Dear Great Zamboni:
How do we sell out every show? I know from experience that crowds of people will push against each other and even riot to see you in person. How can my theatre company achieve some measure of the same level of success?
This comes from Melissa H, in the northern of California.
Dear you, this is a very good question, but be careful what you wish for. Once before a Zamboni Show in Ipswich Mass., a group of Lobstermen were fighting over the one scalper ticket left. After a melee in which not only epithets about their mothers were flying, but also fists and finally severed limbs, four of them were carted away in ambulance while one dissapperaed into clam bog screaming never to be seen again. The show was great, I nailed it, but still, do you want such craziness in front of your theatre each night?
Since time immemorable, man and wo-man have been fascinated with watching the same few things: girl on girl action, babies being juggled, violence of most kinds, sex, cute romantic comedy, and war stories. Basically, every majorly successful form of entertainment falls into one of these.
The View: Girl on Girl.
Bones and or The Office: Cute Romantic (yes I know Michael and Dwight are funny, but we keep watching year after year until Pam and Jim make nasty)
Medea: Babies juggled. Well, killed, but you see my point.
Great Zamboni: All combined plus abs of steel.
So you want to sell out every show? Your choice is either to pander incessently to these base yet indomitable hungers (the Roman Gladiator shows sold always quite well) Or you can sell your soul to the Devil like I did. This last option working out for me so far, since I am able to do what my life calling is, help people with my wisdom all over Earth, but of course one day this fiend will collect my soul and then sucks to be me. So I assume you’ll take the former notion.
Pander! As the saying goes, man needs only two things, bread and circus games. Give him the circus games! Cirque de Soleil has discovered way to sell out every of their 569 simultaneous shows in every corner of globe: small women who tie themselves in knots, clown who show us our fears, and giants who just look funny. They find every genius who can make us laugh, sigh and gasp, then work them to death in Las Vegas. Is not pretty business, but as the song says, “there’s no business….”
But your words say you wish to achieve “some measure” of same success. What is “some”? Can you be “some” pregnant? Either you wish or no, eh? My Estonian grandfather had a saying, “you want a goose for dinner, don’t hunt for meerkat”. First you must really ask yourself if what you want is to please and sell tickets, or make Art you believe in. Can you do both? Well, the Romans believed in having men fight to the death, three shows daily. Do you?
The greatest theatres of this millenia, Shakespeare’s The Kings men, Moscow Art, The Group, none lasted more than a decade or two in peak power. And yours is greater than these? Perhaps. The question is not “can I” sell out, but “should I?” Ruminate over this at length, and if, after long ponderbation, you answer yourself with “YES!” Then I suggest you find two very pretty girls, photo nude for publicity, and have an ending where true love overcomes obstacles, such as war, and your test audience makes sounds at end like, “no..ahhhh!...awwww.”