Out of the darkness of the COVID-19 pandemic a brand new initiative has been launched to bring homegrown Australian entertainment into the lives of people across the country and around the world. Sole Sessions is an innovative new steaming delivery method designed to allow artists in lockdown to scratch their performance itch, generate a small amount of income for themselves and most importantly ease the feeling of isolation felt by the artists themselves and their audience.
Sole Sessions was kicked off by musical theatre star Daniel Assetta with his incredible Songs Unsung show. During Assetta’s Songs Unsung performance he was able to finally sing some of his favourite songs, which had previously gone unsung by him. These songs where those which he had hummed along to backstage night after night, belted out in the shower for no one to hear and those which had kept him company on the road or provided him comfort during this period of isolation.
Prior to the social distancing measures Assetta was preparing for a starring role in the Darlinghurst Theatre’s production of A Chorus Line. Sadly though that particular show never got to open, with the shutdown coming into affect on opening night.
“We were working really hard right up to opening night, it was on opening night that we unfortunately had to close the show. So for the past month I’ve felt this really strange, empty feeling,” Assetta told City Hub.
Bearing this in mind, Assetta immediately jumped at the opportunity to perform again when he was approached to participate in Sole Sessions.
“When they approached me with Sole Sessions I was 100% onboard, even though I knew it was going to take my energy for a couple of days.”
When reflecting on the experience afterwards Assetta described Sole Sessions as overwhelming, fulfilling, emotional, unusual and special.
“This initiative is so wonderful because it’s giving artists an opportunity to essentially do what we do as a job… I got quite emotional afterwards,” Assetta explained. “Performing to nobody, just a camera, was quite strange. There was something quite unusual but so special about it that made it feel like we were reaching people.”
Not only does Sole Sessions allow artists to release their creativity and feel fulfillment but it also allows them to generate some income through virtual ticket sales, donations and tips. Something which is of particular need in this very uncertain time when artists are unsure about when their next opportunity to be on stage will be.
When asked if he would recommend other artists apply to participate in Sole Sessions Assetta told us that he had in fact already begun doing so.
“I have already started telling a couple of my friends who have had show ideas to apply. It has definitely been nice to have something to look forward to in this period of time. A lot of performers are quite lost because they’re without their medium for reaching people or working towards a product which gives enjoyment to people. That is the main reason we do this, we love giving and seeing people’s enjoyment. So I really do hope that a lot of people get onboard with Sole Sessions so that they can experience that feeling as well.”
Daniel Assetta’s Sole Session can be viewed on www.youtube.com
Check online for shows added weekly, including new Sole Sessions by Joanna Weinberg and Conrad Hamill coming in May.
Artists can apply to participate in Sole Sessions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org