2 Success Hacks for Solo Show Artist

I want to share a recent recording I made after my New Hampshire show to share the power of video testimonials, and also give you the steps in how I did it. If you are a solo show artist, the two most valuable things you can do to help book your play, is keep an organized inbox an sent box and record testimonials of your play. You can do it!

Step 1: I ask an employee from the theatre, usually a young kid if the theatre technician can't do it, and paid them $20 for the effort. I've always find someone who will say yes for $20 of 10 minutes of work. No matter how good they do, pay them what you agreed to pay them. Karma!

Step 2: Tell them to keep the camera running and not to cut in between audiences reactions. Keep everything in a wide because you can zoom in, in post. Put the camera on a gorilla pod so that they can walk round and simply ask people

"Would you mind sharing a quick through about the play. It helps us with the marketing of the show".

It is easier for them to walk around asking people instead having people come to them because they are stuck on a tai-pod.

Step 3: I use a cannon 720 but you can use your iPhone if you don't want to buy a camera. But the camera I use is simple to use and cost $200 to $250 only. If you sue and iPhone, always Landscape. Never vertical.

Step 4: Cut it YOURSELF in iMovie which anybody can learn how to do. If you spend a couple hours messing around, you will learn it (its EASY) and will be in control of your marketing. I use Final cut with is way more advance but you don't need Final Cut. Use iMovie. My son is cutting films on iMovie and he's 10. YOU CAN DO IT.

Step 4: Buy some nice inspirational music from Audio Jungle, add it to the track, upload the video to Youtube and Vimeo, and now you have video proof of how great your show is, so you can email another theatre.

Step 5: Post on Facebook and twitter and tag a few theatre’s so that they will see the post.

Step 6: Keep your inbox organized and use the video link to send to multiple theatres marketing your show.

Step 7: Buy a small drive and upload all your videos to the drive or Dropbox once you are done, so that you don’t eat up your memory.

If this has any value, please share. Thanks!

Inspiring Quotes

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Your brain is a computer and your constant thoughts are the software that allow you to accomplish the goals and projects you dream of. Below are a few of the quotes from books that I have read, leaders that I have followed and a few quotes that have inspired me and given me direction and inspiration.

Live your life with PASSION and PURPOSE

1. You do under conditions of stress what you practice in training - Charles Poliquin

2. Focus on the task moving forward. It’s all the matters. - The Mental ABC’s of Pitching

3. Feeling emotional is common and ordinary but not allowing those thoughts to affect your focus on the task is EXTRAORDINARY.

4. Learn to focus on the next performance, irrespective of physical symptoms of fear. Detaching yourself from emotions.

5. Emotions feed your monster. THOUGHTS starve them!

6. Courage and conviction are required to change a negative habit, particularly if experience has taught you to make excuses. Don't make them!

7. Procrastination is the enemy of HUSTLE

8. All Behavior is Believe Driven

9. Anything worth having, is worth working for!

10. Know who you are, be who you are. Have the courage to be yourself

11. If you want to manage it, you have to be able to measure it.

12. To dwell on the things that depress or anger us does not help in overcoming them. One must knock the down alone - Einstein

13. Leaders are READERS.

14. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle

15. Who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. -Aristotle

16. Leaders must be able to compartmentalize. How many major issues does the President have to deal with in one day? Compartmentalize.

17. Results do not indicate performance failure. Poor behavior and execution does.

18. Practice your positive thoughts because, THOUGHTS equal behavior which equals ACTION, which equal CHARACTER & DESTINY.

19. Focus on the present, and what is the next step you will take. What happened in the past is IRRELEVANT.

20. You aren’t a failure until you start to blame. - John Wooden.

21. Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.

22. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I ... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. -Robert Frost

23. You have to work hardest for the things you love most.

24. Think about what you want to do, not what might happen to you.

25. Emotions feed your monster. THOUGHTS starve them!

26. ACTION & HUSTLE defeats procrastination.

27. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default. -J.K. Rowling

28. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. - Chinese Proverb

29. Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices.

Do the hardest thing on earth for YOU. Act for yourself. Face the truth. -Katherine Mansfield

30. Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them. -Bruce Lee

31. Real living is living for others. - Bruce Lee

32. Never waste energy on worries or negative thoughts, all problems are brought into existence, drop them. - Bruce Lee

33. A goal is not always meant to be reached. It often serves simply as something to aim at. -Bruce Lee

34. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover!

