Why you don’t need to wait on your fans . . .
So you have a famous musician writing music for your show. What next?
Surely the answer is promotion. You want to put their name in lights above the show. Get them tweeting, instagraming and hashtagging the hell out of their experience. And tell their fans all about their involvement through television, radio and print campaigns! Or do you?
It is actually much simpler than that.
There have been a number of big name singer-songwriters who have made the journey over to the Great White Way and decided to remain off-stage rather than headlining a new production. Elton John wrote The Lion King, Aida and Billy Elliot. Cyndi Lauper championed the musical adaptation of Kinky Boots. Sting backed new musical The Last Ship (and actually did end up starring in it!). And now Sara Bareilles has made the jump and is using some clever marketing to rally her fans.
Sara Bareilles, the incredibly talented songwriter behind mammoth hits like Brave and Love Song, has made the (albeit temporary) transfer from the pop world into musical theatre. Writing the musical adaptation of cult classic Waitress, the out-of-town tryout was one of the hottest tickets on the theatre scene with fans travelling far and wide to see her work. Why?
There’s one major reason for the popularity of her out-of-town tryout and there is one major reason why the ticket demand will follow them to Broadway. Let me start with the out-of-town tryout.
In addition to her ridiculously popular song writing style, Sara Bareilles has one point of difference over those artists that I mentioned earlier. She runs her own social media. There is a certain bespoke quality that you find in her communications compared to the big stars who farm it out and essentially create a news reporting stream on themselves. This not only saves the artist money, but it also creates a much stronger connection with her audience. They may not see everything that happens in the performer’s life, but what they do see is a real, unvarnished and relatable life story through their posts. This helps to build relatability and trust, and ultimately makes fans much more connected and interested in what the stars are creating. Something which Sara Bareilles does incredibly well. And this continued through the development of her new show.
Sharing sneak peeks and moments from her days during the development gave her fans an unprecedented look at the behind the scenes going on and created a sense of involvement. ‘I have seen her get this far and loved every second of it . . . now I need to see the finished product!’
And they went to buy tickets.
It’s that personal touch. Rather than watching someone on a pedestal, it feels like watching a friend. You are proud when they have a breakthrough. You feel their pain when something doesn’t work out the way they had hoped. And, as you would with any other friends, you want to be there at the opening night to give them support!
As for what is going to make their Broadway debut a huge success . . . well you will have to wait until tomorrow!