I was chatting with a pal yesterday about the relevance of performing arts in the contemporary landscape and so when I came to work today with a little extra time to spare I started researching. Firstly I was thinking about my 9-5 job at one of the biggest not-for-profit theatre organisations in the world, but as I went along I realised that a lot if not all of the digital practices used globally by arts organisations are applicable to individual artists and small performing arts collectives.
I’ll start first my linking Aaron Bisman’s (Director, Audience Development for Jazz at Lincoln Center) talk about digital engagement and what it’s worth to us. The goal here is connecting with your audience, engaging with them and of course converting them to your product (buying stuff essentially). Some of the key take homes is to be platform agnostic – don’t just instagram or facebook but go out to all platforms appropriately and allow people to share and trend your work.
Where I started with my research was Kevin Giglinto (Vice President for Strategy and Special Initiatives, Chicago Symphony Orchestra) on leveraging New Media. What the really means is how the CSO used live streaming to engage with audiences. The message here is clear again – be platform agnostic. You only help yourself be shared.
The good thing about all of this is not only that your work gets out there to be consumed and talked about but you are also allowing people to be swayed by your work and convert. That means more bookings for you and it can come in many forms. For a jobbing actor that can be anything from more ticket sales to your gig or bookings by producers to do their gigs. The former is better for your soul and the latter is better for your bank account.
I’ll finish with a quote from Aaron Bisman
“Your content should be niche, Your community should be inclusive”