The Spotlight Podcast: Taking a Solo Show to Edinburgh

The highs and lows of taking a solo show to Edinburgh

In this episode of The Spotlight Podcast, we talk to Sadie Clark of Algorithms, Isabelle Kabban of LOVE (Watching Madness) and Katie Guicciardi of Fox about their respective solo Edinburgh shows.

Going it alone means doing absolutely everything yourself: writing, performing, venue research, getting the right time slot, promotion and money. When also featuring very personal stories focusing on sexuality, relationships and motherhood how do you then deal with feedback and critics? And what’s your self-care plan when the pressure is all on you?

31 minute listen or read the full transcript below.

All episodes of the Spotlight Podcast.

Episode Transcript

Christina Carè: Hello, and welcome to this special episode of The Spotlight Podcast. We're coming to you from the Edinburgh Fringe. I'm Christina Carè. I work at Spotlight and today we're talking all about being a solo performer and putting on your own show.

Joining us, we have Sadie Clark, whose show is Algorithms, Isabel Kabban, whose show is LOVE (Watching Madness), and Katie Guicciardi, whose show is Fox. The ladies talk to us all about how they devised their shows, how they brought them to the Edinburgh Fringe, and their advice if you're thinking of putting on your own show for the Fringe or any other venue in the future. We hope you enjoy the podcast.

Ladies, thank you so much for joining me on the Spotlight podcast.

Isabelle Kabban: Thank you for having us.

Christina Carè: I want to ask you: we're halfway through [Edinburgh Fringe Festival], how are you holding up?

Katie Guicciardi: Deep breath.

Isabelle Kabban: It's funny. I have been doing, I feel like, really well, weirdly. I wasn't expecting to feel this okay. But then today I had a really hard day. So that's just my honest, real talk answer, is today I had a difficult day at the Fringe. So, yeah. But up until that point, I've been doing really well.

Christina Carè: Is there a particular reason, do you think?

Isabelle Kabban: I think it could be it's the halfway point. I think weirdly, we had a low number of pre-sales today and I think that just threw me. Yeah. But it just happens. It's the ups and the downs. But up until that point, I felt really great. So it's just interesting that today is my day of hmm.

Katie Guicciardi: Yeah. Mine started really, really well, and then after about five days started to get reviewers in, and that made me really nervous. I hadn't anticipated that. I thought it would be totally cool, but apparently being judged is very different from being watched and that threw me for a couple of days. But now I feel like I'm back on track. Trying to just zone them out.

Christina Carè: How about you, Sadie?

Sadie Clark: Weirdly, my worst days were very early on before it even opened, because I'm a very anxious person who worries about what's going to happen. So until it had opened, I just couldn't get it out of my head, all of the things that could possibly go wrong. My brain does that a lot. And then, once I had opened, I felt better because I remembered that I really love performing the show.

But I've definitely had ups and downs as well. Yesterday was my day off and that was lovely. I went to the Turkish Baths at Portobello Beach and it was so nice. I felt like I'd gone on holiday. And so today actually I found it a bit tough because I feel as if my body thought, "Oh, we've stopped for a bit," yesterday, and I just feel really tired. Yeah.

Isabelle Kabban: I didn't like having a day off.

Sadie Clark: Didn't you?

Isabelle Kabban: No. I didn't enjoy it at all.

Katie Guicciardi: I haven't had one yet.

Isabelle Kabban: Oh, you haven't?

Katie Guicciardi: No. The 18th. I'm powering on.

Sadie Clark: I sort of wish I'd done that, because now I'm just thinking I've only done half of it and I've now got 12 or 13 shows left, but yeah, my voice feels a bit tired.

Christina Carè: Well, it didn't show. I just saw your show before.

Sadie Clark: That's good.

Christina Carè: I saw both of you, actually, Katie as well, and I saw you yesterday, Izzy. I thought all three shows were brilliant and very different subject matters. You're covering really different topics. But one thing that struck me that was sort of similar is that they're very... Well, men don't really factor in, let's put it that way. It's not really about a male experience. It's about female experience in each case. I just was curious, why did you each want to tell that particular story? Was there an initiating moment where you were like, "I have to tell this story in particular"?

