The questions you should always ask yourself before diving into your next show

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If you’ve worked with us or been following along for a while, you’ll know that we bang on about working out your why. If you haven’t? Well, it’s time to strap in – let us tell you a little more about why it’s so important.

Here’s the thing, being super clear on your why can help you have a better season. You know exactly why you’re doing it and what you want to achieve

There comes a point in many shows when it all feels like it’s too hard (don’t worry, we’ve been there). It’d be really easy to just throw your hands in the air and give up. You’re wondering why you’re bothering and let imposter syndrome start to creep in.

It’s at this point we suggest circling back to a few key questions you’ve hopefully asked yourself at the start. And if you haven’t, it’s not too late, you can always ask them now.

Grab a notepad, open up a fresh Word doc, a note on your phone, whatever you like. It’s time to take 10 minutes out of your day and answer these questions.

(Psst, write as much or as little as you like. Use dot points, record a voice memo, throw in a bunch of emojis – there are no wrong answers.)

1. Why are you doing this show now?

What is it about this piece of work that means it needs to be out in the world right now? Is it timed to coincide with an event or timely topic? Is it the next step in your artistic evolution? Are you ready to test out something new or perhaps it’s a follow up to your last piece of work?

2. Why this festival, season or theatre?

Does it have a theme tying into a particular festival, season or theatre? Maybe you want it to be part of something so you can get in front of a particular audience?

3. What would a successful season look like to you?

This looks different to everyone. If there’s anything we’ve learned in our decades of producing, it’s that success is never one-size-fits-all.
It might be a sell out, or it might be you just want 10 people in the audience that aren’t your best friends or your mum, dad and Uncle Kev. It could be something entirely unrelated to tickets or money. A review in a particular publication could be the ultimate goal, or even to make sure a specific producer or programmer sees the show.

4. What are you hoping to get out of it?

Exposure, career progression, experience, networking, there are an incredible number of ways you can get something out of a show. Have you got your sights set on inclusion in a festival or showcase and need to show what you can do? Want to see how an audience responds to your brand new show?

Keep in mind this is just for you. You don’t have to share them. Everyone’s why is going to be different and yours doesn’t have to be the same as anyone else’s.

The best part about this process is that you have something to come back to and reflect on. Maybe it’s keeping them stashed away for a bad day, it could just be at the end of your show to see if you achieved what you wanted, they might even be sticky notes on your desk to remind you every day.

So, do you see why we bang about knowing your why?

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