You’re a Dork for Inviting me to Your School Play…
At the LAST Minute! Whether it’s a Text or a Facebook Message, the conversation goes like this 98% of the time:
“Hi there! I know it’s last minute but it would MEAN THE WORLD to ME if you could come see my School Musical this weekend! The cast that I am in is on Saturday at 2pm and I totally understand if you cannot make it – but if you could, I would LITERALLY DIE!”
I love you! I love seeing your shows!
But I need to be honest with you and I want to HELP you…
1) You Prep for the Audition! So much excitement in this! You snap a photo and let the world know!
2) You Audition and Get a Callback! You are beyond excited, so you post a photo of the Callback List with a modest “Way to Go!” emoji!
3) You land the role and, again modestly, post about it with a cute photo on Instagram.
4) You enter rehearsals with a fevered excitement! This is YOUR role and the world will know your greatness as soon as you step foot on stage!
5) YOU SKIP THIS STEP because you DON’T KNOW what it is yet!
6) You take your bows and wonder why only your family and closest friends showed up. Where are my Cast Mates from the last Community Theatre Production you did? Where are your CampYATC Friends? Where is your Agent? Why didn’t all the people who COULD HELP YOUR CAREER, not show?
Okay, you get where I’m going with this – right?
We as Actors have got to learn that putting butts in the seats isn’t chance – It’s not “hoping” that “so & so” can make it! It’s sending out a formal invite AS SOON AS YOU HAVE THE DATES of THE SHOW and then following up with the INVITEES!
Shawn, you say – Why are you yelling? I’m not yelling, first of all – I’m passionately teaching you one of the most important lessons that a performer needs! And that is promoting your shows, your recitals, your short films, in short – Your Work!
How can a Casting Director hire you or a Theatre Director fall in love with your skills, if no one ever sees the work that you are putting up?
At the Young Actors’ Theatre Camp we don’t like to say “Good, Bad, Fix It!”, we like to say
-What Works -What Doesn’t & -Why
So, we’ve addressed what doesn’t work and why, but let’s take a look at a few ideas that could work…
1) Going on Vista Print or GotPrint.com and making a Postcard that promotes that you are going to be playing GRETEL in Pinoles Player’s “Sound of Music” from March 12-19! Maybe it has a shot of your headshot and it certainly tells me how to get a ticket.
2) And then you chose 5 people a day that you really want to come see your show: 1) My CampYATC Director Shawn Ryan 2) My Aunt Teresa 3) My BFF Cheryl 4) My tap teacher at the Dance Studio 5) My Agent
3) Write a VERY personalized note on your postcard and SNAIL MAIL those 5 postcards to those 5 amazing people.
4) You’re DONE, right? NOPE – Now you wait a week and you write those same 5 people a little note of Facebook or Email asking them if they got the postcard and if they are planning on coming to show. You remind them how they’ve inspired and influenced you and how you would love to have them at your show, if not this one – maybe the next one. (After all, people have lives and plans and they may not be able to come to this particular show on this particular date.)
5) Okay, now you’re done, right? NOPE – You wait one more week and for those of your people who have not gotten a chance to respond to your two reach outs, you give them a text or a phone call just gently reminding them about the play.
6) Okay, now you’re done! 😉
Side note: Your Grandma who lives in your same town will come see you in EVERY show – whether you play Shrek or Dulac Resident #42, but here are a couple of things to remember when you are inviting non family members:
1) People have busy schedules and they may not be able to make it, but know that it is never personal.
2) You want to make sure that you are SUPER proud of the work that you are going to put up. If you are asking someone to come out, make sure that the show is something that you really want people to see!
3) Go SEE shows! LOL – This one is a BIG PART – If you want people to come see your shows, GO SEE THEIRS! Not only will it show a great amount of support – but you will also be seeing tons of LIVE Theatre – Increasing your Craft and Skill!
Okay, my soap box is away now – LOL!
Remember people, I only write or share to hopefully teach and inspire. As my Mother always said, if you ever have a negative thought that you put into the Universe and you want to take it back or have it changed, you can always tack on these three words… “Up Until Now”!
So, “Man, I suck at promoting my show…UP UNTIL NOW!”
Go get ‘em!
And before I’m asked, our mailing address is:
The Young Actors’ Theatre Camp
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Sending love and light your way!