The Top 10 Most Read Newsletters of 2022

Table of contents

  1. Re: Our call
  2. A lot of people don’t know this story.
  3. This is just the beginning
  4. How to really get an agent
  5. [Case Study] He wanted producers, so . . .
  6. The perfect time for your show.
  7. [Case Study] “I had no idea how to move forward.” And now?
  8. [Case Study] How she got an investor to ask HER if she needed money.
  9. [Alert] 3 Reasons Why Broadway Ticket Sales Could Go Up
  10. Raise Your Hand


#1 – RE: Our call

Would you be interested in walking through the exact Game Plan our NextStage members are using to get their shows on a stage?

For free?

Before you jump in and book this call . . .

Let’s talk about RESULTS for a second.

Every day these TheaterMakers are raving about their wins in our community . . .

  • Their new collaborators
  • Their first website
  • Their casting announcements
  • Their investments
  • Their Investors
  • Their 54 Below debut
  • Their Off-Broadway debut
  • Their London debut

In the past 12 months alone we’ve helped almost 100 Writers, Producers, Directors, and other TheaterMakers get their shows onto a stage using NextStage.

Check out some of their stories and results here.

BUT there’s something missing . . . it’s YOU.

You are missing out on the action!

If you’d like to see YOUR show on a stage in the next 365 days just like my clients . . .

We should be talking.

The first step is to book a Free NextStage Strategy call together!


#2 – A lot of people don’t know this story.

People know me as a Producer.  

But the fact is . . . I’m really a writer.  I’ve been writing since I was a kid and begged local merchants to put up poems I read in their store windows.

I wrote my first play in 5th grade. And we got to perform it for the whole school. (Reviews were good – the school bully let me keep my lunch that day!)

When I started working in the biz as an actor, and then as a manager, I was still writing. Mostly late at night. Or when my boss wasn’t watching me at work. Wherever I could find a few moments, I got a few pages in.

And soon enough I had a few scripts.

And then, I waited.

I expected a knight in shining armor to swoop in and pick me up and whisk me off to a land of Tony Awards and movie deals.

And nothing happened.

And it was frustrating. (Something tells me you know what this is like.) I knew my stuff had legs.  I knew it could work. But I had to figure out how to get it out in the world.

I looked everywhere for help and couldn’t find a thing.

It wasn’t until a meeting with Hal Prince that I knew if I wanted to be a writer . . . I had to take my career into my own hands.

And that’s the story that most people don’t know . . . I became a Producer only to produce my own work.  

Of course, over time, I fell in love with Producing and now produce other people’s work, as well, as my own.  

But it all began because I was . . . and am . . . a writer.  

That period of time, when I was struggling to get my stuff seen, to get people to show up to my readings, to raise money, find a director, and more, was not easy. I remember considering dropping it all to go to law school. I remember being in tears on my therapist’s couch. I remember feeling like I wasn’t any good.

But I found a way out. And what I wanted to share with you . . . today . . . is that there is a way out. And you can find it too. And when you get there, and you will, it’ll all be worth it.

It’s not easy. And you have to avoid some landmines along the way. But I can help. And I want to help.  It’s part of a mission I swore to myself when I was struggling to figure out how to get produced almost 20 years ago.

That’s why I’d like to invite you to have a free call with one of my team members to talk about where you are in the pursuit of your theatermaking goals and if we can help you get there faster.  For those theatermakers whose vision aligns with ours, we can do some pretty cool things.

Just click here and you’ll be set up with a member of my team.  

Hope to hear from you. But whatever you do, keep making theater.  Because the world is a better place if there’s more theater in it . . . but there’s only more theater in it, if there are people like you making it.

P.S.  When you’re ready, you can schedule the call here


#3 – This is just the beginning

These are two of my NextStage Elite members at the pre-opening gala for Harmony by Barry Marry Manilow and Bruce Sussman.

The post, by member Megan Ann Rasmussen, went on to read: Special congrats to my friend and HARMONY co-producer Michelle Kaplan. This is just the beginning! #MazelTov!

This is just the beginning is right.

To see the camaraderie and friendships form from this intimate group of the most passionate, inspired, dedicated, and generous TheaterMakers is really why I do what I do.

