[NoHo Arts District, CA] – This month’s Soaring Solo blog, “How to Enjoy the Process of Creating a Solo Show.”
“You will learn to enjoy the process…and to surrender your need to control the result. You will discover the joy of practicing your creativity. The process, not the product, will become your focus” -Julia Cameron
As solo artists, we often get so wrapped up in the final product of the solo script and the performance of our solo shows, that we tend to treat the creative process like checking off items on an endless to-do list.
We beat ourselves up all along the way deeming the excerpts we write as not quite good enough. We rehearse for hours just burning the candle at both ends. We pour out money, time, talent and other resources trying to make the show as fantastic as it can possibly be and we deplete ourselves in every category.
If you are falling into this trap while working on your solo show, please STOP.
Ask yourself, what is the point of doing all of this work if you are not even going to allow yourself to enjoy the process?
The answer is…there is no point in doing all of this work if you are not going to allow yourself to enjoy the process.
In fact, you are missing the entire point of doing all of this work if you do not allow yourself to enjoy the process. It is within the process of creating the show where the true magic, gems and transformation can be found.
If you allow yourself to surrender to the process and find joy and gratitude throughout, you will be a much better version of yourself when you take your bow on opening night, than you were the moment you decided to embark on this solo adventure and put pen to page.
In today’s blog, I’m offering you five tips to help you stay present in the process and actually enjoy yourself!
- CREATE YOUR SHOW IN A CREATIVE COMMUNITY
We often think that because it is a one-person play, the creation process should be solo too, but that is far from the truth.
The work of a solo artist is incredibly challenging and none of us are meant to walk that path alone. We need one another to make our solo dreams a reality.
Not only is investing in your Creative Community a smart way to get constructive criticism and feedback on your script and performance, it is also an awesome way to actually enjoy yourself while you delve into your solo Art.
As you share your story with your community, you will naturally bond over the commonalities you share with other performers and you will realize that you are not alone in your lived experiences.
You will feel inspired and reinvigorated as your peers share their stories with you and you become aware of how truly magnificent and important each person’s story really is, including your own.
You will likely begin to spend quality time outside of your theatrical endeavors getting to know one another over dinner, hikes, and other necessary breaks from doing the work. Enjoy one another’s company as you decompress and reboot.
- RESEARCH THINGS YOU ARE CURIOUS TO KNOW MORE ABOUT
The odds are good that you chose the particular topic you chose for your solo show because you are curious about this topic, maybe even passionate about it. While you may already know quite a bit about said topic, you can always benefit from learning more.
I remember when I was writing my solo show “ZE” I did many interviews, read many articles and books, listened to podcasts and watched several films on the themes of sexuality and spirituality.
I deeply enjoyed expanding my knowledge, coming up with new content based on the facts I was learning, and transforming as a human being the more I absorbed new information.
- LEARN A NEW SKILL
Challenge yourself to pick a skill that you are currently a novice at and use the process of creating your solo show as a motivation to get better at this craft.
I’ve had clients take up pole dancing, deepen their martial arts training, learn to write the lyrics of a song and sing, practice an instrument they hadn’t picked up in years, and even perfect a new dialect to fully embody one of their characters.
You can join a class, watch training videos or even pair up with someone willing to take you under their wing and be a mentor.
The point is to use this time as an opportunity to sharpen your tools and discover hidden talents.
Don’t be afraid to fall on your face or make a fool of yourself. Sometimes the greatest discoveries come from our perceived failures.
- CELEBRATE OFTEN
Don’t just wait until you are raising a glass at the bar after your solo show premiere to celebrate your success.
Celebrate every step along the way in some form or fashion.
Maybe it is treating yourself to a delicious brownie because you sat down at your computer and wrote for twenty minutes today. Perhaps you take a moment to simply close your eyes and embrace yourself as you acknowledge that you bravely shared your story with a group of other writers. You might even consider taking yourself to get a massage or out on a fun day trip because you completed your first draft.
Whatever the achievement, no matter how big or how small, get in the practice of celebrating your efforts.
