So it is almost the silly season again. So called because we get silly, right? Perhaps then it might be more appropriate to just call the whole year that then? “‘Cause people can be so silly if you give them time…” Case in point: we have a show running at Artscape from November 9 (some free advertising – I am sure you don’t mind – since we are practically sold out anyway).
The point: it is one of those shows that sell itself out to community organisations and the like. It all starts way back in February already. Then, when October/ November hits and there are virtually no tickets left, people furiously start looking for tickets. Happens every year, without fail! Thing is, when one asks some of them about tickets for the show in June-ish or thereabouts, their answers are always – ask me nearer the time.
And, as understandable as that is, since you may have other plans by November, I don’t always get it. When overseas acts come to our shores, these very people not only mind spending ten or 20 times the asking price but also buy their tickets waaaayyyyy in advance, often boasting that they already have their “golden circle” tickets; often because of a fear that the show might be sold out. Again, I have no problem with that but then don’t be too surprised when I tell you that our little ol’ show is also sold out…
And since I have been doing this for a number of years now I am able to discern very well between those that are diligent about their tickets for our annual sojourn at Artscape and those that I call the “last minute.coms”.
My favourite is when someone – at this point, after we had worked our behinds off to make the production as successful as possible – comes along and says we need to extend it. And some of them genuinely mean it when they say we should really do more of these shows through the year, and then would recant when I explain how much hard work goes into it, especially the selling of tickets, and how we prefer only “taxing” our loyal patrons once a year. Let me not even get started on the complimentary ticket seekers. My blood pressure needs stability during this trying time, thank you very much.
But, my ultimate favourite is when, after someone had seen the show, comes to us and says: “You know who would now really like this show, is my mommy!” But we now didn’t buy her a ticket man. Can’t you do one more show?” And they mean it, 100% seriously. I respond very politely, but below is what I really would have liked to say:
“Yes, of course we would love to do one more show in the Opera House (with a capacity of 1545 seats) just for your mom. In fact, there is a production already booked to get in the day after we move out, but I am sure they won’t mind. The people that booked for that sold-out show can, I am sure, each be contacted and notice issued to all their 1545 audience members of the cancelled show.
And, the 50-odd people who work on our production – cast and crew, I am sure, will not mind shifting the engagements they have after the finale of our show – especially the ones that have day jobs. I am sure if we ask their employers very nicely to give them some more time off, they too will understand. I mean, it is after all your mom that missed the show. And of course, the rates we pay per day for the band, their instruments and the ‘per day’ venue hire fee etc etc. also should be available again, I am sure.
After all, it is your mommy we are talking about here…and she, along with the four family members you promise to bring will make the Opera House look quite full. Tired? For your mom we are never too tired. This is a high-energy tribute to the 1970s and 80s: the disco days of HIGH ENERGY. No, what do you mean, tired? Doing seven shows over five days is an absolute breeze, really!”
But, I keep all of the above inside, smiling and explaining why we can’t extend the run, and that perhaps they should bring her along the following year. For now, a huge, humble thank you to all who so generously support us, and who so generously support the organisations who support us…