I am a producer, marketer, publicist, designer, video editor, stage manager, fundraiser, production manager, accountant, digital marketer, social media marketer, promoter, flyer-er, sound designer, and general tea maker.
In other words, a show I wrote with my mates Michael and Paul Clarkson has gone from a script to the West End in less than six months.
Our show - Death Ship 666 is a disaster-movie parody play critics are calling "Titanic" meets "Airplane!", which follows the ill-fated passengers aboard a half-built ship's maiden voyage to the Bermuda Triangle. The play attracted sell-out audiences every day of the Edinburgh Fringe this Summer as well as copious five and four star reviews - including pick of the fringe from the Daily Express.
As complete newbies to the theatre industry, but with a background in video production for YouTube and TV, this has been a bit of a crash course. So here are some very honest learnings we've gained along the way through luck, educated guesses and mistakes that we'd like to share with you:
- Don't wait for an agent or a producer to pick up your work. You do not need the industry's validation. They don't know what they want, and you will waste a lot of your precious time waiting.
- Have a preview show run before Edinburgh festival - this will give you the time you need to hone your show so that you can hit the ground running at Edinburgh festival in the first week for when all those crucial first reviewers and audiences turn up
- Get yourself a frickin' awesome poster for your show that is eye catching and sums up your show's spirit. Otherwise it will disappear amongst the other thousands of posters competing on the fringe.
- Invest the extra £600 and list your show in the extra fringe guide - which lists a select amount of shows by genre and time. The main fringe guide has every single show listed alphabetically - how is anyone going to find you in there unless your show is AAAAAAAAAAA - which of course, some are.
- If you need to raise the cash, you will find a way. Whether that's through kickstarter or through sourcing wealthy friends of friends. The show at Edinburgh cost us £10,000 by the end which is more money than I have ever had to loose. Only half of that we raised in advance.
- Money is a huge problem! How else are you going to pay the rent, while holding down a job and putting on a show? A human can only do so much.
- YouTube is a fantastic platform for sharing your work, but it doesn't come close to the experience of a room full of people loving your work live on stage.
If you want to see Death Ship 666, it's playing till the 15th of December at Jermyn Street Theatre (Piccadilly circus, London).
Watch the trailer here:
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