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Going viral

On Sunday, I met with Tom, Asaf, and Sarah Marie of the Institution Theater, to get the schedule locked down for my directorial debut. Auditions for Trust No One will be held on January 26. That’s a lot of lead time, and a lot of opportunity to drum up interest.

Now the question is… how the hell do you do that? I do not have the mind of a marketer. I glaze over when you talk about “branding.” I’m in over my head here. What I want is not to market the show — that will come later — but to create buzz in the improv community, so people are interested in being part of the show.

First idea: A website! I was thinking about what goes on in conspiracy circles, what I can send up, and InfoWars came to mind. That led to the brilliantly punny “ImproWars.” Maybe I could register that domain — it’s available — and set up a parody website. Then reality set in. Since when do I have time to not only craft a website, but populate it with content (initial and ongoing)? I do not.

Second idea: Twitter! So maybe not a website, maybe just a Twitter feed. But the username @ImproWars is, inexplicably, taken. So do I want to be @ImproWars1? Will the joke be as strong? I decided that no, it will not. If I’m going to take to Twitter for this undertaking, I’ll need to think up a new, hopefully equally clever, name.

Third idea: Facebook! This kind of goes without saying, but in what form should I craft a Facebook presence? There’s a group that talks about Samurai movies, in anticipation of the samurai-themed show that Kareem and Shannon are directing at the Hideout. Would such a thing work for the conspiracy themes of my show? Or would it be better to create a page, straight-facedly sending up conspiracy sites? I’m vacillating.

Fourth idea: Movie night! One thing I have done is start a series of (hopefully) weekly screenings of conspiracy movies. I’m starting with The Conversation and plan to show The Parallax ViewThe President’s Analyst, and Three Days of the Condor at a minimum. Maybe Z as well. So far the people who’ve signed up are mostly the same people who came to the Woody Allen screenings I had before Manhattan Stories auditions. So we’ll see if there’s any interest beyond that.

Not really an idea, but I did come up with a visual tag for the show, incorporating the Institution logo with the Eye of Providence, a common conspiracy icon:

The ViewMaster of Providence

I think it’s pretty nifty, if I do say so myself.

So I’m wracking my brain trying to figure out how to drum up more interest in this show. I do not have the mind of a marketer. Hopefully something will come to me.


So, what do you think ?