10 Jul Appropriate for All Audiences
As a celebrity impersonator and corporate entertainer, Tracey Bell understands just how different each client audience can be. In every instance, she adapts her shows to suit the intended audience to make her performances appropriate for all groups.
Here are Tracey Bell’s thoughts on how she adapts her show for specific audiences. Furthermore, she also describes some of the politics that can come with being a female corporate entertainer.
The Art of Adapting Shows for Different Groups
Earlier this year, I performed at a corporate conference at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. The process leading up to the event proved to be especially challenging.
I had heard about a few of the performers that they had hired for prior events; Kenny Shaw, Johnny Bagpipes and several other men – good acts but all male.
My show had been promoted to them previously, but initially, they were afraid that the women I portrayed might be “too sexy”.
For the record, I perform a funny, corporate-appropriate show and have dozens of letters of reference from conservative clients who say as much.
“Oh, I see. She’s funny.”
In my shows, I am respectful and it’s apparent from the response of the audience. I’ve performed at Family Events, at Fairs and Exhibitions, and in Shopping Centres. Catholic Nuns approved of my performance when I hosted Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin, Manitoba. One nun admitted that she had reservations at first and then laughed when she saw me, even my Cher impersonation; “Oh, I see. She’s funny”.
I have played the Chateau Whistler New Year’s Eve Gala five times. Affluent families from all over the world spend thousands of dollars to be in Whistler that week. They bring their children to the exclusive party and I invite the kids on stage to perform with me. Audience participation has always been a staple of my shows. In this instance, it was also how I won over people who can afford to see any performer in the world.
“I felt like a huge rock star.”
In the case of this recent Victoria conference, my sales representative was persistent and finally convinced the organizers to hire me.
As a matter of fact, the audience turned out to be one of my most appreciative yet. They gave me a rowdy standing ovation. Everyone, including an elderly couple who needed to help each other up, danced through the encore, Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time”. I wish I had a picture. I felt like a huge Rock Star. I didn’t expect the reaction I got from them.
Cher, Liza Minnelli, Dolly Parton and Tina Turner are all incredibly talented female role models who are now over the age of 70. Fear had previously blinded the prospective clients to hiring someone who impersonates them. They didn’t see that they had been discriminating by hiring men, “to be safe”.
Based on the positive outcome of this experience, I hope that they continue to give women the opportunity to perform for them while also keeping in mind that a professional entertainer will have the means to adapt to their intended audience.