35. When you play it too safe, you're taking the biggest risk of your life. Time is the only wealth we're given. -Barbara Sher

36. Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear. -George Addair

37. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough: we must do. - Bruce Lee

38. Everyone has a 'risk muscle.' You keep it in shape by trying new things. If you don't, it atrophies. Make a point of using it at least once a day. -Roger Von Oech

39. Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the

second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it. -Oprah Winfrey

40. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot lear, feel, change, grow, love and live. -Leo F.Buscaglia

41. Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs,

and that is the risk of doing nothing. -Denis Waitley

42. You can measure opportunity with the same yardstick that measures the risk involved. They go together. -Earl Nightingale

43. Do one thing every day that scares you. -Mary Schmich

44. I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. -Pablo Picasso

45. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. -Steve Jobs

46. Rational and positive self talk helps behavior and action.

47. Rational thoughts trump all fears and worries. If not adequately addressed, performance anxiety can grow into a pervasive fear.

48. Learn the massive value of focusing on execution.

49. Feeling emotional is common and ordinary, but not allowing those thoughts to affect your focus on the task is EXTRAORDINARY.

50. The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It determine whether you become the person you want to be.

51. Judging yourself on execution is all that that should matter because that is what you do have control over.

52. It takes real character to keep working as hard or even harder once you’re there - John Wooden

53. Correction not excessive criticism should be the focus. Thoughtful and positive talk on the task is what ELITE performers have. -Michael Jordan

54. Build a positive self image by taking responsibility for your thoughts and actions, rather than trying to make excuses.

55.The best strategy for controlling excuses is to keep quiet and allow the deed to represent itself-for better or for worse.

56. He who says he can, and he who says he can’t are both right - Confucius

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The American Soldier Solo Show Trailer

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 Trailer to The American SoldierBased on real stories and factual accounts from actual soldier and family member letters written from the American Revolution all the way through current day Afghanistan.  It examines the internal struggles and problems that soldiers and their families face when returning home from combat.  It has been nominated for the Amnesty International Award for theatre excellence, received 4 stars internationally,  performed at the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, New York Federal Reserve Bank, American Legion National Headquarters and been featured in The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Military Times and Time Out to name a few, and received overwhelming responses from veterans, audiences touring through the country.  

The Life of a Performer

Guest blog by Jamie Soltis / Episcopal Actors' GuildAh, the life of a performer. What could be more glamorous? Sailing along the seas of survival jobs, living on the free pizza at Crocodile Lounge, avoiding the wacko roommates (who, insanely, think you're the wacko)-- why doesn't everyone live like this?  If you ask me, most of us are not so motivated by things like routine and security, but by some variation of passion. Some of us need to tell a story, some love to spread joy, provoke thought, or evoke emotion; all of us feel a certain pull to be doing what we do. Performing is a noble service, but it is not without its challenges! I'm an actor, and I just started a new survival job at this magical place that I wish I knew existed YEARS ago- The Episcopal Actors' Guild (EAG). EAG exists to provide charitable assistance to performers that are going through a financial crisis. (And PS-- don't let the name fool you. This nonprofit is, and always has been, for NYC performers of all faiths, and none. If you're into NYC history, definitely read up on ours.) Since 1923, EAG has been able to help clients with critical issues such as:

  • Eviction
  • Housing Court Stipulations
  • Utility Shut-Offs
  • Emergency Medical and Dental Costs
  • Transportation

Furthermore, an alarming amount of performers have told us they don't have enough to eat. So in response, we created the Actors Pantry. Now, when a performer comes to us for financial assistance, they’re able to leave with a bag of nutritious, delicious groceries as well. Thanks to our donors and members, we also have funding for performers living with HIV/AIDS, families who are struggling with life-altering illnesses, and veteran actors who have retired. And, hallelujah, once a year, we offer free headshots to our clients!The help provided to performers in crisis is one side of the Guild. The other side is that we are a sweet, sweet actors' club! Located at 1 East 29th Street in Manhattan, EAG is on the second floor of the landmarked "Little Church Around the Corner." Guild Hall is decked out with historical relics from famous actors of yore and is just about the coziest place I have ever set foot in. Plays, readings, and cabarets grace our stage regularly. We host a bunch of free events for members like our Artist Afternoon career-development workshops (with topics like scene study, Shakespeare, Feldenkrais, meditation), Broadway Book Club, and actors/playwrights/poet nights. We also have the pleasure of meeting the numerous theatre companies who rent our space. And usually, there's wine.One of my favorite things about theatre is the new set of friends you make with each play. Lovely, talented friends that you promise to keep in touch with after closing. When I first moved to New York, I found myself pining for a theatre community like the one I left in Philly. I'm really, really grateful to have found this at EAG. Don't fret, fellow commitment-phobes, you only come by when you want to come by. Membership for performers ranges from $30-$45 per year and goes to helping our charitable work. See you at the Guild!The Episcopal Actors' Guild1 E. 29th St.New York, NY 10016actorsguild.orgFacebook, Twitter, Instagram: @actorsguildnyc

