Ok, before I launch into this blog, let me say something for the record. If Donald Trump were ever elected President, I’d send the entire cast of Spring Awakening to the White House to sing “Totally F@#ked.”
That said (and a shout out to the Associate Producer candidates who inspired that idea in last week’s group interview), despite his mouth, despite his mind, and despite that hair thingee, Donald Trump is still leading a whole bunch of polls.
Shocking, isn’t it? I mean, don’t you find yourself saying, “How in the name of all that’s holy is this happening???”
Whenever I see someone crushing it in our business (or any business), I dig in to figure out what the heck they are doing to achieve the success they’re having. But I dig even deeper when it’s someone I don’t agree with.
So I did that with The Donald, and came up with 5 Things We Can All Learn From Donald Trump.
1. People Respect When You Speak Your Mind
What’s amazing about Donald is that he knows
half most of the things that come out of his mouth may piss a lot of people off, but he doesn’t care. In a world where people dance around the truth, or second or third guess themselves before they speak (even strong minded me overthinks a lot of things I say on this very blog), no one can say that Trump doesn’t say exactly what is on his mind. You know where he stands at all times, and a lot folks are giving him props and votes for that.
2. It’s NOT None Of Your Business
Trump is known for being a businessman. Scratch that. He is known for being a successful businessman, to the tune of billions. We’re living in an era where people want to know their leaders have business sense. It’s why Trump is leading. It’s why Romney was a candidate. And it’s why all Producers should understand the business of Broadway. People want to know that their leaders know the ins/outs of whatever business they are running.
3. Making Yourself Known in One Market Can Help You In Another
Trump is a real estate star. He’s a reality TV star. And that celebrity status is without a doubt driving votes his way. Ok, so you probably can’t become a celebrity by the time you want to produce your next show, but you can use whatever you may be known for to help increase your status. I’ve seen countless of folks come into Broadway from other businesses and “use what they got” (to quote Gypsy) to make a new name for themselves.
4. You Can Win By Not Winning
I believe that Donald Trump knows he can’t win. So why is he still running? Well, of course he likes the attention, and yes, he does believe wholeheartedly that the country needs a slap in the face. But I think it’s more than that. When he withdraws from this race, he’s going to sell his endorsement to the highest bidder. And he’ll get owed some serious political favors when it happens. He’s always thinking about the next negotiation and the next deal, and you should be too.
5. All Publicity is You Know What
Trump has owned every election news cycle so far. He helped draw the most viewers ever to a primary debate. Every water cooler convo is about him. And surprise, surprise, he’s winning. All this while insulting immigrants, women, fellow candidates, the current administration, war heroes, etc. Keeping himself in the news has kept him at the top of the polls. You’ve got to do the same thing with your show and yourself . . . but, and this is what Trump can learn from all of you . . . there is a way to keep yourself in the news without being an ass.
It’s a big thing to admit you’ve learned from an adversary, but it can be rewarding. So take a look at the people you can’t stand, ask yourself why you can’t stand them (is it because they’re doing much different things than you would ever do, yet they are still successful?), and then steal their best stuff, but put your positive stamp on it.
Oh, and don’t worry, don’t worry. He won’t win. But he is going to stir things up along the way for sure, so buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. But it may also be the most dramatic election we’ve ever had.
Hmmmm . . . is there a musical in this? Not sure, but if so, Trump will probably produce it himself. And star. And direct. And oh the merchandising!
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