Written by Kevin Sylvester
Ever seen Taylor Swift in concert? She’s amazing, so talented. Her concert is sold out months in advance. Do you imagine Taylor just showing up the afternoon of the show, dressed, holding a guitar? If only it was that easy. Showtime: Meet the People Behind the Scenes gives just a glimpse into the work and people that come together to make the Taylor Swift experience become magical for her fans.
When you open the book, don’t expect to see photos and articles about your favorite entertainers. What you will see is exactly how many other people are involved in the production of just one concert or play. Fifth grade readers will be amazed, literally hundreds of people are needed to bring the Taylor Swift concert to you.
Ever give thought to who made the guitar Taylor is playing? Long to know how long it took to make that guitar? Want to know how to become an instrument maker? All of that information is in Showtime.
Did you know artists’ need songwriters, choreographers, vocal coaches to become and to protect their onstage persona? Yes, Taylor doesn’t just jump on stage and make up everything as she goes along. It takes a lot of time, a lot of creativity and a lot work from a lot of other people to make sure everything is perfect for the entertainer.
Then, there’s set and costume designing. Every single detail of the stage starts as an idea, moves onto a 2D picture, then is modeled at a 1:25 ratio. That means someone has to spend the time to make minature replicas that represent the idea. The model is used to check lighting, see if there is a chair blocking an actor, is the backdrop going to overwhelm the entertainment and much more. Costume designing not only makes the clothes, but searches out for period clothing, tailors the sizes, assures that the costume stays clean after each performance. Details. Details. Details!
Many other professions are highlighted as well. Truckers, critics, advertisers, pyrotechnicians, and promoters all play huge roles in the entertainment industry. All of these people start their job way before Taylor Swift gets on stage.
What is great about this book is the way each profession interviews someone actually doing that job. Readers get a greater level of comprehension with these added features. You get a feel of what life is like to hold down that job. At the end of each chapter/profession is a really informative list of what it takes to be in that field. It says under “Want to be a Pyro Person?” that the top requirement is to “do well in school…do well on tests…know how to study.” In other words, you can’t just wake up in the morning and decide to do this job. To have a career in entertainment takes a true commitment and drive to be the best. Do you have what it takes?