Your roots are showing.

I’m in the process of looking for composers for a few musicals I have in development.

You know what I’ve discovered?

When the root word of Musical is MUSIC . . . it’s a big freekin’ decision!

Music is why people see musicals.  Simple as that.  It’s what makes them unique.

And how many celebrity lyricists do you know?  How many celebrity book writers do you know?

Even when shows fail, good music can still live on your iPod long after the investors have claimed the losses on their tax returns (Parade, anyone?). Thousands of people know the words to “Meadowlark” from The Baker’s Wife, but I don’t ever hear people humming the dialogue from Act II, scene iii.  (And how many of you even knew it was from The Baker’s Wife?)

Yep, it’s a big one. So I’m going to take my time and make sure I get my roots just right. Because these roots show all the time. Even when your dye job costs $10 million dollars.

You know what else?

The root word of Play is . . .PLAY.  Hmmmmm

The Marketing of Marketing

I hate marketing.  I love sales. 

A great marketer is a great
salesman:  someone who produces quantifiable and trackable results, and
then uses those results to create growth . . . and then does that over and over
and over.

But no one likes the word salesman
anymore.  It conjures up too many images of used cars and door-to-door
encyclopedia hawkers.

So, someone actually marketed the
word sales  . . .  and it became marketing. 

And that person must have been really

Look at the two words . . . which one
makes you feel that you have to produce hard data, and which one is more vague
and ambiguous in terms of your goals?

Be a salesman.  Hawking encyclopedias is hard
work and it’s not for the faint of heart.  But it’s a lot more rewarding
and you’ll learn a hawk of a lot more in the process.

For one of the few times in my life, I’m speechless.


Click here to see one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me and to hear exactly what I'm not talking about.


What the Fuerzabruta?

When I went to see Fuerzabruta (the new guerrilla-style Cirque du Soleil from the creators of De La
Guarda) on Sunday night, I couldn’t help but think how many lawyers, insurance
agents, accountants and yes, producers, probably told them that there was no
way to do some of the things they wanted to do.

Kudos to the
creative team for not listening. 

And kudos to those
lawyers, insurance agents, accountants and yes, producers, for figuring out
solutions to new problems.

Because by doing
things that seem impractical, irrational, and dangerous, they created something
worth talking about.

And that’s the
best insurance policy a show can have.

A buffet, a reclining seat, air conditioning, and, oh yeah, a movie too!

Two nights ago, I went to see The Heartbreak Kid.

The movie wasn’t that great.

But my seat reclined and I had more
than enough legroom.  I had more options for food than I do at some NYC
restaurants:  chicken fingers, nachos, popcorn, hot dogs, Sour Patch Kids,
ice cream, you name it.  Even healthy options!  And get this – they encouraged me to eat in the theater!  They
even built a drink holder right into the seat.  One woman didn’t want to
pay the concession prices, so she brought in her own Chinese food and the usher
didn’t even stop her.  The temperature in the theater was perfect and my
feet didn’t stick to the ground when I left. 

The movie wasn’t that great. 

But I guarantee it would have been a
helluva lot worse if all of the above didn’t add to the experience.

Last night, I went to see a Broadway

I was chewing on my knees for the
entire show because the theater was recently renovated and they stuffed more
seats into the place.  They refused to let me bring my Coke to my
seat.  I had to hide my Sour Patch Kids in my jacket.  And the air
conditioning was on the fritz (and the guy next to me, whose arm was already in
my lap, was not very “fresh”).

The show wasn’t that great. 

But I’ll bet you the price of the
ticket that it would have felt a helluva lot better if the overall experience
was better.

A performance event doesn’t begin or
end at the rise or fall of the curtain. It’s not just about the
performance.  It’s the overall experience – from buying the ticket at the
box office to dealing with the ushers to whether or not your a$$ hurts after
sitting for 2.5 hours. 

As the movie business lost traffic to
people staying home to watch TiVo or surf the Internet, they invested in making
the “experience” better and more unique.

And when you improve the overall
experience, individual elements look better as a result.  Win x2.

I mean, aren’t you happier when
you’re eating popcorn?  Having a cold beverage?  Sitting on a
cushioned seat?  And of course that feeling transfers to whatever else you
are doing at that time.

Happier customer . . . leads to
positive feeling about product . . . leads to customer buying more product . .
. leads to healthier industry. 

The theater has got some catching up to do.
We have to stop being snobs and saying, “Our product is so unique and
since you can’t get it anywhere else, people are just going to have to deal
with long lines at the restrooms and rude personnel and knee-chewing.
It’s just the price of Broadway.” We have stop saying that.
Otherwise, people may choose to experience something else.