Open Forum

Google Meet for Performance

  • 1.  Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-17-2020 18:56
    Edited by Leslie Kane 10-17-2020 18:56


    I am having some difficulty convincing my school that Google Meets simply doesn't have the capabilities that we need to put on a virtual production and that Zoom has features (such as hide video participants, virtual backgrounds and renaming actors/characters) that are essential to creating the best virtual show we can. If forced to use Google Meet to pre-record our show... we'll do our best, but does anyone have any experience using Meet for their show and/or any other selling points for why Zoom (or another platform) is superior?

    I have high hopes for this production and would hate for the quality to be diminished because we can't use a different platform. I haven't heard of any other schools using Meet for theater performances, but maybe they're out there and it's not as bad as I think.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences! 


  • 2.  RE: Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-18-2020 09:53
    Do you mean for a live performance? I did a improv show via Google Meet last year. If you download the grid view it does give the option to hid participants with cameras off. We are also not allowed to use Zoom. I also recorded scenes and then edited them within We Video.  We created out own backgrounds.

    Shelby Burton
    Chicago IL

  • 3.  RE: Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-18-2020 11:20
    It would be pre-recorded. So we would edit slightly between scenes. That's FANTASTIC news that you can have a hide participants option! I couldn't find that information anywhere. By created your own backgrounds do you mean backgrounds in the home? Or virtual backgrounds that were used in Meet? Or edited-in backgrounds?

    Thank you so much! This is very helpful.


  • 4.  RE: Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-18-2020 15:52
    We've been using Google Meet this fall to record a "Radio Performance" for around Halloween and have also learned a few things.  Mainly, that there is a lag between when a meeting participant speaks and the screen switches to them in record mode.  Unless there is another option that I am not aware of, we had to have each actor record their lines individually and then edit those together to make scenes.  We also tried using ScreenCastify to record a group of actors, that was pretty useful.  I have also heard that Google Meet will be adding some features this month, namely, the use of custom backgrounds and break out rooms, which would be great as we had to use green screens-- although, that was cool-- it would be nice to just choose a custom background.

    For our "winter play" I'd like to try to work to record more in a scene sort of mode as editing everyone's shots has been a bit daunting-- it's cool, but it takes a while.

    I'm still learning, but I think we are adapting and moving in the right direction.

    Hope you all are doing well.

    Michael Johnson
    Trinity NC

  • 5.  RE: Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-20-2020 09:03
    Did you create your own backgrounds on We Video or Google Meets?

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  • 6.  RE: Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-18-2020 16:50
    Hi Leslie,
    I admire your fortitude!  I tried rehearsing via Meets for an on-line, streaming performance but found their were too many issues with lagging, sound balance, etc.  Instead I'm going the pre-recorded/edited route.

    If Zoom is more appropriate for your production, due to its many "bells and whistles" then why not record it via Zoom and then upload that recording?  I would argue that a live-streamed performance in any platform is inferior to a pre-recorded and edited upload.  True, the thrill of a "live" performance is lost, but even at the professional level, such live events are problematic.

    If you are set on broadcasting live, then ask your administration if extra-curricular events are also prevented from using Zoom.  There may be a loop-hole worth exploring.

    Break a leg!!

    Josh Ruben, M. Ed.
    Fine Arts Head
    Northwest Whitfield HS (dba, The Northwest Theatre Co.)
    Tunnel Hill, GA

  • 7.  RE: Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-19-2020 13:07

    Thanks so much for your response Josh! 

    After beginning virtual rehearsals, it became very clear that the wi-fi disparity between our actors makes pre-recording a necessity. So that's our plan for now. Using Zoom would be so much easier for what we're hoping to provide, but if a necessity, I'm sure we can make Meet work to the best of our ability. Some others have had success it looks like, so we'll keep moving forward! What an interesting point about bringing up other extra-curricular events, though. Thank you for the idea!

    Best Wishes, Leslie

    Leslie Kane
    Lemont IL

  • 8.  RE: Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-18-2020 17:54
    My district is the same. Google Meets and no Zoom. Zoom is superior. Google is adding things in the future.

    I have set up several small Meets and recorded them and then put those videos together. As well as having the students record on their phones and putting those videos together. Backgrounds can be achieved with slide projection behind the actor if you are able to be in person for any of it.

    If you are Virtual only, and trying to send it out in one stream, the best bet is several meets going on your desktop at once and one meet for audience where you share your screen with the audience group. That's a potential way to do it. It works that way, I tested it out.

    We just have to do what it takes in this new world to keep our art going. We have to. It is our responsibility to our society. Without art society falls.

    Break a leg and may all your theatre seats (whatever they may be) are filled.

  • 9.  RE: Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-19-2020 13:09

    Thank you Kelly! 

    I completely agree that we have to do whatever we can in whatever capacity during this time. Thank you for your response! 

    I had never thought of the multiple Meets going on at once idea. We'll be pre-recording, but what a creative work-around! Thanks for sharing!

    Best Wishes, Leslie

    Leslie Kane
    Lemont IL

  • 10.  RE: Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-19-2020 08:33

    Same boat here.  Zoom is not approved by our district.  We are just starting the process of recording via google meet and these tips are helpful.  My district does allow the use of Microsoft Teams.  Teams have some fun backgrounds.  Does your district support Microsoft Teams?  I haven't played around with it with my student group yet but that is next.  IF anyone has any more Google Meet tips that would be helpful.  Also, any tips on editing software?


    Kristen Bishoff
    Dircecter & ITS Troupe Advisor
    Chesapeake High School & Chesapeake Bay Middle School
    Pasadena, MD

  • 11.  RE: Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-19-2020 11:58
    In terms of editing software, I use Movavi Video Editor Plus for most of my work at school; however the Adobe Suite is much more powerful and versatile.  I just find that a basic editing program fits most of my needs and then I will use Adobe for more complex applications.  A lot of schools have Adobe products already installed, so worth a look to see if it is available at school.  Adobe is available to educators for a monthly subscription fee that is pretty reasonable; however, there is a bit of a learning curve involved, but it is a powerful suite of tools that includes After Effects.  Others that I know of are Davinci and Pinnacle Studios and I do not have much experience with the Final Cut Pro, but it looks pretty outstanding, for Apple. Their are a lot of other editing platforms out there and in many ways, they are very similar.

    Hope that helps

    Michael Johnson
    Trinity NC

  • 12.  RE: Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-19-2020 13:17

    I've never explored Microsoft Teams before. That could definitely be something worth looking into! 

    Thank you! I'm also frantically writing down all of these great ideas. 

    Best of luck to you and your students!

    Leslie Kane
    Lemont IL

  • 13.  RE: Google Meet for Performance

    Posted 10-20-2020 09:18
    I feel this pain deeply...not only are we blocked from Zoom...we have to use Cisco WebEx--which does NOT work for any kind of performance!   Moreover, the district has DISABLED the virtual background option!

    We rehearse through a hybrid of WebEx and in-person as conditions allow, but we actually have to record performances individually through QuickTime, using green screens, and then edit them all manually afterwards.

    Jason Coats
    Shawnee Mission Northwest HS
    Thespian Troupe #888
    Shawnee, KS