Are you a TheaterMaker with a Side Hustle? Let us help your hustle.

Since the Theater biz is so up and down, most TheaterMakers do something on the side to make some bucks.

Some sell real estate. Some coach budding performers. Some make websites. And so on.

Nowadays, since the Theater biz is so down and DOWN, those side hustles, day jobs, survival gigs are more important than ever. Especially since the $600 supplement got lost somewhere in Washington, DC. (As I wrote about here, we could be facing an artistic-exodus if TheaterMakers can’t pay their bills.)

Since Congress hasn’t come up with a way to stimulate the TheaterMaker economy, we’re forced with only one solution.

That solution is always the best one, however.

We’re going to have to solve this ourselves.

How?

We hire each other.

See, while my business has taken a big ol’ hit (like everyone else in the theater space), we still have little jobs we need done here and there. And we’ve made a commitment to hire out-of-work TheaterMakers to do them.

But more importantly, I also know a lot of other people who hire people. And I thought I could tell them all about you.

But I need to know more about you TheaterMakers with side hustles.

So if you’re a web designer, Photoshop expert, real estate broker, tarot card reader, Etsy store seller or whatever, let me know. We may hire you ourselves, but we’ll definitely recommend you to others

And if any of you are looking to hire folks, let me know, as I’m going to have quite the list.

And hiring a TheaterMaker is one of the best ways to support the arts . . . because your money goes straight to the artist.

And it may help them continue to do what they love to do . . . entertain you.

If you want some more business for whatever your side hustle is, click here.

 

(KNOW A THEATERMAKER WITH A SIDE HUSTLE?  FORWARD THIS TO THEM SO WE CAN SEND THEM CLIENTS!  Or share on your social: wp.me/pbmGzd-gmh)

Is Diana the Musical the first domino in the straight-to-streaming market?

Is Diana the first domino in the straight-to-streaming market?
 
 
And you thought Princess Diana’s actual story was dramatic?
 
In one of the biggest stories to hit the Covid-infused airwaves of late, the Producers of the new Broadway musical Diana announced they’d be doing a performance in the next few weeks . . . for no audience . . . but a ton of cameras.
 
That’s right, Diana is going to Netflix. It will premiere on the streaming network before Diana’s (currently scheduled) May 25th, 2021 Broadway opening.
 
A lot of people have been floating the idea of shooting a show as we wait out the pandemic. After all, the sets are sitting right there in the theaters . . . and the actors are sitting right there at home.
 
It makes sense why Netflix wanted this specific show. Diana is a big brand and a documentary – two things Netflix audiences love. And, Netflix makes decisions on data. I’m sure they know how many people will watch the musical based on how many people have devoured other Diana content on their site. (Ahhh, digital stats – aren’t they great?)
 
Now, the question is . . . will other shows follow? Which ones? And will it happen during the pandemic? Or when Broadway comes back? And will Diana sell more tickets because of this stream?
 
So many questions . . . because it’s such an exciting idea.
 
What’s awesome to me is that Broadway is a business that does NOT like to take risks. But as I mentioned in this blog, now is not a time for a “We can’t” about anything.
 
And major kudos to the Producers and Creative Team and all the unions involved for going for it.
 
Because first, a whole bunch of people are going to get paid. And right now, our artists, musicians, stagehands and everyone needs the work.
 
And second, once one show does something like this, a whole host of others will follow.
 
Yep, a new model just got made. And it’s a good one.
Because it will raise the awareness for a new title before the show arrives on Broadway, which is the hardest thing for any new show to do.  It’s like releasing a cast album before the show opens.  (Waitress did this successfully in recent years, and of course, Jesus Christ Superstar was the first and best example of making a brand before Broadway.)
That’s right, I think streaming is the new cast album.
 
And I’ll predict it right now . . . regardless of how the Broadway show performs (and I’m hearing great things) . . . it will do better on Broadway, on tour, and for the rest of its licensing life, because they made this deal.
 
Now . . . what show will Netflix go after next?
 
– – – – –
We posted a survey about streaming on Monday . . . did you see it? Click here to ask your question about this emerging model for Broadway or for your show!
 

The Top 6 Most Important Skills A Producer Must Have. Part II

Did you enjoy your intermission?
 
Yesterday, I gave you Act I of this two-parter with 3 of the 6 top skills Broadway Producers must have now . . . and forever.
 
To give you a recap, that trio of traits is:
 
1. Imagination
2. Optimism
3. Objectivity
 
Now, we resume this e-performance with Act II and three more mad skillz you need to produce on Broadway:
 
4. Thick-skinness
 
Here’s a fact. If you put something out in the world, someone will throw tomatoes at you. Robert Kennedy once said, “One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time.” That’s right, 20% of the audience that sees your show won’t like it or YOU . . . no matter what you do.
 
