How to Host a
Hal Bidlack truly appreciates the efforts that are
put into hosting an event. This set of
instructions and guidelines is intended for events staged in theatrical venues
and auditoriums. Should your organization be hosting in a smaller setting,
these instructions can be greatly modified. These instructions are designed to
serve as general guidance, not rigid, unbending demands. Should a hosting organization find it
impractical to provide a particular element, a readily acceptable and more
practical alternative is often available. Hosting organizations are encouraged
to communicate any questions or difficulties they are experiencing as far in
advance of the event as possible.
performance will take the form of an informal presentation and discussion with
Mr. Bidlack in the role of Alexander Hamilton.
performance will consist of three distinct portions, each quite important to
the process of historical recreation, and for the enjoyment of the audience.
Following a brief introduction by the moderator (please see our sample
introductions for acceptable models), Mr.
Hamilton will give opening remarks. He will generally speak for 15-20 minutes.
Next, the audience questions of Mr. Hamilton via the format approved in advance
for that event. Following the last question, Mr. Hamilton will offer final
comments in character. Lastly, he will remove his wig, signifying the end of
the “in character” portion of the evening, and will offer brief comments as a
scholar on what has occurred. If time permits, a few brief questions are asked
of Mr. Bidlack as himself. Total event
times vary by the desires of you the host. Generally, the performance runs
between 1½ to 1¾ hours.
questions are the core and the heart of the event. All questions should be verbally asked
directly to Mr. Hamilton, rather than via note cards if at all possible.
of the enchantment of first person historical recreation is the magic of the
audience mentally transporting themselves back in time. In order to maintain this mindset, the stage
should be set to enhance, rather than detract from this atmosphere.
o This need not,
indeed should not, be an actual antique. Rather, it should be of a style
consistent with the 18th Century.
Simply put, the chair should not be of a style that seems out of place.
- A matching period chair for the Moderator should be
placed by the side of the stage.
o Similarly, the
podium should not appear “modern” if possible.
- A glasses of water, and a pitcher of water
o The glass and
pitcher should be either “crystal-like” or metallic (e.g., tin cups). Under no
circumstances should Styrofoam or water bottles appear on stage.
- The background/backdrop should be appropriate to the
event. Acceptable examples include black theatrical drapery, old-style
bookcases with books (not full of paperbacks, magazines, or other modern
items), or other historically fitting settings.
- The “stage area” should, if possible, be higher than
the audience. Raised daises are
strongly preferred in non-theater venues.
- Barring extraordinary circumstances, hand-held
microphones should never be used.
- Professional amplification system. We wish to avoid
small portable noticeable sound systems.
- A quality wireless lapel microphone with fresh
batteries for Mr. Bidlack. If possible, an additional backup microphone
should be available
- One quality wireless microphone for the moderator’s
- One or more microphones should be available for
audience questions. These may either be on stands, or in the hands of
“runners” who will deliver the microphone to an audience member for a
- If possible, period music should be played while the
audience is entering.
- For theater venues, please leave the house lights up
roughly half way during the introductory remarks by
Mr. Hamilton. As the question period begins, the house
lights should be brought up to full. Because audience participation and
reaction is central to the event, the performers must be able to see the
- The performance area should be the most brightly lit
section of the auditorium. Lighting should originate from in front of and
above the stage area, not directly overhead. If possible, professional theater
lighting is desired.
- One “dressing room” is needed. This room should have the following
o Mirrors (full
length if possible)
o Ready access to
o Water and glasses
- It will generally take between 20-30 minutes for Mr.
Bidlack to prepare for the performance.
He should not be disturbed during this time if at all possible.
- Once Mr. Bidlack has changed into his costumes, he
assumes the persona of Mr. Hamilton. He
should be referred to as Mr. Hamilton.
As is part of the tradition of first person historical recreation,
he will remove his wig at the end of the “in-character” portion, when he
again assumes his normal persona. He is quite happy to meet with anyone
you wish following the event as himself.
- The moderator should introduce Mr. Hamilton while he is
off stage. When the moderator asks
the audience to welcome him to the stage, he will enter, preferably from
the “wings.” Mr. Hamilton should
remain unseen by the audience until introduced, if possible.
- Mr. Bidlack will generally arrive roughly one hour
before the event and is very grateful for an “escort” to meet him. The
escort will instruct him where to go, and will assist them in preparation
for the event.
- Approximately 45 minutes before the event, Mr. Bidlack will inspect the sound and lighting
systems. As adjustments may be needed, the sound and lighting technicians should
be present. The house should not be open until this check is complete
- Approximately 40 minutes before the event, Mr. Bidlack
will meet with the person doing the introduction for approximately 10
- Approximately 30 minutes before the event, he will
proceed to the dressing room. During this time, please do not disturb.
- Also 30 minutes before the event, at the host’s
discretion, the house should be opened with background music playing.
- Ten to fifteen minutes before the event, Mr. Hamilton
appear for wiring of microphones, or last minute details
- The moderator should begin the introduction and we're
To Book a Hamilton Appearance,
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