The smell of popcorn takes me back…backstage, that is. On Fridays and Saturdays during most of the years between 1998 to 2007, I played a variety of entertainers from 1950′s, ’60′s and ’70′s popular music. My husband and I, along with several other talented individuals, performed thousands of shows to enthusiastic crowds in two small-town Texas theaters. The experience taught me enduring lessons about creativity, professionalism, and making a living through the arts. These tenets apply to your writing life and other creative endeavors, as well. Here are five things the theater taught me about writing, in no particular order:
1. Word of mouth is the best publicity
Our audiences, though small, were passionate. We provided quality entertainment and our most ardent supporters talked about us…a lot. They brought groups, gave their friends tickets, and sometimes drove hours to see us. Local merchants also talked about the shows and encouraged tourists to catch a matinee or evening performance. Though we bought print ads, paid a few publicists, and had a large email newsletter, the theater’s best advertisement was—without a doubt—word of mouth.