SOR 022: Bill Wilkison

Bill Wilkison

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Bill Wilkison is nothing if not an artistic renaissance man. He is an actor, director, writer, and genuinely kind and generous human being. One of the reasons I was so eager to get Bill on the podcast is because he’s also a talented visual artist. He is sought after in the Indianapolis area for his ability as an artist both with set pieces and promotional material.

Bill shares some great insights in this episode. I particularly loved the fact that someone who creates great posters dreads the idea of going out and trying to put them up. We’ve talked about posters before in a few early episodes of the podcast, but it’s interesting to hear an artist voice concerns with posters from a completely different angle.

In this episode I also talk about an email I received from Niels Duinker. I suggest to Niels that seeking out theatres that have dark weekends he could step in and fill might be a great approach for him. It got me wondering if there are any sites out there that act like match making services for venues and acts. (We’re a 6-person improv act looking for 100-200 seat theatres on the east coast in the months of June and July.) I am not aware of this type of site, but if you do know one please, please share a link in the comments.

In this episode:

  • what’s the relationship between the visual art on stage and the art in the marketing – the exact relationship may vary, but when you see a production it should feel familiar connected to what you saw in the advertising
  • how much should arts marketing borrow from corporate marketing – a lot, but make sure the promise you make with your marketing is something you deliver in your production
  • what’s the unique selling proposition for your show if you are doing a traditional production – some people are looking for exactly that, and build your marketing message around it as a strength
  • how small theatre companies can rapidly grow – foster a community
  • how someone who makes posters feels about putting them up – spoiler: he doesn’t like it any better than the rest of us do
  • can theatre promotions exists as their own art form – Bill thinks so

Items mentioned:

the poster that Bill talks about when we discuss the relationship between the art on stage and the promotional art

the poster that Bill talks about when we discuss the relationship between the art on stage and the promotional art

  • NoExit Performance and Q Artistry – two companies in Indianapolis that have experienced rapid growth in recent years that Bill and I talk about
  • Family Dog – psychedelic posters that stand as works of art apart from the events they were designed to promote
  • Dick Tracy movie posters – this link takes you to the image search results on Google for “dick tracy movie posters” to see the type of iconography Bill brings up in this episode
  • B. Wilkison – Bill’s artist page on Facebook

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Thank you for taking the time to listen to this podcast. I hope you find it useful. Namaste, gang.

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