You Can't Build Shows Off of Friends And Family

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As a producer, I can tell you that I have pretty much seen it all. Not only producing The Looking Glass Revue but other productions around the world that I have been blessed to be part of and have produced. Producing a show and putting “meat in the seats” as I like to call it, is tough. In today’s world, Live Entertainment isn’t what it use to be. You have to compete with Netflix and people not wanting to get out of their house.

I love seeing new shows and creative new ways to put Burlesque out there and on a stage for artists and performers to show their talents. But what I can tell you, I have seen so many shows fizzle because they start off with their first one or two shows sold out and they think they have made it. When you look into your audience and you see nothing but your friends and family you have a serious problem. They will grow tired of coming and supporting your shows. That’s a reality! I know, it’s shocking, they should come and support you all the time, but guess what, they have a life too.

If you’re depending on the “community” to come out to your shows to show support because “they get it”, think again. I can tell you that in all my years producing The Looking Glass Revue, we have never relied on performers or industry professionals to be our bread and butter. If they come out, wonderful, but they aren’t keeping the lights on for us. I never targeted them as my market. I want to rely solely on the merit of the show itself and the talent of performers I wanted to showcase and bring to my stage. I always had a different idea about marketing LGR and the show!

Understanding how to produce and market a successful show that will continue to bring people out consistently is a task. Not an easy one, I might add. Once producers understand that they need to talk with their audience and understand what they want they will be more successful. One thing I see a lot of are performers producing shows that are more worried about pleasing themselves or other performers rather than their audience, an audience that you expect to pay good money to come and see you. Producers need to be in touch and in tune with their audience.

Here are a few tips that I can give you:

  • Evaluate your show/talent and be honest with your audience. Yes I know that may be really hard to understand. From what I’ve heard, Burlesque is a platform for everyone. That’s fine, but make sure you’re honest with your audience about what they are getting. Make sure you are clear in your marketing efforts, from the Facebook Event, the flyer and even your website and ticket link. Don’t deceive your audience, there is never coming back from that in my opinion. Don’t show or steal photos from other shows that do not represent your show. That’s a big ole no no!

  • Have a plan. You can’t start without a plan. No matter what you’re marketing, you need a plan. Make sure you can organize your plan with what works best for you. We all work differently, find what works to keep your plan organized.

  • Know your target audience. You should know what they like, what they don’t like. You should know their demographic but more importantly, you should know how they behave. With the world of social media, behavior trumps everything!

  • Consistency. Your efforts to market your show should be consistent. Don’t post a month out and then we don’t see anything about your show until the day before. Pro Tip: Don’t be spammy though, consistency doesn’t mean be annoying.

  • Find new and clever ways to promote your show and hey, try out a new audience. Don’t just share the poster, share some tidbits about the show, why it’s different, why it’s great! Highlight something about it.

  • Leverage your team. Yep, those people in the show, those people helping, those true long-standing fans of yours. Leverage them. Don’t ask them to just share the flyer or poster on their social, ask them to elaborate on why they are excited about the show. Heck, I’ve even written content for someone that way they just have to copy and paste. Make it easy on your cast and production team. Pro Tip: Make sure when you ask them to share you’re also sharing with them the exact link for tickets. Use Bitly to shorten your URL for them!

  • Analytics. Now you’ve done the work, how does it look? Look at the numbers. That’s from everything, engagement, clicks, ticket sales, etc. You better be looking at numbers.

Bottom line, keep an eye on your audience producers! Learn to build a network that you will be able to grow through time and that will outlast just your friends and family. Produce a killer show and market the hell out of it!

Scopitone, When Camp Was Cool

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Scopitone, consider this technological marvel to be the mother of the music video. Before VJ’s, before you saw the moonwalk and even before video killed the radio star, there was the Scopitone Machine. These boxes of imagination and creativity were popular in Europe during the early 60’s and revolutionized the way audiences consumed music, not only through auditory but through the visual, and boy did it deliver.

