The Solo Performer   by Doc Michaels

"The Solo Performer" by Doc Michaels

The Solo Performer




           This book is intended to be a roadmap for the aspiring solo musician or performer. In the performing arts, there is a great deal of serious competition and numerous land mines along the way, so the more clearly your path is mapped out, and the better you understand the map, the better your chances of success. I will not only teach you how to read a map, I will teach you to draw your own map so you will be able to chart your own course. The map will be your best friend! It is also my hope that this publication will be useful as a reference book, not just something to read once and then put on a shelf. Also- If you have a question about anything in this book, or would like me to go in to more deatail on a specific subject of the instruction, email me ( and I will be happy to help.

           There are procedures in common with all of the performing arts, and in this publication I will mostly address things that affect solo musicians. However, nearly all of these items also affect stand up comics, magicians, D.J.‘s, Karaoke hosts, Open Mike hosts; duos, trios, and bands. I will address each of those individually in this work.

           The information contained here is the result an in-depth study I conducted over the course of decades; things I learned while performing, conversations with successful performers, advertising and marketing people, club owners, booking agents, music associations, sound engineers, record producers, and roadies- to name but a few! Central to all of this information are things I learned first hand (under fire, largely!) over the course of many years while performing as a “One Man Band” on the West Coast and in Hawaii. The things that you learn under fire are the ones that stick with you!

           Most of the information in this writing is of a “common sense” variety only if you have experience in marketing, advertising, promotion, public speaking, and event planning. The good news is, by the time you finish this book, you’ll know exactly what all that means and how to use it to advance your career.

           You will learn how to define your act, define your material, target your audience, perform your material like a pro, and most importantly, get jobs! I will teach you about booking agents, press releases, demonstration videos and CD‘s; also promotional techniques and advertising. You will learn how to negotiate for your gigs, how to “dial in” a room for your sound system, how to use a few stage lights effectively, and how to keep your audience’s attention. I will teach you how to record your own background music for your performances, what equipment to use for the best results in the studio and on stage, and how to get invited back for more performances.

           This is the book I wish I had to get started with! I would have had a lot fewer headaches and a lot more gigs! If you are serious about a career in music or the performing arts, this book will give you a head start on the competition!

Here’s a little sample of what you can learn:

Table of Contents



Chapter 1.   Defining Your Act- Who are you? What do you do? How do you look? Can you survive the lifestyle? Are you the right personality type to be an entertainer?


Chapter 2.   Building Your Repertoire- What kind of music do you play? Who is your

 target audience? Define and polish your repertoire.


Chapter 3.   Equipment- your musical instruments, sequencers, microphones, mixers and amplifiers, speakers, signal processors, lighting and controllers.


Chapter 4.     Setting Up Your Performance Area- “Owning” the stage. Setting up your sound system and lights.


Chapter 5.   Lighting- making your own controllers and light cans; using spots and floods.


Chapter 6.     Lining up the Gigs- Find gigs, create gigs; host Open Mike,  host  karaoke. Define and target your venues. Playing with other people.


Chapter 7.    Playing the gig- Your performance; Giving it Your Best. Having Fun!


Chapter 8.     Advertising and Promotion- press releases, posters, flyers.


Chapter 9.     Making Demonstration CD’s and DVD’s 


Chapter 10. Writing Songs- Writing, performing, and selling your songs. Do’s and don’ts.


Chapter 11.  Money- Your pay, expenses, contracts, taxes, insurance, agent fees, etc. 


By the way..... The book you download from this site was created using Microsoft Office/word, and will open in that format. If you prefer to have a Kindle book version, you can get it at at the Kindle store for the same price as here on my web site. If you have any questions about anything in this book, please email me at and I'll be happy to help.   Doc