Actors centre Showcase

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    I hear that 'The Actors Centre' does a showcase for those looking to get an agent. Has anyone done it and is it worth it? Do good agents come along? If not, can anyone reccomend a good company that does actors showcases?

    Thanks in advance,

    Lucy.

    • 23rd Apr 2009
    • 5119
    • 15
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    I dont know that much about it, actually- I do know that a woman called Chrys Salt actually works with people to prepare the showcase and you did have to pay £150 to do it.

    why not pop down there and ask them about it? I ahvent heard of anyone who has gotten an agent through it, but its still going so I gather must be successful

    xxx

    • 5th Feb 2009
    • 1
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    Whaaaaat?

    £150.....£150 to be in a showcase at the ACTORS CENTRE....or anywhere?

    £150.....?*%?!!?(*??....arrrrgh!!

    This would work out to about...£50 per minute you would be paying without any assurance whatsoever that anyone of any use will even be watching you.

    ....waste of money come to mind or what?

    I'm all for showcases and the principle of doing them....but someone please give me the maths that tells me someone is not taking the piss here!

    ?*%?!!?(*??....arrrrgh!!

    Check out rants and raves section later today!!!

    • 5th Feb 2009
    • 2
  • Amanda Golding

    Actor

    I haven't done the showcase, but I have talked to Chris about it, and seen a friend in one.

    The fee is for the series of workshop sessions/tuition that precede the showcase, and perhaps a bit of the marketing (they make up a nice booklet).

    My friend did not get an agent, rather dispiritingly, but some did.Definitely the under-represented more ethnic participants did well, by all accounts.

    The show is always packed (60/70?)and a fair smattering of agents come - but you have to generate the interest of course.

    It is intimate and less intimidating that the typical end of drama course showcase.

    • 5th Feb 2009
    • 3
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    Were the agents that did come "good" agents? ie: Established, good contacts in the industry with some exsisting clients in "paid" work, on their books?

    There was no mention of pre-performance sessions and rehearsal time in previous post, so if thats the case....that would justify the £150 I guess.

    I still think its a lot to invest though?

    I am sure the "principle" of holding and taking part in showcases is right....but only if they attract more than friends and family!

    • 5th Feb 2009
    • 4
  • Amanda Golding

    Actor

    I may be wrong, but I didn't get the impression they were 'top drawer,' but there were some reputable ones, yes.

    It's really down to your skills in drumming up interest - though I understand Chris has numerous contacts she can encourage.

    Please someone who's done this showcase speak up and say what you thought!I, too, would be interested to know.

    • 5th Feb 2009
    • 5
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    Yup...the Actors Centre one does sound like a cut above the rest of them from what.

    I thought the Co called Standup Drama were heading the field in Showcases? I have never attended one...they look good from their website despite never seeming to cast anyone my age!!) ...but it would be really good if you have been in a showcase of late to say where it was and what it was like.

    Good thread this one!

    • 5th Feb 2009
    • 6
  • Elizabeth Bloom

    Actor

    To be honest if it is £150 I'd snap their hands off!

    We did a showcase for our graduation, I think there was 18 of us and we all put just over £50 I think, (venue for 2 days, food, and top singing tutor)

    At least at the Actors centre you can pretty much garantee agents will come as it's well established.

    I say definately go for it, if you tried put on one yourself it'd cost a hell of a lot more to do it half as properly as the experienced actors centre would.

    Good luck, Liz x

    • 5th Feb 2009
    • 7
  • Lowri Lewis

    Actor

    Hi,

    I'm actually doing the showcase at the moment with Chrys. It started at the the beginning of January with a full two day session and then we meet up once a week. Chrys is fantastic very helpful with the business side of things, taking into account CV's photo's and I have found it very helpful. You have to submit your CV to be considered and she makes sure you do not clash, casting wise with anyone else.

    It may seem expensive but you get tuition over 2 months. Plus I see it as this is my business, and I am currently investing in my business. You may not get an agent, there is no guarantee. If there is its too good to be true.

    You can invite as many people as you like your also better off telling your mates and family to stay home as they are unlikely to get you work. Unless your Dad is Trevor Nunn.

    There are other Showcase companies out there. Reduced Circumstances do a show case at Soho theatre and The actors studio do a 10 week course and showcase at Pinewood.

    I think its a great way to stay proactive and get yourself seen. If agents or casting directors don't know you how can they cast you?

    GOOD LUCK

    LOWRI

    • 5th Feb 2009
    • 8
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    Thank you Lowri. It sounds like the actors centre have thought it through, and are getting it right. The first I have heard of to do so.

    Showcases are an investment of time and money in "your business" I agree with you.

    Is it all about gaining an agent at the actors centre, or does it to attract casting directors as well?

    Good luck with it.

    • 5th Feb 2009
    • 9
  • Lowri Lewis

    Actor

    Hi

    You need to know why your doing it. I would like to find an agent, but also I am targeting casting directors as well. There are a few people similar to me who wish to find an agent but also there are more experienced actors that want to do it to get casting directors to come along. They already have agents.

    There are some extra costs to factor in as well. If you want new photos, and sending out letters. Postage and envelopes but I figure its best to write with something to invite them to and they get to see 12 actors in the space of an hour.

    There are also ways of saving money for instance if you work as a group together you can share the cost. Or just send to the people you really want.

