Welcome to McElrath Cabaret–We hope you enjoy our cabaret blog!
Here is Barbara Lea singing “Sweet and Slow”– Enjoy!
My cabaret tip for you today is:
Become a better writer to improve your cabaret show and promotion.
You might be thinking to yourself, “What does writing have to do with cabaret?”, but actually, quite a bit. I’ve thought about this quite a bit, and being a former English teacher, I thought it might be useful to try to break down the concept into a few usable ideas for you.
There are four main areas were writing will come into play as you craft and promote your new cabaret show. They are:
- Writing the name of your show
- Writing patter
- Writing promotional material
- Writing on social media outlets
Each of these are important topics, and I will be covering each in more detail in the weeks to come.
Today let’s focus on the first area, which is writing the name of your show. The name is the most succinct way you have of getting potential audience members, the press, bookers and agents interested in seeing your show, so it is extremely important that you find the best wording to use.
A few suggestions for the name of your show:
- A short name is almost always better than a long one. Remember that it will need to be used on flyers and other paper handouts where space will be at a premium. A short name is also easier for someone to remember, and you want them to remember it!
- A catchy name is imperative. Some cabaret artists will use a phrase from a famous song lyric as the title of their show. Others capture the main idea of the show in a very few words. This is a lot like writing what is known as a “hook” line for a film script. It’s a one-sentence summary of an entire 120-page script. You will be doing probably at least a dozen songs or more, so how have you connected them together in your show? Is it via a theme? If so, the name of that theme might very well end up in your show title.
- A name that resonates with the public is super important. In order to get to the point of walking up on a stage and singing your show, you first have to book it somewhere. This means that you will have to explain the idea of your show to bookers, who come from all walks of life and different experience levels in terms of entertainment and cabaret. I’ve found that it’s best if you can name your show something that has universal appeal. Our show title, “From Broadway To Hollywood: A Celebration of Song” is successful as a title in this regard, because most people have heard of Broadway and Hollywood, and can relate to it in some way. Also, the word “celebration” gives the impression that the show is going to be fun for the audience, which of course it is! Humorous titles are also quite appealing, but make sure that the humor is universal and in good taste.
One way to get better at writing cabaret show titles is to see what others before you have done. Read the Cabaret Hotline Online and Life is a Cabaret Newsletter, and take note of the names of various cabaret artists’ shows, for example. Become a fan on Facebook of your regional Cabaret Association, and see what shows people in your area are doing and what they are calling them. Album titles from famous cabaret entertainers are also useful for learning purposes–what wording have they used to convey the meaning of the songs included in the album?
Hope these Tuesday cabaret tips help–let us know what other topics you’d like to see us cover here, and we’ll do our best to work through them!
As a cabaret singer, what would you add to this conversation? Leave us a note about it in the comments below—we always love to hear from our readers!
We appreciate your support!
Till next time,
Weekly Post Lineup At McElrath Cabaret:
Tuesdays: Cabaret Tip Tuesday
Wednesdays: Ask A Cabaret Question
Fridays: Cabaret Through Time