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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"Everybody does it this way"


Once in a while, start with zero, not with what might be the standard right now. -- Seth Godin [original post here]

We have a lot of calcification in the performing arts. Instead of doing what everyone else does, what if you did the exact opposite?

1. Selling tickets individually rather than in bulk form. 2 tickets, 4 tickets. Packs of 8 for half price. Actually selling one group an entire performance.

2. Size scale of performances. What would an individual/site specific performance look like for you? What about the opposite: how could you achieve a massive scale of people or space?

3. Stages. Platforms. Removing the set. Sometimes this is done because of economic reasons. What if you perform in the audience seating area and put the audience on the stage instead?

4. Engaging the audience during the performance. Not as stopping the action for an aside, or fake engagement, but as part of the action. There's a great early episode of the Dick Van Dyke show where he forgets to get tickets for the PTA, but is saved when Mel needs extras for the large picnic scene at the end of the Alan Brady show, so the PTA actually gets to be in the show.

5. One person deciding a season in advance. What happens if you truly crowdsource a season?

6. Selling tickets in advance. Pop-up performances.

7. Selling tickets at all: rather, asking for people to donate after the show what monetary value they'd place on the experience. Pro tip: actually pass a hat so people feel compelled to put in something and not just leave.

8. Closed rehearsals. What if all the aspects of creation were open to whoever wanted to watch? What if you used Facebook Live to stream rehearsals and then charged for being in the room/the final product?

9. Season=1 year. What happens if you plan AND ANNOUNCE 2-3-4 years in advance.

10. Success=sold out shows, a building, staff, all the money from various sources you could desire. Rewriting your mission statement to say what you're going to DO.

11. And what you're NOT going to do. OR when it's time to stop. Closing an underwhelming show. Closing an underwhelming company.

What are anchors for your art? Let us know in the comments. Maybe it's the thing that's been bugging you but "everybody does it."

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