Written By Melvin Tunstall III
Since we as a nation celebrated “Entrepreneurs Day” yesterday, your friends here at TheaterMakers Studios decided we would declare today “Artrepreneurs Day” and give a little theatermaking twist to the festivities!
National Entrepreneurs Day is an annual event occurring on the third Tuesday of November (November 16, 2021) that honors people who have built an empire from absolutely nothing. Radical inventions by brilliant minds have shaped the way we live today, not to mention our future. In 2010 entrepreneur Siamak Taghaddos started a petition to create a National Entrepreneurs Day. He didn’t understand how America, though considered the most entrepreneurial country in the world, didn’t already have a day dedicated to recognizing entrepreneurs. Six months and thousands of signatures later, President Obama proclaimed the last day of 2010’s National Entrepreneur Week as National Entrepreneurs Day.
11 years later, and it’s time to show some love to the radical theatrical inventions by brilliant minds that have shaped the way we live today.
Immediately Lin Manuel-Miranda jumps into mind when it comes to inventions that have “shaped the way we live today.” With an artrepreneurship that began with 21 Chump Street and catapulted into mainstream with In the Heights, there is very little argument against how Miranda shifted our culture with Hamilton. I personally saw the impact of the juggernaut when a college friend of mine from the 90s- trained to be a police officer, no interest in theater beyond being willing to sit through a community theater production to support friends, as straight-laced as they come- some 20 years later, began reciting the show word for word for me via FaceTime while atop a tractor in a field somewhere in Washington State.
Even the Legos couldn’t escape the Hamilton shift!
What I find most encouraging is the fact Miranda started just like all of us:
With a blank page.
Building an empire “from absolutely nothing” is precisely what theatermakers do every time they sit down at the computer and open a new script template and begin typing. I say “and begin typing” because that is the fine line between being an artrepreneur and a “dreamer.” There are so many people that have ideas for shows, songs, etc. but when it comes to actually “building the empire” they fall short.
As I often tell new writers, “the hardest part about writing is actually writing.”
Because Entrepreneurs Day is all about building a business, National Today says “Selling your goods is a great way to get involved in National Entrepreneurs Day! Maybe you make hand-carved jewelry, or you own your own food truck. Or maybe you just need to get rid of some stuff around the house that still has use. Either way, the process of selling your wares is the process of running a business!”
So how shall we celebrate today, theatermakers? Here are a few ways to let the world know your empire is being built!
1. GET TO WORK
No more excuses. No more delays. No more fear. Celebrate today by sitting down and writing that new idea. START ANYWHERE. Join our 30 Day Script Challenge and have the perfect guide to completing your first script if you are unsure how to begin. No cultural shift can happen if you don’t shift your priorities and place the empire at the top of the list!
2. SUBMIT YOUR WORK
Maybe that show is already written but you haven’t gone that extra step and put it out into the world. We provide you with a weekly list of Submission Opportunities here and in our Tip of the Week email. Take advantage of the many theaters that are supporting new work and the brave artists creating them.
3. FOLLOW UP
Use those new connections you made at the 2021 Summit! How about finally reaching out to that new contact and set-up a meeting? Send that email, slide into those DMs, or simply send a text if your new contact shared their personal digits. Trust me, if you don’t, someone else will. My inbox has been full for the past week (in the best way!) with messages from Summit attendees. I even got an offer to collaborate on a new project!
Whatever your endeavor, artrepreneur, we hope you remember that TheaterMakers’ goal has always been to help you get your show off the ground fast! Make sure you check out that extensive submissions page, our webinars, or the must-be-seen-to-be-believed Sample Document Library and take advantage of the vast resources right at your fingertips! If you are looking for a community of TheaterMakers to ask questions, test material or support, join our Facebook group here.
Have a great rest of your week, theatermakers!