How to have more Confidence as an Actor!

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The mother of all skill is repetition!   To have the confidence you want on stage or in the audition room, you have to be willing to go the extra mile. Be willing to rehearse and practice more than others and go beyond what your body and mind think is enough.  When you go the extra mile and drill your work over and over, that is when your skills become sharp and your confidence grows.This past year I was asked to perform my current solo show The American Soldier plus a new solo show that I was commissioned to write and perform for the Library of Congress,   (An American’s Journey Home).   The deadline was tight and the work was intense but I knew that in order for me to have the confidence I wanted on stage, I needed to rehearse after my scheduled rehearsal.  I had to go the extra mile.After rehearsal with my director I felt exhausted physically and mentally, and that little voice inside me would start to talk to me “Doug, you have done enough, you need to rest.”  However I knew I could not listen to that voice and that I needed to spend additional time rehearsing in order to perform at my best and have the confidence I wanted on stage.I would rehearse with my director for about three to four hours and after he left, I would run the whole show again, sometimes even twice. That was where I gained my confidence as a performer.  Extensive rehearsing can change the physical wiring of your brain to help support exceptional performance.  Like lifting weights develop biceps muscles.It is also where I discovered moments in the play that I never found in rehearsal.  Your mind starts to switch from right side dominance (the logical) to the left side of the brain dominance (the creative). Practice shapes your brain how you want it to perform.Our minds are designed to steer us away from anything dangerous or anything uncomfortable, it’s how we’re designed and how have survived as humans.  So you’re never going to feel motivated to do anything that your mind deems uncomfortable or difficult.Instinctively, we always want to choose the path of least resistance.  The next time you hear that voice inside you telling you to stop and that you have done enough, push yourself to go through it and you will reap the benefits.Tips on how to gain confidence. 

  1. TV  or Film Audition - Once you feel you have it in you, drill the material again for 30 to 45 minutes non stop.  You will find that you will discover more about the material and character.  The more you rehearse it, the more your logical (right side) part of the brain turns off and the more your creative (left side) part of the brain turns on. 
  2. Theatre scene - Rehearse your scene once or twice through after you feel like quitting.  Push your rehearsal endurance and you will develop the confidence on stage that you want.
  3. Monologue - Run it for 30 minutes without stopping.  The reps in repetition will give you the confidence you need to perform it under pressure.
  4. Water - Drink plenty of water during your rehearsal.  The hydration you have in your body, the more hydration you have in your brain.  Dehydration causes you to feel more exhaustion.
  5. Eat healthy - Eat something healthy.  Don’t eat super sweet foods like candy or candy bars because this will crash your sugar levels.   Eat a protein bar or a piece of fruit.  You simply want some food energy to help you push through.
  6. Record your TV and Film audition scenes - Record your scenes with your iPhone so that you can listen to the other characters lines while you work on yours.  You basically have a scene partner on your iPhone.  I make a funny voices for the other characters and then record mine with my voice and listen to it over and over until my audition.

"Under Conditions of Stress, you do what you learned under training"- Charles Poliquin, Olympic Coach  Video testimonials of American's Journey Home  

HoneySuckle Magazine Interview

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My Recent interview with Jaime Lubin of HoneySuckle Magazine We talked about my process and my new solo show An American's Journey Home which premiered at the Library of CongressWith current events highlighting the divisions in our country, this Veterans Day Douglas Taurel seeks to reunite us by living in the past. But it’s not what it sounds like. As the Library of Congress kicks off its centennial anniversary of U.S. entry into World War I on November 11th, Taurel will be on hand in the Coolidge Auditorium to perform his acclaimed solo show The American Solider and premiere his latest play, An American Soldier’s Journey Home: The Diary of Irving Greenwald. Turns out we have a lot in common with people from 100 years ago. 

