Category Archives: Darnelle Radford

Updates: The Business of Broadway – May 2017

Tony! Tony! Tony! Tonys!

Yup, it’s Tonys season! Any moment now, we will find out the nominees for the 71st Annual Tony Awards. This year’s host will be Kevin Spacey. We have some updates for Chapter 6 along with a map showing you where The Tonys matter the most in the U.S. Hint: It’s what you thought!

http://www.justlearnsomething.us/updates-the-business-of-broadway-may-2017/

 

What shows are you looking forward to seeing? Enter another question here!

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Filed under 2017, Darnelle Radford, Just Learn Something, Mitch Weiss, The Business of Broadway, Updates

Updates: The Business of Broadway – January 2017

2017…You better work!! I mean, what a year 2016 was! Though, the theatre community is always optimistic and we continue to create dynamic and thought-provoking work that ignites a hunger for what is next. So, with that, we have a few updates and we are looking forward to 2017 and all our community has to offer!

 

Updates: January 2017

 

What shows are you looking forward to seeing? Enter another question here!

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Filed under 2016, Darnelle Radford, Just Learn Something, Mitch Weiss, The Business of Broadway, Updates

Updates: The Business of Broadway – December 2016

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2016 has had some ups and downs. Many cannot wait for this year to end. Many are uncertain what the new year will bring. As long as we have creative people whose talents shine through, we know we will be alright. With that, we have a few updates for this month. Get out there and see a show! Happy Holidays to all!!

 

Updates: December 2016

What shows are you looking forward to seeing? Did you get to see Hamilton yet? (Always a valid question) Enter another question here!

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Filed under 2016, Darnelle Radford, Just Learn Something, Mitch Weiss, The Business of Broadway, Updates

Updates: The Business of Broadway – September 2016

This month, we focus on the changes at ATPAM (Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers) and as the summer comes to an end, new productions open on Broadway. Also, a list of the current Tony 2017 eligible productions.

Updates: September 2016

What shows did you see on Broadway this summer? What shows are you looking forward to seeing this fall? Did you get to see Hamilton yet (We got a backstage tour!)? Enter another question here!

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Filed under 2016, Darnelle Radford, Just Learn Something, The Business of Broadway, Updates

UPDATES: THE BUSINESS OF BROADWAY – JUNE 2016

Tony, Tony, Tony…HAMILTON!!

Let’s be real, HAMILTON is a juggernaut! The Tonys will no doubt be dominated by the brilliant ensemble that is behind the ground-breaking musical. We talk about new musicals that are leaving broadway and more about HAMILTON.

 

Here’s the update for June 2016!

UPDATES: JUNE 2016

 

What shows did you see on Broadway? What shows are you looking forward to seeing in the new year? Who got to wear the gypsy robe last year? Enter another question here!

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Filed under 2016, Darnelle Radford, Just Learn Something, The Business of Broadway, Updates

Mitch Weiss on REP RADIO!

Today, REP RADIO released the first part of an interview with Mitch Weiss talking about his time on the Great White Way and the new book, “The Business of Broadway” penned by himself and Perri Gaffney. The interview dives into Mitch’s history and give us an insider’s look at the many great organizations his experience is built on. Tune In!

The Business of Broadway

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Filed under 2015, Darnelle Radford, Just Learn Something, Mitch Weiss, The Business of Broadway

READY FOR ME?

Some days I wake up, beautiful sunny day. I’m ready for the world. I’ve got an early start and I’m armed with all that I know from the many jobs I’ve had and the experiences I have lived. I grab the three essentials, phone, wallet and keys. I close the door to my apartment, walk down the stairs, walk out of the front door and I forgot one thing. Quick mental check of the essentials…I forgot to ask whether the world was ready for me? I pause, I say to myself “Is the world ready for me?”

Have you ever asked the world this question? Is it even prepared for what I’m about to bring to it? Has anything I have learned or experienced assisted in devising a delivery system for the world to receive? I can think back on many situations where I would say, “I am too much for this room.” I’ve sat in staff meetings and board meetings, quietly observing the process. After a while, it becomes clear that I have not chimed in on anything. I am asked to speak and what I have to say is so simple yet, so far over the head of all that are present.

I do not say this to present any sort of conceit, usually, the room is filled with people who skills I admire. But, I often have a hard time understanding why the simplest approach is not the first option when planning. I can remember a staff meeting for a theatre company I use to work for where the topic of discussion was how to raise awareness for organization. At the time, I ran the box office. I reported to the director of marketing. I rode the bus to work. I noticed that while the bus stopped directly in front of this iconic theater, the announcement was for the street and no significant landmark.

So, I ask, “Is there a way to get the transit authority to announce the theater when it stops at the corner?” There was no answer. It was like this was the first time this suggestion had ever been presented. Did I mention that the organization had a member of the transit authority on their board of directors? Why did this leave the table dumbfounded? It seemed like a simple yet, obvious way to raise awareness. This was not the first idea I presented in my lowly position at the entrance of the building.

Later, I would come in with a 10 – point marketing plan to raise awareness using the resources of the organization that were already in play. Suggestions like creating a dance troupe out of the students learning dance that would participate in parades around the city. Another suggestion was to take the students learning to sing and create a choir that would perform on the stage as a fundraiser. After I presented all 10 points, the only question that came up was, “Where did you go to school?”

Needless to say, none of these ideas were researched or even implemented. Shortly after this meeting, the organization laid off most of the staff and I was out of a job. I am often told to slow down. For some reason, there is no real urgency in the organizations I tend to work for. In this case, I was ready for the world but, the world was not ready for me. Many people my age tend to feel this way about organizations that are so set in their way.

