Format: All Request Radio

During the pandemic, I created a format that would let me sing lots of made up songs, create song and band backstories off the top of my head, and of equal importance, use my ’70s/’80s DJ voice

All Request Radio is each at the same time — a musical madlib, shotgun karaoke, ‘stand and deliver’ comedic musical improvisation

When I describe the All Request Radio format to people, I consider whether they are a performer or not. For my non-performing friends, I say its a musical madlib where you make up a song title and I fill in the rest of the blanks. For my karaoke crowd — it’s shotgun karaoke, where you don’t know the song ahead of time… and sing it with gusto anyway

For musical improvisors, All Request Radio is a deconstructed “Sounds Like A Song” game. Like the game, you find out the song title and the musical backing style at the same time as the audience. Unlike the game, you’re only spending a little time worldbuilding the song’s reality before jumping into the full song. Unlike the game, the format is more democratic — who sings the songs (solo, duos, trios, or group) depends on the group and not a non-singing outside director

All Request Radio embraces “stand and deliver” comedic musical improvisation. Developed and performed online with friends and acquaintances, and then as a solo format at in-person festivals, it’s equally accessible for seasoned musical improvisors and people testing the waters. You can engage in the songs to your level of comfort. Be a backup singer or a dancer. Make a cameo appearance. Be the countdown list announcer, or insert one of the news, weather or sports bits. The format is steeped in the reality of a “Top 10 Countdown” (1900s radio formats), but also expands out to include studio guests coming to “plug their product” in a brief interview format

Join me for the in-person session this weekend (Feb. 20, 3pm-5pm ET) and the virtual session is in two weeks (Feb. 206pm-8pm ET – time converter)

I want to facilitate and perform the latest iteration of All Request Radio at festivals around the world. But first — I’ll start closer to the heart!

Published by thedukers

Velvet Duke is a Black autistic queer entertainer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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