Favorite Quotes: Volume IX

Continuing with our presidential theme . . . here’s a quote from a former President that might as well have been a Producer, because he hit it right on the head.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
– Calvin Coolidge

Favorite Quotes: Volume VIII

Want a show to happen?  Book a theater.
– Anonymous Producer

I talk to a lot of people with shows, and people with ideas for shows and people with shows about ideas for shows.  Are they good?  Who knows.  Most haven’t been done yet.

Every time I find myself wallowing in development hell on a project, I book a theater.  Sometimes for full production, sometimes for a reading, sometimes for something in-between . . . but I book a theater.  For a performance.  Where people are going to sit and watch what I’ve done.

Oh crap.  There are going to be people coming to see what I’ve done!

And presto, all of a sudden things start to happen.

You’ll have to get a cast.  You’ll have to raise the money.  You’ll have to finish Act II.  You’ll have no choice.  The theater is booked and there are going to be people coming to see what you’ve done.

Creating art from scratch ain’t easy.  You know what is easy?  Sitting on it forever trying to make it perfect.

But you can’t.  You gotta get it out there.  Because the truth is . . . it’s not art until the world has seen it.

So get off your Act II and book a theater.

Favorite Quotes: Volume VII

“Advertising is a tax you pay for unremarkable thinking.”
– Robert Stephens,
Founder of Geek Squad

It doesn’t get much clearer than that, especially considering that when I needed some computer work a few weeks ago, guess who I called first?

And when the technician arrived, guess what my first question was . . .

I’ll give you a hint.  It wasn’t, “Can you give me an Exchange Server?”  Not even, “Can you solve all the problems with Vista?”

It was . . . “Did you come in the car?”

Read the full article about this comment here.  Special thanks to Cedric for pointing this one out.

Favorite Quotes: Volume VI

“It is my instinct that the theatre has always survived on mavericks – people with a passion for the theatre who go their own way.”

– Cameron Mackintosh

 Cameron is the modern maverick.  He’s the last one that I know of that did it all on his own.  You don’t see a lot of other names above the title mucking it up (to use an expression from his homeland) on his shows.

Could it be that his solitary vision is one of the reasons his shows were so successful?

You better believe it.

I don’t care if you have one name above your title or a hundred, there better be one designated person leading the charge.

There are never two Generals in a battle.  Never two teachers in the same class.  Never two Presidents, dictators, CEOs, and so on.

That doesn’t always mean you have to be the lead.  There is nothing wrong with sitting second, third or last chair.

As long as someone, preferably Cameron, is sitting in the big chair.

Favorite Quotes: Volume V


“The future of our theater is in the names of people I do not know.”
Michael David

Another favorite quote of mine that furthers this week’s theme of the passionate newcomer.

And isn’t it cool how Michael, who wears sneakers with everything and has a thing for McDonald’s Happy Meals, refers to the theater as ours.

He’s saying that the theater is something that we all own.  Something that we all have to take care of and be responsible for if it’s going to prosper.

Something that is ours is something we have to take pride in.

You know what else is cool?  After a few years of Jersey Boys success, no one even remembers that Michael produced Good Vibrations and Dracula.

Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

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

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