Podcast Episode 178 — Broadway Licensing President, Sean Cercone

 

If you listen to this podcast, in the midst of Sean’s passion for our art form, you’ll hear a lot of data and stats roll off his tongue like he was a baseball nerd talking about the batting averages and RBI stats for the Yankees.

He chats about the # of high schools in the US, the percentage of licensing in the global market, etc., etc.  His approach to licensing is firmly based on market research and data and how he can use that to get more theater into the world.

And it’s working.

Broadway Licensing has only been around a few years, but they are already making their mark and acquiring titles like crazy.  And his data-driven approach is why I gave him the rights to this show, which is already starting to light up the licensing market.

Licensing is such an ENORMOUS part of the Broadway economic model, yet it’s one we don’t think about enough when launching our shows, which is why I wanted Sean on the podcast.

Listen in to hear us chat about . . .

  • The biggest pain points of theaters around the world who want to license properties.
  • Should we release our titles to the subsidiary market earlier than we have been?
  • Can I show make a big splash in licensing that never plays NYC at all?
  • The most important characteristics of a popular show in the high school market.
  • How to market a show for licensing.

And his answer to my Genie question is so unexpected for a numbers guys like him.  Listen in to hear his heartfelt response.

And here’s to your shows getting licensed as often as Oklahoma!

Click above for my podcast with Sean.

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)

Download it here.

Podcast Episode 177 – A Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer Who Also Trains Broadway Producers.

 

Tom Viertel has produced some of the biggest hits that Broadway has seen, including The ProducersHairspray and more. 

But what I love about his trajectory is that he got his start producing some of the smallest shows that Off-Broadway had ever seen.

And worked his way up. (If that sounds familiar, it’s what I did too . . . and what I recommend all startup Producers (and startup anythings, actually) do).

It’s fitting that Tom is also the Executive Director of The Commerical Theater Institute, which helps train Broadway Producers To Be.

We talked about how producing has changed over the years as well as . . .

  • What’s wrong with Off Broadway today?  And can it be fixed?
  • How to learn from the shows that don’t work.
  • The most important skill a Broadway Producer must have.
  • The advantages of taking small investors and how he built his database.
  • What real estate and Broadway producing have in common.

Click above for my podcast with Tom!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)

Download it here.

Podcast Episode 176 – Two Time Tony Award-Winning Composer/Lyricist, Maury Yeston

There was one disappointing thing that I kept thinking during the recording of my podcast with Maury Yeston.

During the recording of my podcast with the two time Tony winner, I kept thinking how disappointed I was . . . that I didn’t have him on sooner.

You’ll hear what I mean from the get-go of this episode.

Because not only is Maury a super-talented genius of an artist and a Grand Master of the Musical Theater form, he has a passionate positivity for our business that few can match.

And it wasn’t always easy for the man who dreamed up Nine and wrote the “other” Phantom . . . not to mention writing one of my favorite musical theater songs of all time.

We talked about his struggle to “make it” along with . . .

  • Why he wrote Nine before he even had the rights to the film on which it was based.
  • How critics have changed, and how he believes they should write their reviews (this one is not only for the critics out there, but for anyone who has asked for advice on a show, or tweets, etc.)
  • The most important thing he learned in his decades with the Lehman Engel BMI Workshop, both as a student and as head of the program.
  • How bad reviews for an out of town tryout can actually be a blessing in disguise.
  • What he thinks is the biggest mistake writers make today.

Enjoy this podcast, and I wish you the same joy in your work as Maury takes in his.

Click above for my podcast with Maury!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)

Download it here.

Podcast Episode 175 – Composer-Lyricist and Winner of So Many Awards, Ryan Scott Oliver

 

With apartments as small as they are in this city, I’m not sure where Ryan Scott Oliver keeps all his trophies.

Because Ryan has won just about every single award an emerging musical theatre writer can win in this town.  The Jonathan Larson, multiple ASCAPs, Richard Rodgers, etc, etc.  I mean, you’d think this guy has a big future ahead of him.

Oh, wait, Entertainment Weekly did call him “The Future of Broadway.”

And that’s why I wanted to talk to him.

Ryan has built an amazing career of super cool projects from Darling to 35mm to Jasper In Deadland, all of which are performed all over the world.  Recently, he passed over 1 million streams on Spotify.

And he hasn’t yet made his Broadway debut.

It’s coming, for sure, but how has he done what he has done in the meantime?

We found out on this podcast.  We also discussed:

  • Why he decided to go into musical theatre rather than join some of his peers in pop music.
  • How he found a balance between making money and pursuing the projects he’s really passionate about . . . and how you can too.
  • His pros and cons of grad school.
  • Why he founded the super successful Actor Training Program Actor Therapy with Broadway Star Lindsay Mendez.
  • The reasons why feedback from fellow writers is so important.

Click above for my podcast with Ryan!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)

Download it here.

Podcast Episode 174 – Pulitzer Prize Winner, Alfred Uhry

 

I first met Alfred Uhry when I was company managing the reading and the workshop of Paradethe musical he wrote with Jason Robert Brown, years before it made it to Broadway.
Shows undergo so much transformation during readings and workshops that to watch a Pulitzer Prize winner like Alfred bob and weave with his pen during these few weeks was one of the most educational experiences I have ever had.
Because it was obvious that Alfred, who had scored big time with his first (!) play, Driving Miss Daisy, was a genius.  But what I love about Alfred, as you’ll hear in this week’s podcast, is that he doesn’t come off like some know-it-all intelligentsia . . . even though he does know it all, and if I was on the same Jeopardy telecast with him, I’d quit before the Alex could let me choose a category.
There’s a bunch of mind-blowing moments in this podcast, including:
  • How he kept writing after a couple of big ol’ Broadway disasters that would have sent most people to law school.
  • Where he got the inspiration for Driving Miss Daisy, and the magic words he heard from his agent when she read it.
  • Musicals and plays . . . and the different skills needed for both.
  • His process of sitting down and writing, and how that has changed since he began.
  • Writing what you know . . . the pros and the cons.

Click above for my podcast with Alfred!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review while you’re there!)

Download it here.

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