I share this experience with you as a step-by-step mirror of what I’ve done to get my one-woman show on stage. Don’t take it word for word. Take it as a framework to try. Pick up some things and then use your own imagination for how you want to create your solo show 0r comic monologue.
When I decide it’s time to create a new show, the first thing I do is decide what it’s about. Is it yet another show about romantic relationships? Sex? Dating? Work? Family? If you don’t know what it’s about yet, you can always just skip this step and do it later. If you start writing, you’ll eventually find out what you’re writing about, choose a through-line, and the title will come from there. Exploring can be a great way to do it, too. But as an exercise, try brainstorming a topic and then titling it. Let it be a working title. Let it be a bad title, even. It’s just a starting point!
The easiest thing to write a show about is whatever is most important or difficult in your life. If it’s a one-person show, write about something you’ve learned or triumphed about or still struggle with. If it’s a standup act, you don’t even have to have a title if you don’t want one. Maybe you realize it’s a treatise on the challenges of working odd jobs in food service. And you call it Odd Blobs. That’s a really bad title. Give it a working subtitle. “Odd Blobs: 20 Years of Food Disservice”
I’ve always felt a title should convey the complete experience of an oevre. Whether it’s a book or a movie or a show, let it really say what they’re going to get. “Raging Bull”, “Field of Dreams”, “Weird Science”. You get a pretty good feeling of what you’re going to get, right? Don’t try to be too clever. See what happens if you just call it exactly what it is. This will help you write a show that’s really about just that.
In the next post, I’ll talk about the actual writing of your show. Stay tuned.