Okay, we’ve all made fun of someone’s grandma for playing bingo. Hell, you may have even wandered into your local bingo hall with your own granny a time or two. Was it like a train wreck? Did you watch in awe as the confident caller reeled off endless number-focused puns that left your sides splitting and your grin stretching from ear to ear? Did you leave feeling a little bit envious of granny’s Saturday night, but too ashamed to admit it to any of your friends? Well, step aside granny, bingo games are no longer just for the golden years.
I give you, hipster bingo.
How to be a Hipster Bingo Caller
And second best to playing, being the bingo caller with all the jokes. But how do you pull it off? Becoming a great bingo caller requires practice and it’s a fine line between science and art, with this in mind there are a few tips for you to master that will have you rattling off your Tickety-boo’s and Two Fat Ladies better and more confidently than you can imagine:
You simply cannot expect to become a first class bingo caller until you have mastered the art of ‘bingo lingo’. Bingo lingo refers to the rhyming phrases that are used to introduce numbers that are drawn to the audience e.g. “number 5, man alive”. Perhaps one of the more confusing parts of this is that not all of the bingo lingo phrases rhyme, some of them come from popular culture and tradition such as; “Number 57, Heinz Varieties” as Heinz advertise 57 varieties and “Number 14, The Lawnmower” as the original lawnmower had a 14-inch blade.
It’s not as simple as learning the phrases and ‘bingo lingo’ and you’re ready to go, you need to be a people person, think on your feet and be able to have a bit of banter with your audience. While it’s not a necessity to have an engaging personality to become a hipster bingo caller, we’re talking about becoming first class – customers will expect to not only have the numbers read to them in a timely and orderly fashion, they want to be entertained too. If you can greet people every time you see them and make them laugh, they will enjoy themselves and want to come back.
So once you have the lingo ticked off and you think you’re pretty good with people the next step is official training in the art of becoming a hipster bingo caller. It’s not something you can just walk into, most bingo companies will have an initial in-house training/probationary period which will help you get a feel for the role and once you passed this initial period they will usually send you to one of their in-house ‘calling schools’. A ‘calling school’ is where you will be taught all of the inside knowledge and intricacies of the profession from what to do when somebody needs a new book to problems with machines. This is a lot more in depth and
Once you’re fully qualified as a caller the sky can be the limit, as with most professions, there are lots of levels you can move up to as your skills and experience grow. You would start off as a caller prior to the training, the next step on the ladder after completing the in-house training at the ‘caller school’ would be a qualified caller. The next level after that is a specialist caller, becoming a specialist caller can be difficult and you achieve that honor after working in another premise and calling a major national game. After all of these milestones have been achieved you could then go on to become a trainer in hipster bingo calling or even manage your own bingo club.
The most important aspect of being a hipster bingo caller at any level is to enjoy your job, if you enjoy yourself it rubs off on the customers and it makes it easier to create a buzz in the room. The best part of the role is the performance side and when the bingo hall is full you can feel the energy and make people laugh, people aren’t just there to win money – they are there to have fun. So throw on your hipster mullet, tape on your cool stache and get in there.