Backstage pass: TedX Sydney

TCM Events'Jill Covitz, a stage manager at this year's TEDxSydney, gives SpiceNews readers a behind-the-scenes look into the hottest event of the year.

By Jill Covitz, Director, TCM Events

After four years at the Sydney Opera House, TEDxSydney (the leading platform for the propagation of Australian ideas, creativity and innovation, and one of the largest TEDx events in the world) decided it was time for a change.

They wanted to give the flagship event the space it needed to meet the growing demands of its community. So for the first time the event was housed at the brand new ICC Sydney Theatre in Darling Harbour.

We’re happy to report that on Friday 16 June 2017, we achieved the goal of being big enough to fit the record number of 4000+ attendees, while still retaining that intimate feel that makes TEDxSydney so special.

The TEDxSydney event is a unique and vital day of talks, films, music and debate, run almost completely by volunteers – a whopping 290 in total.  That includes those that work on the Leadership Team and Organising Committee throughout the year to put the event together and bring it all to life, as well as the event day volunteers.

Photo: Enzo Amato | TEDxSydney

Throughout the day, the backstage area is abuzz with activity. This is where all the magic happens, where the speakers and performers rehearse and prepare for their big moment on stage. As they arrive at stage door, an Artist Liaison takes each speaker back to their dressing room to discuss their schedule for the day. They then have some time to relax, go through hair and make-up, practice their talk, meet the other speakers and get themselves ready for their big moment on stage.

With 10 minutes to go, before their talk, the Artist Liaison walks the Speaker to the stage and ensures the sound technician properly fits and adjusts their headset microphone. They then pass the speaker on to the Stage Manager, who cues them on stage just at the right moment as they take their position on the famous red circle on stage.

Photo: Richard Walters | TEDxSydney

14 minutes later, after their talk is complete (and their lives altered) the speaker walks off stage, hopefully to the sound of the cheering crowd, and the Artist Liaison is there to meet them with a big round of congratulations (and sometimes a hug).

I personally have been involved with the TEDxSydney Artist Liaison Team for three years now and there is no better day in the calendar.

The feeling you get when you share that special moment with your speaker is cannot be explained. It’s as if you are a part of their journey whether it’s about their inspirational story or brilliant idea.

Empowered by their courage, blown away by their honesty, or filled with admiration at their talent, I always walk away from the day excited for the same time next year. It is something I feel honoured to be involved in and an event I am proud to be a part of.

To watch the event’s live stream broadcast CLICK HERE.

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