March 29, 2013 by T. Gregory Argall
There’s a passage in the song “Raino” by Chilliwack that has always held significance for me.
“In vain, in vain I tell you we’re all the same
‘Cause there you standing saying that it’s not for real
‘Cause we’re the ones who get to steal
The show, and I don’t know
I guess you’re right, but even so
If there’s no audience
There just ain’t no show.”
When I’m directing a show, that song is running through my head constantly in the weeks leading up to opening night, and I always listen to it before the curtain opens. It’s sort of my unofficial contract with the audience. “If you show up, we’ll do our best to entertain you. If you don’t show up, then we’re just a bunch of over-grown children playing make-believe.”
Of course, if the audience doesn’t know about the show, then it’s unlikely that they will show up.
With their premiere of “The Accidental Hit-Man Blues,” the Opera House Players are definitely going to have an audience. They’ve been promoting the felgercarb* out this show.
In addition to the regular Facebook buzz-generating posts, and handout materials (flyers, posters, etc.), they’ve got t-shirts. That’s brilliant, because people can’t not read a t-shirt. If someone hands you a piece of paper or sends you a URL link, you make a conscious decision about whether or not you’re going to read that piece of paper or click on the link. But if someone walks past your in a colorful t-shirt, your eyes follows the shirt before you have a chance to decide if you want to know what it says. It’s like an informational smart missile that finds it’s way into your brain.
Also, t-shirts are awesome. (Aren’t they, Michele?)
The double-edge newspaper approach is also in play. Print ads and written articles. This week I was interviewed by a reporter from Iowa about the show.
Starting Monday, this ad will be airing on television…
*geek-reference; you lose points if you had to Google that one.