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Running Order

I've started to lay out all the works and try to figure out the running order.

There's a lot of confusion if I want to start on a high note, slow it down, and then build it back up (which would be the normal order for a concert) or if I really want to screw around with that format and do an extended version of the show I did in Orange County last year. 

It's important to always have just the right amount of crazy running through every scene. When you drop out after the opening number, you lose that crazy. It works well in stadiums and maybe arenas but in a small theater I think it fails. You need that little degree of crazy in each piece so that the 98 percent of the audience who has no idea what they are watching feels that the promise of going to an "arts" event is seeing something they identify as "art" even if they don't understand it. Once they get bored for more than five seconds you lose the momentum and I think it's really hard to get that back. 

I think that design (which I learned about from a very long and informative interview with Brian May when his career was stalled) exists more for rock singers so that they can maintain their energy and their voice but most of these pieces are padded in a unique way so that even if I have a migraine and no energy I can still pull them off and they still work. 

Those of you who follow my work will be unsurprised to learn that I figured that design out from watching the band KISS, the show is designed in such a way that with the exception of the two flying numbers almost anyone could walk into the roles, and with minimal effort there was always enough support on stage to make the show work even if someone had the flu. It's sort of a fake circus and I think when you're designing live work and know your physical limits it's important. Mick Jagger has to go to the gym 3 hours a day to be able to maintain his stage presence, but when Lana Del Ray is his age she could roll onto stage in a wheelchair and the show will still work just the same. 

Planning board for "How To Be A Rock Star" at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019
Planning board for "How To Be A Rock Star" at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019

I've written about this before, but early on in doing this type of work I realized that the highest compliment anyone could pay you was not applause or telling you what a great job you were doing, it was when you looked out at the audience and saw everyone taking a picture or video. The more phones I see in the air the better of a job I know I'm doing. You're demonstrating that whatever it is you're doing is something that the audience wants to communicate to someone else as "look at this cool thing I'm at right now and you're not". That in turn serves as a commercial to get more people to show up to the next thing you do. I'm totally OK with that. The artists who complain about people looking at their phones and not at them are jerks who don't understand that the show is for the audience, they can consume it however they see fit as long as they enjoy it. 

Also this week I got a final poster from the artist Josh Sude (who had previously done the concept art for "The Holy Trinity"). 

He notes on his Instagram "This is a poster I did for an upcoming show starring a guy who plays guitar with a paper bag over his head" which is of course not what I do, but I like the shorthand. People will keep expecting me to play guitar with a paper bag over my head and that won't happen, so it fulfills the basic need of "always leave them wanting more". 

Event poster for "How To Be A Rock Star" at the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival
Event poster for "How To Be A Rock Star" at the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival


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