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Quotes


from: "Stage Writers Handbook"
by: Dana Singer (used by permission)

"Don't assume that at the beginning of your career you must accept degrading or offensive contract terms or relationships in order someday to find someone who will treat you with respect; reject this "boot camp" mentality. Don't think you must sell your soul on your first work in the hopes of being able to obtain a decent offer on your second work. Some terms in contracts are freely negotiable, others are more difficult to change and some you may find are simply impossible. Don't think that because you're not Neil Simon, Wendy Wasserstein or Tony Kushner you have no right to ask for anything to be changed in the offer. Ultimately, you may decide to sign a no-so-great contract because the benefits outweigh the terms with which you are aren't happy, but don't hesitate to give it your best shot and know that at least you understand what terms you are agreeing to and why are made that decision. One of the worst feelings is to find out later on, after the deal is over, that you could have easily negotiated terms that everyone else was able to obtain if only you had spoken up, or to discover that you've signed something dreadful without realizing the full import of the language."


From Dana Singer's new book:
"Stage Writer's Handbook: A Complete Business Guide for Playwrights, Composers, Lyricists and Librettists"

"Agents are an important part of an author's career; yet, representation is not a mandatory step to success: There are many authors whose careers prosper without it. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that having an agent is the only path to getting your play produced, or even that having an agent means you will have a production. Depending on your work, the type of venues sought and the stage of development in your career, you could find yourself pouring precious time, energy and money into a premature or even unnecessary agency search. Having an agent does not mean you can stop marketing the work yourself. Many authors dream of the day they will have an agent so they can just turn over the work and have it marketed by someone else, but that is not consistent with the reality of representation."


by Bruce Lazarus

"If you do not ask for what you want, you deserve what you get."


from: "Grandma Sylvia's Funeral"
By Dana Matthou, Producer

"A producer is a rare, paradoxical genius, hard-headed, soft-hearted, cautious, reckless, a hopeful innocent in fair weather, a stern pilot in stormy weather, a mathematician who prefers to ignore the laws of mathematics and trust intuition, an idealist , a realist, a practical dreamer, a sophisticated gambler, a stage-struck child."


By Morton Eustis, B'way, Inc.!,1934

"It seems obvious to any outsider looking in thatsome change in the organization of the theatre, whether from within orwithout, must take place. But just when this change will come or what formit will assume, no one can foretell. Actually the era of speculating insingle plays, tickets, and real estate, which those who have grown up inits shadow think of as the normal form of theatre business, is only anabnormal incident in theatre history"


from: "Stage Writers Handbook"
by Dana Singer

A well-written play or musical is obviouslyan important part of the equation, but it is only the first step to establishingyourself professionally. It requires hard work and perseverance to getyour work produced or published, and the competition is fierce; but, itcan be done. Don't fall into the trap of thinking, "I wish I had anagent so I could just turn all of this over to him or her and not haveto think about it anymore." Not only is it fairly difficult to obtainan agent; but, once you have one, you must continue to foster the contactsyou have already made and to try to establish new ones. Besides, agentsare not infallible. Whatever their level of experience, you should alwaysstrive to be an active participant in your career, understanding the issuesto be negotiated and comprehending the documents you sign. It is your work,and your career, at stake.


from: "Stage Writers Handbook"
by: Dana Singer (used by permission)

Donít assume that at the beginningof your career you must accept degrading or offensive contract terms orrelationships in order someday to find someone who will treat you withrespect; reject this "boot camp" mentality. Donít think you mustsell your soul on your first work in the hopes of being able to obtaina decent offer on your second work. Some terms in contracts are freelynegotiable, others are more difficult to change and some you may find aresimply impossible. Donít think that because youíre not Neil Simon, WendyWasserstein or Tony Kushner you have no right to ask for anything to bechanged in the offer. Ultimately, you may decide to sign a no-so-greatcontract because the benefits outweigh the terms with which you are areníthappy, but donít hesitate to give it your best shot and know that at leastyou understand what terms you are agreeing to and why are made that decision.One of the worst feelings is to find out later on, after the deal is over,that you could have easily negotiated terms that everyone else was ableto obtain if only you had spoken up, or to discover that youíve signedsomething dreadful without realizing the full import of the language.

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