Last year we had our first ever all-Bluestocking showcase, featuring a line-up made up entirely of performers who have been on our courses, and it was a great success. So we decided to do it all over again! And Saturday, the performers all did us proud!
The intimate setting Mozarts, Swansea, was the perfect place for our ladies to show off their talent – and with a line-up that featured two performers making their debut, alongside those who have performed only a handful of times, right up to those more experienced, it was a treat for everyone all round, and for us to show off what talent has come through our classes at Revue. We had performances from our lovely blonde bombshell Daisy Dalore, our B-movie Femme Fatale Lolly Follie, Charlotte Falls made her debut with her Calamity Jane, also making her debut Emerald Green – who nearly got her wish when a chap in the audience tried to put an (onion!) ring on it! Our pocket rocket Jack sprinked some glittering sand, Bailey Blue smashed Boris her spider (and her cracking act!), we saw Primrose Proper back in action and the night was topped off with our favorite ‘rack with all the craic’ Teezy Overeasy! We are so chuffed she is coming back to Swansea! Of course I (Lilly Laudanum) had to have a cheeky little turn myself, and DeeDee and Dawn were on top form as always!
It was great to team up with Gas Station Bop (Chris) for the night too – GSB were with us from the very start, and the after-show party saw some audience members showing off their jive talent, so there was talent all round!
We would like to say a massive thanks to all our performers for sharing their acts with us, to Wendy at Mozarts for the lovely venue and most importantly, a massive thank you to each and every one of you, the audience, who came to support the showcase and enable our newest performers to platform their acts!
Why are showcases important?
There always has to be an entry point for new performers to take their first steps on stage and as most established shows expect a certain level from the performer, taking those tentative steps in front of a large and lively audience can be a daunting experience, not to mention getting a slot on one of those bills with little experience under your belt. Producers often expect performers to have stage experience and few shows offer newcomer slots. That’s why low-key and intimate shows are fundamental to the scene, to help out new talent with their first steps on the stage…
Why are we, the audience, important?
You, the audience play an important role in all of this, as without an audience we have no show/showcase and without a showcase, new performers can’t continue their valuable learning process, learning how to work and perform for (and with!) an audience. It’s very easy to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, but the magic piece of the puzzle is doing an act they’ve worked hard on in front of an audience! Without that first step on stage, a new performer can’t hope to get any slots on bigger shows and grow into their performing.
What do we, the audience get out of watching new performers?
That’s an easy one! You get to see a bloody great night of entertainment, you get to see the magic of that very first time a performer steps out on stage, you get to see the beginnings of the ‘next big thing’ if you are very lucky! Also, showcases are generally smaller events so audiences are closer to the action (remember closer to the action does not mean you can touch performers or keep any stray costumes that may fly accidentally into the audience!) Showcase shows are generally a cheaper ticket than some of the more ‘professional’ shows – that’s not to say showcases are run any less professionally!
What makes a good showcase – for a performer?
A good showcase will be billed as a ‘showcase’ and not promise what it can’t deliver (ie an underhand producer billing a showcase as a ‘professional’ level show, charging top price for the tickets and keeping all the profits). Although a showcase might not be a paid affair it’s a chance to debut, a chance to bond with fellow performers and ask for advice from more experienced performers. A good showcase will also have performers with a variety of experience – so some with no experience, right through to some more experienced. It’s also good if you want to try out a new act or, if you are a performer who has taken time off, it’s a good place to get back into performing again. As a performer, it”s a great place to practice audience interaction and eye contact. If you are a new performer, you might be asked to audition or submit a video to gain a place on the bill. Please don’t take this as a negative: it’s a sign of a good production – the producer is ensuring that you are ready to face an audience, and that your act has been rehearsed to a high level, as we know that going on stage for the first time can be daunting. A well-rehearsed act will stop you freezing on stage, as muscle memory will take over.
What makes a good showcase – for the audience?
In addition to the ‘Why are we important’ post above, if you are thinking of going to a showcase, check the show is being billed as a showcase, so you know what to expect. As above, a good showcase will have a performers with a variety of experience and acts, and performers will have had to ‘audition’ for their place on the bill to ensure a standard level and to ensure they are ready to face an audience. A good showcase will not ‘pack ’em in’ but will have a limited ticket run to ensure a lively, yet less intimidating audience for any new performers, but will uphold quality in terms of value for money – a great compare, stage manager and limited performers on the bill to ensure that each performer is properly introduced and given their turn in the ‘spotlight’. The bill will also have been carefully thought out to ensure variety – a good mix of comedy, classic and neo-burlesque makes for a great, entertaining evening!