These two incredible TheaterMakers have taken control of their careers and ultimately their destiny, and they inspire me every single week on our coaching calls.

I’m honored to be a small part of their success and call them colleagues and friends.

If you’ve been searching for a place where you can learn and grow as a TheaterMakers, especially when it comes to producing your own work, co-producing works of others, and shepherding projects to the next stage . . . then my NextStage Elite group is really the place you want to be.

Just look at Michelle and Megan for proof.

This program is usually open by invitation only, but for the next few days I’m accepting applications from ALL TheaterMakers who take their careers seriously and are able to commit to working vigorously on advancing their projects for the next 12 months and beyond.

If that’s you, then CLICK HERE to apply today.


#4 – How to REALLY get an agent.

So, how do you REALLY get an agent?

The answer to this burning question is the same answer I used to get when I was an actor asking the same question.

“You’ll get an agent when you’re ready for an agent.”

In other words, the moment your work has elevated to a level where you are ready for the next “stage” of your career, you’ll find that an agent is banging on your door begging to represent you.

For example, one of my consulting clients got his show to Off-Broadway . . . and all of a sudden licensing requests for productions all over the country started coming in. Just when this client of mine was wondering how he was going to manage it all, one of the agents that he had been courting called wanting to rep the show.

So, you can’t obsess about getting an agent. What you should obsess about is getting your work up and out there in the world.  Because THAT is the way to really get an agent (and anything, for that matter.)

Does that mean you forget about getting an agent altogether?  NO.

One of the reasons the client I just talked about got an agent was because they knew the agent beforehand, and the agent knew him. The BIGGEST mistake writers make is that they only think about marketing to an agent when they have a chance for that agent to see their work. 

They send out invites expecting agents to just show up. And then they wonder why they don’t.

The fact is, by then, it’s too late.

Getting an agent to see a reading or a festival show or any production requires multiple impressions, not just one email.

So if you want an agent a year from now? You have to start marketing to them now.


Send materials, get thee to opening nights of shows (all the big agents are there), enter contests, go to galas for the big nonprofits, etc. Market yourself.  Be known. Network. Or as my dad used to say, “Show face!”

Get the agents to know who you are now, so when you do have something for them to see, they’re not saying, “Who the heck is this?”  But rather, “Oh, a reading by (so-and-so).  I love them.  I’m going to go.”

Then, let the work speak for itself.

Go get ‘em.


#5 – [Case Study]  He wanted producers, so . . .

We got him Producers.

Edu Diaz, a TheaterMaker from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, has been a Producer and Actor almost his entire life. 

In March 2020, when the rest of the world was on pause, Edu wrote.

Knowing he wanted to have a new play premiere in the United States, Edu knew he needed resources, connections, and guidance. 

That’s when he joined NextStage.  I advised him to submit his play to a very specific festival, help prepare his submission, and BAM . . . he was accepted.

But know what?

He wanted, wished and dream he could have producers.

And, thanks to our connection and because he was a member of NextStage, he got Producers.


Whatever your wants, wishes and dreams for your show, you can make them happen.

P.S. If you are building a team and need help with your process, need connections, need to know where to look, then click here to schedule a call about our NextStage program. We have resources, guides, and advice ready for you. Click here.


#6 – The perfect time for your show.

I’ve been a healthy eater for a few years now. Then came the pandemic.  

And my former diet of buffalo wings and Pinkberry came back stronger than the revival of Chicago.

A few months ago, I said to myself, “Ok, it’s time to get back to clean eating.”

And then I said . . .

“But let me get through Thanksgiving.”

Then I said . . . 

“Let me get through Christmas.”

Then I said . . .

“Boy this omicron thing is stressful. Let me get through – “

Get the pattern?

What we put off until tomorrow is easier to put off for the next day.

It’s physics. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. 

There is no perfect time to start whatever “clean eating” is to you. Maybe it’s writing. Maybe it’s submitting your script. Maybe it’s figuring out how you can get your show on a stage so people can see it.

There are a hundred reasons to put whatever you want to do off until tomorrow..

There’s only one reason to start today . . . because when you close your eyes, what could happen when you finish.

And that’s what you really want.  

More than Pinkbery. 🙂

The perfect time for your show?

Right effin’ now.

