Happy to be sharing this with you, folks!
THIS blog entry happens to be an in-depth book review of the new Scott Autrey book: So You Want To Get Into Performing (2018 edition). Let us get into it:
BOOK REVIEW: A GREAT BOOK FOR THE BEGINNER!
BOOK: SO YOU WANT TO GET INTO PERFORMING 2018 edition – 142 pages
AUTHOR: Scott Autrey
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Scott Autrey was the Creative Director of the Birmingham Vaudeville Company, which launched its first show in 2012, producing lots of shows and events – the biggest being it’s three-day performance and arts festival called Audemus – until Mr. Autrey shut it down in August, 2016. During its five years, Mr. Autrey focused on bringing in name talent, and working on his own skills as well. He has some notable success and press, and is worth recognizing as a voice of experience. He has also written Fragments of the Lantern, The Arrogance of Depression, and Llama Disco Picnic.
REVIEW: This is a great book for the true beginner. If you have been learning skills as a hobby, been cultivating an interest in performing, or have just decided that you have what it takes to take the stage: get this book!
Scott Autrey has put together his series of blog entries into one volume – what he considers “hard learned lessons” aimed at those who want to get into the sideshow market.
I really like the tone this book is written in. The tone is a very “down-to-earth” and personable. It reads as if Scott Autrey is talking to you directly as you try to figure things out. This is great! He is not just telling you about it – he is coaching you, he is guiding you! Let Scott Autrey be your personal coach as you begin your journey as a performer.
He is giving you some real-life examples of the work that needs to be done and the work you are going to NEED to do in order to make your way in this business. He is straightforward about it. He gives you some of the math you will want to use to figure things out.
The book is broken down into easy parts to follow:
Part 1 – How to awaken your inner performer
Part 2 – Investments
Part 3 – Booking the variety show
Part 4 – What are you worth?
Part 5 – The DIY Tour
Part 6 – The Audience written by Nathan Kepner of Crescent Circus
Part 7 – Business Tips written by Lydia Faith of Aerial Events
Part 8 – Sales and figures and charts oh my!
Part 9 – The ever changing stage
BEST QUOTE: “In all honesty, however you can get money, get money.”
Sprinkled with highlighted commentary from sideshow performers such as Jeremy “Cut Throat” Kinison; Brent Fiasco of the Fiasco SideShow; and The Amazing Boobzilla; it also includes chapters by Nathan Keptner of Crescent Circus; Lydia Faith of Aerial Events. The advice from all these folks is sound, and should be taken into consideration.
At his core, it appears Scott Autrey is a busker. He makes mention of it specifically – that he considers sideshow to be buskers. Readers of my blog know how I feel that limiting sideshow to busking belittles the art form – but that is not a big deal… See, he also realizes and tells you not to worry about the obvious: your first shows/tour is going to be rough and filled with mistakes! AND He points out that it will be tough, but you will learn from your mistakes – so do not let it get you down! He wants to help you to keep your eye on the prize – being financially successful. THAT is a great thing.
The advice from guest writers Nathan Kepler and Lydia Faith is well thought out – and, frankly, good advice – both for the novice and well worth review by the seasoned professional, too.
A major point of contention I often get into with people is their feeling my individual blog entries do not contain enough information – or that they go for the too advanced ideas, and do not cover the basics enough for those just starting off. That is a fair assessment – but it is not meant to be a beginner’s guide. This blog is meant to be for folks have been working for a while and now looking to move forward.
The other comment I often get is from folks complaining that I do not talk in enough detail or at enough length about things – to which I always point out that I cannot just dump EVERY SINGLE tidbit of information I have shoved into my grey matter onto a page for you to go over! It takes some time to get everything out.
“There is a progression to education. You have to start somewhere. This is a good place to start.”
This book is the start, for someone with no experience doing any of this kind of thing. If you have started reading this blog, and you have no experience, I recommend you read this book – follow its directions and do the work – then come back to this blog when you are ready to try to get to the next level.
Now, this may be a reach on my part – but based on his other books available, like THE ARROGANCE OF DEPRESSION published in 2011, which I have not read – it may appear that Mr. Autrey has helped to overcome some personal issues using performance, and his advice is a bit tinged with that aspect – but you know what? Nothing wrong with that! Frankly: This book works. I know a lot of folks use performing to try and overcome their personal issues… so I think this would work for you if that is your thing.
CONCLUSION: What makes this book work/great is that it contains the nuts & bolts of doing the work, and never loses sight of that. Not filled with esoteric wisdom or theoretical stuff – this is a how-to manual. If you have no experience performing, this is the book for you! This book starts you with the first steps and takes you up through doing your first show, your first tour, and keeps you on track for doing the things that you need to do to make a go of it.
NEXT WEEK: coming out on 2/5/2018 – Take Care of Yourself (Part 3)