire audience knows it is not true?

    I think giving misinformation in general is bad. It is really not that difficult to get facts straight. I also appreciate humour from a compere...but to intentionally give incorrect facts to get a laugh is not good.

    It may seem odd, but I can remember being one time as a teacher getting so frustratede with one student that I said some so blatantly untrue in a sarcastic tone trying to get them to realise they needed to get their head in the game a pay better attention. Then when I tested them later about 20% of the class put that "joke" answer. Since then I have always had to be weary of what I say and how I say it as when you least expect it people might actually be paying attention.
  17. peatair

    peatair Member

    You never know who is in you audience and there could well be people with as much, or maybe more, knowledge of music than the M.D. Bluffing is, in my view, a definite no-no. The best guide is Keep what you have to say simple, accurate and starightforward. Also, unless an M.D. is a natural stand up comedian then "joke telling" can be risky.
  18. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    When I go to a symphony orchestra concert, I don't see the conductor talking to the audience at all. While a brass band performance is not quite the same, I often find that there is far too much talking and not enough playing. There may be times that some "stretching" is in order (for example, to cover a percussion reset between items), but really, most of the time the verbiage isn't really necessary.
  19. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Whilst I agree to some extent, I think we can gain a lot from the rapport built up between a good conductor/compere and the audience, and it is actually something that a number of orchestral conductors - notably people like Leonard Slatkin and Michael Tilson Thomas - have used, particularly when trying to introduce music to a new audience.
  20. tootnbuzz

    tootnbuzz Member

    How much time time is generally thought of to be too much?? Are there really directors who talk just to hear their own voice at concerts? As MD at my school I keep the talk down to simple information about the music, the students and essential info the parents should know. In all the groups I've played in I think the most talkative was Richard Evans at Brass Band Summer School in Bromsgrove and I felt he kept his comments short and on topic.