So, you’ve registered for the Fringe. Congrats! There is tons of amazing info in your Fringe guide and the lovely people who answer the firstname.lastname@example.org email will be an invaluable resource. In addition, here are some of the things that I learned from my experience producing a show for the Hollywood Fringe in 2013.
1. Set a goal. Why are you participating in Fringe this time around? Filter all your show related decisions through that goal. When we put up Take Me to the Poorhouse, our goal was to put on a great show, win some awards and use this premiere of the show to gather ingredients for future marketing of the show (pull quotes from reviews, high quality photos and video of the performance) so that is where we focused our time and energy.
2. Rally the Troops: Take the time to put together a great team. It takes a village.
3. Make time for your show: Putting on a show takes a lot of time and energy. Make space for it in your life and be realistic about what you can achieve.
4. Create a great show: Take the time to workshop it, rehearse it thoroughly and get feedback.
5. Simplify Simplify Simplify. Simplify cues, simplify set, simplify costumes. You have very limited time to get in and out at festivals, be a simple, fast moving, well oiled machine.
6. Connect with your audience: general email blasts, FB events are only a small fraction of spreading the word about your show. Personal invitations either face to face, on the phone or via email are always the most effective. Budget time daily to do a manageable number (5-10, 20 if you’re a super-keener)
7. Participate in the festival: Go see people’s shows, hang out at Fringe Central, participate in online discussions, Twitter chats etc. follow the #HFF14 hashtag. Try comp swaps (trading free tickets) with other shows so you can support other artists without everyone going broke.
8. Be a Good Neighbor: take care of your venue, be courteous and helpful to the other shows in your space, be of service.
9. Take Cindy Marie Jenkin’s audience building workshops. Just do it. They’re great and really affordable. More info HERE.
10. Document your process and get your cast and crew involved in sharing it on social media.
11. Have fun, pace yourself and get as much sleep as you can. Toward the end of June, you may be ready to face plant. Sleep changes everything.
Still have questions?
tweet them to me @Fentonova and be sure to include the #hff14 hashtag
Sara Fenton led the production team of Take Me To The Poorhouse at the 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival. The show won a Best of Fringe Extension and was extended twice, won Best International Show , and was nominated for both the Duende Distinction for excellence in acting and the Bitter Lemons Trailer Park Award for best trailer (watch it HERE). TMTTPH went on to play in NYC at the United Solo Festival & The Producers Club. Plans to develop the project into a feature film and animated series are in the works.
Take Me to the Poorhouse on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Take Me to the Poorhouse
Written by: Liz Femi
Directed by: Jane Morris
Produced by: Sara Fenton, James Jolly, Adam Kern, Ochuwa Oghie, Hope Olaide Wilson
Original Music by: Fred Kaz
Sound Design by: Bill Jenkins
Take Me to the Poorhouse writer/star Liz Femi & Producer Sara Fenton accepting “Best International” at Hollywood Fringe Awards 2013.