So, if you’ve been putting off taking action? Do what I did. Tell yourself enough is enough and start right now.

I am happy to say, I’m back on my pre-pandemic diet and feeling better than ever.

If you don’t know where to begin with your show, or don’t know how to begin, let my team help you. We want you to make more theater. We want you to make better theater. Click here to schedule a no obligation “let’s make more theater” strategy call.

The number of calls we can do per month are limited, so . . . well, don’t wait for a perfect time, just click here and set it up.


#7 – [Case Study] “I had no idea how to move forward.” And now?

At some point in everyone’s journey to their goal they find themselves saying . . .”I don’t know what to do next.”

THIS is the moment that separates those who achieve their goals and those who don’t.

Most reach that point, and don’t do anything.  They get paralyzed by fear . . . of the unknown . . . of making a mistake . . . and they STOP.

And that’s the biggest mistake they could make.

A few, like Roger Griffin, take the other path less traveled . . . but MORE fulfilling. 

Folks like Roger, raise their hand, ask for help from people who have walked down the same path, and they get to where they want to go.

Roger joined our elite group of TheaterMakers three years ago. He had a script. On a shelf.  And he didn’t know what to do.

What has happened since?  

“I live in Michigan, 675 miles from my front door to Manhattan by automobile. 3 years ago, getting my work to NYC was only a dream. 

Since I joined in 2019 with a musical I wanted to take to the next level, I have gone from having a show I had no idea how to move forward to a 29 Hour Reading.  

I have won a Residency for a production next May of another new musical, “After Happily Ever After” that boasts a stellar creative team of NY professionals – and me.  

I have had the privilege of Ken’s mentorship and friendship as well as the honor of becoming a member of his investment family. I have received a wealth of knowledge and resources that will prove invaluable as I pursue new projects. And I have met and made new friends and collaborators among the members of NextStage. 

I want to thank Ken, the wonderful TMS team, and all of YOU for your kindness, your friendship, and the joy and positivity you bring into the world through your work and spirit.” – Roger Griffin


  1. You no longer have to live here to work here. That was true twenty years ago, but now, especially post pandemic? You can have a successful TheaterMaking career in NYC no matter where you live (but there are some caveats I should tell you about).
  2. Notice how Roger has two projects going – you should always have two – it’s an insurance policy and always guarantees you’ll keep moving forward. Do you have two?
  3. Go see his show, Happily Every After. Support other TheaterMakers and they will support you!

And lastly . . .

  1. When you don’t know what to do, look for answers. If you are in the same position Roger was years ago, and want to be where he is now, schedule a call with a member of our NextStage team. They’ll put you on the same path we put Roger.  
Schedule your call here.


#8 – [Case Study] How she got an investor to ask HER if she needed money.

It’s the story we all dream about.

In it, we don’t have to ask anyone for money. No emails.  No texts. No phone calls “selling” our art or our dreams.

In this story, people just ask us if they can invest.

Wouldn’t that be nice? Not having to do the “raise money” part?

Sounds like heaven to me!  🙂  Wouldn’t you be a much better Writer, Producer, etc. if raising the money was easier? And it just happened?

Well, for one of our recent NextStage members, this dream became a reality.

After using a few simple strategies, this TheaterMaker got an investor to say the words, “Do you need money?”

Guess what she said next?  🙂

This doesn’t happen all the time. Don’t let anyone tell you that this is the norm.

But there is a method to make investors WANT to invest with you more often. And yes, even volunteer it. I’ve had investors tell them they want to invest six figures or more . . . without me ever having to ask the question.

And it isn’t as complicated or scary as you’d think.

The first part is easy.

You MUST recognize that money isn’t random. It’s a system and process. And the sooner you learn that system, put a plan in place, and commit to the process, well, the sooner your show will get on a stage. Period.

If you want to hear more about this system, and the other systems we have to help you get your show up on a stage, click here. We’ll tell you about NextStage and decide if it’s something for you or not.  

This client?  Who raised that money without asking? To be honest, she wasn’t sure NextStage was right for her when she started. But she took a leap. We gave her an opportunity to check it out without risking anything.  And it worked.

Click here and we’ll see how we can make the same thing happen for you.

In the meantime, I wish you lots of investors offering investments to you without you asking!  🙂 

Click here.


