Creating Original Material

By: Stanley Allan Sherman © 2013

What! Me?  I thought there was nothing new. 
“If that kind of thinking prevailed we would still be naked on the ground looking at two sticks – not even wondering about creating fire.” Stanley Allan Sherman 

This class comes from the heart, built on doing my shows created from original material. I am a strong advocate of artists creating their own material, rather than the other options:

1.      Waiting for the great piece to be written for you.
2.      Doing reliable bits that everyone else does and has been tested for decades if not centuries.
3.      Stealing bits, pieces and whole shows from other performers.

When you rely on these options it does damage to you.  Stopping you from getting to your true creative original material, which can be the difference between getting by and genius.  Yes I have seen good performers stuck in a rut; friends that have told me they hate their own material and shows.  Not knowing or be able to live on that creative artistic edge.  You want to live in, as Carlo Mazzone-Clementi says, “A constant stage of becoming.”  Which is why I am doing this lab Creating Original Material.  My teacher Jacque Lecoq told all of us as we were about to graduate, “Do not wait for the piece to be written for you.”

In this lab we will get into:

  • Inspiration and the beginning of turning it into material
  • Building your show on inspiration or other theme elements
  • Development time
  • Techniques for creating your show and material
  • Using failure
  • Beginning, middle and end
  • Different things to get you started
  • Being stuck
  • Discovering your show
  • Trusting yourself
  • How to listen and use criticism
  • What advice and criticism to ignore
  • Testing out your creation – it is part of the process
  • Risk and fear
  • Performing: where, how and the business of booking

There is a wonderful independence of having your show.
Once you have created one, you realize you can create more.

You control your destiny. 

I have gone from the world of independent and solo performing with “Critic Choice” reviews and where I was always paid, to the sketchy corporate world of entertainment SAG AFTRA and AEA.  Working in Film, Television and Off Broadway. As an independent performer and actor I’ve used my skills well in the three corporate entertainment mediums.  Several times on the set of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” fellow actor/performers in the green room would often say, “Stanley how did you do that? That entrance exit?”   It is called years as an independent performer, creating solo shows and performing in the streets of Paris and New York, to bars on postage stamp size stages starting in 1970s to doing 3,000 seat theaters.  I must say, the world of independent on-your-own theater is healthier, more satisfying and can be much more profitable.

You’re a performing artist?  Live on the edge-dance on that line of fire. 

Creating Original Material Theater Lab will run from June 17 – 21 in NYC at
Centro Esponal on West 14th Street in Manhattan.

Sign up for this theater lab email or call 212-255-2882

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