Sorry. April Fools’ Day is postponed, so here are 3 things to do instead.

Look, if The Tony Awards, The Olympics, and Coachella are postponed, then so is April Fools’.

Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t think anyone wants to be tricked this year.  We’re just not in the mood.

And hey, I’m even more bummed than you are.  Every FEBRUARY a reminder goes off in my “Toodledo” to-do app to start thinking of a new “gotcha” for all of you blog readers.   I’ve done everything from “I’m crowdfunding a new Broadway theater,” to “Meryl Streep is appearing on my podcast,” to my favorite . . . “I’m starring in a one-man show about Michael Dukakis.”

And just none of that seems right during this strange time.

So here are three things you can do instead of April Fools.

1. Do what this phone company wanted you to do.

There’s an old AT&T commercial that was probably one of their most successful in the company’s history.  The now very ironic lyrics of the jingle were, “Reach out, reach out and touch someone.”  Of course, we can’t do that right now.  But that was also the whole point of the commercial for the phone giant.  If you can’t physically be with another person, reach out anyway.  Check-in with a friend.  And instead of playing a prank, say those magic words, “What can I do to help you?”  What’s amazing about those seven words is that not only could you actually help someone, but give it some time, and watch how this simple action will bounce back and end up helping you when you need it the most.

2. Do what your mom taught you to do.

This is big in my house right now, as my wife, aka Super Mommy, has been working hard to teach our 2-year-old those two magic words . . . “Thank you.”It’s hard to find things to be grateful for when faced with the types of challenges we are all facing right now.  We’re concerned about our health, the health of our loved ones, the economy, our own personal economy.  That’s a @#$% ton.  But take a moment today to spend the time you might have spent coming up with an April Fools’ joke to find something to be grateful for.  Maybe it’s that you are healthy.  Maybe it’s that you realize how lucky you are to have your spouse or partner.  Or maybe it’s that you get to spend so much more time with your 2-year old than you would if you were at the office.  🙂

3. Do something . . . for yourself.

There will be two kinds of people when this is all over.  People who are the same as when it began and people who are stronger, smarter and ready for the new challenges that emerging from our caves will bring.  If you are reading this blog, then I’d bet the capitalization of Spiderman that you’re part of the latter.  So, do something to challenge yourself to improve some area of your life, and start today.

See, it’s the first of the month.  A perfect time to start a 30 Day Challenge.  Of any kind.  Sure, I’m partial to our 30 Day Script Challenge which is for any of you out there who always wanted to get an idea out of your head and onto a page (and this one will make that happen in 30 days).

But you can challenge yourself to do anything in the next 30 days . . . learn Spanish, get your real estate license, or if you’re like me . . . take a 30 Day Fitness Challenge!  (Yes, that grunting at 5 AM coming from the Upper West Side is me doing burpees).

And if you commit to something for 30 Days (which anyone can do), you’ll be on the road to creating a habit, which could last a lifetime.

Need some help?  Just Google “30 Day XXXXXX Challenge” for whatever it is you want to do, and I bet you find a road map for your next 30 days.

We’ve got the time, right?  What do you have to lose?  Now, what do you have to gain???

Doing something to improve yourself will not only keep your mind sharp, as we’re dulled by seeing the same surroundings every day, but you’ll end up a part of the population that comes out of this and says, “Ok, I’m @#$ing ready.  Let’s get at it.”

And that’s no April Fools’.

You’ve got 30 days.  GO!  (And yeah, if you’ve ever thought about writing something, do this challenge, for sure.)

– – – – –

Last night on our live stream we featured Broadway Producer, Author, Historian, Jennifer Tepper!  Click here to watch the replay and hear her talk about . . .

  • Being on the set of the Tick, Tick, Boom! movie with Lin-Manuel Miranda when she realized this virus thing was real.
  • How she’s using this time to write the next volume of her successful book series.
  • What she thinks is the most underrated Broadway musical of all time.

