Why I’m a budgeting ball buster, until I get to tech.

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know I’m in tech for two shows right now . . . Spring Awakening and Daddy Long Legs.  As I’m sure you know, tech is a very slow and arduous process.  The only thing that goes fast during tech . . . is money.

Technical rehearsals are the most expensive time in a Broadway or Off-Broadway show’s life.  There are all these people working in the theater, some for more than twelve hours a day.  Designers are realizing things don’t look like they were supposed to look.  Directors are coming up with new creative ideas that have to be realized.  And at the end of each day, everyone looks to the Producer to pay for it.

And this is where you want to be able to say “Yes!” to everything.

Tech is the most expensive time, and also the most important.  All the pieces are coming together, and there’s a ton of creativity happening . . . and you want to be able to support it.

That’s why before we get to tech, I squeeze that budget like nobody’s business.  I negotiate everything like it is the last dollar I have . . . and why?  It’s so when I get to tech and we need a new set piece or a new speaker system, I can say “Yes.”  If you’ve played fast and loose with your numbers prior to that, you’ll find yourself either having to say “No,” at a crucial stage, or going over budget, and having to answer to your investors and delaying your recoupment.

People will call you cheap (or worse) when you opt for this strategy . . . but they should thank you in tech when you’re able to provide the support at a show’s most important time.


Want to see an actual Broadway budget?  Click here!


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  • I’m *really* looking forward to both your productions – hope techs go smoothly for you, and both shows settle in for nice, long, rewarding runs. Although “Spring Awakening” is getting the most media attention (I mean, with that concept, how could it NOT?!), I’m also really anticipating “Daddy Long Legs” with a sense of nostalgic affection.

    Best wishes to you and the casts and crews!

  • Jim Semmelman says:

    Great strategy.

  • PattyK says:

    Most interesting post about tech. Knew little about that crucial part of theatre. THANKS!

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