I have spoken to many people that tell me they would die before attempting to perform in front of an audience and that the job, roles, and positions that artists step into are daunting. This is true. It does cause many artists anxiety but does anyone really know what a producer goes through when putting together a show?
In 2018, I premiered a small version of a show that I had written and funded featuring myself and other artists. Although the show was a success, I really had no idea what I was doing from the perspective of a publicist or producer. This year I reimagined the same show in a larger venue and with more detail. I was responsible for everything: the budget; APRA licensing; writing; direction, lighting and sound concepts; costumes; sets; and props. A producer's vision takes a huge amount of time, effort, and stress especially when obstacles arise. Simple things like rehearsal schedules can be some of the hardest things to organise along with technology that doesn't always decide to work!
Here is my advice for artists attempting to produce their own shows:
- Be as prepared as possible
- Ask for advice from trusted sources
- Stay positive
- Be realistic about goals
- Stick to a budget
- Surround yourself with people that support you, care about your vision and make their role in your production a priority (within reason) in their schedule, whether this is your cast, crew, front of house, publicity etc.
- You can't do everything yourself! I tried initially, but it doesn't work. It must be a team effort.
The audience loved 'From a Distance, the Glory of Bette'. I was flooded with messages of support, and people attempting to talk to me backstage asking whether or not there was a DVD or CD they could purchase. I am so very thankful to everyone who has been involved in this recent project, from the performers to my friends and family running front of house and helping with costumes and other preparations.
Long story short, with practise, you can write, direct and perform in your own original shows. After producing 'From A Distance, the Glory of Bette' on a larger scale I find myself more confident in my new skills as a producer. There are so many things that can go wrong but throughout the tough times, I have learned valuable lessons that I will take with me as I move forward and continue planning.