And tonight at 8 PM EDT, star of stage and screen, the Tony Award-winning actor, Alan Cumming!  Click here to get a reminder to tune in!

He would have written the greatest play about this.

Yesterday, the COVID-19 crisis got very personal for every one of us in the theater industry, as it claimed the life of one of our greatest playwrights and greatest gentlemen, Terrence McNally.

From Frankie and Johnny to Ragtime to Master Class to Anastasia to The Visit and so many more, Terrence was one of our most prolific writers, and something tells me that had this @#$%ing virus not got in his way, he would have had plenty more in him at his young age of 81.

Love Valour Compassion was my first McNally experience, which I saw in my early 20s on Broadway, and as I wrote about here, was one of the first times I audibly gasped when watching a play over something that a character said, not did.  Terrence could wield words like a weapon, and then use them to tuck you in at night just a few scenes later.

And then, still-pinch-me, I got to work with him.

The first time was as the Associate Company Manager on that marvelous original company of Ragtime.  I filled his house seat orders.  Got him a coffee every so often.  Yet he treated me like I had been working in the business as long as he had.

Then, with his incredibly passionate Producer and Husband, Tom Kirdahy, I produced It’s Only A Play on Broadway, which has been one of the most successful shows I’ve done.  It was a love letter to the theater.  And one of the reasons why it worked, was because Terrence @#$%ing loved the theater so much.  I mean, he wrote movies, tv, opera, etc. and could have kept writing in any one of those mediums . . . but he kept coming back to us.  It’s why I jumped on board as a Producer on Mothers and Sons, The Visit and that latest revival of Frankie and Johnny.  

And he was always there to inspire and encourage others.  He was one of my very first podcast guests (#4 to be exact) . . . and after he saw Gettin’ The Band Back Together, he sent me an email compliment that I tacked to my bulletin board, where it remains to this day.

Terrence didn’t just write great plays.  He helped shape society with the plays he wrote.  I’m so thankful he gave us the work he did, and angry that he was taken from just too soon.

But I know what he’d want for all of the TheaterMakers who are heartbroken today is for us to take all of that emotion we are feeling and put it into our work.

God, I’m sure you know this, but if you ever need someone else to write your story again, you’ve got the best with you now.

The Producer’s Perspective LIVE! Episode 2: Stephen Schwartz

Last night we kicked off the first Producer’s Perspective LIVE and thanks to all the people who joined in from as far away as Spain, Australia . . . Brooklyn . . . we had a blast (catch the replay here).

And we didn’t even have a guest!

But tonight we have a G-U-E-S-T.

At 8 pm EDT (7 pm CDT/6 pm MDT/5 pm PDT) TONIGHT, for our first live-with-a-superstar episode, I’ll be sitting down across a screen from the legend who is Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, the recently opened Prince of Egypt in London).

We’ll learn what he’s doing to stay busy (a new musical in the works perhaps???), what he plans to do once the CoronaVirus has left our lives FOR GOOD, and . . . who knows what else!

And you can see it tonight on my Facebook page.

Set your reminder here and invite a friend to join you (virtually)!

You can also watch it through the Broadway Podcast Network which is streaming the content through their Youtube channel.

See you tonight at 8 pm EDT (7 pm CDT/6 pm MDT/5 pm PDT).

Click here to visit my Facebook page now.

Oh, and tomorrow . . . Broadway Star Sierra Boggess!  To see the full schedule of who is after that, visit www.theproducersperspective.com/LIVE.  We’ll be talking to someone new every single night!

Introducing The Producer’s Perspective LIVE! Starting TONIGHT at 8 PM

Last weekend, when I realized I wouldn’t be seeing a lot of my friends, acquaintances (or “virtually” anyone) in-person for quite some time, I started reaching out via FaceTime, Zoom and Text just to check-in and see how they were doing.

Well, they showed me.

