S6E12: Thom Britton — The Danger Circus
These are show notes taken from an audio interview.
To listen to the actual interview, please use the player above.
In this interview, Thom Britton talks about building and marketing his three-man theatrical variety-type show, The Danger Circus. He talks marketing, publicity, working with agents, and a great deal of other related topics!
Thom is quite the showman, eating fire, directing plays, producing circus shows, lecturing on science, and studying the history of side shows and freak shows.
He’s been a professional performer for over 26 years with his various shows including:
Freakshow & Tell, his now retired one man show, that combined lecture and performance art, and covered his very personal journey into the world of the circus sideshow.
His current show is The Danger Circus, a three-man circus show that features fire eating, glass walking, knife juggling, dangerous escapes, and a unique blend of illusion and sketch comedy. You’ll be able to catch this show on tour very soon.
Kris’ Recommendation of the Week
Lynda.com: I don’t get any kickback from this, but Lynda.com is a great place to go online if you want to learn how to use professional programs that will help you in your business. We’re talking everything from Photoshop to WordPress, to video editing apps as well. And if that isn’t enough, they even have other business related courses on marketing, SEO, and even reducing the amount of spam you get in your email box every day.
Also, I discovered that if you have a public library card and you log into your library’s online portal (even from home), you might just have access to Lynda.com for free! I don’t know if this is available at all libraries, but it’s definitely worth a look.
If it were easy, everyone would do it. — every juggler ever!
The Danger Circus
• It’s a three-person circus featuring Thom, Chuck Clark, and Keri Kazz.
• They work small to medium theaters and colleges.
• They were trying it out and tweaking it last year and now it’s ready to put on tour.
• Talks about what he’s doing to generate buzz and get the word out.
• Boots on the ground, plastering flyers and old-school promoting.
• Supplements his guerrilla marketing techniques with social media efforts.
• Making personal connections with people as he’s marketing the show.
• Marketing it like PT Barnum.
• Staying for longer runs allows him to get his audiences to market his show and get their friends to come out.
• Generating word of mouth.
• How he decides where to take his show.
• Using anchor dates and filling out other dates around those.
• Engaging with the press on social media.
• Press releases.
Working With Agents
• How to find and work with agents
• Cold calling agents.
• Finding agents that fit with your show and your audience.
• Call other artists in their roster to find out more about the agents. You want to find one you can trust.
Collaborating with the others to build The Danger Circus
• How the three of them got together.
• Working together to create their show.
• Talks about the theme and flow of the show.
• Cutting material that wasn’t working or adding to the show as a whole.
• Dealing with three egos.
When he launched Freak Show & Tell, he talks about how for one show, only one person showed up to see his show, but he still played his show like he was playing for a full house. Turns out she was a theater theater producer who he ended up working with on many occasions afterwards.
Taking variety arts into theaters and being one of the very few variety artists invited to perform at the 25th Annual Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Festival, and then being invited back!
Other Topics Covered
• He didn’t mind his day job as a gourmet chef, in fact, he still does it on the side sometimes because he still loves it. It’s still one of his passions.
• When you go on TV, your job is to make them look good.
• If you do a radio appearance, its no longer just audio. They have content going up on Youtube and Facebook, etc. So wear your costume and makeup to radio gigs.
The entire purpose of theater is to transform the audience.
Recommended books and resources:
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