I talked about the nuances of being an artist who’s a fan of another artist — how far that can go. Today I’ll draw you into the next step: How the artist gets to know fans.
How does an artist get to know other fans? Start small. Share some of your work freely (a story
, a poem
, an article
, a good quality photo, comic, or painting. Are you willing to give one away?
I do. I write in many formats, draw, produce performances, and record music and give about 5% of my fiction and poetry away. For my fans, there would still be plenty more works to share, and sell. I still hold the copyright. Sharing some work is a low-res way for people to get to know it and see if it fits them.
And the best part? Because I retain the rights to the stories, I’m not prevented from one day publishing a book of all the stories. And it’s the case. Your true fans would pay for a book of your stories, or a free song on iTunes. Say you craft a series of pillows out of Mexican wool with a half-drop abstract Quetzalcoatl pattern on them. What if gave a video tour of your film studio in a re-purposed silks factory? What if you were a painter, and gave a free podcast about your working methods; how you alternate your medium between encaustic and tempera for every painting because it keeps you shook up and fresh?
This is human nature. A beautiful book, that people can hold, filled with the work of an artist that reaches them. A wonderful song that people can dream to. A print (or an original) of your painting in their home, or publicly displayed. It just makes sense and it’s inevitable that you want to share your work.
Taking this to the next step. If you “know” tens of people, or hundreds, or thousands, or find a way for tens of thousands, or more , then you needed to find the way to communicate who you are to a wide audience first.
So it’s always just people who know you, interacting with your work. They start as drive-bys. They could turn into witnesses, and then turn into fans.
Next week, I’ll put out a series on how you can reach your fans.
I mentioned what being a fan of yours means to me economically, and morally. Today I’ll take that ability to contribute to the extreme!
At the furthest end of fandom, I might have put together a project to produce your work. For me, it’s just been a hundred artists (give or take) I’ve done that with. Some people can do a lot more than I can.
But with a production, I’m now working to make even more people know your work than I’d be able to do just by sharing your project Facebook page, or re-tweeting you.
Producing your work is an extreme level of commitment added to being your fan.
Don’t forget it also means I am still doing the other things — buying your work, talking about your work.
If I produced you, know that even long afterwards, I go to Amazon or to the Bookshop, and buy your latest script; I pick up your prints; I re-tweet you, and Like your pages on Facebook.
Sort of like stalking you, but the way fans do — “stalking” your work.
I’ll talk a little more about the other echoes of what being a fan means tomorrow
Here’s something I wish more artists would say to each other. Many do. But many do not.
“Since I know you, if your work isn’t published, send me two, and I’ll fully expose myself to your work, and we are now in touch.
If they are published, I’ll buy two.”
If I know you, I generally buy your work if it’s being sold, because I know you.
It’s not just artist financially or morally supporting artist. It doesn’t matter if our politics coincide or even if I feel a natural inclination to your work. It’s communicating. It’s being open, exposed to eyes and voices.
An “art rock” sci-fi thriller set 125 years hence, it’s a wild ride of a play where immortality, Italian poetry, terrorism, and the emergent intelligence of networks interfold DNA-like into the Rudolph Maté film noir classic D.O.A. Massive in scope, the story covers a whole new world where evolution has itself evolved, becoming strange, free, and wondrous. Rich and multi-layered, The New Life’s flexible casting options mean you can perform it with a cast small as 8 or large as 22. Likewise, you can make it a tour de force of technical theatre, or perform it simply on a bare platform with human-generated effects.
Read on: (Kindle | Paperback)
cast: 12 (6 F, 6M)
set: Multi-media stage
length: 120 min.
Off-Broadway: Commissioned 2004 by Praxis Theatre Project
The Buffoon Piece, a serious comedy by Bob Jude Ferrante, is now out on Amazon.
(Please do, and support a working artist!)
About: Just before WWII, a family of clowns inhabits a raffish 1930s Italy, performing comedies within tragedies, grasping for survival. When a pair of politicals running from the gestapo crashes into a mad poetry spouting Bozo in the barn, tension spirals in tight swirls of history, love, mystery, doom.
Visit Bob’s author page, with links to five of his comedies — Kindle or paperback — on amazon.com. Fans can read copies of the plays on tablet, phone PC, or good-old books! https://www.amazon.com/Bob-Jude-Ferrante/e/B01MYZAHH2
Harry Stevens has a good life. He loves his job teaching intellectually-disabled kids. His marriage is stable. He’s got a good home. But… A routine check-up turns dire. God shows up. Won’t leave. Best friend Bernard starts praying in the living room. Won’t leave either.
cast: 4 (1F, 3M)
set: Single set
length: 40 minutes
Off-Broadway: Emergence Theatre Co (NYC)
A strange woman is incarcerated at The Tombs… a dank, dismal, medieval New York jail. And a reluctant Public Defender gradually digs to discover the truth about the “Apart” and the heart of their mystery… “what son of a bitch killed your dream?”
cast: 4, 2F 2M
set: Unit set (basement)
length: 40 minutes
Productions & Publications
Published: The Best Stage Scenes 1999
Bartender Maureen Bacon finds out her ex-boyfriend—mob boss Bob McMahan—wants to seize custody of their daughter Barbara. In a hail of bullets, Maureen stages a final, desperate fight to free Barbara from McMahan’s clutches forever.
cast: 5, 2F 3M
set: Bar (can be done site-specifically in a real bar)
length: 25 minutes