When new people enter an organization, they tend to shake things up. If the leader of the pack is not interested in trying new things, their talent is wasted. The only organizations I have worked for that met my pace were organizations that had no structure and hired me to create one. Even though I felt under-qualified, my ideas were fresh and on the ground floor. That is why I became a consultant.

Now, I walk into every organization with the mindset of seeking out what is wrong and I immediately get to work on solutions of change. This presents a challenge as you may have guessed. No one wants to be told what to do, let alone from someone who is fresh off the line. This goes the same for many who have just graduated from great institutions where the most dynamic instructors have empowered them with high standards to be unleashed on a world that is not ready. It seems like, once you step out into the real world, you must lower your standards in order to fit in unless you plan to run your own company.

If this is the case, why are the standards listed in job postings so high to begin with? Why are we asking for a level we are not ready to reach? We are wasting talent, keeping brilliant people down in roles that do not challenge them and ultimately frustrate until they either conform or leave with a sour taste in their mouths. Why can’t we just keep it simple? If you just want a placeholder, simply say that so the dreamers can go off and seek out a challenge! Who writes these job postings anyway, don’t answer that.

The goal is to find the balance. Sure, we want to learn as much as we can but, unfortunately, the world is an hypocrisy. It claims to move at a fast pace, as so many job postings claim but, it is set in a way and too many things have to happen in order to effect change. The millennial generation wants to “move your cheese”. They are ready to help you find new sources of cheese. While I am technically not a millennial, I embody the spirit.

One day, the world will catch up and be as fearless as the artist who has a message to deliver. Infuse us into you work force and let’s speed up this process right now! I’m ready, are you?

  • Darnelle

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Filed under 2014, Darnelle Radford

WHAT’S THE RUSH?

WHAT’S THE RUSH?

I am a creative artist, that is the rush. I do not know any artist who is not in a constant race against time. Whether we are trying to meet unrealistic deadlines or just trying to document a good idea brought to life through a dream, there is a sense of urgency that has nothing to do with money. If you are like me, you probably have notes everywhere. Ideas in little notebooks that leaped off the shelves of some bookstore and told you to buy them or you may be more tech savvy these days using systems designed to keep your notes wherever you are, in front of whatever piece of technology may be occupying your brain and protecting you from the real world.

The rush is urgency. We have a need to be heard. This may come from childhood. We may have been ignored or the class clown at some point. We grew up and realized that we could use our powers for good. So, we transitioned into a more structured way of getting attention. You may have a blog, you may be killer on social media, you may be an obsessive with texting. However, you may also realize that your message tends to fall on deaf ears.

When I graduated high school, I walked away from 7 after school activities including Drama Club, Poetry Club, Marching Band, Choir, Cross Country, Tennis (short-lived) and I was the school mascot. The closest I wanted to be to a book was a play script or sheet music. I had so much energy that I didn’t know what to do once I graduated. I didn’t receive much guidance from the counselors at school about post-graduation. That was 1998. I ended up going to a community college (13th grade) in 1999.

Here, I fell into the same routine at college only, I joined the Performing Arts Club, the literary magazine, the Student Government Association and I formed a poetry group. Even though I had a full calendar of classes and activities, I also had two jobs. I attended this college for one year until I transferred to the Art Institute of Philadelphia in 2000. Here, I studied web design. Whenever someone asked me what I planned to do when I graduated, I would say, “I’m going back to school for theater”. Why couldn’t this be my path from the beginning?

I have always known what I wanted to do. If I could rent an apartment in a theater, I would be at home. There is something about the lighting and the stage the makes me feel at home. However, due to years of being miss-guided, I would stand “outside” of the theater in an attempt to make it work in so many other jobs that left me unfulfilled at the end of the day.

In fact, the only time I felt complete in my life was when I was coming home late from a rehearsal thinking “how will I find the money to produce this show” in my head along with the blocking notes from that rehearsal. Of course I also needed to figure out the press release which should go out in the morning to a make-shift mailing list of the publications that came off the top of my head. This is what happens when a dream is deferred, you play catch up!

The rush was the fact that life had led me down so many roads in search of a shortcut to the only place I ever wanted to be. I was making up for lost time. All of the money spent on a degree program that was not a good fit, the four colleges I went to just to seek the validation the world so needs you to have. The rush for me is the long game. Instead of stepping back to take the path I wanted all along, I decided to sprint forward and compile all of the experiences I missed.

My bookshelves are filled with theater books, scripts, playbills and stories. When I wake up in the morning, they are the first things I see. So, why do I keep following the world to jobs that are so far from the source material? Why did I allow so many things to stand in my way? I sometimes wish that someone had encouraged me to pursue my dreams and take the path towards theater when I graduated high school. Instead, the world told me to “fall back” on something more secure.

Little did they know, the “fall back” would only be a setback. So, what’s the rush? I’m making up for lost time. And, though I am a young 34, I still feel like I missed the boat and I have to swim across to catch up. This rush is my drive. It’s why I do what I do. It’s why I need to ensure other people that may be stuck in similar situations that supporting your dreams will secure your future in reality.

Present, I now have NYU credit. Did I need it? For myself, I have already discovered my path. I know what I want to do with my life. Now, I have to convince the rest of the world that I am capable of doing this, or do I? Will it actually make a difference? Whenever you ask someone what the benefits of secondary education were, “Networking” is always at the top of the list.

My social networks were not compiled by hanging out on college campuses…well, not completely. I met all of these people along the way. They helped me to define my own validation standards.

So, I’ll buy a new pair of running shoes, lace them up tight and get ready. I’ll rest when I’m dead and I’ll die when I know I have truly lived. Consider myself validated. No more looking back on the past. Now, which way is forward? It’s my choice, my way.

  • Darnelle Radford, Co-Founder

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