Once I get an idea for a new show, business thinking goes aside.
I play a song, ideas start blooming in front of my eyes and in a moment I am making the choreography and searching for costume inspiration. Or… “This material would be perfect for my project!” and in a minute it’s in my shopping cart, paid and I’m ready for the creative process.
Does this sound familiar? If your answer was yes, then you are most probably a creative tornado just like me. Back in the day when my creative alter ego took over, I didn’t really consider the selling potential of my idea. Over the years I met a number of amazing people who helped me optimize my creative thinking to make sure my creations fulfilled my artistic desires and business goals.
This article is for all creative souls, who are at the start of their journey just like I was seven years back. Perhaps you’ll find some of the tips I’ve collected over the years helpful. I’ll be very happy if you’ll let me know how you handle your creative impulses and the process of creating from getting an idea to a finished product.
Tips that I find useful:
Being consistently lazy is the best!
As my math teacher used to say:
“ A lazy mathematician is the best mathematician. He will always find the simplest ways to solve a problem without putting in any unnecessary effort.”
If you like performing and you want to perform as often as possible then it is crucial to imagine yourself as a lazy performer. Try to think of the easiest way to transport the equipment, set up all decorations, handling the costumes, charging equipment, etc. Even if you think of the coolest idea ever, if it’s going to be complicated for handling, it could suck out all the fun out of performing very quickly.
Choreograph the performance so that it will be easy for you to change the number of performers easily in case of need. (Or make variations of the show for a different number of people during the initial process.)
Consider if you will need the performers to have alterations. Will they all be able to perform the choreography? Sometimes less is more…
Will the costumes have to fit on more body types and sizes? (Long live lacing and stretchy fabrics.)
What to take care out for?
Keep your inner optimist in the shadow of your inner realist. What could go wrong during the creative process, will probably go wrong. It’s better to think of the mistakes that could happen beforehand. =)
What critical situations could happen and how will I eliminate them? In what unexpected conditions will the show have to work fluently?
Rain? Small stage? Slippery stage? DJ played the music with fade in? Or…
My partners experience:
“Oh, you need a speaker? Well… we don’t have a speaker, but we have a cymbal band.”
And so it was a rock fire show with cymbal music, and it was epic.
Added value golden
What wow effects/selling arguments will the show have compared to your other performances? / compared to your competitors?
Pretty ladies? Acrobatics? Theatrical script? A ton of LED effects? innovative costumes?
Take a piece of paper and write down the craziest ideas you can think of.
Once this kind of idea is in your head, the desire to make it happen will be so strong, that in a little while ideas of how you could actually make it happen will start coming to your mind. Most of the time those insane fantasies are what will bring the show to the next level.
Food for thought:
What is going to capture your audience? In an amazing performance, what is the biggest peak?
Often, what performers enjoy a show isn’t the same thing as what the audience appreciates the most. This is something that I have thought about a lot and so far I have come up with one definition:
“The audience will remember and will be dazzled by the things they can put into words.”
For example: “They displayed our logo in their equipment!”, “One of the performers raised a dancer above his head in a real hand looking pose!”…
What do you think is the essence of wow effects?
When I’m creating any project – show, costume, etc., I ask myself a few questions that will define my creative process.
- What problem should my product solve?
- I would like to create an idea for my own joy.
This point is rightfully in the first place. At least for me, this is absolutely essential. It’s not worth making if my heart’s not in it. Even if the client would pay in gold if I can’t find a way to love the project it’s not worth trying. The result would not be very good anyway.
- The client has a specific demand and I have nothing in my existing portfolio to fulfill the order.
- I found a market gap and I want to be the first to fill it.
For example: “ There is no synchronized swimming show using LED effects underwater.” Why not… =D
Most often the sentence: “This has never been made before. “ means that you have not searched your market thoroughly enough.
If you have really found a market gap, award yourself a gold star and start working on it right now! You are probably not the only one who is wondering about what hasn’t been done yet.
2. What client do I want to choose with my product?
- Who is my target group? What kind of an event am I keeping in mind while creating the show?
- children’s events
- juggling festivals
- ballroom dancing events
- summer historical festivals
- corporate events
- night clubs
It’s practically impossible to cover all the categories there are. Choose whatever suits you best and concentrate on that. It’s better to be the best in one category than to be mediocre in twenty.
Defining questions level 2: Price creating and investing
3. What is the selling potential of my idea?
- Do I want to sell my product?
I will assume that the product we will be talking about is a performance.
- How many times do I want to / I can sell my performance?
- What is going to be the budget needed for the creation of the show?
- How many times do I want to / I can sell my performance?
- What are the costs of performing one show? (Depreciation of the equipment and costumes, salaries for performers).
- Is my target clientele willing to pay such a price for one show?
- If your answer to question n.6 was “no”, am I going to lower the investments or will I try to target a different clientele?
Note.: While counting the investment cost for the creation of the show, count absolutely everything! Even the extra material/time needed for mistakes that could happen. Reality will most probably be your first estimate multiplied by two.
I would like to thank all the amazing people, who have helped me on my journey.
I have met many inspiring people who have been a huge influence on me. Many of them never realized how inspiring they are to others. Due to my stubbornness, I usually went my own way anyway, and I have found many paths that lead nowhere. In these articles, you will get the chance to learn from my mistakes.
I am very grateful to everyone who has shared their know-how with me and I would like to add to the community with my article. I am writing this series of articles as if I was talking to myself seven years ago.
Nonetheless, I don’t have a time machine, so I hope that even in this world a creative soul will stumble upon this article. I will be very happy if you find it helpful.
Let me know if there is anything specific you would want to know in your artistic journey. I will gladly share whatever knowledge I have.
What is your experience with creating shows? What usually defines the products you create? How do you handle creating different shows with the same equipment to make it new and original?