Advice from my trainer . . . that strangely also applies to theater.

So, as a person who can’t stand the gym unless it involves a basketball, I forced myself to get a personal trainer recently . . . who then forces me to do things I can’t stand.

But so far, so good . . . and yesterday I even got a pearl of wisdom from my exercise task-master who has pectorals the size of throw pillows.

In between my grunts, Pectoral Pillow man said this to me . . . “Ken, you’re going to see immediate results.  That’s what happens.  If you haven’t been training, and then you start, BAM!  (Note from Ken – that’s how he talks – in BAMs)  But after that?  That’s when the hard work begins.  Because keeping the growth going is the challenge.”

Of course, I started thinking about other things in my life that I wanted to better, and I found a very similar pattern.

I like to play chess.  And after reading one book and having a few lessons, my rating went up dramatically.  After that?  Took a lot longer to raise it just a few points.

I started investing in the stock market when I was 23.  And after one seminar and a mag subscription, my picks were better.  After that, it got more challenging.

And then, of course, I got to shows.

Sales for shows are the same.  It’s very easy to get a burst of sales activity (improvement) at your announcement, or at the beginning of your sales cycle.  You’re new, you’ve got the most media on your side, and you’re learning fast.

We’ve all seen shows, even some from this season, which have come out of the gate with monster numbers, and then . . . well, some aren’t even here anymore.

Want to know how good a marketer is?  Don’t judge them at the start.  Judge them by the middle.

Because that’s where the real grunting is required.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.