What I Learned About TheaterMaking From Those “As Seen On TV” Commercials.

I didn’t sleep much in my 20s. And 30s. And whenever I’m in tech.

I worked into the wee hours. It was lonely in my apartment (being an artrepreneur often is, am I right?), so I kept the television on.

And at about 2:30 AM, the late night shopping commercials started. For the Chia Pet, The Flowbee and those famed Ginsu knives.

They were distracting. And I found myself drawn to them . . . even considering purchasing a set of those knives . . . when I didn’t even cook!

Then I realized what worked about those commercials. And now the most successful plays and musicals from Show Boat to Hamilton, used a VERY similar technique.

I wrote about what you can learn about how to make a hit using this same strategy on The TheaterMakers Blog recently. Read it here.  

Take The 30 Day Script Challenge. Imagine what could happen if you succeed?

My mission is to get more theater out into the world.

Because I believe the world is a better place if there is more theater in it.

One of the most successful tools in this initiative is our 30 Day Script challenge.  At least 100 scripts have come out of this sucker!  From people who hadn’t even written a page before they started!

So, at the beginning of the pandemic, if you said, “I’m going to take this time and get that script out of my head and onto a page,” now is the time.

In fact, with the way this pandemic is going, you’re running out of time!

Give it a shot with our 30 Day Script challenge!  It’s free.

So what’s the worst thing that could happen . . . you still don’t write it? You end up exactly where you are now?

Now, ask yourself . . . what’s the best thing that could happen?  Seriously. What could happen when you finish the script?

Take a moment . . . and imagine what COULD happen.

A produced play.  A licensed musical.  A great review.  An agent.  A Tony Award?

Yep, yep, yep . . . and who knows . . . until you FINISH THE SCRIPT.

So go for it. It’s free. It’s fun. And it works.

The 30 Day Script Challenge starts today, on June 1st, so sign up now.  And just think – by July 1st, you’ll have a completed first draft.

Take the Challenge here.

Podcast Episode #235: 3 Reasons Why Crowdfunding Did Not Take Off On Broadway

ESTIMATED LISTENING TIME OF THIS EPISODE:  15 Minutes

LISTEN WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO PODCASTS:

 

ABOUT THIS EPISODE:

It has been 10 years (!) since I crowdfunded Godspell. It remains one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in this business. 

But, like most difficult things, it was also one of the best things I ever did for my business. And my life.

Not only did we fund the production, and help launch the careers of some superstars, but I’m also still friends with many of “People of Godspell”, which is what we called our Producers and Investors (we had over 730 of them!).

After we successfully crowdfunded the show, using an old regulation called a “Reg A,” Congress passed The Jobs Act . . . which made it MUCH easier for businesses to crowdfund.

Everyone predicted an explosion of this type of microfinancing in all industries . . . Broadway and Off-Broadway included.

And it didn’t happen.

I don’t know of ONE Broadway or Off-Broadway production to utilize the new “Regulation CF” since it was passed.

Why?

Here are three reasons why.  Listen to this episode to learn more.

AFTER YOU LISTEN:

  • FOLLOW The Producer’s Perspective on Apple Podcast (it’s FREE!)
  • REVIEW the Podcast on Apple Podcast (it’s the biggest compliment you can give)
  • SHARE this episode with your friends!
  • JOIN the TheaterMakers Facebook Group

 

My mission is to get more people talking about the theater.  The more people talking about it, the more people who want to make it, perform it, support it, etc.  And that’s how theater not only survives, but thrives.

The biggest compliment you can give me is by sharing this podcast.

I thank you and the theater thanks you!

 

RECENT EPISODES:

May 28, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

Here’s what TheaterMakers were talking about this week . . .

1 – Hadestown announces Sept. 2 reopening on Broadway

Hadestown announced Monday that it will return to Broadway September 2, almost two weeks earlier than the previously scheduled opening date for the industry. 

Read more: broadwaynews.com

 

2 – Tony Awards announce fall broadcast on Paramount+, Broadway special on CBS

A presentation of The Tony Awards will air at 7 p.m. EST Sept 26. on Paramount+. At 9 p.m. EST, CBS will air a special entitled “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!” which will feature performances from the Tony-nominated Best Musicals and a live presentation of the Tony Awards for Best Play, Best Revival of a Play and Best Musical.

