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College Showcases-The Truth

College Showcases-The Truth

Air Date: April 21, 2022

Our Casting office receives hundreds of invitations to college showcases every spring. It seems that every university that has a theatre curriculum decides to give their students the opportunity to perform for New York, LA, Chicago agents, managers, and casting directors. These use to be live on stage which, because of corvid, went virtual. Well, it looks like the live versions of an actor’s coming out party, are coming back. The question is, are they really useful? Can they make a difference in an actor’s career? Let’s have a truthful conversation about the college showcase, on this episode of Casting Actors Cast!

What is a showcase?

a. University or college BFA/MFA presentation held in NY, LA, Chicago.

b. Usually, a one-hour performance of their actors doing scenes, Monologues, Songs (sometimes two schools join up)

c. Industry invited to attend (usually in the early Spring)-Before graduation

d. Feedback requested from the industry to Meet/evaluate the talent

Why do schools have showcase presentations

a. Their graduating students get exposure

b. Providing value for the degree holder (enticement, legal requirements)

c. Final performance opportunity before graduation

Showcase Pros:

· Serves as a way to expose the student to new locales

· Provides a practical application to the acting theories/practices taught

· Exposure to the profession (representation potential)

Showcase Cons:

· Enticement for students (selling tool for schools)

· Small ROI for the number of actors seen

· Limited understanding of the actor’s talent(s)

For those students who are entering the acting profession, A showcase can be an exciting time to meet industry professional who can accelerate their careers. Unfortunately, because so many schools opt for this model, exposure is very limited. Unless the school has an excellent reputation, the chances that a graduating student getting discovered is unlikely. Working agents, managers, casting directors, network CD’s do not have the time to check out each training program. This sometimes, is not that important to those schools because they have, in essence made good on their promise. It is also true that fantastic talent might not get recognition because their material was not great or not well prepared. Also, showcases can sometimes attract scammers who take advantage of the showcase for their own purposes (fake agents/managers/bad folks). The video showcase is, happily, being used in place or as an addition to the live version. This is an excellent way to gain exposure whenever there is interest. (Can be viewed anytime). Embrace the truth about showcases. They are a moment in time. Keep expectations to a minimum.

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