I try to put an emphasis on continually learning. This means I take classes whenever possible. Recently I have been focusing on the business side of my practice because…well…the theatre is a dying art form. There is no doubt about it. I need it to survive if i want to continue to create in my field and make a living while doing it. This means selling more tickets and getting more people out to shows.
Theatre has a lot to compete with. Not only is it competing with TV and Film for your attention, but Walmart and Costco as well. Theatre needs to be a priority for the viewers’ time and money. Why spend money on a show when you can buy a plastic flamingo from Walmart that will last forever? What makes this show better than C.S.I.?
This weekend I attended Greg Hemmings workshop on marketing for the film. I wanted to know what he was doing differently, and how I could adopt some of these practices into my own company.
Hemmings House is a production company based in St. John, New Brunswick. They have created prime-time programming, huge commercials and world-changing documentary’s’. Hemmings House has a 12 step guide to marketing for the film. I won't spoil it, you will have to take his class.
…but the biggest thing I took home from this workshop is “creating conversation.” People apparently love when you can sit down and chat about your project. How it was made, who was involved, when did you come up with the idea? Just look at this video for NBIF.
As performance artists, we know it takes a whole army to put on a show. So why don’t we create more conversation about our projects and involve as much as the community as possible? We just might sell more tickets.