So you best have the skin of a politician to brave the critics, audiences, and even some of your peers! Especially after your first big success. One Hollywood and Broadway A-list superstar once told me, “When you achieve something great, you can bet money that people will try to bring you down.”
 
Don’t let it surprise you. And don’t let it bother you.
 
5. Collaborative
 
I often say that creating a new musical is like trying to get fifteen people to paint the Mona Lisa. Someone wants this shade of color. Another wants this texture of brush stroke. And what about the frame? And maybe she should frown?
 
Creating a musical or a play is one of the most collaborative processes on the planet. So you better be good at it AND you best be good at facilitating it. Because when people fight, as the Producer, you’ll need to suss it out. Because you’ve got the most at risk if the show doesn’t turn out the best it can be. (And rest assured, your team will fight, even on successful shows. And sometimes even MORE on successful shows! Read this book for an example of that!)
 
6. The Action-ator
 
Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator, all Broadway Producers need to be relentless in their pursuit.
 
They need to take action, and massive amounts of it, every day, to get their show up the Broadway hill.
 
They can’t wait for someone else to pick up the ball. Because no one will. No one cares as much. It’s up to you. Become The Action-ator and you’ll get to where you want to go, without even knowing how you got there.
 
 
I started this post thinking it was for TheaterMakers who wanted to be Producers. And somewhere during that intermission, I realized that these traits are essential for ALL TheaterMakers. So whether you’re a Producer, Playwright, Director or Actor, infuse your work with these six traits: Imagination, Optimism, Objectivity, Thick-skinness, Collaboration and Action-Taking, and you’ll get through this strange period we’re in and ANY strange period we’re ever in.
 
Need some examples of the action I take to get me and my projects going? Click here for 19 daily actionable tasks that help me get my shows off the ground.

7 Predictions For When Broadway Comes Back. Part II

Welcome back, readers, and prepare ye for four more predictions for post-Covid Broadway.
 
In case you missed it, my first four projections went up here a wee 24 hours ago. And I emailed some of you Early Adopters the remaining four last night.
 
For those of you not on that list (which you can get here), here are four MORE things that will change when Broadway comes out of its coronavirus cave.
 
4. Streaming will still be a thing.
 
Not only is streaming not going away, but it will expand even when we don’t need it like we do now.
 
I’m not talking about the umpteen livestreams that are poppin’ up like podcasts or blogs did a few years ago. No, no. Most of those will disappear like . . . well, like the many podcasts and blogs that lie dormant in the internet graveyard.
 
I’m talking about full on productions, filmed for posterity and (hopefully) profit.
 
This shutdown has proven how fragile our economic model is. We (and when I say we, I mean all sides of the aisle from Producers to Artists) are going to need an insurance policy in the future, just in case . . . just in case . . .
 
I think that’s a cue for my 5th prediction.
 
5. Broadway will shut down again.
 
At some point in the next few decades, we will go through this again. We’ll be effin’ better at it then, for sure, but this will not be the last time a pandemic put our backs against the wall.
 
Remember when we never shut down for snowstorms? And then a few years ago, we just did. And now, we close up shop about once a year for a storm of some sort (and for good reason, I might add – as nothing is more important than safety).
 
The virus dam has broken on Broadway and around the country, and I predict we’ll go through another contagious storm during my lifetime.
 
(I say this NOT to be alarmist, by the way. I say it so that we’ll prepare for it. And yes, capturing our performances is one way.)
 
6. Remember all those corporations that came into town?
 
Here is the thing about big business . . . they come when they smell money, and they run when they don’t. Broadway’s boom brought a lot of boys to our yard. But they don’t like to sweat like a startup. That’s why I’d bet that we’ll see fewer corporate players on Broadway when we come back.
 
And that’s not such a bad thing.
 
Fewer bucks from boardrooms means more room for the independent TheaterMaker. And that, my friends is what we need to get us back to where we were before and beyond.
 
As Cameron Macintosh said, “It is my instinct that the theatre has always survived on mavericks – people with a passion for the theatre who go their own way.”
 
So get ready, because our depression may lead to our renaissance.
 
Which leads me to . . . my seventh and final prediction (for now anyway).  And, you know what?  If I only got this next one right, I’d gladly be wrong about the other six, because it’s that important.
 
7. Black Lives will matter on Broadway.
 
Yes, I say this because it should happen. Yes, I say this to put it in the universe to will it to happen. But I also predict that it will happen because of what I’m seeing start to happen.
 
