Sunday, 17 May 2015

My Musical Journey-- Part 4

So here I am furthering into this journey into musical superstardom.  Tonight me and my composer will be officially writing music.  It has begun.  I spent four hours singing on her couch last saturday and barely made a dent in the musical.  But at least i got the plot out if not all the songs.  We are going to go in order in that way we can knock all the major numbers and mark out all the interludes and musical background stuff as we go, so we can come back and do all the none lyrical stuff last.  Smooth efficient and will allow for any snags to be fixed as opposed to just doing the songs in any old order.  Fix as we go, and pray nothing much needs to be changed.  Things will be, but there's always a fools hope they wont. All in all everything is looking up… sorta.

Here's the dilemma.  Musicals are those types of things that are 99% miss and only 1% success.  How many new money making musicals are there really?  And since they cost so much to put on even a successful musical can be a financial flop.  It needs the buzz to keep going for a long time.  Movies, well there are shit loads of theaters.  Even a flop can sometimes at the very least make it's money back if enough people keep coming.  If a musical flops, well it's not like I have another one in my back pocket.  And more importantly who would want my next one.  So even if I sell out for a while, if it doesn't bank, technically it's still a fail.  And investors aren't going to be shooting through the moon when I come around looking for funds for my next project.  So I went in knowing that all signs lead to failure. Call me crazy but I just kind of ignored it.  I'm an artist.  Who cares about the facts I'm going to blow the fuck up and be famous (six books in still hasn't happened.  Any day now though).  So yeah.  I guess this wasn't a dilemma.  

The real problem.  I have to have something to sell to sell it.  I know this seems obvious.  But what I mean is I have to put on my own musical, prove that it can be a successful investment, and keep doing it.  Record it, have something to show, and work at it tirelessly for years in hopes someone will see the vision.  Why this is a problem.  I'm in fucking bermuda.  I've seen all sorts of real musical highschool productions on youtube.  And they are actually good.  Not kinda good but good enough that I'm impressed.  I can safely say that none, and I don't  know about the private schools, but none but one of the schools actually has a stage that's fully equipped for the off chance someone wants to do a musical.  Cock pit and everything.  School orchestras aren't that serious either.  It's like this whole education thing is geared towards international business stuff.  And teaching.  So we get accountants, and lawyers, and dentist, and actuaries, and insurance this, and small busniess that and and… "I want to be a drama major"… Say what…  child you need to go join one of the outside societies.  

All this talent we have here, people should be singing and dancing in elementary right on up.  School bands should be sight reading classical pieces by highschool to somewhere around 70 percent accuracy to make it easier on the conductor/music teacher.  And sight singing.  I was eighteen living with my dad in america.  He taught choral at highschool.  This was a foreign concept to me.  You mean singing is a thing beyond r&b hip hop rock and gospel.  So much of a thing that you can sight sing, the way you sight read for an instrument.  I was completely mind blown.  None of this stuff happens here unless you decide to take it seriously and go outside of school and take singing lessons.  And so on and so forth.  So problem one.  I can't cheat it pick a school, and expect that every highschool will have it's own awesome orchestra, and actors who can sing and dance.  It isn't going to happen.

So we've covered that I'm going to have to go to local drama societies, there are two I can think of, and ask them who they go to for music, and acting talent, through that choreographers and a mix of professional musicians and students will arise.  Okay.  Music and actors check.  Hmm  props.  Yes i need a stage manager, and to somehow convince the one highschool to give me their stage for free or next to nothing.   I need to check out the sound system there and see how many mikes I can get going on the stage at one time mostly for the ensemble.  I am sure I can get enough for the main cast but all the hanging ones for of stage singing and whatnot who knows.  The bills are going up even if I get all this at half off and some for free.  But yeah I need good props.  Not the best props in the world but good enough that I can stage something halfway decent that will woo the audience.  Promotion.  I have to get the word out there.  A light guy/woman so I can have the lights working well to make my actors look their best and set my scenes up well.  I need sponsors, and not investors.  The type of people who know they are not getting their money back unless by some stroke of genius it's a mega epic success.  It wont be.  So yeah, sponsors.  Basically, I am going to have to buckle down and get it together.  If I'm going to fail I am going out with a bang.

