Showtime: Meet the People Behind the Scenes


Find out about the "other" stars in show business.

There are hundreds of people who make a live show worth seeing and remembering: the entertainers on stage, of course, but also many behind the scenes whose work ensures that the show will be a success.

There's set designer Machiko Weston, who meticulously creates miniature three-dimensional sets that capture even the smallest detail of what the actual stage ...

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Find out about the "other" stars in show business.

There are hundreds of people who make a live show worth seeing and remembering: the entertainers on stage, of course, but also many behind the scenes whose work ensures that the show will be a success.

There's set designer Machiko Weston, who meticulously creates miniature three-dimensional sets that capture even the smallest detail of what the actual stage will look like.

Ever wonder how performers lug their huge speaker systems, lights, lasers, etc., from one place to another? That's where long-haul trucker Ben Pinel comes in. In addition to driving a giant semi-trailer, he's responsible for a whole convoy of trucks that have to be loaded and unloaded as quickly as possible for each show.

Readers will learn about other behind-the-scenes people in theater, dance, and concert performances. Costume designer, promoter, vocal coach, choreographer, security guard, and more: they all make sure that every show is the best one ever.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—Eleven individuals involved in the behind-the-scenes aspects of putting on a live show are introduced; a vocal coach, a promoter, even a long-haul trucker—all play important roles. Machiko Weston is a set designer, Hiro Miura makes instruments, and Al Domanski is a pyrotechnics expert. Each section describes the occupation, gives background information about professional, and ends by revealing the skills and education needed for the particular job. Having real people explain their work creates a personal, welcome feel. The book is colorful, with clear action shots and large type. A final chapter, "Welcome to the Show," briefly discusses other positions, such as security guard and director of live entertainment. These jobs are more in tune with the actual performance night. There is no index; a table of contents lists the positions included. This is an accessible read for teens interested in all aspects of the large-scale live-entertainment industry.—Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
Library Media Connection - Anne Bozievich
This book highlights some of the behind-the-scenes professionals who work together... Each profile includes a snapshot of a typical day as well as quotes about some of the unique aspects of the job....[It] also includes a chart of practical tips for students who may be considering this particular career path... Overall, this title provides an honest look at several lesser-known careers in the music business, and it shows that there are many ways to be a part of this industry besides being in the spotlight.
Canadian Materials, Vol. XIX, No. 38 - Dave Jenkinson
Sylvester explores some of the jobs that must be performed in order that the front up stars in the entertainment field can shine. Using broad strokes, Sylvester explains how each person came to her/his occupation and describes what's generally involved in performing that job. Sylvester's words are fleshed out by direct quotes from an individual who is occupying that role... One of Showtime's real strengths is the wide range of occupations, from blue to white collar, that it presents... Like Game Day, Showtime is an excellent recreational read, one which offers most palatable vocational guidance. Highly Recommended.
This has just the right amount of information about jobs in the arts for a young reader.
Resource Links, Vol. 18, No. 5 - Leslie Vermeer
Showtime introduces a range of diverse and fascinating people working behind the scenes to make live stage performances fun, safe, and memorable. Kevin Sylvester writes in a clear voice, at an accessible level, without talking down to readers. The book is presented as a series of profiles of people working in various sub-sectors of the performing arts... The profiles are compact but loaded with detail. The main text is supported by numerous sidebars and every profile wraps up with tips for readers who can envision themselves doing similar work in the future... I strongly recommend this book for inclusion in school and classroom libraries.
Sal's Fiction Addiction
This is the book that will give you a taste for the world that showtime entails. It's a pretty fascinating slice of life.
Children's Literature - Kasey Giard
It takes a lot more than a great band to pull off a fabulous show. A choreographer works with performers to teach them dance routines. Vocal coaches help singers learn how to hit the high notes without damaging their vocal chords. A set designer constructs tiny models of a show before building the actual set to make sure the lighting and other effects will be just right. Long-Haul Truckers move very expensive equipment and coordinate loading and unloading their cargo. It's a long, tough, job! Instrument makers design and build guitars and other instruments for devoted artists to purchase. After the show, a critic writes a review that tells potential audience members what they can expect from a performance. Costume designers use the artist's wardrobe to connect the audience to a certain setting or time period. An advertiser or designer makes posters announcing the arrival of a show or band. These posters need to give clues about the artist and the type of show while making viewers hungry to know more. Pyrotechnics experts have to evaluate each venue for any potential safety hazards before performers can use special effects with fire or explosions. Songwriters craft beautiful lyrics and interesting stories set to music for an artist to make his or her own. A promoter arranges bookings for a band or show and needs to be ready to work anytime, day or night. Even on site at the venue of the performance, many dedicated staff members are available to help an artist set up the stage or handle guest accommodations and other needs. Sylvester presents an exciting, insightful look at the often unseen side of the performing arts in this bright and informative book. Each chapter is peppered with interesting details and an interview with an industry professional. This book is a great resource for any theater program involving kids. Recommended. Reviewer: Kasey Giard
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554514861
  • Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/26/2013
  • Pages: 84
  • Sales rank: 1,022,202
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Sylvester is an award-winning illustrator, author, and a well-known broadcaster on CBC radio. His last book with Annick Press, Game Day, was nominated by the OLA for the Silver Birch Award. He lives with his family in Toronto.

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