Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Books by Solo Performers I know...

The neat thing about many solo performers is that they are multi-talented artists. In this post I want to give a shout-out to three solo performers who have released books in the last year. I encourage you to check them out...

David Mogolov's This Could Have Gone Worse

David is a seasoned solo performe and has turned out quite a few dazzling monologues. He collected some of them together and the result is this hilarious and smart book.

Here's a blurb...

In 2010, David Mogolov began a series of three comedic monologues that left audiences questioning their life decisions small and large, from their flossing habits to their anger at Ponzi schemers. A hilarious, deep dive into the limits of human rationality, Mogolov’s comedy also presents history’s most thorough analysis of the smell of a Subway sandwich. 

In This Could Have Gone Worse, the trilogy of shows is annotated and expanded with commentary on how they were written and produced, with an honest account of what failed and what succeeded, and why. The notes and new chapters look at it from both the perspective of Mogolov and his director, Steve Kleinedler.

Get a copy for yourself... HERE

Lesley Tsina's Restart Me Up: The Unauthorized, Un-Accurate Oral History of Windows 95 

This is the untold, unbelievable, largely untrue story of the creation of Windows 95. Lesley tells it with her own special brand of deadpan wit.

Go behind the system and meet those who made it all possible: the beleaguered programmers who became addicted to snorting Pixy Stix, the marketers who employed mass hypnosis tactics to trick the press, the violent battle to squash a literal giant bug in the code, the focus group idiots who only cared about getting pizza for lunch, and "mighty god" Bill Gates, who engaged in a money suitcase stand-off with Mick Jagger over the rights to "Start Me Up." It's the story of how a tiny operating system patch became a multinational, mundane media phenomenon.

Get a copy of your own... HERE

Brad McEntire's I Brought Home a Chupacabra

Brad has performed many of his own shows. In this piece, he sets down a story for another performer.

In this weird and hilarious monologue, a young woman finds a semi-mythical beast on a hike and brings it home. During the next few days she is forced to figure out why it is that she connects better with animals than people. 

Get your copy... HERE

If you know of a few good books by solo performers, list 'em below in the comments. Spread the mirth...

The Whole Widget

"Mr. Daisey, who gave a talk titled “Why Solo Performance Matters,” contends solo performers are the last vanguard of independent artists in a corporatized theatrical landscape. And this, more than the economy or any other factor, has propelled the rise of solo performances. “It’s becoming more difficult to get any work produced,” Mr. Daisey said. “At the end of the day, many people realize that they have only themselves to count on. It’s a form where the whole widget can be controlled.”

from a New York Times article entitled "Getting a Little Help to go Out All Alone"

Monday, November 9, 2015

Robert Michael Oliver on The Incredible Shrinking Ensemble: Is Solo Performance Theatre’s Future?

Kathleen Turner in Philadelphia Theatre Company’s
production of Red Hot Patriot The Kick-a*s Wit of Molly Ivins.
Photo by Mark Gavin.

In an article posted on the a few years ago, Robert Michael Oliver wrote an interesting piece about the rise of solo performance in the theatre. He hypothesized it to be the future of regional theatre...

[The] emergence [of solo performance] as a presence at mid-sized theatres, however, is most likely a harbinger of things to come. 

Though the entire article is implicitly aimed at deriding solo performance as actual theatre, he makes several strong points. It is worth looking at, even if to see what you may or may not agree with...

The audience can listen attentively and imagine their significance and what they must have been like, but within the frame of the one-person performance those scenes cannot affect us emotionally the way drama does.

Check it out... HERE

Sunday, November 8, 2015

SOLO forum in the UK

UK-based solo performers:

Something to check out... now around ten years in existence, the SOLO Contemporary Performance forum seems to be a great resource. From the site:
It offers practical, artistic, financial and production support to regional, national and international solo performance makers via several platforms, including artists’ laboratories, residencies, scratch and showcase events, public interviews and a new website. It was founded by Misri Dey in 2005, who works as artistic director, with Ria Hartley as the co-ordinator of the Bristol group.

Give it a look over... HERE