And this beginning is because of the honest and courageous work of the organizations that are rising to this challenge, or who have been born from it. Broadway Advocacy Coalition (if you haven’t attended one of their forums, you simply must), Black Theatre United, Black Theatre Coalition, Black Theatre Network and all those orgs (including those led by students (!)  at universities), the theater owes you a debt that we can only repay through our action.
I’ve pledged to take action. And I encourage all TheaterMakers to do the same. Because we just can’t let up, even when the Covid crisis is over.
 
Those are my predictions . . . what are yours? Do you see big changes, small changes, any changes coming to Broadway post-Covid? Put ’em in the comments below.
 
Oh, and if you want to hear the predictions of people much smarter than I am, you should come to this.
 

7 Predictions For When Broadway Comes Back. Part I

I spend a good 25% of my day thinking about what we’re going to look like on the other side of this thing.

It’s not the healthiest activity to engage in. Things change so fast, it’s hard to know where we’ll be tomorrow, never mind next March (fingers crossed).

But I do it anyway. And I know you do too.

So I thought I’d share three predictions that I see coming as a result of the Broadway shutdown.

Oh, and big ol’ disclaimer . . . every time I make a prediction, by the time I finish making it, something changes.  So I promise to have another set of these suckers in a few months.  Make sure you get ’em by signing up here.)

Here are my predictions as of today:

1. More shows will come in cold.

We’ll have a lot fewer out-of-town tryouts in the coming years, especially in the short term. In fact, I’ve heard rumors about a few new shows that have already committed to coming straight in.

Why? Won’t we still need the creative R&D?

Yes! But the current, previous out-of-town model will be too expensive in the new Broadway economy (see Prediction #2).

And, the out-of-town tryout will also be too . . . well . . . out-of town! Even with a vaccine, trust in travel isn’t going to appear overnight. I expect artists will prefer to keep their circles smaller and stay-at-home, if they can.

Which brings me to . . .

 

2. Everything will cost less . . . because it will have to.

Costs have risen like a rocket over the past several DECADES.

It was hard to keep a lid on ’em, to be honest, since the mega-hits were earning so much mega-profit.

Vendors, unions, and everyone who makes a living on Broadway set their rates based on the best possible scenario, not average scenarios. So, as long as one out of five shows continue to recoup, it’s hard to make the argument that expenses are out of whack. (We’ve had a 20% success rate since we started keeping track!) 

But that potential has changed. Tourists account for 65% of our audience, and right now many can’t come to the city without quarantining for 14 days! Unemployment is 50% higher than it was in 2008. And our audience has said they’re not sure when they are going to come back.

Does that mean we do nothing? NO. We need to produce shows. We need theaters lit. The ONLY way we get back to where we were before and beyond is to raise the curtains. When our audience hears the roar of the crowd and smells the greasepaint, they will run back.

But how do we do that if the risk is HIGHER than it was pre-Covid? You stimulate the production by decreasing the costs . . . across every budget line.

 

3. Broadway Investors will get better returns.

And hey, hey, Broadway Producers (this guy included), don’t think you can ask everyone else to cut expenses and not cut your potential as well

Because here are two truths . . .

First, you know what is going to be hard to do in the next year? Get people to invest in Broadway.

You know what helps stimulate investing in Broadway . . . or in anything? Giving Broadway investors better returns.

We’re asking for the people we “deal” with to change their models . . . we’re going to have to change ours.

 

Phew . . . this is a lot to digest. My anxiety level just spiked and I have three predictions to go!

I’m going to go drown that anxiety in a big, sugary coffee from Starbucks. I’ll tell you the other three things (including the BIG ONE) in tomorrow’s blog.

Don’t want to wait? I already wrote the other four predictions. If you want them now or are afraid you’ll miss them tomorrow, then fill in the form below.

But don’t say I didn’t warn you! Anxiety ahead!

“Give me the rest of them now, Ken!”

 

FILL IN FORM BELOW:






Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

Never miss a post or podcast again. Subscribe to the blog and stay in the know.

The TheaterMakers Studio Free Trial
The TheaterMakers Studio
Featured Product
Be A Broadway Star
Featured Book
Broadway Investing 101
All Upcoming Events

september, 2020

21sep8:00 pm9:00 pmTMS Coaching Call with Eric C. Webb

22sep8:00 pm8:30 pmThe Producer's Perspective LIVE!

29sep8:00 pm8:30 pmThe Producer's Perspective LIVE!

Featured Webinar
Path to Production Webinar
Advertisement
X