How to Handle Failure

 How to Handle FailureBeing an actor unfortunately means that you will experience failure.  I have experienced failure, stars have and you will also as you move along your journey as an artist.   It’s part of the game and if you’re not failing, then you are not trying.At the end of the day failure is simply feedback. You will experience rejection and you will have tough moments in your career when you feel like you royally messed up. Maybe you lost your lines at an audition or simply didn't’ perform well, however you should always remember that it is never as bad as you think it is.  It never is.  As an artist we always focus heavily on our failures rather than on the positive aspects of our careers and performances. However, our goal as performers is to develop the ability of thinking extraordinary, not common and normal.  Thinking extraordinary means having the ability to experience failure and have the discipline to ignore those failures, move past them and immediately focus on the next audition or performance.  What separates those we admire in any field is their ability to ignore their failures, to learn from them and to move past them. A more normal way of thinking is to ponder heavily on our failures and to only see the negative in our performance. That’s normal because that’s how our brains are wired. They are designed to think of the negative first so that we are able to survive. There isn't a performer who has not experienced failure and had a massive disappointment. It is important for you to remember you will get another opportunity to perform and make up for it.  Here are some exercises to help you get over the failure:

  • Write down two or three actions you could have taken to prepare differently and that might have helped you improve your performance.   Ask yourself, honestly:  Did I prepare enough? Did I go to bed at the right time? Did I drink too much the night before?  
  • Write down two or three actions you feel you also did well. It is critical to focus on the positive so that you can ingrain what you did well and give yourself a better chance of repeating it. Train yourself to focus on the positive even if you feel like you did nothing well.  It can be as simple as how you walked in and out of the room. Or how you marketed yourself to get the audition. Train yourself to always focus on the positive.

Also, make it a part of your mission statement as an artist that when you feel tired, or feel too stressed for whatever reason, you will not give yourself the excuse to not be fully prepared. You won’t use the excuse, “I’m just too tired to work on this material”.   The thing that separates elite performers from everyone else is their ability to prepare when they don’t feel like preparing.   Your job is to hammer away at all cost at your craft even when you are exhausted and don’t have the energy.  That is what will separate you from everyone else and it will change the course of your career. 

How to Find Happiness As an Actor

 

Success and happiness come to us when we remove our egos and focus on our effort and to do the work: becoming better storytellers, being prepared and creating as many opportunities for ourselves as we can. When we do that, that is enough and success will follow.

We tend to let our egos dictate how success is defined for us. Ego has us comparing ourselves with others, hence IMDb’s star meter. When we let go of our egos and only judge ourselves by the amount of effort we have put into our careers, we begin to take control of our careers and begin to take risks. And taking risks is what leads to success.

Ego stops us from pursuing our goals because we fear we won’t be appreciated or we will be criticized too harshly.  Ego prevents us from making that call to the agent or attempting the project that we have been so longing to create. We focus on the applause that it will or won’t receive instead of being happy with the fruit of our labor. You will be unappreciated, you will experience surprising failures and your expectations will not be met at times, but how you pick yourself up, carry on and how you see your failures defines the character in you which will lead you onwards and upwards.

I find that feeling depressed about our careers comes when we feel helpless and judge our success by only the praise we have (or have not) received from our parents or from friends back home. Remember that in life there will be times when we do everything right, but the results will somehow be negative and you will experience failure, even a resounding yawn from the world. I believe that if you focus on your effort and take pride in your effort, you will have the confidence to keep moving forward towards your goal in the good times and tough times.

Think of Steve Jobs, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah, JK Rowling, Bloomberg, Spielberg, Emily Dickinson—all these amazing individuals were either fired, laughed at or given resounding rejections. But they never let their egos get in the way of what they wanted to achieve.

Start the project you have been wanting to start, without worrying about whether people will think it is stupid. Make the call to the agent without the fear of him/her hanging up on you.  As the new year rolls around, focus on letting go of your ego and on being content with the quality of your effort without looking for approval. Your effort is sufficient and is where success and happiness lies. Take risks!

"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming"–John WoodenRead how to accomplish your goals

How to Find Clues in a TV & Film Audition Scene

While there are many ways to break down a TV & film audition scene, I want to walk you through a few quick and easy things to spot, circle and focus in on that will help unlock the scene for you and provide a roadmap for how to play it.

