What kind of shows does Alpha Shows produce?
Alpha’s shows are essentially musical rock-concerts for children wrapped up in a classic story. They have a unique ability to be fun for all ages (no, seriously, they really are… even though it seems every children’s theatre company claims this!). They are famous for creating excitement, screams and a love for theatre (and for the performers!). We cycle the shows and frequently tour all 8 of them – THE ALPHA SHOWS OF: ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘King Arthur’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘Hercules’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’. The shows are modern (except the sets and costumes fit in with the period of each show), with references to pop culture that children (and adults) relate to and modern pop songs tailored to fit into various points in the story line. However – they are NOT Disney shows or related in any way to Disney! Whilst some similarities exist by the virtue of needing to appeal to people’s expectations and the similarities that would exist by taking inspiration from the same fairytale, all of Alpha’s shows have been created uniquely, with unique characters based on our own interpretation of the fairytale or book or myth, skewed to our own ideas about what children and humanity needs to experience in the 21st century. They are full of beautiful princesses and princes, zany characters, evil villains, clever FX and a rock-concert atmosphere our shows are very funny with jokes for kids and also one-liners for the adults. They also always have a ‘heart’. They are essentially a fun, hilarious ‘diversion’ whilst we subconsciously create learning through ‘values’, life / character lessons and role models. Our product is very unique and you’ll get a real sense of contribution doing this job.
How long are rehearsals?
Generally, rehearsals will, depending on the show, be 4-11 days (depends on how many new cast members or how much the show has changed from previous years), from 8am til 5pm. They will take place at Alpha’s base, Westernport Highway, Langwarrin. All cast are required for all rehearsals and must be available full time during the day. You therefore must not be at school/uni or in amateur shows as this is full time work. We usually rehearse every day for the period including weekends, but every so often take days off. Actors generally stay on site for rehearsals as we have full accommodation for all actors on site.
Where does Alpha Tour?
Alpha Shows tour throughout Melbourne, regional Victoria and other areas of Australia. We will normally spend a few weeks in metropolitan Melbourne. Then, we will spend a few weeks touring regionally where the company will arrange & pay for accommodation in hotels/apartments/houses for the cast. When the tour is in Melbourne, Actors generally stay on site in Langwarrin and travel in the Truck each day to venues. This way you can eliminate virtually all living and ‘travelling to venues’ expense. Other than food/toiletries, all your expenses are taken care of. We suggest that no matter what, you should drive your car and stay in Langwarrin. If you’re coming from out of state, we also suggest you drive down so that on days off in Melbourne, you have your freedom. Actors who didn’t bring their cars in the past have felt isolated on weekends with sometimes not much to do. The other alternative is to bring another project or start one – like learning an instrument, writing a script or songs – these are the types of things actors have done in the past to keep growing and learning whilst on tour. Bring your laptop, we have free wi-fi in Langwarrin, but you might want to get your own mobile internet for when you’re on the road.
What kinds of venues?
Most of Alpha’s shows are performed in Primary Schools, ages Kinder – Year 7/8 and variations on that. Most tours cover a season over the holidays, where we perform shows at Melbourne and Regional Theatres that have booked us, or other venues like Federation Square, although this is becoming less likely in the current economic climate. We are also booked by local councils, churches, school holiday programs, various other community groups and even big corporations. We perform shows during the day, during the evening as well as weekend shows (although generally this job is a day job). Be ready for a LOT of performing!
How long will we be away from home?
Although you may be away from home (ie. Melbourne) for 2-3 consecutive weeks, only when we travel interstate would you be away over weekends. Sometimes we have weekend shows as well. Sometimes a week is really easy, lots of shows in Melbourne and home nice & early. Some weeks are harder with travel in the evenings to get to a new town. If you step up to drive the truck you are paid substantially more. But you will definitely have to learn how to become independant as we won’t be able to coddle you on tour. This is a professional, mature acting job and you will be expected to have the ability to care for yourself and understand the need to tour to get live theatre to different areas. This is important – if you are a professional actor you will have come to understand the no matter what job you get in the entertainment industry, you are going to be travelling. A professional actor understands this. A movie role in a major feature film, working at a theme park, performing on a cruise ship, touring in a major musical, going to Hollywood, shooting Lord of the Rings in New Zealand – all of it requires travelling. The Alpha job is NO DIFFERENT. You should be prepared for a reasonable amount of travel and variation in your life – get ready to ‘live the show’! If you hate travel or can’t stand the idea of being away from home, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your mummy and daddy, not only should you not apply for Alpha, you may need to seriously consider another career as jobs in the entertainment industry that just happen to be based in your home town for any length of time are very rare! Even if you get one, your next gig is probably going to involve travelling – so get used to it! Alpha is the same, you gotta love the lifestyle of a performer to really get it and love it.
How much do we get paid?
See the Company Pay Structure. We pay different rates for various types of days. Most days we do 2 shows in 2 different venues, and the rate for a day like this ends up being higher than equity (if you divide the equity weekly rate by 5 to get an approx daily rate). Some days are easier days, with less time needed from you (and less income for the company) so the pay is a bit less on these days. The pay is very fair and reasonable and the structure has been created with consultation and full transparency with our Ensemble Actors (actors that are part of the company long term and have the opportunity for acting work over most of the year). There are also different pay rates for returning cast members, as we very much value actors who desire to stay in the Company long term and challenge themselves by doing the same show again but learning more about their own performing abilities. We find this can be rewarding for an actor and so we reward that as it also helps the company to have experienced people in each show. Please let us know early on whether you are thinking you’d like to do lots of shows with us over a few years (we can’t read minds!). Additionally, there are many other perks both financial and non-financial to the job, some of which are highlighted in the Actor Downloads on the right hand side menu here. Check them out and have a read of what benefits we provide to long term Company Cast Members and Ensemble Members.
How many shows per day?
Alpha tours perform 2 shows for most days of the tours, occasionally we will only perform one & have an afternoon off or travel to a new town. Sometimes (very rarely), a cast might perform three shows in a venue, during school time, or two during school time & one in the early evening. A more detailed itinerary is given to all actors on the last day of rehearsals. We give you access to our calendar once you’ve signed a contract, so you can start to get an idea of the tour.
Do we do our own setting up?
All the actors are trained in various areas of sound and lighting and are required to bump in and out of venues before and after each show. With 6 members in each cast the tasks are divided evenly to ensure that set up takes about 40 minutes or even less, and after about a week of touring the cast usually becomes ultra slick at the set up. It’s no big deal (and quite a lot of fun!). After mastering the job with Alpha, you are experienced enough to take on almost any job in the industry. You must not have any previous serious injuries if you’re going to work in Alpha – no bad backs or injured knees, as you will be doing heavy lifting, that is perfectly reasonable for a healthy active performer – we won’t kill you! It’s just to make the shows as impactful as possible. If you’re like us (and we hope you kinda are in some ways!) you’ll quickly get a passion for the technical aspects of the show. Not only do you learn a lot personally, but you can really feel a great sense of contribution as the hard work you put in before the show to set up really pays off in the reaction and delight of the audience. Therefore, you should not apply for Alpha if you’re the type of actor that is more about themselves and wanting to be adored. Don’t get us wrong, you will get plenty of adoration by our audiences, they’ll ask you for autographs and surround you after the shows asking questions (if you come across as happy and approachable and fun, that is). But adoration and ego boosts definitely should NOT be your focus if you want to thrive in the Alpha environment.
Don’t take our word for it – hear it from current Alpha Actors »