SSWA Coaching Process

Jessica Ruane

At SSWA we believe in putting on the best show possible. We’re also dedicated to the growth of our performers as learners and teachers.

We have a two fold coaching process that all VAMP performers are required to adhere by.

Please be respectful of the time and contributions of our coaches. They’re all volunteers and have their own writing, editing, jobs, kids, careers, and vices to deal with, just like you.

1) Writing Coaches

Each accepted performer will be assigned an individual writing coach. The writing coach will be the first step in feedback a performer will get in the revision process.

Shortly after a piece is accepted a Google doc will be created and shared with the performer and the writing coach. We love Google docs because it allows us to make edits and leave notes right in the piece.

The writing coach will read the peice shortly after it’s accepted to provide some initial feedback. The feedback will be line by line but also cover the broad arch of the story.

This feedback is important and we expect that performers will take it into consideration and use it to make edits to their piece before coming to rehearsal. The further along the peice is in the revision process the better feedback you;re gonna get at every turn.

After the rehearsal / critique session it’s expect that the performer make edits as necessary and repost the updated peice on the google doc for the writing coach to read and comment on again towards helping with the final draft. It’s expected that the performer will take the initiative to communicate with the writing coach as to when the piece will be posted and ready for feedback. Do this the week before the show to make sure there is plenty of time.

Writing coaches are only expected to offer those two rounds of feedback, all via google docs and email. If you have questions, want to meet in person or are interested in another round of feedback contact your writing coach directly to work it out. It’s between you and them.

2) Performance Coaching

A one-on-one performance coaching session is mandatory for all VAMP performers. This is a crucial part of every VAMP performance and it ends up being a lot of help for everybody that goes up on stage with us. They go through your story with you line by line so you can sell it the best when you go up on stage.

We typically have multiple performance coaches available on every given month. Performers should have no problem finding at least one coach that could meet with them at just about any time of day in any part of town.

It’s the performers responsibility to schedule their one on one appointment far enough in advance to avoid schedule conflicts and time crunches. We’re all busy and have crazy schedules but with multiple coaches available there’s no reason why you can’t find the time to meet with one of them.

All our coaches are human and it is possible that sometime they’ll be wrong, not ‘get’ what you’re trying to say or just plain ol’ disagree with you. This is fine. You’re an adult and should be able to parse the feedback you receive accordingly. Just remember two things. One, we’re all trying to help you do your best. The last thing we want is for one of our performers to go on stage and suck. This isn’t fun for anybody. And two, if two people are telling you the same thing, they’re probably right.

If there are any problems or personal disagreements, please don’t hesitate to contact the show director. Dealing with the interpersonal problems is part of his/her job. We want this to be a fun rewarding experience for everybody so all reasonable accommodations will be made.