Be an Ambassador
What is an Ambassador?
We're so glad you asked. An Ambassador is a local representative of Transient Theater. This person lives in a U.S. city with a hunger and appreciation for great theater. This person is plugged in with their local theater community and has an interest in the production of new, risk-taking work. The Ambassador serves as a host and guide for the Production Team as they travel and perform.
Could you explain that further?
Sure. You should think of an Ambassador as a co-producer. Their responsibilities include reading the script for our current production, promoting the Support Campaign, securing a venue, setting ticket prices, coordinating gifts, and spear-heading a local marketing campaign. At the end of the tour many Ambassadors get invited to serve for another season and will get to help in selecting the next play. Some Ambassadors will also be invited to join the cooperative as "Core Members" and will participate in the day-to-day operations of Transient Theater. But now we're getting ahead of ourselves. Here's what an Ambassador does:
Read the script
This one’s pretty obvious. You won’t make a very good Ambassador if you don’t know what you’re ambassador-ing. So you have to know the play and you should hopefully like it and be able to articulate your feelings about it. You should also know Transient Theater’s mission statement and generally agree with it. These things will come in handy for all the rest of this stuff.
Transient Theater will begin our second annual Support Campaign later this Spring. The campaign is comprised of 2 components. First, we'll need to raise around $10,000 in financial gifts and we'll do this by soliciting $10 donations. In addition to this we'll be running an "in-kind donation" campaign in which we ask people to offer places to sleep, food to eat, venues, and volunteer hours. People who choose to give to either campaign will then be asked to vote for which city they want Transient Theater to visit. Votes will be used to determine our final itinerary. As an Ambassador your job will be to get a minimum of 20 votes for your city.
We're trying out something new this year. We're giving each Ambassador a partner to work with. Ambassador partners will be in different cities but will have a small task to assist in every city. For example, let's say the Dallas Ambassador and St.Louis Ambassadors are partners and let's say there partner task is writing press releases. These two people will be in charge of writing and distributing press releases for every city on our itinerary. This might sound like a lot of work, but it's distributed amongst two people and it means that each city is getting lots of little bits of help from all the other cities, so when the show comes to Dallas that Ambassador doesn't have to worry about other things like emailing the ticket holders or posting the facebook event or distributing the donor rewards.
Once our Support Campaign comes to an end we should have many offers from many people to help us while we're in your town. The Ambassador will reach out to these people and coordinate when, where, and how they will contribute their gifts.
Securing a Venue
This is arguably the second most important task an Ambassador has. The issue is not so much finding the right space. That’s pretty easy in most places. The issue is finding a very cheap free space on the nights that the Production Team will be in town. Last year we were able to get all of our venues donated and this is what really made us successful. It doesn’t have to be the same space every night. It doesn’t have to have state of the art equipment. Black boxes are nice, but if your neighbor knows a basement at this abandoned church across town and we won’t get arrested for performing there, we’ll do it. We just need an outlet or two for our equipment and seats for an audience.
Setting Ticket Prices
Different parts of the country have different expectations for ticket prices. A show in New York does not and should not cost the same as a show in Dallas. This is why Transient Theater will encourage you to set your city's own ticket price. We’ll give you a target for what we are hoping for in terms of gross profit and ask you for a reasonable plan on how to hit that target. We’ll want an estimated number of comps, discounted tickets, and full priced tickets you believe we can sell. We’ve got a nice spreadsheet we’ll send you to fill out that will do all the math for you. You don’t have to be an expert, just make your best educated guess. We're all learning as we go.
Local Marketing Campaign
This is most definitely the most important responsibility an Ambassador has. It won’t do us any good to come to your town with our brilliant show if nobody in your town shows up to see it. Remember that $10,000 we raised? It’s already gone. We need ticket sales to cover our expenses, to feed our faces, to make it to the next city. So get on facebook, email other theaters around town, and start talking to the press. Because guess what? The more tickets we sell the more money you get too! It’s brilliant. Transient Theater will provide you with postcards and posters. You have to do the rest because you’re there and we aren’t and by the time we are it will be too late.
How much does it cost to become an Ambassador?
Being an Ambassador doesn’t cost you anything but your time. You won’t pay any venue fees out of pocket, you aren’t responsible for marketing costs, you don’t have to make an initial investment in order to participate. In fact, you aren’t even obligated to contribute to the Support Campaign if you don’t want to. Your time and knowledge of your city is more valuable to us than your bank account.
So what do Ambassadors get out of all of this?
Besides the honor that comes when one supports the arts? Well, plenty, actually. First, the Ambassador gets free tickets to the show, of course. They also have the right to grant free or discounted tickets to members of the local arts community or press that they believe could forward the Transient Theater agenda.
Second, an Ambassador is billed as a co-producer in our program.
Oh, and the money. Transient Theater is a cooperative theater company which means if there’s any money left over (which there should be) we all split it equally. When we are in an Ambassador’s city that Ambassador gets in on that even split. So instead of splitting it 5 ways amongst the Production Team and Transient we will split it 6 ways and give the sixth portion to our Ambassador. Now the math gets a little tricky and if you decide to become an Ambassador you’ll get more information about the financial aspect than you ever wanted, but the gist of it is any expenses accrued locally will be considered “performance” expenses and will be deducted from the ticket sales before the money is divvied up.
This could include (but would not be limited to): venue costs, hotel accommodations, marketing expenses, etc. This would not include any stipends to the Production Team, expenses accrued before arriving or after leaving your city, or any other “production” expenses. In other words (generally speaking), the expenses accrued in your city will be deducted from ticket sales before the profits are shared (with the exception of programs and gas). Any expense that would have been accrued whether we visited your city or not will come out of the “production” budget.
It’s damn near impossible to estimate what this amount will be without having information about price of venue and number of seats, but we’re hoping to work it out so that each member of the pool will receive a minimum of $50 per show. We expect a successful run to yield closer to $75 per show.
If you're interested in becoming an Ambassador please send us an email.