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. We cycle the shows (on a 3 year cycle) and frequently tour all 10 of them –
THE ALPHA SHOWS OF: ‘The Snow Queen’, ‘Scrooge’, ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘King Arthur’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘Hercules’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
The shows are modern, 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 will respond positively to in the 21st century. They are full of extraordinary role models, diverse representations of our multi-cultural society, zany characters, evil villains, clever FX and a rock-concert atmosphere. Our shows are very funny with jokes for kids and also for the adults. They also always have ‘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, near Melbourne CBD (Altona North). All cast are required for all rehearsals and must be available full time during the day. Whilst we’re happy for you to still be at school/uni or in amateur shows, because Alpha is essentially full time work, you would have to ensure none of your other commitments will get in the way, and you’d have to make your rehearsals and show performances a priority – there’s no allowance time-wise for missing rehearsals or shows. We usually rehearse every day for the period including weekends, but every so often we take days off. For rehearsals, you would get yourself to the rehearsal day to begin work at 8am and head home in the evening – just like a normal job.
Where does Alpha Tour?
Alpha Shows perform locally in Melbourne, but then also tour regional Victoria and other areas of Australia. There is usually a combination of local touring and 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 at their own home, and either go to venues at the arrival times themselves, or get themselves to our company HQ in Melbourne CBD (just west, Altona North). We have some facility to host you if you do not have a car and don’t wish to rely on ridesharing, but this is limited and we do expect all cast to be Melbourne based for this job. When we go out on tour, you’ll have your accommodation provided and paid for, so then your only expense will be food and stuff. We have mobile internet and full internet at our HQ.
What kinds of venues?
Most of Alpha’s shows are performed in Primary Schools, ages Kinder – Year 7/8 and variations on that. Some tours cover a season over the holidays, where we perform shows at local and Regional Theatres that have booked us, or other venues like where families can come too. This is becoming more rare however. We are also (very rarely but still a possibility) booked by local councils, churches, school holiday programs, various other community groups and even big corporations. We normally perform shows during the school day, but occasionally during the evening or as weekend shows for public venues. Be ready for a LOT of performing!
Note – Alpha does NOT hire for specific cities only. All hiring is done irrespective of your geographic location or the location of the auditions we hold – you are placed in the roles that best suit you for the maximum benefit of the quality of the show, not for logistical reasons. Because of this, we mainly find Melbourne based actors to want to work with us. We will consider out of state actors but you would need to be Melbourne based, and we do check what your intentions are on our application form. All tours perform in Melbourne/VIC, and then do some of the time in other states depending on the tour. We mainly only host auditions over video/self-tape, but sometimes hold in-person auditions but only at our HQ in Melbourne.
How long will we be away from home?
Being ‘away from home’ is a fairly normal occurrence for performers, as most jobs you get are likely to be somewhere different than your hometown. If you’re Melbourne based (your family or home base is somewhere in Melbourne) you won’t necessarily have to be technically ‘away from home’ the entire tour, you’d definitely head home over the weekends and many nights for local shows. When you’re then required to go travelling to other areas (non-Melbourne shows where you have to stay overnight somewhere else) you may be away from home (ie. away from Melbourne) for 2-3 consecutive weeks. Only when we travel interstate would you be away over weekends, though, as most weekends we would still return home on a Friday, even if you’ve been away in accommodations somewhere outside of Melbourne. Sometimes we have weekend shows as well, but this is rare. 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. You will definitely need to show resilience & develop independence from family and friends. We have had many cast members struggle if being on tour means being away from a partner or a familiar routine that’s important to you. You will want to be adventurous and ready for a new lifestyle if this is your first tour! This is a professional, mature acting job and you will be want to develop the ability to care for yourself and understand the need to tour to get live theatre to different areas around Australia.
Alpha is a great preparation job to help build the resilience and skills needed to take your dream to the next level. Many of our former cast members have built the confidence on Alpha tours and indeed, moved to the US or UK or tour in huge major musicals in Australia, the West End and Broadway. Former cast members have starred in Netflix series’, feature films, major musicals, become social media stars, and recording artists. The skills you learn by being on tour with Alpha are hard to gain anywhere else, especially for young inexperienced performers. It’s difficult to get a huge amount of performing experience in a short time – the condensed and intense nature of an Alpha tour means you get the learning and experience in a couple of months that takes other people years to gain, given the opportunities usually available to fresh or inexperienced talent. So with that said – you can do it! We will care for you and make sure you’re supported on tour, just be up front and let us know how we can help you! Our Managers are very approachable and care a great deal about the welfare of every cast member, even between tours.
How much do we get paid?
See the Company Pay Structure. We pay different rates for various types of days. All pay rates follow the MEAA Live Performance Award (touring at schools) and per diems and travel wages are included in this pay structure. There are two different pay rates depending on how long you have been working professionally in the industry. These details can be discussed with the Company Manager to determine which pay level you should be receiving.
How many shows per day? How often are touring seasons and how long do they run?
2 Shows a day is most common, either at one school or two different schools. Occasionally we will only perform one show & have an afternoon off or travel to a new town. Very rarely, a cast might perform three shows in one venue. A more detailed itinerary is given to all actors on the last day of rehearsals. We give you access to our calendar on your phone, so you can start to get an idea of the tour. Any questions you can direct to your Tour Manager. We generally run 3 tours per year, sometimes more or less. Together, the various tours combined, end up covering the entire year (only 1 show runs at a time). Each ‘tour’ is a specific show, not a combination of shows – you’re generally hired for a specific, single, role in a specific tour, when you begin with the company. If we have a specific need for your style of performance we may place you in 2 or more tours straight up. As we have 10 produced productions, each show will be toured at least once per 3 year cycle. The tour can run anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months – it’s completely dependent on demand from customers. Regardless, we tend to fill up the entire non-vacation weeks with shows for the entire year. For an approximate schedule, go here: https://www.alphashows.com.au/schedule/
Do we do our own setting up?
All the cast members become familiar during rehearsals in various areas of sound and lighting. So yes! Part of this job is working as a team of 6 to create the magic of theatre for our audiences! Building something magical together as a team is a big part of this job. We’ve been doing this a long time and it really is a magical experience to work with your fellow cast mates and set up such an impactful event in such a short time. We schedule 90 minutes for set ups, but eventually they usually only take about 45-60 minutes, with the rest of the time spent doing mic checks and getting into costumes and waiting for the audience to arrive! It’s all very exciting and VERY rewarding because the final result really does look like you’re performing a major musical with all the same top quality mics and sound system and lighting – all very theatrical! So it’s no big deal (and quite a lot of fun!) – you will never be ‘left alone’ to do something difficult, we have a lot of experienced cast members that you’ll be working with. Bonus though – after mastering the job with Alpha, you are experienced enough to take on almost any job in the industry. Important though – 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 moderate lifting. Don’t worry, everything is safe and divided into easy to manage ‘bits’, and it’s all perfectly reasonable for a healthy active performer! If you’re like us, 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.
When are auditions / why can’t I find any upcoming auditions on the calendar?
Our annual auditions are usually held towards the end of each year, generally in Melbourne at our new facility in Altona North. We may only post actual dates on Starnow or elsewhere but they may also get listed on our website. Auditions not appearing on our website don’t mean we’re not looking. We’ll contact you if your application requires an audition. Alternatively, if we are casting for a specific role we may hold additional auditions at various times during the year, as the need arises. If this is the case, those auditions will not be put on the website. You can go ahead and submit your application without worrying about selecting a date – you’ll then be contacted to figure out how we’re going to audition you (it may even be over FaceTime/Zoom if you’re not located in Melbourne).