    I think Chrys is a real inspiration and is very passionate about the business. Having one to one time with her is invaluable.

    • 5th Feb 2009
    • 10
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    Yes, there are many benefits to doing showcases and accompanying tuition. But, as with everything else in the industry, there tend to be patterns that can be expected to emerge from showcase work. Firstly, it is extremely unlikely (even with a reputable organisation promoting the showcase, such as Actors Centre or Actors Studio) that any 'top drawer' agents will come to a showcase like this. The blatant truth is that the only time they *ever* choose to set foot outside their doors is when they have been told they can view someone who is already being touted as 'the next best thing'. It is good to have the showcase participants 'vetted' initially, because it sends out a signal to those who might consider attending that those involved are not just wannabes and hopefuls. BUT there is still no reason that major agencies should take the event seriously - and they don't. I recently worked on the Actors Studio course, which had a lot going for it, and we were left, ultimately, to make our own applications to the major companies, casting directors etc. across the board. The course has a good rep, but out of something like 100 top flight invites, not one bothered to show or respond (and moreover these invites were split between the group, and so sent by different people, with differing approaches). At the showcase, there were indeed a smattering of agents, some of whom gave the performers representation. But, surprisingly (?), none had been specifically invited by us (it must be assumed they had responded to news of the showcase's coming up). In truth, it is generally only agents who themselves have need for clients who will turn up at showcases (e.g. those who are starting up a new agency and need to fill the books etc.). There is nothing wrong with being taken on in this scenario, of course, and if you are agentless having an agent suddenly take an interest is wonderful, but actors who have visions of IML dropping everything to come and see them perform in their latest small scale showcase are seriously deluded! Many young actors seem very ready to attack any drama school showcases they may have done, and I sympathise because these are often hastily put together whilst the performer feels unprepared, and don't end up showing the actor off in the best light...but it should be realised that most drama school showcases still have a higher cachet than later showcases you can do outside, and are more likely to attract industry interest.

    It is another truism that the actors who are most likely to pick up agents are those who are already distinctive and castable. This does seem to mean a lot of 'ethnic' actors benefit more heavily from showcases of this sort, because most small agents feel there is a paucity of black/asian/mediterranean/etc. actors available to them, but can see very easily the money to be made from filling 'ethnic' casting brackets within the industry. Other actors who are similarly specific - have a very distinct physique, unusual face or delivery, strong accent etc. etc. will also tend to stand out, and may be offered representation on the strength of this. It is *always* more difficult to snare an agent if your 'type' is common within the industry, if only because agents don't possess a 'spare' slot for you to fit into - they never like the idea that they are taking on actors who will duplicate the skills range, style, look etc. of someone else already on the books for a variety of reasons. The irony is, I suppose, that often the actors most eager to do showcases take them on because it is hard for them to find an agent in the first place, but ironically, this is not through lack of talent, but lack of specificity. And, however hard they may work in the showcase, the same result tends to emerge, and for the same reasons. Therefore, you should really be clear on what you want to get out of a showcase course before you embark on one!

    For me, doing the Actors Studio course was partly to sharpen up camera skills (they are very screen oriented, although, oddly, the showcase stages in a theatre!) and partly to meet casting directors etc. who would have otherwise remained inaccessible, and learn more about their perspectives on the business. In this respect, the course succeeded admirably. The showcase at the finale was, for me, a kind of added bonus. I *was* offered further representation on the basis of it, but chose to remain with my current agent (that sort of proves my point - I was not an actor who needed agency interest to be generated by the showcase, anyway).

    Whatever happens, the golden rule in any showcase is that you have to perform with as much energy, commitment and belief as you can possibly muster. It is this that can make you stand out from everyone else in the showcase who is taking it for granted/ hasn't bothered to prepare their five minutes as if it was their starring role in a three hour Ibsen. So, always take the work seriously.

    Finally, on a practical note, Actors Studio courses are expensive (Actors Centre sounds cheaper), and very screen orientated (so only take if you are interested in camera acting). They are no longer being held in Pinewood (or weren't a few months ago), but instead near King's Cross/Islington...which was much more convienient for me to get to, personally!

    Hope you can find a showcase course that will help you grow. Feel free to PM if you would like more opinions on the Actors Studio course.

    • 5th Feb 2009
    • 11
  • Lowri Lewis

    Actor

    Looks like you've had loads of advice, let us know what you decide to do!

    All the best

    Lowri

    • 6th Feb 2009
    • 12
  • Mark Murphy

    Actor

    Has anyone tried finding a showcase outside London ? Impossible, it's so frustrating as I live in Derbyshire and cannot commute to London to take part in one.

    • 19th Feb 2009
    • 13
  • Gillian Horgan

    Actor

    Hi Lucy!!

    Evie just did that showcase at the Actors Centre about 2 months ago, you should ask her about it.

    Hope all is groovy with you xxx

    • 22nd Apr 2009
    • 14
  • Lowri Lewis

    Actor

    Hi I was in the showcase with Evie!! I haven't had a chance to catch up with her yet. But I thought I'd share an update on the showcase. There were 12 of us, 5 have had offers of representation 2 already had agents. So that's not too bad. I also had a casting from a CD who had received my CV and Photo. I also had lots of thank you but no thank you letters, but I was expecting that. Good luck.

    • 23rd Apr 2009
    • 15