5 Takeaways from the GYSOTG Seminar

We had another great Get Your Show Off The Ground seminar this past weekend with a dozen more talented participants with a terrific set of projects.  I have no doubt you’ll be seeing several of ’em on stages very soon.

A bunch of ideas hit the whiteboard during the seminar, but here are five that I thought might add some gas to your project’s tank.

  • Vanity projects are only vanity projects when they don’t work.
  • A primary part of a Producer’s job is to set deadlines.
  • Never work on just one project.  Always have another one in case the first stalls, frustrates you, or dies.
  • Like it or not, sales is a part of everything we do.
  • You’re never too young to be a Producer.  You’re never too old to be a Producer.  If you’ve got a project, you’re a Producer.

Thanks again to all the participants for sharing their passion and their projects with the group.

If you want to see some of the takeaways from previous seminars, click here.

If you are interested in the next seminars in both NYC and Chicago, 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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FUN STUFF

– The next NY Broadway Investing 101 seminar is tonight!  Get your ticket today!

– Enter to win 2 tickets to The Illusion Off-Broadway!  Click here.

– Seminars in Chicago, the weekend of July 9th.  Click here!

 

 

Hey, big business can learn from us too, you know!

I preach pretty much daily about how Broadway and the Arts could afford to take many a cue from the big business world.

Well, I forget sometimes that we’ve got a lot to offer too, and our relationship with traditional industry might be more reciprocal than it seems.

Enter The Economist, which featured an article about the Arts and Management last month.

The first paragraph of the article contains these two sentences:

Artists routinely deride businesspeople as money-obsessed bores.  Many businesspeople, for their part, assume that artists are a bunch of pretentious wastrels.

True that, Econ.  True that.

But as the article concludes, and as I agree, the best of all business requires an artist’s imagination to forge new ground, and the best of all artists need a businessperson’s wherewithal to insure that their art has a life.

So I guess we’re stuck with each other.

Maybe we should kiss and make up instead of calling each other names.

Read the article here.  And special thanks to reader, Nurul, for sending it on.

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FUN STUFF!

– Enter The Sunday Giveaway!  Win a seat in my Get Your Show Off The Ground seminar!  Enter today!

 

5 Takeaways from the LA Seminar.

Ok, ok, I’ll admit it.  I planned this Saturday’s LA Get Your Show Off The Ground seminar to take place in January partly because I wanted a break from this Godzilla of a winter we’re having, and partly because I had a craving for In ‘N Out Burger.

Well, I’m happy to report that the weather was a sunny seventy-something degrees on Saturday, and In ‘N Out Burger still has the best burger/fries/shake combo on the planet.

And better yet, I’m also happy to report that LA has some of the most passionate theater people I’ve met . . . anywhere.

We had a great session (and a great social later that evening).  Here are five of the takeaways that got tossed around:

  • Test your titles, because what makes sense to you might not make sense to your audience.
  • The rule of two:  sometimes it’s easier to raise twice as much money, and sometimes it’s easier to raise money for two projects instead of just one.
  • Diversify your development.  Spend half your time working on adaptations and half your time working on original material.
  • Critics from other cities don’t like to be told that a show is a hit before it arrives.
  • Theater people face similar issues, no matter where they may call home.

This last one is what really got me.  Before the LA seminar, and before the Chicago seminar, I remember thinking, “How will this be different from the seminars in NYC?”

And for the most part . . . they weren’t.  The same issues that pop up in The City, popped up in every city: how do I raise money for my show, how do I market my show with no money, and how do I get started?

So next time you talk to someone from another theater world, don’t think that they’re that different.  Because they’ve got the same hopes, dreams, and obstacles as you. And maybe you can figure out how to get over them together.

We sure did.

Thanks, LA, for warming my body temp, filling me with sodium and trans fats, and for introducing me to some awesome people.

I’m sure I’ll do it again soon.

And thus ends the great January Get Your Show Off The Ground tour.  Don’t forget, there’s one coming up in NYC on March 19th, and if you register by EOD today, you’ll save $55.  Click here to sign up today.

The next city where the seminar may go will be London.  Taking the temperature now, so if you’re a Brit and are interested, email me and we’ll go from there.

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Enter to win this Sunday’s Giveaway: 2 Tickets to Catch Me If You Can!  Click here.

5 Takeaways from the Chicago Seminar.

This past weekend was the debut of the road tour of the Get Your Show Off The Ground Seminar.  First stop . . . Chicago!  And even though it was colder than a popsicle in Sarah Palin’s home state, we turned up the heat on a the projects of the 12 participants.

Before the seminar began, I wondered how different a Chicago seminar would be from a NYC seminar.  What different challenges would Midwesterners face?  How would their obstacles be different?

And you know what I discovered?

The challenges of theatrical entrepreneurs are the same no matter what time zone you live in.

And there are a lot of awesome people with awesome ideas that are on their way up in this business, that live all over this country.

As we always do, here are five takeaways from this past Saturday’s seminar:

  • Make sure you can answer the question, “what’s next?” just in case someone asks it.
  • Taking baby steps doesn’t mean you’re a baby.
  • Looking for investors is like selling Girl Scout cookies.  Start with the people closest to you and then spread out from there.
  • To really make an impact, you have to do the opposite of what is expected.
  • The key to a show staying open and a show closing is in the operating costs.

Thanks to Chi-town for having me!

The next stop on the tour is LA.  There’s only one spot left in the that seminar (which will be held on the 29th).  Click here to grab it.

 

You have to drill down deep if you want to find oil.

I asked one of my staffers to come up with some ideas for a project we were preparing today.  She’s a quick thinker, so she snapped back a few quick ideas that were all good.

I responded, asking for some new ideas in a slightly different direction.  She took some time, and spat back a few more, which were also all good.

And then she told me she was out of ideas.

I shot back even faster that because she told me she was out of ideas, I was requiring her to come up with three more.

She sighed, realized she walked into that one like I walked into that puddle of slush on 50th Street this afternoon, and went back to her desk.

15 minutes later she came back with three more ideas . . . which were all great.

Sometimes you gotta dig a little deeper if you want to get to the good stuff.  It’d be a lot easier if oil were sitting on the surface, or gold grew on a bush.

But it doesn’t.

And if you wanna be a leader in any industry, you gotta be the one who is willing to go get it, no matter how hard it is.

(Oh, and does anyone else think oil analogies are awkward now after the spill?)

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Come to the Social in Chicago – This Saturday Night!  RSVP here.  It’s free!

Upcoming Get Your Show Off The Ground Seminars

LA – Saturday, January 29th.  Register today.  ONLY 1 SPOT LEFT.

NYC – Saturday, March 19th.  Save $55 if you register by 1/31.  Register today.

For more info on the seminars, click here.

 

 

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