Friday, May 22, 2009

Learning about advertising…again

People always complain about advertising, or at least most of the people I know. “Do we really need to be assaulted by Viagra ads on TV, in magazines AND through email spam?” goes the common refrain…

But then, every once in a while, something comes around that makes you say, “well, I wish someone had told me about that!” Every theater pro has probably heard the phrase from a patron before, “I didn’t know that they did theater [like this] or [this good] or [in this location] until I heard about this production.” In many of the non-profit endeavors I’ve been involved in over the years, the realization has always dawned slowly but surely that in terms of actually getting on people’s radars, it is nearly impossible to do too much advertising.

Which is all a lead-up to yesterday’s revelation for me: who knew Patti Lupone was coming to town? OK, technically she’s not coming to Richmond, she’ll be in Williamsburg (on Sunday, two shows, details at:, but still, that’s really just right up the street. I wouldn’t have known about it if I hadn’t seen her chipper mug smiling up at me from the free magazine racks next to Style at Pleasant’s Hardware. She’s featured in FiftyPlus magazine, a mag that my denial about the ongoing creep of time pretty much demands that I ignore most of the time (note to FiftyPlus: it’s pretty lame to list a website address on your magazine cover that points to an “Under Construction” page. Just sayin’…).

But if Patti’s bright pink outfit hadn’t caught my eye, I’d be in ignorant bliss now. Instead, I’m thinking about how impossible it would be for me to see either of her shows and concerned about potential low turnout to her show, which would be a deterrent to other artists coming to the area in the future at times when I actually could see them. If only I had known about it a few weeks ago…

And so to offer my tiny little bit of advertising assistance to a new venture, I’ll mention that the Night Light Collective is holding auditions at Pine Camp tomorrow for the show “Aloha! Say the Pretty Girls” that they will be running the weekend of July 24-26. From what I saw, they are planning to pay their actors, technically making them a pro theater company. The more the merrier!


Thespis' Little Helper said...

I'm going! So excited!

Maybe will relive my experience of jumping out of my seat as I hear a voice walking right by me barking "Sing out, Louise!"

She was walking right by my right elbow!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful news about NLC! Let's hear it for this group upping the ante. Best wishes and many congrats to all involved.

Angela said...

Thanks for picking up Fifty Plus, Dave. I know the editor very well... oh, okay, I am the editor.

(Two points of clarification: 1. We don't sell copy space in the magazine; the Virginia Arts Festival did not pay for coverage. 2. The website is--knock on wood--almost back to normal. A switch in hosts went horribly wrong and our webmaster has had an aggravating week trying to get things straightened out.)

You know, the interesting thing about the Virginia Arts Festival is that more than a handful of the acts have been to Richmond--or are from Richmond. Also--though I'm not sure they're related--I got the impression that the Festival organizers focused their advertising/publicity efforts farther afield, so as to attract visitors who would stay for 2 or 3 days in hotels and spend more dollars in the region.

But your point about advertising is absolutely true. And, as you've mentioned before, simple publicity doesn't even take dollars so much as preparedness. We use more photos from Barksdale in our magazine NOT because they're an advertiser but because they're one of the few places in town (and I'm including anybody who puts on any kind of event) that sends high-quality, high-res photos, before deadline, with complete caption and credit info, without me having to make any phone calls.