Sadie Clark: Mine was maybe really basic, but I realised I was bisexual when I was 26, and when I realised it, I thought, "God, I probably have known this about myself for a while, but I didn't realise it was a thing." I thought if I fancied men that that meant I'm straight and all of the crushes I had on girls were just crushes. So I just knew I really wanted to write a mainstream story with a bi character, which was nothing to do with her sexuality, that she just happened to be bi.

And then, it was at a period in my life when I was feeling very depressed. I wasn't really working, and I was spending loads of time on social media and on my phone and a relationship had ended. And it felt like it was maybe to do with how inside my own head I was about stuff. So then the story came from all of that but I just knew deep inside that I really wanted to put a bi character centre stage and get them to tell something not about a struggle with sexuality.

Christina Carè: Yeah. How about you, Izzy?

Isabelle Kabban: My show looks at mother-daughter relationships and caring for someone with mental illness, and it's based on the fact that my mum has bipolar and it looks at our relationship and how it's formed our relationship. And I think I knew I wanted to make a show about it because for years when I was younger, I didn't tell anyone my mum was unwell. So when I had friends around and stuff and my mum would be in her room, I used to be like, "Oh, my mum has the flu." Or I used to say like, "Oh, she just-" It's weird. I'd make up all these stories. I'd be like, "Oh, she's got a migraine." And actually, she just didn't want to see people because she was feeling really rubbish. And so, I knew I always wanted to make a show about that.

And then I graduated uni a couple of years ago and I think almost as like a post-uni panic of like, "OMG, I need to get in to do something." I can't deal with not being creative. I was just like, "Yeah. I'm going to do this." And a few weeks before I started making the show, I'd gone back on my Facebook account, and I'd found some old Facebook messages that my mum had sent me from a time when she lived abroad for a couple of years. Just the messages themselves told such a story, that inspired me to go into the room. I just went into the room with those messages and I was like, "Ah, I'm in a uni panic, let's do something." And that's how it happened, really. That's how it was born. So, yeah.

Christina Carè: And Katie?

Katie Guicciardi: So mine was inspired by real events, and that was that a man came and sat on the wall outside my flat when I lived in East London and I just had my first baby, and I became really obsessed with watching him because I was at home all the time feeding said baby. And in the experience of trying to process what he was doing there, I wrote about it and then at the same time, a lot of my closest friends were going through postnatal depression because they'd also had children recently. And then, other friends who'd had children previously came out and told me that they had but hadn't told me at the time, and it was something that just wasn't on my radar. I was lucky enough not to have it, but so many people I knew did, and I thought, "Why didn't anyone warn me that this was a potential thing that happens to clearly so many people?"

And I really wanted to raise awareness of it. And it worked perfectly in parallel with the story of the man. So the mum in the play, she's suffering from postnatal mental health issues, and it's her journey towards realising she needs help as much as this man on the wall.

And funny enough, you say it doesn't involve men and stuff, but we had a guy waiting for us after the show yesterday to say that he really identified with the feelings that the mother was having and that he had a two-month-old, and so what should he look out for in his partner? He's not the only man that had a response to it, which I'm really pleased about because a lot of men suffer as well with new parenthood and the stuff that comes along with it.

Christina Carè: Absolutely. I guess I should have worded that better, that it's more just challenging what is... I felt like all three of you are exploring what it is that's expected of women and what women are doing because both you look at motherhood what that actual experience is like. And actually when I came out of your show today, Katie, I did ring my mum, because my mother's in Australia. So I had to think about the time difference. And I was like, "Mom, did you ever have this issue?" And she was like, "Yeah, a little bit," but I honestly had never thought to ask. I think that's really powerful in terms of what theatre can do.

And I just wondered, for each of you, was there a reason why you thought theatre is the way to tell this story or the Fringe is a good place for this story? Did that ever enter your head, or was it more about, "I just really have to tell this story, it doesn't matter where it goes?"

