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I'm a hyphenate. I act. I write. I... lots of stuff. Do you want me to be a part of your showcase? || Okay. What are your hyphenate caveats? || What?!? I can write a brilliant scene that showcases me perfectly and you're going to put someone else in that role? And have me do someone else's material? || I'm an actor who will be auditioning with my own original scene. I understand I won't be able to act in that scene at the showcase, but I definitely want to have my writing considered for a showcase slot too! How do we make that happen? || I'm an actor who also rocks at ______. What options exist for me?


I'm a hyphenate. I act. I write. I... lots of stuff. Do you want me to be a part of your showcase?
You betcha! We're all hyphenates! Welcome! (But... we do have a few caveats.)
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Okay. What are your hyphenate caveats?
Our director has been hired to direct the actors in this showcase. Please don't--even if you're an awesome director yourself--direct your fellow actors. Thanks!

If you're an actor who writes, that's super cool! We'll probably tap into your skills throughout the rehearsal process, as we bring your scene to its best possible state! But please know that we do not allow actors to perform scenes that they wrote, as their showcase scenes.
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What?!? I can write a brilliant scene that showcases me perfectly and you're going to put someone else in that role? And have me do someone else's material?
Yep. It's our policy. And here's why.

We debated this for a long time. There are a lot of really great writers out there who are also terrific actors. There are a lot of people out there who market themselves as an awesome "total package." Their skills as writers make them more attractive than they would be solely as writers or solely as actors. Producers of Saturday Night Live love these folks, and we really respect them too.

But most of the time, a writer/actor will be hired to be a writer for other people or will be hired to act other people's words. Therefore, it's more important in the long run to show that a writer/actor can both write well for others and act other writers' work. If you perform your own work, we're doing you a disservice by not showcasing you in the way the industry is most likely to need you.

Image this scene: It's the after-party. The showcase has ended and it's time for the fun industry schmoozefest. You're standing there with your designated wingman, ready to work the room. An industry professional comes up to you, shakes your hand, and says, "Nice work. Your scene was really funny."

The scenario in which you've written your own scene goes like this...

You: Thanks. I wrote it.
Industry Pro: I know. That information is in the program.
You: I'm a total package.
Industry Pro: I can see that. I'm looking for actors.


Our concern is that you will be so consumed with selling yourself as a total package that you won't be selling what the industry wants to buy. It's an ACTOR showcase, after all. The writing thing is super cool... but it's not the reason most of these folks came out to see you.

The "better" scenarios are these...

You: Thanks. I loved working on the scene.
Industry Pro: It showed. I enjoyed watching it.
You: Would you like to meet the writer? She was in the showcase--the fifth scene. She was the ex-nun. She loves writing smart, sarcastic comedy.
Industry Pro: Really? Hmm, yeah. She was great, but no. I'm more interested in you right now.


In this scenario a couple of things have happened that don't happen when you're your own writer. You get to look gracious by offering to make an introduction (this also gives you more power as the pimp rather than the product) and you learn that this particular industry pro is looking at you as an actor of other people's words (which is how you're likely to be hired).

Another scenario...

Actor (who acted in the scene you wrote): Thanks. I loved working on the scene.
Industry Pro: It showed. I enjoyed watching it.
Actor: Would you like to meet the writer? She was in the showcase--the fifth scene. She was the ex-nun. She loves writing smart, sarcastic comedy.
Industry Pro: Really? That would be nice. Where is she?
Actor: Umm... right over there with the director of the showcase. I'll introduce you to both of them.
INTRODUCTIONS ARE MADE.
You: Thanks. I love writing for such great actors. Weren't these guys great in my scene?
Industry Pro: They really were. Everyone here is just so talented. How long have you been in town?


By taking the focus away from yourself, you actually gain more power and presence. While tooting your own horn is part of how people in the industry get anywhere, we've found that it's a more potent combination for other people to toot your horn. And you just enjoy it! And then toot someone else's horn in turn.

On top of all this, we've noticed that actors performing their own work tend to have trouble staying in "actor brain." If their scene partner misses a line, they immediately get pulled out of "actor brain" and go into "writer brain" and try to salvage the blown line--NOT because doing so serves the scene for the actors, but because, dangit, it was WRITTEN that way. And if an audience member doesn't like your writing but otherwise would LOVE your acting, how crappy is it that this industry person decides NOT to call you in for a meeting because of your "bad scene" (which really had nothing to do with your acting and everything to do with your writing and/or your inability to stay out of "writer brain" while acting)? Huge bummer, right?

So, to avoid these issues altogether, we've set the policy. Our biggest hyphenate caveat. Hooray!
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I'm an actor who will be auditioning with my own original scene. I understand I won't be able to act in that scene at the showcase, but I definitely want to have my writing considered for a showcase slot too! How do we make that happen?
Yippee! We're excited to see both you as an actor and your scene! Yay!

Since you're basically submitting TWO things (yourself, as an actor and your material), you'll need to bring a COPY of the scene and a signed copy of our two-page material release (PDF) with you to the audition in order for your material to be considered. You will turn these items in before you read for us (yes, you can shoot 'em to us via email ahead of time). Since we're especially keen to cast actors who also write, this is definitely a plus for you, during your audition!

Yeah, you won't be able to do your own material in the showcase itself (see above), but we'd love to check out your acting and your writing during the audition. Heck yeah!

Should you get cast in the showcase and then wish to submit material for consideration, that's cool too. Even though our submission deadline for writers will have passed, we will accept "showcase cast submissions" after that deadline, as long as your submission includes both pages of the signed material release (PDF).

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I'm an actor who also rocks at ______. What options exist for me?
Producing a showcase takes a TEAM. We are totally into the collaboration it takes to pull this thing off. And, if you've got some amazing skill that you'd like to share with us, BRING IT UP! We may even find a little bit of a "scholarship" for you, if your contribution is exciting enough! ;) Let's talk!
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