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!)

Phil Smith (1931-2020): The Chairman of The Shubert Org . . . and perhaps all of Broadway.

I didn’t know exactly who he was when I first met him.

But I could tell he was a titan.

It was early in my career.  I wasn’t even a Company Manager yet.  I was still an Assistant.  And I was in a Broadway box office signing the nightly performance statement for some show, when in he came.  He looked me over, smiled and said something like “Looks like this show is in good hands.”

It was all a wanna-be-theatermaker and wanna-be-mover-and-shaker needed to hear from Phillip J. Smith, the Chairman Emeritus of The Shubert Organization, who passed away yesterday, due to complications from Covid-19.  (Yeah, that nasty bug just took another one of our best.)

And here’s the thing . . . those kind of random, steroid shot affirmations didn’t stop coming from Phil over the last twenty years.

While I’d see him at opening night parties, or when I was asking/begging for a Broadway theater, it was the unplanned meetings that I’ll always remember.

And often they were what kept me going.

Like the time he got the invitation we sent to all the Tony Award Voters for Alan Cumming’s Macbeth.  Rather than sent the standard invite, we did a little something-something to the invite – made it on burnt parchment paper, dripped “blood” on it, sealed it with wax . . . you know, made it spooooky.

Two days after they went in the mail, my assistant said, “Ken, Phil Smith is on the phone!”

Honestly, my first thought was, “Oh crap, what did I do?”  🙂

I picked up the phone and heard, “Ken!  You are a Producer!”

He got the invite.  And I think he liked it.

He applauded my crowdfunding of Godspell, when others looked down on it, even telling me stories of Broadway Producers from back in the day that did something similar.

And one day, when I was in that ornate office of his, and I told him my dream was to be one of those Producers who had five shows with my name on them running at once, he bellowed, “YOU WILL BE!”

I don’t know that anyone has ever been that supportive of me in this business.  And he was the Chairman of the Mother-Effin’ Shubert Organization.

And it’s not like we were besties or anything.  And I’m sure he did this for many of us that he saw come up through the ranks from Assistant Company Manager.  Especially since he started from the bottom and worked his way to the most powerful chair on Broadway.

I’ll miss seeing him at opening nights.  I’ll miss asking him for the keys to one of his Broadway theaters for one of my shows.  Shoot, I’ll even miss him saying, “Sorry, Ken, no theaters available.”

Farewell, Mr. Smith.  And thank you.  Those doses of your support are part of the reason I’m still plugging away at that dream of mine.

And I promise, I not only won’t stop, but I’ll do what you did for me to the next generation of Assistant Company Managers.

What the adoption of the vaccine means for Broadway’s return.

I’m a pretty positive guy.

But I’ve had more down days in the past 365 than my entire life.

Can you blame me? I’ve got three big loves in this world:

#1 – My wife.
#2 – My daughter.

(They’re a tie for #1 & #2, btw. Just listed in the order I met them.)

And #3?

The theater.

And we all know what happened to #3. (#1 and #2 are what kept me through what happened to #3.)

So I’ve had some tough days. And I know you have too.

One of the hardest moments I had was when this survey hit my inbox. It indicated that only 25% of our audience was willing to come back to theater anytime soon.

I didn’t believe them. But I’m also a data guy, so I couldn’t dismiss them either.

So I got kinda down.

And then something popped in my inbox last week that turned my frown right around.

It was a survey about the vaccine.

What in the name of Covid does the vaccine have to do with it?

You can read the NY Times article here, but the crux of it is as follows:

When the race to create a vaccine against Covid began, half the people out there said they didn’t want it.

But now that it exists? Well, read for yourself:

“In polls by Gallup, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Pew Research Center, the portion of people saying they are now likely or certain to take the vaccine has grown from about 50 percent this summer to more than 60 percent, and in one poll 73 percent — a figure that approaches what some public health experts say would be sufficient for herd immunity.” (NYT)

What happened?

The idea of it is no longer ambiguous. It’s real. Tangible. Happening.

