Theatre Angel: 5 Top Tips On How to Win At Independent Theatre, Part II

In honour of the Edinburgh Fringe, Casting Networks Australia’s Theatre Angel brings you a three-part, jam-packed bumper special in celebration of independent theatre!

You can read Part I here: http://blog.castingnetworks.com/12181/

PART II:

Sydney theatre director and producer Michael Dean brings us his 5 Top Tips for Australian Independent Theatre: featuring Orpheus, at Blood Moon Theatre Sydney (brought to you by Lies Lies and Propaganda and Suspicious Woman Productions)


1. Do whatever you want.

This is your opportunity to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. That project that you know will be amazing, but have no idea how to sell to the companies up the food chain, or that experiment that you don’t actually know will work, or that space, play, or person you want to take a chance on. And that person could be you. Do you think you’ll be a good director, writer, producer, whatever? Do it.

I actually think that in Sydney we are blessed with medium and large companies that are relatively risk-taking, but money still equals risk-aversion, so stop thinking of money as the limiting factor to your work. The opposite is true. Make the sort of work that you will look back at with such longing when you’re a big shot director who has to make sure that any decision won’t terrify the subscribers. Be bold, creative, and have fun. Make work that’s like nothing anyone’s every seen, or nothing like you’ve ever made before. Show everyone what you can do. My co-producer on Orpheus, Alixandra Kupcik, started Suspicious Woman Productions because she knew she’d be great in a particular role. The resulting production, 2015’s The Big Funk, was a huge success, and Alix is now a talented producer and great advocate for women in the arts. For me, Orpheus is about pushing my work further into uncharted territory – building on my previous experiments in movement, devised work, cultural and personal stories, and a whole bunch of other things. It’s terrifying. I don’t know if it’s all going to work, or if anyone’s going to come and see it. But when I think about some of the stuff we’ve created I start grinning like an idiot, so I feel like we’re onto something and we might be rewarded again for our risk.

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Theatre Angel: 5 Top Tips On How to Win At Independent Theatre, Part I

In honour of the Edinburgh Fringe, Casting Networks Australia’s Theatre Angel brings you a three-part, jam-packed bumper special in celebration of independent theatre!

PART I:

A brief history of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Plus, UK comedy-writer and actress Beth Granville shares her 5 Top Tips to Win and at the Edinburgh Fringe: featuring Foiled at the Edinburgh Fringe (Duckspeak)


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Actor promoting at Edinburgh Fringe


“Have a great product you are at the very least passionate about and at the most, would die for … If you don’t care this much about it, then no one else is going to.” – Beth Granville

In 1947, a group of theatre companies who hadn’t been invited to appear in the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival decided to . . . well, show up and perform anyway.  The Edinburgh Festival Fringe was born!

Since that time, the Fringe, a celebration of diverse theatre and performance, has grown to become the world’s largest arts festival, and inspired multiple other similar festivals worldwide, among them the Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney Fringe Festivals. Running from the 5th to the 29th of August in the Scottish capital, the Fringe is colourful mix of over 30,000 international acts, combining comedy celebrities and theatre royalty with start-up performance companies, street performers, and millions of theatre punters from across the globe. It is, in short, an explosive, dynamic, spectacular, and at times manic carnival of theatrical highs, lows, and above all— opportunities.

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Theatre Angel: 5 Top Tips with Now Actors East Coast Manager and Agent Dan Zizys

“Performance is a cultural communication.”

Dan Zizys a top international model turned actors agent/manager.

Dan Zizys, model turned actors agent/manager.

This month, we speak with Now Actors’ East Coast Manager, Dan Zizys. Once a top international model and now an actor’s agent and agency manager, Dan candidly shares his industry tips, experiences, and insights, to give a rare and remarkable glimpse into the agent’s world.


THEATRE ANGEL: Dan, what led you to become an agent and how did you become involved with Now Actors? 

DAN ZIZYS: I became an agent primarily because I’m a nerd. I love the intricacies of media and its interface with the public. I love that a business and a talent’s career can be traced through their paperwork, contracts, and communications, that pathways and career trajectories can be manifested through an individual’s skills and abilities, but also charted and forecast by their representative materials’ conditions and their dossier of contractual and accounting arrangements. There are plenty of types of agents out there. This industry does attract a particular personality type, the “Sales Person.” I find these agents don’t last long. The steady hand, who is critical and pragmatic, tends to outlast the sales-oriented agent.

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Theatre Angel – An Interactive Guide to all Things Stage

“The stage is a magic circle where only the most real things happen, a neutral territory outside the jurisdiction of fate where stars may be crossed with impunity. A truer and more real place does not exist in all the universe.”

—P.S. Baber

There is something ancient about the stage. It is raw, primeval, cross-cultural and colourblind. It lies at the shared heart of what it is to be human—to tell our stories, to relate and perform. It is the foundation of our acting traditions and therefore, at the core of our craft. In short, theatre is a very human need.

Welcome to Casting Networks’ new column for all things theatrical.

As your personal “Theatre Angel,” we will be connecting the disparate dots of the theatrical – bringing pragmatic tips, industry news, insider knowledge, and interviews with experts and leading international professionals.

There is nothing quite as wildly electrifying as stepping out on stage. Or as rewarding as a world brought to life from a bare black box and few creaky chairs, moving an audience member to tears, making them laugh, think, and occasionally fall asleep (I find a sharp, loud clang with a nearby prop does the trick in this instance).

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