Showcase Victoria delegates deep in conversation. Image by Yunis Tmeizah.

In the lead-up to Showcase Victoria, we’ll be sharing some of our favourite hints and tips from artists, producers, programmers and tour co-ordinators to help make your participation in the Showcase Victoria 2019 program run as smoothly as possible. Check back regularly for new pearls of wisdom…

“Think about the kinds of information presenters want to know (i.e., less talk about the creative process and more talk about why audiences are attracted to your work!) Also, use the presentation parameters to your full advantage – for example, if the video screen dimensions are 16:9, don’t provide a square video. And try to invest in a well made promo video if you can, or use plenty of production images to help promote your show to its fullest potential.” 

Adam Fawcett, Creative Producer, Lab Kelpie

“Use your Showcase Victoria experience to get to know who the presenters are …don’t necessarily pitch your work to them… meet the person who is programming the venue and seek out what they are looking for from Showcase, so you can understand their needs.” 

Jenny Ryssenbeek, Executive Director, VAPAC

“Research and contact presenters ahead of time. Try to consider objectively why your show would be a good fit for particular presenters (the venue, the community, previous programming choices, etc.) and introduce yourself via email a couple of weeks before Showcase to let them know what you’re pitching, when and why they might be interested. Keep an eye out for these presenters at Showcase and introduce yourself in person (or arrange a meeting), then follow up via email afterwards based on the feedback you receive from Showcase.”

“Watch other pitches so that you can anticipate the sorts of questions you may be asked by presenters and prepare responses to them. If you find that there aren’t many questions after your pitch, welcome feedback on the work from anyone in the audience who may have previously seen or programmed the work, especially if you know you have an advocate or two in the crowd.”

Anna Kennedy, Creative Producer, She Said Theatre

“When you are pitching, your key task is to help presenters see if they would be able to find an audience for your show.  Paint the picture clearly and succinctly of how the show will look in their venue, how the audience will feel when they’re watching your show, what the overall experience of the show will be like for their community, how all the outstanding marketing collateral you have already developed will draw their audience in, and how this show will fit in their programming mix.”

Chris Bendall, CEO, Critical Stages

“Touring is about relationships. Relationships are about listening, asking good questions and most of all, being genuine. When you’re at Showcase Victoria, build relationships, find out what interests that presenter and whether your show is actually a good fit for the venue – don’t force it, it’s in neither person’s best interests. Most of all, have fun! It can be fun, I promise…”

Samantha Butterworth, Arts Officer, City of Darebin

“Where ever possible, be as clear as you can and realistic about costs, presenter  and technical requirements. This is really important for presenters who work to limited budgets and while there is room for flexibility , if these things change dramatically after buy in, it can make things hard for presenters.”

Jessie Deane, Coordinator Venues, Hobsons Bay City Council

“Showcase is such a remarkable opportunity to build relationships. Aim for the heart. Talk about your work half as much as you want, and share your passions twice as much as you are comfortable. Make me fall weirdly in love with your creativity and your ideas even if I can’t program them now. Be confident and sure of your art and your needs, and listen curiously to those of our venues and audiences. Lift your fellow artists up and sing each other’s praises… Be radically open; assured, generous, vulnerable, intimate, honest. After all, we all need each other and none of us are making it out alive”.

Mik Frawley, Services Manager, Lighthouse Theatre