Isabelle Kabban: I feel like this might be a bit of a boring answer, but I think I chose theatre just because I'm an actor and I love theatre and I love telling stories. So for me, that's just my that's my go-to. But I think, I'm sure you guys will agree, there's something so special about sitting in a room with other people for an hour and sharing that experience. It's different to reading about it or watching a YouTube video about it.

You actually get to know a person for an hour, and you get to share their lived experience. It's so special. And I think theatre is so amazing because afterwards you come out and you have conversations about it and I don't know any other art form that's that live and that exciting, and that's why I think theatre is the best place to tell these sorts of stories.

Katie Guicciardi: Yeah, I totally agree. Theatre is about human connection and that's what you're going to get in a really wholesome form when people are in a room, like you said, experiencing it together.

Christina Carè: Sure. I wonder then can you give me a bit more insight in terms of how you actually turned the idea into something that we're now able to watch? What's that process like? Because I feel like there are so many things to think about with a Fringe show, choosing a venue, getting a time, sorting it out and actually making it something slick and performable. Did you set yourself deadlines? How did it actually work in terms of breaking that process down?

Katie Guicciardi: Well, I came to the Fringe in 2017 to see stuff in the knowledge of I wanted to do a one-woman show at the Fringe in 2019. I'm a big planner.

Isabelle Kabban: I love it.

Katie Guicciardi: Funnily enough, I was in The Guardian recommendations yesterday, and it said like, "If anything, this show's too meticulous. It could do with being a bit messy." And I was like, "If there's one piece of criticism that's okay, it's that." I am very meticulous and I am a planner, so I started planning to come in 2017 And then I wrote the show on the Soho Theatre Writers' Lab in 2017 to '18. And loads of people were like, "Oh, you should just take it to the Fringe in 2018." And I was like, "No. I need to be absolutely prepared. I need to go back and research." And I researched all the venues in 2018 and did a lot of very specific planning.

Christina Carè: That's always a good idea, though.

Katie Guicciardi: Which I think for me in the way I work, it was absolutely what I needed because I'm a perfectionist and worry about getting everything right. And that was just the way I needed to do it. I also know people have done it in very different ways and it's worked, but for me it was like a military operation.

Isabelle Kabban: I feel like I almost made the whole piece by accident, which doesn't sound that good. But the Actor Centre in Covent Garden, they had this call-out for ... They were having a mental health initiative. It's called the John Thaw initiative. And that particular season was about mental health. And so, I submitted to that and then that was like a 15-20 minute scratch where you ran a workshop and Q&A alongside it. So I made the first bit of the show there, which I think was good, because I think when you talk about deadlines, it's nice to be like, "Oh my God, I need something to show by that point."

Christina Carè: Yeah.

Isabelle Kabban: And I wasn't expecting it to get that good reaction just at the scratch, but it did, and that's when I was like, "Okay, I really want to push this forward and I'd want to make it into a full-length thing." And then, it almost feels a bit accidental. I just put post-it notes on the floor of potential things and the order they could go in. My director, Ruth, she's so amazing. We have a really great collaborative way of making theatre. We just sat together in a room full of post-its and shuffled things around.

It's changed a little bit as the process has gone on. But once we had the full thing, we were sort of like, "Oh." And it's interesting because for ages, I couldn't find the ending of the show and I just have no idea what it was going to be. I'd written one, but I thought it was really crap. So I didn't tell anyone, and I was like, "Oh no, it's just not good." And then one day we were like, "What is the ending going to be?" And then I read out the ending and it was just such a special moment. There was just this atmosphere in the room of like, "Yes. That's it." And then Ruth was like, "Why didn't you show me this earlier?" And I was like, "I was too embarrassed." So I think that has taught me a lesson of I just need to show everyone my work. Even if I think it's a bit crap, it's not.

Christina Carè: Yeah. Well, I think that's an interesting point that you've just picked up on there, which is, you are all doing solo shows, but no piece of theatre is a completely solo effort. What's that process been like for you? Have you had to incorporate collaborators somehow? Do you think it's harder maybe to workshop when it's just you? What's that been like for you?

