Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On Tour and Live

Just when you think you've got it all nailed in place...along comes a quirky event and all the nails pop out! And I guess that's the not-so-good, the bad, and the ugly about planning a tour. Today I learned the REAL reason why I haven't been able to secure a gig at a venue I've been wanting to play during a southern tour for some years. For years, they've fobbed me off with one reason or another instead of just coming clean and giving the real reason - which is actually a very valid rationale that I fully understand. If they'd been upfront at the start, I could simply have wiped them off my list and saved myself a lot of effort over a long time.

Many of the musicians I play with on and off will say "I don't know why you do it ..." or "I couldn't be bothered". But the reality IS when you are an independent muso with no agent or corporate support, the world doesn't beat a path to your door to hear your music! You've got to get out of the loungeroom and take the music to new audiences.

The internet certainly opens up new scope for getting your music out there - but my typical audience do not spend their lives online trawling for new music. And online listeners might listen to bits of songs but they're not likely to pay attention for the length of a live set - too many other distractions. For a lyricist like myself, you want your listener to hear the words, you want the words to make a difference to your listener.

There's nothing like bringing new music to a live audience - it's the best way for a songwriter to give a new song the taste test. A live performance allows you to actually see what sort of response the song is getting and enables you to identify how/where the lyrics or melody need tweaking. And of course, if your material isn't engaging enough to hold an audience for a full set, then you're not getting it right!

I wish there was a better way than the tremendous effort that goes into putting a tour together.....but so far, I haven't found it.

ah well, the joys of a creative life! [and I wouldn't have it any different]

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Project Complete

I'm just coming up for air and have spent the last couple of weeks recouping energies!

For readers who want to know what happened.....Between the Lines....played to good houses on both nights. Audience feedback was fantastic with so many people stopping on the night to express their pleasure and appreciation - followed by many emails the following week. The city's leading theatre critic was in attendance on the Saturday night and the paper displayed a great half-page review on the Wednesday after the show.

The cast did a great job on the Saturday night although - typical of amateur theatre - made numerous errors on the Sunday night including missed cues and lines. However, they recovered admirably and the audience was for the most part none the wiser.

So where to from here?
Well there has been some discussion about taking the show to other areas however my feelings are;
  • [a] there's too much work involved! and the current cast is so busy that the same problem of not being able to commit to a regular rehearsal schedule will limit the ability to bring it up to a higher standard
  • [b] performing in front of a home crowd is very different to performing in front of an unknown audience who are likely to be less forgiving
  • [c] I'd want to do some re-writing which I just don't have time to do yet ... and
  • [d]because the music is an important part of the project, I'd really like to have more singers in the cast to do it justice
so all in all......it's been an amazing and wonderful experience to see the characters I've created on paper be given a life of their own through these gorgeous, enthusiastic women. But from a writers perspective, not as satisfying as I'd hoped it would be. And also, having to write it, edit it, produce it, direct it, and stage manage it....was just too big a job for this little black duck!

I'm gonna stick to writing for people to read!

Hmm, might turn Between the Lines into a book next year.

thanks for travelling this journey with me! My next post will focus on the new project -

stay tuned!