Our Official 2019 Broadway Holiday Gift Guide

I know what you’re thinking . . . “Wasn’t it just Labor Day?”

The answer?  Yes.  Yes it was.

As if Harry Potter cast a monthus-disappearus spell, here we are on the eve of Black Friday, ready for another mad dash to the end of the year.

Thanksgiving is late this year, which means less time to do your holiday shopping.  That’s why we’ve put together this list of the Top 10 Broadway GIfts to help you as you shop for the Broadway theater lover in your life (or in case you are just looking to put something for yourself in your stocking).   And this year, we’ve made sure we’ve added a bunch under $20.

And now, the overture is over . . . let’s raise the curtain on my 2019 Broadway Holiday Gift Guide:

1. Be A Broadway Star Board Game

Be a Broadway Star was a “shower idea.”  It literally came to me in the shower back in 2011.  And when I dreamed it up and wrote the name on the steam of my shower door, I never imagined it would turn into one of the hottest selling Broadway gifts on the market.  What has been fun to see is people of all ages playing the game, from college kids, to little ones, to senior theater goers!  And even Ben Platt!  (Click here and scroll down to see the photo)

It’s a no-brainer gift for any theater lover in your life, and super fun to play.

This year we have a new, limited-edition Holiday Expansion pack! Download the full 31-page expansion pack for FREE here!

Get the game here now.  It sells out every season, so don’t wait.

2. My Broadway Binder!

We made these as a gift for our Broadway Investors.  And we got such great feedback on them, we wondered if other folks might want to buy them.  

The answer?  Yes.  Yes they would.

So we modified ’em, included some sheet protectors and even came up with a unique design for our binder that prevents the Playbills from falling out.

It’s a must for all Broadway fans which makes it a terrific holiday gift. 

Get the Broadway Playbill binder here.

3. A Broadway Puzzle featuring 20 of your favorite Broadway stars!

Want a great group activity at your holiday gathering?  Or looking for a solo activity?  Make the most of a rainy or snowy day this holiday season and piece together this Broadway-themed jigsaw puzzle featuring 20 of Broadway’s biggest stars!

Get it here.

4. Broadway Coloring Book

Coloring books are in. 

And in this great Broadway gift for under $10, you can color all of your favorite show tunes in this Broadway Lyric Coloring Book! The book features 24 pages of mandala designs and lyrics from popular shows. 

You can bet your bottom dollar this is in my daughter’s stocking this year.  Gotta get her started right!

Get the coloring book here.

5. Musical Theatre themed colored pencils

When I was a kid if you wanted to color, you had one choice . . . crayons.  Now there are . . . wait for it . . . musical-theatre themed colored pencils!  Another great gift for under $20 which makes it an ideal Secret Santa gift!

Get the musical theater pencils here.

6. Books, books, and more books!

I could have a whole Broadway Holiday Gift Guide just for Broadway books! But here are a few of my top picks this season.

The Secret Life of the American Musical by Jack Viertel

Written by a true master of the American theater, this book is rich with information and stories to delight any theater fan (or theater maker). 

Broadway Trivia

Test your knowledge of the Great White Way with this 9-chapter Broadway Trivia Book! 

Broadway Trivia includes 9 chapters with easy, medium and hard trivia for Broadway fans of all ages! Test your knowledge about Broadway theaters, history of the great white way, show tunes and more!

Broadway Investing 101

Everything you need to know about how to get started in investing in Broadway Shows.

How To Raise Money For The Arts . . . Or For Anything!

Does the mere thought of asking people for money make you nervous? I sat down and wrote a 100+ page comprehensive how-to guide on the subject of raising money for the theater – the only one of its kind!

Action Journals

Created specifically with artists in mind, these action journals are a 90-day template for success. It helps you stay on track and reflect along the way. (Be sure to share your thoughts using #ActionJournalForArtists. I’d love to hear what you think!)

7. Playbill Frame

When a Broadway binder isn’t enough for your Broadway fan, or Broadway star-to-be, get ’em this Playbill frame to show off that their most prized Broadway possession.  Great for those of you who have seen Hamilton . . . just to rub it in your friends’ faces when they come over.  Get it here.

