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"Your audience gives you everything you need. They tell you. There is no director who can direct you like an audience." - Fanny Brice


We create art for many people, not the least of which are ourselves… but what about everyone else? This week, I’d like to discuss our relationship with our audience - whether that is in a theater, on the street, or in a classroom setting. How deeply do we understand our audience? How do we connect with them? How does their reaction to our work change the way we feel (or create new work in the future)? 

My Answer:

I spend a lot of time thinking about my audience… or rather, my audiences… whether it’s in a theatre setting or online. No matter what the type of audience, I find the best connection comes from sharing authenticity. I think people are consciously and unconsciously attracted to the things that make up authenticity: honesty, transparency, vulnerability, and value based decision making, among other things… I am usually more influenced by work that is more popular with my audience - letting that drive me, work that is not well received rarely bothers me and I think I am able to file away as a part of the process.

Thoughts and Actions:

Your creative work needs an audience.

Yes, you can create art for arts sake, but I think it’s our duty to share it, and as a result, our ability will grow and evolve accordingly. You have to have a willingness to continue to follow the path of what’s actually working.

In 1872, the French novelist George Sand wrote that the artist has a “duty to find an adequate expression to convey their art to as many souls as possible.” To put it more succinctly: Art needs an audience. Art changes people. It’s important.

There are many many different types of audiences, and understanding their expectations is a big part of being successful.

Steve Jobs famously quipped that people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s the voice of an artist talking. Creative people have a sensitivity for what people need even before they realize it, and this isn’t pandering — it’s empathizing. Innovation begins with identifying people’s expectations and ends with exceeding them.


Many artists are resistant to marketing. I often hear other creatives scorning the pressure to market their work. They want to avoid appearing sleazy or “self-promotional.” But marketing and creativity are not enemies. They actually go hand in hand.

Strategies to Grow and Connect with Your [online] Audience:

  1. Start with what you know. 

  2. Find a niche.

  3. Define your values and present them.

  4. Figure out what your audience wants/needs.

  5. Determine what makes you different from everyone else.

  6. Team up with complementary artists. 

  7. Be consistent.

  8. Create for your audience, not the platform you are using to connect with them.

And… remember to smile.

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