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One question to help make your show stand out.

I’m a big fan of the checklist.

Most anal-retentive, Type A, borderline OCD people/producers are.

I’ve always been this way, but after I read this best-selling book as part of our Davenport Theatrical Book Club, I took my checklists to the next level.

And it has been great for me and my staff, as we’ve found that a checklist for any repeated process helps make sure you stay true to your original mission and do it with more efficiency.

That process can even be producing shows, writing shows, directing shows or anything with shows.

Here’s one of the questions that is on my checklist for every single show I do, and should be on yours as you travel down the path to production.

Ready?  Here goes:

What am I doing in this show that has never been done before?

That’s it.

See, we all know that unique is what works.  It’s why every 1st-year business student learns that before you launch a company you better have a clearly defined “USP” (Unique Selling Proposition).

Too often, theatermakers forget that we’re a business too, and just doing what has been done before makes your shot at success that much harder.

You have to stand out, whether that’s in the writing, directing, producing, marketing, designing . . . and preferably in all of those elements!

Because what’s unique is what is talked about.  It’s what gets press, and it’s what gets audiences excited.

I’m reminded of this every time I put my RUG hat on . . . and think about Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Starlight Express, School of Rock, and so many others in the portfolio.  Every one of these has something about them that was new, revolutionary and not seen in your run-of-the-mill Broadway show.

And certainly, Hamilton, Avenue Q, Book of Mormon, Rent, A Chorus Line, The Lion King, etc. all follow this same rule.

So as you work on your show today . . . whether you’re a Producer, Writer, Director, Designer or Marketer, ask yourself, “What am I doing in this show that has never been done before?”

The longer the list, the longer the run.