A week from today, on Friday, November 16th, CTI will host its Investor Relations & Here’s the Pitch course. Students have the opportunity to present their ideas to a “celebrity” panel of successful producers and receive detailed feedback about how to improve their pitching.
This time around, our panel of experts includes EVA PRICE, whose producing credits include Annie and Peter and the Starcatcher; FRAN KIRMSER, who is currently producing Glengarry Glenn Ross and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; PAIGE PRICE, the Artistic Director of Theatre Aspen; and AMANDA WATKINS,* who produced Lend Me A Tenor. Today, they give us their insight on pitching and give you an idea of how you can make a better pitch and avoid common mistakes.
CTI: What is the single most important thing that all pitches should have?
Eva: The most important thing a pitch should have is clarity and confidence. If the pitch, in words alone, lacks punch and precision and then how can a Producer have faith that the whole idea/script/score won’t lack it as well?
Amanda: A pitch needs to include more than an idea; a realization of how the idea is actualized on stage (in terms of physical production) can give a jumpstart to a producer’s ear that is obviously not familiar with the “pitcher’s” mind’s eye.
Fran: A CLEAR and POINTED ask!
CTI: What are some easily avoidable mistakes in pitching that are commonly made?
Eva: Easily avoidable mistakes include repeating yourself multiple times without saying anything new. Saying the exact same thing, over and over, without giving follow up or evidence, but just relying on one plain statement…is not the way to get your project noticed and considered.
Fran: Letting an ask linger and pitching with an inappropriate amount -either too high, too low, or not getting to a number at all.
Paige: Don’t assume we know anything – especially references, unless they’re obvious. Don’t rush. If we lose track or you present too manically, we won’t be able to be drawn in.
Amanda: A pitch can be very muddled by too much jargon around how COMMERCIAL the concept is; the passion and vision are much more important; it is up to the producer to make it commercial.
Our celebrity panel is ready to help you perfect your pitch. Whether you’ve already taken the class and just want to practice your new and improved pitch or you need help taking your pitch to the next level, Investor Relations & Here’s the Pitch gives you access to industry professionals with invaluable experience and insight. Also available as a webinar simulcast for those who aren’t New York City-adjacent.
*EDIT: Amanda Watkins is no longer able to join the panel this Friday, but we thought her answers were just too good to remove!