In just about 3 weeks my show, Dear Hollywood, goes up once again.
I may have bitten off more than I can chew by producing this show all by myself while finally getting the hang of having a baby around. But I’ve missed performing and being on stage so much since I wasn’t able to do much during my pregnancy. And also because when living in LA and pursuing the professional acting career, actual performing tends to feel few and far between. I wish I were involved in a theatre company or any sort of ensemble company at all. I miss going to my acting studio classes. I miss being part of a cast and working as a team to create art.
So here I am trying to promote my show, rehearse, re-write, and stay motivated during Cordie’s naps. Sometimes I get an hour or more, sometimes just 30 minutes. She falls asleep and suddenly a long list of things that need to be done starts to run through my head. Do I send personal e-mails to invite more friends to my show? Do I try to rehearse one of the monologues? Do I try to figure out how to write a press release? Do I finally make lunch for myself? Go to the bathroom? Or do I start 5 things all at once and then get nowhere by the time Cordie wakes up again.
And it’s not easy asking for help. This has been a huge lesson to me these last couple months…well actually even when I was put on moderate bed rest. What I forget is that Eric and I are not the only ones who like to help others. We will quickly come to the aid of a friend or help back an artistic project we believe in. We love to see our friends succeed and to feel like we are doing something good for the world. And by not asking for help from others, I may in fact be robbing them of a chance to do what they love as well.
Here I’ll be open and honest. This is tough stuff doing a solo show. This is new territory for me and I find I’m fearing an empty house at my show. That is a possibility and I know it happens to other solo artists as well. Specially when you are first getting started. I need to remember that this is all laying down the groundwork and foundation to give me the skills and tenacity to continue to do this and write/produce more shows. I’m trying to make this show as easily accessible to people as well. The ticket prices are pay what you can. I would love to come close to at least breaking even on this and right now the only thing I could think of was creating a “GoFundMe” account (here) . What sucks is seeing it at $0.
I believe I have a good show. I want to share it and entertain people with it as well.
How do you keep your self confidence up when you see you have a total of 165 tickets to sell (all 3 shows included), you’ve “sold” 7 of them (mostly comped), you need about $800 to meet the costs of producing your show (and you’re at $0), and you’ve invited 100 people on Facebook and you see 7 say they are coming. I’m doing the Fringe on a rather small scale because anything bigger would scare me. This may all seem trivial, but it’s how I’m feeling. I look forward to writing about how this all turned out.
No matter what, I get to do my show 3 more times. People will be there to see it (the numbers don’t really matter) and I will have learned many lessons about doing a solo show at a festival in the safety of a town I don’t have to travel to. And $800 is a rather small amount for producing a show. We’ll survive if we have to pay the entire thing out of pocket.
I hope you don’t mind my candor with how I’m feeling leading up to my shows next month, but I doubt I am alone and it helps to know that.