Welcome to Top 5# Tips.
- write, write, write, write everyday, every idea is a good one
- Gather your favourite pieces you’ve compiled from writing
- Create an order from those favourite pieces of writing that takes the audience on a journey full of peaks and troughs, a story that answers questions, fulfils desires and overcomes obstacles
- Get a director that you think would complement your work
- Hire a space and rehearse, rehearse, re-write, rehearse, rest, rehearse
Miss Behave – MC, Speciality Act, Producer
- Who is it for, you or the audience? If it’s for you, why are you making it and who wants to see it.
- What do you want to do with this show/piece?
- Is there an audience for this? If so, who. If not, why are you making it?
- Be a constructive critic for yourself. Not the voice in your head that smacks you down, the one who asks if a massive set is absolutely necessary because it’ll make touring a bitch…and more expensive.
- Would you want to see this?
Tom Greder (Oskar) – performing artist & teacher (Oskar & Strudel)
- Avoid including things you can do just because you can do them. Do they contribute something important ?
- What you do on stage is only an excuse to deliver something more important. What is it you are delivering…and how ? Write it as if its the only show you will ever write.
- Put yourself in the position of the audience. How would you feel watching every moment ? What needs to be done next, what needs to be cut, what needs to be dived into ?
- Don’t leave writing the end until the end.
- The comedy comes later. Start with the truth…your truth. Tell your story
Emma Sergeant – ESP – EmmaSerjeantPerformance
- pick your creative team thoughtfully
- have someone direct you
- Vulnerability is vital
- think and dream big
- what are you waiting for?
Captain Ruin –Professional unusualist and physical theatre performer (The Syndicate, Circus Oz, Glitch Productions)
- Give up hope. Everything you create will eventually be forgotten.
- Make it for yourself. What is the show that you want to see?
- Don’t forget the audience. Why are you interesting to them?
- Nail your tricks. Don’t ride on your reputation, your gender, your social standing or your opinions – show them something amazing and previously unseen or shut the f*#k up.
- Be gracious. You’re not a rockstar. Go talk to people afterwards.
Skye Gellman – is an Australian artist known for his investigation of circus arts.
- Because you are the only person on stage for an entire show, solo shows inherently communicate themes of isolation, loneliness, disconnect, reflection etc. Think about if this relates to the work you would like to make and either be conscious of it, or find ways to subvert it.
- Solo shows come from you, so question how the material relates to you.
- Start working from your comfort zones and work out. Comfort zones may be areas of knowledge, skills, or interests – things you know a lot about or do really well. It’s important to take care of your comfort zones so that the audience will come with you when you go into uncharted territory.
- Find a regular time and space in your schedule to commit to the project. Having dedicated space will really make things more focused.
- Identify what resources you have and what resources you need. This will help you build a picture of what you can do on a shoestring and what you need to problem solve.
Hannah Cryle – (Pants Down Circus)
- Set a deadline. Otherwise, if you’re anything like me, you spend months upon months upon months playing hypotheticals and never actually do anything.
- Show the work to some trusted colleagues in it’s early stages. Make sure you’ve got enough time to actually put people’s notes into action.
- Make yourself accountable to someone. A good way to do this is to commit to posting on social media regularly about your progress, or start a blog.
- Trust your first idea. It’s really easy to waste enormous amounts of time telling yourself that your idea is actually no good. You wanted to do it for a reason and you liked it enough to make a show out of it, so just tell the voice in your head to shut up and trust that you are a creative person with good ideas.
- Don’t read any of your reviews until your first season is over. Good or bad, it’s much much easier to take things to heart when it’s just you and your work that the reviewer is talking about. Remember the reviewer is probably not one of your trusted colleagues who you asked for notes so their thoughts and opinions are not going to change the show anyway. Just hold off and read them when you’re not in the middle of it.
Trent Baumann – The Birdmann
1. Make it. Then make sure you are the only one in it. If you are not you may have to let some of the cast go.
2. Get someone else to sell it. You want to put all your energy into making other things.
3. Find more people who might like it and form them into an audience and love them back.
4. Don’t expect to make a lot though, if you didn’t like shows you’d probably waste the money on a jet ski.
5. Make another show and repeat the process and it will likely to be better.
Thanks so much to all the contributors for sharing their tips! I hope you readers out there have found something useful to take away.
To find out more about each of these excellent creators, click on their name.
If you have created a solo show I highly encourage all of you to share your Top 5# tips in the comments below.
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