The most awesome marketing metaphor ever

Direct from the incomparable Seth Godin…

From Seth’s post:

My favorite part happens just before the first minute mark. That’s when guy #3 joins the group. Before him, it was just a crazy dancing guy and then maybe one other crazy guy. But it’s guy #3 who made it a movement.

Initiators are rare indeed, but it’s scary to be the leader. Guy #3 is rare too, but it’s a lot less scary and just as important. Guy #49 is irrelevant. No bravery points for being part of the mob.

We need more guy #3s.

From here on in it’s all about starting to dance and then high-fiving guy #3, as far as I’m concerned.

Everybody writes

Click Play then HQ to watch in High Def.

Write Club began as a cheeky little challenge to my company to get in touch with their inner playwright over one summer break. Write a short play, bring it in on the night we reasemble, I buy the beer and pizza, we all cast our scripts and spend the night cold-reading some new works. Just for fun. Kind of a team-building exercise, if you will.

As it turned out, the crew had more than just acting talent tucked into their shorts. That first Write Club spawned a short format festival called Riffs that went off like gangbusters, and now, tradition established, we’re back at it again…

Contains language and subtext most likely NSFW.

All material in the above video is the property of the members of Lyric Stage Project, and is protected under the copyright laws of Canada and all other countries of the Copyright Union.

Oh, those annoying paying guests…

How are we in the theatre going to adapt to the omnipresence of technology in the hands of our precious audience members? I for one am so bored with the pre-show “turn off your cell phones and other things that go beep” speech before every single play that I see that hearing it now makes my jaw clench. I realize there is the camp that thinks it’s really a favour to the other audience members (it’s not, it’s really a warning not to disturb the delicate geniuses onstage), and truthfully the only thing that makes my jaw clench more is someone’s phone going off around me during performance, or god forbid someone checking their damn texts in front of me. But every single time anything this has happened in a show I was at there was some version of the beepy thing admonishment beforehand, so how are we going to win?

Well, I guess we can accept it as a natural by-product of our age and hope that the glares from their fellow audience members is punishment enough so that a lesson is learned, and do our best to stay in the zone up there in performance. Or we can try new things to somehow adapt, as Oregon theatre company Portland Center Stage did recently by setting aside a balcony for audience members to twitter the performance. Or we can do what actress Patti LuPone does here, in this audio clip from a recent Broadway production of Gypsy, where she takes matters into her own hands with a shutterbug guest.  And the true irony of this clip is that it was caught on tape by another member of the audience with an elicit recording device. This, it seems, is the tech era we are now performing in…

Deliciously administered justice or unprofessional breakdown? You be the judge:

Using Video to Promote your Show

businessyRebecca is a contributing columnist and founder of Rebecca Coleman Marketing and Media Relations, a Vancouver PR company. She blogs at and twitters under @rebeccacoleman.

Over the last few months, I’ve been doing guest posts on the topic of visuals to accompany your publicity campaign. We talked about the two photo shoots you need for your show, the publicity shot, and the production photo.

Today, I want to talk about moving pictures. While it’s true that theatre does not translate well on video, many companies are taking advantage of new, and more accessable technology to help get the word out about their shows.

If you haven’t taken advantage of Simon’s video listing services yet, you should. It’s free, easy, and fast. He will meet with you, and then he shoots you, speaking directly to camera, about why the  audience should come see your show. Within the day, it’s up on The Next Stage Video Listings page, and available to you through YouTube. You can embed it to your Facebook event page. This kind of video works because people are very passionate about their shows, and your passion while speaking about it can be very contagious.

If you want to try to get your play featured on the evening news, you need b-roll. B-roll is, essentially, footage of your show that you supply to TV news stations, in hopes that they will do a story on it. Because the quality of your footage needs to be high, this is not something you can just do yourself, unless you are a professional cameraman or director. You need to hire a professional.

The key to B-roll is to keep it short–I recommend under 3 minutes. Chances are, if you are lucky enough to actually get your footage on the air, only about 10-30 seconds will air. You may want to supplement your footage with short interview segments by directors or stars.

Here are some examples of how you can use video to promote your show:

Bard on the Beach
Stuff 2 Do
The Ash Girl
(this is a show I worked on last year–we shot a couple of video trailers for it)
If you are doing a lot of videos online, you can set up your own ‘channel’. Check out this example from the National Arts Centre.