The Velvet Rating System

I should’ve written this post before reviewing the first show because I’ve had some feedback of people confused by why one performer got one rating and another got another, but better late than never. This is how I rank each show and performer within it.

⭐ – This was a terrible idea, there is no potential here, forget the whole thing ever happened and think about what you’re doing next year.

⭐⭐ – There is potential for something great. It was bad this time, but workshop some more – a lot more – and you might have something. But it’s probably easier to just come up with something new next year.

⭐⭐⭐ – You’re on to something! It requires workshopping and a bit of polish, but maybe at next week’s performance with a few tweaks you could go up to the next star. Ask your friends for feedback, watch recordings of yourself and think about what you’d do differently, and if you want to ask me for advice it’s what I’m here for! I try to be honest and clear about what needs work in reviews but if you need clarification, go for it. I want you to reach your full potential.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – This is great! I would watch it again. A fantastic performance in every way. 4 stars to me is an equivalent to an A or A+. You could push it even further though. I try to mention where the fifth star could be earned in most reviews but occasionally it boils down to just something missing, or an extra element just felt off.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – You went above and beyond! You took your great performance and pushed it noticeably further. This is perfect, a special performance, and I can’t think of any ways where it could be any better. S rank. When people ask what the best Fringe Show I saw this year was, this will come to mind.

I often want to give people an extra half star if they almost got there, but I round down both to make it easier if they use a quote from me in a description (half stars often look clunky) and also to keep people striving for that higher star. I’m also a strong believer that if a reviewer really wanted to give that extra halfway point, they should rate out of 10 rather than 5.

Let me know if any further clarification is needed, and thank you for reading.


The Velvet Card Critic

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