It’s officially the Twenties again! We’re so excited about the continuing neoburlesque revival, and we want to be part of it. For us, this means always honing our craft and speaking truth through our art.
As such, we are delighted to announce our first ever…
workshops for performers!
These workshops are for performers of all varities, shapes, sizes and flavours. We will be focused on telling your story through your art, whether that’s burlesque and striptease, songwriting, comedy, clowning, dance… We have a many-talented troupe experienced in their various fields and two performer-producers/ dramaturgs (Ferrero Rochelle and Rosie Verbose) who are raring to help you shape your material, to tell your story in the best possible way.
Having started working together in 2017, we know how challenging it can be to get any idea from conception to delivery, and especially when you’re telling a story of personal significance to you and/or about sensitive subjects such as mental health.
We hope that through these workshops, we can meet and collaborate with lots of new talent. In some cases, this means we may want to invite you to be part of a future show – or your work can just be for you.
A Note on Workshops & Our ‘Audition’ Process
A while back, we issued an open call for performers with a passion for mental health, to potentially join us in future shows. Upon receiving the incredible response from performers and watching their videos, we realised that we were going to need to restructure the way we invite collaborations, as the average open call does not fit easily with our way of working.
We found that within these video submissions by such talented performers, many portrayed ideas which were brilliant and clearly very important to the performer, but were often still embryonic. We could see ways in which we wanted the performer to push their craft further, be bolder or subtler… There were more still which felt they could have used another set of eyes to tell them when their message was becoming obscured.
Therefore, after much discussion, we have decided the best way to invite new performers to be part of our shows would be to develop a working relationship with them.
Collaboration is a huge part of the Invisible Cabaret process, and we believe this greatly enhances our work. None of our acts ever make the stage without being viewed multiple times by multiple team members. It’s also very important to us that we put out a consistent, honest and uplifting message. This is because of our subject matter. Naturally, in talking honestly about mental health, as we are committed to doing, the topics we cover can range into dark places, and we want to make sure our shows are never triggering or upsetting – for the audience or the performer. We research and learn together as we devise, asking for help and expert opinions where needed, and especially looking at the multiple ways things can be interpreted, to ensure we are saying what we want to say and, crucially, not saying what we don’t want to say!
We also find that devising in small groups (usually performer(s) plus Rosie and Rochelle, the co-founders and directors) vastly improves the quality and polish of the finished work. Hence deciding that we wanted to share this formula with more artists in 2020!
All this being said, we want to reiterate that you do not have to want to audition for Invisible Cabaret to come to a workshop! We are just as keen to work with performers wishing to collaborate with each other as creatives. The workshops are about sharing our experience and expertise so that more performers feel empowered to share their vulnerable and authentic stories.
All we’re saying is, it’s unlikely that we will put anything on stage that we haven’t workshopped with a performer first.
Wait – doesn’t that effectively mean i have to pay to audition for invisible cabaret?
First of all, a clarification: no matter what, at the end of the workshop, you will be able to take your work away with you to work on in your own time and on your own terms. Your work is yours.
Furthermore, we offer no guarantees that these workshops will lead to a slot in an Invisible Cabaret show.
However, if we are able to offer a platform to a well-told story and we feel yours fits in with an upcoming lineup, we will be upfront with you about this. You will always have the choice whether you would like to be involved or not. If we agree to putting your act in the show, you will be refunded the money you paid for the workshop (minus the charity donation – read more below). This way, we hope to counter any idea of a ‘pay to play’ system, as this would be antithetical to our intentions.
HOW DOES THE COSTING BREAK DOWN?
We are committed to making the invisible visible in many ways, and that includes being open and accountable with the money we’re receiving!
We are charging £70 per 90 minute workshop. We arrived at this (highly competitive) figure through market research and business-number-crunching. It breaks down as follows:
|Donation to Mental Health Foundation||£ 7|
*Invisible Cabaret is currently a self-funded organisation. We are very fortunate to have a few monthly supporters on Patreon, who contribute to the cost of putting on shows. Your £45 will go towards expenses involved with running the cabaret, such as buying costume, paying venues, etc. Creatives supporting creatives!
We ask that £25 is paid upfront as a deposit, upon receiving confirmation of your slot. This is so that we can cover the venue hire in all eventualities – thank you for your understanding in this.
As such, if we agree to put the number you are developing with us on stage, we will reimburse you £63 (the cost of the workshop minus the charity donation). So if you really want to bring a particular number to workshop with us with a view to being incorporated in a future show, then please consider the fee a deposit rather than an audition charge – though we reiterate, we cannot guarantee to feature your work until we have a better idea of what your idea is and whether it fits our repertoire.