How to put on an acting show case
I found that the best way to put on a showcase is to first of all, get some people together.
I am sure that, as an actor, without realising it you have networked with more actors than you thought.
If you think that they are getting more work than you so wouldn't be interested, think again!
It's always a good time to do a showcase when work gets a bit slow and it shows employers and/or agents that you are always honing your skills and are still performing even during quiet periods, plus it gives you something to invite them to.
A good number of people would be between 7 and 14.
I won't lie, it will cost you a bit out of your pocket (unless you have a friend with a venue who is willing to let you use it).
Your best solution to this is to get people to chip in. A tenner each can stretch a long way. There are many pubs/clubs, schools, village halls, churches etc. with space that at least one night a week isn't really being filled and they will let you use that for rehearsals for cheaper than you think. All you have to do is ask.
So you're all rehearsed and rearing to go. Where can you perform?
People living in London, this is pretty easy to remedy. You can walk into Soho, throw a stone and wherever it lands more than likely has a stage you can rent for a night (note: this is a figure of speech please don't actually throw any stones and get me into trouble. But you get the idea).
For people outside of London, anywhere you have a space to perform and somewhere for an audience to sit is fine. Remember it's a showcase of your acting abilities, not a West End show. It can be completely stripped back; simple set, simple lighting and unless you need a costume wearing blacks is advised.
Also remember that you don't have a do a run. A one off showcase can be just as effective as a few days. However I would not suggest having any more than 3 nights back to back as you are increasing the chance of playing to an empty house and wasting your time and money.
Timing. Remember to consider your audience when you book your performance time slot. If you are planning to invite industry, leave their weekends free. It may be their job but they are still human and appreciate a weekend to themselves.
A 7:30pm start is always a good time as it means people can arrive after work without having to rush to get there.
And the earlier in the week the better. It will limit your potential to stay out long into the night with your industry contacts but will increase the chance of them turning up in the first place.
The Showcase. Keep it snappy. I wouldn't do long excerpts of script, people will get bored. A monologue shouldn't be any longer than 3 minutes. And scenes shouldn't be any longer than about 10 minutes. Each actor should be in 2-3 scenes each.
Work out an order and keep it going. One off, one on. Don't put in big scene changes, there shouldn't be any need.
It should be an early night. Don't feel bad if your showcase only lasts about an hour. Leave them wanting more.
And remember once you know the date of your showcase. Invite people. Each person involved should send out at least a few emails to industry contacts. Whether it be agents, casting directors, script writers, short film makers. Anyone who can help give you a place to perform.
And don't leave it until the last minute. More notice means they can fit you into their schedule and more of a chance they'll come.
Last note and then I'll let you go and start putting your showcase together.
Make it Free Entry to see your showcase, for obvious reasons.
Break a leg.