Written By Ken Davenport
One of the greatest challenges of getting shows off the ground is getting “seed capital” to get them started.
All businesses, including shows, have expenses at their early stages. And while money doesn’t guarantee success, it is a catalyst . . . and can speed up your journey to the stage.
So, I’m sure you can agree . . . getting to your goals would be easier if you had a war chest, right?
And since most people aren’t sitting on a personal war chest, it’d be better if we could raise this money, right?
I’ve given a lot of advice on this subject over the years since it’s such a crucial part of theatermaking. (Cash is the gas, I like to say.) I even wrote a book about it.
But one of the greatest lessons of raising money comes from a case study of my now friends Scott & Jill. They came to us years ago with a terrific new musical – we found them a Director, a GM, got them a first class NY reading, and more.
And when it came to raising money, we advised them to do something that most TheaterMakers do NOT do.
Don’t spend as much time chasing NY Investors and Producers who you don’t know. Spend MORE time with the people who know you the MOST, even if they haven’t thought about getting involved with a show before.
I know, your mind is probably blown. You think (just like I did) that the people most likely to invest in your show are the people who invest in the theater. While that is true, if you have no relationship with these people . . . then it’s a much harder ask.
What did Scott & Jill do to raise close to seven figures for their developing musical?
They held a series of parties, concerts, and other social events IN THEIR HOMETOWN, far away from New York. Their guests had never been to a reading before, which made it more special. Their guests were rooting for their success. Their guests wanted to support a show from their hometown. They even got press!
The money you need for your show is much closer to you than you think. What can you do to look in your own backyard for that treasure?
And at the same time, what can you do to start developing relationships with NY producers and investors so that they DO know you when you are ready to ask.
Go get ’em.
P.S. If you are ready to get on the same train as Scott & Jill, and want to hear about the coaching program they were involved in that helped them raise their funds and more, click here to set up a strategy session with my team.