In trying to set Beat the Brief apart from the traditional talent show, we tried to focus in on what makes working as an entertainer in the events industry so different from performing in general.
In my last post, I discussed the things we’re looking for in a potential winning act, but of course there are some things we’ll never be able to judge in a competition format. That doesn’t mean we didn’t try coming up with a few cruel and unusual tasks anyway.
The ‘Spinal Tap backstage maze’ round
It’s happened to the best of us; one minute you’re travelling from green room to stage, the next minute your trapped in the labyrinth interior of one of London’s favourite venues riding elevators that go seemingly nowhere and climbing spiral staircases that seem to go neither up nor down. In this round, we construct an Escheresque rabbit warren of indistinguishable intersecting corridors, dead ends and locked doors and charge the performer with finding their way out before stage time.
Hint: she/he who figures out how to ask for directions will go far in this round, though probably not as far as she/he who doesn’t.
Challenged with transporting all of their equipment from parking space to venue within the time limit, the contestant must load themselves up like the Buckaroo horse from which this round takes its name. Once loaded, the would-be-performer must traverse the narrow corridors to their performance space without:
a) Dropping anything, or...
b) Bumping in to anyone.
Hint: the winner of this round will probably figure out that carrying twice their body weight in ungainly equipment maybe isn’t a one-person job.
Plug socket hunt
Armed with a fistful of power cables, contestants face a race against time to find a socket for all of their plugs before the time runs out, whilst also making sure all trailing wires are securely fastened to the floor. Complicating matters are the lighting team, who are gradually filling up the sockets with uplighters and do not take kindly to you unplugging any of their gear.
Hint: nobody said you couldn’t bring your own extension cables guys.
I have no canapés and I must eat
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink, though in this case ‘water’ is meticulously-prepared food and cocktails. In the ultimate test of self restraint, the artists must resist the urge to walk up to the nearest member of the entertainment team and mewl about how hungry they are, how they haven’t eaten all day and how they normally have a glass of red wine before they go on stage.
Hint: It’s best to arrange outmess with the person that booked you before the event and failing that, eat before you leave rather than act like a particularly unprofessional six-year-old for the duration of the evening. Yes, this one might be a pet peeve.
What would be your best idea for a task for a corporate entertainment competition? Comment below to let us know.