10 Tips On How To Finish That @#$%ing Play, Screenplay or Whatever You’re Working on.

Everyone has an idea for a something . . . whether it’s a play, a movie . . . or even an app.

But as I wrote about here, ideas are worth zippo.  That’s why they can’t be protected by copyright.

However, when those ideas are forged into something specific and actually finished, they can be priceless.

So, how do you finish that idea you’ve been working on?  Because of the success we’ve had with our 30 Day Script Challenge, I decided to expand on that concept and write down the most effective tips I’ve learned (and use myself) on how to finish a script, a book, a blog . . . or just about anything.

You ready for ’em?

Well, they’re not here.

I put the tips in an article on that fancy new media site, Medium.com.  To see my 10 Tips on How To Write More Often And Actually Finish Something, click here.

And when you get there, make sure you . . .

  1. Sign up.
  2. Read the article.
  3. And give it a “clap” at the end, if you like it.

I hope they help get your project from the page to the priceless phase.

Click here to read it so you can start finishin’.

Looking for ways to hold yourself accountable for your success, finish that script, or get it to the next stage? Click here to become a part of my PRO community today and get everything you need to succeed!

 

The Three Types of Broadway Producers: Lead Producer, Co-Producer and Executive Producer EXPLAINED.

When I first started the blog, one of the most common questions I got asked was, “What does a Broadway Producer Do?”  That’s why I wrote this post way back when (which is one of the most read/searched blogs of the thousands I’ve written.)

Recently, I’ve gotten a slew of that exact same question . . . with one word tossed into the query.

“What does a Broadway (Lead, Co, or Executive) Producer Do?”

Because Broadway producing has become more complicated over the years, and since the responsibilities of a Broadway Producer have increased (in the same they have for Directors, Actors, etc.), there has been a need for different types of Broadway Producers to make sure a show is properly served.

But what are the duties and responsibilities of these three different types of Producers?  I wrote a bit about this in my new book on Broadway Investing, but I thought I’d flesh it out in a little more detail here.

So whether you want to be one or you need one, here is the definition of the three types of Broadway Producers.

LEAD PRODUCER

The Lead Producer of a Broadway show is like the CEO of a company.  Or, more specifically, since each show is a brand new enterprise, a Lead Producer is like the founder of a startup.  In fact, I often refer to myself as “a serial startup guy,” because if I have two shows in a season, that’s like two brand new companies, each with a unique product, a different creative team, a new round of capital, etc.

The Lead Producer of a Broadway show is responsible for finding the product (play, musical), whether he, she, or they come up with the idea themselves, or if he, she, or they are handed a script by a writer, or sees a show Off-Broadway and moves it to Broadway.  The Lead Producer is responsible for raising all of the money, overseeing advertising and marketing strategies, finalizing the budget, etc.

The buck stops with the Lead Producer, just like a CEO.

CO-PRODUCER

As producing on Broadway became more expensive over the past several years, Lead Producers started “subcontracting” out the financing to Co-Producers.  Co-Producers on Broadway invest or raise a certain level of capital in order to receive a preferred rate of return on their investment, as well as additional perks, including billing (which earns a Co-Producer Tony Award eligibility), attendance at advertising meetings, etc.

If a Lead Producer is like a CEO or a Chairman of the Board, then Co-Producers are like board members.  They bring money to the table, and therefore,  are able to get access to and have an influence on the producing of the show.  (How much access and influence depend on the style of the Lead Producer, and, of course, the experience of the Co-Producer.)

While a Lead Producer may earn a royalty and an office fee, most Co-Producers only earn money when a show recoups (unless they are investing or raising significant amounts of capital, in which case, they can also negotiate a piece of the Producer royalty, etc.)  To learn more about how Producers are paid, watch this video.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

The Executive Producer on Broadway is the newest type of Broadway Producer on the block.  This position emerged as a result of the increase in the number of individuals looking to shepherd a show to Broadway as a Lead Producer, but who wanted an expert to help guide them through developing the business model, shaping the marketing strategy, securing (the right) theater, raising capital, advising the creative team on the script, maintaining the show in the 3rd year and beyond, etc.  While the Lead Producer still makes all of the final decisions, an Executive Producer serves as the Lead Producer’s consigliere, advising them along each step of the way.

