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Thursday, June 13
The Indiana Daily Student

arts

Behind the scenes

Backstage with the cast and crew of IU Sing

Oddly enough, the scene backstage at IU Sing is not even remotely hectic. It's an extremely well-coordinated and smoothly-run operation, where everyone knows his or her place and task.\nGetting back there just to make this discovery is a task in itself, as security, police officers and production members were constantly patrolling the area. It's a world where headphones and walkie-talkies equal authority.\nOnce the show begins, only very soft whispers dent the silence backstage. Everyone either watches from the sidelines or huddles around the tiny monitor so they can see the show from the front.\nThere are a few rules set up to ensure everyone's safety and timeliness. Group members aren't allowed to talk from the time they enter the stage doors until their production number is over and they are back on their bus. Even while they're quarantined in the basement waiting to go on, they aren't allowed to say anything.\nSophomore Lauren Compton said there was no need for talking because their songleaders got them pumped before they came.\n"We were just too excited to be nervous. We'd been practicing for so long, we just wanted to go do it," Compton said.\nBefore their performance, groups have 75 seconds to set up. Once their act starts, they aren't allowed to pass the front line of the stage or touch the back wall. When exiting, they have to put their hands at their sides or above their heads, so as not to get in anyone's way.\nIf a staff member observes any infractions, points are taken away from that group.\nThe only glitch in the system appeared to be the pile of cords set in front of the exit, causing several participants to stumble throughout the course of the evening.\nThe oddest sight is when the groups rush off and one can see them up close. They're all wearing heavy makeup -- blush, lipstick and eye shadow -- including the men.\nProduction staff member Becky Valdez said participants are required to wear loads of makeup so their features and facial expressions don't get washed out in the bright lights.\nAs soon as the last act was over, judges convened in their Hospitality Room. Munching on snacks and filling out a suggestion sheet, they were already discussing how to make next year's IU Sing even better.\nJudge John Kautzman stressed the importance of evaluating what's good and what's not. He said improvement is one of the essential elements that make IU Sing such a long-standing tradition.\nJudge Sara Reed, no stranger to what it takes to put on productions like this, marveled at the quality and organization of IU Sing.\n"I can't believe the level of talent of participants and emcees -- it amazes me that students put this entire production together"

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