This week has made clear to me the importance of details.
In this one calendar week we have tech-ed and opened a show, planned and executed our Halloween Spooktacular Event on Fifth Avenue, and planned and prepared for our Annual Charity Golf Classic.
I also, in my spare time, prepared the “sides” (which are what we call the scenes that actors read when auditioning) for auditions for THE GOD GAME (yes, I’m going back for more), gotten through about a 180 emails, attending a cocktail party thrown by Bunny Brooks, the chair of our Ambassadors’ Guild for our returning Ambassadors, prepared more plans for annual Gala on February 27th at the Naples Beach Hotel honoring Bob Harden, and prepped for our upcoming first meeting of our Fundraising Advisory Board.
And in this, it became increasingly clear that for us to continue to uphold the mission I hold dear of “High Quality Professional Theatre at Affordable Prices” the only way for us to do that is to pay attention to even the tiniest detail.
I am now halfway through this blog and realized Cody Nickell wrote a blog with the same title on September 26th, so I am adding a “Part Deux” to my title now.
As I read through Cody’s blog once again, I have tears in my eyes – gratitude flowing through me as a result of reading how dearly he holds the importance of the details as well. As far as I’m concerned, they’re the make or break aspect of what we do. They are what can set us apart if we focus on the importance of them, or cause us, through lack of focus on the importance of every detail, to fade back into the background, into the sea of other theatre companies or plays or performances that you’ve seen before.
Every single detail matters. Did a customer have to call back more than once or were their needs met the first time? Does that piece of “built-in furniture” on the set have rough edges or smooth? Are the curls in her hair individual enough and distinct enough that she looks like a woman from 1940? But more than that, have we checked and double checked and triple checked that we have all the information we need, so that the show is the best it can be, so that we can provide the best possible customer experience we can, so that the marketing is such that people know we’re out there and are excited about it?
We have challenges, and they are many: they include working in a shared facility, with limited technical ability, no backstage space and a limited budget which means we have the fewest amount of staff members doing the largest amount of work humanly possible to get it all done on time and under budget. That’s maybe my biggest challenge of all…how to keep everyone happy, humming along, working productively and effectively and focusing on the details despite the fact that we’ve all got a LOT going on….but we’re just going to keep on trucking. We’ve grown from a budget of $5 to a budget of $1.5M in 9 years, and we’re not going to stop any time soon. We’re going to keep growing, we’re going to keep offering the community the highest-quality experience in every way that we possibly can, and someday we will have a home of our own, and that will bring with it its own set of new challenges for us to meet and new vistas to conquer.