It’s been a tough week, show wise. The combination of time pressure, money pressure, and pre-menstruation pressure put me in a right funk. I found myself not wanting to even look at my script, much less learn and rehearse it.
Part of the problem with doing a solo show is that (unless you can afford a producer) all the admin of getting the show up and running falls mostly to you. And in the weeks running up to the show, that means a lot of liaising with the venue, making sure your public liability insurance is sorted, posting on social media (HORROR OF HORRORS), frantically checking the ticket sales to see if anyone is even coming.
Which can put you in a pretty sour mood once you get to doing the creative part of the job. It’s hard to enjoy your own jokes reading them for the 25th time. Harder still if you’re thinking “Jesus Christ, I’ve just spent all day sending emails so I can put this show up”.
I find myself quite regularly wondering why I’m doing this show. Even if I sell out these two shows, the cost of tech, etc. means I’ll be lucky to break even. Of course, performing isn’t about the money. But it also isn’t not about the money, when art is your livelihood.
And I think I’ve been spoiled a little by spending so much time over the last few years improvising. Improv gives a lot more instant gratification than workshopping the same material over and over, alone. Of course, we rehearse improv shows, but there’s still the camaraderie, play, and creating in the moment that means that almost all of it is creatively fulfilling. And if it isn’t, it’s just a quick moment that’s over. Workshopping a solo show can feel like quite a slog when your recent creative life has largely been playing with friends.
So – this week I’m putting my faith in the process. I hope that this bump in the road will lead to a clear stretch of playing with my material. I hope I can bring some of my improv abandon to my scripted work and find the fun in playing with myself (giggidy).