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.

What the heck does a General Manager do anyway?

A reader pinged me last week wanting me to clarify exactly what a General Manager’s job was on a Broadway show, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain it . . . using one of my favorite theatrical analogies.

I think the hierarchical leadership structure of a Broadway play or Broadway musical is similar to how our country structures its military leadership.

At the top of the upside down pyramid you have the President, or the Commander-in-Chief.  He’s the guy (or, in two years, maybe a gal?) that decides whether or not he wants to go to war.  And that’s our Producer.  He or she decides whether or not to produce a show.

And when the Commander decides to go to war, he turns to a General.  That General is schooled in the art of War.  Maybe even more so than the Commander-in-Chief himself.  The General plans the entire battle campaign: how many troops, who will lead them where, how much is it going to cost, etc.  They give that plan to the Commander-in-Chief, who may make a tweak or two, ask some questions, and then makes the decision to execute it or not.

The General is . . . you guessed it . . . just like a General Manager on a Broadway show.  They take a Producer’s vision, and help strategize and plan the entire production.

Make sense?

You can even extend the metaphor to the Company Manager, who is like the foot soldier for the General.  The CM goes into battle (visits the theater) and reports back to the General on the day to day operations of the “war.”

So, when you’re picking your General Manager for your show, make sure it’s someone that you can trust . . . someone that is schooled in both the business and the art of the theatre.

Make sure it’s someone you’d march into battle with . . .

If you’re looking for a General Manager for your show, drop me an email for a recommendation.

 

Interested in learning more about our General Management department? Click here.

 

(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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Do you dream of being able to write, produce or direct full-time? Join my community of theater professionals on TheProducersPerspectivePRO who are all working to achieve their goals, plus get instant access to 30+ hours of training, monthly newsletters and networking opportunities, and so much more! Join TheProducersPerspectivePRO today!

How to Raise Money for your Show: The Seminar!

I owe you an apology.

Because this blog, and its related seminar, is at least a year in the making.

Ever since I started teaching my Get Your Show Off The Ground and Broadway Investing 101 Seminars, I’ve gotten a ton of requests to create a seminar dedicated to the subject of how to raise money for your Broadway show, your Off Broadway show, or your anywhere show.

And I’ve wanted to do something about it for a long time.

After all, my “How to Raise Money” blogs, are some of my most read.  And the subject comes up in 98% of my consultation sessions.

And before today, I still haven’t addressed it.  So I’m sorry.

But it’s finally time.

On Saturday, November 2nd, I will be holding our first ever How to Raise Money for Your Show seminar.  It’ll be a five hour intensive on the subject from 11-5 (with an hour for lunch), and we’ll discuss all areas of raising money, including:

  • Where to find investors
  • How to approach investors
  • How to structure your ask and close the deal
  • How to communicate with investors
  • How to get rid of the fear in asking for money
  • Is crowdfunding for you?
  • And a whole lot more

In addition to learning the tips and tricks that have helped me raise millions of buckaroos, we’ll have interactive sessions, where you pitch me a project, and I’ll critique your ask.

I promise that after you complete the seminar, you’ll be rarin’ to get out there and raise money for your show.  And the seminar works for all types of shows . . . from Broadway to Off Broadway to Off Off Broadway and Non-Profits too!  And frankly, the stuff I teach crosses over to all mediums and all industries.  So whether you’re looking to raise money for a show or a film or a hardware store, I’m sure I can help.

The cost of the seminar ain’t cheap.  I’ll be telling you the exact strategies that I use, and, well, those are pretty valuable to me, so I’ve got to charge for ’em, as I’m sure you can understand.  But because this is the very first seminar of this style, we’re doing it at a reduced rate.  It’s normally going to go for $595, but we’re knocking it down to $495 for this first session of 10 people only.

And when you think about it, the cost of the seminar is pennies compared to the amount of money I’m going to help you raise.  With just one or two adjustments to how you raise money, I could have you raising 100x that!  (As with all of my seminars, if you’re not satisfied, and you don’t think I give you enough skills to raise at least the cost of the seminar, I’ll give you your money back.  Simple.  No questions asked.)

So click here and register today.  Reminder, we’ve only got 10 slots, and because of the number of requests I’ve gotten for this seminar in the past, I’m sure they’ll go fast.  So register now.

And we’ll get you raising money and get that show on its feet before you know it.

See you in November.

And thanks for accepting my apology.

UPDATE:  WOWZA!  WE SOLD OUT THIS SEMINAR IN 17 HOURS.  SIGN UP HERE TO BE PUT ON THE WAIT LIST AND TO FIND OUT WHEN OUR NEXT SEMINAR WILL BE.  AND THANKS!

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UPDATE FROM KEN AS OF JUNE 26, 2014:

Because of the popularity of the seminar (click here to find out when the next one is scheduled), and because so many of you were interested in learning how to raise money for your show, but couldn’t get to New York City, I’ve created a home-study just for you.

It contains all the info in the seminar (minus the live practice sessions), plus bonus materials including actual offering documents and budgets from a Broadway show.  