8. Broadway Momento Box 

And if the frame isn’t good enough . . . well, there’s almost another step up!  Use this shadow box as a unique way to show off your favorite Broadway memories!  If they had this when I was 16, I would have owned 160.  Get the momento box here.

9. The TheaterMakers Studio Membership

TheaterMakers belong together.  That’s why we created a brand-new, state-of-the-art, industry-leading membership community and certification training experience for theater-makers! If you want to create theater – or know someone who does – The TheaterMakers Studio is the best resource for you.

As a member, you’ll have access to our certification courses, monthly group coaching calls with my team of experts, access to our Private Facebook Community, a literal treasure trove of resources, checklists, execution plans, and a ton more!  Check it out here and get it for the writer, actor, director, producer in your life.

10. The Broadway Pop Chart of Costumes

Someone actually gifted this to me last year . . . and in a perfect example of word of mouth at work . . . I’m now recommending it to you.  Check out this unique poster art here.

 

 

And of course, theater tickets, Broadway t-shirts and the latest cast recordings are always great gifts for Broadway lovers.  But whatever you get for your Broadway or Theater Fan, get them something theater related.  It all helps support the art and business we all love!

BOOK PRESALE ALERT: This one answers the question I’m asked the most.

Last spring we released the only book on the subject Broadway Investing . . . and now we’re releasing a brand new book about the subject I’m asked about more than anything else . . .

Early Hungarian cabinet making!

No, no . . . jk, jk.  (By the way, that cabinet making quip is a European Vacation reference.)

The topic I’m asked about more than anything is . . . how to raise money for Broadway or Off-Broadway shows.

So, in an effort to help those of you out there producing or self-producing shows (and as part of our #5000By2025 mission), this summer I wrote the only book about raising money specifically geared towards the theater.

And it’s available now for presale on Amazon.com for only a fraction of what it will cost when it is officially released.

What’s it called?

It’s a continuation of our “How To” series.  The first was, How To Succeed in the Arts . . . or in Anything.  And this is, yep, How to Raise Money in the Arts . . . or in Anything. (There will be one more in the series, by the way – I’ll let you guess what that “How To” is.)

This book covers . . .

  • The different legal structures for raising money for the arts.
  • Where to find investors for your specific project.
  • How to script your ask in order to increase your chance for success.
  • The most important part of raising money that most people forget (do this and you’ll raise the money you need 10x faster at least).
  • How to enjoy raising money (it is possible – truly).

The book is gonna list for $19.95 . . . but you can get it via the Amazon presale for only $5.99 (Jeff Bezos likes when self-publishers give his customers a super-duper entry-level price for new books . . . and what Bezos wants, Bezos gets – and you benefit).  Just do me a favor, after you finish it, give it a good review so that more people can find it.

Because the truth is, after Bezos takes his chunk, this book doesn’t make us any money.  But it could find money for a lot of people’s projects.

And that means there will be more theater in the world.  And that means the world will be that much better of a place.

Get How To Raise Money For The Arts . . . Or For Anything first here (or get it for a friend).

#5000By2025.

Forget 15 Minutes a Day to Flatter Abs. Use Those 15 Minutes to Do THIS Instead.

A long time ago, in a galaxy very close to Times Square . . . I was in deep you-know-what.

See, I had made a bad business assumption.

Actually, that’s redundant. Any assumption is a bad one.  Because when you assume, you make an a$$ out of yourself . . . and only yourself!  And now what the @#$% are you going to do?

So, I had made this business assumption. And I found myself in a very, very deep hole.  With very limited time to get out of it.

Now look, I had been in holes before.  Life, and even more so the pursuit of success in the arts, is like a street in New York City.  It’s filled with potholes, and you’re going to hit one every once in a while.

But this time?  I hit a doozy.  I was in deep.  Deeper than the one I had been in years before that had me in tears on my therapist’s couch, wondering how I was going to get out of it.

So yeah, things were bad.

