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Self-Producing: A Solo Adventure #2

May 13, 2013

My solo show, View from the Pews, has been invited to perform at the Tennessee Women’s Theatre Project Women’s Work Festival next month! Follow along on my journey as I post weekly about what I am doing to prepare, and the kind of progress I am making.

Tasks Week 1:

  • Edit script. Then let it go; let this production’s version of the script happen. Tinker more, later.
  • Get my game plan together: action steps and deadlines!
  • Send program and other requested info to producers of Festival.
  • Confirm technical specs for the slides, or devise a plan to do the show without them.
  • Generate a prop list.
  • Check with Equity about getting a Solo Show Waiver

Tasks Week 2:

  • Dismiss the playwright. She is on call should we run into a problem in rehearsal, otherwise she is not invited into the room.
  • Start working the music.
  • Divide the show into manageable sections and begin learning my lines.
  • Start blocking the show.
  • Plan costume.
  • Create marketing plan and marketing materials. – This is going to happen tomorrow, just didn’t get to it last week!
  • Follow up with Equity on Wavier

Tasks Week 3:

  • Follow up with Equity on Wavier (still waiting, but I did follow up…I just have to keep following)
  • Finish blocking the show
  • Start working the sections
  • Begin building/acquiring props
  • Design slides
  • Run the music
  • Learn lines
  • Clarify what the site can provide & remain in contact with them

Props & Slides are due May 1st; Off Book on May 3rd

Weeks 1 & 2 are behind me, and some great work has been accomplished on the show. Of course, as is often the case, much of this work has nothing tangible to show for the hours and hours I’ve spent on the project. Fortunately, this ain’t my first rodeo, and I know how you work and work and work with very little to show anyone, then POOF! it all coalesces as the production rolls into tech.

There have been more changes to the script than I anticipated, having excused the playwright from the process. As we are going through the script, which was completely overhauled after the reading in 2011, there are some places that don’t work. Perhaps they drag, or maybe there isn’t enough actionable material there – whatever the reason, the playwright has been called in on a number of occasions to fix some spots. However, I am exceedingly happy with the changes – boy, howdy, do they make a world of difference in how the actor feels about those scenes!

I am still waiting on final approval from Equity for my Solo Show Waiver. This is a handy tidbit to know: if your production meets a number of requirements – that it is being self-produced, with no stage manager, at a non-traditional or non-Equity house, for example – then you may qualify for the waiver. There are other requirements, and you have to get one-on-one approval from the appropriate business rep in your Equity office, but it is great to know that there is a way you can stay in line with the union and create your own work. Of course, as I move this from a one-off production to an ongoing income stream, I will have to go under a different Equity agreement – perhaps LOA-PP. If you have any questions about doing your show under an Equity agreement, call the office under which jurisdiction you fall and explain that you need help figuring out which contract or waiver to use. They are great to work with, but can sometimes be slow in responding, so start early! If you live in a Liaison area, you can also contact your Liaison and they will likely know the name of the person you need to talk to in the Equity offices.

Next week I’ll have to start shopping for wardrobe and finalize travel arrangements. We’ll also start doing full runs of the show and seeing how it looks, all put back together again. Stay tuned!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. California Triple-Threat permalink
    May 13, 2013 8:58 pm

    So cool to read about this process. What a huge undertaking.

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