Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Best Production Advice #theatrethursday

This is one of the best pieces of advice that I would give anyone trying to branch out and produce shows. It's advice that I had to learn the hard way that I wish someone had told me. You want to get out  there and do shows. Maybe you'll make money at it but really what you're trying to do is fulfill that deep longing inside your heart that is yearning to get out there and do a show again. You have plenty of ideas and lots of talent and you just want your work out there in front of an audience and a resume that will get you noticed by a theatre company so you can start making the big bucks. But you won't have much of an audience and you certainly won't make any money unless you heed this next sentence...

Eventually you're going to have to stand up in front of an audience and defend it. You might as well like it.
Don't do any show you're ashamed of. 

That's it. If you follow that one piece of advice then half of the battle is done for you. What does that mean? I'll give you an example from my own life. I feel that every time I do a show if I can't call everyone I know and tell them to come out, or ask all of my friends to be in it, and if I can't come home and tell my girlfriend and my grandmother all about it then I shouldn't be doing it. 

I know this because when I first started a theatre company there were a couple of shows that had problems with content and nudity. I didn't want to tell the members of my church or my boss about it. I didn't want to stick my neck and ask my friends to be in it. I and several of my of my actors weren't going to be telling our parents to come. What was the problem? I was so busy not wanting to be associated with that kind of show that I wasn't promoting it the way I should. I was so hoping that I wouldn't have backlash from my day life that I wasn't trying to make it the show that it needed to be. I was just trying to survive it and because of that the shows became a wreck. 

This isn't a no nudity or content thing it's a passion thing. If you're not passionate enough about the show that you're not willing to put everything you have in it and put your reputation and your name behind it then you shouldn't be doing it. 27 Days, a play I've talked about numerous times before on this blog talks about loads of sexual and criminal things that people might get their dander up about but I would go to the mat for the play in a heartbeat because I'm dedicated to the mission and the cause of the play. I'll invite everyone in the world to come see it and I'd put my reputation as a theatre person on the line because of it. 

That's the difference. That driving passion. If when you get up in the morning you're only trying to get this show "over with" instead of "in front of people" call everyone up and cancel it now because it won't be any good. And you're saving yourself a lot of heartache and pain. Because theatre takes more than just a "want to". It takes a "must do". Without that...you're just spitting into the wind.  

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