Free Webinar Alert: The Ins-and-Outs of Co-Producing on Broadway.

There are two kinds of Producers on Broadway:  Lead Producers and Co-Producers.

Do you know the difference?  (This is a quiz.)

A simple analogy might be that the Lead Producer is like the Chairman/woman of the Board of a Non Profit . . . and a Co-Producer is like the Board Members.

But it ain’t so simple.

Co-Producing on Broadway has become an important niche in our industry.  It’s where most Broadway Investors graduate to, and it’s where most Lead Producers come from.

The Lead Producing Path often looks something like this:

Broadway Investor -> Broadway Co-Producer -> Broadway Lead Producer

Since Broadway shows have become more expensive over the years, Lead Producers have “sub-contracted” out the financing to more “Board Members” than in previous decades.  That’s why I get so many questions from readers and podcast listeners like, “How do Broadway Co-Producer deals work,” or “Who are the other names above a show’s title,” and “How do I become a Broadway Co-Producer?”

And, as I said on a recent “Office Hours” call for my PROs, if I get the same three questions on the same subject from three different people, then I know I haven’t done my job in getting people the info they want.

That’s why, next Wednesday, February 7th at 7 PM EST, I’m teaching a FREE webinar entitled . . . “Co-Producing on Broadway:  So You Wanna Be a Broadway Bundler.”

During the webinar, I’ll break down . . .

  • Strategies for choosing the right show to Co-Pro.
  • How to negotiate the best deal (and what those deals are anyway).
  • How to be a Co-Pro without having to invest your own $.
  • The risks and the rewards (and we’re not talking just cash).
  • A Co-Producer’s role in the production before and after it opens.

And, of course, I’ll take all your questions at the end of the session.

To join me and learn more about Co-Producing on Broadway, just click here to sign up for this one hour webinar, next Wednesday night at 7 PM.  It’s free.

See you there.

WEBINAR:  Co-Producing on Broadway:  So You Wanna Be a Broadway Bundler.
DATE:  Wednesday, 2/7/18
TIME: 7 PM – 8 PM
COST:  FREE

To register, click here.

How my very first negotiation went wrong.

I was very excited when I started my very first big-time negotiation.  It was over twenty years ago now, and looking back, it wasn’t even that big of an issue.  Just a small contract with a vendor that my boss had tasked me with.  “Get a great deal,” he said.  He gave me a budget.  I wanted to come way under.

But this was my very first negotiation, so I treated it like I was arguing a case in front of the Supreme Court . . . with cameras watching.

And I thought I was ready.  I mean, I had watched enough LA Law as a kid (in fact, I wanted to be a lawyer at one point . . . so that’s all it takes to be a good negotiator, right?).

Nope.

And at some point in the negotiation, it started to go a little sideways.  I thought I was being treated “unfairly” . . . so I did what I thought I was supposed to do.  I blew up.  And I said some things that I thought would make the vendor give in.

You know what happened?  Instead of giving in, they dug their heels in . . . and while I did come in a sliver under budget, I know I could have done much better with a different approach.  And instead, I walked away with an ok deal and a vendor who didn’t like me oh so much.

Is the takeaway of this blog not to blow up during negotiations?  Actually no.  (There is a time and place for the right amount of steam-blowing depending on the issues and parties involved.)

The biggest lesson that I learned from my very first negotiation happened after the negotiation was completed.

The very next day, my boss called me into his office and said, “We’re doing a reading of a new show.  There’s no budget.  We need a favor from VENDOR.  Call them and see if they’ll help us out on this one for next-to-nothing.”

Gulp.

Here’s the thing about this industry.  It’s about the size of a pin head on a pin head.  That means you have to be very careful with how you treat people during your negotiations, because odds are, you’re going to be in another negotiation with the same parties very soon (the very next day in my case!).  And one bad negotiation with another party, can lead to a lifetime of them.

I ate major crow that day with the vendor and managed to salvage the relationship (took me about three lunches, a Yankees game and a popcorn tin at Christmas to do it), and it’s a good thing I did, because I’m still negotiating with them TODAY.

Negotiating is one of the most important skills an individual can possess.  Everything in our business (and in our lives) is a negotiation.  Whether that’s a theater deal, a deal with a writer/actor or designer, or whether that’s negotiating with an employee to make sure they finish a project by a deadline, or negotiating with a spouse on where to go on vacation, or who should walk the dog at night.

Without a doubt, a skillful negotiator can achieve success in their chosen area much faster than someone who just watched a lot of LA Law.

That’s why after my first botched negotiation, I studied the art of deal making like I was preparing for a Supreme Court case.  I read books, took seminars, engaged in live-negotiation exercises and more.  And, I’ve spent the last twenty years, honing those skills in all sorts of negotiations with agents, unions, theater owners and more, all while learning the very unique nuances of negotiating in the arts (which is different than any other industry).

