Learning from the experts
If there’s something strange in the neighbourhood.
Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters.
Why? Because they are experts in their field. So if you are looking for advice on how to create an appealing piece of entertainment, who would you turn to? An incredibly popular and successful artist or one hit wonder Toni Basil?
It always pays to have a look at what makes people successful and then see what you can take from their experiences. And when considering entertainment, who better to look at than music duo The Piano Guys?
If you haven’t heard of them before, Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson are two incredibly talented musicians who re-imagine popular songs (to the extent that they are often more popular and accessible than the originals). Check out their latest version of ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ below:
So what is it that makes them so successful? In my opinion, there is one main reason.
‘Our vision is to create music videos that inspire and uplift.
We put our heart and souls into every note and frame’
Inherently outward focussed, The Piano Guys’ aim is to create appealing music that reaches out to people and brings them joy. But, in order to do this, there has to be an understanding of the market place which they are inspiring and that is something that these guys do better than many other entertainment offerings.
Rather than a focus on furthering artistic integrity and creating art for the sake of creating art, The Piano Guys are concerned with creating a product that they enjoy performing and audiences enjoy experiencing.
Using music that their audience enjoys listening to, combined with the pleasure that these two guys get from performing, they have been able to reach in excess of 252 MILLION views on YouTube. Which is pretty unbelievable. And from scrolling through the comments on their videos you can see that they have achieved their mission of spreading inspiration and uplifting their viewers.
So how does this relate to the theatre?
Do you need to pander to your audience by only producing popular work? No, but like The Piano Guys, you need to consider them. It isn’t any good to create a work that purely furthers the development of the theatre medium without any consideration for moving and reaching out to the audience. You need to find some midway point at which to meet them where the audience enjoys their experience and the creators enjoy performing.