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Ben Pratt
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I have a couple theatre venues that are interested in having me do my full stage show. However, They seem to want me to guarantee a certain amount of seats in their theater to make it worth their while as well as mine. My question for everyone is what are some methods in making this happen? Can anyone point me into the right direction?

I do feel like this is a some what broad question, but any help at all would be great appreciated!

Thanks people!
Close.Up.Dave
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If you haven't read it, check out Jim Snack's ebook on doing shows in theaters.

He gives a lot of good info on this subject. And, I think you'll find producing a show in any venue requires a lot of work, patience, and strategy. It might be good to start small with a place that requires a minimal investment (such as a restaurant or hotel banquet room) before jumping to a theater, which may be more expensive and less forgiving.

While I've done a bit of work in this area, I'm sure certain people with more experience will jump in with more extensive info.
curtgunz
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Do a search on the Café for "Four Walling"
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Close.Up.Dave
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Quote:
On 2013-08-06 14:58, curtgunz wrote:
Do a search on the Café for "Four Walling"


On that note, the original post doesn't really specify if the arrangements were aimed at four walling or split door sales. Knowing that would probably lead to more helpful resources.
Mindpro
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No base don their requirements and expectations this is not a Four Wall.
silvercup
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Q. They seem to want me to guarantee a certain amount of seats in their theater to make it worth their while as well as mine. My question for everyone is what are some methods in making this happen?

A. T&A
Ben Pratt
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T&A?
Cliffg37
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Are you suggesting he sell the sexual appeal of a show?
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Eldon
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This is just a thought. Depending on the size of the venue, could you sell tickets before you sign a contract? Approach your friends, family and fans and have them commit to buying tickets. If you get enough, go for it.
Ben Pratt
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That may just be crazy enough to work! Ya never know right?
Al Angello
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Get a church to sponsor you and split the house with them.
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Dannydoyle
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I know. And they are not going to issue tickets without a contract.

They want to cover themselves. It is that simple.

This is sort of a four wall. If the first $ X goes to them and you keep the rest. But it is a pretty non specific question. Do they charge you if you don't hit the mark? Do they help sell or advertise? Do they get a percentage after the goal is reached? Can you point to other success in this sort of situation?

Is your show selling to anyone but your family? All these and many many more questions need to be answered.
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Ben Pratt
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They can do all of that stuff, for a price of course.
Mindpro
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Guaranteeing a certain amount of ticket sales is nearly the same as paying venue rentals. They are simply wanting a guaranteed income from you an your production and doing business with you. This should be seen as the first step in a negotiation. What do you get in return for this guarantee? There are things I would require in exchange for this. In reality if you can guarantee a specific amount of ticket sales per show, you can virtually go anywhere and self produce a show.

What if you don't reach this guarantee? This is not a deal in your favor.

In a four wall you rent the venue and the remainder is up to you - promotion, ticket sales, staffing, production, media, etc. This sounds like it's heading to more of a modified two wall, depending on what they are offering you. I'm guessing they are still providing their own staffing and crew, concessions, ticket booth/sales, etc.

First you must decide if your are going to be producing your own show or your simply looking to get booked by the theater themselves. Two completely different approaches, deals, expectations and means of execution.
sb
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Ben,

It is very possible that the theater may not promote your show at all. And if they do promote you, you may not be happy with thier participation and/or results of thier promotions and ticket sales. This may especially be true after you guarantee them a set number of ticket sales, and that set number of sales gives them the amount of money that they want for an outright theater rental. They basically don't have "any skin in the game" at this point.

Also, (this was stated above in a different way), for an example, lets say they want $500 to rent the theater, and your tickets are $10. They want a 50 ticket guarantee. You sell 50 tickets (and basically give them their %500 rental fee). Then you sell 50 more (for $500 more in ticket revenue). Is the theater expecting a portion of this revenue as well? (maybe they want 50/50 after the guarantee). Is the theater contributing to marketing the show (more than just emailing thier list?) Remember, the theater is also probably hoping to bring in revenue from their concession. This could be a bad deal on your part.

Make sure they are contributing to the marketing efforts, and that they will also sell some tickets. If they are not really contributing anything, it may be better to four wall the event, and pay the rental fee outright, and then you keep the revenue from the additional 50 tickets you sell.

With that said, four walling can be risky! You take on all the risk yourself. And if you don't know what you are doing, and the costs are too high, you could be setting yourself up for failure.

Just be sure to really look at the deal the theater is giving you, to make sure there is not a better way to negotiate the deal.

In your last post, you said they can do all of this for a price. If that is sorta what they actually said, then it does not sound good for you.
sb
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Ben,

Sorry about the long post above... now to actually give you an answer to your original question.

(we have no idea about how many tickets they want you to sell, so this answer may me too much, or not enough)

1. your family and friends
2. contact your facebook fans
3. sell group tickets to groups (ie. scouts, social clubs, schools, churches, senior centers)
4. partner with a group(s) to help sell tickets for you to their family and friends, etc... offer them a portion of the ticket revenue. (its a fundraiser for them)
5. group tickets to a local magic club
6. press releases to the papers, and radio stations, and tv
7. ticket sales/advertising space in a program to local businesses


Just remember to make sure all this work is worth it. If you do 100% of the work, then spliting all this revenue with the theater after the guarantee is possibly not a good deal for you. If you are doing everything, then consider renting the theater outright. (btw, I am actually usually not a fan of four walling. There is too much risk, and too many variables)
Ben Pratt
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Thank you kindly sb! This is the kind of stuff that I need to hear! I just want to make sure that I check everything out before I make the right move.
Mindpro
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I think you'd get more direct and helpful answers if you better explained the situation with some details. If you truly did not know the 7 points sb outlined in his post, you really aren't ready for this type of deal or arrangement. No offense meant here, just stating a realistic point.
sb
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That is a really good point
magicofCurtis
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If you are splitting the cost with the house- it is consider two walling.

Four walling is when you are renting the theater and covering all the cost

Basically, if they are requiring a certain amount of ticket sold- this is basically a rental fee. lol Or they might cancel the program if that number isn't met.


Cheers
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