What you’re worried about when raising money.

Last week, I posted a question to find out what was worrying TheaterMakers about raising money. In a pandemic.

We had a slew of responses . . . which inspired me.  

Why?

Because it told me how many of you out there are taking your art into your own hands, and making it happen. Because what I’ve discovered by interviewing hundreds of successful TheaterMakers, is that success came the fastest to those who did just that.

And when you inspire me, I want to help.  

But first, here are the Top 3 Things That Worried TheaterMakers About Raising Money right now:

  1. How do I find people who want to invest . . . in a pandemic?
  2. How do I get investors to invest right now . . . while we’re in a pandemic?
  3. How do I make “The Ask” . . . in a pandemic?

You get the theme.  And I’ve got some answers for you.

I’ve been talking to investors over the last few months about how THEY are feeling right now and what is motivating them to invest (many ARE). I’ve also been chatting to many of my peers about how their work of raising funds for their productions is going – and their feedback has been super insightful.

I’m putting together all their thoughts and my thoughts into a Special Report on what is a very important issue. (Let’s face it – without investors and investment – whether that’s in grants, donations or commercial investments, theater can’t be made.)

The report will drop on August 17th at 8am EST. In 2021, I’m more mindful of everyone’s inboxes than ever . . . so if you want the report, click here and sign up. I’m going to deliver it only to people who want it.  

If  you’re looking to raise funds for the theater in the next 1-3 years, then click here. It’ll help.

And to kick off some assistance, I’ll give everyone who signs up and needs some help right now, a free copy of my book, “How To Raise Money For The Arts . . . Or Anything.”

Click here.

If you’re raising money for theater, read this . . .

TheaterMakers around the world have had a LOT to worry about over the last 18 months.

And when one worry passed, another one popped up. Am I right? 

(You don’t have to answer that. Because I know I’m right . . . because I’m making theater right along with you. And I know how I’ve felt at times through all this!)

I’ve been tracking a lot of these worries and concerns over the pandemic. And one keeps coming up . . . especially now that shows are getting ready to go back to the rehearsal room.

That concern?

It’s everyone’s favorite thing to do. You know, the reason why people got into the theater. To raise money.  😉

Because this keeps coming up in anxious emails and mentions in my Facebook group, I want to do something to help. If I can.  

I’m digging into some research right now. And asking my Broadway peers what they are experiencing with their investors. (And of course, I’m raising money for my shows as well).

And I’ll have a report for you in a few weeks right here on this blog. (From what I’ve found out so far, it’s going to be pretty fascinating – with some surprises).

But since I’m asking a lot of people, I thought I’d also ask you . . . you who are raising money or thinking about raising money, for your show or for other people’s shows.

Is raising money in a post-covid theater world something you’re concerned about?  

If you’ve got any concerns, questions, etc, click here. I’ve got a 10-second, one-question survey that will help me with my research.

Thanks for your participation, and your passion for doing what you do!
Click here to take the survey about raising money for the theater in 2021. And beyond.

July 23, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

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

1 – Actors’ Equity Launches Open Access Initiative

Actors’ Equity Association launched its Open Access initiative this week, effective immediately. The goal of Open Access is to create a more accessible path to membership for actors and stage managers. The program extends eligibility to anyone who can show they have worked professionally in the industry, regardless of the organization’s Equity status. Bravo, AEA! Now let’s keep breaking down those barriers.

Read more: www.playbill.com

2 – Pass Over Announces COVID Restrictions

As we begin to fully understand what our return to live performance will look like, the first shows to return will lead the way. I applaud the courageous Producers of Pass Over on Broadway, who are not only the first play to open on Broadway, but they are the first to set protocols before things are really back to normal.  And they, like Bruce Springsteen, are requiring vaccinations from its adult theatergoers. Read below for more, including some masking requirements.

Read more: www.broadwaynews.com

3 – Historic Cherry Lane Theater Sold

After almost a century of mentoring some of the most recognized writers in American Theater, the historic Cherry Lane Theatre has been sold. The Lucille Lortel Theater Foundation has obtained ownership of the theater, and will announce future plans shortly.

Read more: www.broadwaynews.com

4 – Hollywood Unions Finalize COVID-Precautions

Figuring out our ‘new normal’ is happening one day at a time and across Every. Single. Industry. And this week it happened in Hollywood as film unions announce that studios will now be able to require productions to be fully vaccinated. Do you see this happening in the theater as well?