Click here to learn more and to get it today:   Raise It!  How to Raise Thousands Millions of Dollars for Your Show and Fast!

Where to start if you want to study the performing arts.

Some of the coolest cold emails I get are from high school students all over the country, asking me for advice on where to go and what to study in college if they want to work on Broadway someday.

I pitch my alma mater first (duh) and then some of my other faves . . . and then spit out my usual advice of trying to be close to the city if you can, because getting acclimated to the business and NYC-life while you’re still under the umbrella of an institution is what gave me a head start over my not-so-local peers.

But I always wished I could point the students (or their parents) to some kind of online directory that could help guide them through what I know is a difficult (and expensive) process.

And then poof . . . like magic . . . here comes Playbill with PlaybillEdu.com.

Playbill has been expanding faster than a cronut-eater these days, having already given us PlaybillPro, PlaybillVIP and my fave, PlaybillVault.com in the last two years.

But PlaybillEdu may not only get them the most page views of them all, it could also be their most significant contribution to the theatre since they first introduced their program in the early 1900s.

By providing students, parents and college counselors a one stop shop to get all the info they need to find the right college for their future actor/writer/producer, they are helping to funnel more people into our business.  And more people, means more talent.  And more talent means better shows, which means happier audiences, which means the theater’s future is safe and sound.

Check it out here, and spread the word.  I’m sure you know someone thinking about a career in the biz.  And look, working on Broadway is hard enough.   There’s no reason why selecting a training program should be harder.

 

(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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What are the most popular Broadway Theaters? (Updated 2018).

I got a lot of emails about last month’s “What The Tuck” blog and Broadway theater availability in general . . . which got me wondering . . . which Broadway Theaters are booked the most often?

Because if we’re facing an availability crisis then it would make sense that Producers should look at the theaters that are likely to be free, right? (Hmmmm, maybe “free” isn’t the right word.)

And at the same time, if a theater has a low occupancy, then perhaps the location, location, location of that specific theater isn’t prime for recoupment, recoupment, recoupment.  Right?

So, I dove deep into the archives of the Playbill Vault and IBDB and counted up the number of days that theaters were booked vs. dark over the past 30 years (from January 1, 1983-May 1, 2013), and listed them below, in order of the “most popular.”

Before you look . . . guess.  Go ahead.  Guess which theaters you think have been the most booked, and which have been the least booked (oh – one note – I took out all the Non-Profit theaters, because, well, they have to book their theaters to stay in business).

Did you guess?  No peeking!

Here’s the list of the most popular Broadway Theaters:

Theater Name Occupancy Percentage
Winter Garden 96.49%
New Amsterdam 94.27%
*Since theater re-opened in 1997
Imperial 87.42%
Majestic 83.45%
Gerald Schoenfeld 80.00%
Broadway 78.19%
Richard Rodgers 76.70%
Palace 76.53%
Foxwoods 74.55%
*Since theater opened in 1997
Helen Hayes 74.25%
Eugene O’Neill 71.50%
Gershwin 71.27%
Al Hirschfeld 70.64%
August Wilson 70.54%
St. James 70.12%
Booth 68.19%
Minskoff 67.76%
Broadhurst 66.01%
Marquis 66.00%
Shubert 65.44%
Neil Simon 64.06%
Walter Kerr 63.23%
Bernard B. Jacobs 62.14%
John Golden 59.55%
Ambassador 58.92%
Ethel Barrymore 58.80%
Lunt-Fontanne 58.35%
Circle in the Square 57.67%
Brooks Atkinson 55.46%
Nederlander 54.59%
Music Box 52.27%
Cort 37.72%
Lyceum 37.18%
Longacre 27.38%
Belasco 26.21%

So, how’d you do?  Did you guess right?

There’s a lot to derive from the data on this chart, but of course the most obvious bit is at the end:

Three of out of the last four occupied theaters are East of 7th Avenue.

Oh, and here’s the other thing . . . if this were a list of apartment buildings in New York City, the rent would be lower for the buildings towards the bottom, right?

Hint, hint.  And you know who you are.

(Shout out to my Super Assistant, Kayla, and her Super Intern, Kate, for the hours compiling this super-duper data.)

UPDATE: Here are a few fun facts that we unearthed during our data digging:
-The only show in the past 30 years that ran longer than a year in the Longacre Theatre was the 2010 revival of La Cage Aux Folles
-The Majestic has had just 1 show and the Winter Garden has had just 2 shows since 1983
Godspell was the 5th longest running show at Circle in the Square in the past 30 years
-The American Airline’s Theatre has had the most productions is the shortest span of time, 40 shows in 13 years
-In the past 30 years the theater with the most shows has been Circle in the Square with 51 shows
-12 theaters still have their original name

(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 read more about the long-running shows that are filling these Broadway Theatres? Read my post Who/What is Fueling the Broadway Box Office Fire to gain more insight! Also be sure to check out What Harry Potter’s Theater Choice Means for Independent Producers to hear my thoughts on this blockbuster play’s Broadway transfer.

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