And the moment something is real and people can wrap their hands around it . . . they can also wrap their heads around it.

And we’re going to see the same trend in surveys of theatergoers.

Once a theater gets the green light?  Once a Broadway show sets a firm date?  Once the curtain goes up?!?! WATCH what happens to their interest.

It’s going to skyrocket.  Because that word of mouth is going to spread faster than any virus could. (Can you imagine what the ovation is going to be like on that first night back?!?!?)

Most consumers don’t think ahead anymore. It’s why advance sales for theater tickets or vacations don’t exist like they used to.

And this is where surveys and data let us down. (Can you believe it?)

You can’t ask people what they’ll do “if/when” . . . you can only ask them what they will do now.

Now, they won’t buy a theater ticket . . . because they can’t.

But when they can? When they have that vaccine themselves? When there are safety precautions on top of those vaccines?

Well, that day . . . if Evan Hansen were writing a letter to himself on that day, he’d say, “Today is going to be an amazing day.”

See you there.

– – – – –

The theater is coming back. You ready???  Join over 1,000 other TheaterMakers in our free Take Charge of your ’21 TheaterMakers challenge! It starts Monday!  Get ready for the renaissance.

Take The “Take Charge of your ’21” Challenge with me and these super TheaterMakers!

Let’s agree on two things.

1.  This year is going to be better than last year.
 
2.  How much better depends on you.
 
If you agree (especially with that 2nd part), then read on.  If you don’t agree, please stop reading. And I’ll see you on Thursday when I review the Ratatouille TikTok musical.
 
Everyone where they should be?
 
Great.
 
Ok, look, truth time. We’ve got some work to do. We lost a year of theater-making. And the theaters aren’t even lit . . . yet.
 
But they will be. And sooner than you think.
 
As I type, that vaccine is getting put into the arms of people all over the world.
 
And all over that world, Producers, Theater Owners, Artistic Directors, Casting Directors, etc. are setting specific dates for the return of our art.
 
Which means it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
 
That’s right . . . get to work. Not wait for work. Big difference.
 
Most people wait for the phone to ring. Most people wait for someone to hire them. Most people wait.
 
That’s why most people don’t work.
 
But those TheaterMakers out there who take charge of their own career? Well, for them? Things have a way of always “working” out.
 
In 2020, the year took charge of us. Me included. It was like a @#$%ing bucking bronco that none of us could tame.
 
This year, we’ve got a tighter grip on the reins. And it’s time we take charge of it and make it work for us, instead of the other way around.
 
And I don’t think there has EVER been a more important time to make a commitment like this to yourself and to the theater.
 
See, if I learned one thing in 2020 it was this . . . LIFE IS SHORT.
 
You never know when your work will be taken away. You never know when a life will be taken away.  (I think about you every dad, Dad – and you continue to inspire me to do challenge myself.)
You never know . . . anything.
 
And for those of us out there who want to achieve a lot in the theatre (or in life!) . . . whether that is writing shows, producing shows, acting in shows, directing shows, designing shows or whatever . . . we know now, we don’t have any time to waste.
 
We know that more than ANY OTHER INDUSTRY on the planet.
 
Which is why the time to act is now.
 
Which is also why the TheaterMakersStudio is holding a free 5-Day “Take Charge of Your ’21” TheaterMakers Challenge. You can sign up here.
 
What is it?
 
It’s simple.  But it works.
Every day for five days, we’ll get on a live session . . . and me, PLUS TWO THEATERMAKER SUPERSTARS, will give you a specific strategy, productivity tip, secret, resource or something we’re doing to make sure we have our best year of theatermaking yet . . . that you can apply to your theatermaking too.
There will be tips on writing, directing, acting, mindset, and more.
Who are the those other TheaterMakers?
 
You can see them all on this page, but the action-taking, inspirational TheaterMakers you’ll be hearing from include:
 
 
I chose each one of them, because, I’m a fan of their talent and a SUPER fan of how they have achieved their success . . . by acknowledging fear, conquering it, and taking charge of their work, their art and their lives.
 
