Oops! I did it . . . and don’t want to do it again. A panel!

Face it.

If you do anything in this business, or in any business, you’re eventually going to #@$% up.

It’s going to happen.  You’re going to make a boo-boo.  So get used to it.

Now, what separates the successful men and women from the unsuccessful boys and girls is what you do after you make said boo-boo.

Because the real pros learn from their mistakes to make sure they never make the same ones again.  Ever.

This essential educational process is the subject of the Off Broadway Alliance’s latest panel discussion, scheduled for this Sunday, February 7th at noon.  It’s called “WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY OOPS,” or “Sure we all have things not go as planned, but here is what I learned so you don’t have to repeat it.”

The Broadway and Off-Broadway speakers/mistake makers will include Robert Ahrens (Xanadu, Evita, and the upcoming Disaster!), Sharon Fallon (NYMF, Beautiful, Matilda the Musical and the upcoming Gotta Dance), Martin Platt (Dames at Sea, My Life as a Musical, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) and Tom Smedes (The Visit, Peter and the Starcatcher, Naked Boys Singing, and the upcoming Bandstand).

(Side note:  it takes a super confident and secure Producer to be able to address any missteps they’ve made, so kudos to the folks above for being willing to open up about their experiences so that others may learn from them.  This kind of panel is kind of like allowing your body to be used for science . . . and being awake while it happens.)

The panel is free. All that you have to do to attend is register here.

The panel will take place at the former Snapple Center (now The Theater Center) at 210 West 50th St. with complimentary coffee and bagels when the doors open at 11:30am and networking time immediately after.

My big mistake?  Or one of them?

I’ll never forget on my very first show having an audience of about 150. . . and only about 15 people paying (it was the second preview).  A group of 20 wanted to come, but they wanted a better seat location for the price that we were quoting.  I held firm.  “Prices are prices and that’s it!  Take it or leave it!”  They left it . . . and I could have more than doubled my gross for that performance . . . at a time when I desperately needed the cash and more importantly needed the paid people to spread positive word of mouth (WOM from comps is much less valuable than WOM from people who actually pay, no matter what price they pay).

I learned that at the launch of any product, including shows, you have to be willing to be more aggressive to get butts in seats, especially on unknown shows without lots of advertising dollars.

That was just one of my mistakes.  I make a lot of them . . . every single day.

I just try to make more right decisions than wrong ones, so I’ll come out on top in the end.

Click here to attend the panel.


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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.