Podcast Episode #225: What do the recent Actors Equity Protocols mean for Broadway Producers like me?

ESTIMATED LISTENING TIME OF THIS PODCAST EPISODE:  12 MINUTES

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A lot has happened since I posted this blog about my perspective on the recently announced Actors Equity protocols.

I expected a lot of responses.

What I did not expect was some of the biggest actors in our biz to post a petition asking for an open dialogue with their union about why those protocols appeared so strict.  (See here for more on that).

If you want to hear my perspective on how those protocols will affect Broadway Producers like me and the return of the theater, click here.

And then, tune in to my clubhouse event with Tim Hughes (who started this petition) as well as Sammi Cannold and more!  We’ll be talking all about the return, what’s taking so long, and taking your questions and comments as well.

Lincoln Center Theater gets streaming permission. Could this be the beginning of a trend?

News broke yesterday that Lincoln Center Theater got permission from the 147 unions involved in their previous productions to STREAM their shows to audiences.

Read the article here.

This is big, I tell you, BIG.

Because it’s the first time that a theater gets to act like a (new) television network.

It’s just like Peacock, the new streaming channel from NBC.  Lincoln Center is the network.  Their shows are like NBC’s previous shows.

Make sense?

Of course it does. It’s a no brainer for Lincoln Center, and EVER THEATER AROUND THE WORLD.

  1.  It keeps our audiences engaged, which means they’ll be more likely to come back in the future.
  2.  It provides PASSIVE INCOME to our TheaterMakers . . . and we all know how important that is NOW, don’t we?

So I love it.

I don’t love that permission was granted for the pandemic only, but I’ll take what I can get.

Because I believe it’s just a matter of time before everything is captured and available for future viewing.

Because it just makes sense.  And it could make a lot MORE than cents for everyone involved.

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Do you follow me on social?  I post exclusive breaking news and special content on my accounts, especially on Facebook.  Click here. Then LIKE my page. And enjoy.

This made me so jealous I could spit.

Forgive me for the deadly sin I’m about to commit.

I’m ENVIOUS OF AUSTRALIA!

Read this article from the NY Times . . . Broadway in Australia has re-opened with productions of Hamilton, Harry Potter, Come From Away and more!

How are they doing it?  Well, you’ll have to read the article but it involves robots and app contact tracing . . . and the hardest-piece-of-technology apparently . . . common freekin’ sense.

This should be us.  We should be back.  Not fully, maybe (our city and our theaters don’t allow for the space that Australians have to spread out – and therefore reduce the spread).  But we should have been able to get something back up by now.

Maybe had we had a mask mandate earlier?  Maybe if it wasn’t an election year?  (Although let’s all be glad that election happened!)  Maybe . . .

Ahhh, enough of that.  I can’t go there . . .

But honestly, my biggest fear . . . is do you think that this will damage the Broadway brand permanently?  Will our status as the theater capital of the world be threatened?

You tell me.  Because I’m too jealous to type.

Read the article here.

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If you or anyone you know has ever thought about writing a movie . . . you gotta tune into this.

A mentor just said THIS to me.

This one is a quickie, but I had to pass it on, because the words kind of punched me in the face.

In a good way.

I got off the phone with a mentor of mine just a little bit ago.  This is someone I call every so often for advice about the business of Broadway, on business in general (he has given me some great stock tips), and even on fatherhood.

So I called to him to ask those questions that we’re all asking right now . . . when will Broadway come back after the pandemic?  What will the business look like?  Will my prediction be right?

In other words . . . “What should I do???”

His words?  Let me quote him:

“Ken, I have two words for you . . . ready?”

“YES, please,” I pleaded.

“BE BOLD.”

Then we hung up.

I didn’t do anything for about ten minutes.

Then I started.

I hope you’ll join me.  Because this is how we make a better Broadway and a better life for others and for ourselves.

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If you want to see a video I made of this story, click here.

 

It was more than just a restaurant. And he was more than just a man. RIP Joe Allen: 1933-2021

The only thing more comforting than being in a business that is so shaky and unstable, that restaurant and the man behind it gave us all something solid underneath our feet.

It IS my favorite lunchtime spot.  It’s casual . . . comfortable . . . and I did more deals there than my office.

Thank you for providing us with a place to meet, a place to eat, and for putting the posters of all those flops on the wall, a place to remember that it’s only a play.

Read the full obituary for Mr. Joe Allen, here.

And I’ll see you all there soon.

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