Sadie Clark: I think it is really hard when it's just you, because you don't know. You can't watch yourself and you don't know if it's good or if it's coming across the way you want it to. I wrote mine about five years ago and then did a lot of piecing together, cutting out paragraphs, and changing the order and sticking them back together. And then I submitted mine to Reading Week at the Pleasance and it got selected for that, which is how I got my producer, and then also got the director on board from that.

And luckily, like you said, we worked really well together and it became very collaborative. She was a really good guidance in how to put it together and what the structure should be, and things that I hadn't really thought about, like the shape of it and things like that. It was really nice to actually bounce the ideas off someone and to take those ideas that you've had and thought, "This is really rubbish," and you say that to someone, and having someone and someone goes, "Actually, yeah, that bit's good. Let's take that and do this with it." So I really enjoyed that.

Christina Carè: Yeah. I'm interested in, you've mentioned the Pleasance there, what's that relationship been like for you? Sadie, you mentioned researching venues. Was there a particular reason you picked the Pleasance? What's that process been like working with them as a venue?

Sadie Clark: It's been great. I think I had a lot of different people say to me that the Pleasance were a really supportive company and in particular, the people I was working with at Soho said they're an NPO. I can't remember that stands for, but it means that they get funding from the Arts Council and they're a charity, so I think that they have a little bit more time perhaps to be a bit less commercial about it and support the artists. Like they had Pleasance producer workshops, and I'd just seen loads at Pleasance that I really liked and I thought it was probably a good fit for the sort of audience I wanted.

Isabelle Kabban: There's something about the atmosphere at Pleasance that's so special. I had the lamest moment where the day before I went to Edinburgh, I was saying bye to my mum and stuff, and I was like, "Oh God, I've got to show it at the Pleasance Courtyard." And I know that's lame because it's just like a little show or whatever, but I was like, "Oh my God. I am so proud that I have a show on at the Pleasance Courtyard." Because other Fringes that I've been to and stuff, I've always been like, "Oh, that is the venue. That is the venue." That's just so amazing.

And I completely echo what Sadie said. They're so supportive. All the staff are so lovely. They're always up for a chat and they're just really, really lovely. And it's so nice because doing a solo show is knackering and so when the people around you are lovely, you're like, "Oh, yes."

Christina Carè: Yeah. That must help a lot.

Are there any other things that you think people should be aware of if they want to take a show to the Fringe? Obviously, it's very important that you choose a venue that's right for you, and if you can get a time slot that works for you, that's good. Are there other things to do with maybe promotion? Or what would you say to people in terms of the other challenges of the Fringe?

Isabelle Kabban: Money.

Christina Carè: Money? Yeah. Well, that's a big one too, obviously. It's not that cheap.

Isabelle Kabban: Yeah. It's very expensive.

Katie Guicciardi: I think a good image and a really clear idea of what your copy is, is really helpful. That's one thing I've definitely found with my show. So many people have come up and said to me, "Your image is amazing. I've been seeing it everywhere." Allie Wright was my photographer. She's amazing. I chatted to her about the show and what it was about and she came up with this whole concept of let's try and emulate Instagram and social media and that vibe of pastel colours as if your life is filtered and glossed. I do just massively think it makes a difference if you've got a really strong image. And I have my tagline, which just makes it a bit easier to sum up in one line.

Sadie Clark: Yeah. You do need that. You do need something fast to give to people.

Katie Guicciardi: Yeah.

Sadie Clark: Which is hard when your show is made up of different elements. You have to find a way to put it succinctly.

Christina Carè: Yeah. So it's worth coming up with that and just figuring out what that line can be.

I want to ask you, then, have you been paying much attention to things like reviews? How are you dealing with that process in terms of getting a lot of feedback, I guess you would say? Because there's so many reviewers, and they're not always kind. But you've all gotten great reviews so far, as far as I can tell. But I just wondered, how you processing that, or how you are dealing with being reviewed?

