Last chance to join 1,500 other TheaterMakers in our challenge.

Facts:

  • It starts in 24 hours.
  • 5 days.
  • 10+ Broadway A-listers including Mandy Gonzalez, Justin Guarini, Telly Leung, James Snyder, Vivek J. Tiwary, Ryan Scott Oliver, Rodrick Covington, Susan Blackwell, Laura Camien, Amber Iman, Tony Howell, Kate Rockwell, and more.
  • 20+ actual strategies you can start using today that will help you have your best year of theatermaking yet, no matter if you’re a Writer, Producer, Director, Actor, etc.
  • There are 1,500 people signed up as I type this.
  • 1 hour per day from noon – 1 PM Eastern Standard Time.  (With on-demand replays available in case you can’t participate live.)
  • We’re giving away tons of prizes including an iPad.
  • It’s free.
  • You can sign up here.
  • Did I say it starts in less than 24 hours?

Oh, one more thing . . .

  • While there are going to be 20+ strategies discussed, it only takes one . . . one idea, thought, action item . . . that breaks you through in this biz.  The right play, role, investor . . . and bam. So there’s no reason to not sign up . . . unless you don’t want it as bad as you say you do.

See you there.  Noon tomorrow.

Sign up here.

(If you have ALREADY signed up, make sure you join our private FACEBOOK GROUP – where the event will be streamed.  Check your email for instructions.  Because the Facebook Group is where it’s all going to happen!)

The Top 10 FAQ About Our Theatermakers Challenge (that starts next week!)

Ok, sooooo, you like this challenge idea, don’t you?

How do I know you like it?

Well, we announced it a week ago, and we already have enough people signed up to fill a Broadway theater!  Truly!  (Haven’t signed up yet? Click here.)

Already our private Facebook group is poppin’ with TheaterMakers like you. And they’re all ready to charge ahead and take charge.

To those of you who already signed up; your passion for making this your best year of theatermaking yet is so inspiring to me.  So, we’re doubling down on the challenge. We’re adding more content, more strategies, and some surprises along the way.

Oh and prizes. Lots of prizes.

We will be giving away something theatermaking-related every single day of the challenge.

Like . . .

  1. Final Draft 11 Scriptwriting software! ($249 value)
  2. Headshot package with Photographer Jeremy Daniel ($450 value)
  3. Promotional Blast from The Streaming Stage Company to Promote Your Work to over 50k people ($995 value)
  4. Get your video edited together professionally with Video Editor Katie Goffman ($599 value)

And even . . .

The Work From Home package of your dreams including:

Video Conference Selfie Ring Light ($24.99 value)
Blue Yeti Nano Professional Condenser USB Microphone for Recording/Streaming on PC/Mac ($99 value)

and, drumroll please . . .

A BRAND NEW iPad Pro ($999 value)!!!

Oh, and you’ll also get the most valuable thing of all . . .advice that can help you achieve the things you want to achieve in the theater . . . you know the things you see when you close your eyes and dream.

That advice will be delivered by a team of “Broadway Avengers” – 10+ super successful TheaterMakers who will be your mentors through the challenge (and maybe even beyond?).

So get ready.

If you haven’t signed up . . . click here.

Now, since we announced the challenge, some questions have come up and I wanted to make sure I answered them . . . so here they go!

 

1. How much is The Challenge?

The challenge is free. It’s sponsored by The TheaterMakers Studio, the masterclass-like community of TheaterMakers I founded five years ago. You do NOT have to be a member of TheaterMakers Studio to join. TMS uses events like the challenge to let TheaterMakers know how it helps TheaterMakers.

 

2. What time is The Challenge?

The Challenge will take place from 1/18 – 1/22 from 12-1pm ET/ 11am-12pm CT/ 10-11am MT/ 9am-10am PT.

That’s 5-6 pm in London, 2-3 am in Japan, 4-5 am in Australia, for our international TheaterMakers.

 

3. What if I can’t make those times?

We WILL have replays of the video for those of you who can’t tune in during those times. While we strongly suggest you show up LIVE (so you can participate in the comments, ask questions, etc) we realize this is impossible to mandate. So, we will have replays! (But we suggest you add the challenge to your daily calendar NOW to reserve the time.)

 

4. Where does it take place?

It’s all online . . . and on Facebook.

You’ll be invited to join a private Facebook group of TheaterMakers like you. There you’ll get access to the private livestreams with me and the speakers . . . and you’ll also be able to talk with your fellow Challengers. This is where some of our biggest success stories come from! We’ve had bookwriters meet composers, directors meet writers and producers meet playwrights.

