Money Where Mouth Is

I have stolen the idea of Social Media As Investment from… someone. I don’t remember. Everyone I know who’s smart and talks about new media, I stole it from all of them. Top of the list, of course is Tammy Oler, who gave Gideon a crash course in new media marketing, and I’ve pretty much gone from there. Invest all you can, put in your time, try not to withdraw too much.

But I’ve been asked a number of times for specific ideas about how to expand one’s audience. Because the first level of ideas are obvious, if not always followed. One level outside your own company are all the other companies who are doing what you do. So, if you’re a playwright or an actor or a producer or a director, you support your own fellas, and then you go see other production company’s plays.

Here’s a quick list of the plays you can go see tonight, tomorrow and the rest of this weekend.

*I’ve seen both of these shows, loved them enormously, and will write blogs about them for publication tomorrow. (Also, I know people involved in all of these shows. Because, basically, everyone knows everyone and this is a blog.)

But what is just outside that? The truth is, if you go see these plays, all of them, you will find that many of these people are already friends with each other, and already willing to go see other plays. So where else can you turn? Here are a couple of ideas.

At Length Magazine is having a party. Now, these are decent guys, and Jonathan Farmer, who edits the magazine, is someone I love a lot, but believe me when I say, my love gets you absolutely no respect artistically. In fact, my brothers and sisters and best friends who play in bands or go to open mic nights can COUNT on me not to show up. Same for improv. But At Length is just a marvelous, marvelous magazine, and this is exactly the kind of crowd that you want to spend a couple of hours with. These are serious artists, serious New Yorkers, and they are aggressive in their support.

Devoted and Disgruntled is a fantastic and passionate group of theater artists who meet in an open forum design and vent their frustrations, and find solutions, for their problems working as independent theater people. The two times I have gone have been two of the most exciting and uplifting afternoons of my life, I was as inspired by this as I have been by almost any *play*. It almost seems strange that this is so new, it is so DESPERATELY necessary here in New York.

Jeremiah Frei-Pearson is being hassled into running for Onorato’s seat. I think that’s awesome. But I bet, wherever you live, there are people running for elected office, and the election is this coming November. Show up, get active in that community. Look, if you’re a bible-beating, hard core, right wing Tea-bagger, then you can find a guy who shares your views here in New York. Hell, I’ll give you some of my friend’s email addresses, that way they’ll stop talking to me about it. But it is worth it to invest your time working for people you believe in, because the guy working next to you might not even know that he really wants to see your show. He doesn’t know because he doesn’t know you.

Okay, I’m sure this is a good enough starting point. There are audience members everywhere, and they’re doing something with their time that’s probably as interesting as your show is. If you go to them, they’ll come to you.