I’ve had a great weekend of publicity. There was a really positive review of Good Will Acting in the Sunday Times, and it’s fabulous when the reviewer really ‘gets’ it. Then, there was a delightful interview with me in the Weekend Argus. Aside from making me feel like the bee’s knees, I am so, so keen for the possibility that this will help bring people to the show.
We are in that situation (a common one, I know) where our audiences are really, really small. On Saturday night our audience of twenty found it difficult to contain themselves, they were loving it so much, and when they left they were baffled by how few of them were there. Each of them promised to tell their friends, etc, etc, but the truth is I’m facing another hard week of phoning, facebooking and nagging all the people I know who haven’t made it yet to come.
All the excuses are there. Apparently it’s a bad time of year with so much else on and people watching their pockets. Really? I actually thought it was the best time of year to put on a silly, seasonal inspired piece of delight that people would want to come to. Silly me! Apparently Kalk Bay is really far. Come on! People travel from Cape Town to Stellenbosch for wine! Then there’s the argument about ticket prices. What are people prepared to pay to see a show? I guess what is making me completely ‘gek’ is that it is so hard getting people in, but once they’re there they can’t believe how fantastic it is.
Which brings me to the thing that has been bugging me since we started this run. Where are all the actors and theatre people, and why don’t they ever go to the theatre? Good Will Acting is made with the Cape Town actor in mind; it is about Cape Town actors. In fact, most of the criticism leveled at the show has been that a lot of the jokes are very in-house. We wanted it to appeal to actors and theatre people. We wanted to poke fun at them (and ourselves obviously) and it is a homage to actors in Cape Town and what the ‘season’ can be like. Needless to say, the response from fellow actors, actor friends and industry related people has been completely underwhelming. And I’ve heard every excuse in the book from some of my friends. They have ranged from being short of money, to not having the time, to promising they’ll be there, to not having baby sitters. I have heard every one. And I have had to face up to the fact that they don’t actually want to come. That is the really hard part. And it’s the part I don’t get at all.