Every year, artists make their way across the world to present their shows to new audiences. From Melbourne to Adelaide, and New Zealand to Edinburgh, these artists dedicate their time, passion and energy into putting on shows that many often haven’t heard about. For solo artists, this is particularly hard, as they are often running every aspect of the show themselves, including performing, marketing, flyering and so much more.
Maggie Journal had the chance to chat with three Adelaide Fringe artists about their experiences as a solo performer and their tips for surviving the Fringe circuit. Here is what Grant Busé had to say.
Tell us about your show at Adelaide Fringe this year.
The Late Night Sexy Show is a comedic celebration of sex through song. But before you jump to ‘Oh no, it’s probably just another white middle class male comic talking about his d*@k for an hour’, I want to assure it’s a lot deeper than that. It’s a piece about breaking down cultural taboos, social injustices and body image in a fun and friendly environment with all original music. It’s musical comedy with a Magic Mike twist.
What are the ups and downs of doing a solo show?
A positive is that we get to travel around Australia doing what we love. When you get a good crowd that is digging what you do it’s one of the best feelings in the world. A negative…flyering. It can be a soul destroying at first but you learn to see its valuable place. I actually get an odd kick out of flyering now. A lot of artists struggle to get numbers at their events and it can be very disheartening traveling to a new city and only having a few people in the crowd. It’s important to keep going and to not let negativity take over your Fringe.
What advice would you give to another artist who is contemplating doing a solo show?
Just do it. You will meet amazing people along the way and you grow as an artist and businessperson. Also don’t expect people will just rock up. Have a marketing plan and, most importantly, get out there every day and flyer. Don’t treat other shows as competition – treat them as your peers. We’re all in this together and we’re all riding the emotional rollercoaster that is Fringe. So chat to other artists and try and make it along to their shows. You can learn so much about your own craft by watching how others do theirs.
What are your five necessities for surviving a festival season as a solo artist?
Eat well. Network. Flyer. Sleep. See other shows.