by David Schmader, Dan Savage

1. Unless you're a superstar genius or have traveled from very far away (minimum distance: one ocean), don't charge more than $10 for your solo show, particularly if your show is less than an hour long. (Audience Members: Do refrain from attending solo shows that charge more than $10. Attendance equals encouragement.)

2. Don't confuse theater with therapy. Though they occupy roughly the same terrain in the dictionary, they are two radically different things, and are to be confused at your peril. (Audience Members: Accidentally bought a ticket to see a "play" that's really a therapy session? Do walk out. Yes, it will upset the performer, but "therapy" artists like being upset.)

3. Don't clog your show listing with meaningless crap. The fact that your cast is "sharing the journey of creation" or is composed entirely of union actors may fascinate you, but smart audiences will smell a rat and stay away. (Audience Members: Skip shows by companies that boast about their artistic "process" and not about the play itself. Audience members don't get to watch the process, just the product, so it doesn't matter how wonderful the process was for the performers if the show is crap.)

4. Don't insult your potential audience with a lousy poster. In this age of PageMaker and PhotoShop, there's no excuse. Tips to remember: Less is more, bubble lettering is bad. (Audience Members: See a bad poster? Do tear it down.)

5. Don't make people watch you if you haven't done your basic work--i.e., learned your fucking lines. (Audience Members: If the performers forget their lines, do ask for your money back.)