When you see the words, butifandokorsowhich or what, notice them, focus on them and circle or highlight them. Why? When you see these words, think of them as gear changers in the scene and indicators of how the writer is having the characters think. These words unintentionally provide insight into how we should speak. They are like the green lights and stop signs of our language and when we pay particular attention to them on the page, they give us a road map to what is actually being said by a character in the scene. It is an easy way to help ground yourself when you are trying to break down the scene.

The red lights, or stop signs in the scene, are but, if, and, ok, or, so, which or what. Make sure that you see them and don’t run through them.Ask yourself why the character is saying but or agreeing with the word ok or giving options with the word or and adding to his thoughts with the word and. Don’t minimize these words. By slowing down and paying attention to them, you can unlock clues in how the scene can be played and what it might be about.

Let’s take a film audition scene: I have changed the character names and the words a little to protect the rights of the scene, but this is from an actual script.

INT: Squad room/ police station

Detective: We’ve canvassed every house with a view of the mountain. No one saw the man with the hacker or saw David with the hacker.

Jennie: Which doesn’t mean John Redford did the murder.

Detective: No. But why wouldn’t he mention it when we spoke to him. Did he really not remember or did he choose to lie. And do we think the money and drugs in the car are connected.

Notice the words I have mentioned in the above excerpt of the scene. Highlight these words and focus on them very closely. We have an idea of how the Detective is specifically thinking by the way he uses or in the first line. No one saw the hacker or David with the hacker, which obviously is very important to him because the word or acts to emphasize to his point.

READ: "How to Make the Most Interesting Choice in a Scene"

Jennie disagrees with the Detective and says not so fast when she uses the word which as a way of defending John Redford: Which doesn’t mean John Redford did the murder. The Detective then confirms his point of view by using the word But in his last line, confirming that he thinks John Redford is guilty because he never mentioned anything to him when they spoke to him: No. But why wouldn’t he mention it when….

By focusing on these words, we notice conflict and intentions in the scene by the two characters. And now we can use our imaginations as actors in making a choice in how we want to play the scene. Making a choice, not making the right choice because making a choice is always more important than making the right choice.

Another big clue is always the word sorry, because when a character says sorry, that is an immediate beat change or transition in the scene. You have to play the scene differently immediately after you hear or say sorry or an apology. The behavior in the scene can’t be the same as it was before you said it or heard it. That wouldn’t make sense in life or in acting!

These may be easier to pick up in a two- or three-page film & TV scene, but they can also apply to a theatre scene. In a film & TV audition scene, you have less words on the page and so they pop more, but they definitely are there in theatre scenes. Take a look at the second scene in Streetcar Named Desire when Stanley questions Blanche on the sell of Belle Reve.

Easy Tips to Unlock a TV & Film Audition Scene

  • Circle all but, if, and, ok, or, so, which or whats in the scene.

  • Circle all questions and all forms of apologies in the scene.

  • Ask yourself what the POV might be for each character in the scene because the use of these words.

  • Always behave differently in the scene once you say or hear an apology. It will show that you are listening.

  • Make a choice on what you have deduced and don’t second guess it. Making a choice is more important than making the right choice.

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Better TV Audition - 5 Easy Tips

