There are many reasons why you might need to make a stage name. Perhaps your given name has about ten too many syllables or has an unfortunate connotation. Either way, you need a name that is memorable and can help establish your personal brand.
Simplify your name. In many cases, stage names are just simplified versions of a given name. If your full name is particularly long or hard to pronounce, simplifying it might help you out.Some real life examples of this include:
Yves Saint Laurent (born Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent)
Rudolph Valentino (born Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina D'Antonguolla)
Anglicize your name. While controversial, some may choose to modify their name to cater to a Western audience. Similar to simplifying, this often involves editing an ethnic or difficult to pronounce name into something short and easy to remember. Some examples include:
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara)
Kal Penn (born Kalpen Suresh Modi)
Use your mother's maiden name. Use your mother's maiden name as your first or last name. This applies when your mother's maiden name is catchier or easier to pronounce or remember than your given surname. As with most of these methods, the best way to test a name's catchiness is to ask people you know what their reaction to it is. Some examples include:
Katy Perry (born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson)chose to use her mother's maiden name when she switched from gospel to pop music.
Catherine Deneuve (born Catherine Fabienne Dorléac) chose to use her mother’s maiden name to differentiate herself from her then-more famous sister Françoise.
Use your middle name. Take your middle name and make it your first or last name. Times when this might be applicable are when your last name is harder to pronounce, or much to common, like "Smith." One famous example of this is Angelina Jolie (born Angelina Jolie Voight).
Use only a single name. If your first, middle or last name sounds unique you may choose to go by this alone. Choose the name that has the best middle ground between pronounceable, memorable, and catchy. Some examples of this include:
Beyoncé (born Beyonce Giselle Knowles)
Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone)
Rihanna (born Robyn Rihanna Fenty)
Zendaya (born Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman)
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