They’re a staple of every theatre programme you’ll ever come across – the cast and creatives’ biographies.
I’m one of those people who like to know a bit about the people I’m being entertained by… ok, ok, I’m just nosey. But still, it’s nice to be able to read about the people who’ve given up weeks of their time purely for your evening out!
What you don’t realise, until you have to gather all the information from said cast and crew, is that getting people to write about themselves is incredibly difficult. If someone sat you down and said “Right, I need 80 to 100 words covering all the acting you’ve ever done, why this show is awesome, and maybe you could make it funny? And I need it NOW” you’d probably gawp at them and make a slightly strangled noise.
Half of the cast will nod, and do it in a timely manner. Sorted. A handful of the cast will not read the brief and either send one line or an essay, meaning more chasing or some heavy-handed editing. With others, you will have to reach the point of threatening emails before you get anything back. Oh, and you can guarantee one person will send something rude (Team Blackadder – I bet you can guess who that person was…)
It’s wonderful that our cast is made up of so many different types of people, it’s what makes producing a show like this rewarding and interesting. While my control freakery seems to be applauded by some, for others it’s ruddy annoying and I apologise!
I’ve had the pleasure of photographing our cast for their headshots too – what a bunch of horribly attractive people! Seriously, no one needed more than a few shots to get “the one”, and they all look marvellous. Although there is one definite downside to me being a cast member and the photographer… I had to either relinquish control and let someone else take my photo, or set up a tripod at home and hope for the best. I chose the latter – I’m not happy with having my photo taken at the best of times, so it’s not a comment on the photography skills of the other Duston Players members, but more to do with my own hang-ups. It only took me an hour and a half and a series of self-loathing WhatsApp messages, but I’ve got one I don’t hate, so that’s something…
As I type, we have a full cast of headshots and just two outstanding bios. Which could be worse. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve a harrassed email to send to chase those up…
Blackadder’s Christmas Carol runs from 29th November to 2nd December 2017 at Duston Community Centre, NN5 6DT. Tickets are available here (booking fees apply)
Becki is a Mum of 1 and theatre lover originally from Birmingham. She’s a photographer and Mum Blogger and you can find her rambling on Twitter here: @beckicockcroft. As well as being the Founder and Managing Editor for On Stage Northants, she is also the Marketing Manager for Duston Players