There are many reasons Lead Producers hire Executive Producers.  They may be new to the industry.  They may be working on the production in another area (writing, etc.) and want to make sure someone always has their eye on the producing ball.  They may be extremely successful in another industry (entertainment related or not) and need someone to focus on the day to day because they lack the time to give the show what it needs to thrive.  Or, they may be a corporation that needs a figurehead in the rehearsal room as a representative of the company.  When $15 million is on the line (or even $5 million or $500,000!), having an experienced expert’s opinion and advice can be one of the smartest investment a Lead Producer can make.

While Executive Producers are “hired guns” for Broadway shows, a good one pays for himself, herself, or themselves several times over, by either saving the company money or making the company money through financial efficiencies, and/or by providing creative ideas (in the marketing, in the dramaturgy, etc.) that have a positive impact on the production itself for years to come.

(SIDE NOTE:  I expect that with the boom that Broadway is experiencing right now and the number of new Lead Producers getting into Broadway producing, especially those corporations, more and more Executive Producers will appear on the title pages of Playbills in the next ten years.)

If you are looking for more producing resources check out TheProducersPerspectivePRO where you’ll find video courses and tons of resources for producers (or for writers trying to find producers).

To inquire about hiring me or a member of my producing team to Executive Produce your show, click here.

 

Yes, we’re producing a brand new theater festival, here’s why! (UPDATED)

A few weeks ago, I tweet-leaked the news that we were launching a brand new theater festival this (!) summer.

Now, my publicity muzzle has officially been removed, and I’m able to announce for reals that RAVE, the brand new theater festival for brand new plays, musicals, and more, will take place this summer from August 9th to the 25th, right here in NYC.

Woohoo!!!  (If you can’t tell, I’m super excited.)

Why am I jumping up and down like a kid who just heard the circus was comin’ to town?

Well, first, I love me some theater.

And I believe that the more theater there is in the world, the better off the world will be.

Second, almost one year ago to the day, on March 15, 2018, my office announced a new mission, to help get 5000 shows produced by 2025. 

It’s going great! Shows are sprouting up Off-Broadway, regionally, internationally, and more.  And a whole crap-ton are in line for readings, production, licensing and more.  But a festival is a great way to get a whole bunch up at once!

Third, over the years, I’ve discovered Playwrights, Actors, Directors and all sorts of Theater Makers at other festivals around the country.  And many of these folks I still work with to this day! 

Altar Boyz wouldn’t have been the success it is without me seeing Kevin Delaguila’s 6 Story Building at the 2002 NYC Fringe and asking him to write our book.  I saw Brandon Williams, who I cast in The Awesome 80s Prom in 2004 after seeing him in The Joy of Sex that same year.  He went on to star in Gettin’ The Band Back Together on Broadway this past summer.   And on, and on.

Unfortunately, over the last few years, we’ve lost a few festivals.  Simultaneously, costs for producing off-off Broadway showcases or developing productions have spiked.  And in my discussions with my Pros and emerging theater artists all over the world, I found myself recommending that they submit to a festival . . . but found that the city is actually short on festivals, and those festivals that were still around filled up too fast!

So, we’re starting one with the goal of giving more emerging Theater Makers a chance to be seen in the most important theater city in the world, which is also the hardest theater city in the world to be seen in!

You can find out more about the festival here.

If you’re a Theater Maker with a play, musical or unique “experience” (it is called RAVE after all), I hope you’ll submit. (UPDATE: submissions for the 2019 Rave Theater Festival season are now closed, but for a list of submission opportunities for plays and musicals please visit TheProducersPerspectivePRO.com where you can also access our “How to Submit to Theater Festivals Execution Plan!)!

If you’re a Theater maker without a play, musical or unique “experience,” now is the time to get that great idea of yours on paper and submit it.  What’s the worse that’ll happen?  You won’t get in?  Big whoop.  What’s the best that can happen???  Go ahead, let your imagination run wild.  (Yeah, that’s right, imagine that.  Pretty awesome, right?  Now get on the stick and submit!)

Click here to get the scoop.

If you’re a theater lover, make sure you sign up to be the first to know when we announce the line-up and put tickets up for sale.  Cause I think we’re going to shake up the city this summer, and you’re gonna want to be there.

Here we go!

Experience The RAVE Theater Festival.

What Marie Kondo can teach you about rewriting your script.

