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Top Artists Rely on Autocues, the Rest of us Have to Remember
Many top artists employ PCs, autocue software and off stage operators pressing the down arrow key. Strategically hidden flat screens supply the words, chords, and even music score. Its time the rest of us to throw away the paper and bad memory and move up a gear with The Stage Prompter.
The Times Online featured an article, naming many top artists that used some form of complex autocue system. This practice has remained largely hidden for many years, but who can blame them. Now a simple solution for all has been found.
If you perform in any type of on-stage act you will usually have to remember colossal amounts of information. Some types of live entertainment still use the good old music stand in front of every musician, but most rely on fading memories and scraps of paper. As you progress through your career in music, your brain has to remember not only the content of each piece you have ever performed but also its structure. Get the structure out of time and the whole piece can fall apart as other members of the group wonder where they are.
"Performance is largely about confidence. If you are confident in your delivery your performance is increased. If you are a key member of your group, your confidence builds theirs," says Paul Stafford, co-founder.
So what is the answer? Take your precious IPad, PC, MAC to your rehearsals or gigs? Buy additional specialist autocue software? Get someone off stage to hopefully press the down arrow key at the right place and at the right time? Panic in the middle of a gig when the PC freezes? Cringe when your antivirus software pops up a big reminder that your licence will expire in 10 days? Forget it, you want to keep it simple up there on stage.
Staffords on Stage, a Cambridge-based technology company has come up with the answer. The Stage Prompter, is a computer-less solution that features a 22" colour screen, hidden in a floor wedge monitor. Your lyrics, chords, music score, or anything you want, are saved as images on a memory stick and displayed on the screen. Using a foot switch, you move through your prompts at your own pace. Complete with its own optional flight case, it is designed to handle the rigour of gigging, roadies and touring transport.
30th August 2011
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