In the first few moments of our chit-chat, they had me laughing, they had me learning (sharing their tips of how they were getting through this), and they had me inspired to do something to help anyone out there who need the same medicine that I inadvertently did!

That’s when I thought . . . more people need to hear from these amazing folks.

So that’s what we’re doing.

Inspired by my podcast and the little pick-me-ups I described above, tonight we start TheProducersPerspectiveLIVE!

Every night at 8 PM EDT, we’ll have a superstar TheaterMaker join us for a brief chat about how they are doing, what they are doing, and what tips they are for you on getting through, and eventually, getting back to what we all love to do . . . make theater.

And yes, that’s right . . . no recorded edited episodes here.  These will be LIVE and ON VIDEO, streaming live on Facebook.

And just look at who has already shot their hand up and said YES, I’ll do it!

Stephen Schwartz – Tuesday, March 24th
Sierra Boggess – Wednesday, March 25th
Alex Brightman – Thursday, March 26th

Rick Miramontez – Friday, March 27th
Stephen Flaherty – Saturday, March 28th
Pam MacKinnon – Sunday, March 29th

Steven Sater – Monday March 30th
Jennifer Tepper – Tuesday, March 31st
Alan Cumming – Wednesday, April 1st
Leigh Silverman – Thursday, April 2nd
Sergio Trujillo – Friday, April 3rd
Jeanine Tesori – Saturday, April 4th
Anthony Veneziale

David Henry Hwang
Andrew Lippa
Lonny Price
Kevin McCollum
Zalmen Mlotek
Ryan Scott Oliver
Damian Bazadona
Drew Hodges
David Rockwell
Jack Tantleff
Al Nocciolino
John Caird
Des McAnuff
Stephen Byrd
James Lapine

It’ll be every night, 7 days a week.  And you can see the schedule for the series here.

I’ll kick it off tonight to talk a little more about it, take some questions (and honestly, test the technology before I get a big star online).

Tune in to my Facebook page TONIGHT, Monday March 23rd, at 8pm ET (7pm CT / 6pm MT / 5pm PT) to hear more about it AND get an update on what will be joining us.  And to find the most up-to-date schedule and list of guests, visit this page: www.TheProducersPerspective.com/Live.

See you tonight . . . and every night!  And don’t forget, the schedule is here!

 

If you ever had an idea for a play, musical, or even screenplay (eww), read this.

Hey TheaterMakers and even yet-to-be-TheaterMakers, here’s another entry for you in whatever form of isolation you’re in right now!

If you’re like 90% of the population, at one point or another you’ve probably said, “This would make a great play,” or “Wouldn’t that make a great musical,” or yeah, even, “I always wanted to write a screenplay.”

And if you’re like 80% of the population, you probably answered your own question with “But I just don’t have the time.”

Well, odds are, you have a bit more time on your freshly-washed-and-sanitized-hands now than ever before.

So over the next 30 days, while Broadway is shut-down, why not spit out that script you KNOW you have in you.  (Come on, you’ve all seen shows and said, “I could write better a better show than that.”  Well now is your chance!  (By the way, that self-statement is what got Alfred Uhry to write his Pulitzer Prize-winning Driving Miss Daisy!))

To help you, we developed a free tool called The 30 Day Script Challenge just for times like this.

Sign up here and follow the daily prompts and I guarantee . . . you’ll have a script in 30 days.

Will it be ready for Broadway yet?  Nope.  (Actually, I guess it could be – David Henry Hwang said in his podcast that the first time he ever heard M. Butterfly read out loud was the first rehearsal for the Broadway production).

But more than likely it’ll be a first draft.  A rough draft.  But it’ll be something . . . something that you can shape into something better, bigger, and eventually you could see it on a stage or yes, god forbid, a screen.  You’ll sit back and find yourself saying, “How the heck did I get here?”

You will have gotten there by starting . . . and by starting this 30 Day Script Corona Challenge.

Go!

Click here.

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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