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5 Mobile Phone Tips for Performers

These tips are useful for anyone using mobile phones to play music for a show. Circus performers, burlesque performers, silent comedians, break dancers, we all share the use of music to enhance our acts. At some point, you may find yourself in a show run by volunteers and people with little experience running the sound. All too often, performers are asked to bring their music on an ipod, and a volunteer is picked last minute to run the sound. There’s nothing wrong with this method, although using a variety of sound devices can lead to unanticipated problems during show time.

Ideally, it is best to have acts submit music via email and prepare a playlist on a laptop. But life isn’t perfectly planned, and as a performer, you can make the most of this situation by knowing a few tips and tricks. To help facilitate your act, you can prepare your mobile device to help the sound person get your cues right. If you can eliminate 90 percent of the problems that arise from using a phone to run your music, then chances are your act will go more smoothly, and hopefully less pre-show jitters for you!


1. Take the case off your phone. Sometimes the case won’t allow a full connection between the aux cord and the audio port. Removing the case prevents error from inserting the audio input into the phone.

2. Set your phone to airplane mode. Switch your phone to airplane mode to prevent phone calls/message alerts that could go off during your act! Learn how here.

3. Disable lock screen. Remove all password protection screens from the phone by going into your settings. There’s nothing worse than waiting for your sound to begin ......because the sound person can’t access your phone! Learn how here.

4. Adjust sound. I set my volume level to the middle, then the sound person can adjust from there. That way, it’s not too loud or too low.

5. Create a playlist. Create a new playlist and label it with a simple name PLUS the “A” character in order to find it quickly. For example, “AAA Bri Crabtree Hat Routine” and add only the song(s) you will be using, in order, if more than one. This is also helpful when the phone's screen turns off; it's easy for the DJ to find the song again.

I am not a sound expert, or even trained in this field. These are some observations I have picked up over the years of performing in countless small variety shows, in which many gel together at the last minute with absolutely NO sound checks. I hope you can benefit from my experiences. Please share your mobile phone sound tips with me as well.

Follow my Facebook page, Bri Entertainment, for entertaining videos, juggling tricks, and other performance based topics.

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