I have many friends in theater - Actors, musicians, dancers, puppeteers and many more. They often ask me how do I make a successful living as a performer. Well. Its quite simple and very difficult.
a. People perform fo a variety of reasons, but mostly because they love it.
b. Theater succeeds because audiences buy tickets.
A & B are not the same and are only marginally related. Caring about something, even if you care a great deal, will not cause it to become a successful business.
Over the years I have many (many, many) friends try and create a successful theater business...and nearly all fail. In their defense they usually have tons of talent and infinite drive. But you need that and a business sense.(1) And capital. And luck.
There are some theater models that tend to work:(2)
- Dinner theater
- talent shows
- Stand-up comedy
- renaissance fairs
And there are some that almost never work:
- bagpipe musicals
- all mime
In the Twin Cities there are 50+ theater companies; and they mostly do the same things. They are successful.
BIG IDEA: Before you start a theater business (or ANY business) do a little research -- Find out which models tend to work.
1. Know anything about marketing? reading a P&L sheet? The difference between an employee and a contractor? The non-profit model?
2. Mostly by being popular, selling food and alcohol and keeping expenses under gross income.)