Sometimes you've just got to jump in and be more than an artist to make theater happen. In this groundbreaking new half-day workshop we will look at how artists can successfully take on the challenging role of producer to generate their own opportunities. The ones who are most successful have to master a range of business skills, don a variety of hats and learn to be an expert juggler. "I'm just an artist" no longer cuts it when you make the move from page to paying audience. Learn to view your creative work from a business perspective, understand the need to think differently and make smarter choices, not only now but for the future of your show, and your brand. It all seems a little overwhelming at times, but we will break it down into easily digestible bites. When you know what you're doing, it can actually be fun and fulfilling.
Faculty for the inception of this workshop will include a quintet of highly successful self-producers (see full bios below): actor-writer-producer Karen Eterovich, who has toured the US and Europe with one-woman shows about Aphra Behn and Jane Austen; writer-producer Dorothy Marcic whose musical Sistas has played off-Broadway for three years, and whose previous show Respect has played in 44 cities; writer-director-producer Nancy Holson who spans the worlds of commercial live theater, corporate theater, and television with the Emmy Award winning The News in Revue, off-Broadway's Bush Wars and the touringLudwig Live!; prolific playwright Rich Orloff whose self-produced Off-Off-Broadway comedies have been been published by Playscripts and produced around the world; and actor-writer-producer Josh Rivedal who has cracked the college circuit and created a successful ongoing business from his one-man show The Gospel According to Josh.
Our curriculum (subject to change due to availability of speakers):
1:15 – 1:45 “Why Are You Doing This?”
- Understanding your property and identifying your audience
- Managing expectations and setting attainable goals
- Is producing this worth giving up months of my life that I could spend creating something new?
1:45-2:15 “Wearing Many Different Hats”
- You are no longer “just an artist” - the 5 different hats of any entrepreneur.
- Keeping the identities separate – know who you are in each situation.
- Thinking in spreadsheets, and understanding the business.
- Collaboration. It’s never a one-man show, even if it sometimes feels like it.
2:15-2:45 “Knowing What You Need to Make It Happen”
- How your goals affect your choices (budget, venue, creative team and more).
- How much do things really cost? How much should you pay people, and how to have those conversations? Including a review of actual budgets.
- The most uncomfortable ask: friends and family.
- How to get help when you think you can’t afford it.
- How to put together and manage your creative team.
2:45-3:00 – BREAK
3:00-3:30 “Marketing, Promotion and Self-Promotion”
- Branding yourself, branding your plays, branding your company.
- Identifying your audience – If you’re selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one.
- The marketing basics: website, postcards, social media, tdf, and papering.
- Being an effective spokesperson - Think like an audience, not like an artist.
3:30-4:00 “Finding or Creating Opportunities”
- Getting your plays out there in the world: licensing, and getting the most out of it.
- Researching and booking tours.
- Fringes and festivals.
- Networking, now and for the future.
4:00-4:30 “Planning Ahead”
- Thinking beyond a single production.
- Having a vision of what this play could be and how far it can go.
- How to capitalize on this production in order to plant the seeds for the next step
4:30-5:00 “How to Stay Inspired” - with all presenters, moderated by Bob Ost
- Celebrating the joys and challenges of self-producing