In show business
, TV shows
, etc.), a guest appearance
is a participation of an outsider performer (musician
, etc.), usually called guest artist
(guest dancer, guest violinist, etc.), in an event (music record
, etc.), i.e., the participation of a performer which does not belong to the regular crew (cast, band, contract personnel, etc.) In performance art
, the terms guest role
or guest star
are also common, the latter term specifically indicating the guest appearance of a celebrity
In pop music guest appearances are often described with the words featuring, featured, etc., and abbreviated in credit lists as Feat., Ft., f.
In television series, a guest star is an actor who appears in one or a few episodes. In radio and television shows, a guest star is a guest of the show who is a celebrity.
Classical performance arts
Guest appearances have been known in theatre
, and classical music
for centuries, with guests both from the home country and from abroad. The advent of air transport
has made this practice much more practical and global.
In classical music, guest orchestra conductors are a common practice.
Guest artists should not be confused with touring groups, troupes, orchestra, or even individual artists, although the distinction may be blurred. In the case of touring, their act is independent in itself, while the guest takes part in the act of the resident staff.
The duration of involvement of a guest artist may vary, from separate short-term acts with fees per concert to fixed temporary contracts for several seasons.
In the early days of the pop music
industry the bands
were relatively stable units, and while guests were not uncommon, they were seldom given credits on album covers. For example, Eric Clapton
was not credited in print for his guitar in the release of While My Guitar Gently Weeps
of the Beatles
. Still the term "featuring" was used as early as in the July 1954 UK Singles Chart
by "The Four Aces
featuring Al Alberts
" with "Three Coins In The Fountain
" at 5th place.
Gradually guest appearances have become a fully credited staple of music industry. The custom of guest appearance has become especially prominent in rap music
, and this influenced rock musicians
To have a guest star on a record, the production coordinator must obtain permission from the record label of the guest and make sure that proper credits are delivered to the host record label to be printed on the album cover, often in the form "Artist name, courtesy of Record Label name." The permission is not always guaranteed or negotiations may take a long time.
Reasons for guest appearances
A common reason for guest appearances is to draw attention to an act by including a celebrity into it. And vice versa, in the fashion-driven environment of show industry older stars keep themselves in the limelight by associating themselves with emerging stars.
In rap, mutual and multiple guest starring was recognized as a way to diversify the performance.
In theatre and ballet, guest appearances diversify actor's repertory and experience under different choreographers, and give more acting opportunities. Even for established stars prestigious overseas engagements increase their home status. Conversely, a guest star benefits the receiving troupe, bringing new inspiration and technique. Audience would welcome diversity, and theatrical business benefits as well: theatre connoisseurs will come to see the same piece with a new star.
Commercialization of guests policy may also have negative consequences. Local theatres may limit the growth opportunities for their dancers in favor of guests. Sometimes rehearsal times are inadequate to fully integrate the home and guest styles. Touring increases physical load on an actor. It is also associated with multiple stress factors: from jet lags
to close calls due to unanticipated travel delays.