Tuesday, February 8, 2011


"The only difference between a rich person and poor person is how they use their time" ~Robert Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad)

I would say that applies to wealth and truly any other project worth your time. This week I am doing a reading of a new musical at the York Theatre in NYC (with Matt Castle, one of my fav “Company” cast mates) so I am budgeting my time differently so that I can get things accomplished.

Since this blog is a way for me to stay accountable and to share the process with you, in case you ever attempt something big that is a little outside of your comfort zone, here is my progress this week.

I did speak with a nice lady at the Economic Development office in Stamford. She asked me to write up exactly what we were looking for in a space and some details about our project. The more details the better.

I sent my first attempt to a businessman friend who I know will tell it to me like it is. He did.  I am so used to writing like I speak, that is how my proposal sounded.  But he was right in telling me that it seemed very ‘beginner’.   So I sent it to my favorite editor, Dad, and he tweaked it a bit for me.  He knows my “voice” and was also my editor for my “Company” stories (http://www.broadwayworld.com/  search under “actorquest”)

After he made some corrections, I emailed it to Sue Gilad (http://www.suegilad.com/) author of The Real Estate Millionaire and Proof Reading for Dummies.  Also a business partner of mine.  She sent me back some more tweaks as well.  

Below is what I sent to the economic development office lady, who promised to get it to the right department.  In case you ever have to write something like this for a project of your own you can see what we did.

Ps and thank you Randy West (director and businessman extraordinaire) for answering so many questions and sending me emails  about how you founded your theatre.  I am blessed to have so many great connections and friends helping me along the way.  Thanks Anita for reminding me to keep a “Gratitude Journal” too.

Dear ….,
Thank you for your time today and for your generosity in helping us in Stamford. 
Upon examination of the initiative to revitalize downtown, and after speaking to local business people, we are gravitating toward Stamford in our search for a theater home.  We are impressed with the potential of the film/television work referred to as “Hollywood East” and feel that our professional theatre could become a complement to that work.  

Our proposal for a professional (non profit) theatre: 

1.      Arts.  Many are aware of the contribution of the arts to a local culture.  Our team is comprised of experienced Broadway actors, directors, producers and investors.  I am a professional Broadway actor (20 years’ experience) and would expect to bring only the highest caliber talent to our area.  We intend to partner with other community arts groups in promoting Stamford as the place to be for performing artists, potentially providing job opportunities for the area and bringing more foot traffic to Stamford. A division of our company called “Conquer Entertainment” which specializes in finding and promoting recording artists will contribute as well.

  1. Education/Outreach.  Our team has representatives of state educational institutions who understand the methodology of providing experience not only in the performing arts, but also in marketing such an endeavor.  (I teach at both the University of Hartford and Western Connecticut State, so I naturally consider educational dimensions of my work important.) Since our internet marketing company specializes in social media, it’s an excellent opportunity to involve and provide experience to college marketing and PR departments, at the same time taking advantage of experienced professional as marketing experts, producers and casting directors. Certainly local high schools and other groups could benefit from a relationship with a non-profit group that has a serious and intentional community emphasis.
3.      Non-profit organization experience.  Our company works with over a thousand NPOs nationwide in fundraising. When I was Miss Ohio/ Runner-up to Miss America, my platform issue was exploring opportunities to promote and fundraise for charities.  Since that time, my team has developed The Powerful Image Events and Broadway Babes Cabarets to fund raise for local CT non-profits.  I am on the marketing committee for the United Way in Milford and several of my key associates are actively involved on boards as well. As a non-profit organization, our intention is to set an example of how fundraisers can utilize the Internet while actually assisting other local non-profits raise capital. 

  1. Internet Marketing.  Our company is partnered with Microsoft and just acquired Shop.com (a Bill Gates-backed company that specializes in Search Engine Optimization. This is also the company that powers Amazon.com). Our leaders are the top in their field for social media and marketing, which means our theatre will be excellent for other arts groups and businesses in the area to grow their utilization of internet marketing.   Our marketing concept is to win supporters when businesses see that we are working with them; teaching them as we garner their support.
The ideal scenario is to decide upon an area that wants to grow, is progressive in their appreciation for the arts, and is willing to explore its connectedness to local businesses. We emphasize cooperation rather than competition.

Our present need is to find a place to call home, one that wants to be known for developing a template, with our assistance, that can be a model to other arts groups on how to work in a community not only for cultural development, but also business and non-profit development.   At this point we are looking for a town-owned property that might already have a stage, such as a school that might be closed, or a space that could be developed into a theatre, approximately three hundred to five hundred seats.  Our marketing plan describes ideas that go beyond merely bringing an arts emphasis to a community.  We are thinking in broad-spectrum terms in providing very hands-on management and guidance.

Breaking the Fifth Wall 
An Innovative Theatre Company
Actors are familiar with the idea of breaking through the fourth wall, the invisible barrier between stage and audience. The New Paradigm Theatre Company seeks to take “audience participation” to a new level by a commitment to dramatic excellence while empowering the supporting community in each project. Often the close of a play or musical is the end, something to critique or remember. The New Paradigm Theatre Company’s mission is to explore ways of engaging the community (formerly known as the audience) in all facets of a drama so that they live inside the story, not just as viewers or listeners. Breaking down this fifth wall is an unusual attempt to let performance art become participatory in a deeply collaborative partnership with the local community.

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