Happy Monday GOLKKians!
(We are posting on schedule for once.. check us out!)
1. PLAN YOUR DATES WELL
We did really well with our tour, managing to schedule performances in a heat-wave week (sigh!). Although the weather couldn't be helped, we did make an error in scheduling lots of week-night shows in non-theatre venues. We had a rather idealistic image of people sauntering past galleries on their way home from work to pop into our show - REALITY CHECK: it doesn't happen! So look carefully at when you will perform, and also check local events in the area - after things were already scheduled we noticed events and festivals that we could have coincided with to make our audience turn out better. Also, don't assume that England will be out of the World Cup quickly...
2. EXPAND YOUR TEAM
We usually handle all the jobs of being a theatre company amongst the four of us, but with the tour we realised we needed help! We invited Jake Macpherson and Andrew Wilson to join us on the tour as Stage Managers (and promoters, problem solvers, runners - they did it all!). Their help was invaluable, and meant that when the time came we could focus on getting in the zone for performance. Having someone there to help with Front of House, transporting and assembling set, gathering audiences and everything in-between, really made the tour run smoothly - and allowed us to enjoy it as well! Our budget wasn't huge so Jake and Andrew were willing to help us for the experience, and we covered their costs and gave them gifts. However, as projects get bigger, we can look at supporting them financially and making roles more official - we are firm believers in giving people experience but not ripping them off! There is enough of that in the industry, so if you are adding to your team, make sure its a deal that everyone is benefitting from!
3. SEEK OUT VENUES WHO ARE REALLY INTERESTED
One of the highlights of our tour was getting to know these amazing venues across Kent. Because taking a theatre show to an art gallery is a bit bizarre and new, the owners were so open and generous with us. We took the time to chat with the owners, getting to know them and their work, and this really helped us get a sense of the communities we were performing to. They also all had brilliant insights to share with us, and we can't wait to perform something again in their venues! So before you next book a venue, take the time to see what other stuff they do and what they support - we found that going to galleries which were all about supporting the local community meant that they were also full of lovely people. And now we have connections for the future- result.
4. MARKET YOUR SHOW WELL
This seems obvious, but we thought we had marketed the tour well - turns out we marketed it, a lot, but not in the right ways! For our areas, and now we are learning this about fringe festivals too, it is all about WORD OF MOUTH. So the fact that we had posted loads all over social media, in creative ways and with great new promo shots, was not that great because no one was talking about it! Our most successful turnouts came from connecting with contacts in those areas, reaching out to local theatre groups, and getting friends to spread the word. So definitely do all the things like flyering, posters, and social media - but also take that time to reach out to people directly. It will pay off!
5. TRUST IN YOUR SHOW
Feedback after a show is a funny old thing. It has the power to lift you up, make you feel invincible and want to celebrate all night - or it can make you doubt the whole show in one swift move. It is important to remember that not everyone will love your show, but some people really will! And it is always good to balance the bad with the good - in one of our performances we had a girl on her phone in the front row (cringe!). We all felt thrown, doubted why she was doing that and why hadn't we engaged her! But then another audience member chatted to us after the show saying that it was like nothing she had ever seen before, was inspiring and so creative. In the same audience! So make sure you trust your show, keep noting who your audience is, and celebrate your successes.
We hope this helps! Stay tuned for more blogs soon :)
LOVE, GOLKK x