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Solo Performance Workshop

From One Conversation a Workshop Grows

By Diane Dorsey
Central Regional Board Member, Central Membership Education Committee

Central Membership Education Committee members (L to R) Ron Keaton, Carrie Lee Patterson, Diane Dorsey, Alma Washington and Kathryn V. Lamkey, Central Regional Director

Because actors usually rely on general auditions or agent submissions, and forever hope past employers will call, they don't usually think about creating their own work. So when several of us on the Central Region Membership Education Committee learned we were each into the solo process, two questions were asked: "Who else is?" and "Who else wants to know how?"

The seed was planted and five months later on February 27, 2010 the first AEA sponsored Solo Performance Workshop/Seminar was held at The Theatre Building in Chicago. Moderator Ron Keaton guided a professional panel including performer/educators Tom Mula, Stephanie Shaw, Arlene Malinowski; A Red Orchid Theatre Artistic Director Kirsten Fitzgerald; director/writer/ producer Kevin Theis; marketing maven Noreen Heron; and AEA Business Representative Luther Goins.

This eclectic group covered five basic categories:

  1. The Idea and Process - getting started, how to stay committed, using developmental support.
  2. Choosing the Genre - source materials such as autobiographical, historical personas, literary adaptation.
  3. The Collaborators - hiring the right director, designers, musicians, and (if needed) an editor.
  4. Producing Issues - the best venue, finding the money, marketing, whether or not to self-produce.
  5. And most importantly, Doing it Equity - the types of contracts or agreements and procedures for members to follow.

A lively Q & A stimulated even more topics. A lively Q & A stimulated even more topics. Panelist Arlene Malinowski inspired all in attendance with an excerpt from her show WHAT DOES THE SUN SOUND LIKE.

So what happens now? Maybe a follow-up workshop, or weekly writing group, or a monthly "Open Mic", or "In-Home Salon"? Not to worry. I think our members will let us know what they want next. And that's as good as it gets!




 



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