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Blog: The Showcase

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When I started on my MA course - which was, I think, about a month ago? Definitely not nearly TWO YEARS AGO anyway - the Big Thing that we always seemed to be aiming at was The Showcase. This was a night when Professional Actors would be Professionally Directed in extracts of our work for a THRONG of Industry Professionals. The only way it could be MORE Professional, it seems, would be to have Bodie and Doyle drive through a window in the interval.

It's always been a big thing and, last night, it was DONE! As there's so many of us on the course this year it had been divided into two evenings, so the first showcase was actually last week, mostly for people doing playwriting. Last night was for screenplay people, and this very much included ME! As previously mentioned, I'd been to a rehearsal at the weekend, and had since been to another on Monday. The first time around I'd been slightly worried that it might all be a bit Crash Bang Wallop, as there's a LOT of running around and EXPLOSIONS, but the second time I was relieved to find it working REALLY well. I was, in fact, DELIGHTED, and emerged from the building EXCITED - a level of excitement that was only slightly dented by seeing one of our Course Leaders coming INTO the building with a nervous young person, clearly off to interview them for NEXT year's course. It may all be coming to a climax for us, but life keeps on rolling and courses keep on recruiting!

I thought I was FINE with it all happening, but that night I had one of those nights where you have a MILLION DREAMS, all of which are basically your BRANE going "OI! Stop ignoring this big important thing - I'm worrying about it, you should be too!" It seemed to involve a lot of DRIVING TESTS.

Come the day itself I was A Bit Nervous all day long, and became gradually MORE so as I strode in at 3ish, hoping to catch the gap between Final Rehearsal and The Dress Rehearsal, as I had a Small Re-Write for my title page to hand in. Well, I thought I did - I wasn't entirely sure whether it was needed or not but thought I ought to show willing. As it turned out I needn't have done it, but it was worth turning up anyway as a bunch of us decided to go to the PUB for the afternoon! HA! This was an excellent idea and gave us a chance to Not Think About It for a bit, and instead concentrate on not having TOO much to drink before we went back.

Soon it was 6pm and time to head over for half an hour of worrying about guests turning up, wondering if there'd be any Actual Agents come to scoop us up, and drinking FREE WINE. At half past we went in and, after a brief pre-amble from Phil, the big boss of the course, we were off... and it was GRATE! The actors were really really good, we had TITLES up on a screen for each piece, and the extracts themselves were ACE. I swelled with pride for our collective efforts, we'd done DEAD well - indeed, Phil, in his pre-amble, had seemed genuinely surprised by just how good they were!

My extract was near the end of the first half and it all seemed to go well - people said they enjoyed it afterwards and I must say I was very pleased with it. The only sad thing about it is that i really LIKE the story, so every time I do anything with it I remember that it's FAR too expensive/ridiculous to actually MAKE!

That said, I did talk to someone afterwards who said doing it as RADIO might work, so you never know. This was in the Post-Show SCHMOOZE time - we'd had a MID-SHOW break when we'd gathered in a groups for chats (during which myself, my baby brother and lovely sister-in-law were provided with our own personal bowl of NIBBLES by The Crisps In My Bag, who'd HALF INCHED them for us!) but afterwards we were meant to TALK to people. Unusually for me i did actually manage to pluck up the courage to say hello to one person, but other than that it was saying "HA! We did it!" to course colleagues and then THE PUB.

The pub! As I have said many times this has probably been the BEST bit of the whole course, where large numbers of us would gather and LARF and pitch ideas and DRINK and encourage each other and generally have a good time. We've only got one more Formal Teaching Session left, and so only one more PUB after school, but luckily arranging a visit to the PUB is Not Exactly Rocket Science. There was much talk about keeping in contact and doing Other Projects together, and I think we actually WILL do that thing. There may not have been many (or possibly any) Professional Industry People there to SNAP us up, but I don't think that really matters - whatever happens next will come from US!

posted 26/6/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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