And I needed a plan.  Because there was no choice.  I had to dig myself out.  No matter what.

There were no tears this time.  I woke up at 4:45 AM (partly on purpose and partly because I couldn’t sleep) and went straight to my office to begin putting a process in place to get me over, under, or straight damn through the obstacle I was facing.

That morning, I Googled everything I could about getting back on track.  I learned about eating better and morning routines and meditation and positive thinking and . . . journaling.

I had always laughed at journaling before.  “Isn’t it like keeping a diary?”  “Why reflect or describe what’s happening when I can just do something with that time instead!”

But since so many successful people I looked up to swore by this 15-minute a day exercise and since I was so @#$%ed I was ready to try anything to get myself in the right mindset . . . I bought one.  (Actually, I bought three – but more on that later.)

And the next day, I took that journal, which I had one-day shipped from Amazon Prime, and held it.  And instantly I felt like I had control over what was going to happen next in my life, instead of “the hole” taking control of me.

Day after day, I started going through the exercises in that journal, from goal-setting, to mind-setting, to gratitude-feeling, and so on.

Two weeks later, my problem was gone . . . four weeks earlier than the deadline.

Boom.

And journaling has been a part of my life every single day since.  And without a doubt, it has helped me focus, take action, stay calm (when I’ve faced more potholes), and achieve the ambitious goals that I had set for myself.

It’s one of the simplest secrets to success I’ve ever seen.  Which is why I think you should start one today.

You can use anything to journal.  A blank composition book.  A blog.  A word doc.

Or one of the many journals available on the market.

And as of today, you can also get one specifically for Artists, Art-trepreneurs, and other people like you.  Check them out here.

See, in order to make my journaling more efficient, I tried over seventeen (!) different types from seventeen different companies.  And while all of them had elements I liked (special shout-out to Michael Hyatt, SaltWrap, Rachel Hollis, and all the others who helped inspire me with their versions), none of them had the perfect combination of what I believe true Art-repreneurs need.

So we made our own!  🙂  Click here to see ’em.

The journal consists of a daily checklist of the things I believe every person should start their day with in order to get the most out of the next 24 hours and to get closer to their goals.

We have three versions, with three unique covers, inspired by some of our favorite motivational lyrics.  🙂  I think you’ll like ’em.  Click here to see if you can guess which lyrics we chose!

With the cost of publishing these hardcovers, never mind what Jeff Bezos takes on Amazon, these are really a wash for us.  But we made them because we believe it can help you get your shows, your projects, your anything off the ground, which as you know, is part of our #5000By2025 mission.

So grab one and give it a shot.

Because I think you’ll find those 15 minutes a day much more fun and MUCH more rewarding than a bunch of crunches.


Get our Action Journal for Artists here.

It will work.

Happy journaling!

We wrote the book on Broadway Investing. Literally.

Let me take you back in time . . . to when I was a young pup, looking to get into the game of producing and investing in Broadway shows.

I looked everywhere for a guide on how to get involved only to find . . . there was jack @#$% available anywhere on how to do it.

I eventually figured stuff out on my own, through trial (and quite a few) errors, and I vowed that one day when I knew more, I’d go public with the info in the hopes to help of helping folks avoid the mistakes that I made.

In the midst of all this, I crowdfunded my Broadway revival of Godspell in 2011.  Thousands of people expressed interested in investing, which made me realize just how many people out there were interested but had previously been hesitant to start investing.  Not only did they not know the ins-and-outs, but they didn’t know how to get started investing in an industry that has such a high-risk reputation.

Flash forward to today, when Broadway investing has become more popular than ever, thanks to the booming Broadway box office and the lightning rod of press we’ve received from hits like Hamilton,  telecasts like Jesus Christ Superstar, and more.

More people are interested . . . but based on the questions people ask me, there still wasn’t much information to be found.

That made me nervous.

See, while I love that people are interested in investing in Broadway, I want to make sure that when they do invest, they do so with the information they need to invest (combined) with the right expectations and the right strategies to maximize their chance of a positive experience, financially, artistically and emotionally.  (I often say that investing in Broadway is the riskiest investment you’ll ever love to make.)

