Happy 2018 everybody!
Like a lot of people, I had a number of ideas for resolutions for the new year. In deciding what I would do differently and better, though, I wanted to be extra mindful to choose goals that also had deeper meaning.
One of those resolutions included being more proactive about sharing information with fellow creative hybrids out there based on my writing and business experience.
In that spirit, I am excited to announce that I am initiating a series called "Tips To Go," which I'll publish here from time to time. TTG will offer quick take aways on topics where I feel I have some worthwhile information to pass along. Because, the truth is, we all have some expertise in one or more things, right? But we get so shortsighted about our skills and experience sometimes, we can forget that the knowledge we've accrued is unique.
For this first installment of TTG, I'd like to pass along a bit of basic insight on how to pursue getting the rights to a published work that is not in the public domain. TTG is about being quick and informative, so I'll always distill my advice down to just 3 digestible and actionable suggestions. In this case, those are:
1. First, and super important -- If you have found your dream source material and you hear a voice in your head saying, "Don't even bother, you'll never get the rights" do NOT listen to that voice! Push through! I heard that voice loud and clear when I decided I wanted to adapt Mad Libs into a kids musical. Had I listened to that voice, I never would have achieved an Off-Broadway production, gotten the show acquired for licensing by a top agency and had a cast album that got picked up by a major record label.
2. Get these books now! I relied on them heavily when pitching my proposal to the Mad Libs publisher to acquire the rights for Mad Libs Live!:
Extra TTG Tip: If you're not already a member of The Dramatists Guild, JOIN! Being part of the Guild will provide you with useful tools, such as sample contract templates, and perhaps even a little legal advice, along with a community of writers, some of whom may also have some useful info to share on this and other topics.
3. Read this article by Seth Bockley about his experiences seeking the rights to adapt copyrighted source material. And here are also some tips on Ken Davenport's blog The Producer's Perspective.
CLOSING TIP: Be prepared to possibly be in this for the (somewhat) long haul, depending on the source material. Acquiring the rights to a property can take time, especially if this is your first time going through the process. You are probably not top of mind for either the estate or the publisher, so be prepared to be persistent and proactive. And also know that the various people you deal with during the process may come and go, so you may encounter setbacks. BUT, if you love the project and are hell-bent on investing the time to make it happen, then it is absolutely worth pursuing!
You will learn as you go no matter what, so I can assure you that it will not be a waste of time, even if you don't achieve your desired results. If it doesn't work out this time, hey, you'll know better for next time, right? But if you can keep the faith, give yourself permission to ask questions and get help where you can, I promise you, you will set yourself up for success in 2018...and beyond!
Now, go get 'em!
And if YOU have additional info on this topic that you'd like to share, please feel free to include it in the comments section.
What a pleasure it was to interview longtime writer pal Matt Hoverman for my latest column for The Clyde Fitch Report. Matt is a writer in children's animated TV and has been for a number of years now. Also an accomplished playwright, Matt has the kind of positive outlook that got him to the successful place he is today, despite facing some tough rejections along the way.
I hope you find him as much of an inspiration as I do!
So proud to have been invited as a writer on this amazing project!
On Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 6pm the Cherry Lane Theatre will host a benefit reading of a brand new full-length play called Aftermath, which was written over the course of a month by 30 writers! All donations go to Puerto Rico hurricane relief. The reading is free. Please donate what you can.
For more details and to make reservations, please click here.
What a pleasure it was to highlight longtime theater world pal and New Georges' fearless artistic director Susan Bernfield in my latest column for the Clyde Fitch Report. In addition to helming New Georges for 25 years, Susan is also an accomplished playwright. Her latest play, Tania in the Getaway Van, is running in rep with two other plays at The Flea through December 16th as part of a temporary consortium that she and two fellow artists created called The Pool. For insight into Susan's background and her latest projects, check out my column here!
Sometimes we don't like labels, but in this case, I couldn't be happier to have a label!
So excited to announce that Mad Libs Live! was just picked up by Broadway Records! Pre-orders are now being taken for the CD, which will be released on December 15, 2017! For details on this announcement, please check out this feature at Theatermania.
It is such an honor to be part of the Broadway Records family. And now I can also say that I got to hang out "next to" Patti LuPone. :)
A couple of exciting advances happened over the past few weeks!
First, I was happy to devote my latest Clyde Fitch Report column to the fabulous new Co-Artistic Directors of the Cherry Lane Theatre, Seri Lawrence and Janio Marrero. This dynamic duo has been working tirelessly at CLT for a number of years now and were the interim artistic leaders this past season. They are now THE artistic leaders, hand-picked by longtime dynamo in her own right, Angelina Fiordellisi, who was the theater's Founding Artistic Director. If you want to to learn more about this great new team over at CLT, please check out my October column here.
Once at the Clyde Fitch Report site, you may notice something feels a liiiiiittle different. That's because the site just received a major upgrade and is now looking pretty darn snazzy, I must say! And keep your eye out for even more little cosmetic improvements in the coming months as the CFR continues to grow and move forward.
It's a pivotal time to be covering topics at the intersection of arts and politics and there's nowhere else I would want to do that than at the CFR, as it continues its mission of reporting on the cultural issues and trends, artists and arts organizations that remind us of the crucial role that the arts play in our society.
Are you in New York City on a Monday night and looking for something to do instead of watching football? Well, you're in luck! Check out my latest feature at Broadway.com where I highlight just some of the Broadway shows that run on Monday night!
I was excited to get the chance to interview accomplished writer/actor and really nice guy John Pollono for my latest Clyde Fitch Report column. John wrote the screenplay for the film Stronger, based on Jeff Bauman's book of the same title, about Bauman's struggles in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing (Bauman lost both of his legs in the attack). Stronger opened in theaters this past Friday. Check out the article here if you'd like to learn about John's career path and what it was like writing the script for this tough and touching subject.
Excited to announce that my comedy, Derek Jeter Makes The Play was selected for Best Medicine Rep's 2017-2018 reading series! The reading will take place on October 8, 2017. Check out BMR's website for details!
Derek Jeter Makes The Play last received a reading in New York City and featured Broadway and TV actress, Sas Goldberg. Check out that press here!
ROBIN'S NEWS & VIEWS!
Recent news and latest updates on my writing and artistic projects. Also check back here for occasional tips and observations on creative writing and theater!
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