Three blogs that I read that you should too.

I want you to cheat on me.

Seriously.  I want you to register on the Ashley Madison of the bloggin’ community and have an affair.

As a blog writer, I also have to be a blog reader, and I read a bunch of them.  And I have to say that when I started my own personal bloggin’ adventure seven years and over 5,000 posts ago, there weren’t many theater blogs out there.  And now, well, we’ve got a whole gaggle of them (including the Shuberts themselves), plus tons of tweeters, and Instagrammers, and more.

But the three blogs I want you to look at have nothing to do with theater.

I’m a big believer in looking for inspiration outside of the world we live in every day.  A common question I hear from people in the Broadway world is, “Why do we keep doing the same thing over and over?”  Maybe that’s because we’re too inside our own little bubble.

It’s time to burst that bubble and see what the rest of the world is doing.  And that’s why I encourage you to read folks who write about other subjects besides the theater.

Here are three blogs I recommend you read and why:

1.  Seth Godin

Seth’s is the first blog I ever read.  His seminar was the first seminar that I ever took (and I modeled my own after his).  And his fingerprints are all over everything I do.  He preaches customer service, the power of the crowd, and most importantly, how being unique or remarkable in your marketing or your product development is the key to success.  Read his blog here.  And if you want a quick summation of his teachings, read this book.  It helped define my style.

2.  James Altucher

James is a newbie on my reading list.  He’s a straight shootin’ guy who made a lot of money, and lost even more.  He was broke, divorced, suicidal . . . and turned it all around.  Several times.  He has a simple plan of how to achieve success (hint – a lot of work, a little at a time), combined with practical advice on everything from starting your own business, investing in the stock market (hint – a lot of work, a little at a time), to just getting up every day, and taking on whatever challenges the world throws at you.  I find myself nodding a lot when I read his posts.  Read the blog here (and check out his podcast too).

3.  Copyblogger

Now this is where we get technical yo.  Copyblogger is one of the great and early granular marketing blogs on the web . . . mostly focused on, well, copy.  Although they’re going through a platform shift (soon to be Rainmaker) it is one of the greatest blogs I’ve read about online marketing.  You’ve heard me preach before how one of the things that I think Broadway shows are overlooking entirely is building an email list and marketing to that email list.  Instead we depend on buying other people’s lists.  Why should we buy other people’s if we have our own, right?  Copyblogger teaches you how to build a list and how to get people on that list to buy.  Read it here.

So it’s ok.  Click those links.  Cheat away.  I don’t believe in blog-onomy.  And our relationship will be even stronger for it.  Just be safe.

And always come home to me.

 

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Look who is bloggin’ now?

Last week I wrote a blog with my 5 Tips to Starting a Theater Blog.  And lo and behold, one appeared!

Ok, truth time – this new blog didn’t have anything to do with my post, but it’s still a blog that we all should must read.  Why?  Well, it’s written by someone who has access to more ticketing data than anyone in the biz . . . the Shuberts themselves!

Check out the new Shubert Ticketing Blog here (with articles by The Swami himself!).

The most recent entry?  “What’s the Problem with Wednesday Nights?”  Or as I like to call it?  Why does Wednesday night (the worst performance of the week when it comes to grosses) suck so bad?  Is it because it’s “hump day”?  Is it because there’s a matinee for most shows that day?  Is it because Survivor is on?  

Read the blog to find out.

And a big thank you to the Shuberts for opening up their data and sharing their info with us.

Now, let’s just hope they read my tips and have picked that publishing schedule . . . because I can’t wait to see what they come out with next.

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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Why do people get so upset when they see a Standing O?

The always Smart ‘N Snarky John Simon wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago airing his disgust about the ubiquitous standing ovation.  (If you don’t know JS, the quick intro is that he was quite a respected critic for a whole bunch of publications until he was fired from his Bloomberg post in 2010.  The whispers in Shubert Alley were that he was dismissed for being too “mean”.  That’s a subjective opinion, of course.  I always thought his reviews were fun, although I do seem to recall a write-up for Footloose where he he mocked the ensemble for being unattractive.)

