Creating A Star

It’s no secret. Stars sell shows. I once heard a producer say ‘I could put Bert Newton on a stage cooking an egg and we would sell out’ . . . and he’s not wrong. Audiences both want to see their favourites stars perform and like the security casting a star gives them when they are being prompted for an extravagant ticket price. So what next? Will it be the same stars circling the musical theatre circuit forever? Not if the theatre industry takes a leaf from the AFL.

AFL Record

The AFL and the theatre aren’t that different. Both have staff out the front flogging programs before a show. Both are competing with continuous developments in television and broadcasting while still emphasising the unique experience of seeing the game live. Both have people who are dragged along by their significant other while they would rather be at the footy or the theatre. And, similarly to the theatre, the AFL relies on its stars to fill stadiums.

Each team has a small handful of players who have great recognition within the community and inspire people to purchase tickets to watch them play live. This happens on a small scale every week, but it was even evident when the Gold Coast Suns kicked off many years ago and secured Gary Ablett Jr. to lead the team. He brought a significant amount of star-power with him giving the club an increased level of credibility and an influx of loyal members all buying memberships and tickets to their weekly matches.

But, despite recognising the impact of this star power, that hasn’t stopped the AFL from thinking about the future. It is impossible to move beyond the important pull of star power, but what they can do is create new stars!

At the back of this footy record was a short profile piece showcasing an up-and-coming player who had only just begun his football career two years ago. Very few fans would probably know his name – and most of those who did probably barracked for his team. But he certainly isn’t a household name who would encourage people to buy a membership to his club or buy a ticket to see him play . . . yet.

Over the weekend, most people who bought a footy record will now know his name. Use him in a couple more articles this year and fans will start to develop an emotional connection as they get to know more about this player. Keep developing his profile over the next couple of years and eventually he will turn into a big name player who carries some weight. Someone who will sell tickets and someone who will be a star of the future (because we certainly aren’t moving away from strong star power).

Why not dedicate a page of your program towards profiling a rather green member of your cast? Start to develop some public recognition. Begin the journey towards an emotional connection. And commence creating the star of tomorrow today.

(P.S. Footy records are only $5 each whereas programs are often $20 or even more. Isn’t it worth sacrificing a bit of money now to gain a lot of money in the future? The more people that read them, the stronger their connection comes to these theatre performers and the more likely they are to return next time this up and coming performer gets their next break!)