If you don’t know who Marie Kondo is, then you’re probably living under a very untidy rock.

Marie Kondo is the author of the bestselling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and the star of the new Netflix series “Tidying Up” which has become the hot water-cooler conversation of late.

Ms. Kondo is an organizational guru who changes lives by changing how you keep your home clean.

So, my Type A peeps out there?  You’re going to love her.  And the non-Type A’s?  She’s just what your cluttered closet ordered.

Her basic principle of “tidying” is pretty simple.  Instead of looking at what is in your closet and saying, “What should I throw away,” she turns the question around to ask a positive one . . . “What should I keep?”  And her rule about what stays around is . . .

Only hold on to items that “spark joy.”

So vivid, right?

A sweater that sparks joy stays.  If you don’t feel joyous when you put on those jeans, out they go.  Same with trinkets or books . . .  or even people.  🙂

This got me to thinking about how to apply it to the development of shows and more specifically, how Authors should deal with the notes they get on a script.

If you’re a writer then you know . . . everyone has an idea on how to rewrite your script, right?  And every time you do a reading or send it around, you probably get so many notes, you don’t know where to start . . . and end up not starting at all.

Feedback can be overwhelming, which is why I suggest following the Marie Kondo approach.

See, too many writers I know (especially new ones) take ALL the notes they are given by all the various people who give them . . . and the next draft ends up looking like some kind of collage of a show with no singular vision.

Writers need to know how to filter the feedback they receive, so the show gets better and remains the same show the writer wants to write.

How do you filter?

You Kondo your feedback.

Writers should only take notes that “spark joy.”

When you get a note, you should think about it, roll it around, debate it if you must, and wait for it to give you a burning desire to get back to the keyboard to make the change.

If it doesn’t even get you excited about doing the rewrite?  Forget the note altogether.  Because even if you take it, you won’t write it well, so why bother?

To be a successful rewriter, you must be enthusiastic about the process if you’re going to improve your script.

But you should never sacrifice the story that you want to tell just because someone else has ideas on how they would write it.

They are not you.  The script is not theirs.  It’s yours.

So write the show you want to write, and let Marie Kondo make it even tidier.

– – – – –

Want to learn how to self-diagnose your own script so you don’t have to hear from anyone else? 🙂  Download our “How To Self Diagnosis Your Script” execution plan today and get your script better by tonight! Click here.

Looking for expert feedback on your script from my Director of Creative Development or Ken Davenport? Click here to apply for our script coverage services.

 

Introducing a “Revival” of our Davenport Reading Series!

Back in 2010, we started a reading series in our rehearsal room due to the number of submissions of great developing work we received that wasn’t for us, but we felt should be seen.

The first play we read was a two-hander Civil War romantic drama called Amelia by Alex Webb, which I still remember to this day as an incredibly moving and theatrical piece (not to mention easy to produce).

Well, a few months ago, I was googling around and discovered that Amelia went on to get a bunch of other productions, and it got picked up for a licensing deal with Samuel French!

We had to abandon the reading series after it began because we lost some staff and we lost those rehearsal rooms.  But when I realized that Amelia, as well as a few other shows that we read, went on to do bigger and better things, I decided we had to figure out a way to revive it.

So we have!  And it fits in perfectly with our mission that we announced last year of helping 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

We’ll be producing four readings of new plays a year (and expect to be able to include musicals as well . . . just give us some time to figure that out).

And we’ll also be looking to not only showcase new writing talent, but also new directing talent, acting talent, etc.  So regardless of what type of Theater Maker you are, there is a way for you to be involved.

Because submissions for these sorts of series can be overwhelming, we’ve limited those eligible to submit to the members of our PRO community at the moment.  So if you want to submit, click here to join PRO and learn how to submit your show for consideration.  Again, we will do four a year – one a quarter.  (The first deadline is January 25, 2019 and submissions are already coming in, so hurry).

If you’re a director, click here to join our Director Database, which is where we and our writers will start looking first.

If you’re an actor, click here to be in our Actor Database.

And if you’re just a fan of new works and want to come and support emerging talent (and our 5000By2025 mission), click here and we’ll let you know when.

I’m thrilled to be able to revive this series and am looking forward to introducing some new shows to the city and to the theatrical world.

 

SIGN UP BELOW TO NEVER MISS A BLOG

X