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The Your Ladders Blog

There are a lot of things to think about when you're navigating a performing arts path. These blog topics will help.

Your Marketing Story

When you think about marketing, think beyond the transactional “this will help me sell tickets” or “this will help me raise money” reasons for marketing. That is part of marketing, of course. But marketing encompasses many things, and today I’d like you to remind you how to use marketing to tell your story. The story of you as a producer, or as a company, which are as important as the work you are producing. Here are some of the areas where you should make sure you are telling a consistent story.

Do you have an “About Us” page on your website? On your Facebook page? What does your Instagram profile say? Take advantage of those opportunities to let folks know how to reach you, what your origin story is, and what they should expect of you.

Your unique value statement is what audiences expect of you. Here’s a link to a “5 Arts Thoughts” video I did about Unique Value Statements. This is different than a mission statement,...

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The Business of Preparing for Your Audition


Years ago one of my mentors taught me a great phrase. Instead of telling someone they weren't doing well, tell them that there was something getting in the way of their success, and it needed to be addressed. After years of sitting behind the desk, checking folks in for auditions, I saw enough things that got in folks way of having a good audition that I decided to address them.

My goal was to create a short video to help performers get ready for the administrative side of their auditions. But then the video got longer, and I realized I needed to create a checklist to help. Head over to the Audition Prep page to watch the video and download the free checklist.

I'm not dealing with the artistic side of auditions. I'm dealing with the business side. Make sure you don't have unnecessary obstacles in your path. Your work is too important.

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Be Right About Rights


Last week I read an article on Broadway News that made me think. Musical Theatre International, MTI, had sued a theater company last June because it had come to their attention that the theater company was doing musicals for their summer camp, but hadn’t been paying for the rights. Last week a judge ruled in favor of MTI and awarded them $450,000 in damages.

One of the themes of my teaching and learning is that once you know, you can’t unknow. Today, reading this blog, you know that getting rights to a work is an important part of your path. You may already know it, and have good practices around rights. Or you may be confused about rights, and decide not to deal with them. The second is not a good path.

What are rights? Rights are both the permission to do the work and a payment for that permission. At the core, the permission is crucial. Do you have permission to do the work you are doing? Have you paid for that permission?

Some of you may be thinking that you’re...

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Branding Yourself and Your Work


In addition to being an arts administrator and teacher, I am a published mystery writer. I write three different series, each of which are branded separately. But I realized early on I needed to brand myself as a mystery writer with three different names, so I created a "brand" for myself, JHAuthors

Branding is an important thing for artists to think about. How you approach it can be subtle. It's about managing expectations for folks. Making some branding choices helps folks think about you and your work easily and consistently when they follow you online. This is the beginning of a larger conversation, but a place to start.

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Valuing Your Work

This week's 5 Arts Thoughts is about valuing your work as an artist. So many artists are asked to work for free, for exposure. Money and the arts are a complicated conversation, but an important conversation to have. This video discusses how to place a number on your work, how to work with others to set a value, and what to think about when you're producing work.

Again, this is a complicated conversation, but one worth having.

BTW, this conversation ties into arts advocacy efforts, and how the arts and arts work is valued, or undervalued, in our culture. 

Here's the video:

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Think About Accessibility

When you are producing work, scheduling a rehearsal or audition, sending out casting notices, or looking at spaces, remember to think about accessibility. In this #5ArtsThoughts video I offer five ideas to consider.


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I love A Christmas Carol. In this video, I give you 5 reasons why.

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The Role of Holiday Shows

In the performing arts holiday shows play a particular role in many organization's programming decisions. In this #5ArtsThoughts video I talk about 5 reasons folks do holiday shows.

Check out my In Defense of A Christmas Carol video as well!


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First Thoughts on Raising Money

Money is a huge topic in the arts, and the subject of one of Your Ladders classes.  Remembering that you need to make more money than you spend, here are some thoughts on raising money.

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How to Sell Tickets

I started my career in box office, and know a lot about ticketing. Deciding how you are going to sell your tickets is an important part of your producing path.

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