Hi!!! Thanks so much for being here, and both of your shows are going on my list! My question is: what do you wish you could tell yourself five years ago, based on what you know now?
How did you turn your campaign around in those 3 days? Any late-in-the-game tricks?
Hey Sam! Not intrusive at all. I’m 100% not embarrassed to tell you that I have a day job and it would be insane not to as a producer. Sometimes there’s months - YEARS - where you don’t see any money returned to you as a producer. I was talking to a Broadway producer last month and she asked me if I knew what this other Broadway producer did “for a living.” And that’s Broadway!!
I’m a tour guide. I give private walking tours of the city. I love it because I meet people from all over the world, who have ultimately watched my shows and even bought tickets when I performed my solo show in Edinburgh. They are fascinated by actors so it’s a good way to build my audience and a good way to practice your pitch at the same time! And at the end of the day all I’m doing is telling stories. And that’s what we do best, right?
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions your answers have been great so far. Good luck with your next projects.
do you have anything in motion to change that, or are you pretty happy with your system? i’ve been working on trying to make creative work more sustainable (started a whole depressing thread on this here forum about it) and i’m not really sure the best way to do that.
I do produce for other people. I’m currently co-producing an AEA showcase that will open in January at the Beckett Theater in NYC. The most challenging thing of course is…hate to say it, but other people? Lol. It’s rather easy writing and producing my own work and being only responsible to my own personal vision. When you add other cooks to the kitchen it’s a life lesson in listening and using your words respectfully and professionally. Oh, and standing up for yourself - holding your ground when you don’t believe something is being done the right way. But I think being an actor has helped me with people managing a lot.
My favorite thing is of course to collaborate with other artists. It’s infectious and inspiring. My advice to you is, don’t wait. Produce for others and create your own work at the same time. Each will inform the other, I promise you.
Thank you - this is something I despair about all the time
OH MY GOD if I had it I’d sell it for millions. Here’s the thing: NONE of us know how to capture an audience - what is the magic sauce??? - and yet we are all seeking the same damn thing!! I don’t have a good answer. But I do take my marketing seriously. I hire a PR rep when I release my series. I support and promote my fellow creator’s content so they promote mine. On social media it’s ALL ABOUT the share, share, share. Continue to grow your network. And never stop hustling.
Hey Jonathan! I’m a big believer in email actually. Especially because people are relying on social media more and more. When I go to festivals and people give me their business card, I sign them up for MailChimp. They can unsubscribe whenever they want. I consider the email list to be my fan base, because it’s measurable, as opposed to the finicky algorithms of Facebook & Twitter & Instagram.
Other than that - you being yourself, never apologizing for what you are doing or what you haven’t created yet, when people say “how are you?” you incorporate information about what you’re working on. When you let people into the process, they become invested in your journey. And these people become your network, community, and ultimately, fans.
Girl that’s a lotta area to cover and the 2/3 and 4/5 are on opposite sides of Manhattan!! lol. Here’s my insider tip: TIME OUT NEW YORK. They do articles like “Best Cheap East in NYC” all the time. If I find it again I’ll email it to you!
Hahahahaha ok well what’s YOUR fave, let’s say off the 2-3 to make it easier
It’s been interesting, this shift back to email. Used to be that email was bad, or at least that was the marketing to get people to spend more time on blogs and social media. Signing up people who have passed along business cards is great (hadn’t thought of that), but have you had to cold approach people about emails? Have people given you any indication of what works/doesn’t work in that regard?
I’m always curious how people approach email as I’ve got this stigma in my brain against email and it’s been fascinating figuring this out.
Well “seminar” is a bit of a misnomer. Are you familiar with IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project)? Every year they host Film Week in NYC and they had a day called “Meet the Decision Makers” and I signed up to Meet the Distributors and met 5 companies in the distribution world. It was very illuminating. Here’s something I learned: all the content on Amazon - if you have prime - is being marketed directly to them via other companies. Amazon does not go out and hunt down content, nor does Netflix. I think that’s a big misconception, we all think people are scouring the internet and will stumble upon our series and we’ll be “discovered”!!! It’s much more of a classic business model than we all think.
Hey Pia! Thanks for earmarking my shows, that’s awesome. Happy to return the favor, if you have any! Let’s see, five years ago I had produced my pilot and I was just starting to write my solo show, so let’s talk about that. The whole reason I got into producing is this:
I was complaining to my career coach (for acting) that I wasn’t performing in the NY Fringe that summer, and all of my friends were. He told me to stop complaining and write my own way into the Fringe. I said “I don’t know how to write a show!” so he said: “Then take a class.” He recommended a solo show writing class for me. Once I wrote the show, I complained to my teacher: “What now? I don’t know how to produce?” And he said: “Then take a class.” So I took a class on producing my own work. And long story short I performed it in NYC, Chicago, and Edinburgh, and here I am on AMA.
So - I would just notice when you give yourself limitations. And instead of letting them block you, realize that’s a place to grow. What do I wish I’d known then that I dont’ know now? It’s hard to put into words. This journey as a producer has been everything to me. But I needed to find my own way into it. I wish I hadn’t spent so many years limiting myself, and believing in my limitations.
Alright folks, that does it for today’s AMA! HUGE big thanks to @Jeanette_Bonner for being here and being lovely, and if there are any stragglers, perhaps she’ll pop back in later to answer! In the meantime, check out her series below:
You’re very welcome! Good luck to you as well!
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE GUYS! Feel free to email me anything further at jeanettebonner@gmail. Good luck to all of you on your journeys and maybe our paths will cross one day!