And boom. Look what happens when they do.
 
I’ll be honest . . . while I’m super excited about how the tips from these TheaterMakers will help you have your best 2021 yet . . . I’m just as excited about how they will help me! 🙂
 
In addition to the private livestream strategy sessions for five days straight, you’ll get access to a private facebook group with fellow TheaterMakers who are also taking charge of their year.
 
You’ll also get some homework, so be ready.
 
But I also guarantee that if you do that homework, you’ll be on the path to your best year yet.
Oh, and prizes.  We’ll be giving away fun theatermaking tools every day.
 
So . . . if you’re a writer, producer, actor, director, designer, or any kind of TheaterMaker . . . or not yet a TheaterMaker but WANT to be one . . . click here to sign up for the challenge. It’s totally free. And we’re even going to give away some stuff.
 
In just five days, you’ll be on your way to your best year of theatermaking yet.
 
And when the year is over, we’ll look back and flip off 2020 and say, “See what I can do when I take charge of my year?”
 
Click here to sign up and start your year off right.

The challenge starts in 13 days!

[Zoom Strategy Session] In case you did NOT get what you wanted from Santa.

I’m not surprised.
 
Whenever I talk to TheaterMakers about what they want . . . money never comes up.  No one talks about royalties and selling the movie rights or their share of the merch.
 
All writers, producers, directors want for Christmas (and every other time of year) is to see their shows on a stage. 
Sound like you?
 
You want to hear the actors delivering the lines. You want to hear singers singing your songs. 
 
And you want to hear the applause, laughter, or tears that follow.
 
And I get it. Because that’s all I want too.
 
It’s all I ever wanted.
 
When I was starting out, I pursued a lot of the “traditional” ways to get produced. And . . . they didn’t work. (I’m sure you can relate.)
 
And boy was I frustrated.
 
Then Hal Prince took me to task.
 
Yep, I got a talking-to from the 21-time Tony Award . . . who also shared with me his secrets of seeing your shows on a stage.
 
And, well, when you get advice from a guy like that, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that the stuff worked.
 
In fact, every single thing I’ve done in my career so far (and every thing I WILL do) is because of what he taught me that day.
 
The moment his advice started to work, I vowed to share it. To help other TheaterMakers like me see their shows on stage.
 
That’s why I started blogging, podcasting, and it’s why I’m reviving a webinar I did earlier this year . . . with a twist.
 
This Wednesday, December 30th at 8 PM Eastern, join me for a free Zoom Strategy Session entitled, “Get Produced in 2021!” I’ll share the “key” that Hal gave me almost twenty years ago, and the formula that I use to see my shows on stage today.
 
 
And I hope you’ll join, whether you are a TheaterMaker just starting out and have a script (or two!) in a drawer. Or if you’re a veteran who knows your stuff is great, and you can’t understand why it hasn’t received the visibility it deserves. (I’ll explain the issue – which has nothing to do with you.)
 
 
2021 is right around the corner. And there is no question there WILL be shows on stages this year.
 
The only question is . . . will yours be one of them?
So if you haven’t gotten what you REALLY wanted from Santa, join me for this session.
 
Get Produced in 2021
Free Zoom Strategy Session
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
8 PM ET
 
 
– – – – –
 
P.S. Full disclosure . . . at the end of this free training session, I am going to share a very special offer for you to join The TheaterMakers Studio. Something The Studio doesn’t advertise but I asked them to come up with.
 
See, after almost ten years of running training for TheaterMakers, we now KNOW for a fact what works. We analyzed our success stories and cross referenced what they have in common. Then, we took those things and put them in this offer. Because we know TheaterMakers need more resources now that EVER. Oh, and if you’re already a member, you’ll get the same opportunity. Because this is about getting as many people produced in 2021 as possible. We’ve got some ground to make up!
 
If you don’t want the offer, no worries, the Strategy Session is free. But I didn’t want you to be surprised about the offer.
 
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