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The Scopitone machine was a jukebox that used 16mm films and featured campy songs and videos that challenged the boundaries of mid-century decency. Consider it the pathway to the sexual revolution of the late 1960’s. This sexual abandon and its tongue and cheek visuals would soon be the demise of the machines which made their way into restaurants, nightclubs, and theatres in England after it became a staple in Germany, Italy, and France. It seemed that the societal propriety of Britain was not ready for the sexual liberation that was already a part of the continents counterpart culture. At the height of its popularity, it produced some of the greatest camp in history. Videos were produced just for the machines which are now fondly called “Scopitones”.  The videos had their own unique style, the cheesier the better and encouraged its creators to wear as little as possible. This was powerful fodder for the masses where media consumption rarely provided such an outlet.

These cinematic masterpieces now have a cult following and have emblazoned artists such as Nancy Sinatra and Julie London into camp history. Scopitone could not be mentioned without the “Queen of the Scopitone” herself, Joi Lansing. Joi was featured in a plethora of videos with hits such as Web of Love and The Silencer; these videos gave viewers an exciting taste of the blond bombshell, with her famous hourglass figure and perfect diction.  She brought glamour and a quiet coolness to the videos and made everyone fall in love. Sadly, Joi passed away in 1972 from breast cancer and never witnessed the enormous contribution she made on early 1960’s culture.

In tribute to these artists and their highly stylized videos, The Looking Glass Revue is in the planning stages of creating an all-new show in honor of the “Scopitone”. This show is scheduled to lift off in Jun 2018. The show will be a fully immersive event and will have plenty of campiness and glamour to go around while paying homage to the artists who made these cinema snippet gems a must see.

Stay tuned for all the details and you can get tickets for this show HERE.

Spring and Summer is Heating Up

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The Looking Glass Revue and its cast of talented performers are preparing for our upcoming 2018 Spring/Summer Season. We have some very special announcements and shows in the works and cannot wait to tease and tempt you all!

Our Mika Romantic has a body movement workshop on March 11th at Inner Strength Fitness Studio. Her last class was sold out, so if you have ever thought about learning from an award-winning performer, here’s your chance.

At the end of March, we’ll be lighting up Allentown with our Tribute to Classic Rock Show at the Allentown Brew Works. This show is shaping up to be another sold out event!

As we race into April…. We are adding a new venue to our rotation and are thrilled to introduce a whole new audience to the very best of Classic Burlesque in the Lehigh Valley at the Maingate on April 13th with our Dames and Darlings Show.

We’re heading out on the road at the end of April where we are off to Vegas to support our Artistic Director and Choreographer; Burlesque Queen, Mika Romantic as she takes the stage at the Orleans Hotel for the Viva Las Vegas Burlesque Competition. We then scoot on over to California for some much-needed downtime while Mika will make a few appearances and performances and Kate takes business meetings. Stay tuned for a list of shows on the West Coast where you can catch Mika bumping and grinding!

On deck, for May we are getting back to basics and squeezing in some Classic Shows at our resident venues in the Lehigh Valley and Harrisburg. The middle of May has us jet-setting over to the South of France where we will bask in the sunshine and Mediterranean breezes during the Cannes Film Festival. We have private event performances lined up and plan to walk a few red carpets while taking in selected films from around the world.

We have a busy spring in front of us, and look forward to these incredible opportunities! As the summer heats up we have a slew of new shows planned and even talks of a 1940’s USO tribute show.

The Looking Glass Revue is proud to have brought you the only professional burlesque experience in the Lehigh Valley for the last 5 years and we could not do any of this without your support, we thank each and every one of you who has bought a ticket and cheered us on with your hoots and whistles!

Keep a lookout for new promo pictures of our entire cast and your chance to get some LGR swag and merchandise. As always check out our event page on Facebook for upcoming shows and click on our website to purchase advance tickets and learn more about our dedicated team of artists.

Shimmies and Shakes, The Looking Glass Revue- Where Starlets Reign Supreme