Don’t have a Facebook page?  Get one! There, you’re already going to have a more successful 2021.

 

5. Who are the speakers again?

You’ll get advice from Susan Blackwell, Laura Camien, Rodrick Covington, Mandy Gonzalez, Justin Guarini, Tony Howell, Amber Iman, Telly Leung, Ryan Scott Oliver, James Snyder, Vivek Tiwary, as well as a few surprise guests as well.

 

6. Who is it for?

It’s for anyone who wants to make theater or wants to make more theater. Whether you are just starting out or you’re a veteran TheaterMaker, this challenge will jump start your 2021 so you’ll be doing more of what you want to do. It’s for Writers, Producers, Directors, Actors . . . and yes, even Fans.  So sign up.  If you don’t like it, you can get your money back. Oh, wait.

 

7. What does the “challenge” part mean?

Great question.

So, this isn’t my livestream. This isn’t the Summit . This is a challenge.

That means you WILL have homework! You will have assignments. Of course, you can choose NOT to do them. No one is getting graded (hmmmm, there’s an idea for next time!).
But if you don’t do them, you won’t go as far this year as you will if you DO do them. Period.
So get ready to work.
8. How do we take charge of our TheaterMaking during Covid?
Some of the people on our speaker list had one of their most successful years ever in 2020. Is it harder to do? Sure. But that’s why learning strategies from those who have been successful are more important.
Oh, and Dr. Fauci expects theater to be up and running by the fall.  So this is the time when you get ahead.
9. Are you running The Challenge again soon?
No. Talk to us in 2022.
10. Will I feel out of my league if I haven’t started my theater career yet? It’s still just a dream?
Everyone starts somewhere. It’s just important to start. And this Challenge is a great way to do just that.
11. Where do I sign up?
See you at The Challenge in . . . 6 days!

Your Favorite Daddy-Daughter Duo Is Back!

I think it’s safe to say that what the world needs now . . .more than ever . . . is love, sweet love.

That’s the mission of YouTube singing sensations Mat & Savanna Shaw, who found an audience of millions during this pandemic, with their joyous and simple videos.  That’s right, who needs special effects and high tech, when you have a duo like this, with a message like this.
And that’s why I produced their world premiere concert a few weeks ago.
It was so successful (thousands tuned in) that we wanted to give those who missed it another chance.  That’s why, through Friday, January 15th, you can see their livestreamed concert OnDemand!.
Grab your ticket here, and don’t forget to share with friends and family.
And I dare you not to smile when these two sing.
Enjoy!

The Top 10 Best Broadway Moments of 2020: PART II

Hello and happy New Year, everybody!
 
As we all prepare to forge ahead . . . I’m still stuck in 2020!  I mean, why not. It was soooo much fun, let’s hang out here a wee bit more, shall we?
Ok, ok.  I get it.  Stop throwing the e-tomatoes.  I’ll be quick.
 
Today you get Part II of my “Top 10 Best Broadway Moments of 2020”. Then, I promise, we can move the eff on.
 
Let’s get to it!
 
(To see Part I of my Top 10 Best Broadway Moments #1-5 click here.)
 
6. A Prime Time Special

It took a pandemic for another network (besides our loyal friends at CBS) to give us an hour-long variety special . . . hosted by none other than Tina Fey! “One Night Only: The Best of Broadway” was a gift from the NBC gods.  From the Jersey Boys opening to a number from Hamilton as well as performances from new shows like Jagged Little Pill, interviews with our stars like Rob McClure, a peek into the process of making a show, and more . . . this show did its job.  It was a rest stop on this long highway of getting Broadway back up and running again.  Now, NBC, what do we have to do to convince you to do this event next year??? (You can watch the special here on demand.)

7. The Shubert Theater Board Room Shake Up
 
The Shubert Organization is like the monarchy of the Broadway theater world.  It’s the oldest.  It’s steeped in tradition.  It controls the most real estate.  And with an institution that is as large and powerful as that, change often comes slowly.  That’s why I was thrilled to see Pamela Newkirk, a journalist, scholar and Black woman, added to its board of directors.  And just in case you thought this was a symbolic addition to its knights-of-the-round-table like board . . . read on.  Pamela’s most famous work thus far is a book called . . . wait for it . . .  Diversity Inc.: The Failed Promise of Billion-Dollar Business.  So yeah, The Shuberts knew what they were getting into when they added her to their inner circle.  And they’re obviously embracing it.  It’s a leap ahead for the org and our industry.
8. The TheaterMakers Summit
 
I wasn’t going to put The Summit on this list, because obviously I’m a bit biased, having founded The TheaterMakers Studio and its yearly conference.  But I did, because to be honest, the success of this year’s Summit had nothing to do with me. 
The success was because of the 100 (!) speakers and 1000 attendees who came brimming with optimism and excitement about how Broadway could be even better when we come back.  It was one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever seen, never mind helped put together!  Even I walked away with 5 pages of notes from these A-list speakers on how I can make more theater and better theater!

