Tips On Show Applications For New Performers

Continuing our help for budding performers, we’ve compiled a list of things that we like to see (and those that we don’t…) on performer applications.

Basics in the covering email:
  • Firstly, do your research. If a show doesn’t allow fire / don’t like singers or bands, or specialises in one style (eg American-style glam and you do traditional British comedy) then don’t apply. It’s a waist of your time and theirs. An email that looks like the applicant has researched the show (eg knows who has headlined, the caliber of acts, where the show is based) looks more impressive and shows the producer you really want to perform at their show.
  • Do not EVER load your application full of lavish praise for a night that you are not familiar with. We get loads of emails stating that “Bluestocking is our favourite burlesque night” and comments of that nature from performers who live on the other side of the country and who have never been to the show, which makes the applicant look in-genuine.
  • Get the name of the producer right. Get the name of their night right. Get the location of the show right. There is nothing that will get your email ‘trashed’ quicker than getting simple facts wrong.
  • If you are sending out standard emails (copied and pasted) to a lot of producers, then ensure you’ve checked it through and made the basic facts relevant to the show you are applying for.
Do not forget to include: 
  • Your contact details.
  • Information that the producer may have requested (eg, fees / expenses, any images, CV or video links)
  • If adding attachments (CVs / Photos) make sure your name is in the file name. If a producer is downloading a lot of images, just keeping the original file number or something like ‘pink3’ that relates to the shoot or to you will not be helpful in identifying your image.
  • A brief, relevant introduction stating how long you’ve performed for and your proposed acts (and if the casting has asked for specific acts, make sure they fit the brief).
Never, ever:
  • State you will be “the best they’ve ever seen” / can “bring a touch of class” to their shows, will “blow away all the other performers who have ever performed on their stage” as this is such an insult to producers who have probably booked renowned professional (and international) performers prior to your application. It makes your application look very amateurish and ignorant of the other talent.
  • Send an email with another producer’s show / details on it as this just looks like you’ve not bothered to read through or care about the show you are applying for.
Always ensure: 
  • That if responding to a casting, you are free on the date in question. There’s nothing more infuriating than booking a performer who then emails you to say it’s their nan’s birthday and they can’t perform at the casting they applied for.
  • You application looks professional. Remember you are applying for a JOB and there will be others applying for the same job so treat it as such. Which means NO to emailing in text-slang; NO to one-sentence emails; NO to over-familiarity (unless you actually know the producer). Never assume that the producer is putting together shows for a hobby and they have a ‘real’ job. You will be surprised at how many in-experienced performers do this.

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