General Effect Series #1: Overview of GE

| January 16, 2012 | 0 Comments

As a General Effect judge, I am of the opinion that GE is the best caption on a panel, but I guess every judge feels that way about the caption they specialize in.  What makes the GE caption so awesome is that the criterion assesses the overall program.  It is the only caption that takes into account the degree to which spectators are engaged, interested, entertained or emotionally connected to the program.  It is the sum of all parts put together to create the artistic fabrication of a show.

Before beginning to dig into the nuts and bolts of GE, perhaps a broad stroke perspective of logistics is in order.  When a guard enters a gym for competition, the GE judge/s is sitting at the top/center of the bleachers.  GE judges generally sit within the vicinity of the Ensemble Analysis judge as well.  The majority of circuits utilize two GE judges per show, but there are some circuits that only use one GE judge per show.  If you are in a circuit that utilizes two GE judges per show, it is important to realize that there are 200 points available between the two judges.  No other caption will afford you that point size opportunity, so instructors really want to plan their shows with the GE criterion in mind.  That said, it is still very important to design and train with each caption in mind, because the sum of all captions make for the optimum show.

GE judges evaluate a show by focusing on two over arching elements: Repertoire and Performance.  Many people in our activity call this the What and the How.   The What is designed, and the How is the success in the performance/delivery of the What.   When these two elements are combined, the product is the overall entertainment value of a show.

The Repertoire or the What is the total design of a show which includes:

  • Staging
  • Triad of effect options: Intellectual, Aesthetic & Emotional
  • Sound /soundtrack choice
  • Musicality
  • Pacing of effects
  • Flow of Effects
  • Coordination between elements
  • Variety of effects between equipment, movement and staging
  • Impacts and resolutions
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Artistic qualities
  • Designed mood
  • Use of color, costumes and props
  • Detailing & nuances

The Performance or the How is the degree by which the performers illustrate excellence which includes:

  • Emotion and engagement of the audience
  • Sustained character, role, identity and style
  • Delivered impact points, resolutions and climaxes
  • Established and sustained design of the mood
  • Communication of visual musicality
  • Communication of details, nuances and artistic qualities
  • Communicated excellence in all effects

I realize this is quite a list of points that may seem a bit daunting to some instructors when they are attempting to design a show that fulfills all of these elements.  However, when you think about it, all these elements are things we appreciate in everyday entertainment.  We inherently understand them while viewing a music video or a production piece on a TV show/movie, so it is just a matter of breaking down how we are affected in a way that can be taught and executed by performers.

In my next article, I will dig a bit deeper into the GE caption to explore how to create Production Value in a color guard show.

Tags: , ,

Category: Adjudication, Design, General, Performance, Professional Development

About the Author (Author Profile)

Chris Casteel is an adjudicator with the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC). She was an instructor in the activity for approximately 20 years before moving into adjudication. She teaches Language Arts and Writing at a middle school in San Marcos, CA and is also a mentor teacher for the school. She holds a BA degree in Education, a California Teaching Credential and a Masters degree in education. Thanks to Chris Casteel for sharing her ideas and for WGASC for allowing the republication of her articles on this website for instructors outside of the WGASC circuit.

Leave a Reply