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Bright Ideas

Only Good Can Come From Open Rehearsals

Well-known British actor Robert Lindsay believes that productions should open rehearsals to the media, according to this Stage News article.I'll see you and raise you, Mr. Lindsay. Why not the public?Building connections, creating opportunities to get a behind-the-scenes look, stoking interest and generally increasing exposure for a work are all good reasons to do this. Reducing obscurity is, as always, the goal. As Mr. Lindsay said, "Actually it turned out to be a really good idea, as the adrenalin...

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Pricing

Pricing Is Yucky

"Yucky" is a really useful catch-all term that little kids use to describe things that they just don't want to have anything to do with. I remember my own toddlers would describe various things as yucky, which didn't mean they smelled bad or had some horrible sticky substance all over them. It just meant they weren't interested and couldn't be made to get interested.I have a theory that a lot of the mistakes and misconceptions that people make about...

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Word Stock

Word Stock Market: Subscriber

The Word Stock Market is an occasional feature on SellingOut.com, where I will tell you whether to buy, sell or hold a certain word based on whether that word has a strong future or has seen better days. For example, if you’d bought the word “hybrid” 10 years ago (when it meant a cross between a horse and a donkey, not an eco-friendly car), you’d be rich today. On the other hand, if you’d bought “digital camera,” you’d be...

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News

Idle Children Are a Bad Omen

If you care about the health of future generations of Americans, you probably share my concern when reading this Wall Street Journal article about a decrease in participation among kids in organized sports over the last several years.The drops are relatively small (a few percent) and participation is still very high (millions of kids), but as a trend starter, this isn’t at all encouraging. We’ve known for a while that baseball is trending down -- it’s seen as less...

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Experience

Connections Come in All Forms

Street artist and TED Prize winner J R put a big photograph on the floor at the David Koch H. Theater in New York, and suddenly everybody who goes to the event wants to lie down on it, take pictures with it, see it close up and interact with it.Take a minute and watch the video where J R talks about all the creative things that people have done taking pictures of themselves and the giant photo that's been...

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Pricing

Gross Potential Means Almost Nothing

Using the same logic as people who measure and manage "gross potential" when it comes to ticket sales, I went to the gym yesterday. I looked at a big stack of weights and, feeling intimidated, guessed that the most I could possibly lift was 250 pounds.And guess what? I lifted it! In other words, I reached 100% of my gross potential weightlifting.So I went back today, and feeling confident from past results, I guessed that I could lift 300...

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Pricing

Variable Pricing Is a No-Brainer

With the Super Bowl yesterday, we're reminded of how the NFL is a juggernaut, culturally and commercially. Half the country watched the game, including tens of millions of people who don't even like football!This kind of power has a few funny effects, of course, and I think one of them has been a certain amount of arrogance about ticket sales. The NFL has, for a number of years, been such a ticket sales sure thing that even slight weaknesses...

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P&L

High Overhead Can Warp any Organization

What nearly killed General Motors was not so much the core business of producing decent cars and selling them profitably. They did that OK. (Not great, but OK.)What nearly killed them was that in addition to all that, they had legacy and overhead that dwarfed the rest of the operation. At one point, nearly one million people were due a pension from General Motors at a time when they employed more like 100,000. I remember someone calling them "a...

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Experience

The Roth Doctrine

Some people I just know I’m going to like before I meet them. Jordan Roth was one of those people because before we ever spent any real time together, I read this article about Jordan and his then-recent takeover of Jujamcyn Theaters.I mention it because there's something in the article that I find myself repeating and emphasizing to venues, producers and marketers all of the time, and which I now call the Roth Doctrine.Leading into it, he describes what...

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Selling Out With

Selling Out With Dan Steinberg

When Lord Chesterfield said, "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today," Dan Steinberg took his advice to heart. The founder of Square Peg Concerts works around the clock, promoting live shows across the United States -- totaling about 400-plus events last year.By the time Steinberg was 16, he was producing club shows at the Mercury Café in Denver. Now, he’s moved up to putting big names on marquees, from comic Kathy Griffin and singer-songwriter Jason Mraz to...

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