Since negotiating is such an important part of what we all do, I’ve decided to make it the subject of my next webinar, The Art of Negotiating . . . in the Arts  . . . which will take place next Wednesday, January 11th at 7 PM.

During this one hour session (including a Q&A), you’ll learn:

  • The most important part of any negotiation.
  • How do deal with . . . ahem . . . “difficult”  negotiators (and we’ve got a lot of them in this biz).
  • When to walk away . . . no matter how hard that may be (this is so hard in the arts since we’re so emotionally attached to our projects).
  • The one thing you can do to get an advantage in every single negotiation you have.
  • The tricks skillful negotiators will use on you and how to avoid them.

The webinar is $149.  Click here to register now.

Or you can save over $50 and get it for free when you join TheProducersPerspectivePRO for only $97.

And when you join pro, you get full access to PRO including all the other webinars from this past year, contacts lists, my monthly newsletter, networking events (including one on the 21st) and more.  Click here to learn more about PRO (including video testimonials from members).

The average person will enter into thousands of negotiations every single year . . . from in-depth business negotiations (including for your own salary) to negotiating with an airline to get reimbursement when they lose your bag (I just negotiated a free ticket from a major airline when they lost my bag yesterday).

I guarantee you’ll end up getting more out of your negotiations this year when you take this webinar.

See you next Wed.

Sign up for The Art of Negotiating . . . in the Arts for $149.

Join PRO and get the webinar for $97.

 

 

Who is the Broadway Investor? The Infographic. Finally!

I’ll admit it.  I’m obsessed with infographics.  I like reading ’em.  And I like making ’em.  Ok, truth time, I like telling my Assistant, Dylan, to make them.  🙂

Since I got addicted, we’ve made some really cool IGs (that’s how us cool people who make their Assistants make infographics refer to them, BTW).  There was the one about Tony Award winners.  There was the one about recouped musicals.

And then there was the one about the makeup of the typical Broadway Investor.

Wait a minute.  We didn’t do that one!  Newman!

But it’s not too late, right?  No!  It’s never too late.  I just read Vera Wang didn’t enter into the fashion industry until she was 40.  Rodney Dangerfield broke through at age 46.  And good ol’ Colonel Sanders didn’t start frying chicken until he was 62.  So it’s certainly not too late to post an infographic!

A year ago we announced the results of the first ever Broadway Investor survey.  But go ahead, look at it.  The results looked so boring.  So non-info-graphic-y.

Not anymore!

Below is our Broadway Investor infographic.  Use it to help focus your search for investors for your show.

Investor Demogaphics (2)

P.S.  I’ll bet this post gets more views and shares than the previous post with the same information, just presented differently.  Remember that when you’re trying to get something out into the world.

And stay tuned for more Infographics.  I’m keeping Dylan busy this summer.

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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FUN STUFF:

– 2 days left to enter my Tony Pool for the chance to win an Apple Watch!  Click here.

– Listen to Podcast Episode 22 with Broadway Producer, Kevin McCollum!  Click here.

– Win 2 tickets to Clinton The Musical Off Broadway! Click here.

So close I can taste the tax breaks.

If you asked Producers in town what they’d ask for if the genie from Aladdin came down and granted them three wishes, they’d probably say . . . lower stagehand costs, no discount tickets, and tax breaks for Broadway Investors.

Yesterday, they’d all be pipe dreams.

But today, one of them is getting closer and closer to reality.

And no, the BroadwayBox isn’t closing up its e-shop, and no, the stagehands aren’t rolling back to 1970’s wages.

But tax breaks, well, now we’re talking.

Yesterday, Sen. Charles Schumer from NY announced a bipartisan plan to get our strong-spined Broadway Investors the tax breaks they so deserve.  Schumer’s argument is the same that we’ve all been screaming for years.  “You do it for film and TV, why not Broadway?!?”

And yeah, why not?

Well, the contrarian argument against the tax break is that Broadway can’t go anywhere, so they don’t have to give a tax break . . . because there is no threat of losing the business, unlike film which can take its business and its economic impact anywhere.  Oh, and by the way, Broadway is booming, and all its theaters are full, so it’s not like we need that many more shows because we can’t even get ’em up, even if we wanted to.

That’s what Schumer’s opponents will argue, anyway.

But we know that Broadway won’t always be boomin’.  And we know we’re losing business to the UK.  And that the UK is kicking our ass in developing new, adventuresome work, because of all the money that goes to its non-profits.

If we want to stay the theatrical capital of the world, we have to guarantee that our capital stream continues to flow.  And tax breaks are part of that answer.

Support Schumer.  Send him a note on his website.  And send a note to the other Senators while you’re at it.

And I’ll keep you updated on how the bill is progressing.  I promise.

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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FUN STUFF:

– Win a hot Valentine’s Day date with the NY Philharmonic!  Click here.

