The one thing I learned on Broadway is: "job one" of a show that is currently performing is promotion. There is never a time you can stop promoting a Broadway show.
My sister-in-law has been in Chicago for 17 years give or take, and she is still called upon to do publicity almost on a weekly basis. You would think a show that has been running that long would not need to remind the public, but that is not the case.
The first run of a movie is less than 6 weeks. They may lead up to the opening day with months of publicity, but by the week that it opens the publicity machine switches. Three weeks after the opening of a movie you will rarely see the star on tour or doing the Kimmel show. Not so with Broadway, there are eight shows a week you have to fill if you want to continue to run.
I was talking to some actors in New York last week and they said something that is a sign of the times. It seems, in today's world, during the audition process one of the things they consider when hiring someone is the number of followers they have on Twitter. Two actor/singer/dancers that are equal in all other areas of talent will finally be judged by the number of social media friends they have. Perhaps the new lyric for the song in "A Chours Line" should not be "Tits and Ass" but "Tits and Followers" that make the difference in getting the job.
It used to be that one could throw money at a show and get the name out there. A few full page ads in the Times, and some well placed (expensive) billboards and you would attract the curious. Direct mail used to be the bread and butter of Show business promotion. The big ad agencies used to say that direct mail was the best value for the buck. They claimed an average return of 20% on direct mail. Direct mail is no longer top of the budget heap. Direct texts, Facebook blasts, and targeted email has replaced the color postcard in the mail. Still people are more likely to make a decision to see a show based upon someone's tweet rather than a review from the paper. The goal remains the same, "You need to get thousands of people saying positive things about your show." However, instead of going to one media outlet to reach thousands of people, thousands of people have to independantly "share." The process is so new there are no hard and fast rules about how one gets anything to "go viral".
With that said, I have spent all week trying to figure ways to reach the 55 million households which will soon be able to view "Jay Johnson: The Two and Only" as a pay per view. (AUGUST 1st on iNDEMAND)
So here I sit at my favorite Coffee Bean and Tea feeling the Broadway anxiety of constant promotion without the thrill of doing the show nightly. It's the week end and I really want to take the day off to write about something else. But with a promotional/marketing budget that is non-existent, all I have is a couple social media accounts and my words. Have a great weekend.
As you were,