Read more: www.nytimes.com

5 – NYC Culture Is Leading the Reopening

In case there’s anyone out there who still needs proof that New York is BACK . . . look no further than the unlimited cultural activities opening up as we speak. And I can’t wait to get back out there with you. Check out everything the city has to offer below.

Read more: www.nytimes.com

Fun on a Friday:

Watch the first clip from Netflix’s Vivo, featuring the song “Keep the Beat” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. *will imbed in WP*

Watch the video here:

 

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What Movie Companies Did That Streaming Companies Should Do.

In the early 2000s, I talked my way into a meeting with one of the most powerful people in Hollywood.

It was my first, big “studio” meeting. And right on brand, the meeting started an hour after its scheduled start time.

We discussed the differences between the business models of theater and film. How Hollywood owned scripts instead of licensed them. How producers in Hollywood became hired guns after they proved themselves.  

And despite all that, how a Broadway show could make MORE money than a hit movie or even a hit franchise.

(Yep, it’s true. See here to read how Wicked will make more money than Jurassic Park or ET, and see here to read how The Lion King will make more than Star Wars.)

That’s why the next thing I said to this mogul was . . .

“You know, you should have a theater department at your studio. A team to comb through your catalogs for the best adaptions.  Develop some yourself.  Market some to others. There is more gold in your mine. You need a team to dig it out.”

(Yep, I’m sure I was angling for a job – since none of my shows had hit yet.)

“Nah.  That’s not what we do.  It’s still not big enough for us.”

Flash forward almost 20 years later . . . and that studio has a theater department.

As does EVERY other major Hollywood studio.

We’re at the same moment in entertainment history that we were those 20 years ago . . . except I’m not sitting down with big ol’ Hollywood studios this time.

I’m talking to the new, upstart, streaming sites out there.

Yep, Netflix, Apple and yeah, if any of them, Amazon . . . you should have a theater department.  

You’ve already optioned some of our content. Disney with Hamilton. Apple with Come from Away. Netflix with Diana, American Son, and more.  

And you should have someone keeping an eye on what you should get next.  

But you should also have a team mining all that original content for dramatization.  

The streaming sites are in the midst of an original content war. And that war has produced so much original programming, plenty of which is ripe for a stage adaptation.

And yeah, as you can see from those articles above, it only takes one to outgross everything else you’ve done.  

So get ahead of your competitors and start a theatrical division today.

And if you need some recommendations on who to run your theater team for you, let me know.  (And no, I’m not talking about me.)

June 4, 2021: What TheaterMakers Are Talking About This Week

 

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

 

1 – Jordan Fisher Will Return to Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway When It Reopens

The Broadway production will resume its run at the Music Box Theatre on December 11. Jordan Fisher confirmed on Good Morning America that he would once again lead the company as Evan Hansen, alongside the company that was appearing in the show when theaters shut down.

Read  more: www.theatermania.com

 

 2 – Broadway & Beyond: Access for Stage Managers of Color has updated its website to include a contact database for stage managers of color 

Broadway & Beyond: Access for Stage Managers of Color provides opportunities to stage managers of color to learn from people in the industry and provide insights to help stage managers of color start, maintain, and advance a career in the arts through free networking and educational events.

Read more: www.broadwaybeyondaccess.com

 

3- Broadway’s Hottest Marketing Tool: Streaming Shows

The Pandemic has helped normalize streaming theater and it seems here to stay, and there’s a business model there.

Read more: www.variety.com

 

4 – Black Theatre Coalition Announces Paid Fellowship Program for Aspiring Theatre Makers

The application submissions will be accepted for six weeks beginning June 1, 2021 through July 16, 2021 with 12-month Fellowships.

Read more: www.broadwaynews.com

 

5 – New York City to Tie Tourism Campaign to In the Heights

NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism organization, is launching a campaign tied to the film to promote Washington Heights.

Read more: www.wsj.com

 

Fun on a Friday: 

Jordan Fisher performs ‘You Will Be Found’ from Dear Evan Hansen.

 

 


Want to be part of an online community of theatermakers? Join 1,000+ producers, writers, actors, directors, and more here. Best part? It’s completely free.

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