Posts Tagged ‘self-doubt’

Merit vs Success

success = papers not blowing away

My friend Natalie Wilson recently did a remarkable job of setting an enormous goal and meeting it almost to the date. At the beginning of the year she challenged herself to write an entire play (her first) in nine months. Using the extended metaphor of birth (which time and again works uncannily well) she started a blog ‘Birth of a Play(wright)‘ to track her gestation. It’s a testament to her tenacity and determination that she not only finished the play in time, but secured enough funding (and interest) to put up a reading with top notch broadway talent early in November.

And now she’s facing the question that haunts so many early career writers after a big premiere. “What next?” Read the rest of this entry →


Nov 2010

John Adams thinks your piece sucks

John Adams just wrote a very funny blog post about master classes.  I happen to know he just gave one over at the San Francisco Conservatory last week, so the timing of this blog entry is probably not a coincidence.

It’s a little nerve wracking reading through it. How does my string quartet match his description of “eighty percent of all student compositions”?  If you replace his tritone that “expresses life’s eternally unresolved mysteries” with my minor second that expresses the unresolved desire for unity… ummm… gulp.


Apr 2010

Mommy… where do independent operas come from?

Over there on the right side of the blog you’ll see a “tag cloud”. For those of my readers who are not familiar with the blogging world, a tag is a keyword that I associate with each post. Each post can have any number of keywords. And that tag cloud lists all the keywords used throughout the blog, with the size of the font proportionate to the number of posts that have that keyword. And with this post, I’m making the ‘self-doubt’ take a point or two larger.

When I first had the idea to write an produce a solo opera, I figured I’d front most of the money, have faith in my own abilities and talents, and end up making it back during the run. A few back of the envelope calculations (and Jessica Robinson’s fantastic “Boot Camp For Artists” course at Counterpulse) made me quickly realize that the costs of producing even a small solo opera are a considerable chunk of change. Little things like renting a space, building some sort of set, and hiring a high quality publicist, producer, and a director all add up to the “non” in “non-profit”.

Then spend a bit of time figuring out how much money you actually stand to make in ticket sales, even if every single one of your friends and family paid full price to see you, and you realize that breaking even in a creative endeavor is possible, but not likely.

So how do any independent productions get made? What fills the gap between ticket sales and production costs?

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Mar 2010

Eight days a weekend…

Well this was a big weekend.  I presented a thirty minute excerpt of Failing That at StageWerx, including twenty minutes of brand new material.  If that was all that was going on this weekend, that would have been plenty.  Unfortunately, it was one of those weekends where just about every aspect of my life had something going on.

How did the workshop go?  Well…I’ll get to that.  First let me give you a glimpse into the days leading up to it…
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Mar 2010

A teensy bit freaking out

Sometimes I don’t have a great sense of how much time things really take.  I figure if it’s conceptually easy, it shouldn’t take much time to do.  I neglect to schedule the actual overhead involved with the mechanical tasks. Sometimes this gets me in trouble.  I’m a little bit worried that this might be one of those times.

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Feb 2010