Katie Guicciardi: By focusing on the audience responses.

Isabelle Kabban: Yeah. Absolutely.

Katie Guicciardi: Because it's worth so much more and it's why you do the show. When you have even one person in an audience who connects with the material or it does something to them or changes them in some way, that means everything.

Isabelle Kabban: Yeah. It's amazing because that's an hour of their life that they'll probably remember for such a long time that you've given them. And that is at the end of the day more special than any review, I think.

Isabelle Kabban: But also, I've found it a little bit hard because I've gotten a couple of three-star reviews, and I've always said that I'd almost rather someone either really loves my work or really hates it, gives it one star and just slates it. So I've actually found the three stars a little bit hard to deal with because I've been like, "Oh, that makes me feel that you're indifferent to the show," and I'm sort of like, "How can you be indifferent to something that's my life, something that's such a big deal in my life?"

But I think, yeah, exactly as Katie says, it's audience reactions. It just comes alive and afterwards chatting to people who the show has resonated with, or sometimes people are like, "Oh my God, that's made me think about my friend's mom who used to hide in her room and that's probably what was going on." It's amazing. So yeah, just focus on the audience, because that's why we tell the stories, I think.

Sadie Clark: Yeah. I really agree with that actually. I'm waiting for my review bingo, because I've had two stars, three stars, four stars and five stars, different numbers of each, and so I'm waiting for my one star. But yeah, I hadn't thought of that, but that's so true because, with the ones that said stuff that wasn't very nice and were two stars, I wrote responses to them in my diary because that's the only way I can process things.

Isabelle Kabban: That is such a strong idea.

Sadie Clark: And I just needed to remind myself why I wrote the show, and I needed to remind myself that the bits that they didn't get were the bits that meant the most to me and meant the most to my audiences who had been saying, "Thank you for putting a bi character on stage who it's not about her sexuality," and loads of things.

But yeah, I've just realised that I was wondering why the three stars are making me feel funny, but that's why. It's because they were all really indifferent. They just were like, "This happened. Three stars." They just described the show's story, which is my job.

Isabelle Kabban: Yeah. But also, they're just one person's opinion.

Katie Guicciardi: Yeah, exactly.

Isabelle Kabban: And if you have 60 people come and watch your show, they're all going to think something different about it, just one of them happens to write it down.

Christina Carè: Exactly. I mean, I think the recent thing that's going around on Twitter was obviously about Fleabag getting one- and two-star reviews when it first came, and the rest is history. So, a review is not necessarily everything, is it, anyway?

Isabelle Kabban: Also, you can always get a good quote. I lift up any good quote. So in the three stars, I've had some cracking quotes, and I'm like, "Well, you don’t need to know what the star rating is, because that quote is going on my flyer."

Katie Guicciardi: Thank you!

Christina Carè: Perfect. I want to know ... You kind of touched on it, Izzy, the fact that it is about real things that have happened to you. Not to throw a cat amongst the pigeons, but there's been a little bit of discussion this year that there's a lot of autobiographical theatre going on and lots of complaints that it's self-indulgent. Lynn Gardner has hit back on that and said, "Actually, no, it's really important that we get people telling their own stories." I wonder what you guys make of that discussion.

Katie Guicciardi: I think it's really important that people make autobiographical work as long as they're in a place where they're prepared to do so. The irony of mine is that it is not autobiographical and every single person who comes to see it thinks it is. And it's brought up some really interesting thoughts and ideas about that in terms of a theatre piece, whether that's right or wrong, but I think it's totally right. I'm taking my own positive experience, and even with a positive experience of pregnancy and having a child, you still feel lonely, and exhausted, and overwhelmed, and I'm enhancing those things in order to tell a story of something I haven't experienced.

But I love watching autobiographical work so long as people are in a place where it's safe to tell that if it is dealing with trauma.

Christina Carè: Yeah. For sure. It can be quite challenging to relive some of that stuff, in particular.