So, I put it on the list.  You can see the inspiring and action-initiating talks here.

Oh, and yes, we are doing it again next year.  We already have a theme!  Ready?  It’s . . . “Places, please.” 🙂  Learn more here.

 
9. Prepare Ye for Godspell at The Berkshire Theater Group
 

Ok, let’s be honest.  Producers and Theaters are still figuring out how they are going to do theater THIS coming summer!  And yet Berkshire Theater Group and it’s formidable leader, Kate Maguire,  pulled it off LAST summer!

Godspell was the first production in the country to receive approval for production by Actors Equity . . . and even though the show had to pivot 147 times (including a last-minute change to present it outside), they pulled it off.  And they got multiple NY Times articles as a result!  While press attention wasn’t the goal, it did prove again that figuring out how to do something when no one else can, can get you a lot of attention.  Luckily, because of the leadership of Ms. Maguire, that attention was all positive.

We owe this theater and Kate a debt for not just dreaming about a production, but by doing one.  It inspired us to all to figure out how we can do it too.
 
10. Diana . . . and we haven’t even seen it yet!
 
One of my most-liked posts on Instagram this year was this one . . . a shot of me outside the Longacre theater as Diana, a new musical that hasn’t even opened on Broadway, was performing for cameras inside.
Netflix has been our fairy godmother this year, giving us Boys in the Band, The Prom and more.  But its biggest bet on Broadway this year was putting hundreds of TheaterMakers on a new musical BACK to work, and shooting Diana, on stage, for release in 2021.  Before anyone knows if it’s going to be a hit or not!  Not only could this help Diana build an audience before it opensbut if this works for Netflix, it could be the start of a brand new business model for developing new musicals.  Yep, you heard it here first . . . the streamed show BEFORE that show opens, could become the new concept album (like Jesus Christ Superstar, Waitress, etc.), that develops a show’s fanbase and therefore a marketing foundation.
And there they are . . . my favorite moments of 2020!  (Part I is here if you need to go back.)
And now, let’s get the @#$% out of this year and make 2021 the best that anyone of us has ever seen.  Broadway and the theater will be back.  And boy oh boy are the ovations at those first shows going to be enormous.
See you there.
Happy New Year everyone.
– – – – –
Speaking of “next,” my next blog will be on Tuesday, January 5th . . . and it’s going to be about a new survey about the vaccine and what that means for our start date.  Click here to make sure you get it first.

The Top 10 Best Broadway Moments of 2020 (yes, there really were 10): PART I

Boy oh boy was this blog an exercise in how to find a bright spot (or 10) in the darkest of all times.
 
Broadway shut down in 2020. Something it has never done. Like ever. How could there be ANY “best” of Broadway when its stages were dark?
 
Well, that’s the thing.
 
What we learned this year is that you can turn the lights out on Broadway . . . but the light never goes out on Broadway.
 
Thanks to the ingenuity, imagination, and a Braveheart-like refusal to give up of TheaterMakers and their fans (see #3), the theater is still alive . . . and kick-ball-changin’.
 
From streaming shows in living rooms, to drive-in theater, to board room shakeups and crowd-sourced musicals, this was a helluva active year for a year in which we couldn’t act.
 
And years from now, when we look back at this elongated intermission, I predict it will be one of the most important and impactful years in our history.
 
What stood out as my 10 favorite moments? The moments that made me smile, made me proud, and make me want to double down on this biz, rather than give it all up? (Because be honest – who among us didn’t think about throwing in the make-up towel at least a half a dozen times over the past year?)
 
Here are my 10 Best Broadway moments of 2020 in no particular order:
 
1. Hamilton hits Disney+
 
The film and theater industry were still buzzing about the $75mm Disney paid for Hamilton . . . when the studio announced the mega hit would go straight to Disney+.
“But what about the Academy Awards? What about all those people who might not see the show live? Is it too early in the show’s lifecycle to put it out there?”
 
I’m sure the players debated those questions like the founding fathers fought at the Constitutional congress. But they released it anyway. And not only did it make the show accessible, and keep it and Broadway top of mind, but it officially made streaming a thing. Because when the popular kid does something, everyone else follows.
 
