One of the targeted misses of my 2012 “to do” list was to finish a one-man-show. The problem with putting together a one-man-show is that you need more than one man…and quite a few women to boot. After my live stage acting debut in New York in February of this year, I was inspired to write my own show. For the first time in a while…I had writer’s block and/or a tangle of ideas jumbling up in my brain. “Frustration” was the active word. Doing a live stage show is just like doing a movie…it all has to start with the script. Without my finished script I had nothing to pitch to producers, directors, stage managers, sound engineers, lighting engineers, venues, A/V people…in short…my possible future staff for the live production of my metamorphic script with an equally metamorphic title. In addition to this stress was finding an attorney and avenues for grant funds. Overwhelmed, I put my dreams of doing a one-man-show on the backburner.
I’m telling this story because recently a friend was depressed and expressed disappointment because he couldn’t get his solo music act going. This friend somehow got the idea in his head that I had pulled off a solo career alone. I was quick to correct this fallacy.
I tried to explain to my friend that he was essentially trying to do what I had a staff of people doing when I did my first solo album. Leon Lamont -Breakbeat Mechanic required a label, a distributor for the US, a distributor for Europe, a publicist, a booking agent, a tour manager, a personal manager, a graphic designer, street promotions, a studio engineer, a mastering engineer, a photographer, driver, translator (for European dates). You get the picture. The only truly solo part of being Leon Lamont was the act itself. I compared my friend’s efforts to him being one man trying to win the Super Bowl going up against a team by himself.
Don’t get discouraged, but understand that you can only go so far by yourself. Some of your favorite comedians have a team of people that write jokes for them. Solo Pop stars have a team of writers and producers that churn out their number one hits. Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles was written by a room full top notch comedians (including Richard Pryor) and writers. Point? Nobody is doing it alone. If you want to do BS gigs in coffee houses and the occasional Happy Hour at a bar…yeah, you can do that by yourself. If you want to go to the next level you have to tighten your act and pitch it to someone that can get you a team and subtract a percentage.