So, you want to put on your own work?

26 April 2016

“Putting on your own work is not easy, so here are some tips to keep you going”

Sometimes us actors have to put our fate in our own hands and produce our own work in order to keep ourselves working. This may seem like a daunting task, and that is exactly why we enlisted the help of *Kevin Shen, an Actor and Producer, for some friendly advice and guidance.

“Putting on your own work is not easy, so here are some tips to keep you going”

1) “Be super passionate about what you are putting on.

There is no point in pursuing it if you don not believe in it 110%, because if you dont, then no one else will.  You will need to convince funders, venues, directors, actors, designers, practically everyone that this is a project worth supporting and getting involved in, and if you have doubts then they will have more. Add to this the fact that you will be eating, sleeping, and breathing this project for who knows how long, you will want to absolutely love and believe in what you are doing.”

2) “On that note, be persistent!

Just like acting or any entrepreneurial venture, you will face roadblocks and rejections, and people telling you it will not work. Take their feedback, sure, but if you really believe in it, then you will find a way!”

3) “Surround yourself with awesome people

You want to find people who you work well with, who will share your passion, and who you can trust. Ideally find people who can complement your skills, and who have similar values, ideals, etc. Try to get a scrappy team who is as excited about putting in the time and effort to create a product that you will all be proud of.”

4) “Know your product

It is the same as an actor or an entrepreneur. Know what you are selling, and know why it is worth it. You have basically got to market your work, and therefore you have to know why your investors should invest, or why the venue will program it, or why the audiences will come.  Do research if you need to, make a business case, get stats and pitch it!”

5) “Dont forget about your acting, or whatever your showcasing.

There is a lot to do when you are putting on your own work, and when you are in the show, it is very easy to let your acting or your writing get bogged down by all the admin.  Remember if the point is showcasing yourself, then put enough time in to make sure you are doing it well, and that it was all worth it!”

Kevin Shen is an Asian-American actor currently based in London. He runs a production company with actressLucy Fenton called  Special Relationship Productions, which produced Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang at The Park Theatre in 2013 and at The Shed at The National Theatre in 2014

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