Remember when people used to write letters? All Griffin and Sabine and shit?
It’s not your fault really. There’s so much schlock that promotes itself as theater that it justifies your casting off any potential enjoyment of the form. Unfortunately I’m getting majorly screwed by that way of thinking in the process. Some have said that theater is a form with two feet in the grave just waiting for the rest of the body to fall in. It’s pretty accurate. With the major component of the audience being over the age of 50, white and upper middle class, it’s only a matter of time (say 30 years) before that audience is literally dead. Read More
Posted in Audience Engagement, Cultural Criticism, Humor, Self Promotion, Theater Business, Touring
Tagged audience engagement, creative process, cultural criticism, marketing, self promotion, theater, theatre, touring
Me Want Stars
Wow. In the midst of my run at Minnesota Fringe I get an audience review with zero stars. Zero. Stars. What shocks me most is that this made me smile. What the fuck am I smiling about? This is bringing down my overall score. This is going to kill my audience. Actually… I couldn’t have asked for anything better to happen. Read More
There are several ways to get on the radar of colleges and universities for performance opportunities. From contacting Student Activity Committees to attending Campus Activity Conferences like NACA and APCA to various funded and underfunded Student Groups on campuses it can seem daunting and overwhelming at first, but there is a way to streamline the process so that you are essentially wedding out the shit. Read More
Me and Mr. David Gaines working the Minnesota Fringe crowds.
…that is the question. I have done four U.S. fringe festivals which is nothing compared to some people I know. I based my decisions to tour to certain ones on a number of factors and research but actually doing them presents things you can only get through experience. One thing that happens when you tour the fringe circuit is you hear what works and what doesn’t really quickly from the other artists you end up meeting. Here’s the down-low. Read More
Before you go self-producing your work dear friends you need to ask yourself a few questions:
1) Are you ready to work a ridiculous amount of hours to make it happen knowing that you might not even make a profit?
2) Are you organized? I mean super duper organized or are you kidding yourself?
3) Are you insane?
The last question is probably the most important one to answer. It also depends on your definition of insanity. I like this one: insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. I’m realizing quickly what works and what doesn’t, however there is no science to this kind of existence at all. There are so many factors that can make a run have high attendance and lots of buzz, as well as unseen elements that can cause you to lose your shirt even if you repeat the same system that worked the year before. Believe me I just experienced it first-hand. Read More
Wow. Just wow.
I have a difficult conflict and I need your help. My sister is getting married soon and it so happens that the only hour I can get an appointment with my stylist to get a cut and color is the during her stupid ceremony. It’s really hard to get an appointment since she’s really popular. What should I do? -GH
Wow. I can’t tell if you’re horrible or my hero. I’ll give you one thing, you’re honest. Obviously you’re a narcissist. The fact that you even consider that getting a haircut instead of attending your sibling’s big day shows how vain and shallow you truly are. However, I’m going to point out something that I hope everyone benefits from. Read More
Don’t take my word for it.
The Hobby Lobby decision makes me want to move to Canada but I don’t know French. What should I do? -TZ
When things go wrong in America (and this latest debacle is real wrong) a lot of people want to jump ship. Remember this however: Most residents of Canada live 150 miles from the U.S. border because most of Canada is fucking cold as fuck (unless you’re in Vancouver which is basically Seattle without Sub Pop records) and btw, you don’t need to speak French necessarily. You do however need to be able to talk shit about America, all the time, forever more. Canada isn’t a state, it’s a country with a capital and provinces. If you can name all the provinces without wikipedia, then sure, move up there, but in terms of escaping shitty politics I have two words: Read More
A few of years ago I started to attend the various regional arts presenter conferences to sell my wares: um, that would be selling me. After touring a bit of the fringe circuit and self-producing my one-man shows I wanted to take the next step in my professional development and network with the gatekeepers of the performing arts industry. What I was about to embark on was incredibly strange, fulfilling, exhausting and necessary.
Let’s get one thing straight. Trying to make money as a performing artist can suck the life out of you. I’ve talked about the trial and error of self-producing at length. I got very quickly that donning on every administrative hat plus trying to write, rehearse and memorize my work was completely unsustainable. Shit, it still is. I’m actually doing the same amount of work after attending these conference for the past three years but I learned a deeply value lesson: Face time is everything. Read More
Posted in Marketing, Networking, Self Promotion, Theater Business, Touring
Tagged conferences, marketing, networking, nonprofits, performing arts, theater, theatre, touring
This retirement thing is weird. I just can’t get out of bed in the morning. Can you make staying in bed more productive ? -MM
Bed… so many things can be done in bed, both literally and figuratively. Let me give you some examples. You make a sandwich before bed and put it a small refrigerator next to your night stand. Lunch? Covered.
Also, it’s important that your night stand is really the size of a table. And get a couple lazy susans for that sucker. Besides your usual books and full glass of water that seems to be the latest “these are always on my nightstand” phenomenon, you’re going to need a bottle of whiskey, maybe a bong (you should really become a stoner if you’re going to be retired) and a remote for the newly installed widescreen that takes up the entire wall across from your bed. Everything else on there is up to your fancy. Ok? Good. Read More
There’s this song by Youth of Today called Potential Friends that’s somewhat ridiculous in it’s hardcore frustration but it has a good point. When you don’t put yourself out there to meet new people you pass up the opportunity to make new friends. A simple concept but as anyone who has ever suffered social anxiety, not so easy to implement. I seem like a total extrovert myself, but when I’m in a mood or feeling really raw, eye contact can feel overwhelming.
When it comes to figuring out the market for your work the same kind of pattern can develop. Read More