Buzz Beats Butts

I was in a session with a private coaching client recently and said the words “buzz beats butts” and immediately jotted that phrase down, as you KNOW I love alliteration, especially when it drives the point home.

What’s the point? Ah… it’s all about getting folks out to see your brilliant show, getting an audience at a premiere screening of your self-produced short, filling the room at a launch party for your new webseries, or any other artistic endeavor that requires butts in seats to be considered a success.

Is that *really* what qualifies something as successful?

Not always. Hence “buzz beats butts.” Think about how certain you are that a particular restaurant is THE BEST, yet you’ve never eaten there. How sure you are that a certain type of car is the top of the line, yet you’ve never even test-driven one. How you just *know* that a book is a can’t-put-it-down page-turner even though you’ve not yet picked it up yourself.

This happens due to buzz.

And buzz beats butts any day, especially if you’re trying to get LA industry out to theatre during episodic season. That’s like trying to get actors to a preread in Burbank at 4pm on a Friday when it’s really great beach weather in Santa Monica. It’s like finding a lot marked “free parking for actors” right outside a commercial casting facility. It’s not gonna happen.

Yet we bust our humps trying to make it happen. We figure if we work hard enough, get the word out enough, share enough of the buzz, we WILL get folks to turn out for our little party. Yeah, maybe some amount of that networking and marketing and begging will yield a few more folks in the audience, but if instead you focus on the value the BUZZ has, you’ll find the process of getting the word out about your latest project to be a much more pleasant experience!

Instead of trying to bribe people into showing up, you’re just sharing the great reviews those who HAVE shown up have doled out thus far. Instead of comping tickets and paying for valet access, then constantly watching the red carpet to see if your VIP actually shows up (only to eventually receive that apologetic last-minute email with something about traffic or a crazy day at the office), you’re providing some great, on-brand lines from early screener feedback. Getting the word out that you’ve got something GREAT becomes the goal… getting more folks to come out and experience that great thing becomes a bonus.

You already have the leverage that comes from having done the work. The line on your resumé that reminds the buyers that they heard great stuff about the thing you did is FAR more valuable than if one more person (who may not *ultimately* be a buyer) were to have turned out to see the show.

When a potential agent looks at your cover letter and sees, “I was thrilled to have been a part of the award-winning cast that swept the Ovations last year…” the work is done. Bonus if that agent saw the show, of course. But I just wanna be sure you treasure the work that BUZZ does for you, when you can’t seem to get their butts in those seats. Don’t get disheartened; know you’re getting lasting benefits from that buzz and find ways to get that word out.

REMINDER: We’re in the back half of our campaign to keep the 4th edition of Self-Management for Actors in print. Again, folks, if the book has ever helped you out, you can help the BOOK stay alive by sharing this link today. If anyone in your life might want a copy, this is the way to pre-order directly from us. Hooray! Check out all those delicious perks, while you’re there. Wow! (And, again, thanks.)


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!


Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001724.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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