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7 Tips for Submitting Your Group to an Improv Festival

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By Jon Lunger and Dan Maher of ManDudeBro and the SteelStacks Improv Comedy Festival

Originally posted September 18, 2015, last updated September 22, 201

We’re two guys who help run an improv festival. While running through over 100 improv team submissions last year, we took notes for ourselves on what distracted us from a submission and what helped us remember a submission.

Here we go…

  • If you have a solid submission video, great. If you don’t, record a few and choose the best one.  Don’t be too precious about it, we’re basically looking to get a sense of the type of work you’re doing. Also, use a tripod – shaky videos are distracting and it’s hard to focus on what you’re doing on stage.  You don’t want the lasting memory of your submission to be “the one with the shaky, unwatchable video.”
  • Trim the video to just your performance. That 90 seconds of host introduction might not seem like a lot, but compounded over 100+ submissions that’s over 2 hours of time.  If you’re sharing an existing YouTube link and can’t edit, use the feature of sharing a link that starts at a particular time-stamp.
  • The “Show Description (for us)” is inside baseball. You’re an improviser talking to other improvisers about the improv you do. We geek out over this part.
  • The “Show Description (for promotional use)” is for public consumption – where is your group from? What makes you different than other groups.  Every improv group loves to perform together, so avoid that cliche in promotional copy.
  • Be honest and don’t over think either of those descriptions.  Seriously.
  • We ask for a high resolution press photo. If it has your performers faces & the group name on it, then we’re more likely to remember who you are when we’re going through submissions. If it’s a really cool photo of your group, we’re more likely to use it for promoting the festival.
  • Get your submission in as early as possible.

If you’re part of a different festival and have other additions or contrary opinions, we’d love to hear those too. Drop us a line on Facebook.

  • Bonus tip: Our favorite distraction came from a team that had an adorable dog on stage while they performed. It took us a while to realize the dog was not part of the show. Maybe only have a dog in your video if it’s part of the show.

Submissions for the 2018 edition of the SteelStacks Improv Comedy Festival are now open!

Learn more and submit at www.steelstacks.org/improv