Monday, March 5, 2012

Networking In The Cabaret Community...or any other community for that matter!

Say Yes
Life Keeps happenin' every day
Say yes

When opportunity comes your way
You can't stop wonderin' what to say
You'll never win if you never play
Say yes
Yes by John Kander and  Fred Ebb

Happy Monday!
I trust that you had a great weekend. I did. A wonderful lunch at Sardis on Saturday and sitting across from Joan Collins, who looks stunning by the way! That evening, I went to see Pamela Luss at The Metropolitan Room.
I wrote about that yesterday in my blog. It was great to see her sharing the stage with Jon Burr and Shawn Harkness, two of the best musicians around. It was also great to see Terese Genecco and Shaynee Rainbolt , and to see Scott Albertson across the room, and to be joined by Lynn DiMenna at our table. Those of you in the cabaret community may know these people by name...perhaps you don't. Would any of you know MOST of your facebook "friends" if you were to meet them at a party.
Probably not.
It's all about building relationships.

The idea for today's blog comes from yesterday's subject, Bernie Furshpan, the new manager of The Metropolitan Room. If you read my blog yesterday, you'll know that Bernie is taking an active interest in his club. He wants it to succeed. Most should take a page from his book.
I see so many people scrambling around for an existence in the cabaret community. You can actually replace the word "cabaret" for whatever communities you are part of. I've had several conversations over the past week with a few people in the community who I see making the same "mistakes" over and over. Either they've accepted their present situation as the way things are or they're just not interested in moving to a higher level.
It's not just the ones I'm talking to, it's many more. I see people settling for "what is."

I've often that that I was "cursed" at birth by having so much ambition. I have a wonderful life but I'm always striving to be in a better "position" than I am. When I was 13, on August 5th, 1974, I announced to anyone that would listen that I would be leaving for New York five years from that date and although everyone laughed at me, and thought I was crazy, I stuck to my guns and I arrived in New York with practically no money and no life skills. But I took chances!

That is how I've lived my life. I do get things done and I forge ahead. Yes, life gets in the way. Things happen...but most things you do have control over. My first piece of advice is that change is inevitable, accept that and embrace it.  Technology is happening at a faster rate than at any other time in the history of the world.

Rather than refusing to embrace it, at least take the time to learn. From the beginning of the automobile, every time something new has come along, there are a handful of people who will stomp their feet and refuse to budge.

This past week, I had a journalist tell me she didn't like Facebook because "it thinks for itself". She writes a column that MOST people will never see because when she writes it, she feels that her work is done. By a single click of a button, she could have her column seen by at least 10 times her current readership...IF she made the effort!You can ALL do the same with building your audiences and/or businesses!
She won't take the time to learn.

Last night, I had a discussion with someone who is dropping his price so low that no one should be able to refuse to be in his audience when he does that show. The problem is how does he then cover his expenses and has he negated his long term goals in the process. What kind of a budget has he implemented to build upon this and on and on.

It's funny: restaurants won't drop their prices just to accommodate you, doctors, lawyers, clothing stores, appliance stores, almost any business. Yet entertainers feel that by dropping their prices, people will flock to see them.

I'm going to give you the secret now. It's all about building relationships. That won't happen if you are not willing to do the legwork.

When you start to treat what you do as a business, others will start to look at you in a different manner. If you are happy with the status quo, good for you! Perhaps you are in a better place than I am. I want to share with you the following in case you missed my interview with Carol Lawrence on Saturday, "Show Business is a more intense powder of life. It's a powder elixir. It drives more people mad than anything else I can think of. Once you've tasted it, you desire more and more and more. Unfortunately, in this business, you can't get more and more unless there are more and more people who desire to see you. Audiences change and the whole tastes change. Look at the music world. Today, you can't even compare it to when West Side Story was on Broadway.  It's all rap, and funk, and junk today. So I have to find an audience that is with me or still enjoying what I do. I would love to do a show in Branson. I have a house there. I want to do more for children. I want to do something that will touch their hearts and make them want to go on stage and learn how to sing and dance and project and touch people's hearts. The Greeks always wanted us to come in as we are but to exit better. That has to happen in the world today. We have fallen as low as any society can go. Unless we turn it around, we are all going to be so 'dead'. It won't matter. Teach people with music, with enjoyment, and fun and laughter and they will never forget it." 

I love the fact that she says the more we get, the more we want. What are ANY of you doing today to reach an audience beyond the one you already have?

I saw William Shatner recently in an interview with Piers Morgan. Piers commented on the fact that this is the busiest time in Shatner's life. He just closed off Broadway and he has more projects happening and coming up than during his Star Trek days! What is his secret?   He said "Get Out Of The House". We have reached a point where it is easy to stay in. It has gotten harder and harder to build an audience.

I see my friends going to the same open mic nights and singing for each other. That is great if you are still working on your craft. How many of you have sent out an eblast asking your NON-fellow performers to join you?

I don't want to knock anyone's efforts in being seen in front of an audience. The question is are the efforts you are doing BUILDING your audience?

I've had people say they cannot attend to certain areas of their "careers" because their time and effort and money have been spent in other areas.Nine times after of ten, these are lessons in futility.

My request for all reading this is to try and do something outside of your comfort zones this week. Rather than doing the same things you did LAST week. Try something different. Go see a show of someone you DON'T know, make a call to enroll in a BUSINESS class (preferably mine!) to start addressing your career as a business. IF you are doing this for your family and friends, throw a party in your home. You'll get the same outcome! Here's to a successful week for all!
Get out of the house and go see a LIVE show!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!

Tomorrow's blog will be... Phyllis Diller's Return to television...THIS WEEK!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

  Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Portions of The Persian Room Presents benefits ChldHelp, a cause dear to Carol Lawrence's heart. Please join us at Barnes and Noble on Wednesday Evening, March 7th, 2012 7PM 82nd and Broadway to celebrate this amazing book. Details here!


Richard Skipper,
This Blog is dedicated to ALL artists! I WANT TO SEE YOU SUCCEED...IF YOU TRULY DESIRE IT!

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