I'm wondering then, in terms of looking at the Fringe again, you mentioned that what the audience takes away is more important than the review itself. Do you think there's something unique about the kinds of audiences that come to the Fringe? Is it something people should be aware of as performers in terms of what audiences are expecting? Do you take that into account? Have you adjusted your work for the Fringe audience, or not really?

Sadie Clark: Someone said to me that every day at the Fringe is just like an opening night, and I think that's a really good way of summing it up. For the first four or five days, I was a bit thrown because I had people with their eyes closed, on their phone, or asleep in the corner, and I was focusing so much on that one person instead of with people who are actually engaged with me and leaning in to listen to my story. And then when that person said that to me, I was like, "It's such a good way of thinking about it and to focus on the people who are giving you something back." That's been my experience.

Katie Guicciardi: Yeah. That's really true. My director actually said, "Think of those people as bad actors who aren't giving you anything back. You still have to keep trying to get from them."

Isabelle Kabban: Yes. You told me about the other day and that was some of the best advice.

Sadie Clark: It's really true because you do end up with people who maybe just walked in there and didn't really know what they were going to…

Katie Guicciardi: I had a man who took a nap in the front row.

Sadie Clark: Oh, yeah.

Katie Guicciardi: And I thought, "If you're going to take a nap, go to the back row. Or stay in bed.

Sadie Clark: Or I've had a lot of ones where it's so clear that two people who've come together, one of them really wanted to be there to see my show, the other's like, "I just came because of this person and I'm asleep." And then it's like, "Yeah, they're just doing their own thing." My director was like, "It's the Fringe. People are going to be doing weird things. You've just got to let them do them." The catchphrase of my show is, "You do you." So she was like, "Just let them do them. You do you on stage."

Christina Carè: Well, that's perfect. Is there anything else? Has anything going wrong or been challenging that you would warn other people about dealing with? A lot of the Fringe venues, for instance, are a bit makeshift, so to speak. Is there anything that you've had to deal with in that sense?

Katie Guicciardi: Very loud rain.

Christina Carè: Yeah?

Katie Guicciardi: Yeah. It rained down at the point where I couldn't hear my own voice. But what can you do?

Sadie Clark: I think there's an office above our venue as well because I often hear people walking around above and things being dropped. Yeah. It's like a shipping container and then there's a shipping container on top of it, that is, apparently, an office.

Katie Guicciardi: Noise can always be tricky. And distracting.

Isabelle Kabban: Yeah. I have the same thing. I feel like people forgive it a bit more at the Fringe, don't they?

Katie Guicciardi: Yeah.

Isabelle Kabban: They're like, "We're all just in the middle of shipping containers, aren't we?"

Sadie Clark: All I can think about is I wore my Pleasance pass for the first 15 minutes of a show the other day. That's obviously not something terrible going on, but I just think it's hilarious.

Christina Carè: Brings you out of it slightly maybe, but it sounded like you dealt with it pretty well.

Sadie Clark: I love it, though. That promo never stops. With my Still Bisexual badge on.

Christina Carè: Perfect.

I wonder then, in terms of you've got half the run left, roughly, what are your thoughts in terms of keeping up momentum? Do you have a little routine? Is there a self-care thing going on? What's going on to keep you going?

Isabelle Kabban: Oh, self-care is absolutely necessary. And I actually think the reason why today I'm having a bit of an off day is because I haven't been looking after myself as well today and yesterday. I think I let myself get a little bit too stressed about the fact that we have low pre-sales and I started going into my more producer-brain, which you just can't when you're performing the show. You have to just focus on the story.

Isabelle Kabban: But everyone's so supportive. My director's amazing, and we had a really open, honest chat about it, and I'm going to go home after this, maybe have a deep-fried Mars bar. I just keep saying treat myself, every day, everything. I'm like, "I'll treat myself. I'll treat myself. I'll treat myself." It's not a treat if you do it every day of your life.

Sadie Clark: Yeah, I think exactly the same. My producer is really supportive, and my director has gone home now, but they both were like, "You just have to focus on doing the show. You're performing." And my sister was joking, "You're a thoroughbred racehorse. You need to go into the stable and we'll flyer for you." So I just make sure before the show, which is why I haven't been to see either of yours yet because I'm doing my self-care.