So I thought . . . there should be a book about Broadway Investing.  I know when I get involved in a new area in my life, be it golfing or parenthood, I read a book about it.

But there wasn’t one on Broadway Investing.

So I wrote one.

And I’m thrilled to say you can pre-order it right now on Amazon.com . . . for only $2.99.

The price will jump up to $19.99 when we’re officially on the “shelf,” on March 15th, but since I think the information in the book is important for anyone even remotely interested in investing in Broadway (and for those of you looking to raise money from investors as well), I wanted to offer a super low opportunity for you to get it now.  In fact, this is as low as Amazon will allow, actually.

So if you want to know . . .

  • What happens to your money after you invest.
  • How does money get returned to you?
  • What are the perks and benefits you MUST ask for when investing in order to maximize your returns?
  • The biggest mistakes first time Broadway Investors make
  • My strategies for picking shows that decrease your risk and increases your chance of finding a big hit.

. . . then click here and grab Broadway Investing 101 for only $2.99.

Oh, and as a bonus, each purchase includes a link to an online appendix that includes tons of free materials including sample documents, budgets, exclusive research from actual investors, and more.  It’s the only treasure chest of information available that is especially for the current or future Broadway Investor.

So grab the only book available all about Broadway Investing . . . and let me know what you think.

I hope it helps you find the next Hamilton.  🙂

Get it for only $2.99 until March 15th here.

UPDATE:  The book has already been put on Playbill.com’s list of books to read this Spring!

What Marie Kondo can teach you about rewriting your script.

If you don’t know who Marie Kondo is, then you’re probably living under a very untidy rock.

Marie Kondo is the author of the bestselling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and the star of the new Netflix series “Tidying Up” which has become the hot water-cooler conversation of late.

Ms. Kondo is an organizational guru who changes lives by changing how you keep your home clean.

So, my Type A peeps out there?  You’re going to love her.  And the non-Type A’s?  She’s just what your cluttered closet ordered.

Her basic principle of “tidying” is pretty simple.  Instead of looking at what is in your closet and saying, “What should I throw away,” she turns the question around to ask a positive one . . . “What should I keep?”  And her rule about what stays around is . . .

Only hold on to items that “spark joy.”

So vivid, right?

A sweater that sparks joy stays.  If you don’t feel joyous when you put on those jeans, out they go.  Same with trinkets or books . . .  or even people.  🙂

This got me to thinking about how to apply it to the development of shows and more specifically, how Authors should deal with the notes they get on a script.

If you’re a writer then you know . . . everyone has an idea on how to rewrite your script, right?  And every time you do a reading or send it around, you probably get so many notes, you don’t know where to start . . . and end up not starting at all.

Feedback can be overwhelming, which is why I suggest following the Marie Kondo approach.

See, too many writers I know (especially new ones) take ALL the notes they are given by all the various people who give them . . . and the next draft ends up looking like some kind of collage of a show with no singular vision.

Writers need to know how to filter the feedback they receive, so the show gets better and remains the same show the writer wants to write.

How do you filter?

You Kondo your feedback.

Writers should only take notes that “spark joy.”

When you get a note, you should think about it, roll it around, debate it if you must, and wait for it to give you a burning desire to get back to the keyboard to make the change.

If it doesn’t even get you excited about doing the rewrite?  Forget the note altogether.  Because even if you take it, you won’t write it well, so why bother?

To be a successful rewriter, you must be enthusiastic about the process if you’re going to improve your script.

But you should never sacrifice the story that you want to tell just because someone else has ideas on how they would write it.

They are not you.  The script is not theirs.  It’s yours.

So write the show you want to write, and let Marie Kondo make it even tidier.

– – – – –

Want to learn how to self-diagnose your own script so you don’t have to hear from anyone else? 🙂  Download our “How To Self Diagnosis Your Script” execution plan today and get your script better by tonight! Click here.

Looking for expert feedback on your script from my Director of Creative Development or Ken Davenport? Click here to apply for our script coverage services.

 

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