Broadway Entrepreneur Uses Business Live Streaming to Help Others





Use business live streaming to share successes and failures and become part of a growing trend. Audiences want to see live streams where businesses reveal major mistakes and solutions. As humorist Sam Levenson said, “You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.”

As always, don’t be trendy for the sake of being trendy. Common business wisdom is to tie every decision to a larger goal — or a call-to-action no matter how small. Small Business Trends spoke with a Broadway producer who knows there should be a point to every live stream.

Business Live Streaming Shares Successes and Failures

Though he’s won multiple Tony Awards, Ken Davenport says structured learning wasn’t exactly available when he was new to the world of  Broadway, at least not in the modern ways he’s packaged it. Today he can provide experienced guidance to his network through exclusive masterminds and even conferences.

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Davenport is an award-winning producer of “Godspell” and “Kinky Boots” fame, most recently heard accepting the 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical for “Once On This Island.” An early adopter of tech tools, he was the first person to crowdfund a Broadway production almost a decade ago. Davenport has supported the Broadway ecosystem through a number of his own subsidiary businesses and is also the Executive Producer for North America of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group. Davenport was named one of Crain’s “40 Under Forty,” and is one of the co-founders of TEDxBroadway. Upcoming projects include his original musical “Gettin’ The Band Back Together.” His unique approaches have led to media coverage in the NY Times, MSNBC, Rock Center, Fox News, BBC, and a mention in Jay Leno’s monologue on “The Tonight Show.”

Video Length Depends On The Goal

Small Business Trends: Hi Ken, I’m shocked that you have time to do a daily Facebook Live for your audience. Have you been able to stick with it daily? What are the longer town hall videos for?





Ken Davenport: My “every day” Facebook Live isn’t daily actually; the name I gave it, #EveryDayIsDifferent, is more about how each day has a new challenge or obstacle, and about how each project is uniquely its own. Each year I host a Town Hall for the Broadway community where they can ask me their burning questions about the business of Broadway. This year’s Town Hall was one of my favorites and I received some interesting questions about raising money, pitching your show to investors, out-of-town tryouts, how to collaborate with directors and more.
business of broadway facebook live

Doing the Town Hall on Facebook Live is a way for anyone to preview our Mastermind Program, which has been an essential part of a success plan for our members who want fast results.





Small Business Trends: I love masterminds, and I know different types exist. How does your mastermind work?

Ken Davenport: It’s an exclusive community of professionals we heavily screen through our application process. These people are the best of the best and will help guide you along the path to production. Everyone in the Mastermind is unique in skill, experience and connections. By interacting and sharing your challenges, it’s almost certain that someone in the Mastermind will have a solution for you, and you may also be able to offer a solution, connection or tactic to help someone in the group. Admission into our Mastermind opens only once per year. I also have a membership-based portal for online training called The Producer’s Perspective PRO with monthly Live Office Hours Calls, weekly tips, monthly industry newsletters, and in-person events like mixers, breakfasts and workshops.

I wish these things had existed for me when I was starting out. In just about every show I’ve ever produced, there have been derailments and moments of feeling stuck. This is common in the entertainment industry due to its collaborative nature. You need many, many people to make a musical or a film. The more people who are involved, the more stumbling blocks you’re going to encounter. It’s a fact. So prepare for it and know you have the ability to get through it.



Small Business Trends: You’re producing a musical about inventor and HSN star Joy Mangano’s life?



Ken Davenport: Yes, Joy Mangano started as a single mom and turned a small business into big business! She has an extraordinary life story. But expect more announcements in 2019; producing for Broadway is a very long process of small and large steps. As I say in one of my books, How to Succeed in the Arts… Or in Anything, accomplishing something small puts you on the path to accomplish something great.

“The Awesome 80s Prom” was a tiny Off Broadway show of mine that ran for one night a week. It was capitalized for only $120,000, in other words its production budget, but it quickly became New York’s number one bachelorette party and sweet 16 destination. And to think, I almost didn’t go ahead with it because I felt it wasn’t important enough. The Prom ran for 10 years and returned about 500% to its investors.



Small Business Trends: What are some fun facts that underscore your work ethic?

Ken Davenport: The morning after “Once On This Island” won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, we weren’t sleeping in. We had ad meetings, and an evening performance! On top of this, my new show, “Gettin’ The Band Back Together,” started rehearsals at 10 AM sharp. Even after decades working on Broadway and off, I still consider myself a student.



Small Business Trends: Where can people see what you’re working on, including watching your Facebook videos?



Ken Davenport: Visit my blog at TheProducersPerspective.com. There you’ll find a link explaining our Mastermind. For Facebook, go to facebook.com/KenDavenport. Like my page and you should get a notification for my live videos and replays.

Images: TheProducersPerspective.com

This is part of the Small Business Trends Livestreamed Livelihoods interview series featuring sessions with today's movers and shakers in the livestreaming world.

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Alex Yong


Alex Yong Alex Yong is a staff writer and host of the Small Business Trends Livestreamed Livelihoods interview series featuring sessions with today's movers and shakers in the livestreaming world. Alex was named a must-follow PR resource in Cision North America’s list of the top 50 Twitter influencers utilizing rich media tweets, alongside Guy Kawasaki and Lee Odden.

4 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    Livestreaming can be used to answer questions in real time. I guess that’s one of the values of livestreaming.

    • Alex Yong

      Hi, realtime is definitely a way to show expertise.

      experts who lead their field with a lot of experience gladly answer questions in real time without having to say oh let me get back to you. The latter is rarely heard during conference panel q&a for example. It’s just not a good look

  2. I have always thought that livestreaming are for those with a good number of followers. But if you are passionate about what you do and you are willing to help other people, then livestreaming may help you because you get to help people in real time.

    • Alex Yong

      Well there’s also real life where various percentages of your true network might not even be highly active on social media, skewing the reality. Of course if one wishes to deliver value to them through live streams then those followers would need to be somewhat active to get platform notifications

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