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Happy Accidents by David Wilk, Frank Ford, David Ahearn

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3 How to Get the Maximum Return on Improvisation (ROI)

May the wind always be at your back.

– Irish blessing

In business, growth generally is a good thing. Expansion, when it happens, can bring with it a whole new set of challenges. As Notorious B.I.G. once said, “Mo money mo problems.” And it was certainly true for us.

Yes, we were in a great new space, but it was double the size of the other theater and we needed to fill it with an audience and staff. Plus, we were officially on our own now. We couldn’t piggyback off the Forever Plaid show or the Casa on the Square anymore. As a business owner, you get a very profound sense of “we’ve got to make this work!” when the ink dries and it’s your name on the rental contract.

But do you ever think about the ten years of car payments you’ll have when you buy a brand-new convertible Porsche and drive it off the lot? No, of course not. You take it out for a spin with the top down and let the wind blow through your hair! Well, we had the Porsche of theater spaces and we intended to maximize its potential. And like a new sports car, we wanted to open this baby and see what she had under the hood! Having said that, we did grind the clutch a few times trying to get out of the parking lot.

Once we were in the new space, we had to deal with some personnel changes at the outset. David Holt, our musical director, was getting married and had to leave the group. Fortunately, we were able to replace him with Paul Slavens, a very talented local ...

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