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JS46KjD-WEAny audition can feel like a mental hurricane of an event—especially an on-camera audition. I'm sure Brad Pitt or any Hollywood had and have nerves when they go out for either their first audition or for a big audition.There’s so much going on through you and around you. You’ve worked on your sides, worked with a coach or friend, and marked where you need to look in the room technically to make your scene come to life.However, things happen so fast that many times you forget to take the time to ground yourself, focus on the reader, and note where, on the opposite side of the camera, your mark is so that you can create the relationship of the other actor in the scene. Auditioning for the camera is a visual medium, so you need to be able to tell your story with pictures and know how to make your audition work technically so that your story is told accurately.Make things as easy and clear for yourself so that you know exactly what it is you want to do technically.Here are five suggestions to help you stay grounded and focused when you walk in the room.1. Breathe. Take calm and deep breaths outside the room and also as you walk into the room. Your body always remembers the pattern of your breath. If you’re breathing rapidly, your body will associate that breath with nervousness and will act accordingly. Act relaxed, and your body will think relaxed.2. Find the eyes. Find and look at the reader in the eyes the moment you walk in the room. Don’t stare her/him down, but just make a mental note to catch the reader in the eyes as you walk in and say hello. You walk in and say hello, but if you don’t look the casting director or reader in the eyes, you don’t mentally prepare yourself to see that casting director looking right at you when the scene starts, which can throw you off for a beat or two.3. Find your mark quickly. Find your mark immediately after you have introduced yourself. You are looking for where, on the opposite side of the camera, you will take the majority of your scene if you plan to create another relationship. Think of the camera as Mickey Mouse with two big ears. You want to focus on one ear, which will be the reader or casting director, and then you want the mark on the wall or somewhere in the room that is near enough to the camera to be the other ear. This will help you to not get lost when your adrenaline is up during your audition.4. Practice fast and flat. When you run your scene with your friend or coach, ask them to be sure to run it a few times, giving you the lines flat and quicker than normal. With a short TV or film scene, casting directors or readers in the office are reading the scene so many times that they need to run through the scene quickly in order to move their day along, which is completely understandable but if you’re not ready for it, it can throw you a bit.Bonus Tip: Move your body to learn your lines. When you’re learning your lines, move your body around or walk around to learn them with movement. It is much easier to learn lines by physicalizing them, and it’s easier to recall them under pressure when you have learned them physically. Think about going for a walk as you run your lines, or do a house chore like emptying the dishwasher so that you lines become second nature to you.Learn more about my projects here: http://bit.ly/IMDBDouglasTaurelYoutube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCez-sSqIrowC5pxQrth8X3AFacebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DouglasTaurel/Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/DouglasTaurel/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dtaurel/

How to Write a Solo Show - 7 Easy Steps

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There is incredible power in writing a solo show. It will undoubtedly be hard work, but the rewards both professionally and spiritually are immense and absolutely worth it. Here’s how you can get started today.

1. Find a subject that you are insanely passionate about. Don’t pick a subject that you are not passionate about because the amount of work that you will have to put in will be intense. If the passion is not there, you won’t be able to withstand the tough and frustrating moments. (Yes, you will have a few of those.) 

Think of something you love to watch on TV, read about, or discuss. For me, it was American history. I have a deep passion for the subject, which is why I wrote my show, “The American Soldier,” based off of veteran letters. 

2. Write every thought and idea down. Buy a notebook and start writing down notes, quotes, phrases, or statements that you either read or hear on TV or anywhere else. YouTube is an amazing source of information. Watch documentaries, films, and read all you can on the subject and cut and highlight magazine and newspaper articles. The software Evernote allows you to clip, post, and record video and audio, and upload images you find compelling for your show. 

3. Don’t worry about the end goal. Simply research and collect as much as you can on your show. Your most important task is to keep driving your passion and inspiration. This is the fun part, so let it be fun.

4. Just write. Find three days a week and a time in the day that you can concentrate for two 45-minute intervals with 15-minute breaks. I always suggest first thing in the morning. You want to work when everyone else is sleeping and interruptions are at a minimum. Don’t check your phone when you write. You can check it during the 15-minute break. 

5. Take all of your material to a solo show workshop class. Once you feel you have written enough material (and you will know when that is), there you will have objective eyes and ears to help you prune and shape it. Always delegate the things you are not good at to experts who have more experience in those fields. Find a kind, encouraging (they must be kind and encouraging) teacher or class with a strong track record. Getting involved with a solo workshop is great because it will force you to perform your material for an audience and keep you to a timeline. 

6. Start your director search. Once you have all of your material shaped and have workshopped it to a group of people, you can start your director searchCreate a list of possible directors with whom you would like to work. Ask your friends and industry contacts for referrals. Research them and find out what they have done. Ask everyone. 

7. Memorize a piece of your show. Really craft it as if you were taking it to an audition. Find two or three directors you want to work with and perform it for them. If you gel with them and they like your work, then you have found your director. Don’t be discouraged if they say no. You will get many no’s; it is part of the game. When they give you a no, ask them if they know someone who might be interested. Rinse and repeat. 

There will be moments when you feel no one sees your vision. But that’s OK because it’s your vision. If you keep at it and hear yes when everyone else says no, you will be rewarded beyond your dreams. Many told me no and that my idea didn’t really make sense. I have performed my show around the country, been nominated for awards, received incredibly strong reviews, and earned four stars at the at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. But most importantly, I have grown my confidence as a producer and artist by 20 fold and opened many, many doors for myself.

