As previously mentioned, I am doing double-duty of acting and publicity for the upcoming production of Shining City by Conor McPherson for SevenThirty Productions. After speaking with the director at a production meeting, he made it clear to me that as publicist my job is to "let people know about the show, not sell tickets." I have to say that this is a bit of a change from my current perspective on arts marketing, which is that it's my job to put bums in seats.
Now, a part of me would love to have this weight taken off my shoulders. I'd love to just sit back, write a press release, create a facebook event and then wash my hands of the whole thing as I focus on my lines and character development.
How many people here believe that's what I will actually do?
The workaholic in me won't let me do that. The control freak in me won't let me do that. The go-getter in me won't let me do that. The financially desperate in me won't let me do that. The artist in me won't let me do that. I can't sit back and do nothing when I know there is something I can do. And do well.
So, I'm looking at group sales and program advertisement. I'm attending events and talking up the show. I'm looking at potential cross-promotion opportunities. My time line is very tight with opening night on November 17, but everything is automatic and second-nature. And I even have help. Our assistant director has also taken up the call to arms and is going far above and beyond the call of duty. He's doing most of our design work and I think we'll be tackling a flyer distribution this weekend.
If I don't do this, then whose job is it?
There is also a major difference with this show from all the promo work I've done in the past. I am in it. Sure, I can invite people to anything I'm doing publicity for, but if I'm not directly involved in the creation and presentation of a piece, why would my non-theatre friends come and see it?
I have over 800 friends on facebook; 70% of which, I am sure, live in the Ottawa area. There is no reason I shouldn't be able to get the majority of these people to see me in a play. Right? You'll come see me in a play, right?
*Cue tumbleweed* ???
(Am I basically saying that if you cast me in your show I can probably get about 500 people to see it/me? ... Uh, maybe. I'll let you know how that worked out on November 29th.)
In the meantime, I'm going to go work on my lines now so that you may have sometime worth seeing.