Forget Mike. Be like Chris.

Whether you think Chris Columbus “discovered” America or whether you think he was a lucky land thief, you have to agree with one thing.

He was one hell of a Producer.

Well, wasn’t he?

He had an idea for a project.  He went out and raised money for that project.  And he launched his project when he launched the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria from a small port in Spain.

While sure, he ended up producing a slightly different show than the one he wanted (he was kind of hoping to find the Taj Mahal and ended up finding Atlantis), but things change a lot during development, right?

But he was a Producer.

And a fearless one.

Can you imagine just getting on a giant wooden ship and sailing off into the ocean, not knowing what was out there?  Now can you imagine doing this 500 years ago?  I know a lot of people that won’t get on a Carnival cruise now, never mind before electricity was invented!

Columbus knew there was a chance he would end up failing, end up penniless . . . and die.  But he did it anyway.

And that’s why all of us should produce like him.  We should be explorers.

Explore new artistic territory.  Ask the kings and queens of our world for money.  And show the world things they’ve never seen before.

What’s the worst that is going to happen?  We’re not going to get scurvy.  We’re not going to go mad.  We’re not going to get strung up by natives.

So what are you so afraid of?

That someone is going to say no to you?  That someone may not like your show?  That a reviewer may not like your show?  That someone may say, “Hey, there goes that guy.  He produced a flop.”

Oh please.  Get over it.  We all need to get over it.  Because frankly, our failure just ain’t that bad.  That’s why we all aren’t brain surgeons.  Our work isn’t life or death.  It’s entertainment.

So my advice, to myself, and to all of us on this day is to produce live like an explorer.

You may not find what you set out to, but I guarantee it will be a lot more rewarding then sitting on your a$$.


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  • David Rigano says:

    He certainly had a good PR team.

  • Richard Seff says:

    I totally agree! I’ve done just what Chris did, put together a healthy bouncing baby Musical for Broadway called SHINE!
    Hal Prince sent me to you with it. No dice. But people deserve second chances, don’t you agree? All I need is a Queen Isabella and I’m all set. And you could share in all the glory and the coins that pour in. C’mon Ken. Think like Chris Columbus and give me a call. R.S.

  • Rich Mc says:

    Yes, I like & admire the legacy of Chris C….but WTF is the reference to “Mike”??
    (Since moving to CO I confess to not getting out much 🙂

  • I couldn’t agree more! Much needed pep talk as we begin performances today for LIBERTY Off-Broadway at Theatre 80. Thanks Ken!

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