 Learn more about my projects here: http://bit.ly/IMDBDouglasTaurel Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCez-sSqIrowC5pxQrth8X3AFacebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DouglasTaurel/Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/DouglasTaurel/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dtaurel/

   

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Taking Action

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ6Y61VNlt8There are times when we don’t feel like we have the motivation or the energy to get the things done that we need to get done. The way you find energy and motivation on the days that your lagging is to take immediate action. Taking action, and finishing a task (no matter how small), will give you a sense of accomplishment.It can be as easy as making a phone call or sending an email or making your bed. It could be organizing all of your emails so that you can feel less overwhelmed. Once you feel a sense of accomplishment, you begin to feel motivated to get more things done.Success will lead to more success.1. Put yourself in situations that will help you get motivated. If you need to do some writing tomorrow before you go to bed, leave your laptop on and open with a cup of cold coffee on your desk so that you can simply wake up, drink the coffee, and get to work. If you need to work out, go to bed with your workout clothes on or leave everything, shoes included, right next to your bed so that you don’t allow your brain to talk you out of what it is you need to do.2. Change your environment. Working from home can be one of the hardest things to do when you are lacking motivation. Change your environment; go to a hotel or coffee shop and take your laptop to work there. It is far too easy to get caught in a meaningless task or turn on your TV and get sucked into “House of Cards.”3. Stop social media from distracting you. Don’t check your cell phone for 40 minutes and turn off email notifications, social media notifications, and definitely turn off your TV.4. Don’t focus on the end goal. Focusing on the end goal can leave you unmotivated—especially when you have absolutely no idea how you are going to get there. Instead, focus on two or three small actions you can take today that will move you towards the end goal.5. Don’t have a never ending to-do list. Focus only on two or three tasks you can quickly accomplish. You will significantly increase your energy and motivation for that day. More importantly, you will go to bed with a sense of accomplishment and that you have had a good day, which will lead you to wake up the next day feeling confident and motivated to accomplish more things.6. Be realistic. If you decide you want to accomplish 10 things in one day, you will set yourself up for failure. It is far better to set yourself three tasks for the day and to aim to accomplish them all by noon, and then decide to accomplish one or two more things in the afternoon. That is far more satisfying and achievable.7. Be a nice coach to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for not being motivated. Being harsh and calling yourself lazy tells your brain to focus on all the negative things on which you shouldn’t focus. Instead, close your eyes for two or three minutes, breathe in through your nose and out your mouth, and tell yourself, “It feels great working on this project and I can’t believe how easy it was.” By re-focusing your mind on positive feelings, you are programing yourself to create that reality.8. Pat yourself on the back for tasks you accomplish each day. We are all wired to enjoy positive reinforcement, so when you accomplish one of the tasks you have set yourself for the day, congratulate yourself on taking action and moving your projects forward. Learn more about my projects here: http://bit.ly/IMDBDouglasTaurelYoutube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCez-sSqIrowC5pxQrth8X3AFacebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DouglasTaurel/Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/DouglasTaurel/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dtaurel/

How to Realistically Accomplish Your Goals

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There are times when we don’t feel like we have the motivation or the energy to get the things done that we need to get done. The way you find energy and motivation on the days that your lagging is to take immediate action. Taking action, and finishing a task (no matter how small), will give you a sense of accomplishment.

It can be as easy as making a phone call or sending an email or making your bed. It could be organizing all of your emails so that you can feel less overwhelmed. Once you feel a sense of accomplishment, you begin to feel motivated to get more things done. Success will lead to more success. 

So how can you find the energy to accomplish your career goals?

1. Put yourself in situations that will help you get motivated. If you need to do some writing tomorrow before you go to bed, leave your laptop on and open with a cup of cold coffee on your desk so that you can simply wake up, drink the coffee, and get to work. If you need to work out, go to bed with your workout clothes on or leave everything, shoes included, right next to your bed so that you don’t allow your brain to talk you out of what it is you need to do.

2. Change your environment. Working from home can be one of the hardest things to do when you are lacking motivation. Change your environment; go to a hotel or coffee shop and take your laptop to work there. It is far too easy to get caught in a meaningless task or turn on your TV and get sucked into “House of Cards.” 