Expect more streaming shows (finally!) in the next five years.
 
2. The Broadway Advocacy Coalition Forums
 
Like many industries, the theater had a racial reckoning this year, taking a deep long look at itself in the mirror . . . and not liking what it saw. Because we’re a liberal and progressive art form, it’s easy for us to say, “Oh, that’s not an issue here.”
 
Thanks to the many organizations and individuals who had the courage to step up and say, “Stop talking and start listening,” we now know this issue, like the coronavirus itself, is everywhere.
 
And it’s time we take serious steps to eradicate it.
 
There were two things that slapped me into self-realization. The first, this article by Asmeret Ghebremichael and her subsequent interview with me.
 
And the second was the Broadway Advocacy Coalition Forums, especially their “Day of Listening.”
 
I’ll never forget co-founder Britton Smith’s opening remarks . . . his passion . . . his authenticity . . . honesty. It was one of the best displays of leadership by a change agent I have ever seen.  
 
And then there were the stories that followed from Britton, Amber Iman, and others, that all shocked me to my center.
 
See, I’ll admit.  I was one of those people who thought I understood this issue a little better than most. Since starting my career as a company manager, I worked on several “diverse” shows on Broadway that dealt with race. Two of my shows even won diversity awards. So, yeah, prior to this summer, if you asked me how much I knew about this issue, I’d say I was like a 6 or 7 out of 10.
 
And Broadway Advocacy Coalition helped me realize . . . I didn’t know a @#$%ing thing.
 
I was so grateful for these forums. And I knew the 5,000 other people who tuned in are too. Because I know more now. And I also know I have a whole lot more to know.  And I vow to keep listening, learning and taking those steps.
 
If you haven’t seen the forums, click here. And I recommend bookmarking them and rewatching them whenever you have a free moment.  
 
3. The TikTok Heard ‘Round The World
 
“The world’s gonna know your name . . .what’s your name, man?”
Forget Hamilton.  Forget Roxie. The name on everyone’s lips and in everyone’s feeds . . . is Ratatouille!!!!!!!!!
 
There are so many amazing elements to the Ratatouille story. A single TikTok video of a young woman making up a song for a hypothetical musical, was like a butterfly flapping its wings in cyberspace. And it caused a musical tsunami.
 
It united a generation of musical lovers and future TheaterMakers, who all joined in . . . and crowdsourced a musical.
 
But they didn’t just make the music. TikTokers made costumes, puppets, choreography and more. I couldn’t help but join in on the fun, and offered a few tag lines (this original video of mine has been seen almost 2 million times!).
 
But what’s amazing is that the powers-that-be recognized the powers-that-will-be . . . and they approved a production of Ratatouille for the Actors Fund!
 
That’s right, the first ever crowdsourced musical on social media will make its debut tomorrow night!  Get your ticket here.
 
If you were ever worried that the next generation wasn’t interested in seeing musicals or making musicals, fear not. The Ratatouille movement proves that our future isn’t ratty at all.
 
(Oh, and PS, TikTok is now officially a thing – especially if you want a younger audience.)
 
4. Seth Rudestky and James Wesley’s “Stars In The House”
 
When Broadway got shut down, I started emailing people I knew to figure out how we could stream something . . . anything. And one of those people was Seth.
 
He responded tout-suit and told me he was already working on something.  And in his quick email, I could already hear how hard he was working to give something to fans, and give something back to our community.
 
He turned his webcam on the next day.
 
Since then, Stars in the House, his twice daily (!) part interview, part performance, variety, reunion and more streamed show, has raised over $620,000 for The Actors Fund.  $620,000!!!
 
Oh, and the show is also hysterical, moving and more.
 
Would you ever have imagined that a couple of guys in their living room could make this kind of impact?  I could.  If Seth was behind it.
5.  For Nick.
 
How can a tragedy like the loss of Nick Cordero be one of our best moments?
 
Because Nick became a symbol . . . something that the industry could rally around at a time when we didn’t have much to rally around. And his wife’s overwhelming spirit . . . her love for her husband inspiring people to get up and dance . . . to sing together, to pray together . . . was one of the most unifying moments of the past year and a half.
 
Often it is a tragedy that brings people together. I hate that. I just hate it. Especially for Amanda and her little boy Elvis.  But Nick is now a saint in our industry.  And he will be a symbol for all of us to do what that song of his advised . . . to live your life.
 
You can watch a tribute to Nick from some of Broadway’s best here.  
 
For my other 5 Best Broadway Moments of 2020, check out tomorrow’s blog.  Or click here and have it emailed straight to you.
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