Do audiences care if a Broadway show is in previews? Survey says . . .

Oh Spidey . . . you just can’t keep your name out of the papers.

And, based on the 1.8 million bucks you did over Christmas week, I bet you’re starting not to care.

The latest bit of publicity about the uber-musical hit the wires late last week when Bill de Blasio, a NYC public advocate, sent a letter to the Department of Consumer Affairs stating that Spidey was in violation of the law, due to its extended preview period, and their alleged failure to disclose this information to ticket buyers.

While part of me believes Mr. de Blasio is looking to catch a ride on the Spider-Man publicity train in order to further his own political ambitions, this is not the first time this argument has been made (anyone remember Nick and Nora?).

This bit of news started an internal debate between the two sides of my mind.  Do we have to do more to distinguish between opening and previews?  Should we charge less?  And then came the big question . . . do consumers really care?

I formulated my own opinion (surprise, surprise) and then realized that if I really wanted to find out if consumers cared, I needed to talk to consumers!

So, I sent my trusty weekend intern Jason out into the cold to chat with folks in the TKTS line and find out!

We asked 100 US residents if knowing that a show was in previews made them more inclined to see it, less inclined to see it, or if it made no difference at all.

Ready to see the results?

Not so fast.  Before I reveal to you what they thought . . . what do you THINK they thought?  Come on, imagine this is The Price is Right and you have to guess before you see how much that box of Wheaties actually costs.

What percentage was more inclined?  Less inclined?  And what percentage didn’t give a flying superhero.

Here are the results:

12% were MORE inclined to see a show in previews.
18% were LESS inclined to see a show in previews.
70% didn’t care either way.

Surprising? Not to me.

Now, as with any survey, you have to take into account the group sampled (and the size of that group).  A TKTS audience may be only in town for a short period of time, and have a totally different criteria for making that choice.  A NYC resident theatergoer may want to wait until a show is fully cooked before taking a bite.  Admittedly this was a down-and-dirty survey.

But it still says something.

The audience just wants in.

However, the bigger challenge for the Producer is that if your show is a bit “rare” during previews, you should be more concerned about what the audience is saying on the way out of the theater.  Because if they don’t care that the show is in previews, then they’re not going to cut you any slack for it either.  For them, it’s just there . . . so you better be prepared to give them the goods.

We love talking to the folks on line at the TKTS booth.  Wanna see what we’ve asked them in the past?

– Read the results of our survey of WHO is actually standing in that line here.

– Read the results of our “When I say Broadway, you say . . . ” survey here.

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Upcoming Get Your Show Off The Ground Seminars

CHICAGO – Saturday, January 15th.  Register today..  ONLY 1 SPOT LEFT.

LA – Saturday, January 29th.  Register today.  ONLY 3 SPOTS LEFT.

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

For more info on the seminars, click here.

 

We’re looking for a few good . . . interns

The fall class of interns are getting close to their graduation date, which means we’re looking for a new crew of responsible, hard-working and hungry folks for our spring semester.

If you or anybody you know is interested, check out the intern positing in the classified section of the blog for info on how to apply.  It’s right here.  (There is also a permanent link to the CLASSIFIEDS on the home page of the blog.)

Our interns work hard and have a lot of responsibility, so don’t apply, or send people our way, unless you know that the applicant is willing to get their hands filthy.

But remember how when you were a kid, playing in the mud was fun?  Well, that’s what we strive for.

We also pride ourselves on having a very successful post-internship job placement program.  I’ve promoted 10 interns to full-time positions over the last few years.  And recommended many more.

We think our interns learn a lot, too.  What specifically do they learn?  Well, I’m glad I asked!  I thought it would be interesting for my full-time staff members to find out what our current interns learned this year, so I asked the interns.  When I saw their responses, I thought you might find them interesting as well.

So . . . here are a few of our Intern Takeaways!

Jonny:  I learned the value of working as a team.

Andrew:  I learned how to get a show from rehearsal into its run and make it seem (to the audience, press, general public) like it was effortlessly smooth – and ensure that no one had a nervous breakdown behind the scenes, either.

Jaki:  I learned that networking and job hunting aren’t about what you are looking to do for other people, but about listening to what they need from you, and finding the balance that keeps you wanting to show up and them wanting you there.

Veronica:  I learned the value of seizing opportunities.

For more details on the internship program, click here.

And  if you are looking for a job in any category (acting, technical, admin), make sure you check out our classifieds!  New jobs go up daily.

And Employers?  My readers are just plain awesome.  Smart, motivated, and ready to take your company to another level.  Post your job with us.  Why?  Because it’s free.  We don’t charge.  We want you to find the best people, because only then can the entire theatrical industry improve.

To post a classified for free, click here.

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