“In order to succeed you have to put a stake in the ground.” -Jeff Raikes
There is one word that is more detrimental to the development of your solo show than any other word in the English language, and that word is…someday.
“Someday I am going to have time to finally sit down and write my solo show.”
“Someday my script will be perfect and polished enough to share with an audience.”
“Someday I will have the money to invest in my creative pursuits.”
“Someday I will be a good enough actor to perform a one-person play.”
And on and on and on it goes as your solo show dreams float further and further away into the ambiguous land of someday.
So, what can you do to make sure that your solo show doesn’t fall into the trap of “someday” thinking?
Put a meaningful stake in the ground.
A meaningful stake can be many different things and today’s blog will focus on three powerful stakes that you can put in the ground to get you motivated and moving toward your solo show goals.
Join a Creative Community
While it is a solo show, it is not a solo journey.
To be successful and stay the course, you will need creative companions as you venture down this vulnerable, exhilarating and challenging road of creating a one-person play.
If you are alone on this journey then when negative thoughts and limiting beliefs surface, you will not have any cheerleaders in your corner to encourage you and remind you of your talents and the power of your story.
If you don’t surround yourself with other solo artists you will miss out on the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by what other solo artists are creating.
Being in the presence of others as you write and rehearse your one person play will also slowly get you acclimated to the vulnerable nature of this work and will help to build up your comfort level and confidence.
The act of engaging in community also fosters accountability as you put dates on the calendar to meet up to share wherever you are in your process.
So, as you seek out a creative community to join or build, whether it be a small writers group, an accountability partner, or even hiring a director, be sure that those you surround yourself with are specifically working in the field of solo theatre. This is vital because solo theatre is a very specific genre and only those who are in this world themselves will truly understand its nuance and uniqueness. You will also want to ensure that the members of your creative community support and uplift you, and truly have your best interest in mind.
When others have faith in our ability, it helps us to believe in ourselves as well.
Host a table reading
Staying isolated in your creative cave and never sharing your solo script with anyone other than your cat is never going to get your words off of the page and your performance onto the stage. It will keep you feeling “safe” when the reality is that you are just stuck.
However, if you take my first tip to heart and envelop yourself in a creative community, then the odds are good that you will stay dedicated to writing your solo script and will slowly start sharing it with others page by page, excerpt by excerpt.
As you get closer to having a solid draft of your solo show, scheduling a table reading can serve as an excellent stake in the ground. Whether this is a virtual reading or held in person at a theatre or other creative space, it is another important step in opening you up to sharing your story with the outside world.
Simply knowing that more outside eyes and ears will be partaking in your solo script will light the fire under you to really get it done and do it well.
Your table read will also allow you to test your material for clarity, duration, entertainment value, theatricality and, most importantly, strengthen your performance muscles in front of an audience.
The confidence boost of your reading will also help you to place an even bigger stake in the ground, premiering your solo show.
Participate in a festival
Once you have surrounded yourself with a supportive creative community, shared your solo show as a reading and implemented the feedback you received, you will be ready to prepare for the premiere of your solo show.
A world premiere is a very hefty stake to put in the ground and will surely keep your momentum going full speed ahead.
Partnering with festivals and events that are organized, well-known, and inclusive can really help provide you with a structured support system that you will need to successfully premiere your solo show.
Start researching which festivals or creative events produce solo theatre. Once you identify the opportunities that seem like the right fit for you and your show, submit your script and start planning your premiere.
Most of my clients had their world premieres in festivals like Solofest, Streamfest, Hollywood Fringe Festival, Son of Semele Festival, United Solo NYC, LA Women’s Theatre Festival, Binge Fringe Festival, and many others.
Festivals tend to have such wonderful energy and will sweep you up in a whirlwind of excitement, so staying motivated and inspired is so much easier than it would be if you were just producing your show on your own.
Hopefully, these tips above will help you put a stake in the ground for your solo show so that you can turn “someday” into a very specific day on your calendar.
Once you have your creative community support and a concrete date on a calendar for your reading and your premiere, you will be astonished by how quickly your solo show dreams manifest into a brilliant reality.
Enjoy these Solo Theatre Resources to further guide you on your solo journey!
Tune in and Support the Soaring Solo Community in the LARGEST streaming festival in the country, SOLOFEST 2021!
Award-winning director and developer, Jessica Lynn Johnson, directs a slew of powerful solo shows addressing various impactful and inspiring topics.
Start every Hump Day off right with FREE Guided Meditation and Writing Prompts with “Isolate Meditate Create!”
Join BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST WINNER Jessica Lynn Johnson EVERY HUMP DAY @ 9AM (PST)/12PM (EST) on ZOOM for ISOLATE. MEDITATE. CREATE!
This is a 100% free guided meditation and writing prompt experience is designed to keep you healthy, connected and creative EVERY HUMP DAY during STAY AT HOME and who knows, maybe you will even write your one person play with the content you create.
CLICK HERE TO ATTEND ISOLATE MEDITATE CREATE 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 and 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!
A one-on-one 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 resonated with many of the things on this list, then take the next step by emailing SoaringSoloArtist@gmail.com for more information.