BONUS – Q&A With Ken Davenport

 

That was fun.

On Wednesday night, I got on the phone with enough people to fill a Broadway theater and we brainstormed Broadway.  People called in and asked questions on everything from how the American Express promotion for Broadway shows works to how to encourage more diversity in the theater.We had many more questions than we could handle in our 1 hour time limit (ok, we went over . . . but I couldn’t help it), but still tackled a lot of stuff.

In case you missed it, I thought I’d give you the Cliff Notes version and sum up my top takeaways that we came up with on the Teleseminar.

Ready, set, here are my Top 5.

1.  What you’re not getting from people, you’re probably not giving to people.

The world runs on reciprocity.  If people aren’t helping you promote your productions, help promote other people’s.  If you need volunteers to build your set, get out there and volunteer to build someone’s first.  And don’t wait until you have something you need to start this process.  Get out there and help people now.   Not only is it a great way to live, but you’ll bank favors for the future.

2.  When choosing a theater for your out-of-town tryout, think about who lives in that town.

Are you looking to have an audience that is similar to the NY audience?  Are you looking for a “hometown” audience that will support and spread the word about the show?  The audience’s response is going to influence your development, so choose where you try out carefully.

3.  Want a booking agent or publisher?  Show them the money.

Best way to attract a licensing house or a booking agent . . . show them how well you’re doing on your own.  Don’t just sit at home and wait for someone to book or license your show.  Do it yourself, however you can.  Then show what you’ve done and how much money you’ve earned without any help to potential booking agents and publishing houses.  And say, “If you were my agent when I booked all these gigs, you would have earned $XX already.  Imagine what we could do together.”  Business people respond to a benefit to their bottom line.

4.  Producing a show is like running any other small business.

You need a product (a show).  You need a place to sell that product (a theater).  You need to market that product (advertising).  And so on.  Producing Broadway and Off Broadway shows doesn’t require super magical wizard powers.  Approach it like opening a restaurant, a bakery or a souvenir shop . . . and it will seem more manageable.  And you’ll be more successful too.

5.  How do you start producing?

You just do.  You don’t have to start with a Broadway show.  Or an Off Broadway show.  Or even an Equity Showcase.  Produce a living room Shakespeare reading series.  Produce a new play reading at your local library.  Get friends over to your dorm room and improv a new play.  Producers are fire starters.  Get some wood together.  And light the match.

I could go on and on with some of the cool stuff all of us came up with together . . . but I got a better idea.  How about I just let you listen to it on your own?

Click above to listen to the teleseminar.  Totes free.

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Click here to download it.

Enjoy it.  And let me know if you like it. Maybe we’ll do it again.

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