– Enter Will It Recoup and you could win $500 of Broadway Theater Tickets!  Enter here.

– Listen to Episode 5 of The Producer’s Perspective Podcast for an interview with marketing wizard Drew Hodges! Click here!

How to get on a Broadway Producer’s investor list.

One of the reasons I crowdfunded Godspell years ago was because I had this theory.  I believed that there were throngs of people in the world who were interested in investing in Broadway shows, but they just didn’t know how to do it.

Based on the response we got to our initial offering, I’m thrilled to say that my theory proved correct.  I know, I know, when you’re out there raising money for your show, it seems like an investor is like the holy grail . . . a whispered about myth just around the next bend, and you might grow old never finding it.

But they are out there.  Trust me.  I talk to potential new investors all the time.

And interestingly enough, one of the questions I get asked the most by new potential Broadway investors who have taken my seminar is, “How do I get on a Producer’s investor list?”

I swear, it’s true!  Sure, they ask about risk, and how they can make money (it’s possible, I swear), but so many first time investors are already educated enough about the risks and are interested in getting started that they just want to jump in the water.

Maybe that’s you?

If it is, here are the simple steps that I recommend you take in order to get on a Broadway Producer’s investor list.

1.  IT’S ABOUT TASTE

I always recommend that Broadway investors should invest in shows that they love.  As I often say, Broadway shows are like your kids.  They’re expensive, and sometimes they’ll disappoint you.  But because you love them, it doesn’t bother you as much.  In order to find shows you love, you want to invest with a Producer who has similar taste as you.  So, go see shows.  Lots of them.  And when you find one you like, take a look at the title page of the Playbill and check out the names at the tippity top of the list of Producers (The names at the Top are usually the lead Producers, and the ones in the middle/bottom tend to be aggregators or bundlers).  Circle those names.  Then when you get home, point your browser to IBDB.com or PlaybillVault.com, type in that producer’s name and see what other shows he/she has produced.  If you like what you see, you found one.  Put that Producer on your list and proceed to step two.  (Bonus Tip:  Whenever possible, invest with the Lead Producer on a show.  Nothing against aggregators or bundlers – I do it once or twice a year myself, but it is more beneficial to go straight to the top if you can.)

2.  REACH OUT, REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE

Once you’ve got a list of Producers that have similar taste as you, you’ve got to make contact with them.  Ready for this super stealthy tip?  Call ’em.  Sure, you may not get through, so just leave a flattering message with the assistant that goes something like this, “Hi.  I’m a fan of NAME OF PRODUCER’s work.  And I was wondering if you could put me on your list as a possible investor for future shows?  Do you need anything from me in order to get on that list?”  I don’t know of a Broadway Producer in town that would NOT put you on a list getting a message like that.  It doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a call back (but more often than not I bet somebody at the Producer’s org calls you back), but you may get invites to readings, etc.  And in addition to calling (yep, this is not an “or” this is an “and” to-do), you should see if you can find an email for the Producer and drop them an e-line.  You should also link up on LinkedIn, friend ’em on Facebook, etc.  And hey – if you know they are producing a show that’s in previews, go see the show.  You may get a handshake and be able to tell them you want on their list in person.

3.  YOU GOTTA START SOMEWHERE

Most Broadway Producers have an unwritten rule about who gets their first offers for shows.  Usually, a Producer will give anyone who has already invested with them the first look at new projects.  So, if you’re expecting that you’re going to get the lower-risk, big star driven shows on your first time out, think again.  Those shows are rare, so we usually give them to the investors that have been the most loyal, or have taken hits on other shows, so they can recover any losses (investing in Broadway, like the stock market, is about the long term – I encourage my investors to invest like they are playing blackjack – you don’t play one hand and walk away, you play out the shoe.)  What this means, is that if you want to get on the list of certain Producers, if you want to get offered the lower risk shows in the future, then you may need to take bigger risks when you start out.  You don’t get offers for IPOs when you just start investing in the stock market.  So you probably won’t get offered Hugh Jackman shows on your first time at bat either.  But don’t worry, those shows may be lower risk, but they often don’t return as much either.  So don’t wait for the perfect opp that you think guarantees you a return.  Just get started.  And you’ll find the types of shows you are offered may only improve over time.

See that?  Pretty simple, right?  No GPS required.  But finding the right Producer to invest with is super important, just like finding the right financial advisor.  You want someone who understands what you are looking for, someone who gives you the attention you want, and someone you are going to stick with for awhile.  I always tell my investors that I will have a Wicked someday.  I just don’t know exactly when that’s going to happen.  So you’ve got to invest with me for the long term.

Good luck in your search.

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
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Want to learn how to get your show from the page to the stage? Join my community of theater professionals on TheProducersPerspectivePRO, plus get instant access to 30+ hours of training, monthly newsletters and networking opportunities, producer contact lists, and so much more! To join TheProducersPerspectivePROclick here!

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