The funny thing is, when I opened this little company over 14 years ago with much less experience and even less money, it didn't even occur to be that perhaps I was a tad too naive. I was too busy romanticizing the whole "theatre ownership" thing to remember that I had no idea on how to balance my checkbook, let alone a business budget. I had the desire and the artistic talent, but was so unbelievably green when it came to what it would take to be an entrepreneur in the Performing Arts. I look back at that younger version of myself...so cheerful and positive and clueless, and I want to scream at her, "RUN! RUN! It's not too late to be an attorney! Go back to college! RUN!".But since I can't do that, I CAN put together a little list of things I wouldn't do if I had it to do all over again. And if you are reading this looking for tips to start your own theatre...may the muses be gentle and kind and bring you many happy memories and people to share them with, because they certainly are not going to make you rich with cash. But perhaps, if you are lucky and blessed, you will be rich with wonderful experiences.
Ten things NOT to do when running a small theatre:
- Do NOT assume you must do it all by yourself because everyone is a moron.
- Do NOT neglect your books/budget/money.
- Do NOT believe that only expensive musicals will make you money.
- Do NOT assume that you can ever take a break from promoting your company.
- Do NOT forget to write down the rules of your company.
- Do NOT forget to follow your own rules.
- Do NOT cry.
- Do NOT break your word.
- Do NOT be afraid to let go.
- Do NOT believe everything you read about owning a theatre.
"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them". - (William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night Act II, Scene V).