Preparing for Submissions….
One of the most important and most difficult steps in producing a new musical is preparing the show and the material for submissions. Submissions to festivals, competitions and other producers. Once your show is at the first draft stage – or mostly complete – it is important to get feedback from your peers. That is where we are at with GRACE & THE ISLAND OF MISFITS – our Christmas musical.
After this weekend, we will be close to an official first draft…..then here are things needed for submission:
SCRIPT – the libretto (script) must be in the correct Dramatists Guild format. It is a complex formatting formula. But it’s important to do it correctly, because it represents across-the-industry standards. Character names are in CAPITAL LETTERS and in the center of the page, stage directions are off to the side, spoken lines go across the pages, while lyrics, are all in capital letters, are indented, blah blah blah……not easy. And there can be NO spelling errors or formatting errors.
SCORE – this is the sheet music to the songs. Many times, the sheet music is not required in submissions but sometimes it is, so you must be prepared. Once again, industry standards apply. Composer and lyricists names must be on the first page, standard music terms must be used and of course tempo markings.
DEMOS – this is a “demonstration” audio file of the songs – usually in an MP3 format. As I mentioned in a previous blog, there are different levels of demos, but the demo you send out to festivals and producers is important. It must clearly indicate the style of the music. I tell the actors when we go to record demos that “acting is more important” than singing. Now, you cannot have someone sing off key – be flat or sharp – but you don’t need the “best” singers for this. Save the great singers, or singers with a name known in the industry – for after the show is “frozen”. As producers and festival adjudicators listen to the demos they know that lyrics may change or even parts of the music.
Then, after you have gathered all of these materials, time to work on the ONE sentence description and the three –five sentence pitch. All of these become how you market your new musical. Lots to do….
Wish us luck.