Spike Allibone - Showcaller
I'm a showcaller with many years of international experience.
I will call any kind of show but often it seems I end up on the larger or more specialist one off events. I should point out that I'm not proud... if I'm free, and you pay my day rate, I will almost certainly call your show.
I have many years of worldwide experience this includes specialist work involving score reading, bar counting and live TV broadcast events.
Below is a list of requirements I may well need provision for on site. I can help you source and configure some of these things should it be useful.
Every show is different, but as a guide, I typically require:
Clear line of sight of stage - sometimes I like a lock off or TX monitor too. I have worked from OB trucks etc too.
- Proper duplex / open talkback system - IE not Motorola radios…. unless they’ve been duplex rigged. I am very used to all manner of matrix switch systems and the standard 2 channel belt pack for smaller shows. Obviously noise cancelling Peltors for on stage rock shows etc. I ask for double muff ears please. I can sometimes bring my own set depending on your system. I can also help you design the comms system for the show in pre-production if that's helpful.
- No camera operators or followspots should be on the same ring as showcall.
- Followspots should be on a separate channel to either the LD or a spot caller. I don’t call followspots on complex shows.
- Camera operators need to take direction from the camera director / vision mixer. I don’t call cameras on complex shows.
- Show trained technicians that know how to take and execute cues - people who wait for the ‘GO’ command!
- Wireless duplex comms for stage managers / floor managers
- Audio programme feed. This is important. The best way to achieve this is - is to give me a separate Fostex audio monitor with a microphone mix from the desk and a volume button. I can perhaps accept a programme feed through the cans - but it’s not always the best option.
- A normal clean desk with 13amp power, some desk lighting and internet
- I need a comfortable office chair at the correct height to the desk - please don't put me in a portakabin on a flight case... it won't help your important show!
- For tight shows I like to have a (calm) script assistant - this can be a junior position for someone who just keeps an eye on the script page / paragraph we are on during hairy moments. This person sits next to me - and would require an extra set of comms. I've done this successfully with spare runners, bright school leavers as well as content producers - It's just nice to have on occasion.
- A Show Director / Producer / 1st AD to do all the herding and running around on stage - this is someone with clout who knows what the show looks like and is prepared to boss everyone around. This person needs to be wirelessly connected for comms.
- For VOG I need a switchable SM58 or similar with pop shield. This should be desk live - but without any crackle from the switch. I have my own if this is a problem to provide.
- IEMs (In Ear Monitor system) also with switchable mic to the presenter / host where appropriate.
- TV Comms access to bar counting PAs on televised shows with music scripts
- A fast colour printer in the production office - preferably with an A3 option.
I don't whinge, I'm discreet and I am totally familiar with pyro cues, autocue (prompting) multi-screen graphics, click tracks, backstage calls, FOH announcements, celebrities, last minute craziness, screaming people, no food, no sleep etc etc.