Isabelle Kabban: No, of course.

Sadie Clark: I'm at home. I do a lot of dancing, and then I do a vocal warmup, and then backstage I ... Well, it's a podcast. They can't see. I sort of do this: I'm wiggling my arms around.

Isabelle Kabban: She's waving her arms.

Sadie Clark: And then hip rolling with my eyes closed. And I say to myself, "They're excited to see this story and you're excited to tell it." And that's what I say to myself.

Isabelle Kabban: Oh, I love that.

Sadie Clark: For like the first five minutes before, because I find if I haven't done that, I feel a bit flat. It's like reminding myself, "They're here. They've paid to see you and you're excited because you want to tell the story."

Katie Guicciardi: Yeah. That's a lovely little ritual to have.

Sadie Clark: You can have it if you want.

Katie Guicciardi: Yeah. I have one. Me and my director always give each other a hug before the show. Because we're best friends as well, so we give each other a really nice hug and take a breath together. And then as audiences are coming in, I just think about- This sounds really cringey, but I have this phrase where I'm like ... Because the show is for my mum, really. So I just think, "I'm going to fill the room with our love." That's what I think.

Isabelle Kabban: Aw. That's lovely.

Katie Guicciardi: Yeah. And that gets me grounded.

Christina Carè: I want to ask then if you had to do this all again next year, would you do anything differently?

Sadie Clark: I'd maybe have a pep talk with myself to be like, "Sadie, it's okay. You don't have to worry as much."

Isabelle Kabban: Try to be less scared. Yeah.

Christina Carè: Well, it is a pretty scary thing to do, and you're taking on a lot by being solo performers doing it. So I think that's probably fair.

But I just wonder as well, you're all performers first, I suppose, in a way, and telling your own story. In terms of looking at the industry, is there something important, do you think, about just making your own work?

Isabelle Kabban: Yes, definitely.

Christina Carè: Would you say anything to other actors in terms of that?

Katie Guicciardi: I would say to do it. Just do it. Don't wait. I wish I'd done it 20 years ago, but I don't think I had as much to say then. But yeah, I think it's really important and it's certainly the best way to showcase yourself.

Sadie Clark: Yeah. I think, really try to overcome that fear as well. I don't know about you guys, but my training was as an actor, and as a creative, because we did a lot of devising. But I never felt like the devising meant I could write and there was this block on putting pen to paper and believing in myself, believing that I could write something that people would want to listen to. And I needed the validation of getting onto the Soho Writers course to feel like I could say I'm a writer. But I actually think just believe in yourself. And I think it's maybe something women do a lot more, that we feel we have to be taught to do something, to do it.

Isabelle Kabban: Absolutely.

Sadie Clark: And have that validation of, "Oh, I've done this course that taught me to write, so now I'm a writer."

Isabelle Kabban: If you write something, you're a writer. That's it.

Sadie Clark: Yeah. So, that'd be my advice. Just write it. And then also overcome the fear, I think one of you said this earlier, about just putting it in front of people, because that's what held me back, as well, worrying about sharing it.

Isabelle Kabban: Yeah. Totally agree. Yeah.

Christina Carè: Any final words of advice, ladies, if someone's thinking now, "I want to do 2020"? Should they start now? What should they do?

Isabelle Kabban: Yeah. Get cracking.

Katie Guicciardi: Waste no time.

Isabelle Kabban: Yeah.

Christina Carè: Perfect. Thank you so much, ladies.

Katie Guicciardi: Thank you.

Isabelle Kabban: Thank you.

Sadie Clark: Thank you.

Christina Carè: Thanks for listening to this episode of The Spotlight Podcast. If you've got any questions about what you heard today or that you'd like us to cover in an upcoming podcast, drop us an email at [email protected], or contact us on Twitter @SpotlightUK. That's all for now from the home of casting.

Image credit: Nicholas Bateman