Marketing Your Play: Questions That Shape The Vision
When it comes to plugging your play, everyone in the production chips in their contribution to promoting it. You will realize your importance in promoting it the moment people approach you and ask you what you do.
For example, you attend a party or an event and you end up having small talk with the people you meet there. Then they start asking you “What do you do?” If your answer is that “Well, I am a theater actor” then they will ask you where have you appeared previously or if you have had starring roles. The moment you start talking about roles that you have played in the past, you can segue into plugging the next theater production that you will be participating into.
The moment these questions start popping up, are you prepared to answer them appropriately? These questions may have popped into your head one time or another so let’s get them addressed:
You know who you are apart from your name and what have you been doing professionally for years. Apart from that, who are you and why are you in this production? It’s usually a question that gets asked to some TV personalities that have decided to try their hand into theater, making the audience accustomed to watching theater instead of primetime soaps be skeptical of what you can offer as an actor.
If you have been in previous television productions, you may have had some talent to begin with. But convincing your newfound audience that you have enough talent to transition from the boob tube to theater is a challenge since in theater, there are less tricks to use in producing a believable performance. You know what you can do but since you need to sell tickets, you need to convince your audience that you can do so much more. The moment tickets are sold out, the next thing you need to do is give your audience’s money’s worth. Now before I get ahead of myself, let’s move to the next pointer.
Now that you have introduced yourself in teasers, press release materials and small talk in events where your presence is needed, the next thing you need to discuss is your project. What is your role there? If this is a rerun, you might as well mention to your audience that on the early stagings of this same production, you had the same role as you would take on the next staging.
Some cast members like some folks in “Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story” might be returnees that got placed in different roles already. You need to mention that too if you want your audience to get a idea of your versatility as an actor. Who knows if some of them have seen the previous version and recognized you there? Their curiosity when it comes to your versatility would be piqued for sure.
This question, albeit somewhat aggressive, gets thrown in especially if you have been in other projects before that barely give them an idea that you have been a theater actor after all. What more for mainstream celebrities that tried exerting their talents in theater? Questions like these usually get asked to test the level of knowledge and commitment that you have in a project.
Several factors help an actor decide in committing to a project. Of course, the answer “Mabuti nang wala kesa meron” is probably the worst answer you can come up with when asked questions like these. Besides, it can occasionally mean, “While there are far better roles or projects for you, why did you choose this one?” Downplaying your talents is okay but not recommended. No wonder the standard reply is “I want to challenge myself” then explain further what exactly made this project challenging for you.
Some of your friends may have asked this since some of them might view this as an initial step towards the bigger picture – to be a household name in musical theater. That’s a good goal to hit if you wanted to shake up your resume. Rewriting it with the bulk of your theater projects leaning towards the musicals would be a good career plan. Getting involved in bigger and better productions in the long run after your first tries at musical theater would also help.
Not everyone wanted to be associated with one role alone. But most performers would make the most out of their opportunities in a single project that they are given that long after they have given up on a certain role, the paying audience would still vie for their favorite performer to relive their best roles on stage yet. That’s also a nice goal to ponder once you have started taking on a role in a project that you have chosen to participate.
Discussing your play or project in a casual manner helps in informing your potential market the importance of seeing your next play. Nothing is ever on hardsell mode as long as you have a way to discuss it in a manner that will keep them interested. This is why it is also important that before your potential audience would ask you these questions, learn to answer them first the moment it’s your turn to ask it to yourself.
Special thanks to Theatre Folk for the inspiration and information behind this article. Now while you are at it, I would appreciate it very much if you like our official Facebook page, MusicalsOnline.com, and follow us on Twitter @musicalsnews. Thanks for reading.