Why I’m feeling Blue
This week I recorded and released my own stand-up show. I did it without the assistance of an agent or manager. It is an independently funded project to which I have complete creative control. I’m not here to boast or boost sales. On the contrary, I want to encourage you to do the same…
Since I was little I have always been a big fan of Punk Rock. I love everything about it. The music, the passion and most importantly the ‘do it yourself’ attitude.
Last year I took my show BLUE to Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It was my debut stand-up show. I had originally planned to drop all the material from BLUE as soon as the Fringe finished to concentrate on write my next show. However, after the Fringe I was really happy with how the show had developed and I really wanted a proper recording of it.
At first I had no idea what to do. The costs would be too high and I had no idea how to release it. But then I sat down to rewatch Sex Pistols: The Filth and The Fury and it all became clear…
Firstly, I rather ambitiously hired the studio theatre at my old uni: University of Salford. Secondly, I hired Crew of a Few Productions, a small production company that helped film and edit the performance. And thirdly, I invited an audience down via my own comedy promotion outfit: Dead Cat Comedy. I was happy with the recording but it was fairly expensive to create.
The prospect of printing and producing DVD sleeves seemed unaffordable. As a result I began looking for a way of releasing BLUE that was low cost but also easily accessible. After a couple hours of frantic googling I found the answer…
Firstly, I signed up to TuneCore which is an online music distribution service founded in 2005. Unlike other services TuneCore distributes your audio files to dozens of different streaming services including: iTunes, Amazon mp3, Google Play music and many more. At a cost of only £30 it’s a real bargain. Whilst you may not earn a great deal from TuneCore it is a fantastic way of increasing the visibility and accessibility of your art.
Secondly, I made BLUE available to download via Gumroad. Gumroad is a platform designed to sell products directly to consumers. It’s a fantastic way for independent artists to get their stuff heard whilst maintaining a personable relationship with their audience.
For just £8 my customers receive a link to a video stream of the full show, a downloadable audio version (15 tracks) plus a personal video message from myself. Money-wise, it’s a fantastic deal for the artist. Gumroad only take 5% plus $0.25 for every purchase. All other profits go directly to the artist via PayPal.
BLUE has been on sale for just two days and I have already made back most of the money I invested in the project. Don’t let your career be dictated by managers and agents. You have a voice, and in the 21st century the internet works as one hell of a megaphone.