When the house lights dim, and the stage lights come up, we want two things: quality on stage and butts in seats. There are three things that I have focused on over the past couple of decades that have helped me achieve this. Make this a mantra for you improv troupe: We need to practice, we need to hustle, and we need to focus on marketing.
Let’s be honest… practicing and rehearsing sucks. It’s tedious. It’s time consuming. It’s work. We don’t want to work. We want to play. We want to get up in front of a crowd and make them laugh. But we need to rehearse. We need to practice. We need to work. We work in rehearsal so we can play onstage. Set up a rehearsal schedule with your team, and then everyone needs to write the dates down on their calendars and then everyone needs to show up.
You gotta hustle! Get people to come out to your shows. Don’t think that the venue your group is performing at will get a bunch of people to come out and watch you. They won’t. They will try, but it is your job to get people to come out too. Let people know about shows on Facebook and Twitter. Email people. Call people. Make a flyer and pass it out at work or school. If the venue and the performers are busting their butts to get people to come out, then chances are people will come out.
The final thing you want to focus on is marketing. Most people think its advertising. It’s not. If you don’t know what marketing is, buy a book or take a class. A book that I found very helpful is Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson. You can buy it on Amazon and you can probably find a used copy on eBay or at a used book store. Also, check out the website http://www.gmarketing.com for more details. You’ll be glad you did.
Show business is a business, so run your business successfully. If you don’t know how, learn how. Work offstage so you don’t have to work onstage. Performing for 100 people is a lot more fun than performing for 10. There are so many awesome things you can do to have a more successful act. Find those things and use them! Good luck!