If you'd like to join TOPS as a performing or non-performing member please contact our Secretary. If you'd just like to check us out before committing, ask about coming to one of our many social events.
Although we obviously are always on the lookout for talented actors, singers and dancers, your enthusiasm and commitment is just as important. If you're worried that you aren't the best singer in the world, or that your dancing isn't up to scratch, don't let that put you off. Many of our members had never set foot on a stage before joining TOPS - but with a bit of effort and a lot of support from more experienced members and the production team, they quickly picked it up and are now real assets to the group.
We're also always looking for backstage and front of house help. If you are interested in any of the following areas we'd would be keen to hear from you:
Front of house management and stewarding
Scenery design and construction
Props design and construction
Costume design and making
Make-up, hair, prosthetics
Marketing and PR
Directing and producing
Rehearsal accompanist or band member
If you’re interested in joining TOPS there are a few things you’ll need to know. The following information should be enough to get you started but if you have any specific questions or would like a chat before you leap in, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
We don't currently hold formal auditions for new members (although that might change if we continue to grow, so if you want to avoid a membership audition get in quick!). Instead, we encourage people to come along to a rehearsal, see if they like it/us and then decide if TOPS is right for them. We'll only ask you to become a member when you have decided you really do want to join (and you'll probably know that after the first visit!). We audition for principal roles in our main productions and concerts and audition dates are announced at the beginning of each production schedule. See also the note below about fees.
We rehearse on Tuesdays and some Sundays in the Whitton/Twickenham area – at the moment this is at Whitton Community Centre, Percy Road, Whitton, close to buses and rail. Principal rehearsals vary depending on availability of people and venues (usually they are on a Wednesday and the venue is either someone’s home or a pub function room). A full rehearsal schedule is published and updated in our Members Facebook Group, TOPS Current Production (which you can join as a member of TOPS). If you are unable to attend a rehearsal for which you’re called you are expected to let us know with as much notice as possible in case we need to reschedule other people. If you regularly miss rehearsals, with or without notifying us, you might be asked to step down from the production.
Membership is currently £20 per year for everyone, regardless of status. We also charge a production fee which varies from show to show. The fee for our last production was £80 (£40 for students and pensioners etc) but this is expected to rise slightly for our forthcoming production of Barnum as the show is much more expensive to produce. For concerts it's usually a modest amount in the region of £20. If you are not appearing on stage you are not expected to pay the production fee. If you only want to audition to see if you get a principal role then you will be asked to pay a £10 audition fee. If you decide to join then this fee will be deducted from your membership. Only paid members or people who have paid the audition fee are allowed to audition.
WHAT WE ASK OF YOU
We don’t demand that you have any pre-existing special skills on stage, but we do expect you to be enthusiastic about TOPS both on and off stage. Of course if you are already a great singer, dancer or actor then that’s an added bonus. Our productions are to a high standard (we won Best Musical Production for Fiddler on the Roof in the 2015 Swan Awards, along with Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress - and those are just three of many, many awards we’ve won over the years) but we are still an amateur society and we recognise that one of our responsibilities is to help develop stage skills at all levels. We are also interested in you if you prefer to be behind the scenes, whether that’s making tea at rehearsals, helping with our marketing activity or building props and scenery. We’re not naïve, and we realise that people have other commitments at home and at work, but we encourage as much participation in activities beyond just turning up for rehearsals and performances. That includes social and fundraising events.
So, those are the basic facts. If you’re a Facebook user search for ‘TOPS Ad Libs’ which is our closed group for members and friends of TOPS. As soon as we see your name we will add you as a member of the group. That’s the best way to get to know what we’re up to week by week. We also have Facebook groups for our current production(s) which are only for members who are actively involved in the current production.
We hope that’s given you enough information to make a decision about whether TOPS is right for you. If you haven’t already, let us know a little bit about yourself – any stage experience you have, your strengths, what singing voice type you are (if you know), as well as contact details (phone, email etc). You can send this in a private message via Facebook or to email@example.com.
Hope to see you at a rehearsal soon.
© TOPS Musical Theatre Company 2016