Recently I have been trying my best to push the promotional side of the ABC Tour. I am not very good at this. There seem to be too many variables. I could promote one show a little bit and get a big audience, and then conversely, I promote a show a lot, and get not many people turn up. This is what happened last night.
Last night I performed at Hours Space (http://www.hours-space.com). Hours Space is a stunning little gallery down a hidden cobbled path in the heart of Bristol. As soon as I visited the space, I knew this would be a perfect location for a show. I promoted the show on all of my social media outlets, in various facebook groups that I could think of, and even went one step further and arranged an interview with Bristol 24/7, an online guide to “what's on” in Bristol. Martin from B24/7 did a cracking job at writing an article about the tour. Check out the article here: www.bristol247.com/culture/theatre/juggling-from-a-to-z/ . Also for this particular event, Sophie from Hours Space decided it would be nice to contact a local charity (http://borderlands.uk.com) so that people could give donations. This would also work as a double whammy because we hoped to drum up a crowd from the charities social circles
Once I had set everything up, the gallery looked fantastic.
I was really excited for the show. The closer the clock ticked to show time, it was becoming apparent that people weren’t going to to be flooding through the doors. By the time it got to show time, we had 11 people in the crowd. Now, the 11 people we had were exceptional, I’m not taking that away from them. But I really wished we’d had a few more. Of the 11 people, I knew 9 of them. There was enough people in the audience for me to remember all of their names! I am going to be honest and say that I came away from the experience a little deflated. However that hasn't stopped me before and it sure as Duke of Heckington isn't going to stop me this time. When I thought of doing this tour, I knew there would be some shows that were slightly tougher than others, and rather than covering it from the public’s eyes with a show bizzy cloth, I feel like it is good to be honest as to the highs and lows of this particular tour. Things I have learnt from this show:
1. More advertising of the same kind (social media) doesn’t necessarily mean more people will see it.
2. Saturday night is maybe not the best night to do a show like this.
3. Getting an article in Bristol’s number one what’s on guide doesn't necessarily guarantee a following.
4. Getting a charity on board will not neccassirly mean you will get more of a crowd.
Big thanks to Nigel and Sophie for letting me use their wonderful gallery. Unfortunately they could be at the show.
Thank-you to Aaron for kindly agreeing to come along and take some photos.
And finally, thank-you to my small but delightful, kind, encouraging, and beautiful crowd. Anton (thanks for filming), Angie, Merlin, Annabelle, the flamboyantly delightful man who's name I can't remember (really sorry!), Chris and Fran (from Borderlands), Martin (from B24/7) and his daughter, Maxine and Helen (Maxine’s friend. Sorry if I got the name wrong! I’m sure it was Helen!).
If anyone has any tips on how I can promote this better tour more efficiently, or have any tips or ideas at all regarding this tour, please do get in touch. Onwards and upwards!