Sure, you wrote the show, now will you help me sell it?

Did anyone else besides me try to make it down 44th Street at about 10:30pm last week?

If you did, you weren’t the only one stuck on the street.  You probably found yourself among hundreds and hundreds of Green Day fans dying to catch a glimpse of Billie Joe Armstrong coming out of the stage door of the St. James.

No, he wasn’t sitting and watching his show.

He was doing it.

Billie Joe sent us all in a tizzy last week when he announced he would appear in American Idiot for 8 performances in place of the vacationing Tony Vincent.  And he sent the box office into overtime when the show grossed over $1 mil.

It was exactly the shot of adrenaline that Idiot needed.

As the economics get more and more challenging, Producers need more and more assistance in marketing their shows from all of the players in their productions.

And the authors are the most important of the lot.

Getting the assistance and support of your creatives is essential in selling a show in 2010.  Billie Joe is an amazing case of a creative’s willingness to do whatever it takes to help a show compete in a challenging market.  Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s hard work behind the Next to Normal Twitter campaign is another great example.

As the Producer of a new show, you’ve got an uphill battle, and you should make it clear to everyone involved that if they are not willing to put their back into it . . . well, then you may not be willing to back it.

A big thank you to Billie Joe, Tom and Brian, and all the other authors out there who keep working long after their show is frozen.

  • Ken,
    You are my HERO!!! I just subscribed to your blog about a month ago and posting many of installments on my facebook page
    I’ve got a great show that ran in LA for 9 months and we’re working on bringing it to NY. On my worst days you give me hope!
    Mariann Aalda, co-creator, “M.O.I.S.T.!”

  • As a composer and lyricist, I have always worked tirelessly with producers to help them promote anything I’ve written, even to the point of standing in Times Square, myself, in the freezing snow and rain, to get people into the theaters, not to mention my website and social networking.
    When our show “The Last Session” made its off-Broadway debut back in the late 90s, I was literally the first person to make a website for an off-Broadway show, the first creative participant in a show to hit all the then-new discussion boards like “All That Chat.”
    For me, the producer is my partner, not the person I had a show off to. Few creatives really understand this.

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