Dear fierce performers,
It might be that you are running out of options for a space or maybe that you feel like you’ve found the perfect venue right under your nose – there are lots of great reasons to do your SoLow show in your own home. But how is this going to work? As someone who has done five shows in my abode, I’m here to help. Below are some pointers and answers to questions you may have, but please feel free to contact me if I haven’t addressed a concern you have.
* You control the hours, availability, and feel of the piece.
Renting a space can be a drag if there are hours you cannot be in there, people you have to check in with to move things around, or even a super gross lobby that you’d hate for your audience to wait around in. In your house, you can decide when and how often the performance will take place, how many seats you want to sell per performance, and how the place looks – top to bottom. Also, you’re already paying for it so you don’t have to worry about covering that cost.
* If you have a roommate or partner, ask them first.
That’s just common decency (and something I sometimes forget to do). Make sure to be clear if the layout of certain rooms will change a lot or if you have props and set pieces you want to keep out for the duration of the run.
* Be specific about the bathroom.
If you don’t want your audience using your bathroom, just make sure you specify in your confirmation emails “Please note there is no bathroom available before, during, or after this show.” They’ll probably still ask anyway.
* Great! I can do my show all by myself!
Not really, though. As it turns out, you might actually want to get ready before a performance, so I recommend having a house manager/door person. Talk to your roommate, partner, friends, etc. I find it best to have the same person do the door for all days of performance simply to alleviate the pre-show things you need to do yourself, like explaining everything to a new person each night.
* What do I need to give the house manager?
SoLow has a pay what you can policy, so make sure your house manager has sufficient change (I go with $15 in ones and $15 in fives). Your house manager needs to know how long the show is, if the bathroom is available, if audience needs any special instructions (for example, “the beer and pretzels are for you, audience people, so enjoy”), and if you need the audience to leave immediately after the show or if they can stay.
* What do you mean “if they can stay”?
Look, our friends come to our shows. If your friends come to your show at your house, they might feel like they can just hang out after like normal. Sometimes performers need a little alone time after a show and that is hard to come by if your friend is in the kitchen, helping themselves to a glass of water.
* Strangers. Eek.
Hopefully people who do not know you will come to your show! But, yeah, that means strangers in your house. Control the areas of your home they can be in, and if part of your show involves you in a remote location with ANYONE (even someone you know) away from your house manager, put a system in place to alert the house manager if something goes wrong. Obvs, put the system in place before you have your first show.
* Do I have to do programs and stuff?
It’s your show, dude. Do what you think is right.
* What do I do with this big piece of furniture that has to stay where it is?
Can it be part of the show? Can it be seating? Can you put something over it? Can you rearrange what’s on it to inform the world of the show? Think long and hard before moving the heavy stuff.
* Do I have to give out my address?
Eventually, yes, if you want people to come to your show. But DO NOT put your address on your press release, advertising stuff, FB invite, etc. A cross-street will do until it’s time to send the confirmation emails to people reserving tickets.
* What’s the worst part of doing a show in your own house?
Not only do you have to put together a show, you have to keep your place clean for the duration of the run. It totally blows to add “vacuum” and “dust” to your list of pre-show responsibilities. Another reason it’s awesome to make the bathroom off-limits…. one less thing to clean.
* What’s the best part of doing a show in your own house?
When you’re done, you’re already home. Within five minutes of the audience leaving, you can be in your underwear watching Scandal.