Why are you
looking for original comedic material?
|| So, what exactly are you
looking for? || I have a
three-person scene. Or a ten-minute scene.
Or something else outside of the realm of
the two-person, four-minute comedic scene.
Should I still submit it? || Okay, wait.
You're going to EDIT my work?!? || This
looks scary. Can you break it down a little
bit? || How will I know if my
scene has been received? Or selected?
|Why are you looking for
original comedic material?
|We knew when
we decided to create this cool showcase, that we
would be looking for scenes that folks aren't tired
of seeing. Seriously, every single showcase has at
least one scene that makes the industry roll its
collective eyes. We've seen it SO many times by
now that there is no WAY the actors performing it
are gonna get a fair shake. And that's simply not
okay. We don't care how brilliantly you think you
can do an Oscar-winning scene. No matter how much
you rock, we will always compare it to the
original... and you're just not gonna measure up.
Why put the actors through that extra level of
scrutiny, when we're here in the most
densely-populated haven for screenwriters on the
planet? Let's go for the originals! They're out
So, in April 2007, the Cricket
Casting Actors Showcase launched with a cast
of 35 actors in 17 comedic scenes. Representatives
from agencies, management firms, and casting
offices filled the Promenade Playhouse for three
nights of fast-paced laughs (and dinner and drinks
too)! We had a nice mix of original and
road-tested comedic scenes, and the "originals"
consistently got better comments in the industry
feedback forms. That's not because the other
scenes didn't rock, but because there was
something really nice about seeing original works
brought to life for the first time. For our July
2007 showcase, using all original material turned
out to be not only a huge success but also a
wonderful opportunity for our writers--whose
talents were showcased right along with our
fabulous actors' comedic skills!
We've done it for every showcase since, and now
we're maintaining an open, ongoing call for
comedic writers to submit original material.
Yippee! We are specifically seeking two-person
comedic scenes that come in at around
four-minutes. We are not offering any pay at this
point, but you do retain all rights to your
original material and may feel free to sell and
resell it to as many buyers as you can find!
(Meanwhile, if you do happen to hear from a
literary agent or other cool industry contact who
saw your work at our showcase,
we do hope you'll let us
know, so we can celebrate with you!)
Please note: All
submissions MUST be accompanied by the two-page
scene info and writers' release (PDF) linked
Thanks so much for your interest! We look forward
to reading your work!
|So, what exactly are you
looking for the aforementioned two-person,
four-minute, comedic scenes. We like variety, so
we expect to populate our showcase with scenes
representing romantic comedy, slapstick comedy,
formulaic sitcom, outlandish comedy, dark comedy,
high-brow comedy, blue comedy, you name it! We're
not heavily into one style over another; just
looking for the best scenes to suit our current
cast, having the best overall mix of types of
scenes, using material that needs the least amount
of editing or tweaks, and representing a bunch of
We absolutely DO NOT want any scenes about "the
industry" or actors. Why? Well, consider our
audience. We're looking at entertaining a room
full of agents, managers, casting directors,
producers, showrunners, writers, and directors who
have all spent the day dealing with "industry
issues." If I'm a CD whose last calls of the day
were to close a really difficult deal with an
agent who has had a rough day, the LAST thing I
want to see when I'm out scouting new actors is a
scene about how much *auditioning* sucks. I don't
care how funny it is. I'm not gonna love those
actors if the biggest headache of my day comes
crashing back while I'm watching their scene.
|I have a three-person
scene. Or a ten-minute scene. Or something else
outside of the realm of the two-person,
four-minute comedic scene. Should I still submit
One of our best
scenes from our very first showcase was originally
a four-person scene taking place in a coffee shop.
We loved the core premise so much that we edited
the scene into a two-person scene taking place in
bed after a one-night stand! It was brilliant.
Everyone loved it. (Yes, even the scene's original
So, don't let the fact that your scene is a little
too long for "showcase production" or that it's
based on more characters than we typically would
put in a scene together in a "showcase format"
stop you from submitting it. We have a team of
editorial ninjas that love writing punch-up. If we
like the piece, we'll make it work.
|Okay, wait. You're going to
EDIT my work?!?
a writer whose original work has ever been
produced by someone other than, well, YOU, then
you already know that's a part of the deal. If
you've been to a network sitcom taping, you've
seen how lines get rewritten, added, deleted on
the fly during the rehearsal process. Hey, comedy
is subjective! And an audience may really get 90% of
your jokes but miss the rest. And if we see an
opportunity to tweak a line or change a beat in
order to get the most out of the overall scene,
we're gonna do it. Also, most scenes weren't
written for "showcase production" originally. So,
they may really work in the context of an entire
episode of a spec script or a one-act play or a
full-length feature film. But we're looking at
BRIEF experiences with these characters, and there
back-story on which to base some deep comedic
set-ups. If it's not coming through in the wee bit
of time we're spending with these characters,
we're gonna punch it up.
And that can happen at ANY point during our
production process! That's why we specifically
seek actors with writing, improv, and sketch
comedy experience. That's why we hire directors
who have worked as writers too. There is a lot of
wonderful stuff that can come through the
collaborative, creative process when you're open
to shifts and tweaks. Hell, that's how network
sitcom writers rooms thrive. It's all being
workshopped in a collaborative group of creative
people. The best stuff is what makes it to the
final product. If your ego won't stand for that,
then please don't submit your work to us. One
thing we can guarantee--before we even read your
work--is that there will be edits. Every single
scene we've showcased thus far has had at least
one line adjustment at some point. It's not
personal. It's essential. And it means we LIKE
what you've done enough to invest in it. That's a
|This release looks scary.
Can you break it down a little bit?
granting us "non-exclusive rights" to produce your
scene as a part of our showcase. "Non-exclusive"
means that you can continue to sell and resell
your work to as many other folks as want to buy it
(y'know, 'til THEY make you sign an exclusive
deal) and you never have to list it as having been
affiliated with the Cricket Feet Showcase or
Cricket Feet, Inc. (although you're certainly
welcome to do so, if the hype would help you out)!
You are certifying that you are the sole owner of
the rights to this material (including copyright
for the content and original characters--or that
you have permission to base your work on
characters for which copyright is owned elsewhere)
so that, if someone comes after us for doing your
scene because it was originally a Saturday Night Live
sketch, we can have our fancy lawyer send 'em your
way for that fun experience.
You're letting us produce this scene--but you're
also acknowledging that we don't HAVE to produce
it--and if we happen to record the showcase and
provide footage of it to some network exec who
then wants to turn your scene into a sitcom,
you'll still be able to make that deal free and
clear! We do hope you thank us for having helped
that launch along, but you don't have to do so.
We're not paying you for the material. We can edit
it. You can't sue us, but if you try to do so, you
have to pay all of our legal fees for dealing with
your attempt to sue. And you're not planning to do
anything that breaches the spirit of the
agreement. Nor are we. And if we want to amend the
terms of the agreement, we all have to come
together in writing to do that. (So, anything
you've been promised verbally ain't gonna cut it.)
Basically, this is like every other "unsolicited
material submission release form" out there. But
|How will I know if my
scene has been received? Or selected?
your submission (complete with two-page submission
and release form via email), we'll countersign the
release form and email a copy of it to the email
address you specified in your submission form).
So, that's how you'll know we have received it.
When we're officially launched for the latest
showcase, we'll announce our next showcase scene
writers along with the actors and the director. You will hear from
us either way. Thank you in
advance for your submission and your support of
our all-original, all-comedy, all-rockstar