Anna Morris: It's Got to be Perfect - French Quarter 15.55

Anna Morris: It's Got to be Perfect - French Quarter 15.55

Postby Anna Morris » 01 Sep 2015, 18:40

Show Time: was 3.55pm which was perfect for my interactive wedding show. Customers often had their first drink, and were quite relaxed and jolly. They often arrived early to sit in the bar upstairs so this was a good place to go and interact with them (I did so in costume - as long as they were not eating as staff prefer you not to approach customers who are eating or in the restaurant area).

Venue: My 2nd time in this venue - brilliant rooms, well decorated and lovely cocktail and food menu. Staff were delightful, helpful and always on hand to help. Venue is on a small side road over North Bridge/off Princes St so do put a map on your flyer - this really helped guide customers who don't know the venue. Many are regulars at the venue and come back every year to see lots of shows there as it has a good reputation for shows etc. A member of staff was there each day to help manage the queues as they can get busy - when my queues got a bit out of hand and onto the street I asked my flyerer to help too as it can get very busy on the weekends so it's not fair on staff to keep trying to manage things

Room - French Quarter: Lovely room, seats about 60 with about 2 standing (max they would allow me to have in was 80). It's divided in two by a fire exit doing downstairs which is odd, but if you make it part of the show it's good - i.e my character referred to it as a place to send people for punishments if they were naughty! Also if it's not full you can just fill the front bit and rope off the back bit so it will always feel intimate. There is a bar in the room which a member of bar staff - though on weekends it would get very busy at that bar and we hardly had anytime to let people in and start on time so first 5 mins of show could be noisy while people ordered drinks.

Stage: Stage is wide and narrow in depth, with black built in bench area behind so you can put props on that. There is a table on stage for the tech to sit at and you can also fit props on that. Curtains were closed and blocked out some light. Lights are basic but can be adjusted by bar staff to be brighter or dimmer to suit. You can't do a show with a blackout/lighting effects so keep it simple.

2 mics - I only used one while singing which was fine.

Air-con in the room - can be adjusted. I preffered it on low as I don't like using a mic though on hot days this was getting tricky! Some days it could be off. And worth putting on full blast between shows.

Flyering: I left flyers on display in the venue and popped one on each table an hour or two before the show for people to look at. I had 1 main flyerer to start with doing 1.5 hours pre show up on royal mile and down near venue, then she'd spend last 30 mins helping with queue, flyering outside and inside and standing by door for first 10 mins of show to stop more people coming in if it was crowded/let more people in if room. I had a second flyerer on the quieter days (Mon/Tues/Wed mainly) doing an extra hour in St Andrew's Sq Gardens and around the New Town area).

Audiences: I was lucky enough to be full every day apart from one Wednesday in the middle when it was half full (so I filled the front). I allowed 80 in and turned people away but they went to other shows in the building so it works well for everyone.

Storage: There was a cupboard behind the bar I could use to store flyers and my suitcase of props. Only downside is I could only access this at specific times before shows as I didn't want to interupt the shows before me. Also when my show finished I couldn't really re-set props in my suitcase in time before next show so often had to take it to the toilets to sort out props and wait for next show to end to put it back. But it felt safe and secure there and saved me having to lug it home every day.

Other shows: I was lucky to have lovely performers before and after me who were friendly, supportive and excellent. And next door too in the Speakeasy - so I felt that audiences would go to different shows once they had seen a good one, and I felt supported and didn't feel like anyone was competing or stealing audiences. Everyone was being fair and helping audiences find the show they wanted to see.

Posters/flyers: I didn't have an ad in fringe brochure, nor a big poster campaing. I spent the money on having nice posters printed to put in venue (in room/toilets/wall of venue - the venue did it for me as I had them delivered a week or so before I arrived). I used Tenfold who were great and I got nice A5 card flyers made out like a wedding invitation which attracted audiences. I spent money on students helping me flyer and rewarded them if I was full which helped them work hard.

Reviews: I had no publicist - I just made a nice press release with the vital info at the top explaining the show, and sent one off 1st June, then again mid July, then a few follow-ups mid August. I also tweeted a few publications. In totall I had 6 reviewers come which was good with no publicist!

Bucket: I had a very good bucket every day - more on weekends. I found older audience members put in notes, students often didn't put anything in and everyone else put a few quid in. Overall I think it averaged out as a few pounds per audience member. I gave out a mini packet of love hearts per person as wedding favours which helped. I also gave a nice donation speech and said if I entertained people, then they could show their genorisity by donating.

Overall I had a great fringe experience. I broke even on what I spent and made a bit of a profit, I had lovely audiences, the staff at the venue and the other performers couldn't have been nice. I also felt after 22 performances that my show improved, and I improved as a performer and improviser. I also felt as it was free, that audiences were up for more fun, relaxed and grateful it was a fun show.
Anna Morris
Posts: 11
Joined: May 2010

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