What Artists do for Artists (4)

Yesterday 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.

What Artists do for Artists (3)

Yesterday 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.

What Artists do for Artists (2)

Yesterday I mentioned that if I know you, and if you have work for sale, I’m likely to want to  buy it.  Because I know you, and your work is part of you, and I want to know it.
And as your fan, only circumstances constrain my spending limit.
If my circumstances are great, I might spend $100 on your print, your ticket, your limited edition. It might be because I have money all the time, or just temporary good fortune.
Or, if money is tight, I might buy your mass-published work for $20, or see your show for $25. If it normally costs more, I might have to opt out, or to wait for a discount.
But if I know you, I want to know your work.
In some cases that’s led to my becoming a super-fan, a fan who’s so avid, I’m almost “rabid.” As a super-fan, I tell everyone about your work, because I think if they know you, they’ll know what I know, from knowing you.
Tomorrow I’ll explore the limits of what I would give when I’m a truly avid fan.

What Artists do for Artists (1)

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.
There’s more to this thought. Tomorrow.

The Buffoon Piece, a serious comedy by Bob Jude Ferrante. Now out on Kindle and paperback.

The Buffoon Piece, a serious comedy by Bob Jude Ferrante, is now out on Amazon.

Buffoon Piece Cover  Read it now on Kindle and Paperback.

(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.

[you are here] 001

Composition work started for the [you are here] project today, and went magnificently. After 90 minutes working on creating some moments, using elements we’d established, we fed the operating question

“Are you free?”

You just know by the take on a question with a group that it’s the right one. Once the question landed, there was silence for four beats.

Then we all started listing topics for research; it was clear the question was going to be the beacon, and that this is the right group to be researching this question. The topics from the 12 present showed the intense focus and sharp intelligence of this group.


First progress report on Sanctuary: NextStage

Hope you’re as excited as we are about where this is headed. Following please find an update on our progress building Sanctuary: NextStage.

  • The website is up. Visit it at http://www.sanctuarytheatre.org. Click the link for NextStage to have a look. There you’ll find the Six Tenets, the Vision Plan, info about the planned space we’re securing and renovating, etc.
  • Funding has started. We have obtained the initial $3,500.00 of seed funding needed, and are now actively working to raise the rest of what’s needed to secure and renovate the space, operate the company, and manage its world-class training program, and pay for development of our first new project. On the Sanctuary site, you’ll find a Help Make it Real! link for donors. Spread the word, if you care to.
  • Please refer us to potential donors. And if you know a potential large donor who loves cutting edge theatre, please don’t hesitate to introduce us. We can offer them the usual tax deduction and other niceties, as well as our undying affection.
    We’re close to a hiring decision for a Master Trainer. She will design the training program, making sure it properly integrates all the different disciplines. We’ll send out an announcement when that happens, later this month.
  • Please refer us to actors: We plan to announce the initial round of actors for the program near the end of January, and the search is still actively on. We are deliberately creating the company without running a cattle call ad in BackStage! So, if you know any actors of the highest calibre, who might be interested in the program, please feel free to refer them by emailing them about the program (including a link to the site) and CC me at bobjudeferrante@gmail.com; this way we get introduced.
  • If you see work in NYC that inspires you, please let us know about it. We’re always learning (and have a lot to learn).

Hope your lives are filled with joy.

Videos of Sweet Cantatas now up on YouTube

These are from the Sunday 2PM matinee on the last day of performance. The performances are mostly solid (though there’s some “rule-breaking” on the Mot Juste piece – an actress making extra sounds). The usual caveats about video’d live performance – though I boosted the sound, it’s slightly blurry at points. And the video can get blocky or fuzzy.

But it’s cool nonetheless. Have a look!