On April 16, 2016 we were graced with inspired insights from Broadway producer Eric Falkenstein. Falkenstein began with his story and how working as a lawyer on many pro bono cases, inspired him to want to use creatives to help raise consciousness off these stories. He explained the importance of the idea and the issue being explored. From there he walked us through a very detailed process of being a lead producer. He explained the role of the producer, the importance of being straight forward with your investors, how to lay out the positives and negatives of a production without underplaying either one, when and why you need to be assertive as a producer, and finally how being a diplomat will save you. While budget is a major part of the process, there is so much more a producer does. Falkenstein will put in 50 – 80 hours a week.
Falkenstein discussed many insights he had that may be helpful to the actors in the room. He encouraged any actor who feels they are not getting the parts they want, to seek out scripts, and produce works for themselves. It starts with the script, then reaching out to people you know who can help fund the project. We all have people around us who can help. He was sure to highlight the importance of listening to those around you, and making sure you are right for the role you cast yourself in. As helpful as producing your own work can be, it can also be destructive if you are not in it for the right reasons. Falkenstein was sure to remind the room that critics are a big part of the theatre world, and you must be aware of their role.
Falkenstein shared many great anecdotes from his years working on Broadway and in the theatre world. To him the rehearsal and workshop process is vital, helpful and a beautiful part of the theatre world specifically. If Falkenstein learnt anything at all that could help everyone it was this: “if people find themselves thinking about the glamour, rather than the hard work, the triumphs, and the losses and missed opportunities, then they can set themselves up to be disappointed. It’s about the inner drive.”