And lastly with all this fail talk. Composers and book writers (librettists) and lyricists make shit money. So… I the lyricist, I the librettists my friend the composer, and me semi composing, will both come out with a fifty fifty share of the labour intensity of the project.  She will probably come out with more time invested in it on just the making of the musical.  Before the actors can act there needs to be a script.  Before they can sing, a script is needed, before dancing, and stage lighting and musicians, whatever ,everything needs a beginning.   Seriously if god is real and he didn't get all the props the christians are giving him I'm sure he'd blast earth to bits.  We would be the creators in this instance accept in this world of script writing unless you are already a few successful scripts in, your pretty much a nobody.  But music, and script.  That is too much for anyone to work on to then be at the bottom of the pay heap pile.  If i'm going to write this shit, and someone else is going to score it, i'll be damned if anyone else is swimming in our hard earned profit.  So I have to do two things.  One is start my own production company.  If i'm going to be hunting down musicians, actors, stage managers and music directors, choreographers and chours lines, and sponsors, fuckit i need a company that I can tack all my future cds under and all my books under too and hopefully through my own success I can make something of it and help other struggling artist reach their dreams.  This wasy if we do make it, i can pay my composer what she actually deserves having produced it myself.  Secondly I'm gonna have to suck it up and direct it.  And I really didn't want to direct it.

So many things for me to fuck up, but at this point.  I don't really have a choice.  One stage, no one highschool has enough of everything for me to tour the schools, only one college here and it doesnt have a theatre stage at all.  My orchestra will be a hodgepodge of the best on the island.  Basically.  I can't tour.  I cant pursued english departments to get on board, because I can quite literally only produce a say fifty to seventy percent standard quality musical on two stages that I can think of.  Namely cedarbridge highschool and city hall which is on one of the edges of our somewhat rectangular/square city.  After going through all of that, yes I'm going to direct it.  I don't have a second chance to get it right.  I will only have the one.  And I am going to Uni next september if I get in.  And i'm hoping against all hope it's successful enough to persuade my university to put it on.  And then succesfull enough for me to convince another university or the local highschools to take it on.  I'll be in the UK.  Even if I was in america i've been in a highschool or two and it is mind boggling even in places where it isn't taken seriously just how much more seriously it is than Bermuda.  We really need to step up are arts stuff from first grade right on up.  In any case I got the one shot.  And if I fail, i am going to be struggling even harder to get people to invest in it.

It's days like this I wish schools here actually did have hardcore drama departments.  That i wish the school gym hall, didn't double as the school theater if you can actually call it that.  I wish on an island practically overflowing with talent that we were pushed in that direction more often.  That we had our own soap operas and shit loads of tv shows, not just a few here and there.  That the local music was so prevalent you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing local songs.  I sometimes wish were were more like the Islands we get confused for.  That alone would've made this so much easier.  But I'm up for the challenge.  

So here's the fun part.  Businesses need money, and I of course have a day job, so i'm planing for a while to put every cent from everything that I earn from my art into the business.  No need to pay myself as long as I am working.  So I need to sell books.  Shitloads of them.  I was living in this dream world that as a gay boy and a black boy that there was a market for me somewhere.  Apparently my books are neither black enough or camp enough for these peeps.  no matter other people like them which is a pleasant surprise.  you just never know.  So usually I wan't to sell books to get my rankings up in hopes i'm popular enough for a major publishing house to take on.  Now for the first time it actually is about the money.  I usually say if i'm popular enough the money will come.  I just need to break that top 100 spot and it will all work out.  Now I actually really need to break the top for the money.  Amateur productions aren't as expensive as the real deal but they still aren't cheap.  So this blog is basically a long big begging expedition to get you here and here.  

Now I know how people like to bitch that ebooks are too expensive.  Well let be break it down for you.  Just editing these things is over 1000 of you get someone to do it for you.  Then cover design, then marketing, then you have to buy your own books to sell them and sign them, and the dollars just go up and up and up.  a 5.99 or less book is a mc Donald's meal that you know you shouldn't be eating and you spend it more than once a week.  A book.  you only have to buy it the one time.  And that's it.  for the rest of your life.  So yes they are a certain price because they cost thousands to make and it will take tens of thousands of sales for some people to get their money back.  So please,  click here, and here, and share it. At this point i'm it's key to my musical success.

Extremely desperate.  And though failure is most likely eminent.  I plan to fail with style.

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