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In my last post I talked about some of the awesome results you can expect from doing a one-person show. It’s also important to know going into it what not to expect. Here’s some results you ought not to count on:

Getting industry attention: “I’ll put on a one-person show and invite all the casting directors in town! Then they’ll see what a talented and versatile actor I am!” Sounds great, except for the part where the CDs actually come see your show. They pretty much don’t. They’re busy people, and if they are going to spend a night watching actors, it’s going to be a production where they can see MANY actors at once. I’ve performed my show roughly 60 times in Los Angeles, and I can count on one hand the number of casting directors who’ve come to see it.

Becoming the next Nia Vardalos: Nia performed her one-woman show, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, in Los Angeles; Rita Wilson saw it, loved it, produced a movie version; and Nia became a movie star. This is lovely, and about as rare as Haley’s comet. It’s very difficult to get industry players to even come see your show, much less fall in love with it and believe in its commercial potential.

Earning money: Unless you’ve got solid name recognition, it’s difficult to get general audiences to come see your show. When I produced my show’s first 4-week run, I knew everyone in the audience personally. So the ticket sales just aren’t there. With long hard work and quality material, perhaps you can build audiences through word-of-mouth. I’ve been fortunate to be able to offer my show in the public speaking arena, and that has yielded some income. Not every show will be appropriate for use as a keynote speech, and theater simply isn’t often a money-making endeavor.

Move forward with clear eyes about what results to expect. Better yet, don’t fret about possible results at all; just enjoy the fun of your own great creative work.

With great love,
Jonna Tamases