#9 – [Alert] 3 Reasons Why Broadway Ticket Sales Could Go Up

Inflation is higher than it has been in 10 years.

In January, consumer prices soared in January by 7.5% (!) from the year before and the highest increase since 1982.

Higher prices (caused by supply chain issues, labor shortages, and from businesses trying to make up for lost time), are everywhere.  

I’m sure you’ve felt it. Have you taken an Uber anywhere recently?

So, what does that mean for theater tickets? Will our tickets go up? 

In the short term, no.  

In fact, in one week in January, Broadway had an average ticket price of $108, compared to $123 in 2020, pre-pandemic. 

But in the long term (in 1-2 years), once the tourists come back and we get closer to “normalcy” (which feels like we’re getting closer to every day), I’d expect ticket prices to rise. 

(Our economy always lags behind – so our inflation will be around a little later than most!)

Why? For Producers to make more profit? Nope. To offset some of the rising costs, in order to keep the shows running!

Here are three reasons why Broadway could see some inflation over the next 12-24 months:

  1. Casts are getting bigger.

    All those show cancellations in December were scary. And with Covid (or who knows what else) still around, shows are adding more standbys, swings and understudies than they would in the PP era. (Pre-Pandemic). No one wants to cancel a show, so these additional bodies will be extra insurance . . . but it could increase operating costs.
  2. Staffs are getting bigger.

    Every show now has to have a Covid Safety Office. Shows are also investing in Human Resources departments or executives (a much needed change – how many companies with 100 people working on them do you know without an HR department or process?).  And as creatives are busier than ever, more associates are needed. And all of this drives up costs, and needs an offset.
  3. Salaries are getting bigger.

    I’m seeing more of a demand for higher salaries from our work force than I’ve seen before. I’m also seeing more “passing” on positions than ever before. The pandemic has made everyone ask a very healthy, “Is this worth it?”  And more shows are having to make it worth it.

All of these increased costs are within reason, which is why I don’t hear many people complaining about them. Producers are rebuilding their economic models for the NOW to account for the cost of doing business right NOW.. And while there isn’t the ability for anyone to demand higher ticket prices this season, that may need to change in the future.

Theater was already risky. Only 1 out of 5 shows recoup their investment.

But with rising costs (we didn’t even talk about supply chain), in order to make sure the shows can pay their bills each week, ticket prices might need to go up as a result. There may be no choice.  .

If this prediction is correct, Producers will also have to work harder to find a way to dedicate a portion of their inventory to those who can’t afford that higher price . . . in order to make sure we have an audience for decades to come.  

If you are budgeting a show, it’s more important than ever to be mindful of your expenses. One of the biggest questions we get in NextStage in “How much should I pay my Director, Arranger, Designer, etc.”  Hear best practices and make sure you’re not over spending when you join.  See if you qualify here.


#10 – Raise Your Hand

I was a pretty good student. But one of my toughest teachers was my math teacher, Mrs. Royce. Ohhh, she was tough. She was about 97 years old. Constant scowl. She was the kind of teacher you’d have nightmares about.

So, when my Mom came home from a parent teacher conference one night I was very curious what Mrs. Royce had said about me.

“Well, Mom?”

“She said you were a very good student . . . that you weren’t afraid to raise your hand and ask for help when you needed it.”

It was true. Mrs. Royce’s class was tough. And while math came pretty easy to me, I found myself raising my hand, or walking up to her desk after class and asking for help in finding a solution.

While Emerson taught us self-reliance, and I’m a super believer in independent study and solutions, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for help when you need it . . . especially when you have a problem… and especially when the solution could mean something so great for you!

So this week’s tip is to raise your hand when you need assistance . . . on anything. And I’m your Mrs. Royce!

We’re here to help you. We want you to succeed. It’s part of our #5000By2025 mission. And if we don’t have the solution . . . we’ll find someone who does.

So remember, raise your hand. Ask for help, and you’ll get to your goals faster.

That’s how I got an A in Mrs. Royce’s class.

P.S. If you’re ready to speed things up but know you need some help, RAISE YOUR HAND and get on a call with my team. They’ll give you an honest assessment of where you are and if you’re ready to go to the next stage. Click here.

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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.