Find the thing that sets you apart and makes you unique and figure out how to communicate that to people who can help your show happen!
We receive TONS of inquiries about how to gain the attention of a producer.
So I asked a few producers to share their expertise and offer tips and suggestions in crowdfunding, connecting with writers, avoiding mistakes, self-producing, and other burning questions…
The first producer on the hot seat is Jennifer Tepper, producer of Be More Chill and programming director of Feinsteins/54Below.
How do you feel about Crowdfunding projects?
Jennifer Tepper: Crowdfunding is great! I love that a large group of people can all have a part in making something happen. I also love that projects that couldn’t happen otherwise, can happen because of the support of an army of people on the internet.
How do you prefer to first connect with a writer?
Jennifer Tepper: The only way at the moment that I have the capacity to connect with writers is if they are interested in presenting their work at Feinstein’s/54 Below. So the best way for me to connect with them about that is if they send me an email that is really clear about what they’d like to do!
What are the biggest mistakes you see writers make when trying to push their show forward?
Jennifer Tepper: It’s important to balance promoting your work on the internet with being a real person on the internet. It’s also important to balance meeting people in real life who can be helpful to moving your show forward with just reaching out to them via email and online platforms.
- Have calling card songs and a calling card show that you feel proud of and can immediately send to any theatre, person, award program, etc. who may be interested.
- Present your work publicly regularly no matter where it is.
- Have work on Youtube for when someone searches there for you, and make sure it’s performances you’re proud of!
- Stay true to what you think your show is—don’t mold it to be something you think can be more easily sold to others.
Do producers typically have a preference on cast size?
Jennifer Tepper: Every producer I’ve ever known has just wanted the cast size to be correct for that particular show.
What typically is the first thing that attracts you to a show?
Jennifer Tepper: I like shows that I feel like are about real people, and shows with scores that sound unique.
Do you encourage writers to self-produce?
Jennifer Tepper: I think it completely depends on the situation! But in general, if a writer has the capacity to make their show happen, they should!
Do you accept invitations to readings?
Jennifer Tepper: I used to, but I haven’t actually had time to attend any reading I wasn’t working on in the last year or so. (I’ve also only had time to attend about a third of the shows I have in any other year I’ve spent in NYC! Crazy times!)
Do you have any preferences or opinions on adaptations vs. jukebox musicals vs. original musicals?
Jennifer Tepper: I think there are incredible musicals that fall into all 3 categories. That said, I hope we can always make space for as many original musicals as possible on and off Broadway, and I hope audiences embrace those (because that’s really what affects what’s being produced), but I do think there’s room for all genres.
Any other tips and suggestions you have on getting a producer’s attention?
Jennifer Tepper: Find the thing that sets you apart and makes you unique and figure out how to communicate that to people who can help your show happen!
Special thanks to Jennifer Tepper for taking the time to share her insights and tips, and for her enthusiastic support of our site!
I would be glad to answer these questions! And obviously happy to do so. 🙂 Your site is awesome!
Jennifer Ashley Tepper is currently producing the new Broadway musical Be More Chill, which opened on Broadway in March following a sold-out off-Broadway run. She is also the Creative and Programming Director at Feinstein’s/54 Below, and the author of The Untold Stories of Broadway book series. She is the creator of The Jonathan Larson Project and historian consultant on the upcoming film version of tick, tick…BOOM! This summer, she is producing a brand new Joe Iconis musical, Broadway Bounty Hunter, starring Annie Golden. Read more about Jennifer at www.jenniferashleytepper.com.