How to Pick a Producing Partner for your Show.
It’s pretty rare to see a guy or gal take a Broadway show all the way to the end zone all by themselves these days. Producing Broadway shows can be pretty dang hard. So, like life, it can be a heck of a lot easier, and a heck of a lot more fun, when you’ve got a partner by your side . . . picking you up when you are down and handling some of the things you can’t.
But picking a partner can be tricky, and unfortunately there’s no Match.com or OKCupid to help us out. And let me tell you, there are a lot of seductive potential partners out there. And they can look pretty damn hot from a distance, but once you get . . . (throat clear) . . . into “bed” with them . . . you might find out that there may not be as much there as you had hoped.
So how do you pick the best partner for you and your show? Here are three tips that I use when I’m evaluating who I’m going to hook-up with:
1. Don’t Pick Yourself As a Partner
Having things in common is great, but you want more of a Wonder Twins Partner, rather than an Identical Twin Partner. When you take the form of a tiger, you want them assuming an ice cage, not a lion. Know what I mean? (Gosh, I hope you guys watched the Wonder Twins when you were kids or you are going to be really confused.) In non-superhero terms, if you’re a labor expert but lack creative development experience, find a great dramaturgical partner that could benefit from your negotiating and contract expertise.
2. Is That Money In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?
I don’t know too many people that like to raise money, so, it’s easy to get turned on when a potential producing mate approaches you with a big . . . (double throat clear) . . . wallet. But big wallets, big purses, or big anythings should never be the reason you jump into a relationship with anyone. Sure, you may get your show up on the boards faster if you partner with an Oil Heiress from Dubai, but that doesn’t mean your show will be successful. Make sure your partner can put sweat into your show as well as cash. Because sweat can make cash, but not vice-versa.
3. There’s Only One Person That Should Love Your Show More Than You.
And that’s a potential partner. Relationships fizzle if there’s no passion. Make sure your partner is someone who will answer the phone at 3 AM just to talk about a new idea for Act II. Make sure your partner is someone who will go up to Madonna in a restaurant just to say that you have a role that is perfect for her in your new musical. In short, make sure your partner will fight you when they truly believe they are right. Yes, sometimes fights are good! Because they show how passionate a person can be. And without passion, you’ll never go the distance.
Producing partnerships can last a lot longer than marriages, so it’s important not to jump into the sack for the wrong reasons. Do your homework, got on lots of dates, and when the time is right, conquer the theatrical world . . . together.
Wonder Twin powers . . . Activate!
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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.