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Performing with Highwire Improv – Teams!

Well hello there! Are you interested in having your team perform with Highwire Improv, or at least interested in learning more about how it all works? You’re in the right place! Read on about the how and why of our unique season-based booking process and other key logistics!

Our Philosophy – Building a Community of Happy Ensembles!

Highwire Improv views our role as steward for a community of great improv ensembles and shows – we don’t want teams to feel lucky that they got ‘picked’ to perform us, we want to feel gratitude that teams pick Highwire for their shows! As such, everything is structured around creating a great show experience for audience members, performers, and for staff. While we still have submission processes, they are in place to help gather key logistic information and put together multiple teams into amazing combinations. We’ll do our best to work out schedules so that every team who wants to perform has a place to do so successfully.

Seasons and the Submission Process

Highwire Improv operates on a schedule of 3-month long seasons. This has a few benefits:

  1. There’s no pressure to hold a monthly or weekly show… forever – people need breaks to recharge or retool, and there’s no expectation that teams perform every season!
  2. We’re able to coordinate with venues and marketing channels well in advance of shows, which helps with building audiences.
  3. We can support short-run or seasonal shows more easily.

We take submissions for each season about 6 weeks before it starts; the full schedule is here: Highwire Season Dates. The submission process is fairly straightforward; we’ll ask for information about your team, show concept, and some key pieces of logistic info – what dates you’re available, any social media handles, any tech needs, and contact and payment information. Please do your best to provide accurate availability information – by far the most common reason that a team doesn’t end up getting a performance slot is because of late-developing schedule conflicts.

Fill out as much information as you’re able to – it helps us match up complementary shows with one another to create the best overall experience for everyone. We’ll contact teams with your selected performance date(s) a few weeks before the start of the season.

Expectations for Performers

We want you, and everyone else performing and watching to have the best possible experience, and so we have a few key expectations for all teams, shows, and ensembles:

  • Understand and follow the Highwire Improv Code of Conduct. This document lays out clear expectations for the stage and how to let us know about any issues, including our anonymous reporting system through SuggestionOx.
  • Communicate information via your liaison. We work with a lot of teams, so it’s important that the team liaison you name during the submission process communicates information to and from the team. In particular, the team liaison will be expected to:
    • Confirm and communicate schedules.
    • Receive and distribute payment to the rest of the team.
    • Inform Highwire of any schedule or tech changes.
  • Help us spread the word! Building great improv audiences is a true team effort – tell your friends and fans about your show!
  • Lock in with us on show day! The support of our teams makes great shows; do you best to have the whole team present at call time, where we’ll check in with each other, and throughout the duration of each event – cheer each other on!
  • Celebrate and Connect! Our motto at Highwire Improv is Community First and so we invite you to chat with your fellow improvisers, share show pictures, bring forth ideas, and yes even do bits with us!  Join our Slack community to hang out with us, and attend our community meetings (roughly once every six weeks online, and once a season in-person (also online).

A tip: if you are an established team or show who wants to share the liaison responsibilities, consider creating a shared email account that multiple members of your team can access!

What You Can Expect from Highwire

Our job is to help you put on the best possible show possible. To that end, you can expect us to provide:

  • Show Operations: Highwire Improv will provide the venues, ticketing, tech support, and hosting for each show. If you’d like to volunteer to help with any of these roles, we encourage you to reach out via email!
  • Marketing Support: we’ll create graphics for each show, post the show to Facebook, Eventbrite, Meetup, and various Baltimore event sites. We’ll often do paid social media ads, and we’ll regularly share show information on our accounts leading up to the show.
  • Payment: we currently pay all in-person shows – improvisers deserve $$$! Our current rate is $30 per half-hour set. This allows us to make sure teams get paid whether or not their particular show has a large audience or not. As noted above – Highwire Improv will pay one team liaison directly – it’s their responsibility to distribute that payment among the rest of the team as the team sees fit.
  • Support, if you want it: Your show is your show. We can offer feedback if you want it, but we are here to support you and provide you with an opportunity to perform! If you’re following the Code of Conduct, we’re happy.

Questions? Things we should add to this FAQ? Email us at [email protected]

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