I have this idea but I'm just not sure about the logistics of making it work or if it can even work at all. Maybe it already exists.
Getting bums on seats is always going to be the biggest challenge with any theatre production. I mean that's the important bit, right, if it sells then it works. But recently, mostly in the lead up to performing at the Manchester Fringe next month, I've begun to wonder how people manage when they have no existing audience base in a city. Obviously performing in a festival will draw some attention, but what do you do if you just want to perform in a city. Apart from the regular marketing channels, is there any other way of helping to ensure people are actually going to see your show.
This got me thinking about the idea of some kind of Artists Cooperative or network. There's plenty of Facebook pages for the arts in different cities but they are mostly just full of lots of people who plug their show and then walk away. I'm guilty of it myself. I don't look at what other people are posting which in turn means people probably aren't looking at mine.
The great thing about Facebook and social media is that you can stay connected with artists who you respect and it's easy to share knowledge of their performances if you wish. But would it be possible to create a cooperative where artists commit to helping each other. Like properly helping. Sharing knowledge, plugging each other's shows, hooking each other up with accommodation when in each other's town. I figure this would have to be a fairly exclusive group to monitor that it works correctly and I guess you'd all have to respect each other's work if you are willing to share your audience base.
And that's the tricky bit, enforcing rules in a cooperative. Well, getting people on board could be tricky too. Does everyone need to be on the same level of success? What if you can't offer much? How exactly do you judge and enforce all these things? The truth is that I just don't know, which is why I haven't done it yet. I'd like to think that with the right group of artists it could just work for the most part. Artists that really do want to help each other out and gain success across the board.
So please, if you have any ideas or know anything like this then please let me know. Do you think this could work and, if you're a performer, is this something you'd like?
All suggestions welcome and maybe one day we could make it happen. Or at least something similar.
Perhaps at the end of the day I'm just talking about having a great network of artists on Facebook that you've met over the years. I know I have a good few of them already!
I think I may have just answered my own question but let me know your thoughts.