Get started: Choosing a Subject For Your One-Person Show

Performing a one-person show is hella fun. You thinking of doing one? I say go for it, and I’m going to help you. In this blog series I will share with you all my ideas and experiences with writing, self-producing, and performing a solo show. I’ll start with the first question you may be asking, What’s My Show Gonna Be About?

This is the joy: you get to write and design your show to reflect your talents and tastes, to say what you want to say and highlight your specific talents. Freedom to play!

In choosing a subject, consider: a personal story, an historical episode or biography, social or political commentary, a group of characters with a central theme, an event or a fantasy scenario. Whatever you like!

My only rule: Be Entertaining. I don’t mean your show must be frothy, mindless entertainment. You may want to enlighten your audience, move them, send a message, shock them out of complacency or illuminate some aspect of our common humanity. You will have much more success achieving those things if your work is engaging and entertaining. That’s what makes audiences want to watch you, want to go on the journey with you and listen to what you have to say.

If going with a personal story, remember there’s a difference between therapy and theater. In sharing the unique or dramatic thing that happened to you, your challenge/opportunity is to tell your story in an entertaining way; that’s what makes it theater. And that’s the exciting, fun part. That’s the creativity.

Start by imagining, playing with possibilities and making it up. Toy with it. Consider different characters, a range of emotional acting, comedy, stage craft, audio/visual supports, music, props, sets – all the delightful elements of good, entertaining, surprising theater.

Explore! Begin!

Questions? Leave a comment below.

And check back in a couple weeks for my next installment.

With great love,
Jonna Tamases
www.madlively.com

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