Read more: broadwaynews.com

 

3 – Fitness memberships, Broadway shows and Governor’s Ball tickets part of NYC’s vaccine contest giveaway

Mayor Bill de Blasio invited unvaccinated New Yorkers on Monday to come, get their shot and enter for a chance to win big prizes including Broadway shows, tickets to Governor’s Ball and more.

Read more: amny.com

 

4 – Sen. Chuck Schumer, industry leaders on Broadway’s reopening and questions that remain

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and leaders of Broadway gathered in Times Square Friday to speak to Broadway’s reopening and the passage of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. 

Read more: broadwaynews.com

 

5 – Curtain Up! Broadway.com Gifts Theater Tickets to 100 New York City Small Business Owners

One hundred small business owners who represent the five boroughs of New York City and the diversity that makes NYC so special have been chosen as the winners of the I Love NYC SMB Campaign.

Read more: broadway.com

 

Fun on a Friday:

In honor of the Tony Awards and Hadestown re-opening announcements this week, lets throw it back to their incredible Tony’s performance, where they won Best Musical that night!

 

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TheaterMaking 2.021

The theater is emerging from a crisis none of us could have imagined.  Ever. Like never ever.

But we got through it. Which is a real testament to anyone and everyone who makes theater. YES I AM TALKING TO YOU.

Your passion and commitment to this thing we do is what kept a whole industry alive. So thank you.

And that energy is exactly why we’re coming out on the other side. Fin-a-effin-ly.

Reopening dates for Broadway, Off Broadway and at theaters all over the world are in our sights. We are almost there.

But don’t plan your cast parties just yet.

As much as I’m celebrating the end of this @#$%ing tortuous time, the end of the pandemic does not mean that the theater is back.

It means we CAN come back. It doesn’t mean we’re all the way back.

But we can be. And we will be.

As long as we focus on three things.

What are those three things?

I don’t have to tell you, because you already know.

See, two weeks ago, I asked those of you out there who were producing your own work or producing other people’s work, to tell me what your greatest challenge was coming out of this pandemic.

The top three answers from the hundreds of surveys I received?

1.  What types of plays and/or musicals are going to be in demand post-pandemic?

2.  How do I get audiences, producers, and investors to see my shows post-pandemic?

3. How do I raise money for my show post-pandemic?

In other words, your concerns were what I call “The Three Ms”:

Material

Marketing

Money

Know what’s funny? These are the most common questions I got BEFORE the pandemic.

Know what’s NOT funny?

The answers have all changed.

It’s a new world. Which means the art that we create for that world, how we market it and how we get it supported has changed.

And if you think you can do what you did before and be successful, well, good luck to you.

See, we’re past TheaterMaking 1.0.

What we are doing right now? It’s TheaterMaking 2.021. And beyond.

Do you want to know my answers to those three questions above?   And what TheaterMaking in 2021 and beyond is gonna look like?  And how to make shows work in a post pandemic world?

I’m going to answer those questions, of course. That’s why I asked you for them!

But, because the answers are going to be a bit more detailed than my usual posts, and because the answers for a small, committed group of TheaterMakers . . . (and because I don’t want to clog inboxes if this you’re not in that group), I’m going to answer them in a 3-part exclusive email series.

You can sign up for that series here.

The first email will drop June 2nd.  (I’m still researching my answers, which is why the delay, so bear with me.)

So if you’re interested in learning how I’m approaching producing my own work and other people’s work post-pandemic, click here to sign up.

In this series, I’ll give you my post-pandemic take and some new strategies I’m using for those “3 Ms:  Materials, Marketing and Money.”

Because we all need new strategies. And we need them now.

Because look, the biggest takeaway I got from the pandemic is that life is short. And we’ve got shows to do. And no time to waste. We just lost a year. I don’t know about you, but I’m not losing another one by sitting around.

So let’s get to it.

Sign up here for my 3-part series on TheaterMaking 2.021 starting June 2nd.

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