Producers Gone Wild!

I’ve been doing something at meetings for a few years now that I’ve found so rewarding to my projects and, frankly, so much fun, that I thought I’d share it with you.

It’s a simple one, actually.

At every meeting I have, across all departments (marketing, office administration, etc.) I give all of my employees a simple task . . . bring one idea to the table to help sell tickets, save money, or whatever the focus of that meeting is . . . that is absolutely bonkers.

Call it thinking big, or thinking outside the box, or whatever.

But I call it crazy.  Wild.  Absolutely effin’ nuts.

One idea that may be so freakin’ bad it might get laughed out of the room.

Or, it just may stretch our minds enough to get us thinking more creatively . . . so that we come up with an idea that is unique, that hasn’t been done . . . and that actually may work.

We work in an industry that tends to rely on the same ol’, same ol’.  There’s a formula for advertising and marketing and managing and staffing and so on.  The problem is, it doesn’t work for most shows.

So new ideas, even the kooky ones, may be just what some shows need to survive.

Make one crazy idea mandatory at your meetings as well.  You probably won’t do most of them.  But you’ll stimulate imagination.  And encouraging your staffers to not be afraid to go wild just may lead you to wild success.


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  • I love the title of this post! It got my mind thinking;with all the published craziness of producers lately, and just the war stories I’ve got as a treasurer (dealing with the consequences of marketing) There absolutely should be a reality TV show about Producers, GM’s, Press Agents, etc. Perhaps there already is, but I don’t think Smash even begins to touch on the drama of running a production. The minutia of programming a discount code getting it approved etc. can make for enough drama alone for one episode. Best, A

  • janiska says:

    Adam, I emailed Ken with an idea like that a month or so ago. It would be great entertainment. And TV needs more entertainment value.

    Ken, how about something like your off the wall ideas project for us blog readers? We’re pretty creative folks and lots of us have some really nutty ideas. You never know there might be a gem among our ideas somewhere.


  • Richard Seff says:

    Here’s a wild idea for you. Option SHINE! the great success from the NYMF 2010 season, then produce it
    in some regional theatre (say Westport or Paper Mill Playhouse or the McCarter or one of those popular theatres out west). Accept the incremental moneys that have been pledged, raise a little more yourself,
    and retain rights for first class production. The authors would even consider allowing you a (small) share of their future earnings from subsidiaries. Think of ANNIE, OLIVER!, BYE BYE BIRDIE, NEWSIES and other musicals dealing with exuberant kids with a great leading role, and help bring back to Broadway the kind of musical it’s always loved. Now THAT’S a crazy idea that could change your life! I only ask you to remember why Hal Prince sent me to you in the first place. I enjoy your columns. Listen to the comments. Richard Seff /

  • You said,”I give all of my employees a simple task . . . bring one idea to the table to help sell tickets, save money, or whatever the focus of that meeting is . . . that is absolutely bonkers” Could you share any of those ideas that would help small, semi-professional theatre groups?

  • jon gerb says:

    Hot tubs. Replace all seats in all Broadway houses with hot tubs. At the circle in the square theater you can make a lazy river that goes around the stage.

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