The Performing Life: A Singers Guide to Survival

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Your funeral director or clergy can advise you on many aspects of funeral planning etiquette relating to the actual service. See also Memorial Service celebration of life. The many aspects of funeral planning etiquette relating to the actual service will depend on the customs and traditions of your religion and your culture. Your funeral director or clergy can advise you on the details of etiquette for your service.

Where to hold the funeral: Traditional choices include a funeral chapel or a place of worship. Funerals also are held in places that hold special meaning for the deceased. It is legal to hold a funeral on private property anywhere in the U. When choosing a location, consider whether or not it will be appropriate for the type of service you are planning. What kind of service: Your clergy or funeral director can help you understand your options for the service.

This includes items such as:.

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Do not feel pressured. Do what you think is best or what the deceased specified. If having the casket present is not an option for you for any reason, it is appropriate to hold a memorial service or celebration of life instead. Whom to choose as pallbearers: Traditionally, close friends or business associates are invited to be pallbearers.

While not common, family members may also be chosen. See pallbearers. Similarly, if the deceased has been cremated, the remains can be inurned during a brief ceremony at the cemetery or the ashes scattered at a desired time and place. Funeral directors are professionals who are trained to help families make decisions regarding burial or cremation of a loved one. If you are expecting a death in the family, you can contact a local funeral home and ask the funeral director any questions about funeral planning etiquette you might have. When death occurs, no matter what hour of the day or night, you can call the funeral director who will be prepared to assist you with transporting the remains and taking care of all other arrangements that are necessary.

You will need to decide on the final clothing for the deceased and provide it to the funeral home, or consult with the funeral home for clothing they can provide that is specially made for this purpose and particularly suited for open-casket viewing. If calls from concerned and sympathetic friends are overwhelming you, it is appropriate to have a friend or another family member screen the calls. Be sure they write down the first and last name and phone number of each caller so you can return or acknowledge the call as needed.

This is especially important for those who are offering tangible help or gifts of food; you may want to get in touch with them later.

If there are young children in your family, you will need to decide whether they should attend the services. Children younger than five will have little or no understanding of what is going on, and they may be disruptive during this solemn occasion; consider also that they could be upset by the grief expressed during the service. Children who are old enough to attend should be told what to expect so they can be prepared. This is especially important if there will be an open casket. Addressing questions in advance also helps avoid spontaneous and potentially embarrassing questions during the service.

If you have a church affiliation or are a member of a congregation, it is proper to notify your pastor, priest, or rabbi when death is expected or imminent, or immediately following the death. The role of a clergy member is to offer comfort, prayer, and advice throughout this difficult time.

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You can also request their assistance in planning the funeral or memorial service, in officiating, or with tips on funeral planning etiquette. It is customary to thank the clergy for their assistance and to offer an honorarium if they are involved in the service. See Honorarium.


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If your loved one will be buried, you may want to have a formal committal, which follows the graveside service. If a death occurs in a city other than the one in which the person will be buried or cremated, arrangements must be made for the body to be transported. Your first step will be to contact a funeral director in the destination city; the funeral director can advise you on the protocol and practical considerations for returning your loved one to the desired location.

If you are holding a funeral, memorial service, or wake, it is appropriate and expected that a eulogy will be delivered. This speech can take the form of a remembrance given by a clergy member, family member, friend, or colleague. A eulogy also can accompany a slide show or be told through a video. If you leave the writing of the eulogy up to the person in charge of the service, expect that the obituary probably will be read word-for-word. Many family members would find it extremely difficult to keep their composure while delivering a eulogy but would feel quite comfortable writing it for someone else to deliver.

See Writing Eulogies for additional information such as how to choose a theme, how to organize a eulogy, and how to deliver a eulogy. Supply a guestbook for people who attend the visitation, wake, funeral, or memorial service. The guestbook also can be used when visitors call on you at home.

You can also find them online, in office supply, and gift stores. A memorial service is similar to a funeral, but the body is not present.

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If the deceased did not preplan, you will have many decisions to make; see Funeral. If the deceased was a long-time resident of another town or city, it is appropriate and helpful to that community to place an obituary in their local newspaper. Pallbearers carry or, if honorary, accompany the casket during formal services.

If you are unable to find pallbearers, the funeral home can provide them. Be sure that pallbearers you are selecting unless honorary can actually perform the task of lifting and carrying a casket with dignity and respect. You should thank each pallbearer after the funeral with a personal note or card. Although it uncommon for immediate family members to serve as pallbearers, this practice is more acceptable today.

Decide in advance whether there is a reason to allow photography or videotaping during the service; perhaps you have out-of-town family members who will want a remembrance. It is generally considered inappropriate to photograph the open casket, but again, the bereaved may make this decision. If photography is allowed, it is best to keep it as discrete as possible, with no flashes going off during the service and no invasion of the privacy of the bereaved. You also need to be particularly aware of what may be going on in the background of your photos.

A bearded wizard waited to greet me and as I descended the train he thrust something into my hand and whispered with a knowing smile; "Hogwarts: The Musical. Come see our show at 2. In , there were 50, performances of 3, shows in venues. When you walk down the Royal Mile, it is impossible not to get swept away by the vibrancy, excitement and sheer scale of creativity on display. It is to the arts what Willy Wonka's chocolate factory was to confectionary. So, why then am I in the middle of it and currently hiding in my digs with nothing but a steam inhaler for company?

How in the midst of stagey Mecca does one tiny actor manage to not spontaneously combust into a puddle of over-excited stagey tears before they've even made it to press night? The first time I arrived here in , much like a theatrical version of "supermarket sweep", I flung myself blindly and manically into as many venues I could find, every night till the early hours.

Until I could take no more and ended up on vocal rest and Manuka honey by week 2.

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What self-respecting artiste would not be tempted to go in all guns blazing? However, if you are here to do a job, remember to keep that in the back of your mind before you say yes to that 2am burlesque show every night. Look after your precious, precious voice and bank balance - both have a tendency to take a battering here if you are not careful.

Remember you will be needing them to be in ok shape when you get back to real life in September. I enjoyed all of these things very much and I will happily join all of you for a supper date to relive the experience. Trust me, they will save your life in ways that a four-cheese toastie just can't.

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I promise your stomach and your wallet will thank you. There are two kinds of people at the Edinburgh Fringe: those that want everybody to take their flyers so they can go and have a pint, and those who don't want to take any more flyers because they have no room left in their handbags. I think both parties could learn from each other. If you are one of the fabulous flyering warriors of the Fringe, casually busting out your best Lady-Macbeth-on-stilts routine and then heading straight out after the curtain call to tell everyone about how brilliant you are, then pat yourself on the back immediately.

Flyer life ain't easy, and I know it can be hard not to feel like a dejected charity mugger when everyone seems to be looking through you and not taking your wares. But please, please don't lose heart.

Jennie (singer)

You have a job which makes you so excited and inspired that you will actually chase people down the road to tell them about it. I think that's pretty brilliant actually. You wouldn't see Laura from accounts chasing tourists to show off her latest pie chart would you?! Go out there and preach the good word! That being said, it is sometimes wise to know your audience.

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Simply offer a sympathetic look and a flyer to dry their tears; you've nailed it babe. If you are a punter please, please be nice to flyerers. I know it can be a lot to take on but every one of them is trying their best to make their show a success. Having been on both sides, I always, always try to take every one I am offered and give an interested smile even if I know, deep down, it's probably going to end up being used to block a hole in my bedroom wall later.