This consistent recognition will keep you invested in continuing to do the hard work it will take to cross the finish line, and it will likely help you appreciate yourself in other areas of your life as well.
- HAVE MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS
As you write your solo show script you might be writing a character monologue from the perspective of a family member or a friend. You might even be recreating a scene on stage that you lived in real life with a special person in your world.
Why not use this as an opportunity to call them up, hop on Zoom, or meet up for coffee face-to-face to discuss that shared moment in time.
Maybe they have a different recollection of the event than you do and this is a chance to hear their side of things. Maybe they will enjoy walking down memory lane with you. Maybe you will work through an issue that previously caused pain and tension between you and this other person.
What a great way to get closer to the people you care about, understand them a bit better, and make your script richer at the same time.
I could definitely go on and on about ways to truly enjoy the creative process of writing and performing your one-person play, but I will just leave you with those five tips for now.
Hopefully, today’s blog will help you to remember that being a solo artist may not be easy, but it is so worth it!
Jessica Lynn Johnson
Founder & CEO of Soaring Solo LLC
Enjoy these Solo Theatre Resources to further guide you on your solo journey!
Tune in and Support the Soaring Solo Community as we share our stories from stage in multiple festivals Internationally. We are heading into the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June! You do NOT want to miss these incredible shows.
Award-winning director and developer, Jessica Lynn Johnson, hosts a slew of powerful solo show script readings and full staged productions addressing various impactful and inspiring topics.
This enticing lineup can be found by CLICKING HERE FOR MORE INFO.
Start writing your own solo show one Freewrite at a time with “FREEWrite Friday”!
Join BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST WINNER Jessica Lynn Johnson for FREEWrite Friday!
Utilizing thought-provoking writing prompts, Jessica will lead you in writing exercises that are sure to assist you in the development of your solo show.
A one-person play is not typically written in one fell swoop. Rather, the Soaring solo Methodology teaches that the creation of solo art is much like that of creating a Mosaic…one beautiful piece at a time.
All that is required to attend this inspiring event is a willingness to explore, having a pen, paper, or some other means of capturing your thoughts, the ability to access Zoom, and signing up on this page as your official RSVP.
We look forward to having you join the Soaring Solo Community in this event because your story matters!
CLICK HERE TO RSVP and obtain the Zoom link and password.
Attend the Soaring Solo FREE One-Person Play Development class ONLINE!
No matter where you are in the creation of your solo show, idea phase, curiosity phase, full draft written, touring the festival and college market, BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST & Founder of Soaring Solo, Jessica Lynn Johnson, will meet you where you are at and take you to the next level! All that is required to attend is a willingness to explore, a pen, and some paper. No previous writing or performance experience necessary, and no need to have written anything to bring to class. Each week Jessica will guide you in exercises to help generate and stage NEW material! So come and meet other creatives in a supportive space for expression and exploration! The class is ongoing and so you may pop in and out as you please as long as you RSVP by clicking here for this FREE ONE-PERSON PLAY CLASS.
Schedule an Online Coaching Consultation with Jessica Lynn Johnson to discuss the possibilities for your solo show!
Jessica brings over 20 years of solo theatre expertise to work privately with solo artists from all over the world on an as-needed basis.
A 1 on 1 Consultation is for you if…
-You are curious about creating a solo show, but you need writing prompts to help you generate material.
– You are tossing around ideas for your solo show, but you need some accountability and encouragement to commit those ideas to the page.
-You have already written some material, but you need expert feedback on editing, story structure and play formatting.
-You have a great first draft, but need guidance on how to utilize multimedia and solo theatre technique in order to make your show a dynamic piece of solo theatre.
-You already premiered your solo show and now you want some tips on how to tour colleges and festivals, and garner accolades and great reviews!
-You have heard great things about Jessica’s work and you’re curious about hiring her as a Director & Developer for your solo show, but first you want to feel her out and see if she is the right fit for you and your project.
Wherever you may find yourself on your solo journey, Jessica will help you overcome whatever immediate obstacle stands between you and your solo success.
If you resonate with many of the things on this list, then take the next step by emailing SoaringSoloArtist@gmail.com for more information.