I was going to write about something else, but I got this post today and it seemed like a good question with an answer that everyone could use. Here’s the post:
I'm on a quest...I'm consulting several people but this is my bottom line...i've been auditioning for plays musicals etc on and off for some time now...but that's not where I want to be it was just a means to an end...and its not working...I actually said outloud after my audition tonight..."I dont wanna do this anymore."...My goal has always been to perform onstage but not in the ensemble that goes with a musical....I want to be in a creative collaborative where I can sing and strut and be funny and perform a wide variety of material...musical comedy....stuff from the 20's thru the sixties...from Blues and Jazz to 1980's New Wave and original songs...I want to do something with a theatrical arc...this is what comes naturally to me
Here's the trouble...anytime I answer ads in the newspapers or artsy papers for a singer/writer...they ask my what bands I've been in and I tell them that I havent been in a band since High School and that I've been doing theatre...at that point people stop returning my calls and my emails...i need some advice on how to not scare off musicians...I'm asking lots of people this so I hope you dont feel put out
I trust you and respect you and I like you...so I come to you for advice.”
To me, there is a simple answer to this. Instead of reading and contacting auditioning ads in the paper, put together a one man show yourself that enables you to demonstrate all the things that you love to do and do well.
After you have chosen the songs and have an idea of the sequence and the thrust of the show, make simple arrangements of the songs. Do them the way you want, leaving out whatever you want, making medley’s if you want. Just do what ever you want to the songs.
Then make some simple charts that any musician can read. If you don’t know how to do this, then contact any music student at the college or junior college and have them do it for five bucks each or something. They aren’t doing arrangements, they are just taking dictation, so five bucks each ought to be fine.
Now you have a sketch of a one man show, with the songs, a rough order and charts for the musicians. Now you turn the tables. You put an ad in the paper and YOU audition them. When you have a piano player (usually the most comprehensive of the simple one person accompianist) that can do all the songs and do them well, you go to the next step.
Scour the town for every theatre that you can and find one that will let you stage the one man show. If it’s any good, you might be able to do it once a week on an off night. These theatres are all struggling, particularly since Bush ruined the economy, so they might be willing to do it for a piece of the door—and give them what ever a piece of the door that they need, initially. If you are successful, you can renegotiate.
So stop trying to fit your round peg into a square hole. Figure out what you do well and do that. Just ask yourself, “what do I want to have happen?” I know I keep saying that, but it keeps being true.