In the blog, John hypothesizes that since he sees audiences stand up at almost every show they see that they are A) stupid or B) standing up to try and convince themselves the high price of the ticket was worth it.

Of course, John isn’t the first person, critic or otherwise, to complain about standing ovations at shows that aren’t “worthy”.  I’m sure you’ve been weirded-out when a show has gotten that kind of response when you felt it didn’t deserve it, right?  Kind of makes you mad?   I’ll admit that I’ve seen a couple shows (this season, in fact), that left me shaking my head as to what motivated the audience to get off their bums and on their feet.

But when I read John’s column, I started to wonder . . .

Why do we care what motivates a person to stand up?

A person that stands up at the end of a show has enjoyed their experience.  And when a person enjoys their experience, they are more likely to repeat it.  That = good.

And BTW, if you’ve stood on a stage, you know that a Standing O can mean a heck of a lot to those that devote their life to a career in the theater.

So, while you, or me, or John Simon, may not understand why some people jump to their feet at the end of a specific movie-turned-musical, we shouldn’t be POed that they did.  John says that they are “devaluing the standing ovation”.  Ok, maybe they are.  Maybe the Standing O is less rare and so it’s devalued.

But I’d argue that they are increasing the value of their own personal theatergoing experience.

And I’ll jump to my feet about that, 8 times a week.

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)

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5 New Things About My Blog

Well, what do you think?

If you’re looking at this blog online, you’re looking at a whole new look.  (If you’re reading this via email, then you’re also seeing a new look, but click here  to see the total new PP experience.)

Since it’s Spring Cleaning time, we thought we’d give my blog a wet-nap and clean her up a bit.  Truth is, we’ve given her a little master-cleanse as well, to flush out her insides to help your online experience even more.

Here are five new features about the design that you may/may not notice:

  • We’ve made the switch from TypePad to WordPress.  Sorry, TP, you served me well, but I fell in love with WP when I wrote my Godspell Blog, and it can do things you can’t.
  • All upcoming seminars are in one easy-to-find place, right to the right.  I received a bunch of emails from people who missed seminars just because they didn’t know when they were.  So here they are, for all to see.
  • There’s a menu bar at the top, which includes some of the previous design’s most popular links.  Also, check out the search box.  Want to read blogs about “crowdfunding”?  Just type budget in the box and away you go.
  • The “Leave a Comment” button has moved from the bottom of the entry to right underneath the headline.  So check it out and click it often.

And finally . . .

  • I finally got rid of that photo of me with the ripped jeans-look from like 2005.  I went with the navy jacket/white shirt.  I figure that can never go out of style.

Let me know what you think of the new design and the new experience!  Click that comment button (on the headline, remember?) or drop me an email to give me any feedback and we’ll continue tweaking the look as we go.

And just like a show in previews, we’re still working out our kinks, so if you notice anything that isn’t quite right (or want to suggest something to make it better), email me and let me know!

Now that we’ve got a new look . . . it’s time to come up with some more new ideas for the theater.

 

(Got a comment? I love ’em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)

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Could these 10 things really save the theater?

Crab legs aren’t the only juicy things served up in Seattle these days.  Brendan Kiley, an e-scribe for Seattle’s The Stranger, wrote one heck of a juicy article recently, entitled, “Ten Things Theaters Need to Do Right Now to Save Themselves.”

The title grabs you, right?  Well wait until you read some of the ideas . . . including moratoriums on Shakespeare, encouraging boozing, and free babysitting.

You can read the firestartin’ article here.

Do I agree with all of them?  Do you?  Feel free to chime in below with your comment of choice.  But honestly, whether you agree or disagree isn’t even why I’m posting this article today.  What I love about Mr. Kiley’s couple hundred words is that he proposed some radical solutions to a real problem.

And while sometimes radical revolutions aren’t successful (Occupy Wall Street comes to mind), the one thing they always do is get people talking . . . and slowly, change occurs.

So read the article, then try startin’ a revolution of your own.

 

(Got a comment? I love ’em, so comment below! Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)

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