3. Stop social media from distracting you. Don’t check your cell phone for 40 minutes and turn off email notifications, social media notifications, and definitely turn off your TV.

4. Don’t focus on the end goal. Focusing on the end goal can leave you unmotivated—especially when you have absolutely no idea how you are going to get there. Instead, focus on two or three small actions you can take today that will move you towards the end goal. 

5. Don’t have a never ending to-do list. Focus only on two or three tasks you can quickly accomplish. You will significantly increase your energy and motivation for that day. More importantly, you will go to bed with a sense of accomplishment and that you have had a good day, which will lead you to wake up the next day feeling confident and motivated to accomplish more things.

6. Be realistic. If you decide you want to accomplish 10 things in one day, you will set yourself up for failure. It is far better to set yourself three tasks for the day and to aim to accomplish them all by noon, and then decide to accomplish one or two more things in the afternoon. That is far more satisfying and achievable. 

7. Be a nice coach to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for not being motivated. Being harsh and calling yourself lazy tells your brain to focus on all the negative things on which you shouldn’t focus. Instead, close your eyes for two or three minutes, breathe in through your nose and out your mouth, and tell yourself, “It feels great working on this project and I can’t believe how easy it was.” By re-focusing your mind on positive feelings, you are programing yourself to create that reality.

8. Pat yourself on the back for tasks you accomplish each day. We are all wired to enjoy positive reinforcement, so when you accomplish one of the tasks you have set yourself for the day, congratulate yourself on taking action and moving your projects forward.

3 Tips for Overcoming Bitterness

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Letting go of trying to be in control and focusing on enjoying the process is the key to allowing us to feel successful, happy, and helping us overcome the bitter actor syndrome. This is true in an audition, with a project, with our careers, and even with our lives. Not being focussed on a specific result and instead focusing on taking action allows us to be relaxed and happier as actors. The more relaxed and happier you are as an actor, the more creative you will be in your work, leading to more success in your career. 

It’s really hard work trying to impress other people, especially when we usually have no idea what it is they want in the first place. The irony is, they, who we are auditioning for, usually don’t know what they want until they see it. Second-guessing what a casting director, director, or producer wants is ultimately pointless. Trying to impress others will lead to resentment and bitterness. 

Natalie Roy, co-founder of C.R.E.A.T.E., a workshop series designed to break artists free of limiting beliefs, said, “You are entitled to your actions but not entitled to the fruits of those actions. Can you place the value in the action? Can you say, I took this action because I’m the kind of person who enjoys taking action. We become bitter because we want control and we expect a specific result.” The bitterness comes when the desired result does not follow the action.

When we let go and only focus on the action that we are taking for our careers, not only do we overcome being bitter, but we become fulfilled as artists. Being fulfilled leads to us feeling more confident. You enter your audition far more open, creative, and present when you are fulfilled.

The actor that we most want to hang around with and who casting directors enjoy calling in is that actor who is relaxed and isn’t trying to impress because he/she is confident that he or she is enough. He/she is in the room to inspire us with his/her art. We love being around people who are confident, relaxed, and who inspire us. People ultimately want to be inspired; it touches who we are as artist and gives us power. 

So, how do we become that person? By letting go. Letting go of that control stops us from taking things so personally and stops that voice in our head that tells us that we are being rejected. Rejection is something that we actors make up. It’s not actually really true. As Roy puts it, “When you don’t get an audition, you’re not actually being rejected. The industry is not saying something is wrong with you. What they are saying is that you are not right for this project.” By understanding all of this, we come across more confident. 

What all of this means is that we have to have a leap of faith of letting go and trusting that what we do is enough—a leap of faith that your preparation for the audition and role is enough, that you are in the right place for your career.

A few strong suggestions to help you to let go, be happy, and overcome being bitter. 

1. Meditate. Each morning for three-to-five minutes before you start your day (and definitely before you check your phone), sit quietly and tell yourself two or three great things for which you are currently grateful. One minute of mediation can be extremely powerful in starting your day in positive way. 

2. Visualize. Spend a minute telling yourself what an amazing audition or day you are going to have. Visualize that your day will go exactly that way you want to go and give thanks that it did. You are sending out positive waves into the world that will reverberate positive waves back. 

3. Be around positive people. Surround yourself with people who are goal-oriented, mature, optimistic, kind, and who celebrate and validate you. This includes your agent, your manager, and your acting teacher. You are an average of the people you with whom you surround yourself.