This column was inspired by my dear friend Richard Skipper saying that, for promoting, “It all comes down to: Like, Comment, Share!”
As many of us “return to campus” in this magical world of Cabaret, I have been noticing a lot of little things about promotion and filling our rooms that might be worth sharing. These observations come at a time when our audiences are still a little cautious about being in a closed Cabaret room. This topic came out of an on-going conversation I have been having with other singers lamenting the smaller numbers in their rooms and asking what we can do about it.
After any natural disaster or an event like 9/11 we all say, “Hey, we’re all in this together” and this was a major mantra throughout our isolation during Covid. But, as David Friedman always says: “We are all in this together, but we are not in the same boat.”
I am finding that no matter what level of the Cabaret food chain you are on…when you look up, there is always a bigger fish swimming above you whose talent and status and even their draw you covet. I call this my “a green eyed monster”. This is human. This is life. This is the business. We all do it! However…
I say, look at where YOU are (again, like Richard always says: “stay in your own lane”) and think about who may be looking up at you with this same longing to achieve what you have achieved. Now, in trying to make what feels like a negative into a positive thought…make yourself take a look back to see just how far you have come to be where you are right now. Honor that. You’ve worked hard. Again, just stay in your own lane. Focus on your work and just do the best work you can do. “They” will find you but only by all of us continuing to support each other.
When I say “support” I do not mean just going to each other’s shows, although we all appreciate that, of course! When Richard said that the best way to promote on Social Media is to: Like, Comment, Share…I thought: “But this requires that others do this as well.” The question now becomes: “How do I get others to do this for me, like I do this for them?” If we are truly all in this together, why don’t we just do this for each other as we see shows that we really enjoy or as we see a friend trying to promote?
Part of our resistance to doing this (and this will not be a popular comment), is because we’re selfish and paranoid to promote for others because we mistakenly think that our fans will go to see these other shows and not come to our show. Not true. Your fans are loyal. We do this when we do not share new gigs or places to sing or make referrals to a theater, club or library gig that we’ve done. Think about this, they cannot have you every week or even every month. They may have you once a year or even every other year. Why wouldn’t you refer a great singing friend for this gig? Would it not get you “brownie points” with the venue? This is good press and good karma!
As Broadway diva and dear friend Sarah Rice always says: “We’re all fighting over the same chicken bone!” My friend, Cabaret Goddess Meg Flather says: “We keep passing the same $20 cover charge back and forth to each other!” These comments are sadly very true so how do we use social media to spread the word? Say it with me people… LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE!
I, of course, selectively choose who I will help promote and only do this for shows that I have actually seen. They are usually dear friends doing what I do and most of them are swimming in the same pond. Why would I do this? I feel that the way we all gain is to help each other out because, in Cabaret, while we are all in this together…as David said, we are NOT all the same! We may be swimming in the same pond, but we offer our own special gift. It’s like comparing an apple to an orange so why compare at all? Just LIKE it! It’s OK to like it and then share it!
When I asked a dear friend if they would post what they just said to me after my show on Facebook, they said: “Well, I don’t like to do that because then I feel obligated to do it for everyone.” I do get this but, to me, if they really liked what they saw, it makes me question why they wouldn’t share it? I would do it for them but that’s me, please continue reading…
A Cabaret community leader here in New York, once said, (and I’m paraphrasing here): “I do not owe anyone my attendance in their show. I only owe my own audience the best work I can offer in my show.” They are staying in their lane, very focused and guess what…they are very popular, they fill their rooms and they do not attend other people’s shows very often or sing at every Open Mic. Why? Because “they” (meaning us, the audience) have found them. A lot of the people around them, myself included, LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE about their work. Word-of-Mouth is the BEST advertisement!
To anyone reading this Sue’s Views today, I am going to challenge you to go to someone’s page on Facebook for a show that you have recently seen and do this:
LIKE the post, COMMENT on the show and SHARE their next gig date on your page or forward their notice to a few friends that you think would also like their show.
I double dare you (I know, how old am I? 12?) to LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE this column link if you like what I’ve discussed today!
We are indeed all in this together so let’s be there for each other as we all come back to live performance.
P.S. Making a Reservation
I also want to politely suggest that you make a reservation! When someone in my house says that they had slow service when only 20 people are on the books and 45 people show up I have to ask: “Whose fault is this?” It’s unfair to the club, it’s unfair to the people who did make a reservation and, by making a reservation, it alleviates the performer’s anxiety when the club calls to say that numbers are low. No singer wants to think about this before stepping on stage.